Practicing Gratitude - Adrian Nadeau's Powerful Story
by Dave Veal, CEC, PCC
'In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.' - Brother David Steindl-Rast
When I was asked to write an article on gratitude for our December newsletter I thought 'no problem', I can bang that out quickly and it will be a very cool Christmas message. What I was not expecting was that I would struggle in writing about gratitude. What makes writing this so challenging? Well, in my case, I quickly realized that I'm not practicing 'being grateful' nearly as much as I should be.
So, I began to think of the people in my life who are role models for me in the area of gratitude. A few people came to mind, but one person that I'd like to introduce you to is a shining example of 'being grateful' on a daily basis.
Adrian Nadeau is a friend who understands the power of gratitude on an entirely different level. On February 28th his life changed dramatically. His story is remarkable in that - despite life throwing him and his family a big curve ball - he has continued on with his mantra of 'loving life...and living one day at a time'.
To read Adrian's story - click here.
And below is my interview with Adrian on what he's learned about being grateful and a very cool tool to 'bring more gratitude into the world'.
Share and grow,
P.S. Thanks for being such an inspiration Ade (aka Knuckles)
1) What does being grateful mean to you at this point in your life?
Being grateful to me means appreciating the amazing things we have and focusing on them instead of thinking of the other "negative" circumstances and giving them our time and energy. I try to focus on being grateful for things as soon as I wake in the morning. Grateful for the day ahead, the bed I slept in, the warm water in the shower, etc. It's a great way for me to start my day and focus on the great things I have in my life. It also helps me to always remember that there are MANY people in much worse situations so I have nothing to be upset or angry about.
2) Have you always felt this way about being grateful?
I have always been a positive person and looked at things in a positive, optimistic way but being grateful didn't really come into my life until 4 or 5 years ago when I was going through a bit of an difficult time in my life and really needed it to help me focus on the right things and help me get through that time. It also helped that I researched gratitude and found that many studies have shown that being grateful can have many health benefits for us. I've been hooked ever since.
3) What prompted you to start your gratitude journal?
When I first started thinking more about being grateful, I had a close friend who was going through a difficult time also and we made an agreement to text each other every morning a few things we were grateful for. It was a great way to focus and also keep each other motivated - similar to a workout friend for the gym. After awhile, I figured I could use my Technology skill set and write an online program so others could benefit from the same sort of daily ritual. That's when www.begr8ful.com was first spawned and now it's available for anyone (for free of course) to use so they can also keep their gratitude journal - and share with the world if they'd like to since I think we can always use a little more gratitude in our world :)
4) How has raising your awareness of what you are grateful for been helpful to you?
Being "aware" of what you are grateful for is a fantastic way to word it. It's not something we can really do, but we have to allow ourselves to let it happen on a regular basis. Sometimes if you are feeling nervous or anxious about anything it can really help to just focus on being grateful for whatever the situation is (or anything else) and then you will typically relax, almost immediately. For me that has helped a lot. The past 9 months have been quite a roller coaster ride of emotions. For me to focus on all the great things that I have really helps. There have even been some fantastic things happen because of my health problems, the main one being home with my baby boy to watch him grow, learn, crawl, walk, run, and talk just to name a few. A lot of people don't get to see things like this while they are working and aren't able to be at home as much.
5) What advice would you give to people around the power of gratitude?
I would recommend giving it a shot. It doesn't take much to try it - grab a pen and paper and write down 2 or 3 things a day you are grateful for and feel the difference. As I mentioned previously, it can even be small things. Once you start appreciating things I believe the Universe will work with you to keep providing you with more amazing things. If you focus on being negative it will also give you more of that... so at the end of the day it's our choice! I would love to also help people be more grateful and healthy and that's why I started to write a blog a couple months ago, to hopefully share my knowledge - if interested, please check it out at www.gr8fulbugger.com and let me know your thoughts.
6) How do you feel being grateful has impacted your health? Your relationships?
Being grateful, along with using meditation, are 2 of the key factors that have saved my life. I truly believe that. While recovering from treatment these last few months I have constantly meditated on feeling good and thinking of all the positive things in my life. I don't know how long I'll be here (none of us do), all I know is how great I feel to be getting better and to be with my family and friends and I'm grateful for that today!
7) Who is a role model, or inspiration, for you about being grateful?
Wow, that is a tough question. I guess the only way I can try to put it in words is that the Universe is my greatest role model. I've read so many good books from authors like Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Anita Moorjani, along with many others. I also believe the Universe works with us when we allow it to and over the past 4-5 months I have found many amazing online blogs from people who have gone through similar situations to mine and they are a great inspiration to me, while educating me at the same time.
8) Do the Christmas Holidays have any additional impact on how grateful you feel?
Our family has always been very close and celebrated Christmas together. I wouldn't know it any other way, even though I know that's not always the case with some families. So it's hard for me to say I'm more grateful during this time. I think this year might be a little more emotional for me after everything I've been through and I might be a little more appreciative and grateful of the time, time will tell - Happy Holidays!
9) How can people learn more about you and your story?
As I mentioned earlier, people can visit my blog at www.gr8fulbugger.com for more information on how I am living my life and being grateful for each day. I'm also sharing lots of other tips and knowledge in there that I've researched over the last half year. I've done a lot of research on many different topics so hopefully it can help a few people out there. That is my main goal in life now, to help others in similar situations or others who want to be healthier.
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