Inspire Us

J. Paul Nadeau

My mission for this “Inspire Us" podcast is to present powerful, inspirational, and transformative conversations with people who have experienced adversity, disappointment, and setbacks at some point in their lives and overcame them. How did they do it, and how can we apply what they did to our lives if we're going through something similar? They may hold the key to what we're going through and help inspire us through our trying circumstances. I'll also be interviewing guests who are experts in the fields of mental health, wellness, relationships, conflict resolution, effective communications, and much more. They will undoubtedly share some helpful information that we can all benefit from. My guests are people just like you and me, from all walks of life, and from every level of success. My intent is to have their stories not only inspire each of us but also impact people around the world to overcome what is keeping them hostage so that each of us can live the life we all deserve to live. The experts I'll be interviewing will share their knowledge and expertise to help us deal with the stresses of life. These are difficult times, but we shall overcome them, together. How about we add inspiration to the mix? Episodes will be available each Wednesday, and I hope you join us for a warm cup of much-needed inspiration.

Episode 75: Jo Berry Bridges can be built - Disarming a terrorist who killed your father using empathy and forgiveness
Jun 1 2022
Episode 75: Jo Berry Bridges can be built - Disarming a terrorist who killed your father using empathy and forgiveness
There are terrible acts of injustice and violence happening across the globe every day. In today's episode, we visit one such case that occurred in 1984 in the IRA conflict. Five people were killed and several more injured during a terrorist bombing. Our guest lost her father during that bombing. But instead of blaming and hating, she decided to meet the man accused of killing her father to see if there was some humanity left in him. This episode talks about how we should all treat one another, despite some of the terrible things that have happened. Perhaps if we did that those terrible things would stop happening and people's lives will be changed. I can attest that that does happen more than you might know. Jo's bio: Jo Berry is an inspiring speaker who works to resolve conflicts around the world. Sixteen years after an IRA bomb killed her father in 1984, Jo first met with the man responsible, Pat Magee. This initial three-hour meeting led to them speaking on over three hundred occasions on a shared platform worldwide. Their unusual relationship has been told in the BBC documentary “Facing the Enemy”, was featured in the film “Beyond Right and Wrong”, and inspired “The Bomb”, a play by Kevin Dyer. The founder of the charity ‘Building Bridges for Peace’, Jo, advocates that unbounded empathy is the biggest weapon we have to transform conflict. With political, religious and racial divides deepening as global and local events unfold, her words offer a message of hope and encourage us all to see the humanity in others. Jo is frequently invited to address international conferences and seminars on themes of reconciliation, conflict resolution and sustainable peace.  She has spoken and facilitated workshops worldwide, including Lebanon, Rwanda, India, Ireland, Palestine, South Korea,  Israel, and throughout Europe. She has also spoken in venues in the UK and joined panels and discussions forums on radio and TV. Her unique work in reconciliation has become a source of learning for many studying peace studies and conflict transformation worldwide. Over the few last­ years, Jo has developed workshops and courses in the workplace on ‘finding the gift in conflict’, ‘having a difficult conversation’ and ‘dealing with uncertainty’ and now works virtually as well in person. She is a TEDx speaker and a Visiting Fellow with the University of Nottingham (Research Primary Area in Rights and Justice). Jo's website: www.jo-berry.com
Episode 74: Ashley Michelle - Overcoming PTSD - An ongoing journey of hope and recovery
May 25 2022
Episode 74: Ashley Michelle - Overcoming PTSD - An ongoing journey of hope and recovery
Post-traumatic stress is a mental health condition that affects so many people. Some are unaware that they are suffering from it and just can't explain why they're feeling the way that they are. Traumatic experiences from our past can stay with us if we don't do something to deal with them. It's important to get the help that you need in order to deal with those past traumas. In this episode, our guest shares her traumatic experience of having been summoned to a home following a homicide to help clear the blood and body. She also found herself as potentially the next victim of this murderer. Listen in as she talks about this horrific incident and what she's doing to recover and help those who have experienced traumas in the past. Ashley's message to us: "My name is Ashley Michelle and have gone through things that I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through, including being assaulted and not only being a witness to a murder scene where my ex-boyfriend had just killed someone I knew of, but he locked the door behind me and told me I was next. Thankfully I escaped, but, from that moment, my life has been filled with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Instead of this taking over my life, I chose to talk about what happened to me, but more importantly, about my healing process so I can inspire people to change their lives after going through their own tough times. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you, I didn't give up!" Ashley's book: Finding Strength through tragedy, available on Amazon
Episode 69:  Michael Matucci; Children for sale - the sad truth of human trafficking
May 9 2022
Episode 69: Michael Matucci; Children for sale - the sad truth of human trafficking
About this episode: Hundreds of thousands of kids are being sold for sex in the US, every day in hotels, motels, houses, cars, and more. Originally met by charming predators in parks, shopping malls, and on social media, these young ones come from all walks of life. The number one crime against humanity does not know ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic boundaries. Our girls, and now many boys too, are being groomed, tricked, and enslaved, largely for the pleasure of middle and upper-class family men. Where is this happening? How is it occurring? This story is one of the many. It’s a vast issue that occurs in every zip code in the country and impacts everyone. In this episode, J. Paul Nadeau interviews Michael about this horrible truth and about what parents can do to protect their children. From Michael about his documentary: Making this film lit my fire for our children and propelled me into years of networking, interviewing, and researching. I spent time with survivor-victors, advocates, law enforcement, healers, ex-buyers, and ex-sellers, and the result is a ground-breaking TV series that I'm bringing forth this year with Brave Road Entertainment. Stay tuned on social media. It’s going to be big. Michael: Michael is an agent of truth and transformation. Words and film are his tools, and he loves revealing the secrets of the game of life to leaders and inspirational people and empowering them to their highest light, impact, and potential. He uses his camera to project voices and stories of hope from marginalized people groups that show that the brightest lights often come from the darkest places. After several years creating and producing intuitive projects on his own, he’s returning to crews and stages to bring forth an epic TV docuseries from the front lines of the movement to shift sex trafficking in North America.  Websites: MichaelMatucci.com & EncompassLIFE.com IG: @MichaelMatucci Mental wellness resource: Take Control of Your Life by J. Paul Nadeau
Episode 67: Maury Cheskes - An artists’ journey. Turning mental illness into creativity
May 2 2022
Episode 67: Maury Cheskes - An artists’ journey. Turning mental illness into creativity
It's not always easy to make a living as an artist. Never has been. Add on top of that challenges with mental health, depression, and addiction and you have a recipe for disaster. Or do you? Today's guest used those challenges and turned them into creative opportunities. He replaced setbacks with set-forths.  From Maury: I am a field manager for a charity fundraising company and a published author of my very own graphic novel. I have canvassed for CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and was also in fact a patient there before making my recovery. I am well aware of the 75% increase in mental health and substance use challenges that have emerged since the start of the pandemic and have taken away many key tips for keeping our heads above water. To expand a bit more on my artistic pursuits, the graphic novel I created entitled Flame is about an ex-army veteran who is fueled by adrenaline and takes down a powerful drug cartel with links to a nuclear terrorist group.  On a personal note, I really want to inspire people struggling with mental health. This project showed me how a diagnosis does not have to be a solo definition of who we are and how it can actually stimulate creativity. I was diagnosed with bipolar, then schizophrenia. I also had alcohol and drug issues and a history of violence and even arrests. I would love to share my story of perseverance because I believe these challenges motivated me to reinvent myself and pursue the passions that I dreamt of as a child. I think we all have a unique story to tell, which is key to motivation and self-worth. I would love to appear on your program and really enjoyed the Alam Ghafoor podcast! Maury's graphic novel link: note to Maury: Thanks, Maury, for sharing your inspiring story and for your vulnerable share. Keep up the great work.