The show opens with my introduction to the subject of self-compassion, focusing on the remarkable book Self Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristen Neff PhD.
The significance of the book is that it enables me to use my own experience of the last year to highlight the danger of self-loathing and self-criticism that can lead to one making desperate and potentially irreversible choices – in short, I nearly committed suicide early in 2021 and this is the book that, along with the care of a few loving friends, helped set me on the road to recovery. Though I can only give the barest introduction to the subject here, I hope that I have managed to convey just how powerful a tool self-compassion can be in healing emotional wounds and banishing the demons of self-criticism, making us not only better equipped to care for ourselves, but to care for others too.
The interview with Samantha Stockin brings a contrast to the first two shows which featured experts in particular fields. Our guest today reveals her own lived experience as someone who suffers mental health challenges, and even more extraordinary, explores the notion of inter-generational depression, by which the dreadful experiences of earlier generations may well have ‘wounded’ the family’s DNA such that mental health problems become prevalent in later generations.
But Samantha is also an inspiring individual because she acts as a ‘Mental Health Champion’ in a large bank, offering emotional first aid to colleagues who are suffering mental health challenges. I’m very grateful to Samantha for having the courage to talk so openly about her issues in a way that will, I hope, be of value to you, the listener.
Finally, the Relaxation on the Beach meditation deals this time with self-compassion, taking what I discussed in the introduction and applying it in a way that enables you to cope with difficult situations in your life, both by recognising that our problems are part of our common humanity and finding a voice within ourselves to soothe what ails us.
Resources and bonus material for this show
The Relaxation on the Beach segment from this episode.