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Posted by Philip on 23 April 2017, 1:22 pm in , , , , , ,

I am more

Life has phases, I think, which are seven years long. There are annoying awkward times in between each one. I’m in one of those now, I realise. It’s been quite long, too.

You know, like coming across food in the fridge and it's passed its 'best by' date. This version of myself has passed it's 'best by' date. But not yet expired.

guy looking into a fride wit a shocked look

The phase I'm coming to the end of has been bloody hard. It's my seventh phase at 49 years old. There's been stress, anxiety, discomfort, responsibility, fear, loss, confusion, pain (physical and otherwise), functional change, mobility change and more. Bloody hell.

I've lost trust in the world during this phase. I've lost trust in myself somehow.

I've always felt in control of my life, but in this phase I lost control. My body gave out, my safety was threatened, and my responsibility was challenged, first by a dog and then by a kid. 

This phase hasn't been all bad, though. I've become involved in some great work, met some wonderful new people, some of whom are now close friends and I've done some cool things like speaking at TEDxAuckland and making music and videos and other cool stuff. Mustn't lose that.

I've lost friends, mainly because they've moved away. I've hired and said goodbye to some amazing personal ands professional PAs.

I've drunk far too much merlot in this phase, both in celebration and commiseration of myself and others. Drinking — something else I've struggled to feel in control of during this phase.

It's been quite a shitty phase. 

And it's coming to a close. Actually, I've decided this afternoon I'm bring this crappy seventh phase to an end.

I sat this afternoon, in a form of meditation, I suppose. I'd probably call it contemplation, reflection maybe. I used a few sharmanistic rituals (grounding to the lower world, connecting to, or inviting in, the upper world) I've picked up in the last couple of decades but have totally stopped using this phase. Stuck on Earth, trapped in the middle world.

I had a sense of not knowing who I was. It felt a bit like catching up with myself after being in a bit of frenzy the past seven years.

I began thinking, 'Who am I?'

'Who am I?' became 'I am me.'

Which became 'I am more.'

It struck me that the trials of Phase 7 had left me feeling less. Less mobile, less safe, less in control of my life, less me. But that's only half of it.

I am also more mobile using a wheelchair, more safe because I have more awareness and strategies, and more in control because I've kept going even while uncontrolled.

Control is about balance and balance is allowing movement, not gripping to keep things still (so, is stillness actually balanced movement? That's another post.) Moving between holding things loosely and tightly, noticing the dark and the light, and allowing decay in order to manifest measured, healthy growth.

So intentionally, 'I am more" will be my affirmation, mantra, belief, whatever you call it, as I transition from Phase 7 to 8 of my life. I am aware that I'm in a space in between an end and a beginning. And that space in between has had a beginning and an end.

Speaking of spaces in between, it's a good way to think about diversity — as the spaces in between us, whether individual, communal, systemic, organisation, governmental or environmental. If those spaces contain fear, anger or hatred, diversity dies. When the spaces have love, empathy and curiosity, diversity abounds.

And spaces in between events are change.

Sorry about the tangent — back to my life, to wrap things up. The discomforts of getting used to driving in a new car, taking on a new but not unfamiliar public Council Advisory role and other stuff I need to change to be the version of me I need to be for Phase 8? They'll will pass. They're freaking me out a bit to be honest — I really wish I hadn't done both at once. Fuck. But they'll pass.

Anyway, that's the end of my philosophical Sunday afternoon rant.

Remember I am more, you are more, we are more.

Even if you don't believe it. It's more useful than thinking we're less.

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