by Jenita Richards
Kerry Rhodes spent his youth and adolescence as part of a strong team. When he won, they won. When they lost, he lost. As a professional football player, your identity is your teammate’s identity and you all share the identity of the team. Since he was nine years old, this was life to Kerry Rhodes. This was everything and all he knew.
Then in 2012, at the age of thirty, he played his last professional football game. And left his identity on the field.
It was time for Rhodes to figure out for himself what life really was, without football. In the podcast, Rhodes expresses how commonplace this is for those in the profession and many struggle with it. After having it consume his whole life, now he was expected to separate his identity from this.
How was he going to be “normal?”
Rhodes was lucky to have seen a number of friends before and after their journey with ayahuasca. He wanted that same before and after.
“It gave me a new profound vision for my life.”
More than the spiritual effects, there was an interest in what he had heard about ayahuasca’s regenerative effects on the brain. As a former professional athlete, the awareness of CTE was prevalent. Studies have shown that 99% of former NFL players’ brains showed signs of this neurodegenerative disease.
Recent studies show us that ayahuasca can stimulate the birth of new neurons in the brain. These studies are still ongoing to understand more. But with this knowledge, more and more former athletes are turning to these psychedelics to explore these effects.
Going into the mostly unknown experience, it was important for Rhodes to learn that control was just an illusion. And this letting go opened him to deeper self discoveries.
“I heard the words from God I needed to hear to reaffirm and confirm who I am on this earth.”
These words helped him to step into the role he always knew he was meant for, being a healer. He was ready to fulfill his purpose of being a guiding light for others. Because of the profound revelations he experienced, Rhodes’ chronicled his first ayahuasca journey in a documentary.
As he helped a loved one at Beond ibogaine clinic, he was able to step into his healer role.. This is a person close to him who was lost in the world, drowning in opioid addiction and depression. This was his time to let go and explore how supporting this person close to him would mean going through this process together, essentially.. While Rhodes wouldn’t physically be taking the ibogaine journey with this person, their healing would be tied together.
On the other side of that journey,
“He got to see these glimpses again of who he can be and who he is.”
There is hope.
They felt such strong love and support from the team at Beond which is so crucial to an addiction journey. Those who are going through recovery tend to feel alone and like outcasts, he says, no matter how many people show up. This sense of community is needed for those suffering to relate and integrate.
When helping others, Kerry Rhodes goes back to initial moments pondering the illusion of control. He explores how he and those looking to help have to remove their expectations related to what you may want for that person and let it and the medicine take its course.
Looking to support a family member or loved one? Rhodes offers his advice.
“Have an open mind… Broaden your heart… Commit to bettering yourself.”