Chronically Living and how to make the most of it

Healing Journeys with special guest Ryan Phillips

October 18, 2020 Kelsey, Ryan Phillips Episode 18
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Healing Journeys with special guest Ryan Phillips
Chapters
Chronically Living and how to make the most of it
Healing Journeys with special guest Ryan Phillips
Oct 18, 2020 Episode 18
Kelsey, Ryan Phillips

This week we are diving into mental health in a much more personal way than we have before. My guest, Ryan Phillips, has dealt with complex post traumatic stress disorder for many years. He shares his story with us, which while inspirational, reminds us that we are all human and all have the power to do good in the world despite our own struggles.
In this episode we discuss:

  • Hockey!
  • the impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • run-ins with the law
  • mental health advocacy

Guest Bio:

Ryan Phillips is a former professional hockey player, born and raised in Canada. He has become an outspoken mental health advocate and a humanitarian for other causes such as child sex trafficking. Ryan's story has been featured on National Geographic, and on many news outlets following his bike ride for mental health. Ryan has also spoken at TEDx events.
Follow Ryan on Instagram @ryanphillipswarrior

Find his podcast, All Over the Map, on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu6M83v8dxA and Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/26nUtZ3PQ0Gc9VlJQtAlof?si=Xm8adKQWTp6GxSQJjtqZ8w 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/chronicallyliv)

Show Notes Transcript

This week we are diving into mental health in a much more personal way than we have before. My guest, Ryan Phillips, has dealt with complex post traumatic stress disorder for many years. He shares his story with us, which while inspirational, reminds us that we are all human and all have the power to do good in the world despite our own struggles.
In this episode we discuss:

  • Hockey!
  • the impacts of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • run-ins with the law
  • mental health advocacy

Guest Bio:

Ryan Phillips is a former professional hockey player, born and raised in Canada. He has become an outspoken mental health advocate and a humanitarian for other causes such as child sex trafficking. Ryan's story has been featured on National Geographic, and on many news outlets following his bike ride for mental health. Ryan has also spoken at TEDx events.
Follow Ryan on Instagram @ryanphillipswarrior

Find his podcast, All Over the Map, on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu6M83v8dxA and Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/26nUtZ3PQ0Gc9VlJQtAlof?si=Xm8adKQWTp6GxSQJjtqZ8w 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/chronicallyliv)

Kelsey Harris:

Welcome to the chronically living and how to make the most of it podcast. I'm Kelsey Harris, a chronic pain warrior here to inspire hope and strength to the spoony community, get ready to lift each other up and find ways to live the best life possible. Welcome to the show this week chronic illness warriors. This week we're going to explore mental health a little more with the help of mental health advocate and warrior Ryan Phillips. Ryan, welcome to the show. And thanks so much for coming on.

Ryan Phillips:

Thank you very much and extremely grateful to be speaking to you and your audience. Absolutely. My pleasure.

Kelsey Harris:

Great. So I mean, you've had quite a journey. So not just with your mental health, but also with your life and your career and everything. And your story is actually quite inspirational. So I kind of want to start with some hockey talk, because you are an athlete, and that's kind of where your story seems to begin. So you kind of give us a rundown of your hockey career.

Ryan Phillips:

Well, you know, my old man had me on skates at the age of two. And, you know, from that point on, you know, you could really get a hockey stick out of my out of my hands. And, you know, I think I played almost every sport other than cricket. You know, so Mom and Dad, you know, at an early age or, you know, driving you either hockey or soccer or basketball or whatever, you name it. So, you know, I come from an athletic background, my father was the first gentleman to jump six feet in the high jump, he went to the Olympic trials, way back when and blow his knee and was unable to make it to the Olympics. So, but you know, how it is, you know, things happen, and, you know, you move forwards and just keep going. So, you know, my dad was obviously, you know, a driving force and, you know, helping me you know, reach my goals for sure. Very cool. All of my family.

Kelsey Harris:

That's awesome. It's so good to have family support.

Ryan Phillips:

Absolutely.

Kelsey Harris:

Awesome. So, so you obviously been playing hockey for like, forever. So then you I'm assuming you played juniors?

Ryan Phillips:

Yep, I played five years of junior on various teams, a lot of injuries and adversity took place, you know, is rated quite high in the NHL draft, my draft here, unfortunately, I sustained I broke my shoulder in three places and dislocated at the same time, also suffered a concussion. So is knocked out for close to a minute, tried to get back out there, my shoulder dropped. And, you know, I was out for four months of the lineup, which is really tough on the old psyche, you know, watching your team play and seeing, you know, your peers, advance and whatnot. And, yeah, you know, it's, it was just one of those things, you know, at such a young age, you know, where, you know, your dream is obviously to make it to the, you know, to the highest level. And, you know, that was kind of like a predetermined, you know, motivating factor in my consciousness at that time. But, you know, the universe had, you know, another path for me to walk on. And so, you just kind of got to embrace what's, what's in front of you, whether it be what we deem negative or positive. And, you know, I just tried to take all the positive aspects, the friendships and, and the lessons, you know, back of, you know, why things happened, and, you know, how, you know, each situation and the so called eternal now leads you to another life segments, and, you know, just acceptance, sometimes not the easiest thing in the world. But, you know, today I'm okay with just being Ryan, as Ryan and hockey was never exact, it wasn't me, it was just something I did,

Kelsey Harris:

right.

Ryan Phillips:

And so now, what I do is, you know, it's just, just you doing my best to be selfless. And just to give that back and, you know, even though you know, of course, we all struggle in the physical world. You know, especially in these times of drastic change, it's important to you know, really be cognitive of our own mental health. You know, it's I think it's affecting a lot of people with what's going on beyond this, you know, that C word that I hate to use. Yeah. You know, it's, I think it's attacking more people on the mental health aspect with addictions and isolation or whatnot, because, you know, their lives have been literally put, you know, a lot of people's lives have been put on a standstill. So yeah, it's not an easy go for a lot of people right now. So that's why it's important, I think, to, you know, bind together as one and really unify and just do our best to play our part.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, no, totally. I absolutely agree. I think that it's so evident right now that so many people are struggling and a lot more people are very open about their struggles as well, which is, I think, really helpful and powerful as well. So, you know, definitely the the things you've been doing for for mental health has been amazing. And I think, you know, we're obviously gonna talk a bit more about that, right away. So, but yeah, so your hockey career, so you you play juniors, and that's the highest level, you got to?

Ryan Phillips:

No, I turned professional when I was 20. Halfway through my 20 year old year, in junior, I had the opportunity to go play in Kansas, in the central Hockey League, and, you know, I played half the season there professionally, half the season was in junior. So, you know, from the time I was 16, to 20, I lived in like 12 different households with, you know, billets to get traded, and all that kind of stuff. And, you know, like, after those injuries, you know, it was, it was really tough. And there was a lot of, you know, a lot of fear, just like, you know, going into the, into the dressing room with, you know, a lot of the, you know, my era was a lot of, you know, rituals, and Rookie rookie hazing and whatnot, that was really tough, you know, being on a team and being the youngest on the team, at that point, you know, getting shoved into bathrooms, and, you know, there's a lot of things I won't go into, because, you know, I don't want to, you know, put a negative connotation on the game of hockey, because I do believe it's a beautiful, artistic, creative sport. But that did take, you know, a lot of the love out of the game for me, because, you know, having an empathic side, I think my whole life and trying to be as compassionate and you know to others. And, you know, when certain things happen to you, and you see that going on, happening to other people, and the coach is allowing that, you know, it's, it's hurtful, and, you know, a lot of that you buried down deep inside, and it's later in life where, you know, you kind of revisit that trauma. And, you know, it affects you in ways that are not just mentally but you know, you know, physically as well. So, yeah, there's, you know, human beings and mental health, you know, gemenon or emotions for such complex individuals. You know, I always say, attached to nothing but connected to everything.

Kelsey Harris:

Right. So, yeah, totally,

Ryan Phillips:

that's coming from a spiritual aspect.

Kelsey Harris:

So, is that, that kind of around the time where you developed some PTSD? Yeah, so, just from from the bullying and hazing, and that kind of stuff?

Ryan Phillips:

Absolutely. And, you know, if you would have told me, at the age of 16 1718, up until, you know, even a few years ago, what PTSD actually meant, like, what was it? How does it affect you? I couldn't, I couldn't give you an answer. Even anxiety or depression, you know, I was never a depressed individual. I was always, you know, full of life. And, and, you know, I think my humor kind of has gotten me through through a lot of life experiences as well. But, you know, it's just one of those things, you know, things happen for I believe, everything happens for a reason to get us to the point where we're at right now. And, you know, it's life's a journey. And it's just, I think that's it, you know, all part of the acceptance and, you know, through that adversity, you know, it's like that old saying, Go goes, you know, every adversity and every setback, you know, carries with the seed of an equal or greater benefit. And so, the benefits are definitely coming a lot more now. Even though there is a lot of pain, you know, I'm doing my best to, you know, stay self regulated and eat healthy and, you know, talk more, you know, I encourage everybody, if they're suffering from any mental health issues, or health conditions don't, to reach out for help. And that was something that my pride obviously had a kind of a stronghold on. And, you know, until I actually reached out for help, and, you know, put that ego aside, let it be shattered, so to speak, was able to, you know, actually be in the receptive mode of, you know, help, so to speak, and, yeah, so, yeah, it's, it's, it's wonderful to be able to, you know, since I actually reached out for help, you know, you know, a lot of people have come into my life that are, you know, far transcends, you know, the pain where it makes it more bearable.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, for sure. Yeah, reaching out for hope is definitely hard to do and it's, but it's it is important. I think that's a great message is that you know, you have To put your ego aside at some point and be like, no, I actually, I can't do this alone, I need someone to talk to you and like, and then just do it.

Ryan Phillips:

Well, it's all about human connection. Yeah. Right. So totally, you know, and we see ourselves and in others, you know, it's, I always say, you know, the eyes are truly the windows of the soul. And, you know, sometimes our soul gets kicked in the butt by certain situations and energetic frequencies and whatnot. And, you know, we carry a lot of our trauma, you know, with our cellular memory and our subconscious faculties. And, you know, you know, I'm a huge I'm big into psychology, I, you know, I study the brain and all that kind of stuff. And so, you know, we're just, you know, we're entering an age of where we still, we're still we don't know, we don't know a lot about the brain, you know, one thing we do know is that it is a broadcasting and receiving station for the vibration of thought. So, you know, whatever you put out there usually comes back in multitudes, so to speak, and, you know, so just getting into that divine inflow, so to speak.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, yeah, totally. Yeah, you and I have that psychology piece in common. It's also what I am, what I'm doing a master's in is Counseling Psychology. So, you know, it's Yeah, it's the brain is very interesting. But you're right, we don't know. And what we do know, it's amazing, but we don't know so much.

Ryan Phillips:

intricate piece of machinery. Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

So when, you know, when you were going through all the hockey stuff, did you ever at any point, decide think that, you know, maybe this isn't the right thing for me to do? Like, were you, you know, after all the the hazing and bullying and stuff where you're like, oh, maybe, maybe I don't want to do this, or when you just kind of focused on your goal?

Ryan Phillips:

Well, I mean, at the time, it was all I really knew. And I was in that arena, so to speak. And, you know, even though I lost love of the game, I still had love for the, you know, the camaraderie of being part of a team. And, you know, obviously, that you know, you know, the first year away from home, that was when all the rookie hazing started, and all that kind of stuff, but the next year, you know, when I was a veteran, you know, I refuse to participate in any of those rituals, you know, against other players that, you know, I just, I just knew how I felt from my own being. And, you know, I'd never want to put that kind of hurt on another human being. And, yeah, something I really disliked turn my head away from and actually stuck up for to, like, you know, why would he treat someone you know, like that, especially, you know, work, you know, teamwork makes the dream work, you know, you got a player on the team that's feeling less than and not part of the team, that he's not, he's not able to perform to his optimal, you know, capabilities.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, that makes sense. And that's impressive that you were able to, to kind of stand up but for other players, because a lot of I mean, a lot of young guys especially just kind of go with what the crowds doing. So it's very impressive that you were able to not do that. Thanks. And then you you had some run ins with the law after that, and you were even closer to the States, I believe. Yeah. So what happened?

Ryan Phillips:

Well, I mean, I'm a total open book with that, obviously, you know, my life stories been, it's been on National Geographic. So I can even give you a link to that you can share it with, you know, your all your audience. And I have, you know, I got flown out to London, right after I went across, you know, Canada to advocate mental health and spent 21 hours and two days spewing my guts, you know, trying to pack 15 some ideas of that, of that life, you know, into a 45 or whatever minute show with no commercials was definitely It was a task in its own It was definitely a challenge. But, you know, I felt that the story had to be heard, you know, they reached out and, you know, I guess, humbled that they thought my story was, you know, good enough to be on National Geographic, which is, you know, quite a large platform. Yeah, for sure. So, yeah, I mean, it's just one of those things where, you know, at the end of the day was, you know, doing well in hockey was just, you know, the yearning for you know, acceptance and wanting to be loved. Coming from BC marijuana is a huge part of our culture. I wasn't really aware of the ramifications that would happen, you know, sending large amounts of marijuana across the border into the United States, but, you know, those offered that opportunity came on in Canada. I fell on my lap at an early age. And I had all these markets down so that, you know, we're paying huge dollars for, you know, the cash crop of, you know, marijuana. And, you know, now I'm able to talk about it with legalization, you know, whatnot. So it's just one of those things where it started off small. But, you know, within a short amount of short amount of time, it was built kind of into an empire, where, you know, in our best year, even after incarceration, you know, I didn't become a good boy, so to speak right away, I kept doing it for a little while, a lot of violence came into the picture. You know, I thought prison maybe would have taught me a lesson, but it actually gave me a lot of resentment towards you know, what happened, we go with the plant, and, you know, I never shot a guy, and I was never a violent person, although, you know, a lot of my associates, you know, that I was around, you know, they were in that, you know, I lost a lot of friends, do, you know, murder, suicides, you know, substance abuse issues, overdoses and whatnot, you know, I could drop off 50 plus people that were acquaintances and some close friends, that really just kind of just, you know, I woke up one day and looked in the mirror and start bawling my eyes out. And it was just, like, it's time to throw in the towel on this. And, you know, I took a lot of heat a lot of threats on my life. Because of that, but at the same time, I knew I had to get out or, you know, who knows, you know, I wouldn't be speaking to you right now. Right? Because there's usually three realities in that world. It's usually prison, you know, yeah. Or maybe, you know, substance abuse to some issue, because it's just a rock star lifestyle when you're at that high level, and I was at the highest level of that, that industry. So, you know, am I proud that I pioneered the industry where it can be, like, accepted now, where a lot of those people didn't accept it, where it was, you know, my family was being ridiculed a lot of people shun me and my family. And then all these years later, now, it's like, oh, wow, the king of weed, and that's not who I am. That's who I was. And, you know, I do believe that there's huge medicinal purposes, you know, with hemp, and, you know, the, the, you know, marijuana plant or whatnot, you know, if it's used responsibly, for pain, whatnot, CBD, even psycilicibin, and as far as, you know, treating depression and creating new neural pathways in the brain. So, you know, there's all kinds of things that feed into the mental soup bowl.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally.

Ryan Phillips:

You know, all the labels, all the masks, all that kind of stuff, whatever. So, you know, it's just do my best to try to let go and allow the present moment to flow.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, that's, that's awesome. I mean, you can even just as you're talking about, you can see kind of the, the, the growth and change the personal growth and change that you obviously went through, kind of at the end of that, to realizing that it's not what you want to do. And it's not even what you want to really be associated with. So, I mean, that's pretty remarkable.

Ryan Phillips:

Yeah, well, you just wake up, sometimes it's a, whether you call it a spiritual awakening, or whatnot. I mean, my definition of a spiritual is just being who you really, truly are. And that's just, you know, speaking from the heart and, you know, being humble and, you know, just being your true self and not, you know, it's not trying to be anybody that you're not. And so, you know, that, you know, comes through a lot of pain and suffering. And it was just, I guess, I was just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Really? Yeah.

Kelsey Harris:

Totally.

Ryan Phillips:

Oh, even though all that money was coming in and allowed me to travel over 70 countries in the world. And it actually allowed me to do a lot of advocacy work, too, because if I didn't have that kind of money, you know, wouldn't have been able to say go over to Cambodia to advocate, you know, human trafficking and child sex slavery, you know, which I did in, you know, I worked in that field for quite a few years, sort of my bike across Cambodia on two occasions with that cause Vietnam, and, you know, visit, visited numerous shelters and, you know, try to get back to those kids that have endured so much torture, you know, these are kids that were, you know, servicing up to, you know, 20 clients a day. And, you know, from three years old, two and a half, three years old, not so you can just imagine the trauma that they went through and maybe that's what draw drew me to that is my own trauma, and, you know, being kind of in vibrational alignment to, you know, to their pain, so to speak, and it's funny, you know, when I was over there in the shelter's, it was them like the tears off my eyes. They were Weren't crying it was this, you know, big lug here that was full of, you know, I guess just empathy towards these kids you know, anything anything to do with you know, children being you know, mistreated is, you know just goes it's just really hits my heart in a in a way of sadness almost so it's there's no room for that in the world.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah No I agree even just you talking about it I'm like, well I got some tears so you know yeah totally

Ryan Phillips:

I'm getting emotional too don't Yeah,

Kelsey Harris:

it's hard not to live with those those types of issues. So during all this time, or at some point in this this timeline that we're on you found out you were bipolar.

Ryan Phillips:

So that was a misdiagnosis.

Kelsey Harris:

Oh.

Ryan Phillips:

Apparently, I do suffer from complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Oh, and, you know, they thought I had a 15 minute diagnosis with a psycho psychiatrists who, you know, I told him I just got out of a very toxic relationship. Last a lot of loss real quick, you know, I lost a good friend, friends, and, you know, Am I not allowed to be sad, you know, Am I not allowed to feel these certain feelings, you know, feeling those emotions and whatnot. And, you know, within 15 minutes of hearing just a little bit of my story, you know, this gentleman was 82 years old, and I'm not gonna say his name or throw him under the bus, you know, he prescribed me a lithium and said, Good luck, you have a long way to go. And, you know, maybe I did have a long way to go. But, you know, I tried to look em for a few days, it didn't agree with my system, you know, a few years, you know, playing it, you know, going forward. Even going across Canada, I was like, maybe I should try to lithium again, just because I was feeling some of the symptoms of like, the heavy emotions and some of the thoughts that wouldn't shut off. So I tried taking the lithium actually for the first month of going across the country. And it was like battery acid seeping through my skin. And there was a real negative instincts sat Well, with my system at all. So if I'm bipolar, if that's what they want to call me, or you know, D, me, maybe I am, but, you know, my intuitive faculties? You know, definitely it all stems down to trauma, right, trauma from the past and, and trauma from, you know, just whatever we go through on a daily basis, sometimes the triggers, right, so, yeah,

Kelsey Harris:

yeah, no, that makes sense. It makes sense that, I mean, it's unfortunate people do get misdiagnosed. And it sounds like because bipolar disorder, typically people get really high highs and really low lows, and it doesn't from what you've said, doesn't really sound like that's what you've high, you just have regular, regular, but like when you people suffer grief or loss, you know, obviously, you're going to be really sad. Yeah. Humans so. So yeah. So then you kind of realize that that after taking lithium the second time that maybe it was incorrect diagnosis.

Ryan Phillips:

Absolutely. And you know, that I actually, I got a new psychiatrist after that one gentleman because I just didn't agree with, you know, what he was, what he was personifying over to me. And, you know, my new psychiatrist is a lot more, you know, I would say empathetic towards my journey, you know, he understands me more, he knows that, you know, he actually really listens to, you know, what I've been through, and I'm not trying to pull, you know, pull the victimization card here by any means. As you know, obviously, life comes down to choices and decisions. And, you know, you know, through the fact of just wanting to be accepted, I made decisions that were based on maybe impulsivity, rather than intellect.

Kelsey Harris:

Right. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. And how was your diagnosis of complex post traumatic stress disorder? How has that affected yourself, your family, your friends?

Ryan Phillips:

It's been tough, you know, you know, especially for my mom and dad, you know, no one likes to see their their children suffer. And, you know, I've said it time and time again, you know, we go back to the Buddhist philosophy, you know, we, we all suffer in the, in the physical world, and it's, you know, trying to find that joy within the suffering. And, you know, there's always something to look, you know, you look out your door, there's always something to look at. That's beautiful, you know, whether it be a flower or a tree. We're just being in the in nature and are just another person, you know, you know, we're all, we all have our own unique individuality yet. I think we're all connected at the same time. So, you know, it's sometimes you just gotta you got to feel it to heal it. Yeah, so I'm on a healing journey right now. You know, even though I, you know, people call me in inspiration, which is sometimes a tough one, even my god and inspiration. You know, I went through a lot of pain right now, yeah, I pushed through it, you know, you know, some days are better than others, like you say, but, you know, sometimes doing what you don't want to do that will make you feel better. And that's, you know, getting yourself into the gym, getting exercise, eating the proper diet, associating yourself with the right people that support your journey, rather than, you know, or say jealous or sin as, you know, being cynical or judgmental. You know, I, I do my best not to judge anybody. I think that the hardest judgments I've ever put has been on myself, and, you know, that's just destructive. So, I'm learning as I go. And, you know, the journey goes on it.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, our entire lives are a journey. So, you know,

Ryan Phillips:

And life is unpredictable as it is.

Kelsey Harris:

So, yeah, it is. And I like what you said, you know, it's all a lot of choices. And, you know, some things that happen or be because of that. So,

Ryan Phillips:

yeah, so you know, and intent, I believe intention is a huge part of our, you know, the, the component that actually, you know, takes us to our you know, the next level of our evolution is, you know, intending to feel good intending to give back. And, you know, the way we give, you know, giving with no expectations, and that's kind of the way I live my life is that, you know, if I'm giving something, giving a piece of my heart, even, which is not always the easiest, because, you know, I care deeply for other people. But, you know, it's just a lot of people give with the expectation of receiving something back immediately. And, you know, I'm just one of those guys, where, you know, I'm not perfect, I don't think any of it, I think we're perfectly imperfect at the end of the day. And, yeah, you know, it's just, it's when you give from the heart, there should never be any expectations, you know, and that goes from, like, you know, lending money or Yeah. Don't expect to get ever get paid back when that money out, because that other person might just not be able to pay back at that time. And, you know, so So, you know, let's say, if we, when something, like whether it be money or an object, you know, sometimes don't expect to get it back right away. And, you know, maybe try to understand where the other person's coming from, because there's a lot that might be going on in between those two years, and in their heart and their emotions and whatnot. You know, our whole physiology is obviously vibrating at a certain frequency that might not allow us to move forward, which is, it's tough for a lot of people that are, you know, dealing with mental health issues is, is it's the inability to move forward in life and enjoy that experience. So, yeah, yeah, yeah, words and upwards.

Kelsey Harris:

Love it. Um, yeah, totally true. So when when did you decide to start advocating for mental health?

Ryan Phillips:

Um, I think in 2016, I actually did have the intention of going across the country of Canada. And, you know, I've been in and out of a for at that point for probably 12 years at that time. And, you know, I've had my own issues of substance abuse, and, you know, like, you know, I'm so the sober guy today, and, you know, so I'm feeling I feel everything, but, you know, it's better to feel than not to feel it's better to you know, try to understand people from on a deep level of compassion, then not feel at all and just neglect. Yeah. So, you know, a few things happen where that bike ride wasn't able to happen in 2016 2018 I spent a year over in Southeast Asia worked like I feel very at home. They don't have the mental health issues over there. They do have issues as the world does. But you know, everything's organic, their foods a lot healthier. You know, you go over there. I don't know if you've ever been over there. Not not Yeah. Yeah. Even your skin feels better. Everything here your whole physiology really changes because the environment, you know, what you put into your body and whatnot. And you know, the It's, you know, they don't, they don't call that call it the line to smiles for no reason, you know, people are really open and they see your openness, they really pull you in. I've been very blessed to visit many of monasteries along the way. And I'm grateful to actually produce a film over there about happiness. And it surely is an inside job, you know, and that's a choice we make as well. We can't force happiness. I like to say, you know, just being content, if we can be content in the present moment, then makes life a lot more bearable.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. Yeah. And staying present, I think is the best way to be content, because it's you. Usually us worrying about the future or reminiscing about the past that causes anxiety, or depression or any of that stuff. So

Ryan Phillips:

yeah, a good old Dr. Joe dispenza. speaks a lot about that. So I listened to all of his stuff on on YouTube, he's got some great, you know, mindful meditations that are good to listen to. But, you know, I actually, you know, a lot of my concussions kind of getting away, sometimes I'm actually feeling good in them in the present moment, right? You know, those bangs to the head of definitely, like, kind of throwing my physiology out of the way. So, you know, I'm very blessed to have a medical team that's surrounding me right now. You know, I have a spiritual advisor, I'm an energy healer, I do acupuncture. You know, I still do, you know, a, you know, anything I can do that, you know, can I connect me to source so to speak? You know, I just, I just, I tried to I try to live each day to the fullest. So, you know, and just, you know, if, if we're breathing, and if we're alive in the present moment, I believe that there is a divine purpose for us to be here on this planet. And, you know, being of service, as Muhammad Ali said, is, is the rent that we pay for having our existence on Earth.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, I like that. You know, a lot of people with with mental health issues, don't can't find it in themselves to necessarily be a very outspoken advocate, like you have. So what what was it that made this really important to you?

Ryan Phillips:

Well, I woke up one morning, after a very depressed episode, in Cambodia, in April of 2019, and God with this whole COVID thing, it's sorry, I don't even know

Kelsey Harris:

2020. Like, it's like, 10 years long already. So

Ryan Phillips:

yeah. But I woke up and I was like, no matter what, no matter what time, I'm just going to run up and down the meat con River, which was I was actually staying in a hotel that was on the riverfront. And I'm just going to just run some of this out and just get gone. And just do whatever I can, you know, physically, mentally, emotionally, just, you know, try to kind of be in that flow. And I just so happened to meet a guy who was like radiating light, the guy was 21 years old. His name was Reza. And he was from Italy, and he was biking across the world. That was his goal is to ride across the world. And I said, Well, I actually I'm not a cyclist. But you know, I'm up for a challenge. Would you mind if I join you, he was leaving the next day to right across Cambodia. And I'd already done that twice in my life to advocate for the other topic I was speaking of before, I said, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it for a cause. And, you know, I was on social media for quite a few years. And then I just popped back on Instagram and started posting some pictures and whatnot, and, you know, got a little bit of traction and went across four countries. And I think it was about a month in a couple weeks, who had real hard and just sometimes we do you know, between 102 100 kilometers a day and you know, crossing countries right and after not being able to not be allowed into China because of visa issue. Unfortunately, we weren't able to write across China. I actually flew home to Canada. I said, You know what, I am a Canadian guy. I think it's my duty to actually raise awareness for my own country. So within a three week span, I gathered up a bunch of sponsors and I was I had a custom bike that was built to me that was given to me as a gift. And I didn't sleep for three days before embarking on the journey. I looked at the map there and I saw Jesus, it's the second biggest landmass in the world. I'm going to go from the Terry Fox pavilion, all the way to the other side of the country. And I set that goal and I you know, it took 63 days with you know, like both five days arrest, but yeah, it was a challenge. All right. You know, battling the mind, going across the country with stuff and you know, obviously being, you know, on the CBC and global and CTV and all, you know, having to do interviews and whatnot, you know, talking all these people on the way to have lost people due to mental illness, you know, crying on your shoulder, and all the hugs and all that along the way. You know, they're looking for you for answers and inspiration. But really, I was just, you know, sometimes I'm just a firm believer that action speaks louder than words in many cases. Although I, after that was approached by, you know, TEDx to do another talk on on the subject of mental health in Malaysia. So what, across Canada to National Geographic. Next thing you know, I'm over in Malaysia, doing a TED talks on mental health awareness. So it's amazing when you just like do things how other doors open up for you. Yeah. The doorways of opportunity sometimes come through our adversity.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, for sure. And then the bike ride across Canada, which is like, I can't even imagine how tough that is. Because like, our terrain is different all throughout the country, too. So that's like, That's crazy. I'm impressed. But But what were the the hardest parts? Were kind of like the was it just having stopped interviews? Was it just the mental game of it? What was kind of the tough part?

Ryan Phillips:

Well, I think the toughest part was actually the prairies.

Kelsey Harris:

Oh, interesting.

Ryan Phillips:

You know, Rogers pass. Yeah, it was all uphill. Fighting that uphill battle was something that I'd been used to my whole life, right. The prairies, I mean, I literally went from like averaging probably about 2828. going about 28 kilometers an hour, to about seven kilometers an hour, going across the prairies because the crosswind that it was and I ran into like 10 days of straight torrential downpour. And so I mean, there and I was trying to do 100 kilometers a day across the prairies and was successful. But at the same time, there was times where I was like, I was in tears, like, you know, hunched over my bike just being like, Oh, my God, kind of Dude, I was bundled up and five layers of clothing, sopping wet. Just like holy Geez, like, you know, you know, there was seven hospital visits, you know, going across the country, if you know, to stave off the anxiety, getting off the lithium. And yeah, that was Yeah, it was definitely a challenge. So I would say the prairies are the toughest. Next thing I know, I'm in Halifax, and it was all like, kind of a, it was like a dream. You know? It was it was like a long dream that all of a sudden when it was done, and I jumped backwards into the Atlantic Ocean, it was like, I tried to stay underwater for for a long time, just to kind of savor the moment because I knew that it wasn't gonna last forever. But I felt accomplished. Yeah, same time. It was definitely was just just doing something outside of myself that would hopefully inspire others.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, totally. And I'm sure it did. And I think that's Yeah, and doing it in your own country, I think is very cool. And yeah, so the

Ryan Phillips:

next is the US from everything open up.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, you might, yeah, you might want to wait a little bit on that one. But yes, that would be a pretty cool one to do as well.

Ryan Phillips:

It might want to wait on a few things.

Kelsey Harris:

A couple issues going on down there. We might want to like calm down first.

Ryan Phillips:

yeah, we'll get Tim Hortons to sponsor

Kelsey Harris:

Oh, I like it.

Ryan Phillips:

The sponsor is going across Canada, it's kind of cool every time I open arms and given us you know, free coffee for the camera crew and whatnot, did the documentary and hasn't been released yet, just due to the film industry being shut down. And, you know, obviously, you know, a lot of the issues that are going down in the us right now, my film distributor is, you know, out of the US as well. So, you know, it is what it is and even if it's never released, even if it's never out there, you know, I'm a firm believer that was meant to be it's meant to be and it will happen in Divine Order.

Kelsey Harris:

You know, I am sure it probably will come out it just seems like you said everything has just been delay. I have a lot of friends who work in film and just very like quiet at the moment. And yeah, a little ramp back up. So yeah. So what would you tell someone who is recently diagnosed with PTSD or any other mental health problem?

Ryan Phillips:

I would say the minute you feel off the minute your body is actually talking to you and just listen to your body. Listen to your body. You know when you're getting those kind of distorted thoughts and warped thoughts, so to speak, and those feelings of being feeling, you know, feeling less than and, you know, those ants that creep into our mind, you know, the negatives, they inject themselves willingly the positives, we have to inject themselves, you know, on our own. And so, you know, that's the principle of self suggestion, or I say, auto suggestion, you know, the medium for influencing the subconscious mind is that, you know, through repetition of affirmations, you know, we take on those dominating thoughts. And, you know, whether they be positive or negative, the subconscious mind has no ability to accept or reject. So, you know, it's one of those things that I just, you know, I'm a firm believer that just the minute you're not feeling well, reach out for help, and don't wait for as long as I did, because they can cause severe, you know, ramifications on your not just your mental health, but your physical health as well.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, for sure. That's, that's great advice.

Ryan Phillips:

Yeah. It's all connected, right? So yeah,

Kelsey Harris:

yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It's everything's connected. Our health is our health.

Ryan Phillips:

Oh, yeah. I mean, we got neurotransmitters in our gut, too, right. That's why sometimes that gut feeling is like, well, they say the guts, the third brain, maybe it's the first brain? Maybe? Who knows?

Kelsey Harris:

So you've kind of mentioned before some of your other humanitarian work, but what, what kind of made you develop these other passions? And what can you explain a little more about them?

Ryan Phillips:

Well, first of all, I hate the word humanitarian, even though I did, even though I did get, you know, the humanitarian part and to go back down to the States, right, it's never happened. You know, through service. I just, I like the name good human. And I think we should all just be good humans, we can all everyone can be a humanitarian. And that's just holding a door open for somebody that's just, you know, mid paying, you know, paying a compliment somebody just being kind and compassionate to other people. And understanding that, you know, a lot of people are going through a lot of stuff right now. And just, you know, just doing our best just to be kind. Yeah, totally. And kind to ourselves, number one, self love. Because if you don't love yourself, you can't love others. And I think it really, truly believe it comes down to the relationship that we have with ourselves. Mental health is need to define you, you define you. Mm hmm.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah, it's very true. And I think it's something that a lot of people either don't know, or just forget, or both,

Ryan Phillips:

and it can be scary to, you know, the older we get, and the longer our life experiences on this planet, you know, we take on these paradigms and habits and whatnot. And, you know, so for anybody who's, you know, the, for the younger people out there, if they're feeling off and feeling maybe suicidal, even, you know, there's all kinds of different ways, ways to reach out. And I encourage that, you know, I can't save your life. But I can give you maybe a little bit of kick in the butt to, you know, take matters into your own hands, reach out, and to the best of your capabilities, there will be somebody that can actually, if you desire it, if you desire to actually be well, everybody deserves to be well.

Kelsey Harris:

Yeah. Yeah, 100%

Ryan Phillips:

narcissist or not?

Kelsey Harris:

True. Um, you know, one of the things I like to ask all my guests is, how are you making the most out of your life right now?

Ryan Phillips:

Just doing what we're doing right now, you know, I just fired off my own podcast. And you know, it's not easy, you know, it's not easy, you know, you're researching, you're, I'm always usually on the other end of a podcast, right? And I've been, you know, told for years, you got to be a host to host your own podcast. And, you know, finally I said, you know, what, it's time to just fire it off and get going on it. You know, so that kind of keeps my mind stimulated, or, you know, you know, being able to, you know, research you know, different personalities that are doing good in the world. And that's it all over the map actually really stands for is people all over the map that are doing good in the world. And you know, so right now the, you know, the primary focus has been like kind of what, you know, what I grew up in, is the hockey culture. A lot of these hockey guys that have been through so much trauma, or you know, they're turning to a lot of healers a lot and doing a lot of good human work themselves with foundations and charities and really pouring their heart out and showing that you know, behind that decrepit culture sometimes which is hockey that is getting better are good people that really putting a lot of effort into making this world a better place?

Kelsey Harris:

That's awesome. Where can Where can we listen to your podcast?

Ryan Phillips:

Right now? We're just getting ready, it will be on all the platforms like Spotify and Apple, all those all the podcast platforms. But as it stands right now, we're just waiting to get approved, which is, you know, that just got put in a few days a few days ago. It takes a couple days. It does take a couple days. But on YouTube, you can watch All Over the Map. You know, our first episode was was with a wonderful gentleman, you can just put all over the map, YouTube, Rob Strapth. And, you know, so you know, we've done a couple episodes, we're doing two this week as well that we'll be launching. And if people want to follow me on social media, I'm most active on Instagram that it's @ryanphillipswarrior. So and I'm open book, if you want to hit me up on there, and you ever have any questions? You know, I'm always here to be of service. So don't never hesitate. I'm no, no better than anybody else. I'm just doing the best I can to deviate myself to this role with that internal compass.

Kelsey Harris:

Amazing. And any final words of wisdom you have for us? Well, given us a lot already so.

Ryan Phillips:

But my final words of wisdom God, I think wisdom is accumulated over experience over a lot of years. Or can come through maybe just a couple years into our first years of life is just, it's all about life experience and compartmentalizing that. And, you know, I am a firm believer that if we've gone through something, pay it forward. And, you know, really try to just to help others try to get through their adversity, you know, through your own setbacks. You know, there's so many ways that we can give back to humanity in a positive way that can help repel people moving forward.

Kelsey Harris:

I love that. Thank you so much for coming on the show, Ryan.

Unknown:

Absolutely. It's been my absolute pleasure, infinite gratitude, by the way.

Ryan Phillips:

Absolutely. Thank you so much.

Kelsey Harris:

And thanks, everyone for for tuning in. Until next time, keep making the most of it. Thank you so much for joining me today on the chronically living podcast. If you love this week's podcast, please subscribe, rate and leave a review. Until next week, stay strong.