Aaron Rodgers says taking ayahuasca helped improve mental health and spur MVP seasons

Aaron Rodgers says taking ayahuasca helped improve mental health and spur MVP seasons

Aaron Rodgers says taking ayahuasca helped improve mental health and spur MVP seasons

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers revealed on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast that he consumed ayahuasca before back-to-back MVP seasons, crediting the plant-based psychedelic with helping produce two of the best seasons of his career thanks to a mindset shift. and improving his mental health.

“I don’t think it’s a fluke,” Rodgers said of winning his third and fourth MVPs in 2020 and 2021 after an ayahuasca experience in South America. “I really don’t. I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe that makes things happen when they’re supposed to happen.

“There are signs and synchronicities all around us at all times, if we are awake enough to see them and accept them and listen to our intuition when it speaks to us or knocks us on the head, saying, ‘Hey, this is what it’s supposed to be. what are you doing”.

Rogers said his decision to try ayahuasca was prompted by a previous experience he had with psychedelics – Marcus said Rogers once told him that “one of the best days of my life” involved taking mushrooms on a beach where in continuously “I felt myself merging with the ocean” – as well as from listening to Marcus’ podcast.

Rodgers said people focus on the negatives of ayahuasca – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and hallucinations among the many side effects – but not on the “deep and meaningful and crazy mind-expanding possibilities and also deep self-love and healing that can happen on the other side » after taking the medicine. Ayahuasca contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine), which is a Schedule I drug in the United States.

He said that after the trip and the ayahuasca experience, he “knew I would never be the same.”

“For me, I didn’t do that and think, ‘Oh, I’ll never play football again,'” Rodgers said. “No, it gave me a deep and meaningful appreciation for life. My intention the first night I walked in was ‘I want to feel what pure love feels like’. That was my intention. And I did. I really did. I had a magical experience with the sensation of feeling a hundred different hands on my body imparting a blessing of love and forgiveness for myself and gratitude for this life from what seemed to me ancestral.”

The experience, Rodgers said, “put me on the path to being able to go back to work and have a different perspective on things. To be a lot more free at work, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover. Really I feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career (in 2020).”

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Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after a 2021 game.

Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after a 2021 game.

Rodgers became emotional talking about the importance of self-love, the “death of the ego” during another ayahuasca experience with Marcus, and how he feels the experience helped him achieve self-love. She stopped several times to fight back tears.

“You can’t do anything in this life until you really, truly love yourself unconditionally,” Rogers said. “So that’s what I had to do. I had to completely surrender to the idea that everything I was telling myself was true. That’s when it finally broke. I laid there on that mat and made peace with the possibility that all these lies I was telling myself that might be true. In this reality of the worst self-talk imaginable, feeling like the lowest person on the planet and not worthy of this life of unconditional love…

“…I stood there with this reality, this is my reality – that all the things I’ve said about myself are true and they’re true. And I said ‘Is there anyone in this room who could still love me?’ “” Rogers? said Marcus came to mind first.

“What came next was the voice in my head – which was no longer my voice – saying, ‘If at your lowest, these people can still love you, then you should be able to love yourself. “”

Rodgers said the experience also helped his mental health.

“To me, one of the key tenants of your mental health is that self-love. That’s what ayahuasca did for me, was help me see how to unconditionally love myself,” Rodgers said. “Only in this unconditional love of myself can I truly be able to love others unconditionally. And what better way to work – that’s my belief – but what better way to work on my mental health than to have such an experience.

“The biggest gift I can give my teammates, in my opinion, is to be able to show up and be someone who can show them unconditional love. I mean, obviously it’s important to play well and show up and lead and all that. stuff, but they won’t care what you say until they know how much you care.”

Rodgers, 38, is the highest-paid player in the NFL. He is entering his 18th season with the Packers. He won the MVP award in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021, last season throwing for 4,115 yards and 37 touchdowns for the NFC’s No. 1 seed. In 2020, Rodgers led the NFL in completion percentage (70.7%) and touchdowns (career-high 48).

He reflected on his career as a whole with Marcus and discussed what keeps him going.

“I’ve faced a lot of disappointments in my career. A lot of incredible moments, highs and big wins, won a Super Bowl, won MVP. I’ve also faced the disappointing losses, some that stay with you forever.” Rogers said. “But at the core of it, there’s such a love for the game.

“There’s such a deep and intense love and gratitude for what I get to do. You can’t measure it. That’s why I keep wanting to come back and play and literally pour my soul into my sport and the relationships with the kids . and the Monday-to-Saturday grind, and the meetings and the workouts, and the side chats, and the late-night texts – whatever it takes to do what I do. I do it because I love it.”

Late in the podcast, Rodgers touched on his relationship with his family and his 2021 offseason showdown with the Packers. A change in perspective, he said, helped him overcome his problems with the team.

“There must be some recognition of the flawed nature in all of us. It is only, I believe, in this realization and understanding of the flawed nature of humanity that we learn what unconditional love truly is,” Rodgers said. “That allowed me to see, not only with my relationship with my family, but with friendships and lovers, differently, because I don’t have this idealism that things should be a certain way. Or that perfection is a quality that must be present in every iteration in every relationship. It is in the flaws, scars and thorns that we find the true beauty in each other, I believe. It is in the worldly experiences. Simplicity…

“I had some back-and-forth with the Packers during the offseason, and at the core of it was realizing that we’re all flawed people and we all bring our own egos and ideas and experiences to the table. At the core, there are opportunities to look past those flaws and find unconditional love for those people, those experiences, those organizations, those families that have really shaped us and shaped us into who we are.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Aaron Rodgers credits ayahuasca for helping him win back-to-back MVPs

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