Personal Development


Chapter XLVII – Living Well While Dying

Writing with My Eyes: Staying Alive While Dying is a biographical account of Angela Parker-Brown’s inspirational struggle with ALS. I read a pre-ordered copy over the weekend. 

What an amazing accomplishment. 

Not only because the author is confined to a wheelchair, has no functional use of her arms or legs and is virtually non-verbal except through the use of modern technology. But even more so because of her attitude, faith, purpose and tenacity. 

In the face of the unknown and overwhelming physical, mental and emotional challenges, this woman has written an extraordinary book that editorializes her remarkable life story.

She was honest and open and despite her condition she somehow found the strength to share her innermost thoughts and emotions, her everyday experiences and her personal pain. 

It’s difficult enough writing a book about your life, let alone writing it under this type of duress. However, not only did she envision it was possible, she put in the requisite work and made it a reality.

I have always been an avid reader. It began with biblical stories and has spanned a host of genres, authors and particular areas of focus.

More recently, I have been exploring recommended classics, ‘must reads’ and bestsellers related to spirituality and personal development. Powerful texts that have been challenging my thinking, what I believe and my connection to the Universe.

However, no book has EVER touched me in quite the same way as Writing with My Eyes,

But how could it? The talented author is both a friend and close family member.

I grew up with the brave and heroic protagonist. I know and love many of the supporting characters and can remember many of the unexpected plot twists in this epic story. 

Angie continues to grow and evolve as she bravely confronts this debilitating disease on her own terms. She is living more fully than most of us despite her formidable obstacles and ever-increasing limitations. Imagine that!

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I believe that the prospect of death can serve as an important motivator for living with purpose and greater intention. 

It has the power to strip away anything that doesn’t really and truly matter. Material possessions, vanity, pride, failure and power all become meaningless in face of death.

Our mortality reminds us of what’s central and fundamentally important. It cuts through the bullshit. Attributes and emotions such as: Love, Compassion, Peace, Connection and Joy are all that matter.

Angie has figured out what is truly important to her and is sharing those gifts with the world. 

Despite her extreme circumstances, she remains an active and engaged super-parent, family member and friend.  and an exceptional person. She still possesses her quick smile and sarcastic sense of humor. 

Sister, I can’t thank you enough for being a living example of perseverance, acceptance and dedication. You are a phenomenal woman and a wondrous reminder that ANYTHING is possible.

Please understand that you are creating a lasting legacy that is beyond the reaches of death. Your writing and your spirit will forever inspire your daughters and everyone within your growing circle of influence.

And lastly, I humbly challenge any assertion that you are simply Staying Alive While Dying, you are doing so much more. 

Keep living well and leading AP, there’s a lot more left to your story. I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

To gain experience, I am gifting coaching sessions during the month of August. It consists of a virtual discovery call where we discuss the benefits of life coaching and determine whether we are a good fit together. 

Then we complete two full coaching sessions where we work on whatever issues you identify as important; career change, discipline, work-life balance, etc.

You set the agenda for the conversations and we partner to find effective ways to transform your life. 

I utilize a solution-based approach, that is future focused and seeks to provide you with effective tools to Break Free and Be Better

If you find benefit from working with me, we can discuss what a more formal coaching relationship would look like.

What is life coaching?

If you are interested in finding out more about life coaching or exploring what working with me would look like, please contact me directly to schedule a discovery call. No expectation or obligation. 

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

The Importance of Humility 

Life provides us constant reminders of our limitations, shortcomings and relative powerlessness as human beings.

It requires that we remain humble, recognize our inhrent fallibility and accept that there are forces beyond our control.

Humility can be defined as being humble or free of conceit or arrogance. 

In practical terms, it can mean letting others speak first and being genuinely interested in their lives. It is being grateful for everything you have and accepting responsibility for all of your failures. 

While it is critical that you become confident and self-assured to accomplish your goals and reach your full potential, it is also important to avoid an inflated view of yourself. 

Humility requires modesty and a balanced account of who you are in relation to others. It encourages us to constantly grow because there is always more to know and do.

I have had some significant failures, in both my professional and in my personal life and I continue to struggle with questionable decision-making and self-defeating behaviours everyday. 

However, humility allows me to grow and evolve. All of my setbacks, disappointments and unanticipated outcomes provide valuable opportunities for self-reflection and insight.

It is a necessary reminder that we never know it all and that we can always learn more and Be Better – and that it is an amazing gift. 

Photo by Maarten Deckers on Unsplash

Public Announcement

Summer is slowly fading. Leaves are beginning to fall and the first bright colors of autumn are already starting to appear. Temperatures are dropping and nights are getting chilly. Soon the frost will begin greeting us in the mornings and the dark will shorten our days.

This time of the year also signals a shift in the way we live. Summer vacation is over. Children are returning to school and adults are resuming their regularly scheduled lives.

In the past, I have catastrophized the end of August. 

For me, it marked the official end to any consistent good weather and evoked premature visions of cold, wet weather and Arctic-like conditions. 

However, my attitude is slowly evolving. I am certain that a small shift in thinking can fundamentally alter how you view and experience the world.

I am learning to live in the now and appreciate the beauty and wonder in everything – including the cold, thanks to Wim Hof.

Instead of agonizing about our frigid Canadian winters, I am grateful for the summer we just had and I am embracing the changing seasons. Autumn is a fantastic time to be outside.

The harsh winds and freezing rain are certainly on their way and I will have to deal with them when they get here. However until they arrive in earnest, I have the opportunity to continue biking, hiking and running without any limitations.

It serves no purpose to ruminate about the future or anything else that is beyond my control. Flowers are still blooming, it is still warm and pleasant and I’m alive to enjoy it. That’s all that truly matters. I am Jude. 

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash


Jude loved your write up of Angie…so good… I to read her book, picked it up at her place came home and read 100 pages in one sitting….I to believe she has exemplified herself to her two children, with her writing and her dedication to them. She has done more than enough, left them a wonderful legacy, of love, family, support. Let out a big old sigh of relief Angie, all is good, you have and are doing enough…….Rest easy my friend…Ray Lindsay

Your review and endorsement of Staying alive while dying made me tear up with gratitude. I’ve known Angie a long while now and I too am anticipating her next book. I am amazed daily by her love commitment to her family and her life ( not her death). She has more mental health and tenacity than I will ever have and more courage than anyone I’ve ever known. Thank you for putting it into words

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