Psychedelic Therapy: Healing Trauma And Building Resilience With Hardi Põder
Embrace vulnerability, face your fears, and transform your traumas – the path to resilience starts within. Join us as we sit withHardi Põder, founder of InLibrium, to talk about personal transformation, resilience, and the profound impact of trauma on our lives. Hardi opens up about his own experiences, sharing how trauma and limiting beliefs held him back for years, even while he appeared to be thriving on the surface. Through his story, he shares how he discovered the power of vulnerability and how embracing it can lead to personal growth. Hardi also explores the role of psychedelics in self-discovery and healing, shedding light on how psychedelics can serve as a catalyst for awareness and transformation. He emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach that combines these experiences with professional therapy and coaching for lasting change. Tune in now and challenge the way you see your own life's journey.
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Psychedelic Therapy: Healing Trauma And Building Resilience With Hardi Põder
It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Hardi Põder. Hardi is a skilled entrepreneur and a visionary leader with a diverse background in various fields, including agriculture, IT, retail, and so much more. With an educational background in economics and business communication, Hardi has found nine successful companies over the past few years.
Having led sales teams of over 600 members in Scandinavia and the US, Hardi's passion for radical change has led him to explore the field of psychedelics and psychotherapy as an investor and practitioner since 2016. This has driven him to establish Inlibrium, the world's first holistic transformation program. Inlibrium's exclusive program catalyzed by psychedelic-assisted therapy aims to provide a deeper understanding of the core being, purpose, and life mission of its clients. Completely personalized, evidence-based, and data-driven, Inlibrium cutting-edge program utilizes a long-term approach with the most advanced therapeutic methods available.
Inlibrium is designed to support visionary leaders in maximizing their positive impact on the world in a radically new way that is enlightened, transformative, and empowering. I want to sign up. He lives in Estonia and Portugal. He has two kids and is always excited to learn more about what life has to offer. He is a life explorer like your host. I am so honored and thrilled to welcome you, Hardi.
Tony, thank you for your kind words and amazing intro. It's very nice to be here in your show. Let's see what comes out of this.
I'm so thrilled to have you on here. Honestly, getting to know you has been truly amazing. I'm looking forward to spending this time to share you with the audience, and they get to know about the work you're doing but also the journey that got you to where you are. That's what we're going to do on the show.
Let's do it then.
How we do this in the show is we share people's stories through what's called flashpoints. Flashpoints are points in your journey that have ignited your gifts into the world. I'm going to turn it over to you in a moment and have you share the moments that have made you come alive. You can start where you like and share what you're called to share. Along the way, we will pause and see what's showing up. Hardi, please take it away.
To take this long story altogether, I studied Economics at the university. All the time, I dreamed about becoming an entrepreneur. I went to the university, and then the reality hit. I understood that what they taught there was nothing like what the reality is. I decided to quit and established my first construction company when I was nineteen years old. I didn't know a thing about how to build houses, but I had this good thing in me. All in my life, I've been very good at putting together or connecting different people. I found different people who knew how to build houses. I put together a team and established a company, and we started to build houses.
The first company lasted two and a half years or somewhere there, and then everything collapsed. I got frightened. I didn't know what to do anymore with my company. I will explain why it was later on. I decided to stop this construction company and create another company, "What can I do now? I have built houses. Let's start to grow mushrooms." I started microbiology in Belgium and started to grow medicinal mushrooms. I didn't know a thing about how to grow mushrooms.
I built this company. After a couple of years, some hard times came, and I stopped and thought, "This business is not for me. I will do something else." The same pattern continued after every two years. I was very good at establishing companies and creating new and innovative ideas. It all lasted for about two years, and then I ran away again to my new venture.
In 2016, I had the first and the last burnout on a physical and mental level. I was burned out. Everything in my life collapsed like my relationship with my family and my businesses. I was physically collapsing, mentally collapsing, and emotionally collapsing. I started to look for help, "I'm still a young guy." Back then, I was about 30 when I got this burnout. I knew that I couldn't continue like this. Luckily, I had one very good business mentor at that time from Estonia, an older guy who was mentoring me. One day, he said to me something like this, "Do you want to know what is wrong with you?"
If someone is coming to you and saying, "Would you like to know what is wrong with you or in your life?" then everyone is like, "Tell me. You are my mentor." He told me, "Your problem is that you're living in your head, not in your heart. You are calculating all your decisions on the Excel sheets. You are not anything. You are only calculating and thinking. Come to your heart."
At that time, it was so ooga-booga storytelling, but as I had a huge respect for this person, I said, "What should I do then?" He said to me, "What about psychedelics?" For me at that time, all these things equal narcotics, "They are bad for physical and mental health. Only criminals are using these things," but I trusted this person and went to my first Ayahuasca ceremony. It was with a shaman from Israel. It was mind-blowing. The feeling that I got there, those visions and ideas, this energy level increased, and all these things were amazing, but it lasted a maximum of two weeks.
I fell back to the same position where I was before. No solution came, but being a wise guy, I thought, "Psychedelics are the solution for my life." From that very moment, I signed up for every kind of retreat there was out there. It was in Estonia, the Netherlands, or some other place. I went there and thought that some substances would cure me, but it was a pretty hard illusion. From that illusion, I got so many experiences. I got so many new connections to my network.
Years later, after 100-plus psychedelic-assisted trips, and I can't say psychedelic-assisted therapy because therapy is a different thing since you just trip with substances, I got my breakthrough. I got back in order, and my life started to go again up the hill. I got out of this major crash that I caught in 2016. I decided that when I had this breakthrough with the help of different experts and these substances, then why not share it with the world?
I decided, "I will put together a professional team including functional medicine doctors, conventional medicine doctors, psychotherapists, trauma therapists, nutritionists, breathwork experts, business coaches, and life coaches. The list will continue." I knew all these people were working with me. I got my results and my belief that this mix of different methods helped me. I thought, "Maybe this is the purpose that I have been looking for to share it with the world." I established a company called Inlibrium where I'm working at the moment.
I want to pause there for a moment because you shared a lot, and there are so many things about your journey that are interesting. First of all, there's this trial and error that you go through. You're a serial entrepreneur getting out there, trying new things, doing new things, seeing the connection between having people around you, and bringing people together but still finding that it's not always working out because you're in your head as opposed to your heart.
You still try to think your way out of it, but you have to, in some ways, get through that block, feeling your way out of things, and seeing through what is holding you back. Many entrepreneurs get on that path, "There has to be some logical sense to this," but it's not always logic. Sometimes it's about, "Who am I? Why am I doing this? What is the reason for me being here?" That drives us through that blockage that we find ourselves in. That comes through having some people around you who see things that you don't see. I would love to hear your thoughts.
The people are what I don't see or I don't want to see. The question comes now, "Are you willing to listen to them as well? When you're willing to listen to them, are you willing to act like they are saying?" The case with me was after that almost twenty years later, I established about ten companies in my life and all the time ran away after a couple of years. I understand why I was doing it. The reason behind that was that establishing a company is a very easy thing to do. All the starts are easy.
You are in the flow state, and your creativity level is so high, "Now comes marketing. You need to have a homepage and so on," but then at least what I faced after every two years was that I needed to take responsibility, and now, we're coming back to my childhood. I was so afraid to take responsibility because after two years, you need to make certain decisions in a company to continue, hire someone or fire someone, make investments, or whatever these decisions are, but those decisions impact others. You need to take responsibility for those decisions. I was so afraid to take responsibility.
Two decades later, I understood why I was doing this and why I was running away all the time because it all came from my childhood. I shared that story with you once. When I was five and a half years old, my older brother died who was only eleven years old. He had brain cancer. He was very close to me. I don't even have to describe how traumatic this happening can be for a family. I don't even want to understand, or I don't know what my parents felt. We haven't talked about it, but they're still not in a good mental condition after that. It was years ago when it happened.
I saw how my mother got hurt. She got hurt a lot. I have another brother as well. She was trying to protect us and do everything that was normal for kids to do. She's tried to protect us so much that she was not allowing us to go to birthday parties. We all the time needed to go to the countryside for a weekend to work together with them and be as close as possible to our parents. I was not taught to take responsibility because there was all the time someone else who took the responsibility and decided things in my life. I'm not blaming her or my parents. It's pretty okay. If you lose one of your children, you want to protect everyone in your closest family, but this was the skill that I was missing. I was so afraid.
Another angle of this trauma was that as I saw how my mother got hurt, all my childhood, I was trying to act like I would not hurt her, even if I was not agreeing with her. I said to her things that made her happy, but I was not meaning those things. Maybe I didn't want to. I said to her, "My best friend will have a person next week. Can I go there?" She said, "We are going to the countryside." I said, "We need to go to the countryside." I wanted to go to my best friend's birthday. Every kid would like to go there, but I was pushing myself down and all my emotions.
When I grew up, sometimes I was called a rock man, hardly without any emotions. If someone died, I didn't cry. When my sons were born, I was happy, but it was, to be honest, a little bit like fake happiness. I was happy I was a father now, but I didn't feel it inside of me because I had blocked my feelings in my childhood. I took the same dysfunctional pattern of being afraid to hurt someone and take responsibility for my grownup life and my businesses. The same pattern continued, company after company until I got some serious help from professional therapists. Others are seeing those things that we don't see in us, but then comes this part, "Are we accepting what they're saying to us?" It's the story behind there.
What you shared is so powerful, even thinking back to that mentor who says, "Can I share what's wrong with you?" Some people would be triggered by that and say, "You're telling me that you're going to tell me what's wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with me." That's a defensive move that people might take, but you accepted it. That's powerful of you. I also want to reflect on the impact of trauma. People think, "Some of the trauma that I experienced is not me directly, but it's directed from other people in my family." All that seeps in and starts to create a ripple effect.
Trauma has an impact that can stay with you and make a shadow impact on you that stays with you forever unless you're willing to face it. What you shared is so amazing because a lot of people are walking around with that, and they're not even aware of the power of the hold that has on them. The great thing is the work that you're doing when it's done responsibly, which is an important part of this because you said earlier it's not about using medicine, but it's medicine plus therapy and having someone to hold you in this process that creates the powerful process to create a safe container for that to happen. Would you agree?
I agree with you, especially at these times when psychedelics are a very hot topic at the moment. Even if you go to Netflix and check Michael Pollan's How to Change Your Mind, they are painting over the rosy picture for me. It's not like you are taking some substance, and all your troubles will go away. It's never like this. I tried to do this. I took the substance and thought, "When I'm now in the love frequency, then all those bad things will go away. The love frequency will flush it away from my life." It doesn't happen. If trauma is there, I'm sorry to say it, but trauma will stay there.
The difference is, "Can you accept this trauma inside of you? Can you become aware of this trauma?" When you become aware of this trauma or what you are carrying in your invisible backpack, then you can change yourself. We all have trauma. What every human being has is birth trauma. For me, the huge trauma was losing a brother. For others, it can be losing a dog or your best friend saying that you are stupid when you were six and a half years old. For that person, it can be a huge damaging trauma.
We are all different, and we all have different backgrounds. Only you have walked in those shoes where you are walking, and only I have walked in my shoes. Someone is coming to you and saying, "I will tell you what is wrong with you." My mentor said it to me. If someone would come to me and say to me, "I will tell you what is wrong with you," I would start to run. I will run as fast as I can because no one else knows what is wrong with me. Only you can know it. The question is, "Is it safe surrounding around you to admit it and accept it?" When you admit it and accept it, you can work on it and start to change it if you don't like it.
I love that you brought that aspect to it. It's the way people give feedback. We have to make sure that we have the sophistication of our understanding and our ability to say, "I am going to listen, but I know that I'm the only one who's going to know my situation. I need to take it in." It's information. It's data. It's not knowledge because knowledge has to come from within. That's how it becomes processed. Whenever you hear someone bring information to you, it's information that needs to be filtered through your understanding of the world, which is flawed in its own right too. You have to also challenge your understanding of the world, always.
Ask questions to yourself and then trust your gut feeling, inner feeling, or whatever feeling we're calling it. It's this very slight second at the beginning, "Is it the right decision or the wrong decision? Is it good information or bad information?" You have to know it all the time, but then comes one amazing thing called ego and ego games. When a very respectful person is saying something to you, and you place yourself on a lower level compared with this guy, then you take what this person is saying to you as the ultimate truth because they're much higher in society.
He or she has to be a very wise man or a woman, and you need to listen to her or him, but you can always question yourself, "What feeling am I getting? The trouble was that I was not connecting with my feelings." What I have learned in the last years is how to connect with my feelings and how to come from my head back to my heart and back to my body. What am I feeling? That's the question.
I have to shift gears a little bit and ask. You and I intuitively are aligned with this idea, but there are a lot of people out there, and I'm sure you have to get the people who you are working with on board with this idea or at least engage with them with the idea that this is something that might be holding them back. As you've gotten into the journey of creating Inlibrium, what were the challenges that you faced as you started to engage with the outside world and said, "This is the thing that's going to transform you. If you're into it, this is what will work." Tell me some of the journeys along the way to create the impact that you've had with your clients.
We have been actively doing what we are doing at Inlibrium for the last few years. I don't even know how many calls I have had. Let's say it's between 100 and 150 calls around the world with different leaders and visionaries talking to them, or maybe even more than 200. I have to check my Google Calendar. I have many appointments there. All those calls start with, "How are you?" In normal calls, everyone is replying, "I'm doing pretty good. I feel fantastic," or those responses, "My life is amazing."
I'm starting to share my story. Outside my life was also amazing. I had a beautiful car, a beautiful home, kids, and a wife. I got money and what else a young guy could ever wonder to have, but inside, I was broken. I was collapsing. While I'm sharing my story, I'm not selling anything to them. I'm sharing my background. After my monologue, this guy is saying, "It so highly resonates with me. I have this trauma and so on." The question is this vulnerability in your talk, especially men. They are grown up, "You have to be strong. Men don't ever cry." At least in Estonia, we have this saying, "You have to be strong. Why are you crying? Why are you whining here?"
When they see that it's okay to admit these things in your life and to share with others, then they're willing to share their stuff with strangers on the other side of the world as well. They're opening up. I've been talking to even billionaires who have more than 5,000 to 10,000 employees and hundreds of different companies. They're saying to me, "People are seeing me as not a millionaire but a billionaire. They're thinking that my life is beautiful, I don't have troubles, and I sleep like a baby. There are nights when I'm going to sleep crying into the pillow. I don't know what to do anymore in my life. Inside of me, I'm screaming. I'm a total mess. Financially, everything is super fine in my life, and people are seeing only this facade of my life, but inside, I'm screaming."
They're willing to share it because I was willing to share my very personal story with them. This is how this journey begins. Some people are connecting with us and contacting us because they're thinking that this is a psychedelic-based entertainment program or something like that. It's not. This psychedelic-assisted therapy part is less than 10% of this program. More than 90% is preparation and integration together with professional psychotherapy.
This is my opinion. I'm not a scientist, but I have a lot of experience, and I have seen a lot of things in this field in my life. Psychedelics can give you only awareness of your dysfunctional traumas, dysfunctional patterns, different traumas, limiting beliefs, shame, guilt, fear, and all those things that you are hiding in your subconscious mind. You are getting aware of them, hopefully. Maybe you can get aware of them. The real work starts after the psychedelic-assisted therapy session. The real work is a normal state of consciousness together with professional coaching and psychotherapy. This is how the change happens. If you want to change your mind, you can't change it with one session or one beautiful night somewhere together with a shaman. It takes time. It can take years, but it's worth it.
Psychedelics can only give you awareness of your dysfunctional traumas, dysfunctional patterns, limiting beliefs, shame, guilt, and fear—all those things that you are hiding in your subconscious mind.
There are no quick fixes out there. That's for sure. A lot of people feel like, "I'll pay whatever it costs to get a quick fix," but that's not going to last. We do need solutions that are long-lasting and transformative. That's the key to unlocking that. One of the things that you shared or at least made me think of is this sense that nothing is as it seems. Everyone sees the glossy outside of so many of us.
We think, "This person is knocking it out of the park. They're perfect. They've got everything that anyone else could ever desire," but when we get to know people, and it starts by us sharing who we are, then we get to peel behind the curtain and see who that person is and that they're as human as we are. An important aspect of this is to not put up facades. Be real. The more real we are, the more real we can create a connection with each other.
I had the same limiting beliefs. I'm not coming from a wealthy family. My parents aren't highly educated or successful in their lives. I'm the first and the only entrepreneur in my family. I thought that to be successful in little Estonia, Europe, or the world, you have to be someone, you have to come from a family or have a connection or something. I watched those successful guys and what they were doing. In one, moment I understood that they are the same average Joe as I am. There is nothing special in them.
The only thing that's different that I saw between me and them was they are doing things all the time. Even when they're failing, they're coming up and doing it again and again, but through this failing process, every time, they're learning. They're curious to learn. They're curious about what life can offer them. For me, this is the secret to success at least in my life. I'm talking like this. Let's see what I will talk about after a couple of years.
This failing process happens every time we're learning. Being curious to learn, being curious about life but knowing life can offer that can be the secret to success.
To come back to what you said earlier, it's taking responsibility. Part of resilience and bouncing back is also being responsible for the things that are happening in your life. If you become the victim of everything around you and say, "It wasn't my fault. It's because of these other things that are happening," then you're going to not get to where you want to go, but if you take responsibility for the things that are happening and move forward from them, it's a very different tone.
When I started to take responsibility, then my life started to change, not only my life and what was surrounding me, but I was starting to change also on a physical level. At that time, my weight was almost 100 kilos. I was surrounded by this protective armor. Now, I'm not exercising all the time. I'm walking a lot every day. I'm working for 45 minutes and walking 15 minutes. I do a minimum of 20,000 steps per day. I also bought the first gym membership in my life.
The difference in comparing 28-year-old Hardi and 38-year-old Hardi is 100 kilos versus 75 kilos. I don't need armor around me to protect me anymore. It comes from an emotional level. I'm more connected with my emotions. I'm facing my fears. I'm aware of my traumas, and I don't project these traumas, limiting beliefs, and dysfunctional patterns to my employees anymore.
This is the same thing that our clients are telling us. We worked with one guy. In his company, he had more than 13,000 employees with a revenue of more than $5 billion per year. He told me, "I understood that things were not right when I became aware that I was projecting my traumas and limiting beliefs to my employees." His employees were mirrors to him who were mirroring back.
He was accusing them of things they didn't do. This thing started to affect his life a lot on a business level. Through different therapy methods and what we did with him, I can't say he got rid of it, but he got aware of those things that were affecting his life. He made changes in his life and his behaviors, and things started to go again in a better way. We all can have these different things but similar also.
Something that you said there triggered me. First of all, it's very brilliant. You become aware of things. You don't get rid of things. That awareness is the starting point of so much that can happen in your life. If you're aware of things that are holding you back, it doesn't necessarily mean that it goes away. It means that now, you can watch out for how those patterns are getting in the way and how you can be able to minimize their impact. We're going to run out of time because there's so much ground we have to cover, but I do have to get to the last question I ask everyone. What are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?
I got a physical-level breakthrough when I read Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep. He's brilliant. He's talking about 8 hours out of 24 hours. He's talking about one-third of your life. A normal person doesn't know what thing. Please order this book and read it. You get so much valuable information that will impact your life immediately when you start to use it. Another brilliant, amazing, and fantastic book that I read was Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. This is how you understand how your subconscious mind and mind are working based on what decisions you are making. If you haven't read it, please read it. I highly recommend reading it to everyone.
I wasn't sure you had a third one, but I love that. First of all, I'm picking up the first book. I'm putting it in my cart as soon as we hang up. Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow is one of my favorites. It's such a brilliant piece. I don't think he will ever surpass the brilliance in that book although maybe we will challenge him to do so. It's a great book. Thank you so much for sharing that.
Before we come to a close, I want to start by saying that I'm so honored and thankful for you coming here and sharing your stories and your insights. I'm feeling so expansive from hearing everything you've shared. I'm so grateful. Thank you.
Likewise. Thank you for inviting me.
Before I let you go, I want to make sure that everyone knows where they can find out more about you if they want to reach out. What's the best place?
I'm using mainly LinkedIn. You can find me on LinkedIn, Hardi Põder, or if you google Inlibrium. We have also a website, Inlibrium.com, but it's always better to connect with me through LinkedIn and write a private message. I'm always happy to have a call with you. I had a friendly call with you, Tony, to get to know each other. I can share my experiences. I can tell you more in detail what we are doing, with whom we are doing it, and why we're doing it.
I can't thank you enough for all that you're doing and the brilliant work you're doing in the world. I'm so grateful to have you here. That is a wrap. I'm so grateful for the people reading. I know you're leading with so many great insights. Until next time.
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