What a Soldier Taught Me About Vulnerability

I do NOT want to cry here

This is all I could think as I’m surrounded by my fellow Wisdom 2.0 attendeesWisdom2

Amazing people- Congressman Tim Ryan, Byron Katie, Russell Simmons, etc all spoke at this event

I wanted to be on my ‘A’ game

But, when an acquaintance innocently asked ‘Hey, are you going to Further Future this year?’– I couldn’t hold back my tears

Further Future is another amazing event-a festival including music, technology, wellness, and art

It’s also where my friend and I were driving to when we got into the car accident that killed him and injured me

My acquaintance did not know this-and neither of us expected a crying scene at this event

The next day, I was determined to remain composed and get the most out of my day

Then I went to see Dan Nevins speakDanNevins2

Dan is a yoga teacher

Also-Dan has no legs (well not anything below the knee)

Eleven years ago, while serving in Iraq, an LED exploded under his vehicle destroying both of his legs

While he had recovered physically, 2 years ago he fell into depression and a friend suggested yoga

Obviously his talk was amazing- a story of triumph over adversity

But, what stuck out to ME the most (and from anyone else I talked to) was his vulnerability

As he told the story of the LED explosion-losing a friend in the battle-sinking into depression over losing his physicality- he did something unexpected for a tough soldier


Despite the fact he is now active, successful and strong- he still openly expressed great sadness-both over the loss of his friend and in his own struggles

Then, when he taught his yoga class-he brought humor and lightness

”I’m now 5’10”, I used to be 5’8″ but I had them add on a few inches. I mean, why not” he said in the middle of class as we all burst into laughter

“It’s better for my Tinder profile” he finished

The class was Power Vinyasa-tough and strong and including great focus on form and strength

And, as he taught, Dan was both soft and strong-both funny and vulnerable

Sometimes I feel just as bad for enjoying fun and good times as I do for being sad and crying  other times

And, always, I feel like I should get over it already and stop wallowing in self pity and remorse

But this Wounded Warrior taught me the strongest thing is to be real and authentic with whatever comes up -be it laugh or tears

That-my friends-is pure WISDOM 










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