Podcast Transcript: Breakdown To Breakthrough: Healing The Self With Ayahuasca – AnnaLynne McCord and Kerry Rhodes
Please enjoy this transcript of our interview with AnnaLynne McCord and Kerry Rhodes.
AnnaLynne, former star of Nip-Tuck and 90210 went down to Costa Rica to experience the plant medicine of ayahuasca at Rythmia. She was joined by former NFL football player Kerry Rhodes, as they both explored what it means to heal in a recently released documentary called “The Medicine”.
In this episode, we talk about:
- how ayahuasca healed the inner child of AnnaLynne McCord and resurrected the warrior in Kerry Rhodes
- their recently released documentary called “The Medicine”.
- how loving the past version of yourself is so key to healing and transformation.
0:00:30 Paul Austin: Hello, listeners, and welcome back to the Third Wave Podcast. This is your host, Paul Austin, excited for another episode. I recorded this one at the end of September down in LA. This is when we first kicked off the video podcast and this was the very first one that we recorded. And it was with AnnaLynne McCord and Kerry Rhodes, who are two stars in the new documentary called The Medicine. And essentially The Medicine looks at how ayahuasca, an ancient Amazonian plant medicine, can help heal humankind; and basically follows Kerry Rhodes and AnnaLynne McCord as they go down to Rythmia, a retreat center in Costa Rica, they drink the medicine and they come back and look at how it’s affected the rest of their life. Now this happened quite a while ago, I believe they went down there… They talked more about this in the podcast, but I wanna say in 2017 or early 2018. So it was quite a while ago and it was only recently that the documentary was published and starting to be promoted.
0:01:30 PA: So essentially with this conversation, AnnaLynne McCord, she’s a former star on Nip/Tuck and 90210. Kerry Rhodes, as I said, he was an all-pro safety, he played for the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals. These are two very high level people who had incredibly profound and healing experiences with the substances. And it’s definitely, I would say, one of the more engaging conversations that we’ve had. It doesn’t get as academic and sciencey, it’s a bit more spiritual. But with their combined wisdom and insight and knowledge and self-awareness, it was fun, it was interesting, it was emotional. I even cried during the interview. So this is a very special episode and one that I’m sure all of you will enjoy if for no other reason than the emotional vibrancy that comes from it. So without further ado, we at The Third Wave bring you AnnaLynne McCord and Kerry Rhodes; two stars of the documentary, The Medicine.
0:02:26 PA: I’m sitting here with Kerry Rhodes and AnnaLynne McCord, you both were just in a recently published documentary called The Medicine. And so we’ve already been getting into it already, and so I really just wanna first acknowledge the work that both of you have done and honor the fact that you went through this process. I know that it’s never easy to face the truth of who we are, so I just wanna first acknowledge that, and just kinda lead in with a little bit of back story about what brought you down to Costa Rica in 2017 to drink ayahuasca.
0:02:57 AnnaLynne McCord: Cool. So I came on the journey to try this medicine with absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I very close with the producers, Farzin Toussi and Colette Betty. And Colette had taken a trip to Costa Rica with a friend, who was kinda like, “Come down here with me.” My friend, Colette was having a moment. She’d lost her father a few years back and he was her closest person in the world and she was just having a really difficult time grieving that, that loss and she just needed to get away. Her friend Brandy said, “Come to Costa Rica. Let’s do a retreat. Let’s do ayahuasca.” [laughter] And Colette was just so, she just took the step that really wasn’t something that anyone in our close friend group had done. And she came back, and like I was just saying, she just, she had a spark, she had something, some light that was flickering that had come back into her world and everybody noticed it. I noticed it, the people close to her noticed it, the people not even very really close to her were like, “Is something… Are you… Did you change your hair?” It’s always we thinking… Women, we think you cut your hair.
0:04:23 AM: And so there was a process there probably maybe like a 12 to 16-month period of time, where she then went back several times and started bringing the troops. And then she got the idea to do this documentary, and Farzin as well, and they decided they were gonna tell this story, and they needed someone who’s a little skeptical of the whole process. And I was like, “Your friend, me.” [laughter] So that was kind of… That was a big part of it. It was seeing the transformation in their lives and Colette specifically and just being like, “I knew her, and now I know her in a different way and I like the new way.” [chuckle] But really, in my mind, I told this whole wonderful story of how I was so interested in the neuroscience of the possibilities of the neural experience of ayahuasca. And so I’d done all this research on DMT and I was just piling my little brain full of data. I’m a total nerd, I love all that stuff.
0:05:31 AM: So the story of how I got there, in the world of telling stories, is quite different than what probably brought me there from the inside. And I think that that’s more important to the overall, I figured it out in hindsight. But to me, if I really am giving the story, the truth and integrity it deserves, my inner-self was crying, and begging to be seen and heard, frozen under a lake of ice; a lake of ice made of severe disassociation from systematic trauma, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, psychological, emotional, every kind of abuse. And perpetrated by people who are also victims of abuse. That is what happens, hurting people, hurt other people. And the compassion I have for them, the love I have for them, the heartbreak I feel for them, all this isn’t these… This incredible experience that if you open yourself up and you do the work, you can have as a result of taking the journey of ayahuasca, and I think that that is a major factor in getting me to this place.
0:06:43 AM: And again, the work I do. It’s not a, take a drink and you fix yourself, that’s what everyone thinks, or “Oh, the doctor said to take these pills.” You actually have to change your habits, you have to do stuff like… There’s this saying in Christian religion, “Faith without works is dead.” I think that it’s very true to, medicine without works is dead. Meditation… I mean, Medication without works is dead. You can’t just think that taking something or doing something one time and just continuing your patterns is going to actually evoke transformation. You have to have integrity within yourself, and you have to meet it halfway. And I am thankful to say that I am up for the challenge and it’s a practice, but I definitely got to where I am today detached from the stories of this world in the way that I am with a gratitude for what they can teach me because of ayahuasca.
0:07:45 PA: Getting out of the matrix.
0:07:46 AM: Out of the matrix, baby. [chuckle]
0:07:48 PA: Right, okay, get out of the matrix.
0:07:50 AM: What is it, this amazing quote that says, “Wisdom says I’m nothing, love says I’m everything.” And that’s…
0:07:58 PA: And life exists in between.
0:08:00 AM: Life exists in between. That’s the existence that I experienced, it’s what I saw in ayahuasca. I didn’t understand at the time, and I was quite angry about it, but now that I understand it, it’s a relief to be nothing, and it’s lovely to be everything, so.
0:08:16 PA: That’s beautiful. Well, thank you for sharing. And Kerry, your story is a little different. You found your way there, former NFL football player and love to just go into that a little bit. What brought you to ayahuasca?
0:08:26 Kerry Rhodes: Yeah, it’s similar, similar stories. When we met, we got introduced to the medicine through the same people, the same friends. So she clarified that, I think we’re good on that part of it. But yeah, for me personally, it was until I started doing the research on it, ’cause I was very skeptical at first as well, just like everybody else would be and probably are. But having that skepticism, for me, I actually started doing the research myself and read up on certain things about the medicine and the thing that struck a chord with me was that it was proven to have regenerative properties for the brain. And so for me, that was like, “Whoa, okay, what is that?” So, I kind of dove into that world and started doing the science and the nerdy stuff, as well, trying to figure out what that really represented. And then obviously, I had like a-ha moment with the concussion stuff, the CTE stuff, for me. There’s been studies done, and there was a study a couple of years ago, where they discovered that out of 111 brains, that they were able to research and see if CTE was present; 110 were present. So everybody’s pretty much affected if they play this game for a certain amount of time.
0:09:33 KR: Not even on an NFL level, but just, I mean, little kids, in high school, college, and those guys are monsters, they’re trying to kill each other on the field. So to think about all the trauma and the concussions and stuff that happened with those guys and happens with those guys, is scary. So for me, I’ve always been kind of on it anyway. I’ve been a little nervous, a little weary, a little… Want to stay upon it and get ahead of the curve with it. So I’ve been doing, I was doing before this, a lot of MRI stuff, a lot of head stuff, a lot of cognitive stuff, a lot of cognitive tests and stuff like that, to just stay sharp and make sure my brain was still firing on all cylinders. And then hearing about this and having a deeper… Having it have a deeper turn of really saying, “We can regenerate brain activity,” that’s a big thing. ‘Cause…
0:10:26 PA: That’s big news. There’s not many things that can do that, you know.
0:10:27 KR: No, no. Other stuff is just like, you’re just kinda taking these measures to make sure you don’t fall down, free-fall down this cliff at a rapid pace. Right? You know it’s gonna happened for the most part. So to have something say that we can do this, it’s like, “Okay, that’s enough for me to at least check it out and see.” And so that was the initial. And then after I got that initial buzz of, “Okay, that’s cool. I think I will try it now,” really going there and knowing that I wanted to put in work as far as also developing me and being the best version of myself, and cleansing some of the stuff that I had going on at my time when this was all happening. So to have all those things kind of fall in line together, it wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t an accident. So I was really, really intrigued by it that way.
0:11:10 PA: So just for our listeners, can you explain a little bit what CTE is and how that relates to NFL football and concussions and all that?
0:11:17 KR: Yeah. So CTE, it’s chronic traumatic encephalopathy. And it’s repeated… Yeah, you like that, right? It’s repeated…
0:11:24 PA: It’s a word.
0:11:25 AM: Say it three times fast.
0:11:28 KR: Yes, I probably can’t say it again, so that was it, one-take wonder. [laughter]
0:11:30 PA: That’s it, that’s all we get.
0:11:33 KR: And so it’s caused by repetitive head trauma. So, with football players obviously, we’re gladiators. We attack each other all the time and it’s constant, constant hitting, constant, constant… Just constant blunt trauma to the head. And so that’s pretty much where it stems from, and…
0:11:50 AM: And also, just because I’m a major football fan… [laughter]
0:11:54 PA: And she is, she is.
0:11:56 AM: I love…
0:11:56 PA: Is that why you two are such good friends then? Is that what it was?
0:11:58 AM: I’ve totally played it cool around with him this whole time.
0:12:01 PA: You’re like, “I just wanna friends with Kerry, that’s it.”
0:12:02 AM: It’s like, “I never even knew about your career.” [laughter] No, but he’s an amazing player. But I also love rugby, and I think that there’s a point to be made about the issue with football, specifically. Because rugby players, our biology protects our head at all cost. It is the thing that makes us function, right? Rugby players’ bodies, you watch them when they play, they never lead with their head, because you can’t. Their heads are unprotected, they don’t have a helmet. Then you guys have, what, a 12-pound, whatever…
0:12:13 KR: It’s heavy.
0:12:13 AM: A heavy helmet, and it makes you feel invincible, it makes you feel like you actually… So you just see on the game how the body, even in training, whatever, if you train without leading with your head in the moment, on the field aggression, all the things that are going on in the split second of real-time, it’s like duck and go, you know. And that…
0:13:00 PA: It’s just the automatic reaction, that’s kinda how you do it.
0:13:02 AM: Those hits… Yeah, those hits are so much more insane.
0:13:04 KR: It’s funny you said something about rugby ’cause, in my later years, so probably like six, seven, eight, like around that time, we actually had rugby teams come to try to teach us how to tackle. Yeah, it’s funny. No, really. For sure.
0:13:16 AM: Then you guys have, what, a 12-pound, whatever, a heavy helmet, and it makes you feel invincible, it makes you feel like you actually… So you just see on the game how the body, even in training, whatever, if you train without leading with your head in the moment, on the field aggression, all the things that are going on in the split second of real-time, it’s like duck and go, you know. And that…
0:13:29 PA: It’s just the automatic reaction that’s kinda how you do it.
0:13:32 AM: Those hits… Yeah, those hits are so much more insane.
0:13:35 KR: It’s funny you said something about rugby, ’cause in my later years, so probably like six, seven, eight, like around that time, we actually had rugby teams come to try to teach us how to tackle. Yeah, it’s funny.
0:13:45 AM: I think that’s exactly…
0:13:46 PA: No, really. No, for sure.
0:13:49 AM: I feel like that kids should be taught by rugby players, so that it’s in their… It’s in their muscle memory that when they go on to play in the NFL, because we don’t want NFL to ever stop, because we love the NFL, but practice without helmets. You need to know the weight of it too, for sure, but having the body be so… I learned piano, your piano here, I see that, the fingers play themselves after you’ve done enough repetition, right?
0:14:14 PA: Muscle memory, yeah.
0:14:15 AM: Yeah.
0:14:16 PA: And I played soccer growing up, so more European. It’s kinda like you have more finesse, and the NFL is really representative of that sort of American gladiator manifest destiny perspective. It’s kinda the pinnacle of sports in that way, where it’s just like big dudes going at it, fucking shit up. And now it’s like, there’s finally more and more awareness from the NFLPA, and from the actual league, where they’re now changing rules so that it becomes at least a little safer. You know what I mean?
0:14:44 KR: They’re trying to change the rules to make it safer, but it’s just a game that’s not gonna be safe. I mean, it’s too… We’re too big, we’re too fast. Even now, the receivers are… I mean, I was a big guy when I played. I was a little bit bigger, I was probably like 220, and I’m like 210 now, but that’s an average wide receiver now. In the past, 220 pounds was a center. When you go back to the… We just progressed as… We’ve just evolved so much as a human being and as an athlete, and the stuff that we’re capable of doing. So it’s just not gonna be safe. And even on a soccer level, even now with kids, they’re not letting kids do the header, they’re keeping that stuff out, so they’re trying to protect heads at all cost. Yeah, yeah.
0:15:22 PA: It’s amazing all the stuff that’s just starting to come out that we’re learning about. It’s like the second and third order consequences that we just… When we started all this stuff, we didn’t realize how harmful it was to our human body. And then we were talking about this just before, it’s like this intuition that the body develops, right, that really helps to keep us safe. I’d love to just hear you talk a little bit more about that. What’s that process been for you going through the trauma that you went through, healing that trauma? How has your own relationship to your body helped you with that process?
0:15:51 AM: Well, first, thank you for a great question. But to that point, having a relationship with your body is key. So, I was severely disassociative from the neck down. There was no connection, integration between my mind and my body. I spent seven years diving into meditation, mindful practice, education on the brain itself, being obsessed with neuroscience and learning every single facet I possibly could without actually going to a higher education for it, which now I’m actually in a neuroscience academy right now doing for certification… [chuckle] For a certificate, just like a 10-week program, and I’m just absolutely obsessed with the brain. So, there are… Clearly, even that is an intuitive thing. Knowing that there was… I’m piecing puzzle pieces together. Why am I doing that? Because something was missing, right? Why am I obsessed with the brain? That’s where my memories were trapped. All these little things are actually intuitive little pointers directing you in a certain direction. But with ayahuasca, and the way the body will also resist experiences that it believes to be unsafe, I had this just visceral reaction to not just the medicine, which I did, but my friends afterwards like, “Screw you guys for making me do this.” I was angry, and [laughter] I mean…
0:17:18 PA: You laugh about it now, but…
0:17:20 AM: They were all a little scared of me. [laughter] Like, “You didn’t see this, this is the behind the scenes footage.” [laughter] I was like, “I’m gonna stab you.” No, but… So, this would go on to play out, play itself out in other incidences as well that I would have a little bit more awareness consciously of what was happening, but not in the moment. I would have treatment, PTSD treatment. And the morning of or the night before, I’m like, “I’m gonna cancel my appointment for tomorrow. I’ve just had a long week, I’m tired. I don’t really feel like getting up in the morning.” I would have a million subconscious little filler thoughts that were flying in to let me know, “Don’t go, don’t do this to us, don’t find out what you’re gonna find out.” And it’s crazy, I mean there’s so much that we can’t yet measure. We couldn’t even conceive that we could have devices that you talk into and they put your voice on a recording and people can listen to it around the world 100 years ago, 200 years ago, however long. So there’s so much that we can’t measure. And there is a collective intuition, I believe, there’s certainly an intuition of the body, mind, integrated self when it is cut, when it’s literally severed the way it was for me. It’s kind of like the surgery called the, severs the corpus callosum. So when survivors… When victims of…
0:18:33 PA: Say that one again.
0:18:33 AM: Corpus callosum, corpus callosum, corpus…
0:18:48 AM: My competitive side comes out. So severe epilepsy can literally be the death of the sufferer, right? It can actually cause head trauma if they’re not protected and they hit their head, whatever the case. So in very severe cases of epilepsy, they will sever the corpus callosum, which is the connector between the hemispheres of the brain. So it’s the little bridge between left and right brain. So what happens, and they’ve done testing and it’s very interesting, where they’ll close the left eye to access the right brain, and the right eye to access the left brain. And they’ll show the left eye for the right brain access an image, but that’s not the linguistic side, right, the left brain is the linguistic side. So they’ll show an image of a cat or a chicken, whatever. And then they’ll close the left eye and then access the left brain with the right eye and say, “What do you think of when you see a farm?” And they’re like, “Well, a chicken,” immediately. It’s the first thing that they say in the test. And then the practitioner asks, “Why?” And the brain creates a whole story as to why it thought a chicken.
0:20:03 AM: And I think that we tell stories, and like I said earlier, it can be beautiful or terrifying, depending on the story you’re telling. But we get an impression in our body and if we don’t know what to do with it, we make up a story about it. Right? So for me, I made up this story that ayahuasca was evil, [chuckle] because I didn’t feel good in my body. When I’m gonna go to EMDR, and I’m about to have a breakdown breakthrough, ’cause breakdowns lead to breakthroughs if you do the work, there’s a moment of resistance that’s saying, “Bad, bad, bad.” The resistance triggers the thought, the thought triggers the linguistic brain to attach to the thought if you aren’t being mindful. And the linguistic brain says, “Let me tell a fantastic narrative about this terrible feeling. Oh, yes. EMDR is bad. We shall not go today.” [laughter] I’m not sure why my inner monologue is British, but it is, [chuckle] it always is a pretentious British person for some reason.
0:21:09 PA: That was a past life.
0:21:11 AM: Your like, “I’ll drink my tea.”
0:21:11 AM: Or like, “I’m gonna have… ”
0:21:11 PA: That was a past life for you. Right?
0:21:12 AM: I think it was a past life for sure. So my British inner self says, “We’re not going.” And so basically, I have consistently experienced this over this course of time since we drank. So it’s 2019 now, we filmed this documentary in 2017, right? So it’s been over two years. I set all of these intentions going in for it. I was like, “I’m not going to miss out on anything if I’m gonna do something like this.” And literally never drank, never had… Never took drugs, never smoked a cigarette. Water to ayahuasca, I was saying earlier, literally as far as I could possibly go.
0:21:52 PA: It’s gonna be the name of the podcast, “Water to Ayahuasca.”
0:21:54 IV: Water to Ayahuasca.
0:21:57 AM: It’s true, it’s true, that’s really how it…
0:22:00 AM: And same for Kerry. No, I mean, you’d had alcohol, right?
0:22:02 KR: But a little, but a little.
0:22:03 AM: A little juice, a little alcohol, little Jesus juice.
0:22:06 KR: A little Kool-Aid, a little Kool-Aid.
0:22:06 AM: A little Kool-Aid. [chuckle] In the South, we call that Jesus juice. Get my wine. But so yeah, I… And in my intuitive body, how could I possibly if I was severely disassociated? Literally imagine your inner self being decapitated. I was severed at the… Between body and mind at the neck. And so how would I ever even register things? Things had to be really intense for me to register them in the mind. The body would have to, somatic body would have to register something. I was so desensitized in my physical self. I cut up my arms. I was suicidal. When I was self-harming, it was to feel something at all. I felt dead inside, and that was due to the lack of integration of mind and body. So I’d done all this work with meditation, I had done all this inner journey inside the mind, but at no point had I connected the body to the mind. Well, ayahuasca takes over your whole being. But very specifically, the body has quite a journey, and quite a… Plays quite a role, right?
0:23:16 PA: And what was that like for you in the actual experience?
0:23:19 AM: I think I said, it was terrible. [laughter] It was awful. I hated it.
0:23:24 PA: Like, “I haven’t felt any of this in so long.” Right?
0:23:26 AM: It was… Yes. And so suddenly, I’m feeling the inside of my body and places where dangerous, horrible things were trapped, and where they had only been experienced from a little bubba, a little tiny inner Lynne who had no way of accessing a linguistic brain to make sense of anything, had no way to even tell a story about it, didn’t wanna know the story. Just knew that the people that she loved, trusted and looked up to because she was little and they were big, and you’re supposed to do that, used everything innocent and pure and loving and wonderful about her against her in the worst and most atrocious ways. So why would anyone wanna feel that? Why would you ever want that? So there was a sense of going to hell with ayahuasca. And my intuitive self was saying, “F this!” And what it’s led to is this complete reverse where I now know that if I feel nothing, that must mean I feel a hell of a lot. So I have to dive into that, and that’s where the work comes in. So for me, when the intuitive body is, for me… And it’s hard, because some people get anxious and that’s an obvious resisting sensibility, right, it’s still hard to do the work, period. But I get the sense of, “Oh, I feel great. Let’s go to the mall. Let’s go on a drive. Oh I’ll go hang out with people who have traumatized me, that’s fine. I actually feel nothing.” Nothing is something.
0:24:46 PA: ‘Cause we’re numbing at that point, right?
0:24:46 AM: Yes, yeah.
0:24:46 PA: We’re numbing.
0:24:55 AM: So ayahuasca, basically I, as I told my doctor, “I have fixed myself from here to here, from the neck up. There is something wrong because my cycles were repeating.” And ayahuasca, if you invite it to, it’ll take you to the place that you most need help and it will just blaring, flashing lights, “Look at this!” So…
0:25:15 PA: It’s like a hurricane, right? We were saying earlier…
0:25:16 AM: Like a hurricane.
0:25:17 PA: The truth is like a hurricane.
0:25:18 AM: The truth hurricane.
0:25:19 PA: It will just rip off that facade that we’ve been telling ourselves, that the ego has been playing again that story and that I think, that’s the protective mechanism of the little girl inside who was traumatized and that was necessary for you to survive.
0:25:31 AM: Absolutely.
0:25:31 PA: Right? And then coming into this, it’s helpful, it’s super, super helpful.
0:25:36 AM: For sure.
0:25:36 PA: Beautiful, thank you so much for sharing that.
0:25:37 AM: Of course.
0:25:38 PA: Yeah, yeah, that was great. So with you Kerry, what was, what have your experiences been like? So now, we went to Rhythmia for the first time in 2017, it was more or less the first time that you had ever worked with something that was significantly psychoactive and now, you’ve been going back here and there. What’s your process been like?
0:25:54 KR: It’s been… For me, it was from day one, very enlightening for me, very… I was very receptive to it, I have no idea why. Obviously I knew I wanted to go for my own inner reasons, and some of those things were for me, just really diving into my lineage, and if I had darkness in my heart, was I a mean guy, was I angry, was I super aggressive? I wanted to know all these things, just not in this body, in this lifetime, but just as long as I have been around, like my existence, like how have I been going all the way back to those times? So, I really dove in and I was really, really, like I said, receptive to not being in control. And for me, control was everything.
0:26:37 KR: Like control, like I… And it was so crazy ’cause it was so conducive to the lifestyle that I lived at that time. I was a 22-year-old kid in New York City, went around the city with money and fame. And whatever I wanted, it was there for me, it was nuts. So, being able to control that environment around me, I had to just do it my way. And if it wasn’t my way, it was literally the highway. Like, I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t be around you ’cause I needed to feel safe, what I thought was safe in my environment, right? And so, it was all about control. So being able to go to this place in Rhythmia in Costa Rica in a jungle with these people who I’ve never dealt with before, only knowing Anna and knowing our producer friends when we went there, I’m just like, “Alright, I’m doing it. I guess I’m doing this shit.” So really going there, I was like, “Okay, if I’m here, I’m gonna do it.” And that’s one of the things with me personally. Once I’m committed to a goal or committed to some kind of outcome or committed to some type of experience, I’m going in.
0:27:44 PA: It’s the warrior in you, right?
0:27:45 KR: 100%.
0:27:46 PA: Yeah, yeah.
0:27:46 KR: Like, I’m gonna do the work.
0:27:48 PA: Yeah.
0:27:49 KR: So I went there…
0:27:49 AM: Leading with the head.
0:27:51 KR: Like literally, it was the opposite.
0:27:55 PA: For better or worse, right?
0:27:55 KR: Like it was sewed up. I was like, “I’m in, I’m in.” And then, sitting there, it’s a funny scene in The Medicine where a lot of people, I mean everybody laughs, but like I said, nothing’s been in my body, right? So I’m like, “Okay,” but so they offered me a rapé. [laughter] And I’m like, “Yeah, sure.” It’s like we’re sitting just like this. He’s sitting there, I’m sitting right here and Carlos is sitting here. I’m like, “Yeah, man, I’m gonna do it,” right? And so, he comes over and he blows the rapé in my nose and I’m like, “What the fuck is this?” Literally blown, like this is open. I’m sitting there, I’m looking at the trees. The trees are like, “Hey, Kerry, how are you doing?” I’m like… [laughter] I’m like, “Oh okay, I see you, too.” And it’s like, instantly I started crying. I was crying, I’m sweating. Emotions for me, that was disgusting, at the time, I couldn’t go there. What is that? Me being this, the warrior, the football player having this lifestyle of, “You can’t be compassionate, you can’t be empathetic,” that doesn’t work, doesn’t…
0:28:55 PA: Weakness, right? Vulnerability is a weakness.
0:28:58 KR: It’s not a weakness. It doesn’t work on that platform, on that level of success as being one of the top tier football players. It just doesn’t work, right? And so being able to have those feelings immediately with something was like, even though it was scary, it was frightening at the time as well. It was frightening, it was amazing, it was… I had all these types of… I had all these emotions that were just kinda pouring out naturally, and I was like, “I wanna feel that. I wanna see… I wanna go back and dive and see what that stuff is.” And so it just kinda opened me up right away, but. So that happened, then the ayahuasca ceremony happens. And we’re sitting there, and we’re taking this god-awful brew.
0:29:32 PA: It’s… You don’t like it? You don’t like it?
0:29:34 KR: It doesn’t taste good.
0:29:35 PA: Not great, no.
0:29:36 KR: It doesn’t taste good, right?
0:29:36 PA: No, and it gets worse every time you drink it. [laughter] It gets worse.
0:29:40 KR: Yeah, it’s…
0:29:41 PA: Even just reading about it, I wanna like, ugh, a little bit.
0:29:44 KR: A little bit of that, yeah. So, having… Taking the first sip, like I said, I was all in. But when I took the sip, I was like, “Okay, this is a lot.” It was hard, it was actually hard to go down. I was like, “Okay, it went down. Okay, I took it. I’m in.” And you go back and sit in your little section on your bed and on your corner, and you kinda sit there and you kind of… Especially my first time, you’re kinda looking around, you don’t know what’s going on. You’re like, “Okay, did everybody drink? Is it just me? Is it a game? Is somebody playing a game on me?” [laughter] You’re having like this whole thing. People were like… Everybody’s in their own worlds. Yeah.
0:30:14 AM: I was doing this weird shit with my hands. [laughter]
0:30:16 KR: You’re just sitting there, and it all happens for different people at a different time. And so you don’t… It’s not like a joint thing. So you’re just sitting here and people could be already making noises in the background, or are already purging and you’re just sitting there like, “Is it gonna work on me?” And you don’t know, you just have to be open to it and just really, really trust, trust what you’re doing and trust the process. So I’m sitting there and all of a sudden man, like I said, I’ve never experienced this stuff on a psychoactive level. And so, to sit there and all of a sudden, I hear, almost like this noise like kicking. And I was like, “Oh okay, something’s happening.” Then I kinda like just look around and see these prisms and lights start to happen and the clock is moving. I’m like, “Okay, I’m in this bitch.” [laughter]
0:31:01 KR: Like, I’m really in it.
0:31:01 PA: This is now happening, right?
0:31:01 KR: I’m in it, I’m in it. I’m in it.
0:31:04 AM: This is now happening, there’s no getting out.
0:31:05 KR: There’s no turning back, now.
0:31:07 AM: There’s no turning back, now.
0:31:07 PA: Hunter Thompson once said, “Once you buy the ticket, you gotta take the ride.” Right?
0:31:10 KR: Oh, no you gotta take the ride. [laughter]
0:31:11 PA: You gotta.
0:31:12 KR: But so having that first instance, I was like, “Oh wow.” I actually had to tell myself, I was like, “You came to do the work. You’re not in control, you know that. Just breathe. It’s okay.” I had to literally, literally give myself a pep-talk.
0:31:23 AM: I wish you had said that out loud. [laughter]
0:31:26 KR: I know. I literally said that to myself to get myself back to like, “Okay, now I’m in it.” And then, man, just the process happened. It was much… It was so beautiful for me. Like, I… The initial thing, I did see like a dark entity walk by kinda in the room and I just didn’t pay attention to it. I just saw it and just did acknowledge that I saw it, but didn’t go there. But after that kinda passed by, I was just kinda sitting there. And I just experienced bliss and experienced so many different visions and signs and stuff like that, man, just that were all pointing and all leading to the West, the place I always wanted to go and wanted to experience with my intentions. And so all that stuff kinda happened. But the one story, AnnaLynne, we were talking about over there, before we hopped on was… I had this really, really pressing issue with love and really connecting with it on a relationship, like on a relationship romantic level. But so when I purged, I purged into the bucket. And when I purged in the bucket, I look in, I look in the bucket and there’s a fetus in the bucket.
0:32:36 KR: I’m like, “Yeah, that’s weird.” [laughter] I looked, I looked, I literally look in and then when I… And every time I would look or get closer, it would try to pull me in. So like, almost like a… Like this gravitational pull towards the fetus. And I was like, “I can’t do that.” I wasn’t brave enough at that point to go in. And so after the first ceremony, you do a healing. And Taita asked, “How was the ceremony?” I was like, “Yeah, it was great. I had, I saw all these visions, I saw all this stuff that was amazing, it was beautiful.” I was like, “I did have this one moment where I purged in the bucket and I saw a fetus.” And he’s like, “Oh, that’s great.” And I was like, “Really? Is that great? Oh, I thought that was bad.” You know, I had that feeling. And so he’s like, “Yeah,” he’s like, “that’s great. You had a moment at childhood that needs to be addressed or looked at. There was some kind of moment in your life, there was a cold moment in your life as a child.” And I was like, “That makes sense.” He’s like, “So if it happens again,” ’cause I did the ceremony back-to-back that first time, Anna, you didn’t do the second time.
0:33:34 AM: I was like, “I’m not doing that again.”
0:33:37 PA: “I’ve had enough for now.”
0:33:39 KR: Right. So he’s like, “If it happens again, just go there and see what happens.” “Okay, okay.” I was like, “Alright.” I said, “I doubt it’ll happen again, but yeah, if it happens, I will.” Second ceremony rolls around, I take the medicine, I purge in the bucket, it’s there, the fetus is there again. I’m like, “Fuck it, I’m going in.” I literally… So if you’re looking at me, I’m in the bucket, like I’m in there. [laughter]
0:34:02 PA: 6’4″, 220 pounds, all of Kerry Rhodes in the fucking puke.
0:34:08 AM: In the bucket.
0:34:09 KR: In the puke. Literally, like my… ‘Cause after the ceremony, I… This is how I know, my head band, I had a head band on, a bandana. It was, yeah, it was little stuff on it, little residue.
0:34:20 AM: From you purging?
0:34:22 KR: Exactly.
0:34:23 AM: I’m sorry.
0:34:24 KR: But so like, so I hop in, I hop in the bucket, its like, boof, and it connects, its like almost like a movie scene. It cuts to, cut to, I wake up, I’m a baby in a crib, I’m looking out the crib and I see my parents, my spiritual parents or ancestors or somebody walking around, walking around the crib, and I’m crying, like hardcore, like just bawling. And nobody would pick me up and it was… It hit me, it was very… It was so real, I get emotional talking about it ’cause it was one of those things where I was like… [chuckle] I know I felt that in my life and I know what that meant, but at that moment, like really going there and nobody picking me up. And I was like, “Okay, I get it. I can do this, I can take care of myself.” And I physically put my thumb in my mouth and I stopped crying and it was almost like, “Aha. Yeah, this is what it is. You’ve been waiting for people to pick you up, you’ve been waiting for people to love you in a way that you thought you needed to be, to be this… To be the Kerry that you wanna be, to express yourself, to open up and do these things, you’ve always waited for somebody else to do that for you. And you felt that if people were there, it doesn’t matter how bad it was or how toxic it was, if they showed up, they loved you, they were there to pick you up.”
0:35:56 KR: And that just, for me, that was the worst, its the worst thing that you can ever do for… That’s for anybody. If you’re feeling that you need somebody else to pick you up or complete you to make you happy, that’s the absolute wrong, wrong place to be in and the wrong mindset to have. But for me, I really felt that to the core and that was just not romantically, but everything around me. If you were there, then you were there. You love me and you’re gonna show me physically, you’re there. Not being the best version of yourself, not being a great person, just be there. And I was able to have that moment of, “Okay, you don’t need that. You can love yourself, you love yourself first and take care of you and you get on that journey of redemption and really, really, really cleansing yourself to be the best version of yourself.” And for me, once I had that happen and those things take place for me, it was… It was life changing. Yeah.
0:36:48 PA: So, a commonality between both of you and I think a commonality with all of us who have done this work is this sense of felt love, that we just don’t have more or less in this world. And it’s also, it’s a thing around intimacy and an ability to be intimate, and ability to be vulnerable and be in that position where it’s like, “Yeah, there are times where as a warrior, you need to have that mindset of going after things.” But there’s also a sense of like being okay with vulnerability and being able to settle into that.
0:37:17 KR: And the great thing about what you just said right there is, I wasn’t my best self until I realized that that person, the person that was the worry, the person that was operating in that level to succeed and be the person that he was at that time was still a good person and very, very valuable person to who I am. Like that’s me. But being able to understand that the other side of it as well, being the compassion person, being the empathetic person, being the person that really operates in the now in this world, and the person that I am now, having those two balances and connecting with that person was the ultimate healing for me, because I thought that person was bad. The person wasn’t bad, he was just confused and not on a level to comprehend then and operate the way he does now. And so bringing those two together and merging those people who are me together, that just made me the best version of myself, now.
0:38:16 PA: Yeah, and it’s that process, right? We have to love all past versions of ourselves because that’s the journey that led us to becoming who we are at this very moment.
0:38:24 AM: But that’s so hard to do because who teaches you that? You get taught Math and Science and PE, but who teaches you self-love, where every story that we tell in society, culture, parents, religion, peers, all the stories that they’re telling us when we arrive here with a clean slate, pure and ready to take in the world is, “Okay, you’re a boy, so you have to act like this, you’re a girl so that means this. Your name is this,” you don’t get to decide what you’re called, someone else decides that for you. All of these labels that are put on to you, why would you love the thing they created? It’s not you anyway, so which one are you? And how do you find that? And who tells you how? And how do you even know to know that you aren’t what you think you are, right?
0:39:10 AM: And I think that it’s really profound what you said, Kerry, about the merging of those two selves. This integration, it always comes back to integration, right? So that’s kind of the experience for me as well. This is mind and body integration, and for you, this warrior lover integration, right? And what does that look like and how do we get there, and what are the one, two, three, ABCS of it all? And I think that’s something that… There’s this kind of… I’ve noticed it with people who are on the spiritual path, you know? There’s my British person again.
0:39:49 AM: I guess it’s like whatever I’m cynical or something I just I’m sorry England.
0:39:53 PA: Well the Brits are pretty cynical…
0:39:55 AM: They are and we love ’em for it ’cause it makes us laugh.
0:40:00 PA: That aligns, that makes sense.
0:40:00 AM: But so yes, so I think there’s… There’s this concept of detaching from the stories that we tell which is so important, right? But children don’t tell stories, they’re just experiencing the world through their bodies. They don’t have the brain, the higher developed brain that can tell stories of things, so they feel things biologically. When you talk about think waiting for someone to pick you up for love, baby Kerry did need that. Baby Kerry does need to be picked up and held and soothed so that he learns how to appropriately self-soothe. We have cuddling and helicopter parents, and then we have dismissive avoidant parents, and all these things are the science, right?
0:40:47 AM: So if you look at love from the standpoint, an integrated standpoint of love as we need it for our spiritual essence, self-soul, whatever you wanna call it, but also love attachment in the sense of science and biology, a baby is hard-wired, a human baby is hard-wired to attach to mommy or to a primary caregiver, because if baby doesn’t attach to mommy, baby won’t have the connection to this life source that keeps baby alive therefore baby will die.
0:41:17 PA: It’s survival.
0:41:18 AM: Survival at its most base-level form. So Kerry needing to be picked up is also Kerry baby wondering, “What if no one picks me up? What if no one feeds me? What if I die?” So, we take baby Kerry feelings into adult life. “What if someone doesn’t come here? What if someone doesn’t show up for me? What if I die?” So, we don’t consciously process that because it was never consciously in our mind, because we didn’t have a conscious mind when it first came into our body and our somatic self. So what is so essential, as we are on a spiritual journey to detaching from the matrix, which is fantastic. Byron Katie, a person very close to me, recommended the book “Loving What Is.” It changed my life, absolutely forever and ever and ever, detaching from the stories we tell is so crucial.
0:42:09 AM: But do not do that until you validate baby Kerry for yourself, baby AnnaLynne, baby Paul, baby whoever is listening. You… And this is what it looks like. I always do this with my friends I’m like, “Okay, everybody.” If you’re driving, don’t do this, but, “Close your eyes, take a deep breath, kinda settle into yourself, and just get a solid image of a baby AnnaLynne, baby Kerry, baby Paul, young child self. Maybe even in the moment when you realize you weren’t a kid anymore, and that you had to grow up too fast, whatever that is, and see that version of yourself and really look into his or her eyes, and say, “I know you didn’t feel safe.”
0:43:02 AM: “I know you didn’t feel the love that you deserve to feel because you’re perfect and you’re made of love, but you’re a big person now, and you are safe, and I love you, and you will never feel that way again, because I am here, and if I was there during that time, I would have rescued you out of that pain.” And we don’t do that for ourselves. We don’t validate this little child, that if we could see it, outside of ourselves as an actual child we would have so much empathy. If it walked into the room right now, all of us would be, “Oh he’s so cute.” It would start talking and interrupt the recording, but we wouldn’t care because it’s a child and they are innocent and they’re pure and they’re present. So when you invite in your inner child and you treat that child as you would…
0:43:55 AM: Someone that’s not you. So often I do a lot of TED Talks in colleges, I speak at colleges and stuff, and I always ask the crowd, “Everybody raise your hand if you would be friends with the voice inside your head if it was a real person.” Nobody raises their hands. [chuckle] It’s so funny, because this diatribe from society and culture in the world around us has made it impossible for that little child to walk in the room and feel okay to even be in the room. And we say, “Yeah, you’re not.” Just what they said. “Stay away, little kid.” And this is not a man or woman thing. This is not a gender non-description thing, this is a human thing, this is a biological thing. A child needs to feel valid in its existence in the world so that it can grow up and be a human adult who validates not only themselves but the people around them and adds a sense of valuation of what real value is to our world, and therefore the story at large. So for me, I do it all day long, I have a six-year-old me that I see very clearly, I have a 13-year-old me who does not like me sometimes, she’s got a lot of opinions, I think she’s tougher than I am, she thinks I’m a little bit of a pussy sometimes. Sorry, it’s just true. And then I actually have two future selves. I have two adult versions of AnnaLynne, where I’m 45 years old and 85 years old, and they strangely look very young. They’ve maintained themselves really well.
0:45:29 PA: You’ll stay young forever. Yeah.
0:45:30 AM: But literally, they’re my family, and I go inside myself and I spend a lot of time in aloneness without being lonely now, because I literally have these anchors of these individual cells that because I see them as individual, I can love them easier, because it’s so hard to just love me. And then I remember, “They are me, so I am loving myself.” So if you’re able to do that while moving towards, or even before, if you’re listening and you have never considered ayahuasca or these spiritual concepts, but you can do that, you are on the path towards healing yourself, healing the world from the inside out. That is something that I’ve found. And like I said, I have a family wherever I go because when I’m… When AnnaLynne, 32-year-old AnnaLynne is tired, I just imagine myself laying in the arms of my older, still very young-looking selves. And they caress my hair and… And my mind conjures all of this up. The mind is so profound. You cut up your arm, your whatever. And whether… At the time, it used to be on purpose, but even if you get a cut, the brain heals itself, the body heals itself, so I don’t have to be like, “Coagulate the blood, scab over.” I say this all the time.
0:46:50 PA: Well, this is like we are our own healers, right? And so when we go into these experiences with ayahuasca, what’s so important is that we have this container where we feel safe and we feel like we can totally release, because ultimately, the role of a shaman or the role of a healer, or the role of a therapist, or even a doctor should be to empower us to do that work because it’s all within us.
0:47:11 AM: Yes.
0:47:11 PA: And I feel like that’s what we’re not taught, right?
0:47:15 AM: It should activate our healer inner-self, our creator, our creator and healer. In different religions, you’re taught you’re made in the image of a god or deity. But they’re creators, so that makes you a creator, they’re healers, so that makes you a healer. They’re lovers, so that makes you a lover, if that is the belief that you subscribe to, for me God is love. So anything that feels like love, that is not fear, that is not darkness, that is not things that make us feel icky on the inside, that’s what love is. And I am love. So take that however you want it to be, but there’s a divine sense of yourself. And to your point that… And to your point, Kerry, the self-soothing and knowing that you could love yourself, we can literally heal ourselves. And going back once again to the biology and attachment in romance and love and family the way it’s perceived, whether DNA or spiritual, what have you, community is a secondary requirement of being human in our species. It’s how we survive. So then looking at the standpoint of killing myself, but I’m also not trying to be a monk. [chuckle] We love you, guys, we need you to meditate in our planet, but most of us need a… And they have a sense of community within themselves. But a lot of us need community in the sense of family, friends, partner, what have you. And then that’s the next tier, and then it’s being in this room and looking around and seeing little Paul.
0:48:48 AM: I see you as an adult but when I’m talking to you, I wanna make sure that young Paul inside knows he’s not judged. I accept him fully for who he is because I accept young AnnaLynne for who she is. And there’s nothing you could do that would be wrong or strange or weird. I mean, I might tell you what I think about it but you’re welcome to continue doing it. Feel free to do cartwheels. Paul’s doing cartwheels right now, guys, it’s so strange.
0:49:09 KR: Yeah. Handstand and all. Yeah. It was crazy.
0:49:13 AM: But seeing… I mean if we walked outside instead of seeing all these people as potential threats or whatever it is, if we saw little children walking around inside of these adults, if they were transparent exteriors with a little kid inside, we’d have a lot more empathy for the world around us. And then our way to connect in the community and… But you were talking about having other spiritual experiences, the sense of having something that’s an individual journey, and then also on something… The power of having something that’s a shared journey. Both are really important to different parts of our healing. We can’t heal others and we can’t experience healing from others if we haven’t healed ourselves first. We can expand on our healing once we connect with others, but if we seek out healing externally then we will need external healing.
0:49:53 PA: That starts with the body, Lynn, that starts with the breath and holding that. And then the way you show up, it’s… Oftentimes, when we go do ayahuasca, it’s like, “Well you don’t need to tell everyone about it,” it’s like what you were saying about Collette, she just came back and she was changed. And you got that and you saw that, and you’re like, “I want that energy. I’m interested in that energy. Where did it come from?” And that is ultimately like… That attracting force, that attracting energy is how people should come into this” because it’s authentic and it’s whole and it doesn’t feel forced or like, dragging my feet and in there. It feels like, “Okay. Now is my time and I feel a calling to it.”
0:50:41 KR: Yeah, that’s the thing. I’ve talked about this a little bit. I think I’ve talked about at the last screening ’cause everybody’s individual journey is different, right? We had the medicine, we got introduced to the medicine and we think it’s great and we think, “I think everybody should experience it in their lifetime.” I mean, it’s up to you, but I really strongly think that it’s a good thing and you should try it. I really think that. But I also think that you have people that are on that journey and on that path and live that certain way and they forced their agenda or forced their dealings or their healings or their experiences on people that don’t want that and I think that’s where it gets dangerous and that’s the part where we have to live authentically and show how it’s changed our lives for the better and live in that light and live that way.
0:51:35 KR: Kind of just by example, just lead that way, but not press the agenda on anybody. So you give the information, you share your experiences, you let people know that there are other like-minded people out there that kind of feel that same sentiment and then you go on. And I think it’s very dangerous of us as people that have been on that journey and are enlightened and have this different version of what this world can be like and where we can go to have that type of knowledge and not just actively seek it, but show it and show who we are in that way just by living, just by being us, not by forcing it. We have to be careful. We can’t judge the people that aren’t on their journey ’cause they’re going at their own pace and they’re not ready for that yet and that’s fine.
0:52:25 AM: They were up five years ago.
0:52:25 KR: Exactly. And so people get to the… You have these people that are really holy and really high and like, “Everybody should be doing this,” or, “They’re not living right.” That’s just not the approach either. You just have to really, really, really just live authentically and live through love and spread it that way and hopefully they get the message because when people like Anna who’s doing so many different things out in the community and going over to… Where’s your…
0:52:48 AM: Cambodia.
0:52:49 KR: Cambodia and spreading love to girls who have been abused and sexually abused and human traffic and stuff. Having people like that in the world and people that are really, really actively chasing the light and trying to spread the light to just not herself, myself, yourself, but to a wide range of people and understanding we’re all human, we all breathe the same breath, that we are the same breath. And once you realize that that’s the real factor of it all when you get to a point of understanding that there’s no race, there’s no color, there’s no gender, it’s all about us as people, as humans, one breath, one single breath, and really getting back to that essence, and the essence of all of that. What is that? That’s love. We’ve all been created out of love and that’s where we need to get back to and I think that’s the message I would hammer home to anybody that’s really, really thinking about this and intrigued by this and really, really wanting to live your higher self. Just operate from that level and keep the judgments as you go. Yeah.
0:53:52 AM: To that point you said, get back to a couple of times, and I think that that’s actually something to really focus on. This is not a… We were talking about this earlier. This is not a cure-all, this is not a… But getting back to. If you have a crazy moment and you get angry or you feel grief, you have a loss, you’re going to feel all of those emotions.
0:54:17 KR: Yeah, ’cause people think, yeah, once you are operating at a different level now, you don’t feel those things. No. You still feel those but you’re able to have the tools to get back.
0:54:26 AM: A hundred percent. And the conscious awareness of as it’s coming in say, “I see you, anger. Okay, anger, object Cornfield, he’s amazing, he’s such a hero of mine.” And he’s like, “Okay, anger. Okay. Angry, yes. Angry, angry, angry. Okay. Well, woo, rage. Yes, rage. Okay. Oh, lots of rage. Okay, rage.” And it’s almost looking at your emotions once again with the eyes that you would look at a child you’re like, “The monster is real. It’s under your bed. And it comes out when no one else is there. Oh, that makes a lot of sense, actually, ’cause I’ve never seen it.” And it’s not saying that these things are… Not only are they valid, they are the most human things. If you believe in the spirit, soul, conscious and self, then you know that the only place, the only part of our entire journey where we get to feel is when we choose to come to Earth. And we feel pain, but we also get to feel love, we get to feel someone give a little squeeze. We get to feel something.
0:55:33 AM: That for me, like, living a life where I felt numb and dead-inside for all this time, why was I not in the stars? I came on this planet to feel something, to be able to feel what I knew of myself in the energy of the timeless eternity, what have you. It was to feel love at its highest capacity with sense with the five senses and maintaining our multi-sensory self for sure, but, like, that’s the gift of being a human is feeling so good, bad, ugly. It’s not about getting away, it’s about integration, merging, anger, beautiful, that makes me appreciate happiness. Sadness, beautiful, that makes me appreciate joy, right? And seeing that those married together make a whole human and that it’s a homeostasis. It’s the temperature on the thermostat I always say that it’s, you set it at 74. If you live in Alabama or Georgia, honey.
0:56:27 PA: At 69.
0:56:27 AM: At 69. Okay. I like that number better. [laughter] But if you’re in Alabama or Georgia where we’re from, you put it on 74, or 69, or whatever, it’s gonna go up to 80, honey, and then it’s gotta come back down. And it’s the winter and I used to live in New York, you set it on 85 which is what I would have it on. It’s gonna be a cool 69 in the winter and you gotta come back up. So, it’s a homeostasis. So, it’s about finding your center, and what that means is, not that you live in the… There is the British again.
0:56:27 PA: Own it. You just gotta love it.
0:56:27 AM: I’m owning that. You live in the center, everyone.
0:56:27 PA: There’s gonna be another, like, Anna that pops up pretty soon.
0:56:27 AM: It just pops up.
0:56:27 PA: It’s the British Anna there.
0:56:27 AM: No, British Anna got…
0:56:27 PA: She’s moved to London.
0:57:18 KR: She’s got that vibe with a cup of tea.
0:57:18 AM: Exactly. I’m definitely with the vibe.
0:57:18 PA: She’s with the Queen.
0:57:25 AM: The tea, the high tea with the Queen and I. No, but you don’t live in the center, you explore the East and the West, and you come back to the middle ground, right? So the capacity, once again, going back to Byron Katie, her book, The title itself, “Loving What Is” in this moment, anger, I love my anger. In this moment, return, get back to the love, the center.
0:57:54 PA: Yeah. Marianne Williamson. Marianne Williamson. Return to love. Return to love.
0:57:56 AM: Return to love. Yes. Marianne Williamson. So there’s a sense of graciousness that you have to have, and it also… It’s like if I send you a book, a dictionary on Mandarin Chinese today, “Well, Paul, did you learn Mandarin last night? I sent you the damn book.” You’re not gonna learn it overnight. The brain is plastic, which is beautiful, it can learn through experience, new skills, this is a skill. You were a soccer player, you were a football player. I am not an athlete at all, I have two left feet. But I have learned the skill of meditation and I learn it every single day anew.
0:58:34 KR: Daily practice.
0:58:35 AM: It’s a daily practice that…
0:58:36 PA: It’s the beginner’s mind, right?
0:58:37 AM: Yeah, absolutely. And we see a little baby walk across the… I use children a lot as a reference, it’s just… You see a baby take their first steps, and everybody is like, “Oh!” Everybody’s clapping, and people are sad that they missed it. We take a step towards ourselves and no one notices, we don’t notice, no one claps for us. A baby step is a step. And if you’ve never taken a step like that before in your whole life, that is the… That’s a giant step for mankind, is what that is, that is a leap, and it’s something that must be celebrated. I love Tony Robbins, he says… I’m going to his Date With Destiny in December. I’m so excited, but he says, “Celebrate the small wins.” Celebrate wins.
0:59:22 KR: Yeah.
0:59:22 AM: I love to win, I’m not gonna lie, I love to win, I hate to lose. So I think that there’s something that we need to be mindful of celebrating when it’s a win. Did you turn something around today? Did you even just change your direction? Fuck yeah. You’re a badass, good for you. Did you step back and do exactly what you’ve always done? Totally normal, good for you. You’re probably gonna do better tomorrow. This sense of neutrality of whether… Of not putting good and bad on the label, but letting what is be what it is is really important, too.
1:00:01 PA: It’s that process, right? Focusing on the process. ‘Cause even for men like us, we get really oriented towards outcome and objective and needing to be there. And that’s a very masculine energy, and it’s a very healthy energy if it comes from that grounded, centered place.
1:00:17 KR: We operate from fear, right? Fear of not being successful, fear of failure, fear of what our peers are gonna think, fear of what our partners are gonna think. So if you operate from that place, you’re always gonna have an uphill battle to climb, right? You’re always wondering like, “Okay, I didn’t take the trash out at 7:07, I was supposed to take it out earlier,” that’s always gonna be in the back of your mind, right? That stuff is… That doesn’t run away, that’s there. And so you think everything that that person is doing is because of that trash situation. Instead of addressing it and clearing and cleansing yourself from that feeling and that attachment of fear is, we just operate from that instead of operating from, “Okay, I didn’t take the trash out. I’ll take it out. I’ll have a conversation with her,” and clear the air and make sure that’s all good from that point on. Instead of having that conversation, we automatically go into defense mode and be like, “Okay, she’s not gonna be… She’s gonna be mad anyway, so now I gotta feel this way, I gotta fight this way, I gotta tense up and be this version of myself now to… ”
1:01:19 PA: Contract, right? We contract.
1:01:20 KR: Yeah, let me protect myself.
1:01:21 PA: Yeah. Right.
1:01:22 KR: And so instead of being open and just share in that moment and being, like you said, operating from where we operate from now and having an understanding of that, it’s just… It’s not a healthy place to be. And so I think we’re moving the pieces that way. And I operate from love all the time. I really, I really feel really good about where I am as far as just being able to have a conversation with someone about things that I don’t… I may not agree with and I may not understand, but if it’s coming from you, that’s a valid place. So let me hear that, let me hear that part out. We have the conversation, I hear you. Even if it’s not… Even if we don’t come to an agreement on it, I respect that and I understand that and I know that that’s where you feel. So let’s explore that more, let’s see where that’s coming from, let’s see where that conversation can go. See if I can have some different perspective on it later, after I understand that. But just having those open conversations and really getting to that point, now I understand that, and I’m like, “Okay, we don’t have to agree, that’s fine.”
1:02:25 AM: Yes!
1:02:26 KR: We don’t have to agree. It’s just there.
1:02:28 AM: We don’t. The world would not be colorful, we would have all like one color of everything. Everything’s purple, everything’s yellow. Being able to… Sorry.
1:02:35 AM: No, I just love what you were saying. I got excited, I got so excited. No, but it’s like, why would we wanna agree with everything, we’d never learned anything new. It’s so beautiful, I love that you said that.
1:02:48 KR: And it’s just ego ’cause we operate from what we know and what we’ve been predisposed to. And so you operate from that space, and then somebody comes into your space and you have to, “Okay, now let’s have the conversations and let’s see what happens.” But without knowing this, and not being the best version of yourself to be able to operate on that level, then it’s just… It’s a constant war, and that’s the thing.
1:03:12 AM: It is, and that’s all fear-based energy. Where love is, fear cannot be. So if you’re feeling like, “Oh, I was supposed to take out the trash, I didn’t take out the trash,” the defense mechanism that’s protected you before, and thank you, defense mechanism, we appreciate you, now go along, but that defense mechanism would then be like, “What did she not do? Oh, she left her plate on the coffee table. She didn’t take her plate… ” “Well, I didn’t take out the trash.” “Yeah, but you’re the one leaving dirty dishes everywhere.” And what are we accomplishing, everyone? [laughter] Once again…
1:03:46 PA: Right. When we get in those defensive positions, it’s just those hurt inner child that are like going back and forth, right?
1:03:52 AM: Yeah, yeah. “Well, you were mean to me, I’ll be mean to you.”
1:03:53 PA: Exactly, exactly.
1:03:54 AM: “I’m telling mom.” “I’m telling mom, first!” Like, “What?” But something I do, I talk about a lot of solution-based conversations, right? So when you are in something where, “We don’t agree, we don’t see things the same way, what is our point? What’s the aim here? Am I aiming to get you to see that I’m right, which makes you wrong? Which probably ain’t gonna happen, especially if you’re talking to me.” No. But, or is it… Or is it, “How do we get to a higher level of this particular moment?” Right? So if you’re in a partnership, for example, and the trashcan and the dishes conversation is happening, what are you… What’s happening right here? Okay, so you’re fighting over the fact that someone didn’t take out the trash and someone left dirty dishes. Why are you with this person? So that they’ll take out your trash and make sure that dishes are not left around? Is that why you picked them out off of Tinder and swiped right? [laughter] Hopefully it wasn’t Tinder.
1:04:54 KR: Or, are you having a bad day, and this is your way to take it out on that person in a… In a not so… I’m trying to think of the word here. In a… [chuckle] In a not so dramatic way where you seem like you have a logical point, but it’s really something that’s going on inside of you that’s deeper than that? Yes.
1:05:13 AM: It’s something internal. Yeah. It’s something internal. So when you… I actually ask people a lot, whenever there’s a… ‘Cause I have some wild ideations and philosophies that trigger the status quo and anybody who attaches strongly to them to then feel like I’m attacking them because I don’t agree, right? So if we get into it, and then I’ll get into it with you, ’cause I wanna hear your side, but I also want you to hear some little nuggets that I’ve learned too, and we’re in that conversation and if I see it going in that direction to, the balance is tilting, we’re not at center, right? I will ask them like, “What is your objective?” And I’m not just asking them, I’m asking myself. “AnnaLynne, what is your objective? Do you want this person to feel fear-based things? Do you wanna feel fear-based things? Are we conjuring up some fear right now? Is that fun for everybody? What’s the objective?” Put the address in the GPS, so you know where you’re going. Getting here, if I didn’t have a GPS, I would never have found you, [laughter] and he had a GPS and almost didn’t find you.”
1:06:10 KR: I didn’t, I didn’t find it. I know.
1:06:10 AM: But if you don’t have an address, you can’t go… You can get in a car all day long, but you’re just driving around in circles. Where are you going? Where are we going? Is there a line between us or in front of us or behind us or on the sides of us? Where are we in the spectrum of the lines being drawn and to what point? And then when you start asking questions like, “To what point and what’s your objective,” and suddenly it’s like, “Oh, I guess it’s not really about a trashcan situation, is it?” [laughter] It’s suddenly like, “Oh, okay. And yes, it’s I’m hurt. I had a long day. I’m hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Let’s not talk about things when AnnaLynne is hangry,” for example. Someone just put some food in my general direction and everything will be much better. But when I would go left and center, right and center, whatever, and when I’m not centered, it sometimes has to do ’cause I didn’t have lunch today and I’m hungry. So we don’t know what the real thing is, but if we keep in mind… They say the forest for the trees, right? But being an actor, I use the, “Sometimes you can’t see the wide shot for the close-up.”
1:07:26 AM: You don’t see the whole room, ’cause it’s zoomed in on just the face and it’s all the intensity of that experience being close up that you don’t see the room you have to walk and have… What’s around you and what can you… What’s the rest of the movie? Do you get up after 10 minutes ’cause you don’t like where the story is going and you turn off the movie and you never get to the end? We have a long life. What is this moment? When you’re 80-years-old and you look back on your life, are you really gonna be like, “He didn’t take out the trash at 7:07 PM. And it just, it was so ridiculous! I think it was 2019, it was a rainy day, if I recall, because it doesn’t rain a lot in LA.” No, that’s not what you’re thinking of when you’re coming to the end of your life and story here on this planet. That’s a blip, it’s a moment. And if we think of moments with the gratitude for them, but also for the awareness that they’re a blip and they’re not gonna be there very long when they’re difficult, they’re not gonna be there very long, so don’t worry about it. If you like ’em, enjoy ’em, ’cause they’re not gonna be there very long. Right? So there’s a sense of that, I think, that we… Again, not taught these things, but things like ayahuasca and things that allow you to dive in, you start to undo the weave a little bit and everything unravels it.
1:08:38 KR: Unravels, unravels, yeah.
1:08:38 AM: Yeah.
1:08:38 PA: Well, one thing I do wanna talk about before we wrap up, because we’re getting there about, I just… I’d love to talk a little bit about your professional work, ’cause you had mentioned how you’re launching this meditation thing pretty soon. You run a non-profit called Together1Heart, you’d won a Congressional Medal of Honor for your work with sex trafficking. So I just would love to hear a little bit about what role that’s been in your life, and yeah.
1:09:02 AM: Thank you for asking. You should’ve asked me this in the beginning, ’cause you’re gonna run out of time. You’ll just have to be like, “Shut up.”
1:09:09 AM: I talk a lot already, but when you ask me about this stuff, I never…
1:09:14 AM: Kerry’s like…
1:09:15 KR: No!
1:09:17 AM: Kerry’s like, “Ask me first! Ask me first!”
1:09:17 AM: No. I promise I will try to keep it sweet and short and short and sweet. So yeah, I’m the President of Together1Heart, it’s an anti-human trafficking organization supporting the ground team in Cambodia. I’ve been working with them for 10 years. I took over as president in 2016. It is my passion, my life’s work. Everything that my life has led up to is definitely this work, and being able to have the dream that I had as a nine-year-old little girl to be an actress turn into a platform for this. And it’s not something that’s like, “Oh, that’s so great of you, you’re such a good person”. Once again, it’s something that I thought that I was going to go be a good person and do this. And it changed my life, and it has become the source of my healing in so many different ways.
1:10:07 AM: When I… So after ayahuasca, my last intention that I set with ayahuasca was to know what I don’t know, to know. And we talked about this earlier and it was just kinda something that I strongly don’t recommend saying to a plant medicine ever. But if you’re going to be brave, ’cause you’re gonna see some stuff, within 13 months of having taken the journey in Costa Rica with Taita Juanito, who I’m forever indebted to, our amazing shaman. And then studying these 10 intentions that I had, that one being the last, within 13 months, every single intention had come to pass. The final one being that in August of 2018, while undergoing EMDR, PTSD treatment, I remembered childhood sexual abuse for years and years and years, that had been completely blocked out, and systematic abuse, sadistic mess, like sadist kind of like terrifying things you would hear on a documentary about serial killers and serial rapists and horror films. It was a nature of that kinda thing.
1:11:10 AM: And had my body not re-lived it, which I did, I had convulsion, flash body flashbacks, like war veterans do. I would have a hard time believing that it actually happened to me, but it made sense, it’s my life, it made sense with the work that I had found. I got on a plane to Cambodia, two other girls I helped put through college for psychology became my 24/7 staff, my 24/7 care while I was there. I was in the center, I called the founder, I said, “Somaly,” Somaly Mam is the founder of Survivors of Human Trafficking. I said “I’m coming here, not as the president, not as an ambassador or a board member, I’m coming here as a little girl who needs to come to your center and be rescued.” And that’s what it was, I was… I had her support. She’s like, “Oh, no problem. I fix all the girls all the time. Five minutes, I fix you, no problem.” [laughter]
1:12:00 AM: I’m like, “This is serious.” [chuckle] That’s just how she does. She knows, she knows you cannot diminish a soul, you can’t. That’s just the way someone paints you, and then you get a new canvas when you reset, and that’s what happened. And the peer-to-peer connection of being with other girls who are survivors of child sexual abuse and sex trafficking, and incest and all these things, I was just another one of the girls, I wasn’t… It wasn’t some scary isolated island anymore, I was just another one of the girls. And so, that whole thing had… Basically was like hitting the reset button on my life. So I had this crazy dream, when I was a nine-year-old girl in a trailer park to be an actress and everyone told me, “It’s never gonna happen,” it was a pipe dream. And so I was like, “Screw y’all.” And… [chuckle]
1:12:46 PA: Screw ya’ll.
1:12:46 AM: And I made it happen, right? So I have a track record for making big unrealistic dreams come true. So that was that. And then this reset happened, and I feel like I’ve started over from scratch. And I’ve only felt one other time, and it was when I joined to be an actress, something… So a sense of knowing, so inside myself that I’m on track, I’m on the path, I’m on purpose for my life. And it is with this tour that we’re launching in January, January 11th, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We’re launching the Love Storm Tour, we’re going to storm this planet with love. The idea is fighting human trafficking, fighting modern day slavery, educating on this issue. We can’t do… We can’t treat symptoms, right, we have to go to the root cause. We need to end slavery from the inside out, that’s what we have to do, and that means an internal cleanse to show us how to clean the outside of ourselves, the world we project.
1:13:40 AM: So it is a mass meditation, and it is a lovefest and it is gonna be powerful and intense. And we’re going to several different cities around the world, and I’m sure that will expand because you’re gonna help me and you’re gonna help me, and you guys listening are gonna help me, because who doesn’t want a storm of love, right? So we’re launching that on Jan 11, 2020 here in Los Angeles, and we will do the take the tour all around, and we’ll end in Cambodia on 10-10-2020, because that was… I actually had a breathwork, I saw all of this as if it had already happened, that’s a whole nother podcast story for a whole nother day. But incidentally, we didn’t even realize it, but 10-10-2020 is international mental awareness day, mental health awareness. So literally going from human trafficking and the slavery. And for me, it’s not just slavery of the body, but slavery of the mind, to mental health, right? The healthiest state we… The healthiest we can become is when we’re mentally sound, right? And because that means that what we put out in the world will be this sense of… A healthy sense of the projection of what we have inside ourself. So really, really cool. I invite you to come. I would love for your support in any capacity. But it is the Love Storm Tour, and it’ll be Love Storm Tour on Instagram and everybody will be able to follow it, so.
1:15:06 PA: Great, beautiful. And…
1:15:07 KR: You’re saying it like this, like, “The Love Storm.”
1:15:09 AM: It’s the Love Storm.
1:15:10 AM: What, with the British accent, maybe?
1:15:11 AM: Oh, yes. So we’re launching the Love Storm, it’s going to be spectacular. [chuckle]
1:15:17 PA: Hey, Kerry, what are you working on, now that you’ve been going through these shifts and changes? What’s on the horizon for you? How are you taking this work that’s impacted you and bringing it out into the world?
1:15:27 KR: Yeah, that’s the big thing for me, man. I’ve… I’m still figuring out the lane. Number one, for me, it was to show men… ‘Cause it’s so much toxic masculinity in the world right now, so to show men how to be open, to be compassionate, to be empathetic, to be these versions of ourselves that we have never been. And especially me coming from the sport world, I’m sticking the olive branch out towards those guys and trying to have them jump on-board without scaring them, ’cause if they feel scared, if they feel… If they feel like it’s a little bit too holy, or too spiritual or whatever the case may be, it will scare them off. I saw an interview with Terrence Howard recently, he was speaking towards some of these things and very… He tried to sound really, really, really… He was… He was doing it in a way that was aggressive, aggressively trying to…
1:16:25 KR: Put that… Putting that… It’s almost like I said earlier, it’s putting an agenda out there to… Almost like a call of action which is a little rough in certain circumstances. So for me, I’m trying to find a balance of what’s too much, what’s a way to get these guys comfortable, and come on board and share? And I think the common denominator with that is just sharing my story in it’s truest form, in it’s most authentic form. And I’ve had people reach out and be like, “Whoa, what have you done, what’s going on?” I’m interested in what that is, and I’ve had that happened, but I’m trying to make that happen on a bigger scale, and very organic. So for me, I’m on that. I have a podcast now that I do, I have a TV show that I do as well, a talk show, it’s called Tackling Life TV. And it’s with, you know Carlos, my boy Carlos Campbell, who’s a former football player as well from Notre Dame. But we have all these conversations with manly men, and we just hear their stories and hear where they came from.
1:17:27 KR: And it’s funny, you have all these instances of sexual abuse and sexual abuse for men as well, and no fathers, and having no men in their lives to show them how a real man operates. And so you have these stories. And the common denominator with that stuff is it happens a lot, and people aren’t talking about it, people are scared to share. And so having a space and seeing somebody like myself, who a lot of people respect from my previous profession, and being in a world where it is this hyper-masculine place, to see me share the way that I share, they’re seeing that it’s okay. And I think once they feel that on a grander scale, it’ll happen organically. So I’m trying to reach the masses in a organic way and it’s happening. People are coming on board, a lot of people are. And this is how I know it’s the right way, it’s happening without me having to extend the olive branch anymore.
1:18:26 PA: Or like force it.
1:18:27 KR: People… Yeah, people are like, “Hey, that show you’re doing, can I come on?” I’m like, “Absolutely, that’s the plan.”
1:18:32 AM: That show you’re doing, can I come on?
1:18:33 KR: Yes, you can. Absolutely.
1:18:35 PA: Only if you speak in that British accent the whole time.
1:18:38 AM: Absolutely.
1:18:38 KR: Oh, absolutely, you will. But yeah, that’s the thing, I think that’s where I’m going with it. And I think… I see, I see the interest, I see the people that are really actively wanting to be better. And it’s so many people that are hurting from my profession, my previous profession. And to show them that, like I said, it’s okay, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to share, it’s okay to not have to be the big man in the room, it’s okay to sit back and just listen, listen to people, but be heard and make that space safe, and the space is safe with me. So that’s what I’m working on now besides the work and the other stuff, which I don’t really… We don’t have to speak about that, but yeah, just that, I just want that.
1:19:18 PA: That’s beautiful. Well, thank you both so much for coming here. It’s a foggy LA day. You had a little bit of trouble, but I’ve had such a wonderful time diving into your stories and the wisdom and the understanding and the experiences that you’ve both gone through is just, it’s special, so.
1:19:35 KR: We appreciate it. Thank you for having us on, and Anna?
1:19:38 AM: Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s been a beautiful energy, a beautiful space you created for us to come in and talk about these things.
1:19:43 KR: Absolutely, yeah.