Aaron Rodgers Says Taking Ayahuasca Improved Mental Health and Boosted MVP Seasons

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers revealed on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast that he used ayahuasca prior to his back-to-back MVP seasons. and improving his mental health.

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

“There are always signs and synchronicities around us, when we are awake enough to see and absorb them and listen to our intuition when it speaks to us or bangs us in the head and says, ‘Hey dummy , this is what you should do.'”

Rodgers said his decision to try ayahuasca was prompted by a previous experience he had with psychedelics — Marcus said Rodgers once told him that “one of the best days of my life” was taking mushrooms on a beach where he then “felt me ​​merging with the ocean” – and also from listening to Marcus’ podcast.

Rodgers said people focus on the negative sides of ayahuasca — nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hallucinations among its many side effects — but not on the “deep and meaningful and crazy mind-altering potentials and also deep self-love and healing that are on the other side.” can happen.” side” after taking the drug. Ayahuasca contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine), 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 again.”

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“For me, I didn’t do that and thought ‘oh, I’m never going to play football again,'” said Rodgers. “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 of feeling a hundred different hands on my body, giving a blessing of love and forgiveness for myself and gratitude for this life from what my ancestors .”

The experience, said Rodgers, “put me on my course to be able to go back to work and have a different perspective on things. To be much freer at work, as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover.” I really feel that 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.

Rodgers got emotional when he talked about the importance of self-love, his “ego death” during another ayahuasca experience with Marcus, and how he thinks the experience helped him achieve self-love. He paused a few times to fight back the tears.

“You can’t do anything in this life until you really, really love yourself unconditionally,” Rodgers said. “So that was what I had to do. I had to surrender completely to the idea that everything I told myself was true. Then it finally broke. I lay there on that mat and I made peace with the possibility that all these lies I said to myself that it could possibly be true In that reality of the worst self-talk imaginable, feeling like the lowest human being on the planet and not worthy ever in this lifetime of unconditional love…

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“…I lay there with that reality, that’s my reality – that all the things I said about myself are true and real. And I said, ‘Is there anyone in this room who could still love me? ‘” Rodgers said Marcus was the first thing that came to mind.

“What came through after that was the voice in my head — which wasn’t really my voice anymore — saying, ‘If at your low point, these people can still love you, then you should be able to love yourself.'”

Rodgers said the experience also helped with his mental health.

“For me, one of the main drivers of your mental health is that self-love. That’s what ayahuasca did for me was help me see how to love myself unconditionally,” Rodgers said. “Only through that unconditional self-love am I able to truly love others unconditionally. And what better way to work on – this is my own belief – but what better way to work on my mental health than by such an experience.

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

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

Together with Marcus, he looked back on his career as a whole and discussed what keeps him going.

“I’ve been through a lot of disappointments in my career. Lots of incredible moments, highlights and great wins, winning a Super Bowl, winning MVPs. I’ve also dealt with the disappointing losses, some of which will stay with you forever.” said Rodgers. “But at its core there is 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 coming back to play and literally pour my soul into my sport, and the relationships with the boys, and the Monday to Saturday grind, and the meetings and exercises, and the side conversations, and the late night texts — everything that goes into doing what I do. I do it because I enjoy it.”

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

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