Back In The Saddle Again!

Hi, everyone!

I apologize, as it has been way too long since my last blog post. I’ve had a most interesting year, full of introspection, growth, and opportunity.

It is amazing how parallel my own life is to Morris Goodman’s. Uncannily, my life seemed come crashing down on March 10, 2014 – 33 years to the day of Morris’ life-altering plane crash – when my wife told me she was leaving me, and taking our boys with her. I felt that the totality of my dreams were crushed, just as Morris’ body  had been crushed. But like Morris, I held fast and strong to the idea that my life will return to its feet in a way that will make my spirit and resolve stronger than it has ever been.

Obviously, my time had to be shifted away from the film for these personal reasons. I needed to heal emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I spent the year beginning series of different religious and personal development training. As a result, I have been able to let go of feelings of guilt and blame – for myself and for others, my personal finances are better than they ever have been, and I have never been more empowered to do the work that I know I was called to do in this life – and that was to empower and enrich the lives of others, through making films and interacting with my audience!

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all of my friends and teachers who have guided me over this past year, especially the amazingly talented and inspiring actress/teacher/healer Dee Wallace, the spiritual director of the Center for Spiritual Living North Jersey Rev. Michelle Wadleigh, sports psychologist and professor Dr. Rob Gilbert (call his Success Hotline every day at 973-743-4690!), the writing and podcasts of some very well-known teachers, especially Joel Osteen, Neale Donald Walsch, Mike Dooley, Esther HicksDerek Rydall and GP Walsh, as well as the many people who continue to inspire me in and around a series of courses with Landmark Worldwide.

I owe one of the largest debts of gratitude specifically to my fiscal sponsor, Carole Dean of From the Heart Productions, along with actor/producer Tom Malloy. After several years, I have finally been able to enter into their Intentional Filmmaking class, and they are inspiring me, encouraging me, and empowering me to finally make this long-time dream of this movie into the reality it was meant to be! Through their inspiration, you will begin to see a great deal of activity on this film very soon!

Finally, I owe a debt of gratitude for YOU – my audience! For those of you who have donated and/or contributed to our crowdfunding campaign (the perks are coming soon!), who have signed up for our newsletter, have liked us on Facebook, followed us on Twitter and are reading this blog! YOU have kept me going, knowing that the world wants to see this film – and needs to see this film! YOU are the reason I am making this film, so thank you for continuing to be my inspiration!

I look forward to sharing more news with you soon!

Namaste,
Brian Jude

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Last Call! Let’s Make It Happen!

Hey, everyone!

Well, here we are, in the final 24 hours of our crowdfunding campaign!

I’m reminded of the time Morris Goodman was told he was being sent home from Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center before he had conquered his goal of walking… That feeling that it was ending too soon, that he wasn’t ready, that he needed more time…

But guess what? He pushed those feelings aside, and with help from some encouraging words from a friend who helped Morris understand that his very tenacity was enough to inspire those around them to reach for their goals, Morris found the courage to push through the fear and walk!

Perhaps you might have a friend who is in need of some inspiration? Perhaps hearing about Morris Goodman will change their lives in some way? Perhaps they might even be inspired to make a contribution, as you did, in order to help bring this film to the big screen!

Who can you help, which will in turn help you, me and all of us?

I still visualize seeing a 5-digit number in green tomorrow night! And I know we can make that happen! I am so grateful to all of you for contributing to this film, and I hope you’re already enjoying the script and, for some of you, the first two chapters of the book. (And for some of you, the rest of it will come later!) I’m looking so forward to sending you all of the other great perks you’ll be getting! Let’s see how many other people we can get to enjoy these gifts as well!

And if you haven’t contributed, please do so now at http://igg.me/at/mmfilm2013!

Finally, many of you saw the final “Special Perk” – a video from my son! Well, there have been SO MANY contributors in the past few days that it was a bit overwhelming for my son to do, so he and his brother and I did one video for all of you! Here it is!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDC2C03cpjc]

We’ll do a final one Wednesday morning – when we are snowed in with our next blizzard! If you can get someone else to contribute, we’ll include you in that video as well!

Thanks again, everyone! (I’m getting excited now!)

Namaste,
Brian Jude & The Miracle Man Team
“They ought to do a movie about this, huh?”
– Larry King

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Brian Jude on Officiants Chat Podcast

Many of you might know that when I’m not making movies, among many other things, I am a wedding officiant. One of my fellow officiants in my network, Rev. Sandra Bearden, hosts a podcast, Officiants Chat. During the month of January, The Miracle Man was the charity of the month, and today I was her guest on the show! You can check it out here:

OfficiantsChat

We are now in the last few days of our crowdfunding campaign at http://igg.me/at/mmfilm2013! If you have not contributed, please do so now. No amount is too small, or too large!

For those of you who have been interested in contributing but are concerned about sending money through the web, please note that IndieGoGo uses PayPal, which is one of the most secure ways to send money online. You don’t even have to use your credit card – you can have the funds taken right from your bank account if you like.

Namaste,
Brian Jude & The Miracle Man Team
“They ought to do a movie about this, huh?”
– Larry King

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What An AWESOME Day!

Hey, everyone!

I just had to post a blog today to talk about what an AMAZINGLY successful day we had for the crowdfunding campaign today! We’re now at about 50% of my goal of $10,000. And with a week and a half left, if I have a few more days like today, I’ll surely surpass it! In fact, my goal is to double it!

I Am also very grateful for my son Jacob who is sharing our gratitude via YouTube by sending a rather AWESOME message to anyone who either contributes or inspires someone else to contribute to the film. Check out those messages here:

(What amazing energy he has, huh?)

If you have not made a contribution yet, please do so now! Even if it’s just a small amount – every dollar counts!

If you can’t, I understand, but I would still ask you to please, please, please spread the word by sharing the links and videos via e-mail and/or your preferred social media, but also tell people directly what you feel about this project, and why you chose to contribute to it. And then Jacob will make an AWESOME video for you as well!

Here’s what I like to tell people: Think about what you want to create in your life that you might not already have. What is it, and what’s standing in your way of getting it? Is it a belief that you can’t have it? Are there any obstacles in your way that you don’t know how to overcome?

Morris Goodman is a living example of someone who learned how to achieve all of his dreams, and then lost it all when he crashed his plane, including his very life! (He was clinically dead for about 7 minutes!) He was faced with a life of immobility in a hospital, but made a clear-cut decision to refuse that reality, and took the steps he needed to make a full recovery.

I have realized in the past two months that this project is much, much bigger than me – this is a film that truly has the potential to inspire the world to create their own miracles! If Morris could walk again, then YOU can create whatever it is that YOU want. And my film will show you how.

And so I’m asking for support for the project at this time for all of the benefit that this film might bring to the world. Any contribution will help – no donation is too small, or too large!

Also you should know that we are partnered with From The Heart Productions as a fiscal sponsor, which makes any contribution tax-deductible, and while it’s too late to get your tax write-offs in for 2013, it’s not too soon to start them for 2014!

Namaste,
Brian Jude & The Miracle Man Team

“They ought to do a movie about this, huh?”
– Larry King

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Let’s Create Miracles!

Happy 2014, everyone! I’m so excited for this new year! It promises to be full of new energy and new possibilities! And it is also the year I plan to shoot this film!

And YOU can be a part of it, in many ways!

First of all, our crowdfunding campaign to help raise development funds is now running on http://igg.me/at/mmfilm2013! To learn more about it, watch this video:

In exchange for supporting us, there are many, many perks available, including getting a digital copy of the screenplay and Morris E. Goodman’s autobiography, a download or DVD of the film when it’s out, invitations to screenings, a chance to visit the set or even be in the film! Plus many other fun-filled perks! Do check them out, and choose one you’ll love!

Also, if you help refer others, we have special perks that we’re offering each week! Keep checking the page to see what the current special perk is!

We also received a wonderful endorsement from Dee Wallace, who is not only one of the stars of one of the biggest blockbusters ever made (she was the mom in E.T.), but is also a Law of Attraction/spiritual life coach as well! Check out what she has to say here:

Thanks again for your support – and keep inviting others into our community

Namaste,
Brian Jude & The Miracle Man Team
“They ought to do a movie about this, huh?”
– Larry King

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WE’RE THROWING A KICKOFF PARTY FOR OUR NEXT CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN ON DEC. 7!

Our next crowdfunding campaign to help raise development funds will begin December 7 on http://IndieGoGo.com! To kick off the campaign, you are invited to join us for a fantastic, fun-filled dinner party!

Allow me to explain the details here:

 

When: December 7, 2013, 7:00pm
Where: The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair
Fletcher Hall (located in the back of the building)
67 Church Street
Montclair, New Jersey 07055

FEATURING:

* An outstanding, scrumptious buffet-style dinner catered by
Brandl Restaurant of Belmar, NJ (http://brandlrestaurant.com)
* Wine provided by Fairway Wines of Woodland Park (http://www.fairwaywines.com/woodland-park)
* Musical performances by The UU Montclair Jazz Jam Band and Giancarlo Ponticello
* A live reading of some scenes from the film
and more!

Cost to enter is FREE! But we’d love it if you would make a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation online at one of our laptop stations, or on your phone while you’re there! We have some fantastic perks to offer at every level!

PLEASE RSVP HERE BY FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2013!

Even if you can’t make it, you can still contribute to the cause. The online campaign will run for 60 days.

To get a preview of the donation page, check out https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/22bb7b4b.

Hope you can make it!

Thanks, and have a fantastic Thanksgiving!
Brian Jude & The Miracle Man Team

 
“They ought to do a movie about this, huh?”
– Larry King

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Morris E. Goodman in SUCCESS Magazine!

In case you missed it, the following is an article from the June 2013 issue of SUCCESS Magazine on Morris Goodman! Many, many thanks to Shelley Levitt for putting this together!

mgsm

Morris Goodman: Miracle Man

After a devastating plane crash, nobody thought he could resume walking, talking or even breathing on his own. He showed them.

When we say someone was on top of the world before he experienced a sudden fall, we usually mean it as a metaphor. In the case of Morris Goodman, it was literally true.

On March 10, 1981, Goodman was flying a single-engine Cessna 172 around Chesapeake Bay. Thirty-five years old and one of the top life insurance agents in the world, Morris lived in a 5,000-square-foot home in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife Sandy, drove a Cadillac Seville and had purchased the Cessna just the day before.

As Goodman prepared to land, the setting sun reflected off the water. “It looked like a million diamonds just for me,” he recalls. “I was at peace with the world.” But his engine suddenly lost power during the runway approach, and Goodman saw power lines directly in front of his windshield. The plane ripped through the high-voltage cables and flipped as it crashed in a field.

Twenty-two minutes later, Goodman arrived at a hospital emergency room. Doctors diagnosed a broken neck and crushed spinal cord, jaw and larynx. The nerves in his diaphragm were so badly damaged he couldn’t breathe. A tracheotomy was performed, and he was connected to a respirator. His bowels, bladder and kidneys weren’t functioning. He was unable to swallow. Goodman needed care at a hospital with more resources, so he was rushed to Norfolk (Va.) General, 40 miles away.

There, his family was told to prepare for the worst. “The doctors said it was unlikely he’d make it through the night,” his sister Pat Waldo recalls. Goodman defied the odds by surviving a nine-hour operation, his body stitched together with wire and plastic. But the outlook was still grim. “We were told he wouldn’t have functioning below his ears,” Waldo says. “He might be able to see and hear, but speech was unlikely, and he’d have no movement from the neck down.”

Goodman, now 68, had other plans. “I believed with all my heart and soul that I would one day be normal—not hooked to machines, not silent, not fed through tubes, not pushed in a wheelchair.”

Eight months after the crash, Goodman walked out of the hospital.

He would go on to write a book, The Miracle Man: An Inspiring True Story of Motivation & Courage —the “Miracle Man” part taken from the nickname he was given by his doctors—and to a flourishing career as a motivational speaker, alongside his mentor Zig Ziglar, and, later, for Fortune 500 companies. He appeared in the inspirational films The Secret and The Opus, and Hollywood producers are hoping to turn his story into a feature film. (Goodman would like to see Robin Williams portray him.)

[Producer’s note: Robin Williams might not be right for the part. We’re looking for actors in the early-mid 30’s. Perhaps another role in the film, however…?]

More recently Goodman’s resilience and positivity have helped him rebound from the grief of losing his second wife, Cathy, 48, to breast cancer about four years ago. He finds comfort in his deep Christian faith and in an adage by his hero Napoleon Hill: “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” And Goodman is a believer who has been tested.

As a young adult, he seemed to lack the drive and focus to overcome great obstacles. In fact, Goodman was a somewhat aimless college dropout on a 13-week trial as a salesman with a life-insurance company when he came across Hill’s Think and Grow Rich paperback in a drugstore.

“If someone can get rich just thinking about it, that sounded pretty good to me,” Goodman recalls, speaking in his light Southern drawl from his Virginia home. The book sat on his nightstand for weeks, “but it wasn’t working by osmosis.” Goodman finally cracked it open.

Hill’s message was simple, and for Goodman, revelatory: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Those words were “the beginning of a new life for me. [They] made me realize how much power we have within us.” Up to then, he says, “I’d pretty much wandered through life, letting circumstances dictate what I would and wouldn’t do.”

He began to shape the kind of life he wanted.

Following Hill’s admonition to create a “mastermind alliance” Goodman cultivated mentors. Among them were a local orthodontist who introduced him to fly-fishing and Christianity, and Ben Feldman, a legend in the life insurance business who had $50 million in yearly sales. Feldman inspired Goodman to ditch the long, elaborate proposals he was presenting to potential clients. “They’d look beautiful,” Goodman says, “but I had the feeling that as soon as I left someone’s office they tossed them into the trash. And I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.”

Feldman wooed customers with a pithy one-pager. His philosophy: The thicker the proposal, the stupider the salesman. “That one sentence was worth millions of dollars to me,” Goodman says. “I streamlined everything. I’d come in with one idea, and three or six months later I’d come back with another. Selling, I learned, is about building relationships, and that takes time.”

When he crashed his Cessna, Goodman was well on his way to reaching his goal of selling $15 million in insurance policies that year.

“By the mile it’s a trial; by the yard it’s hard; but by the inch life’s a cinch!”

Goodman’s sister Waldo stood by his bedside a week or so after the accident—monitors, catheters and a ventilator maintaining body functions—and remembered a teenage conversation with “Skookie,” as she calls him. “We agreed that if we were in a catastrophic accident, we wouldn’t want to live knowing that we would be tied to a machine for the rest of our lives,” she says.

Waldo gently suggested to Skookie that he was at the end of his life. “I don’t know how to describe the look he had other than to say he was totally alarmed. His eyes almost bulged out of his head.” Waldo asked whether he wanted to be kept alive. “He’d blink and pause, then blink again and pause,” she says. “He kept on doing this. It was his way of saying, yes, yes, yes, I want to live. He did everything in his power to stay alive.”

Blinking became Goodman’s means of communication. Waldo, a special-ed teacher, created a system of cards that allowed him to “talk” by fluttering his eyelids. One card divided the letters of the alphabet into four boxes, each with two lines. To converse with him, Goodman’s nurses, doctors and visitors would point to a section of the card and ask him whether a box contained the letter he wanted to spell. He’d blink if the answer was yes. Next, they’d pinpoint the line, and, finally, the letter.

Every aspect of Goodman’s recovery was equally painstaking. To prevent him from drowning in his own fluids, the plug to his tracheostomy was removed every four hours and mucus suctioned from his lungs with a tube and vacuum pump inserted through the hole in his throat. For months he had to wear a halo vest. The Frankenstein-like device, which supported the muscles of his neck, was attached to his skull with screws that were tightened with a wrench. Each turn of the wrench caused blood to flow and pain so excruciating, “I thought for sure I was going to pass out,” Goodman recalls.

Then there were the bodily humiliations. He lacked bowel control, and the resulting cleanup and immodesty were “sometimes harder to bear than all of the physical pain.” But it spurred him on. I will not live like this for the rest of my life, Goodman told himself.

Anyone walking by Goodman’s hospital room would have heard the deep-pitched voices of his favorite motivational speakers. Tapes by Ziglar, professional coach and motivational speaker Bob Proctor, and positive-thinking master Norman Vincent Peale were the soundtrack to his persistence. “When you turn on a light switch, you don’t create electrical power,” Ziglar said in a recording that Goodman played frequently. “You simply release the power that is there all the time.”

Goodman reached deep within to summon that power.

Every time the respirator took a breath for him, he’d attempt to inhale, first 100, then 200, and later 300 times in a row in his struggle to breathe on his own again. Goodman told no one about this grueling program, which took hours at a stretch, for fear the doctors would tell him his goal was unattainable. “I refused to think of quitting even though I had no indication that this was doing any good,” he says. “Without a 100 percent commitment, I couldn’t have sustained the belief that I could succeed.” On May 25—2½ months after the crash—Goodman was taken off the respirator.

Next he focused on relearning motor skills. With neurological damage sending skewed signals to his nerves and muscles, this was an immense cognitive challenge as well as a physical one. In occupational therapy, he was given a tray with different-shaped pegs and holes, the sort of thing you’d give a 1-year-old. “It took me an hour to get just one peg in a hole,” he says. “It was like climbing Mount Everest.”

Goodman was a dogged patient—scheduled for an hour of physical therapy, he’d stay two or three—but not always a cooperative one. After weeks of being on a glucose drip, he was finally allowed to eat solid food. Given a steady diet of chopped turkey, a food he detested, he went on a hunger strike. When doctors re-inserted his feeding tube, he ripped it out of his stomach, drenching the sheets with blood. The patient prevailed, soon enjoying milkshakes and grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Goodman had set a goal: He’d walk out of the hospital without mechanical assistance before Christmas.

He beat that deadline by a month: He was home for Thanksgiving.

Although therapy was ongoing—it would be another year and a half before he could button his own shirt—Goodman started a new chapter in his life: motivational speaking. Truth is, he had begun this enterprise when he was still in the hospital, spurring patients to work toward a recovery that seemed unimaginable.

Waldo recalls a roommate who’d fallen off of a ladder and had been told by doctors that he’d be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. The man ended up regaining use of his upper body. “I remember this guy telling me if he hadn’t had Skookie’s outlook, he wouldn’t have had any outlook at all,” Waldo says. “I think Skookie found his calling in the hospital.”

As word about the “Miracle Man” spread, Goodman was invited to give talks at local Lions and Kiwanis Clubs. With his riveting story and folksy style, he was soon invited on the motivational speaking circuit with his idol Ziglar, along with Bob Harrington, who was known as the “Chaplain of Bourbon Street,” and Don Hutson, an expert in negotiation, sales and entrepreneurship. “Zig told me I was the best speaker he ever heard,” Goodman says of his late friend. “And I told him there was nothing to it. All you had to do was go out and buy an airplane, crash it, and then spend eight months in the hospital.”

Goodman’s message of triumph against enormous odds through a Herculean effort combined with a refusal to let himself be SNIOP’ed (his acronym for “susceptible to the negative influence of other people”) resonated with corporations as well. He has presented scores of motivational programs to Fortune 500 companies such as GM, GE, IBM, Tyco, 3M and Xerox, both in the United States and abroad. Here are some of his tips:

The Six Secrets to a Fulfilling Life
1. In life it doesn’t matter how many times you stumble and fall down. What really counts is how many times you stumble and get back up.

2. Live each day as if it’s your last. It just might be.

3. Set goals you can stay passionate about. Passion is power.

4. In order to receive, you have to believe.

5. Start each day with prayer. Thank God daily for everything you have. Gratitude improves your attitude.

6. Money is important, but remember, money can buy a nice house but it can’t buy a home. Money can buy a nice bed but it can’t buy a good night’s sleep. It can buy food but not an appetite. It can buy medicine but it can’t buy health. And it can buy companionship but it can’t buy love.

Today, after caring for his wife through the last years of her life, Goodman (TheMiracleMan.org) is eager to get on the road again. There’s a good chance he’ll show up at a motivational rally near you sometime soon.

“Once I’ve decided on a goal, I’ll move heaven and earth to achieve it. The ability to zero in on one goal and concentrate 100 percent of my mental energy on it is the principal reason I’m here today.”

Shelley Levitt is a Los Angeles-based freelancer who writes for MORE, WebMD and Women’s Health, among other publications. In the October 2012 issue of SUCCESS, she wrote about Ed Asner’s “Family Cause.”

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