Home' Nova National : September 2009 Contents 34 © NOVA SEPTEMBER 2009
People can change. Yes, maybe
we are built of DNA, and spend
our lives acting out patterns set
by families and ancestors. But still, our
culture is alive with stories of those
who outrun their demons, poverty
and the wounds of their past to find
success, redemption, love. Whether
by accident or intention, somehow
they find a tiny crack in their rigid
framework, and step through.
Gary de Rodriguez's life has been
a meditation on this process and
possibility. A traumatic youth prompted
him to quest for healing. He embraced
a disciplined spiritual path, explored
the wisdom of indigenous cultures
(including his own Native American
Indian ancestry) and studied one of the
most powerful tools for change -- the
Combining the spiritual traditions
technologies, Gary de Rodriguez now
travels the world delivering seminars
on healing and personal transformation.
After spending a few hours talking
with Gary in a Perth cafe, I see he is not
only passionate about relieving the
suffering of others, but he is someone
who has passed through the fire himself.
And now he sits before me, a man in his
mid fifties with a warm, olive skinned
glow, smile wrinkles and a story to tell.
What motivated you to
become interested in personal
I had a highly turbulent youth. By the
time I was 18 I had done everything
you can do to hit the wall and die. I'd
been molested, I'd been raped, I'd been
an IV drug addict, I'd been agoraphobic...
I've been through all these deep dark
valleys that many of us have been
through. I know what it's like to go there. I
know what it's like to ascend out of it.
How did you begin to change your
At the age of 17, I embraced a very
structured spiritual path incorporating
yoga, vegetarianism, celibacy. For 18
years, I meditated from 3am to 6am
Did this spiritual path give you what
you were looking for?
Well, in some ways I had just exchanged
one extreme for the other. I was
really frustrated and hungry a lot [Gary
laughs]. I did find peace, yes, but not
healing. This method of overcoming
the pain was to deny my mind and my
past. It didn't work.
Unresolved issues continued to
create turbulence... that meditation
could only calm temporarily. What I wanted
was something that could really deal with
my personal story.
So I was still in deep emotional
pain. I began to understand that I would
stay in the same emotional state unless
I began to address my own story, the
deep structure of what I've created. This is
why it's so important that we address what
has happened to us.
How did you decide to address this?
Where did you go from here?
My interest in healing began about
30 years ago, when the AIDS crisis
first hit North America. Myself and five
others held the first AIDS education
seminar in Southern California. We ran
an AIDS holistic response program, with
different practitioners giving free services
to anyone affected. We had acupuncturists,
chiropractors, we offered massages,
a course in miracles. And I facilitated
In those days you were dead in
three months. Here I was with 70 to
100 people who were dying, and as a
facilitator I was allowing all of their
emotional states to resurface. It was very
So I required something more. I
required it to be fast. I needed a tool
to help people -- people with only
three months to live -- resolve what
had happened in their lives. So I began
seeking for something.
Knowing the subconscious mind
was so powerful, I thought to get a quick
change I'd have to work on that level.
An interest in hypnosis led me to discover
NLP [Neuro Linguistic Programming].
I have never found anything better
for unravelling the past and directing
They say the best healers
have endured intense
suffering and found strength
by turning towards the
light. One such is Gary de
Rodriguez, who travels
the world sharing the
wisdom borne from his own
turbulent life journey. He
speaks with Lisette Kaleveld.
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