Khalil Rafati | From Homeless To Limitless: One Man’s Spiritual Journey of Learned Helplessness to Powerful Humility


“You get taught that you are something but the truth is, it's not true and it's just a story. It could be a story that people told to you and then you start telling that story enough to yourself until you get to this place where you truly believe, ‘That's it for me.' That's not it; it's false. At any moment, you can be in so much pain that you can literally change in an instant. You can turn and pivot and go in another direction.” – Khalil Rafati

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 439

Owner of SunLife Organics and Author of the best-selling book, I Forgot to Die, as well as his newest release, Remembering to Live, Khalil Rafati, shares his incredible healing journey from homeless to limitless, breaks down the concept of learned helplessness, explains why pain and struggle can be powerful teachers, unpacks his own plant medicine experience, and explores how to heal the body and mind with nutrients and spirituality.

What story are you living?

Are you writing your own or living someone else's? Deep down, are you living the life that you desire?

At any moment, you can be in so much pain that you can literally change in an instant. You can turn and pivot and go in another direction. - Khalil Rafati of @sunlifeorganicsClick To Tweet

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Listen To Episode 439 As Khalil Rafati Uncovers:

[1:30] The Origins of SunLife Organics

[24:00] Healing Our Inner Wounds

  • Answering the question, “Do we have to experience pain to grow and know love?”
  • Eben Britton
  • The deep questions and thoughts that come to Khalil's mind sometimes that are part of his humble growth process.
  • Why hitting rock bottom and stumbling have helped him experience the most incredible breakthroughs.
  • Alan Watts
  • Khalil's and Josh's own father wounds and why many men are healing from this too.
  • Exploring what God or Source could be and why Khalil feels like it is divine feminine energy.
  • Paul Chek | All is God
  • Khalil's top advice for living life well and achieving your goals.
  • 438 Justin Donald
  •  The value of getting to the point where your money is making money for you every day.
  • How Josh now sees wellness and it's not a square but a pentagon that includes emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, and financial health.
  • Why our money wounds tend to stem from those that our parents or caregivers had when we were children.

[32:30] Healing Khalil's Childhood Trauma

  • The moment that Khalil finally left Ohio and why it was such a powerful moment for him.
  • The truth that was shown to Khalil when all his father said to him when he was about to drive to California was, “Good luck.”
  • How Khalil has tried to help his father as much as he could over the years and the difficult moment when Khalil told him to stop asking for money.
  • The suspicion Khalil had that his mother didn't have the bandwidth to love him because she had Stockholm Syndrome.
  • Why Khalil is thankful for his experience with drugs and alcohol as they were eventually part of his wellness journey to healing.
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • How his journey to California led him to meet and work with all of these famous people from Elizabeth Taylor to Slash and Axel Rose.
  • The varying degrees of trauma in life from lower case ‘t' to capital ‘T' and the fact that we all experience some form of trauma in life.
  • Khalil's turning point to finally be able to focus on healing his addiction after trying for so long.
  • The full own systemic infection and yeast overgrowth Khalil had because of his poor oral health.

[34:00] Khalil's Spiritual Journey to Building a Relationship with God

  • Why Khalil detested his parents' religions so much and the Catholicism practices he was taught in school as a child and just pushed any spiritual or religious idea to the side until he started to heal as an adult.
  • How Khalil's mindset shifted dramatically to see God and spirituality in a more positive light as he prayed for his healing.
  • Powerful moments in Khalil's life where people have helped him on his path to healing physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • The obstacle Khalil faced of trying to figure out what he was going to do and where he was going to stay once he got out of rehab.
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • The little things Khalil started to do to try to be a good samaritan as he built his relationship with God.
  • Why addiction can be a spectrum from our phones to food to porn to drugs.
  • Josh's own addiction to porn and how a poor Ayahuasca ceremony took him beyond the edge and his healing journey from that.
  • 275 Paul Chek

[55:30] From Helplessness to Humility

  • What learned helplessness is and how we can turn it into learned humility.
  • How our parents, partners, and even the school system can teach us learned helplessness.
  • Why the school system failed Khalil as a child and told him all these negative things about him.
  • Subtle programming that happens to children whose families live on welfare and what Josh's experience was like in the 1980s.
  • Why learned helplessness is not true; it's a story that we're taught.
  • The fact that anyone can be in so much pain that they can change things in their life in an instant.
  • Why Khalil does not see himself as a spiritual person and he has yet to master humility in his relationship with God.
  • How we mature through life and at some point have to take sole sovereignty for ourselves and everything – good or bad – that is happening in our lives.
  • Why he thinks it's better to not know what you want to do with your life at 25 than to actually know: the journey is the destination and you're supposed to struggle.
  • His past girlfriends and the ups and downs he faced with them as he struggled with his own demons.
  • Some of the best advice a close friend gave him about letting go of issues that aren't serving us.

[1:07:30] Which Inner ‘Wolf' Are You Feeding?

[1:15:30] Why Pain & Struggle are Great Teachers

  • Around the Year with Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings
  • The early stages of how Khalil got back on his feet with the help of other people.
  • His introduction to the world of saving and investing money.
  • Other forms of addiction like watching a movie over and over again or becoming obsessed with the stock market.
  • How Khalil lost all of his money in one night because he didn't sell in the market at the right moment.
  • The incredible moment when Around the Year with Emmet Fox: A Book of Daily Readings was brought back into his life after he lost everything and how it has helped him find solace.
  • Josh's own experience with losing money in cryptocurrency and the message that came to him from Khalil's book.
  • The power of financial wisdom and why it's about finding the middle way; not being greedy.
  • Lao Tzu
  • How moments of pain, discomfort, and struggle can bring us to great wisdom.
  • His process of compassion and inquiry of self when he is faced with something difficult.
  • How his girlfriend, friends, and random downloads from time to time help him see the reality of what he thinks is happening.
  • Making peace when things that we perceive as “bad” happen to us but then they really don't make that much of a difference in our lives.
  • Why, even if we hit zero or rock bottom, we can safely know that we'll be all right and we can come back in life.

[1:33:00] Healing The Body & Mind from Within

[1:40:00] The Right Timing (If Right for You) to Try Plant Medicine

  • The importance of waiting to try something like Feel Free (kava and kratom) or plant medicine if you are newly sober.
  • Khalil's experience being sober for 18.5 years and that personal process for him.
  • The spiritual pride he developed around being “Sober Guy” and why he used to be offended when people suggested plant medicine or any other healing drugs.
  • Michael Pollan
  • Ben Greenfield
  • How Khalil has helped other people heal and become sober plus incredible stories of men he thought would never change but then they experienced plant medicine journeys.
  • Similarities he kept seeing pop up like seeing specific animals in groups of three plus the powerful symbols of animals.
  • 425 Alyson Charles
  • The moment Khalil tried plant medicine for the first time and though he was nervous as a former addict, he knew it was time and something he was supposed to do for his healing journey.
  • Why Khalil would not advise anyone newly recovering from drug addiction (0-10 years sober) to try plant medicine.

[1:51:00] Using Plant Medicine Responsibly

  • Why it's so important to use other tools like breathwork, therapy, float tanks, or journaling to help you heal trauma before you even consider doing plant medicine.
  • The dangers of doing plant medicine ceremonies, especially ill-prepared ones, all the time.
  • Why it's not good to do a plant medicine ceremony for only the purpose of getting high; in that scenario, you're basically a drug addict.
  • What can happen if a plant medicine ceremony goes wrong like it did for Josh and why it's so important to be financially stable to help you should you need it.
  • Why you have to look out for unearned wisdom when you try Ayahuasca.
  • Tim Ferriss:An Urgent Plea to Users of Psychedelics: Let’s Consider a More Ethical Menu of Plants and Compounds
  • The importance of holding yourself with loving awareness when you go into a plant medicine ceremony.
  • Why it's not spiritual to have multiple partners; the sacred reunion lies in monogamy no matter your sexual orientation.
  • The power of love and why it's greater than anything else in the world.
  • Why they love living in Austin, Texas so much, especially for its welcoming community.
  • The downside of fame and why it's basically a prison mentally, emotionally, and physically.

[2:11:00] The Healing Power of Community

  • Unpacking what suffering and shame really are and how to move through it.
  • His advice for anyone trying to recover from addiction for the first time.
  • How doing group workouts and suffering with other people made him realize that pushing through these hard things isn't really suffering when you have community.
  • Why anyone can heal, succeed, and find happiness if they really want to go after their goals.
  • The powerful truth that we all get what we want but you have to figure out what that is and take action to make it come true.
  • What wellness means to Khalil after all of the experiences he has had in life.
  • How he sets healthy boundaries for himself and his schedule.
  • Khalil's own self-awareness about what he posts on Instagram and how that impacts him and those who follow his feed.

Power Quotes From The Show

You are the author of your own book of life. If you go into your day with an attitude of gratitude, you're going to attract amazing things. - Khalil Rafati of @sunlifeorganicsClick To Tweet

What Pain Has Personally Taught Khalil

“In my life, pain truly is the touchstone of all spiritual growth. I personally cannot find the humility or the intelligence or the inspiration to have great breakthroughs; I'm just not wired like that. I have to fall down flat on my face or mess up in order to grow, succeed, and have that humility. Other people do not have to experience rock bottom like I did to do the inner work and begin healing but that was and still is my wellness journey.” – Khalil Rafati

Become the Author of Your Own Story

“At a certain point in your life, you cannot rely on your parents anymore. You have to live in sovereignty and take full responsibility for everything that is going on in your life whether it's good or bad. You have to realize that you are the author of your own book of life. The good news is that there is a God or Source that you can turn to when you need it and if you go into your day with an attitude of gratitude, you're going to attract amazing things in your life.” – Khalil Rafati

The Destination Is The Journey

“I didn't start SunLife Organics until I was 41 and I know people who at 25 are stressed that they don't know what they want to do with their life. If you knew what you wanted to do with the rest of your life at 25, I would be scared for you because the destination is the journey. You're supposed to struggle, be confused, be disenchanted, and go through hardships in life to grow, learn who you are, and find out what you want.” – Khalil Rafati


Links From Today's Show 


About Khalil Rafati

Khalil Rafati | From Homeless To Limitless: One Man's Spiritual Journey of Learned Helplessness to Powerful Humility

Khalil Rafati is a speaker, author, and health & wellness entrepreneur. Today, he is the owner of SunLife Organics, a rapidly growing chain of popular juice and smoothie bars in the United States.

Additionally, he is the author of the best-selling book “I Forgot to Die” as well as his newest release “Remembering to Live.”

He also founded Malibu Beach Yoga and Riviera Recovery, a transitional living facility for drug addicts and alcoholics.


Limitless | Khalil Rafati | TEDxWakeForestU

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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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One Response

  1. Josh-I love how YOU show up. You really are a gem of a podcaster/interviewer. This was a gorgeous interview. Thank you SO much.

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