Today's interview is with my friend, Alex Blackwell, from The Bridgemaker.
For my readers who don’t know you, introduce yourself and tell us about your blog. What is the meaning behind The BridgeMaker?
I’m happy to be on your blog Tess. Thanks for having me. My name is Alex Blackwell – 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.
Mary Beth and I live in Kansas City. We celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary in June. My wife and I have four wonderful children: Brandon (26), Caitlin (22), Andrew (20) and Emily (13).
The BridgeMaker connects people who are looking to find faith, share inspiration and celebrate personal 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 stepping outside of our comfort zones to cross the bridge there.
I love that you’ve included so many personal stories in your new book. Tell my readers briefly about your new book, “Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change.”
Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change is a heartfelt recounting of my best advice on building healthy relationships, learning to love yourself and being a positive force in the world.
From Prepare Your Soul for Change to Let Faith Be Your Guide, the book provides ten timeless life lessons for finding happiness and the sense of peace that comes with true self-acceptance.
How would they benefit from reading it?
This book is written for you, the reader. Although I provide glimpses into my life, I do so as a way to share the ten timeless life lessons with you. These life lessons are intended to encourage you to acknowledge what you want to change or heal, beginning today.
There are three themes that run through your blog and even your book: Love, faith, and forgiveness. Tell us why these are so important and how they’ve changed your life.
Love: It begins with learning to love ourselves. Love needs to come from the inside, out for it to be authentic and lasting. Romantic love is important, too.
The love Mary Beth and I share has been life-changing. Eight years ago, she gave me a second chance to be a better husband, and person. This is the most precious gift I’ve received. It is has taught me how to separate the seemingly important to what is truly important – like listening, supporting and spending time with one another.
Faith: Life can unfair, it can be tough and it can be painful. But when we lean on faith, we can often find the strength to keep moving forward – no matter the circumstances. My faith has given me the ability to focus on being a good parent, a loving spouse and a person with big hopes and dreams – no matter the obstacles I encounter along the way.
Forgiveness: Offering forgiveness is the most important thing we can do to embrace the present moment with purpose and passion. However, providing forgiveness isn’t about letting the other person off the hook, or ignoring what has happened, it’s about freeing yourself so you are no longer stuck in the past.
In my book, I write about the forgiveness I’ve received (from Mary Beth); and the forgiveness I’ve provided (to my mother); and how both have resulted in life-changing, positive change.
How do you think your blog has helped you to grow personally? Professionally?
Professionally, my blog has made me a better writer. Like anything we do, the more we do it, the better we become. My blog has also helped me find my voice, which is both a personal and professional benefit.
Blogging has also made me more aware of what I think, feel and how I want to express myself.
If you had 60 seconds to give a message to the world, what would you say?
I love the question Tess. We are all in this thing called “life” together. By practicing kindness, patience and love, we can make our time here happier and more meaningful. Let’s encourage each other more, and criticize less.
What do you like to do for fun?
Having fun is important. Why do we work so hard if we don’t take the time to enjoy what we have, right? I’m a runner. So, strapping on my iPod and going for a four-mile run is like nirvana.
Mary Beth and I still have a weekly date night and heading to Kaufman Stadium to catch a KC Royals game is a blast. Looking ahead, my wife and I just bought a beach house. We’re looking forward to future family vacations full of surf, sun, and laughter and time spent together.
What books are on your nightstand or Kindle? I read a lot of blogs during the day so at night I switch to fiction. I just finished “The Hunger Games” because my 13-year-old daughter wanted me to read the book before seeing the movie together.
My favorite authors include John Gresham, Scott Turow and Patricia Cornwell.
What one single piece of advice do you have for people who want to improve their relationships? Place your partner’s needs before your own needs
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. Connect with Alex on Facebook.
Alex is giving away 2 copies of his book for FREE. You only have to share this interview on Facebook, Tweet it and leave a comment below mentioning that you did so. How cool is that?