I am Graham Phoenix and like many bloggers I have been inspired by Corbett Barr to expose myself and talk about me, talk about who the hell I am. I have also been inspired by Jayson Gaddis to be authentic and speak my shit, be who I really am.
Wow, that’s a tall order, be real and open and myself. Like many, I write and expose myself on the internet because I am a passionate man, I feel strongly and, often, get angry about what I see and hear around me. So, I think, why the hell can’t people think and feel like me? Why can’t they see the truth? I am one of those arrogant people who think that I am right!
I know the truth so listen to me!
This has been a pattern in my life:
- Soon after I left school I joined my first Trade Union, British Equity. Within three years of leaving school I was helping to write a contract for the employment of Stage Managers.
- In my second job in the theatre I hit a guy in the stomach to gain control of a stage crew.
- Soon after I was married I was put in jail overnight by the Police for arguing with a Policeman in the Police Station. “A bit like putting your head in the lion’s mouth”, said the Magistrate as he fined me.
- I shouted at Jayson Gaddis at the recent Evolving Men Conference because I thought he was being dominating… Hmmm… Pots and Kettles…
But then I am a compassionate man who loves and understands others. I am someone can empathise with others and see them where they are:
- I co-hosted a self-help group for gay christians with a woman. I opened my home and created a space where they could work out the contradictions and pressures they felt in the church. I trusted my children to understand and not condemn.
- I have spent my life in a profession, lighting design, that welcomes men and women into its ranks. I enjoy the power of women at work and have employed as many women as men in the firms I have run. I don’t find that equality at work contradicts polarity between men and women.
- Dogs find me sympathetic and loving towards them. They seek me out and sit with me when they can. You can’t amke a dog do that, they choose to if they feel the energy.
I have fun in my life, get drunk, have sex and laugh a lot.
- I love Caipirinha’s and remember an amazing night in Sao Paulo, Brazil, when I got totally drunk on them with a magazine editor interviewing me. The resulting recording was so incoherent that I had to re-construct the interview from memory.
- When I was a lot younger I was thrown out of the digs I was staying in because I was caught by the landlord climbing into bed, naked, with his wife. I have no memory of this due to the excess drinking at a party the previous evening. Remembering the landlady I can’t imagine it was deliberate…
- I remember having sex on the roof of a hotel while watching the crowds in the street below… but let’s move on…
- I got up before dawn, in the freezing cold, to see the sunrise over the Taj Mahal, in India. I froze for hours and missed it because the air was so polluted it cut out the sun’s rays. I did this with my partner, Cheta, with whom I also sat and watched the light change in the Grand Canyon, for hours and hours. It was when we both discovered we loved light.
I have had a lot of success in my life:
- I have won International Awards for my lighting designs. I am most proud of Durham Cathedral and The Albert Memorial. I am very proud of having these as two schemes in the UK’s Lighting Magazine’s ‘Top Ten Lighting Schemes 1995-2005’.
- I was President of the International Association of Lighting Designers in 2006 and 2007.
- I was Managing Director of two Lighting Design Practices with International reputations.
- I have two grown up boys of whom I am enormously proud. They are independent and creative men who excel as painters and musicians. Their love of life is amazing.
I have had many failures as well:
- I have two companies that I ran go into receivership owing money. I was unable to make either of them work commercially.
- I am divorced after 30 years of marriage. It’s a long time to work on something that ultimately crashes.
- In my 60’s I have large debts and savings or house to look after me. I have to work to keep living.
- I frequently let people down through failing to meet deadlines and not following through.
I have my peculiarities, the things that are just me:
- I have a club foot and refuse to let it hinder me, my stubbornness is enormous.
- I love life and never give up living it. I am travelling the world with Cheta simply because I love doing it with her.
- I love women and have more women friends than men. I find them more open and honest and more in touch with themselves.
- Five years ago I shaved all the hair on my head after forty odd years with a full head of hair and beard. I saw it as a spiritual practice to put me more in touch with myself.
So ultimately who am I, what makes me tick, what is life to me?
- I love my masculinity, my centeredness and my strength.
- I love the world and travelling in it. I never grow tired of networking and meeting new people. This is from someone who used to be incredibly shy and hated cocktail aprties!
- I love Urmila and am marrying her next year. She has brought a freshness and excitement to my life that I value so much. Thank you.
- Life is fun and excitement for me, I enjoy it and have no regrets. If I die tomorrow I will die happy because I feel I have lived my life to the full.
Latest posts by Graham Reid Phoenix (see all)
How Yoga Helped Me Find The Stillness In Masculinity
I have found that Yoga has enabled me to balance my personality and find my 'Still Point'. I use it to observe myself and deepen my masculinity with compassion, awareness and understanding. It has transformed me into a man who is both more alive and calmer.- November 2, 2016
Today I Felt the Shame of Being a Man
Graham experiences what it is like to be woman who is not listened to and suppressed. He looks at what men can do to fill this gender gap. Today I felt the pain of being a woman… Today I felt the shame of being a man…- October 26, 2016
Obesity in Men: What Is The Truth
Britain’s fattest man, Carl Thompson, was 33 years old and weighed 65 stone when he died in 2015. For those not from Britain, that is 410 kilos or 910 pounds. He was housebound, bed-ridden and alone. This was a man whose life had moved out of balance, and who ended up in a miserable, early death. This is an example of the issue of obesity in men.- October 16, 2016