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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers revealed on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast that he consumed ayahuasca before back-to-back MVP seasons, crediting the herbal psychedelic because he helped produce two of the best seasons of his career by changing his mindset 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 Peru. “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 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 drug.
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’m never going to 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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Rogers got emotional talking about the importance of self-love, his experience with ayahuasca, and how he feels it 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).