*This is an encore presentation of a previously published episode.* The Kosher Warrior, Dr. Adam Splaver, joins Coach Sam in this week’s episode to talk about the most incomprehensible experience a man will ever have to go through. The message of Warrior was completely against most of his cultural and spiritual beliefs, but Dr. Splaver’s leadership within the Orthodox Jewish community and as a cardiologist in the medical community was in actuality a merging of multiple beliefs to help him deal with the pain of his wife’s illness.
Parable #1: What’s Your Story?
- Dr. Adam Splaver’s journey into Warrior began when his interest was piqued by the ads showing up in his Facebook feed. The experience of Warrior spoke to him, yet as a leader inside the Orthodox Jewish community and a highly respected Cardiologist in the medical community, he was nervous as to how these two traditional worlds might collide with the message of Warrior.
- The biggest issues he had were the stories he was telling himself. He wondered, “What the fuck am I doing as a religious cardiologist going into a program very foreign to my community and background where I’ll be stepping into a boxing ring, climbing up a mountain and swimming in the ocean?” Unbeknownst to him at the time, Adam would eventually discover for himself that Warrior Week was not a physical event but rather a powerful and painful spiritual journey.
Where in your life are the stories you are telling yourself preventing you from acting on a decision you feel deeply inspired to take action on?
Parable #2: Tap Into Your Natural Gifts
- In 2012, while at the top of his game personally and professionally, tragedy struck out of nowhere for Adam’s family when his wife, believed to be in top physical form, collapsed and was unresponsive. With one look at her x-rays, he realized there was a hell of a lot of blood where it didn’t belong, sending him to the ground in a heap of emotions and uncontrollable screaming.
- Within six months of being told to prepare to lose Shaani, the love of his life, she began improving and Adam believed the worst was behind them as he prepared to enter Warrior Week 28. While there, he realized he has been playing too small in his life and afterward began tapping into his natural gifts of teaching and speaking, appearing on television, inside periodicals, and makes appearances in various public venues.
Where in your life are you playing small?
Parable #3: Truth Is No Respecter of Persons
- Coach Sam: So you come to Warrior Week finding something that is actually giving you joy and is feeding your Certainty and Purpose. Life has been numb and it almost took a tragedy for you to wake the fuck up. All your life you have been living by the book and following the rules, yet you weren’t finding happiness and joy in doing that. As you started living your truth, you began colliding with an army of opinion within your professional and spiritual community.
- Adam: While at Warrior, I came to realize that the message of “stop lying and start telling the fucking truth” was the only way worth living. I had an incident with a Rabbi in my community while I was president of the synagogue, realizing that the rabbinic staff was not living up to their role as a spiritual guide and leader. I confronted them about it, and needless to say, it was not well received. What I learned from this experience is that I have the key, the access, and the ability to make my own connection with God and that I don’t have to go through anyone else for that.
What adds to your joy, certainty and purpose? How do you experience and express that in your life?
Parable #4: All We Have Is Now
- Adam: The brain tumor returned with a vengeance in 2016, robbing Shaani of her short-term memory. When we were originally presented with this entire situation, I was absolutely paralyzed thinking what the fuck am I going to do… until I surrendered. I surrendered to the idea that the only thing that I could control was now, so let’s make this the most incredible now that we can.
- Coach Sam: Every piece of wisdom that you read says don’t live in the fucking past, live in the present, and the future doesn’t exist; the truth is not in the past, the truth is in the now. Your wife didn’t remember the past, she had no power to live in the future, so she was forced to live in the now; and inside of this, you found beauty, love, intimacy, sexuality, and power.
Inside of tragedy, what does it look like to surrender to the gifts?
Parable #5: It’s A Matter Of Heart
- Coach Sam: Every single piece of emotion you have felt has been a gift from Shaani to you; gifts that you can use in your teaching as you heal men with the expression of their feelings. It’s coming from a place of experience, and it’s always been a part of who you are.
- Adam: At the end of the day, my understanding is that our souls are here for expansion: to get better, to get stronger, to get bigger than where we were before. And if that’s the case, then for some reason that I will never understand, God determined that our souls needed to undergo prolonged, prolific loss in order to perfect ourselves. I think this journey that my wife took me on has been an eye-opener, a heart opener; something I’m forever grateful for. And for that, I consider myself lucky, probably the luckiest man alive.
How many emotions do you allow yourself to feel and express?
Parable from the Pit:
“Shaani left this world for an unknown reason. You learned to surrender to what is. She left you many gifts, and each of those gifts come into play in your leadership. You would have never been the man sitting here today carrying so much power and respect if she had not been building your life with you. What the fuck are you going to do with the tremendous amount of gifts Shaani left for you?”
–Coach Sam Falsafi
“What happens when shit goes sideways? Are we prepared to deal with it? The bottom line is this: having the structure of the Warrior’s Way empowered me to continue on and just keep moving forward in order to tackle – to embrace – this huge problem in my life. If we can fortify ourselves to become stronger, then all of this other stuff becomes easier to tackle. Despite your darkest hour, despite the pain that you have, you are not alone. If you can lean on your Brothers and the people around you that really have your best interest at heart, then you can get through anything.”
–Dr. Adam Splaver