A Manifesto of Sorts…
I can honestly say that I am filled with gratitude for the series of events that made 2022 one of the most traumatic and transformative years of my life, because it was those events that were the catalyst for the creation of this podcast.
At the onset of 2022, in many ways I felt in flow.
At 42 years old, I was in the best physical shape of my life and my career was taking off in exciting new directions that I believed would lead to a greater positive impact on animals, humans, and the Planet.
I was on an intensive path of self-discovery, holistic health, and spiritual growth. I was practicing mindful movement, breath-work, and meditation, and exploring psychedelics as a tool for expanding my consciousness.
I decided I was finally ready to navigate life without the aid of antidepressant medications, which I’d been using since being diagnosed with major depressive disorder at the age of 16.
Shortly after weaning myself from antidepressants, a perfect storm formed and took me for a wild and painful ride.
I spiraled into the depths of depression and burn-out hit me like a ton of bricks. I injured my spine and was unable to use my most effective coping mechanism… movement. Anxiety consumed me.
It felt like the fabric of my wellbeing was quickly unraveling.
There were countless tears, plenty of dark moments, and even times when I said to myself, “I know life is a game… I’m just not feeling up for playing the game anymore.”
I decided to take radical action.
My intuition told me that my path to wholeness and inner peace included disconnecting from everything I knew and traveling to the jungles of Peru for an authentic, 12-day ayahuasca retreat.
My Intuition Was Right
As transformational as the experience with plant medicine, shaman, and facilitators in the Amazon was however, I soon came to discover that the real work started once I got back home and began the integration process.
I felt like a caterpillar in the cocoon going through metamorphosis, at the point in the transformation where the caterpillar is neither a caterpillar nor a butterfly. It was all part of the process.
A few weeks after returning from Peru my beloved young cat Bob had a tragic accident, falling from my balcony, and dying in my arms on the way to the hospital.
Bob was a soul-mate. He was the most joyful, loving, curious, playful creature I’ve ever known. He went with the flow. He was incredibly comfortable in his skin. He never complained. He was full of gratitude and love. He was my rock. He filled my home full of beautiful, light energy.
People might say I saved him from the streets. But the reality is that he saved me. My sensei Bob showed me what it meant to BE peace… To BE love… To BE present moment awareness… To BE in flow.
I suffered immensely following Bob’s death. The pain felt unbearable, and yet, thanks to the discoveries I’d made with the guidance of plant, human, and animal teachers (including Bob himself), I approached pain very differently than in past years.
Instead of hiding, numbing, and distracting myself, I sat in the extreme discomfort and allowed myself to fully mourn and grieve.
Instead of repeating the same narrative I’d used my whole life… “I can get through this on my own…” I shared my struggles and accepted the love and support of others.
I came to understand that it takes great courage to love as deeply as I loved Bob. The deeper we experience love, the deeper we experience the pain of loss. And the work is to, in the midst of the suffering, see the grace and acknowledge the perfection of it all.
In the months to follow it felt like I took the full plunge into a state of profound curiosity, and entered a fast-track to inner evolution, with an emphasis on practicing the art of non-attachment.
I’m not only talking about non-attachment to material things, but also to all earthly experiences, connections, and outcomes.
I felt as though I was becoming a true explorer, experiencing life like an adventure.
My body began to heal and my physical strength returned.
I soon found myself being able to stay in my conscious mind, connected to “the observer,” more often than not.
I found myself living with intention and in gratitude most of the time, whether experiencing joy or sadness, pleasure or pain, which I believe are all necessary if we’re to have the full human experience.
It was from this new state of being that the Rise and Thrive podcast was born.
The podcast represents new beginnings, a time of change and growth, self-reflection and self-discovery, and allowing the Universe to guide us toward our truth.
I wanted to create a show that would help people, including myself, connect with inspiring human beings who are committed to helping elevate the well-being of individuals and the collective, and who are navigating life with love and an adventurous spirit.
Rise and Thrive was founded on the principle that the path to wholeness includes practicing Ahimsa, non-violence toward all living beings, through our daily actions, including our food choices, as a means for contributing to a more kind and compassionate world.
I LOVE connecting intimately with the guests I bring on the show… Challenging them with deep questions they’ve never been asked before, AND sparking plenty of laughter along the way, accessing humor while also leaning into the “tough stuff.” How I live my own life is how I guide these episodes. It’s all about embracing the full human experience, valuing human connection, and championing compassion for all living beings!
I’m grateful to our growing base of listeners and supporters, for opening their minds and hearts to the information we’re sharing, and their commitment to take what they discover and use it to shine their light more brightly in this world.
– Ella Magers
YOUR SUPPORT IS APPRECIATED
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