Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Essential Advice on Saying Yes to Change & Book Giveaway

Alex Blackwell, author Saying Yes to ChangeToday, I’m delighted to share my interview with Alex Blackwell, author of Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change.  I admire Alex as a person who is fully committed to authenticity and integrity.

Would you like to change, but don’t know how? Or maybe you have felt frustrated by roadblocks you’ve met on the way.

In Saying Yes to Change, Alex shows us how to successfully face our self-defeating patterns and personal demons and replace them with love, joy, confidence, and faith.  It’s a simple yet complete road map.

However, Saying Yes to Change does not offer superficial “quick-fix” methods.  Alex has tasted the ups and downs on the road of transformation.  So you can count on him for a seasoned and mature perspective.

At the same time you will feel encouraged.  As I read along, I had a vivid sense that Alex was right there with me, offering a loving hand, understanding heart, sound advice, and a manageable, systematic approach.  His sage advice can help you transform life-long emotional habits and even heal your deepest wounds.

Healing Our Deepest Pain

Change did not come easily for Alex.  He lived in a state of deep pain for the lion’s share of his life.  Low self esteem, shame, feelings of unworthiness, unhappiness, and anger all bubbled briskly beneath his exterior efforts to succeed in life.  The kind of stuff most people want to hide, push aside, or forget until its almost too late.

Over focused on himself and fixated on getting ahead, Alex ultimately met his own version of personal disaster.  It took hitting bottom to wake-up.  With nowhere to turn, Alex was forced to take an honest look at himself and begin to slowly Say Yes to Change.

Now, committed to helping others, Alex has funneled all his hard-earned wisdom and practical insight into this essential guide for embracing change and becoming the person you are truly meant to be.  There is a sense of clarity, optimism, encouragement, hope, and empowerment that exudes from the pages of this book.  I hope you will taste these qualities in my interview with Alex.

Interview:  Alex Blackwell on Saying Yes to Change

Sandra:  Alex, one of the underlying messages of your book is that, “You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge.” At the same time, you note that many of us live predominantly on automatic, driven by unconscious messages and patterns implanted very early in our life. We may not even be aware of the force behind our actions or even fully recognize our suffering.

Do we have to wait until disaster strikes to wake up and change? What suggestions do you have for an “early warning system”, for recognizing the turbulence that lies below the surface of our mind before it blows up in our face?

Alex:  Powerful question Sandra, thank you for asking it.

I don’t believe we need to wait for disaster to strike. There’s a better choice – paying attention to our inner voice, our inner wisdom along the way. When we feel the nudge to become aware of our actions or surroundings, we need to listen.

For example, when our “gut” tells us we need to spend more time with our loves ones, find a new job or leave a relationship, it’s usually right. By ignoring what we know to be true, the situation can cascade out of control until facing a disaster is inevitable. But by responding to the messages our inner voice is sending, and then responding appropriately, we can take better advantage of our “early warning system.”

Sandra:  In the chapter Live Beyond Your Skin, you advise us to, “Allow love to happen naturally. If it goes away, don’t grasp it so tightly as to damage its spirit.” I’m personally exploring the idea of “healthy” attachment. I would love to hear your thoughts on healthy attachment. What does it look like? How can we love fully but in a “non-sticky” way?

Alex:  Sandra, I only have my 27-year marriage on which to base my answer, so here goes…

Mary Beth and I encourage each other to live a full, rich live outside of our marriage. I have my writing and blog and she has her therapeutic counseling practice. We kiss goodbye early in the morning and on some days we don’t reunite until 9 or 9:30 last night. But when we do, we listen attentively to one other and then enjoy the moments we have left in the day.

Simply put, we have personal goals while at the same time having goals for our marriage. We are two people who have made the conscious choice to share a life that isn’t necessarily dependent on what we do as individuals.

Sandra:  The level of vulnerability you express throughout your book seems challenging for most of us, but especially uncommon for men. Do you have a special message you would like to share for men in particular as to how accessing one’s vulnerability can enhance and empower their lives? How can they counter the conditioning they’ve received to avoid showing vulnerability?

Alex:  It’s about being real.

To your point, most men (and I resist stereotypes, so apologies in advance) believe the best approach is not to show emotions; real strength is to remain stoic, some men believe.

But I would suggest there’s a cost for keeping our feelings inside. It keeps others from seeing who we really are and what we need. By being vulnerable we are being real; and when we are authentic, others are more likely to draw closer to us. Our relationships improve and a sense of happiness grows.

The first step is to unclench the firm grasp you have on your heart by lifting up one finger. Allow someone to touch your heart. If that feels comfortable and safe, then remove another finger and so on until your heart is being shared freely.

In your interview with Zeenat Syal, you said that writing this book was far easier for you than promoting it. Do you have any tips for us in how to engage in marketing and promotion in an authentic and heart-centered way as opposed to a hardcore approach with the usual hype and pressure?

Alex:  For me it’s about staying within myself and not doing something that isn’t aligned with my core values, or brand.

For example, I’ve been approached by a Joint Venture company that told me they would send an email about my book to thousands of email recipients if I sent emails to my subscriber list on products they promote. I couldn’t do this because I’ve never used, or intended to use, any of these products.

So, I will keep spreading my book’s message organically and by kind, supportive bloggers like you Sandra!

Sandra:  You describe your blog, The Bridgemaker, as “an honestly written lifestyle blog dedicated to relying on faith, sharing the amazing power of love, and walking the simple paths to positive change.” As a successful blogger and mentor for bloggers and writers, can you share a few of your most important secrets for growing a popular blog with integrity?

Alex:  Sandra, these three tips come to mind:

  1. Write about what you know, and then write with passion.
  2. Do something every day that will grow your blog: write a post, share content on social media, leave a comment on another blog, submit a guest post, etc.
  3. Never give up. Blogging is a journey. Be sure to connect with like-minded people who want to share the journey with you and them motivate and encourage each other to keep going!

Sandra:  Where can people find your book?
Alex:  You can buy Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change through Amazon. You have three options:

  • Download the Amazon Kindle Edition right now. Did you know you don’t need a Kindle to read the Kindle version? You can use your computer, iPad, iPhone or other mobile device – just select your preferred delivery method in the right-hand sidebar on the Amazon page.
  • Order the paperback edition.
  • Grab the Nook Book on Barnes&

Sandra:  Thank you, Alex.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book.  Most importantly, I was impressed with the clear, accessible, and step-by-step presentation.  Saying Yes to Change is a book I can recommend without hesitation.

Win a Free Copy of Saying Yes to Change: 10 Timeless Life Lessons for Creating Positive Change

Alex has generously offered a complimentary copy of his book “Saying Yes to Change!” to be given away to one of the readers here at Always Well Within.  To participate, leave a comment telling us about how you have said yes to change no later than Saturday, May 5th.

Are you reading by email? Just click here so you can leave a comment, and take part in this wonderful giveaway!

[Note:  If you have trouble commenting due to the new commenting policy here’s the secret:  use a fake email along with your real name and blog url.  Then you will receive a link back to your blog from your name.  Thanks for your patience.]

If you enjoyed this article, may I ask you to share the link with others on your favorite social media sites?  And, I would love to connect with you on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page  With love, Sandra


The Power of Living From Your Vows


Manifesting or Unfolding?


  1. Jean Sampson

    Hi Alex and Sandra. I read your book, Alex, and thought it was wonderful. I am so glad that you found the group of people who would help you heal and become fully yourself. I wish everyone could encounter that type of opportunity. I was blessed to discover something very similar, a peer counseling community/organisation called Re-evaluation Counseling or RC or Co-Counseling. The assumption is that we humans are all good, creative, loving co-operative, smart beings who have been hurt in various ways. The thing about RC is that you trade listening time (being the counselor) and talking, crying, laughing, shaking time (being the client). We take classes to learn how to listen non-judgmentlly and lovingly to one another and to encourage one another to use emotional release (called “discharge”) in order to get free of the patterns installed by undischarged hurts from the past. While being the counselor, your job is to remember how good, smart, creative, loveable, etc., your client is (even when their distress will tell them that they are not all those things) and to continue to remind them of what is true about them. This usually brings on lots of discharge, many tears, because, at the core, we all know this is really our truth. And then we switch roles and the counselor becomes the client for the agreed-upon amount of time. This process saved my life and allowed my real self to come though. It sounds a lot like what you did, Alex, with your group. I am sorry this was such a long comment, but I couldn’t think of a shorter way to describe RC. Anyway, thank you, Alex, for sharing your healing journey so honestly, and thank you, Sandra, for this interview.

    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks for telling us about Co-Counseling. I’m generally familiar with the idea, but it was very interesting to hear the premises that underlie it. There is an active Co-Counseling community in my area. I haven’t participated myself yet, but with you inspiration maybe I will. It’s wonderful that Co-Counseling sessions are free, which shows us there can be options available to us even when our financial means are limited. It’s a beautiful approach! I’m glad it was so healing for you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      And thanks for your positive words about Alex’s book.

  2. gradyp73

    What a great interview!

    As I’m reading this, I’m seeing several things in myself that I need to work on. I don’t necessarily believe that I’m stoic and not showing emotion, but I bet I could do a better job than I have been doing in this. I also know I could spend more time listening to my gut. When I follow my gut reactions, I more often than not am on the right path.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I’m so glad you liked the interview, Grady. We could all fine tune a bit more, right? Alex gives us the inpsiration to keep moving and changing. Thanks for your openness.

  4. MImi Sternberg


  5. That seems normal, Mimi. I think Alex experienced a lot of fear along his path too. In fact, he mastered taking small steps toward change. I try to soothe myself when the fear comes up; that helps. I know you will say yes fully when the time is right. If I can support you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You are a brave spirit! All my love to you and a big hug.

  6. Alex Blackwell

    Sandra – thank you for sharing this space with me. I appreciate your beautifully written introduction. More than that, your continuous encouragement is a blessing and a gift. You are a special soul Sandra!

    All – thanks so much for taking the time to leave comments. No matter where you are on your change journey, stay strong in the knowledge that you are doing amazing things. Blessings to you all.


  7. You’re welcome, Alex! I hope your book touches many people. Warmest wishes to you.

  8. A lovely thoughtful review and interview, thank you so much for this sharing.

    I have just bought Alex’s book and look forward to reading it – i think I will review it on my blog also but I have a number of books to do for the TLC on line group first – I am going to squeeze it in for me
    and….because I needed to feel like my blogging is part of my journey today. I am attempting to sort out why I am attracting very few readers to any of my writing right now…I seem to be moving into a new phase of my life and maybe i am just too old for other’s journeys and yet haven’t landed in the new spot….I am reviewing a book next about a woman who found her life’s talent at age 72 and it gives me much hope. Her work has been enjoyed by scientists and kings…I wish Alex a good journey with his work and I enjoy his blog very much

  9. Thank you, Patricia. I hope you find what you wish for in Alex’s book. Funny, I feel in the same space. In part, the new comment policy is reducing comments but there’s seems to be more than that. People change and move on and it can take a new boost of energy to make new connections. You are such a heart-felt and caring soul. I wish you well on landing in your “new spot.”

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