Presence

Frightened of buttonholes.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Frightened of buttonholes. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m frightened of doing the buttonholes on the shirt I am making.

They are kind of irreversible.

Once the fabric is cut (which you do as you start making them) then there is no going back.

It feels like I could really stuff this up.

What if I get it wrong and all the hours of sewing this shirt are for nothing?

Ah, that’s interesting.

I’m worried about the outcome…which is the opposite of how I approach making a shirt.

When I make a shirt I’m most interested in the process. I encourage myself to let go of the time it takes me to do make it and how the shirt will look in the end…and just do this step, now.

I find making shirts such an interesting metaphor for my life. I avoid getting things wrong, which means I find finishing things I really care about can be difficult. It’s ok to get things wrong.

Ok, it’s time to make the buttonholes. 

If they don’t work, they don’t work.

At least I will be moving forwards.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,281

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A long day?

A long day. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A long day. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

My taxi driver just asked me if I had had a long day.

I’d been sitting there scrolling quietly through social media (Ew, right? I’m that guy?), I didn’t feel like it had been a particularly long day…

I looked up and said that I’d been on the go since 6 am…

He looked at me shocked and said…

“It’s 11pm, that's 17 hours. That’s a long day”

I realised there was a reason I was feeling a bit tired!

But also, in my defence your honour, I did all the things today. It was a full day, but full of all the things you want your day full of. I did some writing, I did some working, I hung out with a friend and did some moving, I helped some people make some art.

It was a full, but satisfying, long day.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,269

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Chosen family.

Chosen family. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Chosen family. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I spoke to my beautiful friend Billie last night.

We’d been trying to connect for weeks, without success, and then finally the stars aligned.

It’s comforting to be back with someone who knows me so well. Who loves me so deeply.

Her little boy asked if “Luke was our family?” 

“Why, yes…he is”

We are a part of each other’s chosen family.

Which is an honour for me.

A real honour.

Love

Luke

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Day 1,267

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A walk along the creek.

A walk along the creek. Drawing Luke Hockley

A walk along the creek. Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

I went for a walk yesterday along Merri creek with a dear friend of mine.

We had some things to talk about, which we did.

There was a moment where we stood under a bridge and played with how the sound reverberated off the massive bluestone arch.

This incidental, childlike playfulness is the stuff of magic.

When these experiences are missing, when a friendship becomes purely about some project or outcome or a working relationship…or much worse when it becomes just about working out conflict or having difficult conversations, then the relationship lacks the reserves to keep itself going.

I find it can be so easy to let these things slip, or not make the time and space for them to happen. They seem like ‘nothing time’, finding time to be bored together so that something light and curious emerges.

In my experience these spaces are where friendship is built.

Which is the most important time of all.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,261

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How do I succeed?

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

How do I succeed? Drawing Luke Hockley

Dear Self,

How do I succeed?

What are the ways I behave, the responses I have, when I am successful?

What do I even mean by successful?

That’s probably a better place to start!

I am successful when I am able to realise some vision I have had whilst being well in myself, growing my ability to be a good human, being kind and supporting those I am working with to do and have the same experiences.

Well, that kind of answers it. My behaviours and responses are all in there. How I succeed is as important as the thing I succeed at.

Ok, I should have seen that coming. That is pretty obvious to me now.

Not so easy to remember when I am in the throes of trying to get something done.

Also, though, quite simple.

Be kind, take care of myself and the people around me, always look for the opportunity to be a good human.

Righto, I can do that.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,245

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Sewing this, dyeing that.

Sewing this, dyeing that. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Sewing this, dyeing that. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I am getting great joy from making things.

Sewing this, dyeing that…

It’s the thing I have been longing to do for days and days and days.

Here it is.

Time to enjoy it.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,229

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I do love an early start.

I do love an early start. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I do love an early start. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I do love an early start.  

Seriously.  

Not that I particularly like getting out of bed very early in the morning...but I love how it feels like I get an extra day in each day.

Mid morning hits and I’ve already done so much living! And there’s so much more time to get more living done.

It’s a good thing to remember.

Otherwise I can forget to have joy in my early mornings.  

Love  

Luke.  

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Day 1,227

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Lovely.

Lovely. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Lovely. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

The sun was lovely today.

Through windows.

In the car.

On my skin as I hung out the washing.

Lovely.

Just lovely.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,223

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Don’t throw the buttonhole out.

Don’t throw the buttonhole out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Don’t throw the buttonhole out. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

I’m learning how to sew a buttonhole.

Or, rather, I’m learning a new way to sew a buttonhole.

Originally, I kind of made it up…I did a hand version of what I had seen a sewing machine do.

It was ok…but clumsy, or I thought there must be a better way or something like that. So, I found some instructions in a needle craft book of Mum’s on how to sew a button hole.

So far it is incredibly clumsy, and I don’t like it at all.

But I think I need to persist a bit longer.

I feel like a bit of repetition will help me see if I don’t like it because I’m not familiar and skilled enough or because it is actually awkward.

Let’s not throw the buttonhole out before it’s had a chance.

Love

Luke

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Day 1,219

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I am what I do often.

I am what I do often. Drawing Luke Hockley.

I am what I do often. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Yesterday I read something written by Ido Portal, a movement specialist, that has really stayed with me…

“You are what you do often so careful with your minute to minute, day to day and year to year choices.”

This resonates with something I realised for myself years ago, before I started training as and Alexander Technique Teacher, I realised that my whole system (nerves, muscles, bones…) was shaped by the choices I made every day. That I am literally moulded into the shape of the life I live.

Coming back around to this idea yesterday has helped me dive into this and experience it in a deeper way.

The part that really helped is the word ‘careful’.

The difficulty I have is making choices about how I ‘use’ myself (how much I tighten or cooperate with myself) when I do the mundane or quite static things…like the dishes or writing emails.

When Ido said to be careful with my minute to minute choices it helped me slow down and see that these moments shape me, because they happen so often. So, rather than dismissing them as something I need to get out of the way, I would rather practice great care for myself at these moments. I’ve known this for a long time. Something about the way this quote is written helped me change something about ‘this moment’ so that it is more likely to shape me in a way that is healthy.

Of course, it also prompts me to examine the bigger question of what choices I am making minute to minute. If I am what I do often, then what would I like to be and what choices will lead to that state of being?

Love

Luke

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Day 1,178

Show your support for Dear Self by becoming a monthly supporter of my work or by buying some stamp money. Your support means I can keep doing the things I do to make the world a better place.