(Book review + My very first interview with a published author + My first ever giveaway to you amazing readers!)
My friend, Alex Blackwell of The Bridgemaker just published his first book “Say Yes to Change – 10 Timeless Life lessons for creating positive change
” and I am thrilled to review it here.
Oh, wait – it is not really a review and I’ll tell you why.
Change has been quite a constant in my life. I studied grade 1 through 10 in 5 cities, went through three colleges in two cities and then, my career took me through a series of transfers and promotions to different cities. We thrived on change, we craved change. Why, my Mother
and I went crazy if we didn’t rearrange the furniture in our home for more than two weeks! I think it was basically because Mom believed that we should embrace change
because whether we like it or not, sometimes it is necessary.Through the many unexpected changes we went through in our life, she taught me that:
Change is freedom
Change is a choice
Change requires effort
Change is a second chance
Change is creative
Change is freshness
Change is positive
Change comes from within
Change is always possible
I can’t say I always agreed with her, but somehow, it all panned out in the end just like she believed. Today, I know that our path to happiness involves Saying Yes To Change. And there is ALWAYS something good to take away from anything bad.
And so, when I got Alex’s book and read it, I realized that this is a book I’ll enjoy reading often. It reinforced a lot of things I’ve learned from my own experiences, sometimes the hard way.
See – most of us are involuntarily resistant to change. After all, who wants to tinker around with a routine that looks comfortable? But when relationships suffer, when you feel bad about something, when you suffer over past hurts – would you like to put up with the negative feelings and limiting beliefs that slowly build up in you? Would you not like to find a way to learn from those experiences and emerge wiser, and live your life the way you want to? And the one thing guaranteed to help you transform your life is change – from within
. If it is broken, fix it right now. Oh yes, as I enjoy repeating, happiness
is a D.I.Y. project. You may not have control over what others do, but you can control yourself and choose how you react.
Alex says, “You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge”
How true. And to explain why, he shares his own moving story with raw honesty. It is a story of someone who had the courage to break free from what held him back and choose the life he wanted to live. I am sure every one of us who reads this book will identify with it.
Through examples that touch your heart, Alex’s book gives you the tools you need to break through your own layers of doubt and shame, letting you develop meaningful and long-lasting connections with those you love and care about.
I believe that our life should be about building healthy relationships. And this book shows you how, in detail, step by step. It is full of action points that you can start implementing right away and live an extraordinary life.
Saying Yes To Change gives you:
- The power to throw away what is no longer working in your life
- 10 Steps for Transforming Negative Thoughts into Positive Beliefs by getting rid of chronic negative thinking
- Tips on learning to love yourself and being a positive force in the world
The book is full of wisdom gleaned through personal experience and one of the things I loved – my favorite part – is the one about Alex’s 48th birthday wishes. That brought tears to my eyes.
Say Yes To Change is a book you will cherish and treasure, I promise.
And now, I have the pleasure of welcoming Alex to my blog.
Alex Blackwell is the founding editor of The BridgeMaker. an honestly written lifestyle blog dedicated to relying on faith, sharing the amazing power of love, and walking the simple paths to positive change.
Let’s get to know him better, shall we?
1.Welcome, Alex. I am so excited to have you here – virtual hugs! I loved your book and so appreciate you taking the time to answer a few questions. I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with you for a while now, but how about a quick personal intro for our readers?
And a big virtual hug back to you Vidya. Thanks for having me on your blog.
I’m married to Mary Beth (27 years!) and we have four great kids. Between spending time with my family and writing, I enjoy running, going to KC Royals baseball games and performing volunteer work.
My biggest pet peeve is slow drivers travelling in the left lane; and my biggest passion is to share my heart with others.
2.Yikes! I know what you mean about those with zero road sense. And about sharing your heart with your readers – I’d say you’re doing that, Alex, and very well! Would you please tell us a little about your blog, The BridgeMaker and the story behind the name?
The BridgeMaker connects people who are looking to walk by faith, share inspiration and celebrate positive change.
The meaning of the blog’s name comes from becoming aware of where we are today and seeing where we want to be tomorrow and then making the deliberate choice to cross the bridge to discover the beautiful life waiting for us there.
3.That’s so beautiful! What made you choose “change” as the topic for your book? Is this for a specific age group? Who can benefit most from this book?
Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is for anyone who feels the nudge to change; and it’s for people who are already walking the paths to positive change. If you feel stuck, alone or scared, the book will inspire you to acknowledge what you need to heal or change so you can begin living a happier, more meaningful life – right now.
4.I liked how you said in your book “Love is a choice” Would you like to comment on that?
Here’s a good example Vidya: Let’s say you are busy preparing dinner, paying bills or whatever. Your child comes to you and asks for a few moments of your time. You have a choice. You can step away from what you are doing and listen to your child’s needs, or you can keep doing what you are doing. So, you see? Love is a choice.
5.For me, the choice is clear – I’d listen to my child’s needs of course! But I do come across people who feel that no matter how hard they try, things don’t work out. What would you advise them to do?
To listen to their inner voice, their inner wisdom. Sometimes things don’t work out for us. When this happens, it’s not because we are doing anything wrong; it’s because it’s not meant to be. When you are faced with this situation, take a step back and listen to your inner voice. Chances are it’s usually right.
6.Your book is going to change so many lives. How do you feel about that?
It’s an incredible feeling. I’m glad it has the potential to change lives. It would be good to know, sometime in the future, the impact the book is having.
7.I have a feeling that you’ll be sharing some reactions with us, Alex. I look forward to that. By the way, I really enjoy reading the “A Simple Path” series on your blog. Please share something about this with our readers
A Simple Path, a twice-weekly series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty.
8.I know for a fact that people love to read about other peoples’ experiences and the lessons learned from them. Tell us, Alex, what role does forgiveness play in a relationship?
I think forgiveness plays the most important role Vidya. None of us is perfect, so forgiveness is needed from time-to-time. When forgiveness is requested, and then provided, love is given a new chance to grow.
9.That’s such a beautiful thought! Alex, if you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
- I would wish for a wonderful life for my children.
- I would wish for the opportunity to write, speak and offer encouragement to people every day, and for the rest of my life.
- I would wish for healing for my father and sister.
10.So generous! I just know your wishes will come true. You’re already doing so much. What are three things you love most in this world?
- My children
- My wife
- Each sunrise
11.What is the one thing you would like to change right now?
I would change how I sometimes beat myself up if I fall short of a goal. No one is harder on me, than me – and I’m often harder on myself than I should be.
12.Arrgh! Pressure from within – it drives me too! Do you have an idol, a mentor, Alex?
When I see someone pursuing their dream with 100% vigor and effort, I get motivated to do the same.
13.Where do you find your motivation / inspiration?
Vidya, I find inspiration in the everyday things. I get inspired when I see kindness in action, love in play and passion being exalted. So, it’s the daily routines and interactions that can bring out the best in people that motivate me the most.
14.That’s the exact same answer I would give to a question like that! What are your favorite ways to relax / de-stress?
These come to mind:
- Sipping a glass of wine on my deck
- Watching a baseball game
15.Alex, I have always yearned to ask someone this question, because I’ve answered it so many times. Here goes: Where do you see yourself three years from now?
Great question Vidya. While I don’t know where all of this going, or how it will turn out, I do feel a tremendous energy shift coming my way. My hope is, like I answered in my three wishes, I will be writing, speaking and encouraging people all day – every day.
16.Are you already working on your next book? What is it going to be about?
Yes, it will be a work of fiction. More later, okay….?
17.That’s great! What legacy do you wish to leave in this life?
The legacy is intended for my children and the legacy will be that I broke the cycle of dysfunction that existed in my family or origin. It will be I showed my children how to love themselves and each other with a kind, compassionate heart.
18.Ah, I believe that love and kindness make the world go round too! What is your message for our readers?
It is the core message of my book: You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge.
I just love that line! Thank you so much, Alex, for being with us today. I know your book is going to be a best-seller!
And now, Dear Readers, the Giveaway! Yay!
Alex is generously giving away 2 copies
of his fabulous book for FREE
of Going A-Musing.
Here’s how YOU CAN WIN a copy:
The names of the two Awesome Readers who are selected to receive the book will be announced on April 20, 2012. I’ll also let you know via email.
Saying Yes To Change : 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is also available on Amazon
Let the commenting begin, dear readers!!