Personal Development


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CHAPTER LThe Stories We Tell Ourselves

I am Jude. We are constantly interacting with the world and processing those experiences as memories. 

Everyone has a slightly different perspective that is uniquely constructed through their biology, previous relationships and personal events. 

It shapes what we believe, how we live and who we love. 

We filter everything through these individual desires, fears, and opinions – not to mention our unconscious thoughts and biases. 

And while we need to trust our memories and perceptions, we also need to remain mindful that they are only our interpretations of reality.

We generally consider our recollections facts without ever questioning their validity. 

It’s only when we are confronted with an alternative view that we even consider the possibility that we may have confabulated. 

Photo by Michael Carruth on Unsplash

In psychology, confabulation is a clinical condition. 

It’s the production of distorted memories without the conscious intention to deceive. It’s when we place experiences in the wrong time or place and mistakenly recall other relevant details from the past. 

However, I am considering it in a broader context. I am of the opinion that we ‘confabulate’ more often than we think.

In fact, I believe it’s inevitable because of our imperfect minds.

How many times have you adopted a memory as the truth only to find out weeks, months or years later, that you had some of the details twisted or completely wrong? 

I know I am wrong as often as I am right. And if I have issues, I know others do too!

Consequently, we need to accept that we are all flawed human beings and remain conscientious about the stories we tell ourselves. 

This provides us with an opportunity to better separate the facts from fiction so we are storing more accurate memories and recalling something closer to the truth.

Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Life Coaching and Consulting 

Many of us are experiencing unprecedented levels of powerlessness, disappointment and frustration 

Maybe you are stuck in a job you have outgrown or perhaps you are seeking greater motivation and discipline because you want more. 

What would it feel like to find greater purpose in your life and start taking small incremental steps towards the life you want for yourself?

We are all seeking more joy and fulfillment in our lives but most people have no idea where to start.

I believe that we all have the power to change. Sometimes we just need a little help finding the right solutions within ourselves. 

Let me help you Break Free from the negative thoughts and behaviours that are limiting your development and start developing productive strategies to Be Better. 

What is a life coach?

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.

Your Next Best Read – The Tao of Pooh 

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Essentially, it’s Taoism for Dummies. And it was exactly what I needed.

It utilizes the attributes and experiences of the beloved characters of Winnie the Pooh to introduce the reader to Taosim.

It was both illuminating and funny and provided an interesting introduction to concepts such as Wu Wei and inaction.

Generations of people have been introduced to the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and his friends, and I am no exception. I clearly remember the Saturday morning cartoons and the CBC specials. 

Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and Owl were all part of my childhood.

P’u is the Taoist principle that things are most powerful when they’re still unchanged from their simple, natural, original form. Since P’u literally means “uncut wood,” it is often referred to as “the Uncarved Block” in English.

The author utilizes Winnie the Pooh’s humility, thoughtfulness and simple nature to exemplify P’u and the attributes of Taoism. It’s genius. 

I would definitely recommend it to anyone curious about Taoism and Eastern philosophy.

“When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.”



If you haven’t already experienced Writing with My Eyes: Staying Alive While Dying by Angela Parker-Brown, I would strongly encourage you to purchase it today. 

The book provides insight into this amazing woman’s life beyond the diagnosis and the disease. 

Angie continues to live life on her terms and is providing us with inspiration through her  purpose, strength and resiliency. 

She is a beacon of light for those struggling to find purpose, regardless of their circumstances. Her energy is inspirational and her determination is leaving a lasting impression on the world. 

ALS is something that is afflicting her, but she is not allowing it to define her.

In fact, she is showing the world how to truly LIVE.

Positive Reflections – What’s Good?

The Reunion

I attended my MSVU Master’s cohort reunion on the weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since we graduated.

I was forty(40) when I returned to university and I obtained my degree the same year my daughter became a nurse. Both are memorable accomplishments that I take great pride in. 

My truth is that I have never had any interest in a reunion before – but my experience with these classmates was different.

We were a diverse collection of Black professionals who were all dedicated to scholarship and exploring Africentric Policy and Research. 

We created an atmosphere of encouragement and collaboration and formed meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime. 

The reunion served as a great reminder of the laughter, learning and rich dialogue we regularly engaged in during our two and half years together.

Two of my classmates are masters drummers and set the tone for the day by playing for us. 

They described the improvisation between drummers, the wide range of individual styles and the culturally influenced differences and then everyone was also offered the opportunity to join them.

I readily accepted and although it was only the second or third time I have attempted to ‘play’ a djembe drum, it’s always powerful and somehow familiar. 

We got a chance to share our thoughts about our collective experience and the impact it had on us. I know it was transformational for me. 

And of course there was food. There was curried chicken, oxtail, saltfish and ackee along with some vegetarian options. The rice and peas were on point.

Our get together also provided a unique opportunity to remember one our most beloved classmates, Trevor Boyd, who was taken too soon. Rest In Power brother.

It was great to see familiar faces. I hope it leads to more regular meet-ups and some form of collective action. With the Black excellence in that cohort, anything is possible. 

Public Announcement

Run your Own Race

I am about a month away from the Valley Harvest 10km. 

In preparation I have begun making some longer runs and my primary training ground has become the Victoria Park trail system. 

It’s a peaceful and therapeutic backdrop and offers varying levels of difficulty. 

I believe that if I can manage its steps, steep hills and uneven terrain, I can complete the designated course. 

The funny thing is, running through the park has actually become enjoyable. Especially now that I am more attuned to our intimate relationship with nature and everything in it. 

Without being too dramatic, it’s become a spiritual experience. It provides me with connection and oneness with something bigger than myself. 

It limits distractions and presents valuable opportunities to clear my mind and enjoy Quietude. I can also listen to podcasts, audiobooks, motivational videos that encourage my running and my personal development.

In fact, the mental benefits may outweigh the physical ones.


I am embracing an unconventional approach to the race. 

I am not timing any of my runs, I am not measuring my distances and I am not tracking my progress. 

When I registered, my primary objectives were: (1) to do something that would present a challenge and to accomplish something I have never done. 

I am not competing against anyone else. I am running my own race. 

I have an established pace for my 5k runs and I simply intend to maintain that speed throughout the entire race. If that increases before the race, great. If not, that’s cool too. 

I am pushing myself and know I could be running even faster but my truth is that I am scared of an injury. Like most 50 year olds, there are always minor aches and pains. 

I am trying to be smart. I am not running everyday, I am stretching regularly, I am using cold and heat and I am limiting my longer runs to once per week. 

I don’t care what anyone else is doing, I am running my own race. 

I have absolutely no expectations except to run the whole 10k and to learn something about myself preparing for it. Anything else is a bonus. I am Jude.


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