Today's guest Alex Blackwell, husband, father, blogger and author is a good friend of mine. He recently asked me to write the forward to his new e-book, How to Love Consciously. I believe the first thing that drew me to Alex was his commitment to his wife and children. He openly writes about his personal stories and struggles and invites you to do the same.
What inspired you to begin your blog, The BridgeMaker?
I started The BridgeMaker in September, 2008 as a creative outlet for my love of writing and to see how I could begin to make a difference in the world, one person at a time. Since launching the blog, I have created a purpose statement, or a “why I blog” statement: To share my heart and to touch the heart of others.
It is named "The Bridgemaker" because I want the blog to be a place where people can travel from where they are today to where they want to be tomorrow. All of us have the capacity to be “bridgemakers” when we extend our experiences, faith, inspiration, and more important, our love to others.
Briefly tell us about your new e-book and how it would benefit us.
My new eBook, explores the power and joy of love. It gives practical advice for improving relationships, inspiring romance and showing how love can continue to grow over a lifetime (Mary Beth and I have been married for over 25 years and we are still going strong).
"How to Love Consciously," provides eight straight-from-the-heart written chapters for creating lasting love in your life. The eBook is also absolutely free and the best part is the Foreword is written by you – Thanks Tess!
What spiritual practices do you use regularly to “keep the faith?”
For me, “keeping the faith” is acknowledging my past while continuing to move forward. There is a recurrent theme in many of my blog posts that goes something like, “You must acknowledge what you want to change or heal.” So, I keep my faith by knowing I have come a long way. And while I still have a ways to go, my life is full of abundance and love – two things that keep me faithful because they tell me that I am indeed worthy to be loved and to have my heart’s desire.
What about your life will I not find in your bio or on your about page?
You will not find I’m an avid baseball fan. However, living in Kansas City is tough this time of year because I see the other teams in the playoffs and I know the Royals have so far to go. You will not find I love to run and workout. In fact, I’m currently training for a Thanksgiving Day 5K race where I hope to finish in less than 21 minutes. You will not find I have a professional job as a marketing director in the publishing industry. You will not find I love lazy Sunday afternoons lounging on the couch, watching football and sipping a glass of wine.
What is the best advice you would give to couples who want to improve their relationship?
The thing that saved my marriage seven years ago is when I started putting my wife’s needs before my own. This doesn’t mean I don’t I matter in the relationship, it just means when I put effort in ensuring Mary Beth has what she needs to be happy and successful. When I do, I find my needs are naturally met. When both partner’s needs are being met, then things like anxiety, hostility and bitterness leave the relationship. And things like intimacy, friendship and romance enter it.
Is there a defining moment in your life that changed everything?
Yes. While attending a personal development seminar seven years ago, I learned all of the garbage I had been carrying my entire life was costing me the happiness I deserved. Feeling guilty for my brother’s accident; not being able to keep my mother from alcohol; and tormented for wearing eyeglasses and speaking with an impediment as a young boy, had created so much toxic shame that I had lost myself in it. I tossed the bag of garbage that day and reclaimed my dignity; my confidence and discovered self-love. And I haven’t looked back.
What legacy will you leave behind?
The legacy I want to leave behind is for people to know it is okay to be positive and nice. You can have a good job and be nice, too. You can disagree with someone, but still find something positive in the resolution. Life is short and happens quickly. We can either choose to be disappointed with what we have or we can choose to see the goodness in everything around us. I choose to see the goodness. I choose happiness. I choose love. And I hope others will, too.