Book Review

Are You Ready To Say Yes To Change? (Giveaway Inside)

(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:
  • Writing
  • Running
  • 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!

Alex Blackwell is the Founder of The BridgeMaker. His first book, Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is now available on Amazon.

And now, Dear Readers, the Giveaway!   Yay!

 

Alex is generously giving away 2 copies of his fabulous book for FREE to readers 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!!

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Bill Dorman
    April 16, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Wow, there’s a lot here; I will definitely have to come back and leave my thoughts. Out the door right now….

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you, Bill. I’ll be waiting 😀 – I value your views!

  • Reply
    zephyr
    April 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Amazing interview of a wonderful writer by an amazing woman! Change is a constant in my life too if I may use a cliche and like your mother I like to rearrange my furniture regularly. I have shifted houses 43 times in my 36 years of marriage! So this book would be a wonderful gift to get. But I see that I am late in vying for the gift. Loved this post and thanks for the link. I have already subscribed to Alex’s blog 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      😀 Thanks for the lovely words, Zephyr – you always make me feel two feet taller. I can see why we would have been good family-mates 😀

      And you are not late for the gift. 😀 Share on facebook, Tweet and let me know here in the comments to get a chance to win it. Alex is very insightful and I am glad you subscribed to his blog.

      Hugs and – you know I am always happy to see you here!

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    April 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    First of all Vidya, this was an awesome post! I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I have always prided myself on not being afraid of change, and yet the last few months have proven to be quite a test for me. I would love to have a copy of this book in order to renew my belief that change is possible and inspire me to keep going forward no matter the tests that seem to be knocking me backwards.
    Thanks!
    Terri

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Hugs, dearest Terri. I know you work so hard and I also know what you’ve gone through recently. I think YOU are such an inspiration! Stay tuned for the announcement tomorrow! You’re the best, you know!

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    April 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Oh sorry. I forgot to mention that I shared this post on facebook and also tweeted it. Thanks again,
    Terri

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Terri. I am always grateful to you.

  • Reply
    Nezzy
    April 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    If there’s one thing this old gal has learned is that if ya don’t change your grow stagnant and moldy. Golly gee, certainly at my age that would not be a pretty sight!!! Heeehehehe!!!

    Sounds like Alex has a winner there!!!

    God bless ya sweetie and have yourself a glorious week!!! :o)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 17, 2012 at 6:05 am

      Thank you, Nezzy! 😀 You definitely put a smile on my face! Hugs to you – and am so glad you dropped by! Wishing you a wonderful weekend too!

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    April 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I just finished Alex’s book, and I will be writing more about it soon. It is everything you said. An easy read with deep insight told in a personal and accessible way. Thanks to both of you for a delightful and in depth interview. I’m always glad to learn more about my favorite bloggers!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 17, 2012 at 6:06 am

      🙂 Thanks for your lovely words, Galen. Alex’s book is indeed a “keeper” and I enjoyed it very much. I look forward to reading your post about it! Hugs!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    April 17, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Vidya,
    Alex is amaaaaaazing….& so are you. Great Interview. Superb questions and answers….

    *** You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge.***

    —Absolutely True. And Difficult to do sometimes…

    Ps. Happy birthday to your Mother, Sweet Vidya. Xxxxxx

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you, Kim. 🙂 I especially appreciate your kind words. Your wish for my Mom’s birthday – is something that will go straight into my heart. Love you so much.

  • Reply
    Sibyl
    April 17, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Great interview. Vidya, I thought your questions were all great and really interesting. Alex. I love the core message of the book. It is definitely something great to keep top of mind. Great interview:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you so much, Sibyl! I loved the book too, and I guess that brought out the questions easily! 🙂 I am glad you stopped by!

  • Reply
    Rahul Bhatia
    April 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Interesting one, Vidya:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you, Rahul! I appreciate your visit!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    April 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Change is so so so SO hard for me. I’m accustumed to consistency. I think it’s because of having an anxiety disorder. I need things to be the same in order to feel in control.
    However, I know that I need to make changes and it scares the bejeezus out of me.
    For one, since I resigned from my job, I will have to find a new one. New place, new responsibilities and that terrifies me.
    I would really love this book.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Dear Kimberly, I understand what you’re saying. I’ve felt that way when I was worried to death over various things at one point. I was lucky to have my Mother encourage me all the time. So lucky. And now that she’s no longer around, I feel the loss so much. But I remember her words. I am sure you’ll sail through the change. Love you!

  • Reply
    zazazu
    April 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I feel like I’m on the way to positive change but can’t quite get over the hump to really do something about it. Would love to read this book!

    msred5@gmail.com

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Zazazu (I just love the sound of that!) Thank you for coming by. I am impressed by your last post (just came back from your blog). Wishing you health!

  • Reply
    Pamela Hutchins
    April 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Great job on your interview, Vidya. And what a powerful topic, book, and author you chose. I think his mesage is so important, and I can’t wait to go check out his book!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you, Pamela! 😀 I am eagerly waiting to talk about yours here. I am glad you want to check out Alex’s book. It is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Noch Noch | be me. be natural.
    April 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    thanks for the review and loved the topic
    change is the only thing that’s constant!
    NOch Noch

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      🙂 Thank you, Noch Noch! I believe that too! Do visit again!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    April 19, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Shared on FB & Twitter. I would like to win this book because sometimes I forget to choose love.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you, Unknown Mami! 🙂 Love you, you know!

  • Reply
    sheila
    April 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Love this interview, great job! Looks like a good book! YES it does! 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Sheila! 🙂 Glad you came by. Have you read the book?

  • Reply
    Sylviane Nuccio
    April 21, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Hi Vidya,

    Thanks for this great interview with Alex Blackwell. Really enjoyed it 🙂
    Change is definitely good and who doesn’t change doesn’t move forward. I also clicked on your post about your mother. She was very beautiful and die do young.

    Take care 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

      Welcome, and thank you so much, Sylviane! You touched my heart with your words. My Mom was a wonderful person!

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