Personal Development


Chapter LIV – Bliss

I am Jude. Over the past two years, I have been attempting to start my mornings before daybreak. 

I enjoy the quietude and have been utilizing the time to find inspiration through exercise, meditation, reading and self-reflection.

I have created a productive and rewarding regimen that has resulted in greater balance and more happiness. 

However, there has been an unexpected wrinkle. One that has completely disrupted my routine in the best way possible. 

A post-Fiona sewer back-up has my daughter and her family living out of a hotel for the foreseeable future. 

The situation has been extremely difficult for everyone. However, as with all things, it has also presented some unexpected benefits.

One of these blessings, for me, has been more frequent sleepovers with the Cubs. 

Kenya has begun waking up around 6am. Fortunately, she has been willing to lie back down on me for a few minutes before flipping the switch and throwing herself into action. 

This pause is new and completely uncharacteristic.

During these fleeting moments, she is content to fall in and out of sleep, sing to herself and entertain me. 

And when it happens, there is nowhere else I would rather be. 

The world stops.

All of my personal issues and petty concerns vanish and nothing else matters. It’s just me and her. 

But it doesn’t end there. 

My new mornings also include dedicated playtime with Kyrie.

Whenever time permits, he likes to get outside, collect sticks, fight bad guys and seek adventure. In fact, we have already saved the world twice since he started Pre-K. 

I am able to experience the wonders of of his imagiation and view the world through his innocence. What a gift!


The best word that I have been able to find to describe these priceless moments is BLISS.

According to the online Oxford dictionary, BLISS is defined as perfect happiness. And that feels right to me. 

These beautiful interactions are pure joy.

Here’s the thing, in the past I might have resented the interruption and screwed up this opportunity by getting in the way. 

I am so blessed that I was able to recognize the value of this moment and use it to foster closer relationships with the Cubs. 

Rituals and routines are effective and necessary for my ongoing personal development but so is acceptance and flexibility.

I am still slowly adjusting.

I am exercising throughout the day and journaling at night. I am finding ways to make it work.

The universe continues to remind me that I always have a choice when confronted with change. 

I can resist, ruminate and complain about all of life’s unexpected challenges and disappointments or I can choose to accept whatever the future presents and try to find BLISS in all things. 

I prefer the latter. 

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

What has been holding you back?

Is it fear of failure or self-sabotage? Does it involve procrastination, a lack of confidence or negative self-talk? 

We all have insecurities and self-doubt and most of us find ways to derail our efforts and good intentions.

However, I believe that we all possess the power to overcome our self-limiting thinking and become more.  

It requires that we confront our internal resistance and that we become uncomfortable but it is always available to us. 

We have the ability to Break Free from whatever is holding us back and Be Better versions of ourselves. 

Let’s work together to help you find clarity, motivation and discipline in the pursuit of living a better life. 

“You have to do it by yourself, but you can’t do it alone.”

If you are interested in finding out more about life coaching or exploring what working with me would look like, please contact me directly at to schedule a discovery call. 

Your Next Best Read – 5 O’Clock Club by Robin Sharma 

Let me start by saying this is definitely not Your Next Best Read. I want to put that out there right off the top.

This book has been hugely popular and has relatively good reviews but it was pretty bad. 

Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago. As a  leadership and performance consultant he developed a morning routine that helped his clients live better lives. 

Don’t get me wrong, it is full of inspirational quotes and effective strategies to improve your life, I just found it predictable, unrealistic and exceedingly long.

There were early clues I should have abandoned it but I got too deep. I developed a strange desire to see it through.

It was a struggle but I did it. I will leave it up to you to determine if you want to do the same. 

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

Tribe Network

The Tribe Network is a community of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour pursuing entrepreneurship and innovation in Canada.

Their mission is to improve the wellbeing of BIPOC by supporting them to start, build and accelerate high-growth and high-value companies in emerging industries.

Tribe Website

I was introduced to the Tribe Network during a regional information session in New Glasgow this summer. 

I met Afred and Lily and learned about the valuable services that could support my entrepreneurial journey.  

I subsequently enrolled in the free Tribe Black Start-Up Project and joined a virtual call with two other new Black business owners and our sponsored mentor, Kilah Rolle

Kilah is a digital marketing specialist and communications consultant. 

Prior to the session, she reviewed all of our respective websites and social media platforms.

Consequently, she was able to offer specific recommendations, valuable insights and practical tips.

She was direct and surgical in her approach and provided each of us with keen observations and professional advice.  

To top it off, she sent notes, tools and additional resources after the Zoom call. 

She was exactly what I needed.  

Her thought provoking questions required reflectio and she encouraged me to reexamine my social media profile and how I promote life coaching.

I have already begun actioning some of her suggestions and developing a social media strategy.  

Kilah I can’t thank you enough for sharing your time and your expertise. 

Join the Tribe network and find out how they can assist you with your business idea. 

Personal Development

I attended Getting Started with Meditation at the Halifax Shambhala Center over the weekend. It provided an introduction to Buddhist practices and the ritual of meditation.

Shambhala is an international community of urban meditation and rural retreat centers founded by the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. 

“With the great problems facing human society, it seems increasingly important to find simple and non-sectarian ways to work with ourselves and to share our understanding with others. The Shambhala teachings are one such attempt to encourage a wholesome existence for ourselves and others.”

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

This was my second experience in the space after previously attending a Sunday Morning Meditation in September. 

However, this visit was completely different. It was interactive and instructional and there were only two other participants in the class. 

The guide was an advanced adherent of Buddhism who was both pleasant and knowledgeable.

He provided us with an overview of the unique Shambhala teachings, history and philosophy.  

He also gave us a personal tour and described some of the imagery and symbolism associated with traditional expressions of art. 

It was tremendously beneficial for me. 

I was able to connect some conceptual dots and obtain answers to a number of questions related to Buddhism and Eastern philosophy.

I became a little more familiar with the mechanics of meditation and was able to engage in some meaningful dialogue about something that is becoming essential to my mental wellness.

What a blessing. I am Jude

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