I have been given a wonderful opportunity here – the chance to interview a most inspirational blogger who has just published his first book. I am honored to be a part of Alex Blackwell’s promotional tour for Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change.
Change is a scary concept for most of us and one that we tend to resist. Heck, it’s hard and requires a lot of work. Most of us are content, or so we think, just maintaining the status quo and plugging on.
But in Alex Blackwell’s tender and heart-reaching style, he has written a book that makes it so doable. Simply put, he draws you into his life-affirming guide for change in a most authentic, strong and yet vulnerable way.
He doesn’t just ‘write the walk’, he ‘walks the walk’. As you will see in this interview, he takes responsibility – a pre-requisite for change – for his difficulties and works at self-improvement; thereby creating change in himself and as an extension in his most important relationships.
1. What personal qualities have helped you carry on and move in a positive direction?
I think the quality that has sustained me most is my reliance on faith. No matter how tough the journey has been, I know there is a purpose, and a plan, that is moving me in a positive direction.
My faith has made me stronger when I saw the relationships with my children improve and my marriage with Mary Beth begin to heal. These glimpses provided the motivation to stay on the path to positive change; and these glimpses fueled my faith to keep moving forward because I believed something beautiful was waiting.
2. Did you go through a period of self-pity? If so, what helped lift you out?
I did. My period of self-pity lasted the first three months of my marital separation. The separation was something I didn’t want. Feelings of anger and desperation overwhelmed me.
My way out was recognizing that if I wanted my life to change, then I had to be the one to change it. This motivated me to take a closer look at my actions and to make a series of choices that led to putting my life back together.
3. Was there a specific moment or epiphany which helped guide you to a better place mentally and psychologically, or did it evolve over time?
A little bit of both, Harriet.
My epiphany came when I realized what my selfish actions were costing me. It became clear the times I chose to work over spending time with my son and daughter. I saw their pain and rejection in their eyes. I didn’t want to push them away anymore.
Once I made the decision to change, it then became a process that I was committed to following every day, because I could see my life was beginning to change for the better.
4. What were/are your day-to-day coping skills that keep you afloat?
The three main skills I try to use day:
- Look for the gray in every situation – things usually aren’t just black or white.
- Don’t get too excited about the highs and don’t get too sad about the lows – life has a way of balancing itself out.
- When someone asks for love – give it freely, unconditionally.
5. What thoughts propel you forward?
Creating positive change begins with discovering one powerful truth: You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge.
6. In general, how have you managed to rebuild your life?
I believe there are no accidents without value. Meaning, we have the choice to look at our past and see only the bad; or we can choose to look at our past and see something valuable. Today, looking through a 49-year-old lens (age gives us 20/20 vision when looking back), I do see pain, but I also see a little boy who was determined to make it through. The persistence that drove him then, is driving me today – it’s driving me to share my message of hope, love and self-acceptance. And there’s a ton of value in that.
7. What advice would you offer someone going through a difficult time/situation, in the hope of coming out of the darkness intact?
I think the lessons I provide in my book offer the best advice:
– Lesson One: Prepare Your Soul for Change (ready your mind and heart for the journey)
– Lesson Two: Find Freedom from Pain (let go of the painful memories to find happiness)
– Lesson Three: Listen to Your Inner Philosopher (stay confident when facing doubt)
– Lesson Four: Recognize Your Beauty (accept and love your true self)
– Lesson Five: Learn To Live Without Asterisks (place no limits on the life waiting for you)
– Lesson Six: Be Inspired By Love (create and sustain loving, positive relationships)
– Lesson Seven: Live Beyond Your Skin (learn new tools for dealing with negative people)
– Lesson Eight: Find the Brighter Side of Failure (find value in everything that happens)
– Lesson Nine: Take Down the White Flag (find the courage to overcome barriers)
– Lesson Ten: Let Faith be Your Guide (learn to walk by faith)
Get a constant dose of Alex’s uplifting and gentle writing at his beautiful blog, The Bridgemaker.
Alex has graciously offered to ‘give away’ one free copy of his book. To qualify please share a comment on a change that’s you’ve achieved, one that you’re working on or one that has been too difficult to achieve, yet. Random drawing will be on April 25th, 10 pm (EST).
Thank you for coming by. All the best.