Personal Development


Photo by Rainer Bleek on Unsplash

Chapter  XXXVI – Inspiration 

I am Jude. Inspiration is the energy that underwrites progess and personal development. It encourages our efforts to Be Better and is a primary catalyst for change. 

Whether you are motivated by an experience, another individual or something within yourself, inspiration provides zeal, creativity and GRIT(passion and perseverance). It empowers us to do, and be more.

Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and self-imposed limitations. It can move us from apathy to action, and can alter the way we perceive ourselves and our capabilities. 

We can’t summon inspiration. However, we can create the circumstances, experiences, and relationships that inspire us and we can organize our lives in a way that regularly exposes us to opportunities to become more inspired. 

So what are some valuable sources of inspiration?

  1. New experiences

New experiences broaden our perspective and generate energy and excitement. When we do new things, see new places and take on new challenges, we get inspired. 

  1. Interacting with inspired People

Associate and collaborate with people who are positively affecting others and are focused on Breaking Free and Being Better. When you connect with motivated people who have purpose and passion, you are generally left inspired in some way. 

Develop relationships with individuals who inspire you through their thoughts and actions. It’s infectious!

  1. Nature 

Getting out into nature is always awe-inspiring and inspirational for me. There is peace and increased connection to something bigger than ourselves. As living beings, we are part of the natural world, so it makes sense that spending time outdoors in nature would promote inspiration. 

The beauty, the sounds and the smells all provide unique sources of inspiration. Do yourself a favour, allocate space for ‘green time’! Get out into nature every day.

  1. Learning

Learning something new stimulates the mind. When you acquire new skills, learn another language or begin playing a musical instrument, it dramatically increases the odds of becoming inspired. Learning introduces new ideas, concepts, paradigms and perspective. It alters our brain function through neuroplasticity and creates new possibilities you may have never considered before. Learning is inspiration. 

  1. Quietude

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. However, quietude also provides unique opportunities for inspiration. 

Increased understanding, clarity and inspiration are all direct consequences of quietude. 

I am committed to inspire others to Break Free from the perceptions and expectations of the external world and confront the self-imposed limitations we place on ourselves. We are capable of greatness if we only believe. 

Inspiration is critical for providing the required vision, energy and commitment to be more. Find people, places and things that inspire you and, in turn, pass that fire on to others to follow your example. 

Remember, if we are inspired, we will inspire those around us.

Side hustle  – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting

The Get Unshackled Health and Wellness Program begins on June 21st. There will be group strength and cardio workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Victoria Park at 6:00pm weather permitting.

There will also be a weekly virtual session through Zoom on Wednesdays at 8:00pm. The focus will be personal development, mindfulness and personal development

We are ready to go! Youth are already registered and enrollment is slowly increasing. Spots are still available. 

The purpose of the program is to improve the mental and physical well being of the participants through exercise, increased self-awareness and consistent effort. We are attempting to provide them with some meaningful discussion and some effective tools to better equip them to manage life. 

Your Next Best Read – You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience and the Black Experience

Two luminaries in the study of emotion co-created this collection of essays to recognize and process the trauma of white supremacy.

Tarana Burke is an activist and business executive who founded (2006) the Me Too movement, which sought to assist survivors of sexual violence, especially females of colour. Yeah, that Tarana Burke.

Dr. Brené Brown is an American research professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership.

This anthology of Black expression brings together the voices of Black writers, organizers, artists, academics, and cultural figures and their experiences with shame, vulnerability and intersectional identity. 

The subject matter is heavy. It is emotional, raw and deeply personal.  However, there is also an emphasis of strength, perseverance, self-awareness and resilience in the writing.

The implications of shame are significant and they are exacerbated by systemic oppression. According to Brown, shame is an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” 

It’s an emotion that affects all of us and profoundly shapes the way we interact in the world. This diverse collection of authors courageously share elements of their trauma and vulnerability.

“It provides a space to be vulnerable and affirm the fullness of Black life and Black possibility, a space that gives Black humanity breathing room”

I have developed a whole new appreciation for writing since I have begun sharing my thoughts with the world. I understand the time, energy, skill and vulnerability involved.

These authors weave together images, recollections and POWERFUL EMOTIONS into a beautiful tapestry of the Black experience. 

What’s Good – Positive Reflections

People often describe the world as a dark and depressing place. They point to our failing economy, our changing values and the polarization of our culture. They reference materialism and depravity, instability and disease and a growing divisiveness.

It’s easy to get despondent when you consider our collective reality. We are at war with each other and ourselves, we are becoming much more insular and isolated. You can become lonely and completely overwhelmed. It can seem impossible. 

We are constantly surrounded by negativity. It is everywhere. We need to guard against its insidious nature and destructive consequences. Our screen time, the news and our interactions with others can be significant sources of stress and angst.

I acknowledge that all of that is true!!

However, I also believe that what we experience in life is dependent on our perspective. It’s a choice. Consequently, I am choosing to focus on the positive.

There is beauty everywhere – in nature, in our humanity, in our struggle and even in our pain. We are surrounded with opportunities to grow and evolve. These moments are full of promise and possibility, and the prospect for change. But only if you are open to them!

I challenge you to beat back cynicism and confront indifference. Dismiss the prevailing attitude of defeatism and despair. Be different. Live your optimism out loud and be an obvious example to others. 

Our thinking shapes our emotions and our emotions direct our behaviours. Consequently, it is critical that we are acutely aware of our mindset. It dictates our feelings and how we view the world.

In highlighting positivity and optimism, you inspire others to do the same. You create ripples of influence. You provide an appealing alternative to powerlessness and fatalism.

And understand that there are others just like you. There are a growing number of individuals who are becoming more conscientious of their thoughts and feelings. These unique individuals are choosing to see happiness despite all of the ‘ugliness’ in the world. 

I fundamentally believe that if you change your perspective, you change your life. It’s as simple as that. 

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Public Announcement 

I am of the opinion that if more people were aware of the benefits of mindfulness, it would become a necessary part of our everyday experience. 

Mindfulness is being fully aware of our internal and external experiences in the moment. It is self-awareness and a state of active attention. 

When we become more understanding of our thoughts, feelings, and motivations, we can explore ways to be more accepting and forgiving of ourselves. 

Freeing our minds helps us detach ourselves from negative self destructive thinking. It allows us to see ourselves more clearly and remain relaxed when confronted with deep emotions and self-criticism. It mitigates internal criticism and self-harm.

There are also significant physical benefits. It can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties. Mindfulness improves our overall well-being and mental health.

This is not some new contemporary hippy philosophy. Introspection is part of the human experience. There is ample evidence to confirm the transformational benefits of increased awareness and self-reflection. The shit works!

Imagine what schools would look like if mindfulness was part of the everyday experience. How would our workplaces change if focused breathing and meditation were adopted as valuedl components of the organizational culture? How would our relationships shift if we better understood ourselves and others?

Life would be very different I assure you. So begin making mindfulness a regular practice and encourage others to do the same. Dedicate time to acknowledging your inner thoughts and feelings without judgement. 

Regularly probe your thinking and become more self-aware. The results will amaze you, I’m sure of it! I am Jude.


As a Global Activist for change living in the Caribbean experiencing and seeing the effects of the damage of slavery and colonialism on our people worldwide it’s mind blowing and disheartening nevertheless it take’s true warrior’s like your self some with the written word of truth others as myself with the spoken and musical word to deliver to our people the inspiration they need to fight the good fight so that good triumphs over evil keep on using the gift station and tools that you have been given my dear brother to inspire brothers and sisters to continue on the path of positivity and victory Love you much keep on keeping on

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