It took me a long time to find my voice
I spent many years as a quiet kid, thinking that everyone had such strong opinions and wondering why I had none.
Then I realized I was shoving down all the things I really thought and felt, beginning with my emotions. I had all this rage inside me, all this hate that didn’t feel like me—after all, I was nice and accommodating. There was no place for negative emotions of any kind.
My first marriage ended in divorce, mainly for these two reasons:
• I struggled with how to be a “man” in the relationship
• I had a hard time admitting when I was wrong
Fortunately, when that marriage ended, I was already enrolled in a men’s group. For over six years, my mentor (Daniel Ellenberg, Ph.D.) facilitated eight men for our 2hr, Thursday eve gatherings. During that time, we’d practice communicating in honest and genuine ways. It was unpredictable, dynamic, messy, and beautiful. The experience felt like a consistent laboratory where we could hit the pause button and go deeper to explore, “what just happened there?”
I learned new ways of relating in the presence of some amazing men. I discovered how rigid I was in my quiet emotions and fixed opinions—and how to access both. Over time, I learned a lesson I did not expect. I learned to move beyond my assumptions about each man and become curious about who they were and what was true for them. At my best, I would remove my armor and let myself be vulnerable, even when it felt like a huge risk.
Those are the moments I now live for—when someone reveals their true self, whether it be in some form of pain or joy. That’s pure magic to me.
I believe the intention behind communication matters more than our choice of words.
My purpose in this world is to give voice to my inner world and help others do the same. And my intention is to be present with myself and others while enjoying the ride.
In addition to being an artist and author, I help visionary leaders uncover and communicate the soul of their business. Along with my co-founder, Ryan Rigoli, we do this work under the name, Soulful Brand.
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I studied writing in college. And after that, I became certified as an Integral Coach, studying how humans change and express themselves along the way—starting with myself. My graphic novels are a culmination of these talents.
As you experience my writing, I hope you’re able to deepen your own self-understanding.
Alexander and the Battle He Could Not Win >> (forthcoming)
Matthew’s self-reflective graphic novel about his addiction to demonizing others.
Tulie’s Garden >> (available to order)
Matthew’s self-reflective graphic novel about his journey from boyhood to manhood.