Personal Development


Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

Chapter – XXXIII – This Too Shall Pass

I am Jude. Life is always changing. In fact, the only constant in the human condition is change. 

This too shall pass is an adage that makes reference to this ongoing dynamic and the impermanence of everything. Nothing, either good or bad, lasts forever.

When you consider it, every moment is pregnant with change. Conditions and circumstances are always unexpectedly shifting. 

It is easy to find comfort and reassurance in the promise of tomorrow when you’re going through hard times. We have all convinced ourselves that better days are coming after experiencing hardship and adversity.

However, the real lesson lies in remembering these four words when life is going well. It’s important to consider this advice when you are winning. Understand that we can never avoid the winters in our lives. Disappointment and struggle are inevitable. 

So, live life to the fullest and on YOUR own terms. 

Everything changes and nothing remains still; and you cannot step twice into the same stream


Accept your current reality knowing that it won’t last. Develop practices that encourage temperance and mindfulness. Remember that you have no control over the future and the tidings it brings but you can determine how you respond to it.

Accept life as it presents itself and practice gratitude in all things. They are keys to happiness and inner peace. 

There is a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…

A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”

This simple parable has significant meaning.

For me, the major takeaways are that circumstances always change and that nothing can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate. Life is unpredictable and situations are transient. We have no idea what life has in store for us. 

It’s wiser to live with moderation and maintain an even temperament, not getting too high or too low, with the understanding that change is coming. No matter what you are experiencing, whether it be ecstasy or despair, it too shall pass.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

One of the self-limiting beliefs that I internalized as a young adult was that “I didn’t like meeting new people”. I repeated it to myself until it became my reality. 

It provided me with an ever-present justification for saying no, remaining comfortable and avoiding the awkwardness of new relationships. It encouraged me to remain in the shadows, hiding from new connections and their infinite possibilities. 

I was polite and engaging but I rarely  sought out any new interactions. I got stuck in the familiarity of the comfort zone and I missed out on opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with other interesting and like-minded individuals. 

In developing my new life coaching practice, I am seeking out connections with people from across Canada and all over the world. Individuals from distant countries such as Finland, Australia and South Africa. Who would have thought…..

I’m meeting life coaches and entrepreneurs who share a passion for personal development and serving others. They possess a wide range of skills and abilities but have some basic common traits and intentions like empathy and perserverance.

They are committed to Breaking Free and Being Better and are dedicated to improving the lives of others. Typically they are also lifelong learners who understand that when we become more, we can offer more. 

Most importantly though, I am learning that no one has all of the answers and that we are all failing our way to success. Experienced life coaches still struggle with self-limiting beliefs and imposter syndrome. Our fears and problem-thinking are universal. 

I have started a new mantra, ‘I love meeting new people with positive energy and good intentions’. It’s been working for me so far. 

Your Next Best Read – Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is the most successful comedian in Africa and is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning ‘The Daily Show’ on Comedy Central.

I watched a host of video clips and knew he was a famous TV personality from South Africa. But to be honest, I didn’t know much more. 

Reading his autobiography changed all that. I learned about his childhood and obtained a glimpse into what it must have been like to live under Apartheid as a precocious bi-racial youth.

He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, he was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life.

Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Another amazing read!

Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash

What’s Good – Positive Reflections

The Black Men’s Mental Wellness Group met again on Saturday May 21st. It was a long weekend and the weather was perfect outside, but a diverse group of brothers still showed up.

Engaging in meaningful discussions with other Black men is essential to me. I appreciate the opportunity to listen, offer support and share our common experiences. It’s something that I find empowering and uniquely affirming. It fills my proverbial cup. 

However, it’s also good to know that other brothers find enough value in these mental wellness sessions to keep coming back – even when the sun is shining. 

We have been meeting every month since October, both in person and on-line through Zoom, a significant accomplishment in itself. The group now has access to new technology in the Unity Room at the library that should allow virtual participation to all future meetings movig forward

The next meeting was scheduled for July 9th at 1pm at the Colchester Library.  However, the date conflicts with the National No. 2 Construction Battalion Commemoration Event. Consequently a new date will be announced. 

The related Zoom invite will be forwarded through email and posted on the Community Strong Facebook page in the weeks leading up to the event. Stay tuned.

Public Announcement 

The First Bike Ride of the Season

My wife and I went for our first extended bike ride of the season. We started in Tatamagouche and rode to Brule Beach and back, a distance of almost 35 kilometers. It was a bit of a challenge for a 50+ recreational rider recovering from back surgery, but overall it was an excellent ride.

The conditions were perfect. The weather was great. It was sunny and warm, there was a nice breeze and the bugs weren’t bad. The trail was extremely busy but it was great to see so many other people out enjoying nature. 

It’s easy to forget how challenging riding can be when you are out of shape. And right now, I am out of shape. 

However, it felt amazing to be back on my bike again after the long winter layoff.

Riding takes me right back to my childhood, even at 51 years old. It evokes some of the same feelings I experienced growing up. Freedom, independence and joy to name a few. 

When I was growing up, everyone had a bike. We were constantly using them for both transportation and for entertainment. We raced around our neighborhood and used them to create unique games like chip bag tag, which consisted of throwing crumpled aluminum chip bags at one another while riding. 

Making the Rides Meaningful

I am finding value in seeking silence and reflection and riding provides an excellent opportunity to explore Quietude, introspection and a deeper connection with yourself. You are alone with your thoughts and feelings. 

Three or four hours is a long time. Besides talking with my wife, I interchange periods of quiet with uplifting and inspirational music. I have developed a riding playlist of urban jazz, R&B and soulful gospel artists. Music that makes me feel good.

The rides also provide an opportunity to be productive. I listen to books, podcasts and motivational material. There are no distractions and riding seems to be conducive to learning for me.  

When was the last time you were out for a ride? 

I challenge you to hop on a bike and take it for a spin. Recapture the exhilaration of pedalling hard and feeling the wind in your face. If you grew up like I did, there is nothing quite like it. I am Jude. 

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