Episode #119 Combat, Hitting Bottom and Finding a Way to the Light
Veteran's Day is a day of remembrance and gratitude. Join us today with special guest Justin LaPree, a decorated US Marine Veteran and a former Austin, Texas, firefighter who has found healing and hope.
After returning home from the Middle East, he struggled with a TBI, PTSD, and survivor's guilt, enduring everything from homelessness to opioid dependence. In 2018, he attempted suicide in the parking lot of his Austin, Texas, fire station. After his failed attempt, a friend suggested he read Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. After several experiences with sacred fungi and plant medicines, Justin's lost memories resurfaced, his suicidal ideation ceased, his PTSD diminished, and along the way, he rediscovered the truest form of himself.
After 15 years of losing friends to suicide, Justin was determined to create a safe and sacred container for healing, connection, and transformation. In 2022, he founded Heroic Path to Light, a Texas-based nonprofit entheogenic church serving veterans, first responders, and Gold/White star communities.
Heroic Path to Light is currently guiding a courageous group of ten female veterans through a transformative 25-week program, with a pivotal week-long in-person retreat that concluded on October 20th. This retreat, designed explicitly for women who have endured the traumas of sexual assault, provided a sanctuary for healing, self-discovery, and communal support. Within this sacred space, the participants engaged with ancient entheogenic practices, allowing for profound emotional and spiritual healing. As they continue their journey through the remainder of the program, these women are supported in integrating their experiences from the retreat into their daily lives. The commitment to nurturing a powerful sisterhood empowers participants to process and transcend their trauma, forging a path toward resilience and a renewed sense of purpose.
In this episode, we cover the following:
- Justin shares his struggles, misdiagnosis, and journey as a Military Veteran.
- He reflects on the common experiences of veterans and first responders, emphasizing the importance of addressing mental health in these communities
- The transformative psilocybin experience led to the creation of the "Heroic Path to Light."
- The organization was established to provide legal psychedelic therapies in the United States under the guise of a religious institution, utilizing legal protections for religious freedom.
- Heroic Path to Light's program is comprehensive, spanning 25 weeks and catering to veterans, first responders, and their families, with a focus on accessibility and affordability.
- The women's program addresses issues of sexual trauma and abuse among female veterans, emphasizing empowerment and healing.
- The organization's future plans
- Heroic Path to Light helps veterans, first responders, and Gold/White Star families heal, transform, and find purpose through community, connection, and sacred psychedelic medicine retreats. Their retreat experiences are enriched by comprehensive preparation and integration, and they foster a community where mutual understanding and shared experience thrive. All retreats are U.S. based, safe, and legal. They believe if you served America, you deserve to heal IN America. To Donate, visit this LINK
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
- Inside the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Playlist by John Hopkin’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. Listen on Spotify
- Santo Daime
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