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August 2, 2021 48 min


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If you guys have been following the recent episodes, you know that I was recently in the jungles of Costa Rica with a group of special forces military vets to work with the psychedelic plant medicine Ayahuasca in an effort to confront and heal PTSD experienced in combat.

One of the men who I immediately connected with on this journey was Brandon Mills – a Marine RECON Scout Sniper turned musician who has spent a number of years on the inner work journey after coming to grips with his own PTSD that he suffered during war.

I knew I needed to bring Brandon on this podcast because his story is one of taking his greatest pain and not only turning it into one of his greatest teachers, but also a source of his greatest creation – the music that he now puts out into the world.

And to help me dig into this story, we have a special guest appearance from Keith Bracci – who was also on the Costa Rica trip – and he’ll be standing in for Bryan today.

Who is Brandon Mills

  • Brandon has lived his life as a warrior, a poet, a servant, and an artist. 
  • Brandon served in the Marine Corps as a Recon Marine (short for reconnaissance) – this is the elite group of men who do their work at night, clandestine, unseen by the enemy.
  • He was a Scout Sniper with tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • He endured hellish training – sleep deprivation, food deprivation, inhumane living conditions – as part of his preparation for the horrors of war
  • After leaving the Marines Brandon began questioning the systemic issues that control many of the world’s citizens. 
  • He spent the next few years serving in orphanages and refugee camps around the globe, with the desire to give and learn the deep issues of humanity’s broken heart. 
  • He spent years in 20s walking around with PTSD without knowing it, living in his own personal hell
  • It was only when he turned to inner work was he able to begin his healing journey…and start the next chapter of his life as a musician
  • In This Episode:

  • What it’s like to live with PTSD for years without knowing it (and how to identify the symptoms)
  • How being tough and vulnerable are not mutually exclusive
  • The conditions required to train and create an elite fighter
  • Why you need to pursue what’s uncomfortable to build courage and strength
  • Why pain and love can be your two greatest teachers
  • Why being an artist is more challenging than being a Marine Recon
  • When your suffering has meaning, it can be one of the greatest growth catalysts of your life
  • We also have a first on this show:

    Stick around to the very end of this episode, and we’ll roll into the full-length version of Brandon’s most popular song on Spotify – Don’t Mistake – which is a song he wrote in the aftermath of transitioning from combat veteran to active civilian.  He wanted to remind himself and others that perfect love casts out fear.

    Books referenced in this episode

    The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
    Warrior’s Creed by Roger Sparks


    Brandon Mills’ Resources

    Brandon Mills Station on Spotify
    Don’t Mistake on Spotify
    Glistening on Spotify

    Don’t Mistake on YouTube

    Brandon’s Website:

    Brandon on IG: @BrandonMillsMusic

    Inquire about hiring Brandon for a music house tour in your city: DM on IG -

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