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Ted Talk 193: Journey Within: Seeking Clarity Through Ayahuasca At Rythmia

Do you find yourself putting in all the effort to live a healthy, balanced life—exercising, eating right, and practising mindfulness—yet still feeling like something is holding you back? If so, today’s episode is a must-listen.

In today’s episode, Ted is going to talk about the hidden barriers that keep high achievers like you from reaching that next level of fulfilment. He will share his own personal journey of feeling stuck despite doing all the right things and how he’s taking bold steps to break free from this cycle.

Ted will reveal the powerful lesson he learned in the past facing fear and confronting limitations at Rythmia – an all-inclusive luxury resort in Costa Rica known for its medically licensed plant medicine retreats – and the reasons why he decided to go to this place again.

Tune in to this episode to gain valuable insights and actionable strategies for conquering fear, breaking through barriers, and embracing change on your journey to a high-performance lifestyle. Listen now!


You’ll learn:

  • The science behind feeling stuck despite all your efforts and how to identify the hidden factors that might be holding you back
  • Ted’s personal insights into the power of experiential learning and why taking action is the key to unlocking lasting transformation
  • The difference between rational and irrational fears that could be holding you back
  • The role of fear in personal growth and how facing your fears can lead to remarkable breakthroughs in various areas of your life.
  • The remarkable impact of experiential learning on personal growth and breakthroughs
  • How confronting fear head-on can lead to profound shifts in your life
  • Ted’s insights into navigating the fine line between comfort and growth, and why it’s essential to step out of your comfort zone
  • How Ted’s previous experience at Rythmia changed his life
  • The reasons why Ted wants to return at Rythmia despite his fears
  • And much more…


Links Mentioned:


Related Episodes:

318: How To Get Unstuck (So You Can Finally Achieve The Health And Life You Deserve) 

Ted Talk 189: The Resilient Mindset: Strategies for Coping with Stress and Anxiety 

RTF 106: How to Leave your Comfort Zone and Enter your ‘Growth Zone’    


Podcast Transcription: Ted Talk 193: Journey Within: Seeking Clarity Through Ayahuasca At Rythmia  

Ted Ryce: Do you exercise regularly? Do your best to eat the right things, focus on sleep optimization. Maybe you even meditate, do breathwork, hop in cold plunges, or use the sauna, but do you also feel like there's something keeping you stuck? Either you're not able to achieve that next level in your life, or maybe you actually feel like you're being dragged down. 

Today’s podcast is about something I'm going to do personally to get unstuck because I've been feeling a bit stuck. So if you are a person who feels like you're doing a lot of things right, but you're still not having that breakthrough, and what I mean by breakthrough is that experience of your life where you feel like, you know what? 

I feel satisfied. I'm present. I'm not worried about the future or regretting the past. That's what today's going to be about. It's going to be a personal story, but I promise you there's going to be lessons here for you that you can apply to your life. So let's hop in. What is up, my friend, and welcome to the Legendary Life Podcast. 

I'm your host, Ted Rice, a health expert and coach, to executives, entrepreneurs, and other high-performing professionals. We put on this show for two reasons. One, I've been in this industry for 24 years. I've seen it all and tried most of it, and what I want to do here is save you from the trial and error, save you from the confusion, and give you actionable results, delivering practical advice so that you can level up your health. And Level up your life.  

And the second reason is if you are one of those high performers and you know the value of your time, and you're tired of searching the internet and trying to piece together a plan for yourself, and you just want an expert to do it for you to fast-track your results, to get as much success with your health as you do with your wealth, you'll know that I'm the guy to hire. 

So, let's get into this story. I love health and fitness, but it's not really what I'm passionate about. I'm passionate about living what I refer to as a high-performance lifestyle, and I consider myself a high-performance person. And what I mean by that is how often are you feeling like your best? How often are you feeling and performing your best? 

How often are you living up to that person, you know you can be? And again, I think it just comes back to are you in the zone, are you present, or are you thinking about the past or worrying about the future? How often are you present-focused, or how often are you distracted doom-scrolling on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or TikTok? Gosh, there are so many.  

Sometimes even when we're doing so many things right, we're hopping in cold plunges and eating the superfoods and doing the zone 2 cardio and lifting weights, meditating, journaling. You can still get stuck, and I'm feeling that way now.  

So what I'm doing is I'm going back to RYTHMIA. Now, f you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that I went to Rythmia in 2018, and Rythmia is an all-inclusive luxury resort that's medically licensed for plant medicine, and it's located in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. And when I went in 2018, I didn't want to go. I had a friend of mine who told me, Hey, listen, you should really go to this place I just went, I had an incredible breakthrough. I think it's right up your alley, and it's something that you'll really appreciate. 

And I thought to myself, you know, I've already done so much of the psychedelic stuff in my teens and early twenties, I took the LSD and the mushrooms and MDMA, and I had been reading about ayahuasca since I was in my late teens. 

In fact, a fun fact is I wanted to study Neuropsychobiology, or Psycho-neurobiology. I'm getting confused now. It's been; it was when I was 19. But basically, I wanted to study how drugs affected the neurochemistry of our brain and how that led to changes in our psychology. So, I didn't want to go back and start playing around with psychedelics again. 

And in 2018, earlier that year, I had just moved to Thailand, and it was one of the biggest periods of growth. One of the biggest years of growth in my life. I was immersed in a Buddhist culture in Thailand. I started meditating and learning about Buddhism. I started learning all about Southeast Asian culture. 

I traveled to Vietnam for the first time, a place that I only saw in the Vietnam War movies growing up in the eighties and nineties, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, all those movies that we watched during those times, I went to Vietnam, and it was an experience in itself. I also went to Malaysia, a place I never thought I'd go in my entire life. 

I visited Hong Kong, an incredible place, unlike any other city I've ever been to. I spent time in Cambodia and went to see the ruins in Siem Reap, as well as traveling around in Thailand. It was transformative.  

So, my friend, he told me this at the peak experience of my life, one of the peak years of my life, Hey, you should go do this thing. It'll take you to the next level. I'm like, there's no way that doing that's going to take me to the next level. I'm sorry, but I was wrong.  

I had a lot of reluctance to go to Rythmia and drink ayahuasca. I was freaked out. I thought, I don't want to have a heart attack. I mean, I don't know why. I think it's; I've struggled with anxiety for a long time and was still struggling a bit with anxiety at the time. 

I didn't want to have a heart attack, even though there's nothing wrong with my heart, by the way. I've been checked, although I've been in the emergency room twice for panic attacks, once in my late twenties and once in my mid-thirties. So, I just have this fear of having a heart attack, even though it's probably one of the best ways to die. 

 This, anyway, I'm not going to go off on that tangent, but I didn't want to have a heart attack, so I ended up talking to the medical officer at Rythmia, Jeff McNary, and he put my concerns at ease.  

And he also said, what I love about Rythmia is he also said, 'Listen, we have physicians on staff, we have an EMT during the ceremonies, we have modern medical equipment and modern medical care if anyone has a problem. And by the way, we've never had a problem at Rythmia. Nobody's ever died there from taking ayahuasca.'  

So that put me at ease. I don't know why, but I just had so much fear about it and I went and it changed my life. And if you listen to the podcast during that time, you know what I'm talking about. You heard me interview Jerry, the founder and owner of Rythmia, and man, I cried a lot on that podcast. It was, uh, it was an intense experience. Let me tell you, and if you're interested in listening to it, 'cause you haven't heard it yet, it's episode 33,4, 'How Plant Medicine Can Change Your Life,' with Jerry Powell. So again, that's episode 334, if you want to listen to it. And wow, it was game-changing, but now I'm going back and I don't want to go back. So why am I doing it?  

Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, I've been trying so many things to get to the next level, and I feel like I've been leveling up. But I still feel a bit stuck. I feel like I'm doing a lot of things, but I'm not getting the results that I want.  

And if you know anything about me from listening to this podcast, you know I'm focused on results. If your strategy's not working, it's simply because your strategy isn't good.  

And when I think back to my time at Rythmia and how that seven-day experience gave me clarity that... Honestly, I don't think is possible with any other method, and how that experience at Rythmia forever changed the trajectory of my life and how it helped me to see what was holding me back at the time. I feel like, you know what? I need to go back.  

And as I said, my business is doing better than ever. Financially speaking, our clients are getting breakthrough results with fat loss in their health. The lifestyle I live, it's something that most people only dream about. The friends I've made along the way are people I know that are, that I'm going to be connected to forever.  

So many things are going well. So, if that's the case, then why am I feeling stuck? Well, as you may know, my dad died in 2020. I've mentioned it a lot. And during that time, I shared what I was going through, and if you listen to my podcast during that time, I'm sure you remember the feeling you got from listening to me. A few of my clients said, 'Whoa, I, I know you're really going through it.  

In fact, I stopped working with clients for a year because I was just, I needed to really spend... I saw that my dad's health was failing, and, um, I knew I needed to be there for him a hundred percent. 

So I just... I finished up the contracts with the clients I had at the time, and then I turned clients away. It really hurt to do that, to be honest. I knew I was taking a step back in business, but I knew I had to step up for him and I knew I would regret it if I didn't... if I didn't sacrifice to be there for him.  

And I want to be clear about something, accepting our death and the death of people we love... It's a challenge in itself, but it was watching him fall apart and seeing him struggle and how I started to see myself falling in his footsteps and how I had some of the same habits that he had, even though I'm a very different person and I... I got scared. I'm falling in his footsteps.  

I'm going to end up like him. I don't want to end up like my dad. I love him dearly, but he made so many mistakes, especially with his health. And again, that's not judging him in the sense that he just didn't know.  

And to be honest, even me looking at things where I'm at now, I think about things differently, meaning... I didn't even see the mistakes he was making at the time, but I see them now. And while I'm grateful that I was able to take that year off and... take that year off and help him during the last months of his life, I feel like that experience left me with emotional baggage. 

I've been dragging around for the past three years. I feel like it's renting space in my head. It's like if on a computer where there are just too many things going on and it's taking up too much RAM, so you can't focus, your computer just isn't focused enough. It's not fast enough.  

And I want to say this, it's not because I haven't been trying. If you know anything about me, I meditate almost daily. I exercise daily. I have productivity routines. I've done massages and float tanks and breathwork. Those are just a few of the things I've done, and they all work to some degree, but I know that I'm not where I need to be.  

There's something either keeping me stuck or preventing me from getting to that next level, and I want to break through that glass ceiling. That's part of the reason I know I need to go back, and I don't want to go, to be honest.  

When I started thinking about this idea of going back to Rythmia and the experience I would have there, I started getting afraid. And that's also part of the reason that I know I need to get back. Because if it was just logic, if it was just, 'Well, yeah, Rythmia isn't really what I need. I don't need to drink ayahuasca right now.. That's not really what I need. That might even be a distraction. 

 It was coming from a logical place. But if I'm honest, there's fear there. There's fear that stops me from, not stops me from going back, but there's fear that comes up and that fear was causing me to freeze and be indecisive. Should I go or no, I shouldn't go, I should go. Or no, I shouldn't go. I shouldn't go. Because here are the reasons. No, no, you really should go. And you know what?  

That indecision, it's showing up in other ways in my life. It was showing up in my, uh, my last relationship. Do I want to be with her or do I not want to be with her? Well, I want to be with her, these are all the reasons I want to be with her. You know what? You don't want to be with her, really. You should be with someone else because here are all the reasons you shouldn't be. Indecisiveness. Where should I go next in the world? I got to leave because my three-month period is up. 

So where am I going to go in the world? I think I'm going to go to Lisbon. Oh, you know what? I should go to Miami. I haven't been there for, no, I don't want to go to Miami. But that indecisiveness, it's a sign that you aren't performing at a high level. I don't care what you say or what you do. And I'm mostly talking to myself here. 

There's nothing I can do. There's nothing I can say because the truth is this indecision, it's been popping up in other places in my life and it's really messing things up for me, and it sucks, and I've been trying hard to get rid of it. With so many things, and please, when I say stuff like this, I know you mean well, if you reach out to me and give me your advice, but I don't need your advice. 

I don't share this because I'm asking for your advice. Giving advice to people is actually a sign, it's one of the things that keep us all stuck. Nobody needs your advice. Nobody needs you to comment about it. It's really about action. It's really about action. What keeps us from taking action is this overthinking, is this indecisiveness, is this fear in this case, and if you know me, you know one of my favorite quotes in the entire English language is from Joseph Campbell. 

He said, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek." I'm going to say it again. "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek." Why am I so afraid to go back to Rythmia? What do I think I'm going to see or experience? I know I'm in good hands at Rythmia. I know they'll take care of me like they did last time. 

I know that the experience has the potential to change my life. I know coming out of Rythmia, even if it's not a breakthrough change the trajectory of my life experience like it was last time, I know I'm going to be in a better place because, hey, I'm going to be in Costa Rica for a week, getting massages, taking mud baths, and being in nature. Doing breathwork. They do a bunch of things at Rythmia. It's not just drinking ayahuasca. 

And so why am I so afraid? I could list the reasons, but ultimately it comes down to a feeling that pops up when I think about going back and I know I must conquer my feeling of fear to move ahead in my life. 

This is the essence of what it means to be high performance. It's not about the therapy or the meditation or the cold plunges or the saunas or the supplements or the Zone two cardio or any of those other things. Are you facing your fear? Are you, as my friend, Sterling Hawkins, would say, hunting discomfort in your life and having a habit of hunting discomfort? 

Because it all starts with this awareness to know the difference between rational fear and irrational fear. I'll give you an example. A rational fear is like, have you ever watched those videos of people who are climbing towers with no safety equipment and they get to the top and they take a selfie? 

There were all these videos going around. A lot of them I think were Russians and I'm even my palms are sweating just thinking about it. So that's a rational fear if you're afraid of doing something crazy like that because you can fall and die and those people do fall and die sometimes. I don't mean to laugh at it, but it's just like, it's super risky. 

But then there's irrational fear.Public speaking is an example of that. Having conversations, tough conversations with the people you care about is an example of that, and certainly fearing to face what's lurking beneath your subconscious. If you drink. Ayahuasca, for example, is also irrational. I know I need to face it.  

Another reason I'm going back is because my friend Sterling Hawkins will be the guest speaker for the week, and I've been, it's kind of funny how this happened because he told me he was going to be the guest speaker and I started looking at, okay, I need to try to go to Rythmia then, and then I reached out to Rythmia to organize it and I was again, with indecisiveness back and forth and back and forth should I go? I was putting it off and scared and procrastinating, and finally I made the decision to go. 

And one of the things that let me know that it was the right decision... Because as soon as I spoke to Sterling about how I was feeling, he shared with me that he was feeling something similar, and immediately I felt less fear because I wouldn't be going on this journey alone. Because Rythmia is much more than just drinking Ayahuasca. The people who you meet, there are people who are playing at a high level in life and you're going through this experience together to get to the next level, to face your fears.  

It's one of the most powerful things you can do with another person is to go through those experiences together. And Sterling, you know, he's been on the show, if you don't know, he's been on the show a couple of times. He wrote the book Hunting Discomfort, which is a masterpiece of high performance of what you would call a step-by-step process for becoming a high-performance person.  

And it really is about what we're talking about here, facing your fears. And he's going to be giving workshops there. But if I'm honest, it came back to that feeling I had when I was talking with him and I felt like I'm going, I'm going to face my fears with my brother, with my friend. 

So, the last reason I'm going back is for you. Not to be a role model. It sounds kind of cheesy, but I want to model the behavior that I think we all need to take when we're feeling stuck. Not that you have to go to Rythmia, although if you're curious about it, you should definitely go to their website and look it up: 

It's a luxury resort, but you get what you pay for. If you want to pay a hundred, a couple hundred bucks, you're going to get what you pay for there. But if you want a safe, really incredibly curated experience, Rythmia, there's just no place like it. So, whether Rythmia is right for you or whether drinking ayahuasca is right for you, I want to model the behavior of not staying stuck, of taking action because we live in a culture of being stuck in America, and we have for a long time.  

I mean, we take action when it comes to making money. We take a lot of action. We're the richest country in the world. Oh, we'll take action and put all our family ahead of us and take care of our kids and pay 50,000 or $40,000 a year each for each to get the kids in private school and to pay for the best colleges. But we'll stay stuck ourselves and also model that for your children.  

Meaning so many of my clients say, well, my kid, I'm out of shape, but my kids are in shape. It's like, yeah, and guess what's going to happen when they get to be your age, they're going to do the same thing that you did. They're going to be like, well, I used to be in shape, but now I'm out of shape 'cause I got the kids and we keep passing on these routines.  

And so, what I want to model for you and be in the habit of doing for myself is to take action when we're feeling stuck. And especially in the states. And I think the UK and Canada are really like this as well. We scroll, we scroll, social media, doom-scrolling as, as the kids call it these days. 

We'll read books, that's great. And we'll think deeply, also great, but it doesn't get us unstuck. Why? Because we are all focused on learning, learning, learning, learning, learning, and not applying. What we don't do, take action. Why do you think I say take action? What are you going to do differently after listening to this podcast? 

Take action. Because we're in the habit of not taking action. That's not a lack of a habit. It is a habit. We're in the habit of staying frozen. Of staying stuck and no judgments. 'Cause I've been there myself, even though I've been taking a lot of action. But if I'm honest, and if you're honest with yourself, it's not about the actions you're taking, it's about the results that you're getting. 

And I want to even make the argument here that all the information we consume is another way of doing nothing. But it gives us the feeling like we're doing something and the problem is this. We're operating or I'll use myself. So I'm operating at the 1.0 level, let's say, or maybe 2.0, you know, or 3.0. 

But my point is this, I'm looking at my life right now through who I am right now. And Albert Einstein is credited with the saying, you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. Now, whether that's true or not as as far as whether he said it or not, I believe that's true.  

So often I've been in my life, I've been in a place in my life, I've been trying to solve the challenges that I'm facing, but really, unsatisfied with the results. And it wasn't because of my expectations, but it's because I know I can do better, but I can't figure out how to do better even though I'm trying really hard. 

So, the key, what I've learned is not to stay stuck and keep trying hard. It's to change ourselves. It's really to do the hard thing and change ourselves. We must change ourselves to change the way we look at our challenges. And how does that change happen? It comes through experience. When I went to Thailand in 2018, sold everything I had moved there with Giselle. 

It was transformative. Incredible. You can't get that from thinking, you can't get that from reading a book. You can't get that from listening to podcasts. You have to do, you have to take action. And while I've done some cool stuff, I mean, I've scuba dived with bull sharks in Mexico. I've also done caved diving. 

I've gone back to jujitsu. I started therapy. Doing all this stuff, but I'm still walking around with this feeling of being stuck and it's. How do I know heightened levels of anxiety that no matter what I do, they get better, but then they come right back up, they get better, then come right back up. And so, I know this change only comes through experience. 

And the greater the experience or more challenging the experience, the greater shift that we have, the greater amount of change that we have. And while I have no idea what will happen at Rythmia, what I do know is that experience, it's bringing up fear. So right now I know I point my compass in that direction. 

I'm, it's not fear like, oh my God, I'm going to die. Although it is, actually, it is that, if I'm being honest, it's that I feel like I might die, but it's not a rational fear 'cause I'm not going to die. I'm not in poor health with a heart condition. In that case, you know, it could kill you, right? Smoking weed could kill you, alcohol could kill you, exercise could kill you if you're in bad enough shape. 

But that's not my case. It's fear of what I'm going to see and experience, but I know there's no real danger. And afterward, I'm going to feel better. So, here I go. I'll be there. From August 20th and leaving on August 27th, and I'm going to report on this. So, this is the first pre-episode, pre-Rythmia episode, and I want you to do something. 

I'm showing up right now. I'm speaking to you in the way that I'm speaking to you. I'm talking about things the way I'm talking about things, and there's an intensity to it. 'Cause I've drank some Brazilian coffee. I'm in Brazil right now. The coffee's, got a lot of caffeine, but it's also, I don't know if you can hear it, but there's some angst going on as well, and it's not a bad thing. 

Again, I'm in a good place in my life. Nobody would look at my life and go like, man, you really got to get your act together, Ted. I mean, on paper, I've done some incredible things, but it's not about, on paper, it's, I, I have more money in the bank account than I've ever had in my life, but it's not about that. 

Rich people - I shouldn't say rich people, what does that even mean, I don't know - but people who have multi-millions, millions of dollars in the bank account, kill themselves. It's not about the money. It's about how we feel. It's not about the things we write down on paper. It's about how we feel. So, I want you to pay attention to how you feel from listening to this episode, and then listen to the post-episode. 

I don't know how it's going to be. I don't know how I'm going to be, but I guarantee you there's going to be a difference. And that's what I'm talking about. That's what I'm talking about. There's a shift that happens through an experience, and somehow you just start showing up differently. So, I want you to pay attention to that. 

And maybe it doesn't happen. Let's see. I don't even know. I think so. I think I'll have a big breakthrough again. Will it be the same, will it be less? Will it be more? Will it be different? I think it'll be different. And that uncertainty is part of what the fear is. But again, where there's fear, there's also treasure, and we must go, we must enter those caves and slay our own dragons if we're going to be rewarded with the treasure of what's inside.  

That's it for me. I hope today's episode inspired you, or at least created some curiosity for you. And as always, please think about what you can do after listening to this episode, and I look forward to reporting back after my week at Rythmia. 

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