Fusing Plant Medicine With Self Work for Mind, Body, and Soul Healing - An Interview With Gerard Powell

Fusing Plant Medicine With Self Work for Mind, Body, and Soul Healing - An Interview With Gerard Powell

What follows is a transcript for the podcast Healing Trauma - Gerard Powell - Plant Medicine.

Topics within the interview include the following: 

  • The story of Rythmia
  • Why fusing plant medicine with deep, hard, self work is a power combination towards healing
  • How we can make a significant impact on hunanity
  • How spiritual healing often emerges from emergency
  • Learning to be mission driven without sacrificing purpose, in both work and life
  • Defining and sharing Rythmia miracles

James Schmachtenberger: Welcome to today's episode of Collective Insights. My name is James Schmachtenberger, the CEO of Qualia, and I will be your host today. And today, I have the pleasure of getting to interview Gerry Powell. Gerry is the founder of Rythmia, an all-inclusive, luxury, medically licensed plant medicine center in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. In addition to founding Rythmia, Gerry is a successful, conscious entrepreneur and author, building businesses that provide healing to humanity and nature. Gerry, thank you so much for being here today.

Gerard Powell: I'm so happy to be here with you, James.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah, this is a particularly fun and exciting one for me, having gotten to come down to Rythmia a few months ago and had just an incredible, life-altering kind of experience. So I'm looking forward to getting to talk to you and getting to introduce our listeners to Rythmia and all the wonderful things you've created there.

Gerard Powell: I'm so happy.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. So I guess to kick things off, since not everyone is necessarily familiar with Rythmia, do you want to give a little background on what you've created there?

What is the Rythmia Life Advancement Center?

Gerard Powell: Yeah, so Rythmia is... We call a "Life Advancement Center." We use different modalities to bring around what many of the ancients would call a "soul reclamation." We call it a "soul merger." And we've had over 13,000 people through the doors, and 95.61% of them claim that they had a life-changing miracle during their stay. So it's a major event, the week here.

James Schmachtenberger: So, yeah, for people who aren't entirely familiar, Rythmia is largely based around the use of a plant medicine called ayahuasca to be able to induce profound altered states and then combined with other kinds of practices and other curriculum to be able to integrate and support and make sense of these profound experiences that come from ayahuasca. And I think probably most of our audience is relatively familiar with ayahuasca, but do you want to give a little download on this?

Fusing Plant Medicine With Self Work for Spiritual Healing

Gerard Powell: And this is where I get with all psychedelics. So ayahuasca is more of an Amazonian tea that contains DMT, and there are different variations of this tea, but it's been consumed in the Amazon for around 12,000 years, they believe. And what we do with it, we use the tea as part of a total package that includes yoga, meditation, breath work, food, a cleanse, metaphysical teachings, support into this high pressure week of focused self-work. The combination of how these things are packaged is what creates this result, and the result has a permanency to it. What do I mean by that?

92.71% of the people who go through the program at the six-month mark say that thing that happened to them during the program is still working in their life. So a lot of the superficial work that we do, and there's a great work that superficial work, and there's a lot of work that takes multitude of repetitions to start to get in and become habitual and this and that. And this is not one. This is one that goes so deep, and I don't want to make it sound easy, because it's the hardest week you'll ever spend in your life, in my opinion. If you attack this the right way, if you surrender to it the right way, which is an attempt, it's crazy I use that term, but if you surrender to it in the right way, it is the hardest week's work you'll ever do.

But it goes so deep that the changes that are made are permanent if they're looked after. So I mean "if they're looked after"? Well, if you're a meditator or a prayer or do spiritual mind treatments or a breath work person, or you have a daily practice, you're going to be fine when you leave here. But what's interesting is that, without a daily practice, over the course of a year, you will unwind again. So people really have to understand that this spiritual journey, once you decide to take it, and you're taking it whether you decide to or not, it's a commitment to daily work. It's really a commitment. And there's so many people that are selling shortcuts and, geez, I just haven't found them... As a matter of fact, everything seems like it takes longer than what we thought.

James Schmachtenberger: No, in my experience, almost any form of meaningful personal development that's going to have significant impact, and particularly lasting impact, is going to be hard work. That's just kind of part of it. And it's actually the willingness to do the hard work and to go to those kind of scarier, difficult places inside, I think that is almost like a necessary piece of being able to have those kinds of evolutions. It was actually one of the things I really appreciated with Rythmia was that was one of the core lessons that I remember came through over and over again was: lean into what's hard.

Gerard Powell: Right.

James Schmachtenberger: And I just thought-

Gerard Powell: And that's why, James, I loved having you here, because you have an extensive spiritual past and you have a real great understanding of it being a real long-term process. It's a lifetime of work, this is. It really is. Now, I will say this: After you've been to a place like this for a week, that is a life change, pivotal time, and people bend down a new road, and that road is a more pleasant way of living. I completely am onboard with that idea. But it's still work. And usually, here's what happens in this kind of thing here.

When people come to this place, they look at their own lives and they say, "Hey, what I'm doing and what I was meant to do are two different things, and now I'm going to go down a new road." And so, it's a real life changer. It really is. I get so many folks here that come here for the week and rejigger their life's mission. They're like, "Okay, I no longer want to do this, I want to do that and I want to help people." The same thing that happened to you, James. That's years ago. They're having it happen while they're here.

James Schmachtenberger: Right. Well, I mean, in my experience, that's one of the most important pieces of this, right? Because you can come and do an ayahuasca ceremony or any kind of profound psychedelic experience and have these incredible awarenesses, awakenings, takeaways. But in many cases, I think the real work is then: How do you implement that into your life afterwards? And it's not just having this profound experience and then going back and doing everything exactly the same.

Gerard Powell: Right. Right. Right.

James Schmachtenberger: For me, particularly with ayahuasca, more than other forms of plant medicine, the way that I've often experienced it, not always, is that when I go into one of the journeys, there's usually some part of my life that I'm avoiding or maybe not fully addressing in the ways that I know that I should. And Ayahuasca just sort of takes all of the pain associated with that avoidance pattern and concentrates it. And not only the pain that I've experienced, but all the pain that I could potentially experience in the future around continuing that avoidance pattern. And it's like, it almost just turns it into a two-by-four and just beats me upside the face with it, until at a certain point I'm like, "Okay, okay, you win. I will make that change."

So it's like I have this profound awareness that happens in the journey, but then so much of the work is actually in the weeks and months following, being willing to implement those changes and move away from the avoidance pattern or whatever it is for what people are experiencing. And I think it's profoundly easier on the back end of having an experience like Rythmia provides, because even though we all know that there are these things that we should maybe do differently or implement into our life, a lot of times, we don't have the maybe willingness or wherewithal to make those changes unless something really heightens that experience and makes us acutely aware.

Gerard Powell: Right. Right. And this is the thing. When people come to a place like this, they're either pushed or pulled, usually. Right? So they're usually pulled by a wanting or a yearning, or pushed by a bad experience or a life circumstance. And then, when the plant medicine sheds light on the true nature of the person, then that person really feels some debt of gratitude for the fact of that they're alive. And then, they want to share that feeling with others. Not through whatever, whether that's art or however that is. But it's so hard for me, too, James, because I'm running this business with my right hand, and then doing medicine with my left hand. You know what it's like. Everything is rainbows and unicorns, and then business stuff happens and it's like, "Oh my God." And so, folks like us, James, that want to straddle both parts of life, this other and this earthly life, have even a more unique challenge to balance those going forward.

Let me say it this way: Rythmia tends to attract business people in search of a spiritual awakening. And business people are athletes or actors. So when they get it, they're faced with this thing. If I were dealing with people who went their whole life failure to failure to failure to failure, the Rythmia experience would be different. But most of our guests have the opposite of what happened: Success, success, success and no joy. And they're like, "Okay, now wait." And then, you create this new thing, and that new thing is hard. It really is, because we're trying to run by all kinds of rules. Rules of the mother. Rules of the earth. Rules of the masculine. It's a lot. It's a lot. But I can't think of a more amazing way to experience life than trying to do all that.

James Schmachtenberger: No, well said. I totally agree. And it is. It's a very unique set of challenges, to be able to bridge those worlds, to be able to be high-functioning in the society that we live in, in the business world, while simultaneously tapping deeply into the realms of spirituality, of altered states. Because oftentimes, they actually tend to pull in different directions, right?

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: So the work of actually being able to integrate those is quite meaningful.

Gerard Powell: It's a humdinger. I tell you, it has beautiful byproducts. when you get that right, to me, it's like the ding when you hit a glass. When you get it right, when you get the ding, and you go, "Well, at least for this week, I am exactly where I should be." And right in the middle of this, two vibrations, and not in conflict. And you're like, "Ah, life is good for a few days." And it's all worth it, because in that clarity, it's just good stuff. It's great stuff. And you're talking to a guy who, prior to plant medicine, I was a true maniac, and alcohol and drug addicted. One of the saddest people I've ever met.

And to go from that to a guy who's still crazy, but helping people 24 hours a day, it's a crazy thing, dude. It's just crazy. And I really got along with you, James, when you got here, and I understand the care and time you take in your formulations. You remind me of me insomuch as every inch of this experience is super well-thought out, highly practiced, and important. Just like every product that you put out is from the right place, the hard work has been done, and that is godlike. That is fully participating from a community standpoint, I believe.

James Schmachtenberger: Right.

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

How We Can Make a Significant Impact on Humanity

James Schmachtenberger: No, I noticed that in a significant way when I was down there. The attention to detail that you put into the facility, the trainers, everything, yeah, it's a very similar experience to what I feel on a daily basis, where it's like it's not about business. It is a business, but ultimately, it's a life passion and devotion to do the thing that we believe can make the most significant impact on humanity, and to be sort of unwavering in how that is applied.

Gerard Powell: I agree. Wow.

James Schmachtenberger: It can be really freaking hard, but also critical.

Gerard Powell: I want to tell you, but it's easy to say, right? It's easy to say. But even as you're saying it, the thought of doing... And the thing is, I actually believe people who have made a real contribution have thought this way, and they just stick to it.

James Schmachtenberger: Right.

Gerard Powell: They just stick to it. And I believe that, like ayahuasca... Because one thing that a lot of folks don't... Unless they're great meditators and they can get to this particular place. But with ayahuasca, when you do leave your body, and you are sure you are not in your body because you're looking at it... You're absolutely sure that, "I am not my body," then the fear of death wanes a little bit. And as that fear of death wanes, the need to more fully participate in life springs up. And I thought it would be the opposite.

I thought, "Oh, if you're afraid of dying, you're going to live life to the fullest." But it's the exact opposite. That the only time that you can start to experience the sacrifice that it takes, James, to do businesses like this, and the feeling of love, is when you're not afraid of dying. And in that moment when you changed to being not afraid of dying, you really do start living life in a different, more committed way. And that's why I tell you, if you come to a place like this and if it does nothing for you but gets you out of faith and into gnosis, that in itself is worth your whole life. Do you know what I mean? Just that one thing.

James Schmachtenberger: Oh, for sure.

Gerard Powell: Right. Yeah.

Gerry Powell’s Story: From Addiction and Depression to a Life of Purpose and Contentment

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. Yeah. No, I totally agree. Well, before we keep going deeper into some of these things, I want to change gears a little bit. You brought up that, previous to doing this, you were kind of a maniac. Sad. Depressed. I'd love if you to share a little bit of your kind of founding story, because it's such a unique one. And I think not only is it exciting and entertaining, but I think it actually gives people a sense of what's possible for them.

Gerard Powell: Uh-huh. So I was a kid and I just thought I was a tough kid. I didn't know anything. I didn't get out of high school. I got kicked out of high school. I never graduated. Wound up in going to jail and having just a really hard start in life. But I was an okay business guy, and I ended up just focusing my whole life on business. And I grew some companies and ended up selling one for touch under a hundred million bucks. I had two beautiful kids, a wonderful wife, but I was terrible. I was a drug-addicted, greedy, lying, cheating, terrible guy. And I was super sad. Super sad and kind of hyper manipulative, but nasty at the same time. I was a real handful. And my wife ended up leaving me and I ended up going to Passages Malibu. And about five years into full-time therapy, I was in therapy five days a week for eight hours a day, I broke and I couldn't go on anymore.

And then, one thing led to another and I did plant medicine, and I saw my grandfather molest me. And it explained everything about why my life was the way that it was. And from that point on, that was July 4th, 2014, within a few months later, I bought this place and I wanted to do this for other people. Because the "who I was" versus "who I turned into," the contrast was so great that I thought: Man, there must have been a million people like me that were living these sad lives. Folks that did well, that achieved, and they were just sad. It wasn't stacking up. The dream wasn't producing the joy. And so, when I did that and I got a feeling of what it felt like to help people, and kept doing plant medicine, it just kept getting richer and richer and richer from a personal standpoint.

But starting the first licensed plant medicine business in the world, medically licensed one, that had its own problems. And still, it's one of the hardest businesses I've ever run in my whole life, and it's a nightmare on a daily basis. But I just love it. And I know that I have my hand in helping some 13,000 people, and it's a great feeling. What's interesting, in the last seven years, I've seen suicides pop so much more than ever. Friends are losing friends. And my whole message to people is that: How bad it was is not an indicator of how good it can get. Like in horse racing, it is. Your past races are going to kind of tell us how your future is going to be. But in this human development space, in an "all things possible" universe, the past has nothing to do... You're one thought away from freedom. You're one thought away from a different life. You're one "yes" away from something completely different.

And that's the real message to people, is that all of this personal development of physical health, spirituality, all of these things without some contentment are worthless. And yet, the contentment is there for anybody who wants to say yes to becoming accountable and making the change. It's all fixable. No matter what it looks like, it's fixable. I don't even care if you're on death row. It's fixable. Everything is fixable. In the spiritual realm, it's all fixable. And what I feel bad about: There's so many people out there selling these spiritual bypasses and shortcuts that actually put people further back into where they were instead of drawing them into something new. And I don't like to bitch about people. I never call these people out. But when I see it, it's something that rubs me the wrong way. Because it's just as easy to do a little bit more work and tell the truth and then push people to where they have this draw themselves. Yeah.

How Spiritual Healing Often Emerges From Emergency

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. No, absolutely. Yeah, from what you were sharing, one of the things that comes to mind is this concept of emergence through emergency, one of Richard Fuller's teachings. That oftentimes, the most profound changes, whether that's at an individual level or at a societal level, come from a place of things looking so dark that you can't see what could possibly be on the other side.

Gerard Powell: Right.

James Schmachtenberger: But it's actually that spark of human ingenuity, creativity, passion that ends up becoming enlivened through dark experiences oftentimes.

Gerard Powell: Amazing. Yeah. Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: I mean, that's one of the things I really saw in your story, especially having heard a more in-depth version. You were in a pretty dark place in many, many ways.

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: You go back to that time and I can't imagine that you were thinking this is what life would look like now.

Gerard Powell: Right. I didn't think I'd be alive. I tried to kill myself two different times. And that is the beauty of the thing though, is that how could it go from... And my case is almost typical. You see this all the time, that this person who's on the brink of self destruction has a new thought, however that thought comes in. And ayahuasca is a great one because it nails it in. Yeah. Has this new thought, and all of a sudden goes from consumption to production, from taking from life to giving to life. And that's the winner.

And if we can stick with that... And what you and I have to remember in our daily businesses: It's sometimes hard in the heat of a day to remember that we're actually in this. Certain days are harder than others, to straddle that. But what I say to folks like us that are trying is that: Man, when you get it right, there's no feeling like that in regular life, when you're in that spot where both vibrations are harmonized through you and you're right where you should be. And you can tell when you are, too, because things are working in this effortless way. And it's a great moment to catch. It's a great moment.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah.

Gerard Powell: Yeah. Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: For sure.

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

How to Be Mission Driven Without Sacrificing Purpose

James Schmachtenberger: No, it is definitely a deeply, deeply evolutionary process, being able to hold these different poles. I think in my experience, in the earlier days, they felt like they pulled in the opposite direction so strongly that it was a very hard thing to actually know how to work with or how to integrate. And then over time, that still happens, but it happens less. And I think, at least for me, they start becoming experienced as progressively more synergistic.

Gerard Powell: A-ha. I heard you with my heart. Yes.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. I know for myself, all the businesses I've done in my life have been very mission-focused and mission-driven, and there was always a deep sense of purpose with them. But in many times, there was also a deep sense of depression and misery, because I had essentially given up any sense of personal life, or even ahead of personal value, in service of a mission. And so, even though I was on purpose, I was actually quite miserable.

Gerard Powell: Right.

James Schmachtenberger: So when I then first started diving in, having experiences with plant medicine or other kinds of profound cathartic experiences, I was like, "Oh, I get to feel this deep, true, beautiful part of myself that I haven't felt in a long time." And there's a big part of me that was like, "I just want to lean into that and I want to stop dealing with all of the difficult parts of business and trying to change the world." And being able to hold those was actually really hard.

But because I was willing to, and I just continued down that path, now what I found is that, over time, it's like now I go have one of these really profound experiences, and rather than wanting to pull away and do something fundamentally different, I actually feel more inspired and more dedicated to do the work. And then, when I do the work and I feel really on purpose and on passion, I'm like, "I also want to balance that with continually tapping into these deeper experiences of life." And it's like now each side kind of feeds the other. And not all the time. There are totally times where things are still difficult, but I've noticed that evolution over the years.

Gerard Powell: And I actually believe that the deeper you go into both sides of that, the processes and practices that work and the astrals also work on earth. It's finding out what they are and how to manage those. And so, what's so interesting is that when I first got into the spiritual business, I thought, "Oh, now I'm in a spiritual business and all of the principles are going to change." But they didn't. Many business principles are spiritual and you can't divest the [inaudible 00:32:38]. It's one interesting integration, this putting it all together, and then finding out where you are and how to optimize that and still enjoy...

I look at people like Mother Teresa, and I really do, and I know that she's easily picked on these days, but, man, she gave so much all the time. I always get charged when people pick on people like that and say, "No, she didn't do anything." Bullshit she didn't do anything. [inaudible 00:33:21] what she did, right? But she didn't look too happy doing it. So the thing is is that that's where I think the art of this thing comes into play is the spiritual business. Principled companies can actually foster an environment. And I'm not a big joy guy. I'm not a big joy guy. But foster an environment of contentment and peace. And that, I guess, to many is joy. People are burning up the thing of "how to be in bliss 24 hours a day." Like all that bullshit. That, to me, it's just not how it works.

James Schmachtenberger: No, I tend to think that's a disconnect from reality. It's not that we don't want to have experiences of bliss, or even have bliss be a significant part of life, but the idea that that's something to aim for as a constant actually just feels like it's trying to bypass the wholeness of life. Because life includes bliss and all kinds of beautiful experiences, but it includes pain and loss and struggle and so many other things. And the only way that I've seen to be able to be in bliss all of the time is to essentially disconnect from reality and not be willing to have the depth that comes from it. But even then, it's not real bliss because it's like if you don't allow yourself to feel close enough to people that you can experience loss when they move out of your life or they pass, it's like then the quality of the bliss that you're experiencing is relatively superficial.

Gerard Powell: Agreed. I so agree. And in that thing, so that feeling of love, is a lot of times what's wrapped up in a Rythmia experience is that people leave, and when they feel that love, they want to become more of a beneficial presence on the planet. And when you take that on, it's easy to talk about it. But when you take it on and say, "I'm actually going to take this on," then the hard work starts. Then, no product that you're going to serve to people is quite good enough, and you have to be perfect at things. And I love that taking that on, because I believe that we all come back and that I want to come back to something better than what I saw this time.

So I was having this chat with someone the other day, and they said, "Well, why are you so hell-bent on this?" And I said, "Well, I believe I'm coming back and I want to come back to a place where more people have had this kind of experience, because it's going to make them gentler and kinder and more accountable, and all these things." And they said, "Well, that's kind of selfish." I said, "Okay, what if I told you that I was doing it for my children? Would that make you feel any better? My children and grandchildren and my great-grandchildren?" Right? Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: Right.

Caring for Our Body and Minds So We Can Contribute the Most Possible as We Age

Gerard Powell: And with what you do, and the products and stuff that you guys have, the one thing that I really believe is: I believe that if you have a spiritual experience and you have age and life experience, you can contribute the most back in your fifties, sixties, and seventies, is what I believe. That's when you care less about what you look like, and less about how tired you might be, and less about what are you doing after work, and less about all these things, and more about, "Hey, I have now these skills." And if we don't take care of our bodies, we cannot give back in the decade that we are at our highest functioning in our particular thing. So I'm big on how to stay healthy, or the benefit of the collective; to give back to this thing that we're involved in.

James Schmachtenberger: Right. It's funny. The last few years, we've been investing a lot in research around increasing longevity. And part of that is that it's just really important work, and part of it is unquestionably selfish on my part.

Gerard Powell: Exactly.

James Schmachtenberger: Because as I look back at my life and I realize how much I thought I knew when I was 20, when I was 30, what that looked like, and I was like, "Oh, actually I didn't know shit." And now I feel like I know something. And then, it's like every five or ten years it passes, there's just so much more knowledge, wisdom, opportunity, and time to have actually integrated. And with all of that time passing, there becomes progressively more ability to actually not just live a great life personally, but contribute in progressively bigger ways. And so, obviously living longer just to experience more and have more fun, it's all wonderful. And for me, so much of it, so of the drive in trying to advance that domain of medicine is: I'm excited to see what I understand and what I can contribute as many years out into the future as possible.

Gerard Powell: Right.

James Schmachtenberger: And I think I finally got to a place where I may be just wise enough to know that I'm an idiot.

Gerard Powell: Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. Yeah, you're singing to the choir there.

James Schmachtenberger: Right. But yeah, I look forward to seeing where that continues. I remember when I was a kid, I had a mentor that was in his seventies, and one of his common phrases was, "You don't know your ass from a hole in the ground until you're at least 50."

Gerard Powell: And there's truth in that. And I believe that 60 and 70 and 80, you'll have the same thoughts.

James Schmachtenberger: Right.

Gerard Powell: Well, you remember, James, when we were young, 50 was freaking old.

James Schmachtenberger: Mm-hmm.

Gerard Powell: 50 was gray-haired. Starting to get bent over a little bit. Walking around this a little bit. 60 was old. 60 was an old person. I'm turning 60 this year, and honestly, I'm physically stronger than I've ever been in my life. I think 80 is the new 60. I really do. I think it's there. And there's so much to give, and you finally really start find your sweet spot in your fifties and sixties, and in all ways. I mean, there are so many internal changes and life experience and pain and sorrow that you've been through, you're a different machine than you were in your thirties and forties.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah.

Gerard Powell: Yeah, I love it. And that's why I believe that anti-aging, stem cells, neurohacking, plant medicine, spirituality, breath work, yoga, all these things, when they're converging, are the stepping stone to changing this whole thing. Together, this thing. And it's interesting too, because it's pulling in people from all different mindsets. The stem cell folks and the anti-aging folks and the spiritual folks weren't in the same camp 15 years ago. And now, everybody seems to be merging into this middle camp of, I guess as the population ages and softens, to this thing where they want these things, they want to live longer, and they want to be a part of it. And that's kind of what your business is about, and that's what my business is about. Yeah.

Defining and Sharing Rythmia Miracles 

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. Absolutely. Well, in the time we have left, I wanted to see if you could share some of the stories of healing that you've seen at Rythmia that have been the most impactful. I know how hard it's to run a business like what you're doing, and so I'm sure it's those experiences and stories that keeps you motivated.

Gerard Powell: What I find so interesting, James, in this is that the depth of everyone's sorrow is the same for all living people. And this is what I find interesting. So my childhood trauma from being molested and my neighbor, his childhood trauma from not getting two servings of bologna sandwiches, feel the exact same. So that split that happens, when that has healed, when that is put back together, that feeling of miracle is just as high whether you came in with stage IV cancer and you're walking out healed, or you didn't know what was wrong with you your whole life and you're on a new thing.

Everybody says when they're talking about their miracle, because they get to know each other, all 90 people get to know each other during the week, they all go, "Now, my childhood wasn't as bad as everybody else's, but, boy, did I get..." So, everybody, it was terrible to them while it was happening to them. And we see families that haven't spoken to each other in 20 or 30 years, fixed. We see people who haven't gone a day without alcohol in 50 years, done. We see people give up smoking. We see people do all these things.

But the most beautiful things are people who you look at them and they're just experiencing life for the first time. They look brand-new. They say there's no such thing as a born-again virgin, but I disagree because I see it every week. People come out of here brand-new. And that is what keeps me going. Now if you read on the internet, a lot of athletes come here and they use it for sports. They do. And that's one out of a hundred. But most people are here to feel new again, to feel the spark of life again, to feel included again. We're such [inaudible 00:46:17] in the last few years. Everything is so divisive. I'm getting sick of every side that I can't watch a Democrat. I can't watch a Republican. I can't watch anybody, because it's so ridiculously divided. And to feel included and not hateful is a great feeling, right?

James Schmachtenberger: Right.

Gerard Powell: And I think that's the next evolution for this. We went through all these cycles, but I really feel that and I think that plant medicine, longevity, fitness, all of these things, spirituality, together are going to be the new thing. And accepting people, not rejecting people. There has to be a change, and I believe we're a part of it. And I believe our businesses are going to help people along that road. Because if you've already done it and you created the way, whether it be through a supplement or a workout routine or a spiritual practice or plant medicine, if you already did it, you're paving the way for others to get there in a more easy manner; and that's what our businesses do. And that's why I immediately liked you and I understood what you were doing, and I get it. I get what's going on. And I was extremely happy that you got down here and got to visit with us.

James Schmachtenberger: Me too.

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: I don't have dates picked out yet, but I'm planning on coming back again in 2023.

Gerard Powell: You're my guest. I'd love to have you. I'd love to have you. Bring me some more of the brain supplements I like.

James Schmachtenberger: No problem. We can definitely do that.

Gerard Powell: Great deal. Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. I love the way that you were sort of describing that healing process, because I know there's a lot of incredible individual stories of people getting past extraordinary traumas or people healing from all kinds of physiological disease.

Gerard Powell: Absolutely.

James Schmachtenberger: But the way you centered that on people, in essence, getting to experience themselves for the first time.

Gerard Powell: And that is it. That is the big miracle. That is it. To get to their truth, to taste life, to be alive, to feel included, to feel worthy. Those things. Worthy, but not overly important. It's just day one. It's day one. And that is the whole thing. You know that when you have a business that brings great light, there's always great opposition. But it's those stories and those people who talk that generate such interest in the things that we're doing. Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah.

Gerard Powell: And that's the beauty of it.

James Schmachtenberger: Totally. No, I mean, it's such important work, because I think most people don't really get to have an experience of what it is to truly be themselves. There's either trauma that they experienced that kind of disconnects them from that. Or even if someone didn't have a meaningfully traumatic life growing up, the way that our society is designed, there's so much ideology, there's so much pressure to be certain ways, to be on this side or to be on that side, to look really good, to make sure that everything you post on Instagram is inspiring, there are so many things from culture and religion and education that just push us into thinking we're supposed to be a certain way, and we go about life through that lens. And there's maybe glimpses of what it is to truly be ourselves, but largely, it's those glimpses through the lens of how we think we're supposed to be.

Gerard Powell: Amazing.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that was something that I definitely got to experience at Rythmia, watching so many people there and through other kinds of similar experiences. That just look of awe and beauty and inspiration on someone's face when they're first feeling who they truly are without any of the attached ideas or ideology of how they're supposed to be.

Gerard Powell: And that is it, too. And in that, when you look at that relief in someone's face and you can see that the regret has left them, the regret that was coming at the end of their life has left them, and they're on what I call "free-wheel," where they're really this creative being that wants to be a beneficial presence on the planet and figure out what their part is, how they can do it; whether that's being a better mother, a better father, a better husband, a better wife, a better aunt, a better uncle, a better community person, a better business person, a better spiritual leader, whatever. But they figure it out, and then if they buy off on it, then they have fulfillment, like what I call "baseline fulfillment."

James Schmachtenberger: Absolutely.

Gerard Powell: Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: Awesome. Well, I really appreciate you coming on and I'm delighted to get to have this conversation. Yeah, I had just such a profound, beautiful experience Rythmia and I'm happy to get the opportunity to spend more time with you, but also get to introduce you and the work that you and the team are doing to a broader community, because I think it's so impactful and I would love to see most everyone be able to go down and have that experience.

Gerard Powell: I would, too.

James Schmachtenberger: So on that note, if people do want to learn more about you or they want to learn about Rythmia, what's the best [inaudible 00:53:11]?

Gerard Powell: It's "www.rythmia," R-Y-T-H-M-I-A, ".com." And please check it out. Please, please see what people are saying. We have an amazing roster of folks that have been through this program, and it really is life-changing. And I know that you hear this kind of thing all the time, but this really is; and we've data to prove it. It changes your life forever. Yeah.

James Schmachtenberger: Yeah.

Gerard Powell: So it's really well worth it. Please come and visit us. We'd love to have you. And, James, I'll see you this year.

James Schmachtenberger: Absolutely.

Gerard Powell: Absolutely, and I'm looking forward to your visit. I am.

James Schmachtenberger: Me too.

Gerard Powell: Cool.

James Schmachtenberger: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Gerry.

Gerard Powell: Thank you so much.

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