Matt Runnalls – How Mindfulness Changed His Life Forever
- 26 October 2020
- Posted by: GIANNA LUCAS
- Category: Podcasts
Mindfulness…it’s a strong contender for ‘Word of the Year’ in 2020! One of the things this global pandemic has done is force our entire society to slow down and be more mindful. It opened our eyes to see and value what’s really important in life – things like our mates, our fam, and most importantly our own mental and physical health.
Mental Health Month is coming to an end here in Australia and to be honest, it couldn’t have come at a better time with everything we’re all experiencing at the moment.
So we’re really excited to introduce you to this week’s guest on Power Up Life…Matt Runnalls – Speaker, Mentor, Facilitator, Advocate and CEO & also Founder of Mindfull Aus. And oh yeah…he’s a Happow Ambassador as well!
Matt has an incredible story. He has been through the trenches. There’s a reason why he’s so passionate about mental health. There’s a reason he’s shared his story on so many stages, not just here in Australia, but around the world.
So in this episode, Matt opens up about his transformational journey, what life was like for him as a tradie, entrepreneurship, his super-relatable top tips when feeling overwhelmed and so much more. He even drops a super awesome bombshell as well, so stay tuned for that!
Also a quick content warning on this episode, as we discuss mental health. Listener discretion is advised. If you do need someone to talk to or you’re in danger to yourself or others, you can always ring the wonderful people at Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Now let’s Power Up Life!
Host: Co-Founder/CEO Happow, Gianna Lucas
Producers: Gianna Lucas, Marija Dukadinovska, Carissa Shale
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Gianna Lucas: This is Power Up Life, the podcast. I’m your host, Giana Lucas, Co- Founder and CEO at Happow, the social enterprise that powers this podcast. We help you slay life in high school, uni and beyond. Each week on the show, you’ll learn epic life skills in a super chill way, hear from well- known legends, as they reveal their biggest setbacks and milestones to date, and you’ll find out what our Happow squad think about a whole stack of topics too. From epic challenges to super raw moments, this show has it all, so let’s power up life.
Mindfulness, I reckon it’s a strong contender for word of the year, in 2020. One of the things this global pandemic has done is force our entire society to slow down, and be more mindful. It’s opened our eyes to see and value what’s really important in life; things like our mates, our fam, and most importantly, our own mental and physical health. Mental health month is coming to an end here in Australia, and to be honest, it couldn’t have come at a better time with everything we’re all experiencing at the moment. So I’m really, really excited to introduce you to this week’s guest on Power Up Life, Matt Runnels. He’s a speaker, mental facilitator, advocate and CEO, and also founder of Mindfull Aus. Oh, and oh yeah, he’s a Happow ambassador as well. I know, super awesome. Matt has an incredible story. Trust me when I say he has been through the trenches.
There’s a reason why he’s so passionate about mental health. There’s a reason he’s shared his story on so many stages, not just here in Australia, but around the world. So in this episode, Matt opens up about his transformational story, what life was like for him as a tradie, entrepreneurship, he’s super relatable top tips when feeling overwhelmed, and so much more. He even drops a super awesome bombshell as well. So, stay tuned for that. Also, a quick content warning on this episode as we discuss mental health, listener discretion is advised. And, if you do need someone to talk to, or are in danger to yourself or others, you can always ring the wonderful people at lifeline on 13, 11, 14, or kids helpline on 1800 55 1800. Now, let’s power up life. Matt Runnels, thank you so much for coming on Power Up Life.
Matt Runnalls: Thanks for having me, and thanks for starting meaningful conversations. I love what you’re doing, and love that many people out there are getting a hold of the tools, tips, and strategies to live a better, more healthy and resilient life.
Gianna Lucas: Yes. And, that is what we’re all about here. And, I think it’s a wonderful thing because we want to uplift any power, and we are going through some uncharted waters at the moment, which does bring up a lot of concern, and uncertainty in people’s lives. Just quickly on that, I’d love to ask you. In this time of COVID 19, and part lockdowns around Australia. I know you and I both in Melbourne at the moment. How are you finding it all, especially in the line of work that you do?
Matt Runnalls: I’m really enjoying it. I normally have a diary that’s chock- a- block full of work, and I love what I do, and travel around the world, doing what I do. But, it’s nice to have the freedom at the moment to create, and to upskill, and to better myself, so that I can come out of this situation a better person. But, also with more tools, and techniques, and strategies, not only to live well, but to better my career. So, I’m really enjoying the freedom of not having to be anywhere and doing anything, and I can just put that time, attention into me, so that I can be a better advocate, and a better person. So, I mean, I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. And I think you’re right, because you are allowed to be more mindful now because there’s less things in the diary, therefore you can spend more time at home. And I guess, brainstorming and getting excited about the future, but also taking a step back. Like you were saying to me, before we went on air to do the interview that, ” You’re doing a lot of podcasts at the moment, doing your own, but then also being featured on others like ours.” But, how has that been for you? You loving it?
Matt Runnalls: It’s great. It’s fantastic. And, I love the meaningful conversations have started out in the world. I love the way in which some of these podcasts are getting a little bit deeper into what I’ve been through, and how I’ve come out of it, and not so much around the story itself. I mean, I got to press play on that trauma every single day, which I’m fine to do. But, I just think that there’s better things to get out of my journey than me just being able to tell my story.
That motivational lasts for 20 minutes for some people, but the tools and skills that I’m able to share with people that have got me through will last a lot longer than that. And so, I’m really loving that opportunity to share that with people. And, I do a lot of podcasts even pre COVID, think I’m doing about three to four podcasts a day, which it’s crazy.
Gianna Lucas: Just a couple.
Matt Runnalls: It’s nice. People start meaningful conversations, and we’re seeing a lot of positivity, and a lot of tools and techniques spread around the world. And, that’s a very beautiful thing for everyone.
Gianna Lucas: I know that you’ve shared your story many times over, and I know you’ve just addressed that then, but I do want to ask you a question about it, because for someone who hasn’t heard it before, or hasn’t heard an in- depth story, I’d love to be able to tap into that, just to give context to people as to why you’ve started Mindfull Aus, and why you’ve done so much good work with it.
Because, there is always a backstory, and even before we started this interview, I shared so much of my backstory as well for someone who has experienced years, and years, and years of chronic and debilitating anxiety. I understand that, that a 100 percent is the reason why I do what I do today. And so, I wanted to ask, like in your past, and looking into your story, and let’s just cut to the chase, you’ve lost six mates from suicide since you were 12 years old. I mean that’s (crosstalk) …
Matt Runnalls: Yeah, eight.
Gianna Lucas: Eight. Oh, it’s even more, eight.
Matt Runnalls: Yeah.
Gianna Lucas: That’s tough. That is really tough.
Matt Runnalls: Yeah, it is. And, it’s the energy, and drive, and force that I have in tenure, and do the work that I do, so I’m very, very blessed in many ways that this has happened to me, and I’ve been strong enough to get through to this moment right now, and to use that for the betterment of others. And yeah, unfortunately I lost my first mate to suicide at the age of 12, and just like any other kid out there, an energetic, bubbly, cocky, smart ass, little 12 year old kid with no worry in the world. And, I didn’t really have the impact that a lot of the others have had, just because I had a lot of ignorance, and a lack of education around what that looked like. And, I couldn’t really fathom how anyone’s life could be that bad that, that would be their actions that they needed to take.
And, my ignorance and lack of understanding towards mental health or brain pain, as I like to call it, led to my spiral out of control myself. So essentially, it’s a cut on the brain, and it bleeds out until we deal with it. And, it’s the same as a limb. So, I live with that trauma for a few more years down the track to the age of 16, and I lost two mates at the age of 16 to suicide, and four more at the age of 20. I mean another one, the fourth one at the age of 20, sorry. And, between 20 and 26, I lost four more mates to suicide. And, it’s a lot of pain and trauma to experience, and it’s a lot of situations that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
But as I said at the start, I’m very grateful, and blessed that in many ways that experiences have happened to me, so I’ve become a much better person for it. And externally, I’m able to give these tools, tips, strategies, and those stories of hope, heal and recovery to many people around the world, and hope that they don’t have to experience, and endure the same traumatic times that I have. However, I know many will, but it’s about knowing what to do when we get into these situations, because there’s a lot of life’s inevitable situations and challenges that are going to happen.
But, as long as we’re equipped to know that we’re strong enough to get through them. And fortunate for me, I’ve had the support around me, and whatever amount of resilience that I must have had during those times to get through. And, I’m very grateful that I’m able to sit here, and talk about these things, and use stories that have maybe hurt me in hope that someone gets something out of that to move them forward, that would be a beautiful thing.
Gianna Lucas: And, I was reading that in 20, I think, 16, you were still working at a full- time tradie. What were you doing as a tradie. Were you carpenter, plumber?
Matt Runnalls: Plumber. So, I was a qualified plumber, I dropped out of school in year 11 to go pursue plumbing. And, I didn’t drop out of school because I was bad at it, or I wanted to do plumbing. I dropped out of school, because I just couldn’t sit still. So, I found myself getting in a lot of trouble, and that was a part of the bipolar that I wasn’t familiar with, and able to manage. So yeah, I become a plumber after year 11, and did that right up until July of 2017. So, I was operating the charity at the same time I was a plumber. I don’t miss plumbing at all. I do enjoy plumbing at all, and some of the most traumatic experiences outside of the loss of mates have happened for me in the construction industry. And, that was a big part of my reason as to fix these stigmas, and this macho environment that we see in blue- collar industries, and people from seeking help and support. And again, just another situation where I can use those experiences for the betterment of myself, and others.
Gianna Lucas: And, I think you hit the nail on the head, because I’ve got a few mates that are in the construction blue- collar industry. And, we’ve had a lot of heart to hearts at dinner when we’re all together. And, they’ll just say point blank, ” Even though that they’re a deep thinker, they feel like in those environments, they can’t be completely themselves.” ” They can’t be vulnerable, because vulnerability in that industry equals… Not quiet, you’re a loser, but you’re not strong enough.” Because, they see strength as physical strength, not mental mindful strength. And, I know in chatting with my friends, they find it very difficult to the point where sometimes I just want to throw in the towel, and not continue in that industry because it is so tough.
And, especially those that are in more of the management construction roles, they’ve tried to use their influence to create cultural change in that environment. Because you’re right, it’s very, very different. And, I think it’s so great that you’re spending time in trying to empower those industries to grow, just because you’re a sensitive soul does not in any way mean that you’re not strong, in fact, it shows that you’re even stronger.
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. I think it’s really important. We all live with problems and challenges, but yet some reason we think it’s attractive to hide them. But, I think what really attractive is someone who steps forward and owns the stuff that they’ve gone through, and works their way through it, and then uses them experiences to help others. And, that vulnerability is strength. That is the birthplace of strength, and the more people we can make aware about, or encourage to step forward and own their story, the better this place will be for everyone to live in. So, it starts in those blue- collar industries. They’re really tough sort of environments, and for many years, very cliquey. You don’t want to talk to your boss about the things you’re experiencing, because maybe the jobs that he’ll put you on will be less, or maybe the hours will be less, or maybe he’ll even get rid of you. And, there was a lot of things that I faced through my experiences. So yeah, you just suppress the emotions, and that’s not healthy for anyone.
So, I just encourage so many people to find the people that make them feel like they belong, and not fit in.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah.
Matt Runnalls: Because there’s a big difference between those two. And, when I did and essentially found the people that made me feel comfortable and safe and supported in sharing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but then life started to become that little bit easier for me.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. And, you raised such an important point there. There is a difference between belonging and fitting in. Can you describe for us what the difference is for those who are curious, like myself?
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. That’s fitting in for, I think a lot of people, I see from a distance of fitting in. And, fitting in is when we have to show up, and bring something to the table in order to be accepted, to be a part of this group. Whereas a belonging is showing up as your authentic unapologetically, as you, as weird as wacky, and as wild as that is, or as emotional as it is, being who you really are, and not having to bring anything to the table other than just who you really are. And to find, and to feel comfort in that group when you do so. So, huge difference. I see it a lot of time on Instagram and social media, people trying to fit in, and be something that they’re not, to feel accepted, and to feel they have a place here.
Whereas, we don’t think, act or behave the same as anyone else. And yet, society will try and confine us to do so. So, it’s about being who you really are. And, when we believe in ourselves, when we be ourselves, and when we learn to love ourselves a little bit more for who we are; well then, life satisfaction improves dramatically, and it has for me, a 100 percent
Gianna Lucas: Exactly. Right. And, we all have an individual fingerprint. You think of it like that, none of us are the same. We’re all uniquely different. And, sometimes we think that when we look at particular groups, ” Oh, they’re all the same.” You just presume, there’s this presumption made, and therefore you feel like, Well, I am so different.” But the reality is, as you said, each and every one of us are so different. It’s just that sometimes we put on a front to show that, ” Ah now, I’ll pretend to be exactly like you.
And I have to say that in my own life, when I have been, especially my young years as a teenager, when I try to fit in a couple of times, and perhaps not belong, it would never work out. I would be emotionally and physically exhausted, because it’s almost like I’m playing a character. I’m acting. And, you can only act for a certain amount of time before you crash and burn, because you’re just stuffed. And for me, I learned at a young age to go, ” Nah, I’d rather just be myself than have to show up as somebody else, because that is just an exhausting existence, and people will never appreciate me for who I am if I don’t let them in.
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. I mean, it’s just so much easier to live in a world in which I can show up and be myself. And my Instagram, all of a sudden now, it doesn’t have a lot of me doing a lot of social things. My Instagram is purely about wellbeing, resilience, and doing things that make life easier for me, and other people. And, people will unfollow that, people ask me to post other things, and we want to see what you do outside of work, Matt. But for me, I find the people that really love and enjoy that, and I feel accepted by the people that still do want to be a part of that. So, it’s just much easier to be who you are, and not someone else. As you said, ” It’s very exhausting to try, and front up with a mask on every day.” And, I did it for about eight years, so it’s just…
Gianna Lucas: And, how did you find it? Did you literally, just after years ago, I’ve had enough? Like, what was that tipping point?
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. I mean well, the kick up butt, that I really needed was the loss of me sixth mate, which was one of me best mates to taking his own life. And I mean, it was just so exhausting for me. I sat in bath in the challenges, and the problems that I was experiencing for a long time. And, as I talk about it as a bathtub, I sit in that bath tub of challenges, problems, trauma, pain, and bathing in it, and soaking up in it, instead of jumping out of that bath tub, and trying to find, or trying to build a ladder to get out of that bath time, as such. So, the kick up the butt that I really needed was sitting at the back of the funeral with my sixth mate, and realizing, ” If not me, then who?” ” And, enough’s enough,”
(inaudible) two things that come to my head that day, and I decided, ” Well, if I don’t want to sit out the back of more of these auditoriums, and I don’t want anyone else in this room to do the same thing as me, well, I’m going to have to do something about it.” ” Now, I’ve got to stop blaming the system, and stop blaming people around my mates that treated them poorly, or poor workplaces, stop blaming everyone Matt, and actually do something about it, fix those problems.”
And so, that’s what I’m actively out there in the world trying to do right now is, take acceptance and onus for the position that I’ve been put in, and the experiences that I’ve… There’s no fortunate about it, but I’ve lived, and I’m able to use them to create magic for someone else. And, I think there’s a lesson in that for everyone, about not trying to blame any other situation on anyone else, and to control what we can control. And, we’re also valuable in this field of wellness to each other.
Gianna Lucas: And you’re exactly right. It’s not playing the victim card and saying, ” Oh, Whoa me, whoa me.” As you said, you decided to do something about it, so instead of being a victim, you’d be a victor. You decide to be victorious, and clearly seeing this time and time again in my own life, and speaking to people, everything happens for a reason.
And, sometimes the most difficult of circumstances in life happen to us, because we’re meant to either learn something, grow. It’s amazing to see that despite all the trauma that you have experienced, look what you’ve done with it. You’ve turned it around, and now you’re impacting thousands of people, because of that choice that you made. And, I’d like to think the same thing in my own life, that I’ve decided to not play victim, and instead to utilize this opportunity that we have to make a difference, and create change in our community.
And, I remember reading about something that you said time and time again, and you’ve always said, ” I want to ensure the next generation doesn’t walk into the unknown, like I did.” Can you tell us if there are people listening right now, who perhaps, are going through a lot at the moment, maybe their circumstances at home are hostile, maybe they’re in environments that are causing severe trauma on their mind. They’re feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, lost. Maybe they’re feeling like their mates aren’t there for them, in their own head. And they feel like, I don’t know what I’m going to do. They’re just lost. What would you say to that person right now, to help them get out of that head space that their in?
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. Just know that every single bit of pain, or trauma, or any thought, feeling and emotion that you’re experiencing right now is carving you into the person that you’re meant to become. It’s an action signal for change. And, although them changes might take a little bit of work, some will take a lot of work. So, worthwhile. As I said, ” I sat in bathed for eight years in the emotional pain, and thoughts, and feelings that I was experiencing.” And, never imagined a life possible as the one that I’m living right now, but it is. When we tap into the strength that exists in every single one of us, we can become a beautiful, meaningful soul and set out to make the difference will bond to make it takes work. It takes tallest work, but the human being is wired for love, belonging, and connection. All we ever want as a human is to love and be loved, seen, heard, felt, and got, and when people can show up and be that person with, to each other, where we can show up and be that person to ourselves what’s ahead is very beautiful.
So, take it from someone who sat on the bottom of life for a long, long time. I’m climbing my way back to the top. I’ve got no idea what the top looks like, but it’s a continual fight to get there, but something beautiful does exist. I never imagined that a life like this would exist for me. And, through tireless work on my mind and behavioral health, by doing the things that I can do, that are free to us, that we possess unlimited amounts of, we can become a better person. And, that’s your gratitude, your compassion, nutrition, exercise, get rid of the toxicity out of your life. Make sure your values align with your behaviors. Breathwork, meditation, all these things, cold exposure, there’s so many good things that we can tap into. You don’t realize the strength we can be, but I think it takes for you to get to the very bottom to realize exactly how strong you can be. And, I know I’ve experienced that.
So, just know that it’s possible for any single person out there that’s listening, doesn’t matter the emotional pain that you’ve been through, use that pain to create magic. Stop kicking back off it, stop thinking that it’s going to be there for the rest of your life, because it’s a mindset shift between survival and fighting. And, choose to fight, because what’s ahead for you is definitely worth fighting for.
Gianna Lucas: That was an amazing speech. I love it. You said so many beautiful things right there. Exactly, it is a choice that we get to make, and it is a mind set shift. And as you said, ” You’ve been to the bottom, you’ve been in the trenches.” ” You’ve been at the bottom of that well, you know exactly what it feels like,” so you get them, you get it.
Yeah. And, I think you’re a perfect example of somebody who’s chosen to make that decision, to change your life and to impact others. And, I’m sure you will be empowering a lot of people, in just what you’ve said, just then. I’d also love to ask you a question. Now, I’ve read on your website, and this is quite funny, I just have to explore this a little bit more, that your story has been featured in songs. Please explain.
Matt Runnalls: Two songs out there in the world now, that have based, I guess, their lyrics off hearing my story. So, one band set up the back of one of my keynotes one time, and then they went away and wrote a song called, Bring Me Back to Life. The band is Before Time Fades and they sang, Bring Me Back to Life, which is a story about my first attempt, and how I overcome that. And, the thought of kids is what brings me energy and drive every single day to continue. And then, the second song was written by [ Chavonne Callahan Tasker 00:00:20:00], and she sang that at our charity gala ball to open up, last year in October.
So, that song is fantastic. And, I’d love to be able to share that with everyone, it’s brilliant. And, that story is more about the loss of my mates, especially Sean, that I lost in 2016, and how I’ve used those experiences for the betterment of others. And, hopefully not being in that same position, or is there something that I could have done differently, and all the rest of that, and all these constant thoughts that I experienced. So, it’s nice that two people only heard me speak once, and went away and went “well, I’m going to write a story about that.” ” I’ll write a song about that,” and they have. And, the songs have been very, very popular. And yeah, seen by thousands, tens of thousands of people, which is brilliant.
Gianna Lucas: Quite amazing. Did you ever think that songs would be written about you?
Matt Runnalls: Not at all. When I got the third phone call, I think I was running around football training, and I got a message, and I think it was a cold night, and I’m thinking, “How can I get off the training track here?” And, I went over and checked me phone. And, the bloke goes… He’d inbox me and said, ” Matt, I’ve written a song about you.”
” Yeah, I’d like your help on finalizing the lyrics, and seeing what changes we can make.” There’s actually a third one, that’s just recently done one. He wrote the song about himself after sitting in an auditorium, hearing me speak, he was inspired to write a song about his journey. So yeah, it’s nice to have words, and be able to articulate things in ways that make people inspired to do other things.
And, that’s the idea of being a leader in any sort of field, isn’t to create followers, it’s to create more leaders. And as I said at the start, it’s about helping people believe in themselves, and be more of themselves, and love themselves. And, I think there’s three people that have gone away, and done that, and created magic for many other people, which is a beautiful thing.
Gianna Lucas: It’s so true, you’re right. It’s not about creating followers, it’s about creating leaders. What’s next for you then? Would you like to be featured in a movie, or a TV show? Like, have you got anything on the cards you want to share?
Matt Runnalls: Nah, TV doesn’t interest me. I have been in a 2018 documentary of the year, Suicide the Ripple Effect. I was only featured in that for a very small amounts of time, but that’s a six time international award- winning documentary, that’s been seen in 20 to 30 countries by familiar people.
So yeah, it was a nice taste of a story of my mentor, and one of my best friends in Kevin Hines. And, I was just lucky to play a part in that, nice meaningful conversations started in many different formats. And, if there’s anything I can ever do to leverage the conversation, I’m going to do it. So, apart from reality TV, I did get asked to go on that a couple of years ago, and I declined. I’m not interested in drama, and [crosstalk 00:22: 26]…
Gianna Lucas: Hang on. Where did you get asked to go?
Matt Runnalls: Etxalar.
Gianna Lucas: Really?
Matt Runnalls: [crosstalk 00:22:32]…
Gianna Lucas: I can actually see. I can see, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you got the hair and the smile, and the eyes, and all that going for you. Yeah, okay. And, you said, ” No.”
Matt Runnalls: I wasn’t (inaudible) much on the looks front, what we’re really looking for is mental health advocates. And, they wanted to bring mental health mainstream to the TVs, and seeing that Honeybadger did it. So, [crosstalk 00:22: 50]…
Gianna Lucas: There you go.
Matt Runnalls: They asked a couple of us, mental health advocates in the field, if we would be interested in looking into it, all of us declined. So yeah, there’s other ways in which I can get my story, and to get education out there other than to go through that reality TV, drama, and [ inaudible 00:23:07]…
Gianna Lucas: And, it is full on. It is a full on experience to go through The Bachelor. I mean, just side note, the fact is, is that you’re in an environment where your phones away from you, it’s living with people, especially for the contestants. You’re living with people that you’ve never met before. You’re competing essentially for the one guy or one girl, depending on the season. And, it’s difficult. It’s almost like the rise of the fittest, or whatever the saying is.
And, it’s really traumatizing. And sometimes, you do hear the contestants coming out and saying, ” It was difficult and yes, you get to make friends in there, but it also can be very traumatizing for many.” And you’re right, I think being a mental health advocate, you don’t want to be advocating for something that can be very difficult for some people. And yes, it makes good television, but you’re dealing with humans here. You’re dealing with the wellbeing of lots of people.
Matt Runnalls: Yeah. It’s not my sort of thing. I mean, I’d really love to go on Survivor. I think that there’s a different element to that. And I mean, as I said, if there’s ways in which you can leverage a conversation, and if there’s ways in which we can get people talking about this thing, I’m open to anything. But, I think that the ways in which we’re doing it right now are much more beneficial ways for my health, and wellbeing, and the people out there. I mean, mum always said, “Don’t go on reality TV, Matt.” ” You don’t have a filter, so it’s not going to be good for you.”
Gianna Lucas: That sometimes makes the best television, the no filter, anyway.
Matt Runnalls: I would be a television…. Yeah, they’d love to have my mouth on, but I don’t think it would get me much benefit at all. So, I have a way in which to just be authentic, and real. And, I think that is good for TV, but sometimes it’s not good for the rest of it.
Gianna Lucas: Well, I think what you’re doing is very good. And, I’m glad you’re making choices that benefit yourself, and many of those around you. I think Mindfull Aus is a fantastic charity, an amazing organization doing such great work. And, I’d love to ask you, how can people get in touch with Mindfull Aus? How can they be a part of it? Are they ways for them to do that?
Matt Runnalls: Yeah, absolutely. Some of the best stories have come from people that have reached out to me and said that, ” They want to get involved in volunteering.” I mean, one of our incredible story, [ Jamie Monroe 00:25: 08], now she’s married. She came to me probably about four years ago and said, ” I love the work that you’re doing.” ” Is there a way in which I can get involved?” And, I said to her after many discussions, ” How well are you?” And, she was obviously passionate because she was experiencing these things, and she related with my journey, and how authentic I was on it. And so, she wanted to help, and I said, ” How well are you?” And she said, ” No, I could be more well.” And I said, ” I know, I can see it.” ” How about we work together, and I’ll give you the tools, tips, and strategies in which I use, and we’ll see if they work for you, and we’ll get you to a place of wellness, so that you’re going to be the best advocate you can be, and I’ll support you on that journey.”
So, she went away and worked on herself. She came back, and she volunteered for three years. After volunteering, she then is now a speaker for the charity. She facilitates our programs and workshops, and she was the first ever employee at Mindfull Aus. So, beautiful journey of someone who took onus and acceptance for their journey, and just climbed, and climbed, and climbed. And, she’s such a fantastic advocate, and she’s so authentic and replicates everything that people need to see, hear and feel. So, I mean, if people are listening and I mean, I always get asked, ” How can I help?”
” How can I get involved?” And, people just want to speak straight away, and tell their story. But, what’s important is to understand why you’re speaking, and to know that everyone in the country has got a story to tell. So, it’s about understanding that I’ve got so much knowledge, and education, and information behind me, so that I’m always equipped to deal with any question that’s asked, or any situation that I’m putting.
And, I think that’s the role of an advocate. So volunteer, see how we do things, join in facilitating workshops when the time is right, and the values align. And, we want people to follow their journey, and to be the best version that they can be to themselves, and to everyone out there. And, however we can support that, we do. So, we have a big volunteer database of 50 to 100 people. We’ve got facilitators that are all between 20 and 30 years old, and keynote speakers in every State, across Australia, and even some across the world. So, it’s a nice little team of people that are just passionate, and all our values align, and we’re all in it for the right reasons. And, that’s a very beautiful thing, and sometimes it’s a rare thing.
Gianna Lucas: And, I think you’re going to continue to draw many amazing people into your organization, just like that lady. I think it’s incredible that she started off as a volunteer, but you worked with her, and now she’s ended up being a leader. I think that’s an amazing story, one of many. Now up next, we’re going to ask you some of your biggest, and smallest things that you’re grateful for in your life, and of course, the challenge
Carissa Shale : Power Up Life with Happow, a social enterprise powered by you. This week we asked you how you find your Zen when life gets hectic. And, here’s what you have to say.
Speaker 5: When life gets hectic, something I like to do is go for a walk or a run. It releases endorphins, leaving me feeling a lot more relaxed, not only that, but I use my journal jotting down all the things, and later realizing that they aren’t so full on, as you may think. Just break it down, and I can assure you that it will be okay.
It is also good to take a break for yourself. Have a spa night, fake tan, it is never too selfish, because it just makes you better, as a person.
Speaker 6: When life gets hectic, I like to organize my space and clean my head by writing a to- do list, to get everything out. And then, I spend some time doing some activity, and moving my body. So, I’ll do some like stretching, or go for a walk. And, that movement really helps me find my Zen, and calm down, and focus on what’s important.
Speaker 7: When life gets hectic, to define my Zen, often I just like to go out at the back of my house. There’s a nice little bit of open area in Parkland, and I’ll just sit there with a book, and a cup of tea or coffee, and let my dog run around, and just watch her, and watch the birds. And often, I’ll take off my shoes, and just run my feet through the grass, and just really grounded and take everything in, and just take some nice slow breaths, and just enjoy that moment. To just know that everything’s okay, and it’s good to slow down.
Speaker 8: I try to keep a healthy routine going, such as going to bed early, or going on a morning run. I find both of these things that I do, just really set up my day well, and also help me maintain a positive mindset.
Carissa Shale : I’m Carissa shale, and that’s this week’s talk topic. Got something to share, drop us an email, yoursay@ happow. com.
Brendan: Learn epic life skills in a super chill way. Sign up for free at happow. com.
Gianna Lucas: All right, Matt, what’s one big thing that you are grateful for in your life that you just couldn’t live without?
Matt Runnalls: This would be my god- daughter. There’s a long story behind that, but the thought in 2012, that saved my life as the thought of having kids. So, it’s the energy and drive that keeps me going. It’s my end goal, combined with the thought of, I don’t want my kids to grow up in the same environment that exists right now, I want my kids to grow up in something far better.
I mean, that’s what I’m working towards. So for me, knowing that the lady that took me in off the street, the young girl that took me in off the street when I was homeless in 2012, she’s my best friend, and I love her. And, I mean, she’s going to be upset that I picked her for being my biggest grateful thing. But, she had a daughter called Silver, and Silver is my little god- daughter. And just seeing her, the joy that she brings to everyone around her, and it just rewrites my thought of one day, I’m going to have kids too, and that’s why I’m here. And, that’s my energy and drive every single day, to get up and be better.
Gianna Lucas: That’s probably one of the best answers we’ve ever been given. Not to be biased. Like I’m not biased, I love all our interviewees, but that was… You made me very emotional, I’m a sensitive soul. That’s incredible. Okay. All right. What’s one small thing that you’re grateful for? You going to make me cry again, or what are you going to say?
Matt Runnalls: More things that probably might you cry again. That’s a really tough one. I just, the color of my logo is orange, when I see orange, that’s the color that I’m very grateful for us, replicates that the sun comes up again tomorrow, and I’ve got another chance, and I’m grateful to be alive. So, the color orange, wherever I see it, I’m just very grateful for that.
Gianna Lucas: That’s beautiful. Oh my goodness, you making me cry again, ah. Yeah, you’re having some water. I feel like I’m making you emotional, so you may cry.
Matt Runnalls: I need a breather.
Gianna Lucas: That was beautiful. Amazing. All right. Up next, we’ve got the challenge. Don’t worry, we won’t cry. You might be crying some angry tears, because you might lose. You never know. But, it will be great.
Carissa Shale : You’re listening to a Happow podcast.
Gianna Lucas: Now it’s time for the challenge. I’m super excited about this, because I reckon Matt is going to be potentially something that stumps you. You’re a great man, you’ve done so much good work, but I don’t know how good you are at this game. Or, maybe you are amazing at it. Maybe you were superman. You’re not the bachelor, but you’re Superman.
All right. So, the game is called Heads Up. It’s by Ellen DeGeneres. It’s one of our faves that we play at the Power Up life show. So basically, it’s like celebrity heads. You pop your phone on your head, and then you have to help me guess the right answers. I’ve going to help you get the right answers. There’s two rounds. I think we should do superstars. I think that’s going to be a good one. I think it’s an easy one. Are you up for this? Do you think this is something you can commit to?
Matt Runnalls: I’m up for the challenge. We don’t know how good I’ll be, but I’m up for the challenge.
Gianna Lucas: You’re up for the challenge. Okay. Now the question is, would you like to go first? So, would you like to help me guess, or would you like me to help you guess for round one?
Matt Runnalls: I like to help you guess.
Gianna Lucas: Okay. So, I’m going to place it on my head, and you’ll help me. Okay. I hope you good at describing things. How are you at describing things?
Matt Runnalls: We’ll see. I might need to go away and improve after this, but we’ll see what happens.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. Okay, have you played this game before?
Matt Runnalls: No.
Gianna Lucas: (inaudible) Right. Well, this is another that you can play with your mates, it’s great, especially during COVID. I’ve got Brendan here. Brendan, come through, come through. Say hello.
Brendan: How you going guys?
Gianna Lucas: Good.
Matt Runnalls: Hey mate.
Gianna Lucas: So, Brendan like always is going to be adjudicating. All right, I’ve got superstars on my head, and just so everyone knows who’s playing at home, I can not see the answers. We are doing everything above board here. Okay, I’m placing it on my forehead.
Matt Runnalls: Here we go.
Gianna Lucas: Okay.
Matt Runnalls: TV entertainment, host.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, that really narrows it down. That really narrows it.
Matt Runnalls: In America, (crosstalk) Mexicans, Spain or Spanish. Ah, I don’t know what show.
Gianna Lucas: Flick up. Next.
Matt Runnalls: Ah. Heaps of awesome movies, like…… Ah no, now I’ve gone blank. Heaps… Ah he’s so famous producer. He does all the action flicks. Starts with Q.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, Quentin Tarantino.
Matt Runnalls: Bingo.
Gianna Lucas: Yes. Go, go, go.
Matt Runnalls: Oh, I can’t do this one [crosstalk 00:33: 24]. Oh, high school musical.
Gianna Lucas: Zac Efron.
Matt Runnalls: Bingo.
Gianna Lucas: Oh yes.
Matt Runnalls: Heidi Klum’s ex partner.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, it’s Seal. Seal?
Matt Runnalls: Yup.
Gianna Lucas: Yes. Oh, yeah. Amazing.
Matt Runnalls: Rapper. (crosstalk) I was trying to think, but the time was ticking.
Gianna Lucas: Okay. Let’s have a look at these. Okay, so Mario Lopez, I didn’t get. Kirsten, oh Kristen Bell. What did you say?
Matt Runnalls: I didn’t know what… I should have said [crosstalk 00:33:54]…
Gianna Lucas: You should have said Frozen or something, or (crosstalk) Good Place, or anything. Ah, that’s okay. And, LL cool J, nah wouldn’t have got that one. So, I got…
Matt Runnalls: I didn’t do too bad.
Gianna Lucas: Three. There was six and I got three, so that’s good. That’s good. I got three. Excellent. All right. Your turn, my friend. [crosstalk 00:34:12]. Let’s see if you can beat me, or not beat me. Time will tell. She is now big in the U. S. She was in a 13 reasons why. She’s also in a movie with Daniel Craig recently called… Ah, what’s it called? I’ve forgotten. Oh, nah flick it, flick it, flick it up, pass it.
Okay. Australian actress. She was in Focus. She’s… Oh, goodness, she’s in every movie. She’s gorgeous. She’s starts with an M. She was on Neighbors. I can’t think of any movie that she’s in, but she’s famous.
Matt Runnalls: M?
Gianna Lucas: Ah, like [ inaudible 00:34:45]… Oh my goodness, I’m crashing and burning. Ah…
Matt Runnalls: Ah, you are letting me down here.
Gianna Lucas: Ah, flick up, quick. No. Ah, flick up Again, I don’t know. I’m not going to be able to say it.
Okay, he’s in Avengers and he’s [ crosstalk 00:35:03]…
Matt Runnalls: Chris Evans.
Gianna Lucas: Yes. Flick up, you got it right. Keep going. Okay, nah I wouldn’t have got that one. Oh my gosh, Margot Robbie.
Matt Runnalls: Oh, Margot Robbie, I’ve met her.
Gianna Lucas: You’ve met Margot Robbie, And you did not think of Margot Robbie.
Matt Runnalls: Nah, (crosstalk) I wouldn’t have got the first one. No, you got me on the first one.
Gianna Lucas: Oh, goodness. Yes. Brendan is just saying that I should have said the Wolf of Wall Street. I know Brendan. I know. I [crosstalk 00:35:29]…
Matt Runnalls: Yeah, that would have been sweet then.
Gianna Lucas: Ah, you would have known straight away. I was actually trying to think of, because she did I, Tonya. She also did [crosstalk 00:35:36]…
Matt Runnalls: I would have got the I, Tonya.
Gianna Lucas: Ah, I couldn’t remember the name. I’m so sorry. So, how many did you get? Brendan, I should bring you back on to the [crosstalk 00:35:43]…
Matt Runnalls: Just got one with Chris Evans.
Brendan: Giana, you got three. And Matt, you got one. So, Giana wins.
Gianna Lucas: I’m sorry. I don’t often win our games, so I did win. I’m sorry I won.
Matt Runnalls: Nah, Enjoy that. Next time I come on, I’m going to come back for this. I’m going to come back. I promise.
Gianna Lucas: Yeah. Bigger and stronger. But you know what, you’re a winner in many other ways. So, you’re still a winner. All right.
Matt Runnalls: I’m going to use that game now, thanks for that.
Gianna Lucas: That’s all right, anytime. That’s what we here for, games, fun, and heart as well. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Matt, you’re an absolute legend. We had a lot of fun. We also spoke about a lot of incredible things that you’re doing as well, and a bit about your story too. So, thanks so much.
Matt Runnalls: No, thanks for having me. And, thank you for starting so many beautiful and meaningful conversations. My hearts aching for a run right now, and hopefully things like this can provide help and support for those that are really struggling in these difficult times. So, I’m very grateful.
Gianna Lucas: We’re so grateful to have had Matt Runnels on our show this week. Hope you got a lot out of our chat. He’s involved in so many incredible things, including a pal, and lives with such passion. He’s such an inspiration to me, and to many. So, be sure to follow his socials, to hear more about his projects, adventures and outlook on life. Loved this episode of Power Up Life, why not leave a rating and review. By doing so, you’re helping us reach even more people just like you.
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This episode of Power Up Life was produced by me, Giana Lucas, Maria Dukadinovska, and Carissa Shale for the Happow podcast network. Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Power Up Live, a Happow podcast. If you loved this episode, be a legend, and leave us a quick rating and review on your fav podcast app. Dive into the show notes for all episodes on our website. Catch you next time, and remember to power up life.