Personal Development


Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

CHAPTER XXXI – Embracing Silence

I am Jude. I am embracing the power of silence. 

We are constantly interacting with other people and are inundated with external stimuli. Whether it’s through our phones, our laptops or TV’s, we are always connected. 

I am realizing that there are meaningful benefits to creating and holding space to have quiet moments with yourself.

In fact, I have adopted the term QUIETUDE to refer to this practice. It can be defined as a state of stillness or calmness. However, I describe it as the combination of intentional quiet and solitude.

It allows you to observe your thoughts, challenge your thinking and explore your relationship with the world.

You are not obligated to be a parent, a husband, a friend, or assume any other role in this silence. You can, simply and wholly, be yourself. 

It provides opportunities to find greater purpose and direction and reveals important insights. Oftentimes, difficult questions are answered and unexpected ideas are discovered. 

When we adopt this intentional silence as a daily practice and couple it with focused breathing, we open ourselves up to even more increased clarity, internal peace and abundance.

Maintaining quiet also encourages us to pay closer attention to the sights and sounds of nature. 

We become much more attuned to the chattering of squirrels, the rustling of trees and the wide range of bird calls – if we listen. And in doing so, it encourages us to appreciate our interconnection with the natural world.

In the past, I have always used earphones when I have been walking or jogging. I love music and podcasts, I am normally reading 4-6 books at one time and I use Youtube for everything from morning motivation to mindfulness instruction. 

However, in recognizing the transformational power of silence, I have begun creating moments of quiet so I can be alone with myself and my thoughts. I am using this dedicated space and time to consider powerful questions and better understand my big emotions. 

What is your relationship with silence? Do you embrace it or do you attempt to fill every quiet moment with sound and stimulation? 

I encourage you to dedicate a specific period of time to quietude. It may seem impossible to devote 15, 30 or 60 minutes to intentional silence with all of your other demands. However your insights, observations and ideas are well worth the commitment. 

Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

I am beginning to understand the critical importance of networking for entrepreneurs. It fosters shared knowledge, increases your confidence and competency and broadens your reach to prospective clients and customers. 

However, networking isn’t simply about attending events, handing out business cards or pitching your products and services. Instead, it’s about meeting other people and developing meaningful relationships.

Starting a business is one thing, but creating a successful enterprise is something altogether different. It requires dedication, sacrifice, ambition and GRIT(passion + perseverance) in full measure. And that’s just to give yourself a chance. 

Most smart solopreneurs appreciate the exponential value of networking. They recognize that only other business owners can truly appreciate their dreams, ever-present fears and constant struggles.

Consequently, they seek out relationships with like-minded individuals who possess a common purpose and can provide ongoing support, encouragement and feedback. 

I am down with that. 

To this end, I have been challenging myself to cultivate my network, develop business related connections and seek opportunities to partner and collaborate with other professionals and I have already experienced the benefits. 

I have met some amazing other new life coaches, aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals committed to change. People who have inspired me, challenged my self-limiting thinking and encouraged me to dream big. 

I am embracing discomfort and seeking professional relationships that add value to the moves I am trying to make, and it’s been working so far. 

Your Next Best Read – The Marathon Dont Stop: The Life and Times of Nipsey Hussle

This New York Times best-selling biography is a tribute to legendary Nipsey Hussle, the Los Angeles hip-hop mogul, artist, and activist. It chronicles his origin story, rise to superstardom and tragic shooting death in the very community he was dedicated to uplifting.

Born Ermias Asghedom, Hussle was killed March 31, 2019, in front of his Marathon Clothing store.

I have been immersed in hip hop culture all of my life. It’s a part of who I am. Throughout that 40+ year time-span, for me, there have only been a handful of rappers who have truly put it all together. The personality, the presence, the flow, the message and the MOVEMENT. 

To me, Nipsey Hussle was one of those brothers. He was different. 

Despite his involvement with gang culture, I love what this brother represented and who he  was attempting to become. Concepts like ‘All Money In’ and the ‘Marathon Don’t Stop’ were meaningful metaphors commonly reflected of traditional Afrikan values and beliefs. 

He reminded me of some of the luminaries who have used their platform for socio-political commentary and community activism. Brothers like KRS-1, Tupac, Common, Black Moon and Public Enemy. Entertainers who also attempted to educate and effect change through their music.

I have become much more deliberate about what I watch and listen to. There are only a few current rappers whose new music still moves me –  J Cole, Jay Z, Toby Nwigwe, The Roots. I put Nipsey among that exclusive group.

I believe that everyone is running their own race and that we should be committed to the ongoing process of becoming the best version of ourselves. He got it right, ‘The Marathon Dont Stop’.

What’s Good – Positive Reflections

I’m BACK. Maybe not fully recovered but I am well on my way. 

It’s now been almost six(6) weeks since I had minor back surgery. I continue to feel stronger and my confidence is returning. Overall, I feel better. 

I met with my surgeon for a scheduled post surgical assessment and by all indications the procedure was a success.

It has addressed some of the consequences of the stenosis. It hasn’t eliminated all of the symptoms but it has reduced the pain, numbness and discomfort in my legs, hips and lower back. 

I have begun light strength training again using bands and my body weight. I have been walking more briskly and for longer distances and I have been out for several pain free rides on my bike. 

However, the best part for me so far is that I am back hiking through the Victoria Park trail system again. 

Some days are better than others, but condition has improved, and that’s enough! I wasn’t expecting a miracle. I still experience discomfort from the arthritis in my back, but I have accepted arthritic pain as a normal part of the aging process.

The surgery was another test and I am better for it. I had to demonstrate patience, optimism, acceptance and resolve. It presented both physical and mental challenges and has provided me with unique opportunities to reflect, grow and develop a better relationship with myself. 

But I am back. I am back to work, back to myself and back to fully pursuing my goals again and that feels great. 

Public Announcement

As I continue my journey into coaching and entrepreneurship, I have created my first professional offering: the Get Unshackled Health & Wellness Program.

The goal of this six-week fitness ‘boot camp’ is to encourage local youth between the ages of 13-18 to adopt a healthy  lifestyle through physical activity, mindfulness and personal development. 

I have assembled a team who  are committed to providing each participant with effective tools and strategies to support their physical and mental wellness.

It is our desire to motivate these youth to Break Free from any self-imposed limitations and encourage them to Be Better versions of themselves. 

This is a natural step for me. I have over thirty (30) years experience connecting, coaching and creating programming for youth and I believe in the transformational power of collective action, inspirational leadership and mindfulness.

If you have a child or know someone who you think would benefit increased physical fitness and more mindfulness, please contact Jude Clyke at (902)957-0602 – or Jo-Anne Jarvis-Jordan at (902)897-6512 –

I am wildly excited about the prospect of helping people adopt healthier lifestyles. However, I also possess a number of fears. Some real and some imagined. 

A couple of years ago, I never would have imagined I would be a business owner or writing my own personal development blog. Yet here I am! Life is pretty amazing. I am Jude. 


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