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Desert Views

About FYL and Matthew 

I was born in a farmhouse bathroom in rural Minnesota. It wasn’t planned that way (by my parents, at least). I was just in a hurry to get going with living. 


From that moment on, it seemed that nothing could slow me down. I was a fun-sized ball of energy and passion let loose upon the world. At restaurants, I’d unabashedly tell smokers five times my size that smoking was bad for their health. When my parents walked out of church with me, I’d be climbing halfway up a pine tree before they could turn around. (These are true stories. You can ask my mom.)


My first love that was truly my own was writing stories. I used to spend many happy, immersive hours with just a notebook and a pencil, recording the travels and battles of aliens and anthropomorphic animals. Soon I fell in love with music and songwriting. I also rode horses, helped on the farm, dug snow tunnels, played with Legos, and participated in sports, 4-H, and church activities.


I lived all-out until, around the age of about 12 or 13, my health started to slow me down. I’d dealt with a number of minor health issues as a kid, like ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia, colds, and some low-grade sleep issues—the kind of thing that didn’t really stop me from doing much. But as I approached my teenage years, I became acquainted with depression, and soon with chronic pain, a lack of energy, and a nasty fight-flight-freeze-fawn response, as well. These quickly began to steal my life, and the joy of living it, from me.


Unfortunately, I could write a whole book on what it was like to descend from relative health into a complex illness. If you’ve gone through anything like what I did, I don’t have to tell you what kind of nightmare it is to watch your body and mind fall apart. I did everything I could, saw every doctor and healer I could find, tried every protocol and modality I came across for a decade and a half. I consulted people who had never had a case they couldn’t help until me—and then, over and over, each of those people found they couldn’t help me. But things just continued to get darker.


At rock bottom, my list of symptoms was some four pages long, single-spaced, size 12 (I had to write them up for a practitioner I was consulting at the time). A sampling of some of the nastiest among them included:


  • Crippling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and post exertional malaise to the point that staircases could be climbed only with great effort on days when I was “doing well,” and peeing into a bedside urinal because I could rarely walk to the bathroom 20 steps away

  • Severe fight-flight-freeze response with any and all upcoming events of any size or duration

  • Chronic, widespread, intense pain

  • Suicidal depression and anhedonia

  • Depersonalization, derealization, and dissociation from my body

  • POTS, dizziness, shortness of breath

  • Scoliosis and perpetual spinal misalignments

  • Nightly insomnia even when I was too exhausted to move

  • Mold and chemical sensitivities

  • A seizure that almost killed me, and mini-seizures for periods after that

  • Major cognitive impairment and 

  • Inability to regulate my body temperature


  • Akathesia

  • Food allergies and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • EMF, light, and sound sensitivity

  • Gut dysbiosis and inability to absorb nutrients very well

  • Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)

  • Mold illness and chemical sensitivities

  • Weird neurological symptoms like random jerking and trouble focusing my eyes

  • Inability to tolerate most supplements + inability to detoxify

  • Supposedly incurable genetic problems (Ehlers-Danlos)

  • Addiction

  • Severe lack of estrogen and other important hormones (as well as neurotransmitters)

  • I looked skeletal, and my hands could easily wrap around my thighs






In the end, what healed me was not something I can write in a neat little paragraph. I can only point to it indirectly, but it’s the essence of what I share with people now.


The short (and overly simplistic) answer is that I focused on healing what’s known as a a limbic system injury, while simultaneously creating the powerful man I wanted to be and the life I wanted to live. It was NOT something I did with just any old method of applying the “law of attraction” (which doesn’t work for most limbic brain issues unless it’s wrapped into a more comprehensive and targeted program). 


My approach was many-faceted. I retrained my brain, grounded myself back into my body, dealt with my trauma and faced my demons, re-integrated all my emotions, stepped into my power as an authentic warrior-king, and aligned myself with my masculine core and my purpose. I dug into every imaginable corner of myself, every possible angle of seeing and transforming myself, and then did it all again one thousand times over. I slowly trained my body to accept nutrients again and supported myself with certain nutritional add-ons at the appropriate times. It took me years of savagely consistent and brutally difficult work, and I faced countless, bafflingly complicated obstacles. It often felt like banging my head against a concrete wall, and there were so many, many reasons to doubt I could ever succeed. 


But over time, I went from being completely bed-bound to taking walks and playing piano at nursing homes . . . to playing in a band with my friends and dating a wonderful woman . . . to coaching and exercising and traveling and making a living. What once I could only dream of became my daily life.


I forged my own legend from blood, will, and dreams. 

More than anything else, I’m convinced it was my relentlessness that led me to success, as well as the grace of God.








At the beginning of the retraining journey, I knew that there were three major things I wanted to do with my life when I was ready: I was going to make music, write books, and help people heal. I am now doing all three. I play in a band called Beautiful Kingdom (you can find our music on the usual platforms and at, I have a couple of books in the works, and I now get to serve people in rebuilding their lives in a variety of areas.


I get to do so many other things I love, too, things that were once just dreams.

I've climbed to the top of the highest peak between the Rocky Mountains and Europe (Black Elk Peak in the Black Hills). I love riding horses and spending time with my girlfriend, going on camping trips, learning new skills like woodworking and martial arts, and doing essentially anything that catches my fancy.


I’m not done forging my legend, though. The divine plan for my life is still underway, and a big part of that is the service work I'm doing here with Forging Your Legend. I don’t think that process ever concludes until we’re ready to leave our bodies. In the future, I want to acquire a hundred acres or more of land to raise a family on. I want to record many more albums, solo and with my band, and write a substantial number of books. I’ll lead men’s retreats and other workshops. My girlfriend and I will travel to places like Ireland, Spain, Iceland, Kazakstan, and New Zealand, and one day maybe even sail around the world. I will help tens of thousands of people get well, and inspire millions more through my music and words. I will show people God's love through how I serve.


If you’re ready to heal, or ready to change your life in any other major way, let’s talk. I’ll show you how healing is not only possible, but assured when you follow the path of forging your legend. Let me help you do the seemingly impossible.


With Love and Power,



I am:


An empowerment master and a healer

A solver of impossible riddles

A musician and songwriter

A poet, storyteller, and author

An artist

A warrior-king

A follower of the most high God

A lover of horse riding and hiking

An alchemist

An adventurer

A joker and goofball

An unstoppable force

A kind heart

Note: Forging Your Legend is transitioning into operating as a nonprofit ministry. This won't change anything really in terms of how we help people. It'll just allow us to do more in service to others' healing journeys.


There are so many people in need of help. If you are blessed with financial abundance and want to serve, consider sponsoring someone else's path forward to healing. And although that is our main focus, we also periodically do other service work, including bring food to those in need, so your donation can also support that. Reach out if you feel that calling.

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My girlfriend, Brie, and I, 2021.

The Cowboy Spirit, 2024

Desert Views
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