About Matt Mahalo
From unbelievably bleak (diagnosed with clinical depression) to bounce-back buoyancy and bliss, Matt Mahalo has a pretty interesting story.
On his long journey to creating a happier and much more meaningful life, he has explored many options from traditional healthcare, western and eastern religions, mystical healings, read hundreds of books and finally arrived at an empowered place of choice and clarity over his mental health and day-to-day experience.
In the process of writing his third book “Buoyant“, having recently launched his 2nd book “80 Days of Bliss” as well as an updated version of his first book “The Journey Back to Bliss“, Matt will surely have some helpful thoughts to share with your audience about returning to the original path of deep meaning and true holistic wellness.
Having done much research, with a dramatic personal story and been featured in local/national newspapers, blogs and podcasts, Matt is a great candidate for a fascinating, deeply personal perspective on various mental health and wellbeing issues; from the very serious side of chronic depression, suicidal tendencies and latest research on the crucial links between diet and mental health, to the lighter side of the average person’s search for more meaning and happiness in their everyday life.
Excerpt from “The Journey Back to Bliss”
They say the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions, and I absolutely believe this. For many years I asked negatively framed questions and received negatively framed experiences. I focussed on the pain and the problems and got more pain and problems. I focussed on the mystery and the distance between this unknowable GodForce and myself and experienced confusion and a deep, distressing feeling of separation. I grappled with the powerlessness of life and was left without any sense of control.
By the time I was 25 I lived an insanely torturous double-life: part Bible-toting, prayer-leading, evangelistic Christian, part binge-drinking alcoholic spending half my income on beer and so numbed by depression I would cut myself just to feel anything at all… and that year I decided that life just wasn’t worth living anymore. I was so weighed down by severe debilitating depression that I felt the only answer was to put a very permanent stop to it all.
As they say; “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. With the right help and advice, depression and anxiety are indeed only temporary problems, but at the time I just couldn’t see past the problem to anything worth waiting for. Thankfully though, some unknown glimmer of hope arrested me on the night I had chosen to “complete” what I had been practicing for some time.
I guess what really stopped me was an inspired thought—one that flood-lit my whirlpool of past and future thoughts, of guilt and pessimism, throwing into question all my years of automated, pre-programmed responses to life, which had landed me in the present moment—a thought so shatteringly simple I could not ignore it: This approach to life just isn’t working for me anymore.
So suddenly I could see that I could either put an end to my physical life OR put an end to my approach to life. And, at least on some subconscious level, that was the option I had decided to take…. eventually. I moved away from everything I knew—my home, my city, my state, my friends and drug-buddies—it all became “theirs” and not mine anymore. I needed to start again and re-frame my world, my perceptions, my beliefs, my judgements and my sense of self.
It took me exactly two years out in the “wilderness” before I was ready to come back home. But it was not all roses, and it was certainly not all sorted out. I was still an occassional binge-drinking alcoholic and I was still struggling with the unrelenting weight of severe depression.
However, things were changing… I began to allow some of the black-and-white judgements about myself and life to fall away. I began to allow the possibility of happiness to sneak in. I read books like The Art of Happiness which began the re-programming process… and I began, ever so slowly, to get on “the path” and feel a little more of that magical bliss, moment by moment…
→ Book Matt Mahalo for interviews or speaking engagements
→ Find out more about “The Journey Back to Bliss”
→ Read about Matt’s new book, “Buoyant”
→ See Matt’s artwork
→ Find out about music by Matt Mahalo
→ Download Photos of Matt Mahalo (ZIP)