Aaron Rodgers is crediting the psychedelic drug ayahuasca for "the best season" of his career.
In a podcast interview hosted by wellness guru Aubrey Marcus, the 38-year-old Green Bay Packers quarterback said ayahuasca, an ancient hallucinogenic plant-based drink, helped him "see how to unconditionally love" himself.
«I 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. «I really don't. I don't really believe in coincidences at this point. It's the universe bringing things to happen when they're supposed to happen.
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"It's only in that unconditional self-love, that then I'm able to truly be able to unconditionally love others. And what better way to work on my mental health than to have an experience like that?" he said.
Rodgers, who earned his fourth NFL MVP award in 2021, said his newfound self-love translates to stronger relationships with his teammates and, in turn, better football. "I really feel like that experience paved the way for me to have the best season of my career," he said.
"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," he added. "I mean obviously it's important I play well, and show up and lead and all that stuff. They won't care about what you say until they know how much you care."
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. Ayahuasca contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine), which is a Schedule I drug in the United States.
He said that following the trip and ayahuasca experience he «knew that I 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. 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.»