Personal Development


Chapter VI – The Seasons of Change

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

I am Jude. The change process can be described in countless different ways. There are many various evidenced-based systems and trademarked frameworks. However, there is a particular metaphor about personal development that I find compelling. I’m describing it as ‘The Seasons of Change’. Essentially, it uses each season to provide important lessons about the vicissitudes of life.

The Challenges of Winter

The winter is unavoidable. It is often characterized by disappointments and delays. It’s the season of hardship and heartache. For many of us, it presents challenges and hard choices and confronts any newly adopted habits or ideas about ourselves. It pressure tests our principles and beliefs and requires us to endure.

However, it also presents the best opportunities for growth and development. It builds character and resilience if we are attuned to the life lessons encoded in adversity. There is something valuable to learn in every challenge and setback. 

I am going to fail, and sometimes very conspicuously. I am going to experience loss and get discouraged. I am going to face frustration and rejection. I recognize that winter has its place but I also know it never lasts forever. We move through it – and it is always followed by the spring.

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

The Promise of Spring 

The spring represents opportunity and hope. It’s the season of rebirth and new beginnings! It provides us with the chance to plan, reconsider and DREAM BIG. It allows us to plant the seeds of tomorrow and cultivate them as they slowly take root in our thinking and daily practices. We need to take advantage of the springs of our lives by identifying our passions, following our hearts and taking action.

The Sunny Days of Summer 

Ahhhh Summer! The season of joy and fulfillment. It requires that we continue to closely attend to our identified goals, action plans and expected outcomes. It mandates focus and commitment to the seeds of spring.

Our ideas are only manifested through our efforts during the sunny days of summer. There is no other reliable way. However, this is the season of happiness. You simply need to demonstrate intention, consistency and passion to bring to life what you believe in. 

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

The Autumn of Accountability

You reap what you sow. Straight up! The harvest comes to those who have put in the work. It’s the bounty from the accumulated efforts of the spring and the summer, or the lack thereof. There is an accounting that requires you to take responsibility for your actions. 

Gain perspective from the autumn and fortify yourself against the unavoidable challenges of the cold winter months….

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Most recently, I have been blessed to be in the spring and summer months of change. I am planning and prioritizing, considering a host of new possibilities and trying to limit distractions. I am dedicating my free time to acquiring practical skills and creating a positive mindset more reflective of my goals. I am preparing for opportunities and unexpected encounters with people I don’t even know yet. 

However, I also know that my winters will arrive without warning, and with unexpected and biting consequences. It is my obligation to maintain my motivation, my focus and my grind in order to insulate myself against whatever’s coming. The journey continues….

What season is your life in right now, and how are you preparing for your inevitable winters?

Photo by on Unsplash

Side Hustle Update

I have decided to pursue life coaching as a side hustle. Although I am currently completing an assignment in HR, I have been a parole officer with Corrections Service Canada for 20 years now. My primary responsibilities include supervising Federal offenders in the community and encouraging their successful reintegration.

My job utilizes many of the same essential skills required for motivational and mindset coaching, and more. I have additional experience in coaching basketball and informal mentorship. I believe I possess many of the qualifications necessary to help people clarify goals, identify RESISTANCE and create effective actions plans which can allow them to Break Free and Be Better.

This doesn’t mean my life is idyllic. In fact, it’s pretty far from it. I continue to struggle with many of the daily realities we are all facing, I am plagued by imposter syndrome and I still make some shitty decisions. I am human. However, I was able to compartmentalize my personal life and remain professional throughout my career in corrections.

The bottom line is that I believe I possess the ability to help people live more intentional and fulfilling lives. I am still defining what that is going to look like but I’m excited about this new opportunity to help others.

I am now identifying the new required competencies, adjustments and practical tools I will need in this capacity. My immediate efforts are focused on obtaining certification/accreditation that will provide me with a professional framework, mentorship and support. It’s a bit intimidating but I’m up for the challenge. Watch me work….

Your Next Best Read – Man’s Search for Meaning 

This remarkable book provides a vivid account of an individual’s experience as a Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. However, it is much more than that. The author suggests that, like the Winter, pain and misfortune are unavoidable. He also argues that, regardless of the circumstances, we always have the power to determine how we view and respond to the world around us. Power!

Positive Reflection – What’s Good?

I love my little Afrikan community in Truro. It’s paradise. I appreciate the history, the culture and experiences that have shaped it. It’s not an affront to any other neighbourhood, people or group. Rather, it’s an expression of gratitude and reverence for my heroines and heroes of yesterday. 

I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of greatness. I have benefitted from the herculean efforts of individuals who have come before me. People who have lived seemingly unremarkable lives but whose contributions are epic and far-reaching.

I contend that my community provided me with the best childhood ever. I know you are going to say that your experiences rivalled mine. However, I can assure you you’re wrong and I can provide a powerpoint presentation to prove it….but that’s a future blog post for another day.

My community has always been a safe, comfortable space. It was a refuge from the ravages of otherness and one of the few places where Blackness was affirmed. It was the calm in the middle of the storm.

It also provided my daughter with some of the same protective factors that insulated me against the world. The Cubs are now experiencing the benefits of a traditional African Nova Scotian community. They are being rooted in something bigger than themselves – and that makes me happy 

Young families are purchasing properties and new homes are being built. We now have a successful community garden and a well maintained Municipal park. There is a rising sense of optimism and pride.

However, we also need be mindful that a community is much more than the sum of its respective parts. It is comprised of meaningful relationships, shared identity and common interests. It requires constant care and attention. So, roll up your sleeves and lean the hell in. I promise you that the future is more than worth it. I am Jude.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash


What an inspiration … I knew that as a young child you were destined for greatness ,,, you’ve always had a beautiful mind … your expressions are powerful… you are Jude!!

Thanks sister. Truly appreciate the kind comments and support. Never would have thought…..Hopefully it gives someone license to do something they never thought possible. I am Jude.

Never ever surprised by your high level intelligence and insight – always still inspiring – love the perspective of your journey, bro ✊🏽

Nevef surprised by your intelligence and insight, and always moved by how you see your journey developing – this is superior stuff! Awe inspiring !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *