Despite the negative stories that come his way, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stays the course. He has developed a reputation for marching to the beat of his own drum. And since he continues to dominate in the NFL, the hyper-sensitive, judgmental sports media can’t really disparage him, even with his eccentricities.
The guy is a winner, and winning games is really the only condition that matters to professional athletes. Well, most of them, anyways.
Ironically, though, Rodgers recently went on record crediting his quirks as the entire reason why his on-field performance has stayed strong, even at 38 years old. He walks so intently on his own path of wellbeing and peace that he refuses to let mainstream “normalcy” — which often feels more like insanity to anyone paying attention — derail his personal focus.
To help gain that truly unbeatable perspective, Rodgers experimented with a very strong psychedelic. The outcome, he marveled in a recent interview, was a new level of personal and professional success.
Rodgers said he doesn’t really believe in coincidences at this point
“I really don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Rodgers said about winning his third and fourth MVPs in 2020 and 2021 following an ayahuasca experience in South America. “Actually, I don’t really believe in coincidences at this point. It’s the universe bringing things to happen when they’re supposed to happen.
“There’s signs and synchronicities all around us at all times if we’re awake enough to see them and to take them in and to listen to our intuition when it’s speaking to us or pounding us in the head saying, ‘Hey dummy, this is what you’re supposed to be doing.'”
For the uninitiated, ayahuasca (ī-yə-ˈ(h)wä-skə) is an ancient, ritualistic psychedelic plant with powerful hallucinogenic effects that many believe can forever alter perception and heal past trauma. Basically, it’s everything mainstream medicine is not: cheap, natural, powerful, introspective, and revitalizing (it’s no wonder Rodgers gets flak for advocating it). For supporters of ayahuasca (which contains the Schedule 1 active ingredient DMT, or dimethyltryptamine), the drug is more medicinal than recreational: it is a gateway into a worldview of self-love and emotional freedom from bondage that is unlike anything else on the planet.
“I want to feel what pure love feels like.”
Rodgers said that following the ayahuasca experience, he would keep playing football, but he also “knew that [he] was never going to be the same.”
“For me, I didn’t do that and think ‘oh, I’m never playing football again,'” Rodgers said. “No, it gave me a deep and meaningful appreciation for life. My intention the first night going in was ‘I want to feel what pure love feels like.’ That was my intention. And I did [feel that]. 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 be my ancestors.”
The experience, Rodgers said, “set me on my course to be able to go back in to my job and have a different perspective on things. To be way more free at work — as a leader, as a teammate, as a friend, as a lover. I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career (in 2020).”
He also pointed out how the drug reintroduced him to a fundamental truth of the human experience. One that is often completely disregarded as a vulnerable display of naïveté during adulthood — a blindspot that needs fixing, not embracing.
“You can’t do anything in this life until you really, truly unconditionally love yourself,” Rodgers said. “So that’s what I had to do. I had to surrender fully to the idea that everything I was telling myself was true. That’s when it finally broke. I laid there on that mat and I made peace with the possibility that all of these lies I was telling myself could possibly be true. In that reality of the worst self-talk you can possibly imagine, feeling like the lowest human on the planet and not worthy ever in this life of unconditional love, [something happened]…
“…I laid there with that reality, that being my reality – that all the things I said about myself are true, and are real. And I said ‘Is there anybody in this room who could still love me?’
“What came through next was the voice in my head – which wasn’t really my voice anymore – and it said: ‘If at your lowest of the low, these people can still love you, then you should be able to love yourself.'”
Aaron Rodgers used ayahuasca to become a model of unconditional love
What Rodgers truly stumbled upon during his out-of-body, mind-altering experience was the amazing power of deliberate unconditionality. The psychedelic drug temporarily removed the mental resistance he had developed toward unconditional openness and compassion over the years. In other words, the “false” mentality of self-preservation via fear that is fostered as a survival mechanism for most at an early age finally collapsed.
With his guard down and a supportive team of spiritual guides chaperoning the ayahuasca “trip,” the superstar quarterback was able to connect with his realest, truest self. He found the beautiful soul that loves all aspects of the world because it recognizes the intrinsic value in all of its amazing creations.
“The greatest gift I can give my teammates, in my opinion, is to be able to show up and to be someone who can model unconditional love to them. I mean, obviously it’s important I play well and show up and lead and all that stuff, but they won’t care about what you say until they know how much you care.”
What do you care about most?
In a profession that measures conditional success more objectively than almost any other, one of its star players is advocating for a life of unconditionality. And as a result, he has become an unstoppable blend of talent and true mental preparedness — a titan of both energy and emotional power.
You see — self development, self care, self help, they’re all rooted in the exact same ultimate goal: allowing the scared, egoic self permission to choose unconditional love over all else. To choose love over frustration, love over annoyance, love over resentment, love over being right (gasp!)…well, that requires a shift in values, and a shift in understanding as to how best achieve the ultimate goal of the human experience, which is peace. You must recognize what true victory looks like if you are to experience the lesser, fleeting physical manifestations of victory that we all crave — the ones that journalists will fawn over and fans will adore.
Rodgers gets it. He knows that the satisfaction of unconditionality far outweighs any pithy Sunday victory on the gridiron. And yet, because of his unconditionality, he can now have both — the satisfaction of peace, and the accolades of the physical world. Learn how to control your own reactivity, and soon you’ll have the power of the entire universe at your disposal.
If you’re looking for the same glimpse of self-love and understanding as Rodgers felt during his psychedelic experience, you may want to look into a professional ayahuasca journey. But drugs aren’t necessary to experience the sweet relief of a moment without mental resistance to unconditional love. Truly, it only requires a choice. Will you give yourself permission to care more about unconditional love than conditional satisfaction, or will you remain a slave to circumstance?
The choice is entirely yours and yours alone.