A few months ago, the entire Collective Evolution team was invited to spend a week in Costa Rica at a place called Rythmia. I had never heard of it before but was definitely intrigued, as I had always felt a pull to visit the country. I didn’t ask any questions. I just said, “I’m in,” and went on the trip.
I only found out a few weeks before my actual trip that it was the first medically licensed plant medicine center in the world. That’s when I started getting really excited, and still my expectations were far exceeded by the reality of this place: organic food (and no alcohol, which was something I wasn’t really used to on a resort), colonics, massages, classes, workshops, and so much more, all in one place. It was like a slice of heaven.
I participated in two ceremonies while I was there, which were so profound for me. I was able to peek into the future, and now that some time has passed, many of the things I saw have come to fruition.
Aside from the revelations I had through the medicine, I got to meet someone who blew me away. He just had this energy to him that you could tell was special. His name was Gerard Powell (Gerry), and he is one of the co-founders of Rythmia. Down-to-earth and humble, he made sure everything was perfect.
I truly felt at home.
The following day I attending his talk. That’s where I got totally blown away. His story is nothing short of a miracle in my eyes and has so much depth to it on so many levels. In a nutshell, here is Gerard’s story:
Gerard was born in Scranton.
He was kicked out of school at 17.
He went to jail.
He became a millionaire in his 20s.
He became a multimillionaire in his 30s.
He sold his company for $90 million in his 40s.
After achieving the American dream, he tried to commit suicide, twice.
He just couldn’t get his life together and didn’t know why.
He was addicted to alcohol, injectable Demerol, and cocaine.
In a last ditch effort to turn things around, he tried plant medicine…
His life would never be the same.
Over the years, he opted to try anything available that might help him hide from himself and his “perfect” life. For most of his existence, he suffered from addiction and depression, incessantly trying to fill the hole deep within, with little or no success.
His business history is nothing short of miraculous. He grew up in a very modest home and, unable to focus in school, eventually dropped out. After several unsuccessful business ventures, in 1991 he partnered in a building and development company. His inner guidance directed him to discontinue this line of work, however, but he remained involved long enough to consummate a deal that netted him more than a million dollars — while still in his twenties.
Gerard went on to build multiple companies from the ground up, later selling them for hundreds of millions of dollars. In 1995, Powell started thatlook.com, the first company organized to provide mass-market access to cosmetic surgery procedures. In 1999, Powell took thatlook.com public, and the company achieved a market value of approximately $150 million. Subsequently, he and his management team founded looksforless.com, mimicking and exceeding the same business success with a different business model. He was living the good life — too good, in fact.
“I sold my company for $94 million dollars. I had five houses, 20 plus cars, and two planes. I achieved the American dream but I was hooked on Demerol, was an alcoholic, and was suicidal. I realized something was very wrong because the more I acquired the more I suffered. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and travelled the world on my journey to heal myself through every self-help and healing modality I could find.
A friend introduced me to plant medicine and in one night I had an experience that transformed my existence and liberated me from a lifetime of suffering.”
The plant medicine took him on a journey to his past, way back to when he was only three or four years old. He was shown things that had been erased from his memory — abuse at the hands of his own grandfather when he was still just a child. In answer to his most pressing question — “Why am I such a bad person?” — the plant medicine showed him this event, the root of all his anger pain and suffering.
In one night he was able to gain closure, and come to terms with so many questions he had asked about himself throughout his life that hundreds of thousands of dollars thrown at them couldn’t answer.
The next day he was a new man. When he returned home, his family and friends could immediately tell this was not the same Gerry they knew, and they were elated.
He rebuilt his relationship with his family and no longer had any addictions.
(I must note that plant medicine is not a miracle cure in all cases. Gerry went on to do many ceremonies afterward and also made many change in his life. The potential for transformation through plant medicine is unlike anything I have ever experienced myself or seen help others to transform, BUT it doesn’t always work like that 100% of the time.)
As a result of his experience, he decided to open a center in Costa Rica (Rythmia) that would offer all of the modalities that had had the greatest impact on his life, enabling him to share them with as many people as possible.
He visited Costa Rica and found the current location of the Rythmia in Guanacaste, one of the five blue zones in the world where people live happiest and longest. He purchased an 81-bed hotel and renovated it, making it the go-to facility for a spiritually awakening vacation experience poised to enable guests to experience healing and life transformation during their stay. He shares the story of how he picked this spot in the interview below, and it will really blow your mind.
Gerard now speaks to audiences and organizations relying on his signature unfiltered style, filled with humour, authenticity, and an inherent ability to inspire.
Rythmia and Gerry’s story are featured in a just-released documentary titled The Reality of Truth, along with thought leaders including Joel Olsteen, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, and more, as well as actors Michelle Rodriguez and Peter Coyote.
It has just been released for free on YouTube and you can watch it here.
If you think this story is incredible, you haven’t heard anything yet. I got to sit down with Gerard at Rythmia and ask him about his actual experience on plant medicine that night. He had flown 11 hours straight from somewhere in Southeast Asia (drinking the entire flight) only to meet an African shaman eating a Big Mac with Mac sauce dripping down the front of his shirt upon his arrival.
He questioned for a minute how this man could offer anything different from what all the money in the world could buy in regards to treating his disease, but he trusted. Gerry asked, “So when do we start?” and the shaman replied, “We start tonight.”
Gerry’s escape from his nightmare came from revelations about his childhood and things he had no recollection of, that he describes in his interview.
After many ceremonies, Gerry learned some amazing things from the plant medicine, like how every single one of us experiences a split from our spirit or true self somewhere in childhood, and how this split is intentional by design. It’s part of the challenge we all face to become who we really are, to come back to our true selves and reach some sort of completion in life. That’s how I interpret it, anyways.
I hope you enjoy the interview!
Oh, I almost forgot!
Please feel free to connect with me on Facebook here, or on our show page, The Way Within, here. We also have an incredible community that is building with people who are on their own journeys of self discovery, and the community is the perfect place to find and support others and to share your own experiences. You can access that here.
I’ll be at Rythmia hosting a Wim Hof Method/WAY experience workshop and would love for you to join us! Here is the link to that event www.rythmia.link/bartolomeoevent.
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