A Fat Bodybuilder
Two weekends before lockdown (strange how my life is divided into life before and life after lockdown) my boys had a play date at our house. What should have been 2 extra kids became 4 as siblings of the friends stayed to play for the morning. That’s how I found myself setting up a jumping castle, and supervising the clearing of 2 truckloads of garden refuse, for everyone to enjoy the last few warmer days before the high veld days started to become cooler. While fastening the inlet pipe to the compressor, Kai and his friend were watching what I was doing. When offered help from his friend, before I could politely decline as I had it under control, Kai piped up with “My dad is really strong. He looks fat but underneath he really is a bodybuilder.” That answer seemed to satisfy his friend’s need to help and they both ran inside to get their costumes on.
And that’s when I started to giggle and finally shake with laughter. Kai's comment was so funny that I stopped trying to inflate the jumping castle just to take in what he had said. Somethings are funny because they are true, others because they are ironic. Kai’s statement had a bit of both. The first part was true, my dad bod I’ve been carefully cultivating for 10 years since I’ve stopped playing rugby. The second part wasn’t true because underneath my outer dad bod wasn’t a bodybuilder but another dad bod, panic stockpiling for the mid 40’s crisis. What I found so funny was how honest Kai was in his statement. Although what society might term as being “rude” Kai had simply in his language just commented on what he was observing without filter. He was completely present, without malice, his heart and brain in coherence observing and responding to the unfolding moment in front of him. People often talk about being present and living in the now but this is easier said than done. The way society is setup most people will never look for the present moment because we are worried about what’s to come and feel guilty about what’s passed. Kids and animals live fully in the present, grateful simply for the experience of life. Somewhere at some point this changes. Through trauma, experience or societal conditioning we lose this ability to be naturally present. It seems that at the beginning of lives we have this natural ability and then at the end (as our grey brain matter turns white) we recapture this ability for a short period before our life force begins to detach itself from the physical body. I’m always surprised and in awe of the bluntness of some of my older clients. They don’t have time (perhaps they realize that their time is limited) to have their words wrapped in political correctness. They say and speak what’s on their minds not concerned about future consequences or past limitations. My gran in her last few years was always quick to say if she thought you had gotten fat or were drinking to much whisky at a family braai, irrespective of the company present or societal correctness. Radical honesty can only exist in the present moment. 😁
Kids tend to do the same. It amazes me how Lake and Kai can call each other names, physically fight and then 2 minutes later they are the best of friends playing as though the previous 5 minutes didn’t happen. They are showing Candice and myself what it is to be in the present moment, keeping no record of wrongs of the past and moving on towards a future that doesn’t have place for anxiety or uncertainty. Instead of achieving, controlling and doing, they are just busy being. This is where their freedom lies, not constrained by conditioning and beliefs their existence in time and space merges into a single moment. They are free. Your whole existence can change if you can show just 5 seconds of courage. 5 courageous seconds to make a decision, choose a course of action or to say no to things that no longer serve you. 5 seconds is all it takes to become present and choose another way. In South Africa we’ve had 1 week and have 2 weeks to go of lockdown. Perhaps in that time we can find 5 courageous, present seconds to decide to start down a path of radical honesty with ourselves and others because as Gandhi said “ The future depends on what we do in the present.” Chat soon