Inside Your Head Episode 10

My introduction focuses on a recent lived experience in which a line in a film triggered a distant memory loaded with overpowering emotions. I describe what happened, why this memory was so overwhelming, and the tactics I have used to soothe myself and cope with this incident in the hope that hearing my experience might one day be useful to you.

The main interview is with Orna Ross,. Not only is she an accomplished and award-winning author and poet, she is also the Director of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a worldwide organisation that brings together self-publishing creatives to support each other and gain access to useful services such as graphic designers, illustrators, editors, publishing outlets like Amazon and IngramSpark and legal experts.

But more than this, Orna is someone who is steeped in the lore of creativity and flow, and she draws upon her own experience, eastern philosophy and scientific techniques to help people to release their own creativity and make a success of it via self-publishing routes, bypassing traditional ‘gatekeepers’. We mention works like Flow and Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler, as well as Orna’s own project that is under development.

Finally, the Relaxation on the Beach guided meditation uses a relaxing body scan and focuses on the breath before helping you to draw upon happy memories to enble you face difficult times in the future.

Resources and bonus material for this show

Orna can be found on Twitter @OrnaRoss , her website is and her Patreon is

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler

The Relaxation on the Beach segment from this episode.


Inside Your Head Episode 4

The show opens with me revealing some of my own, recent ‘lived experience’ dealing with imposter syndrome, an incident that took me completely by surprise. I discuss how it manifested itself, the implications it has for my own psychological ‘work’ because it has revealed an aspect of my personality that I had overlooked, and how I have managed to deal with it. This also has implications for my discussions with forthcoming guest Clare Josa, who specialises in helping people overcome imposter syndrome.

The main interview is with Dan Holloway, an extraordinary man who, despite being bipolar, was Creative Thinking World Champion in 2016, 2017 and 2019, World Intelligence Champion in 2000, and European Speed Reading Champion in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He now runs a company called Rogue Interrobang which focuses on teaching people how to be creative, and this forms the main focus of our discussion today.

We look at how the term ‘creativity’ can be interpreted in different ways, ranging from what people often mis-name “talent” (in fact, frequently the result of thousands of hours of practice rather than a ‘gift from God’) to simply having new ideas about all manner of things, whether in traditional creative fields or business or politics.

Dan also talks passionately about something he is intimately familiar with: the way that suffering mental health problems can stigmatise you in the workplace, and that many businesses and organisations that praise themselves for their inclusivity in fact are nothing of the kind, creating barriers for disabled individuals that are impossible to cross.

Working in the self-publishing world, Dan also has strong opinions about the role of ‘gatekeepers’ and how frequently they are encountered, not just in the world of publishing, but elsewhere too.

The show ends with another Relaxation on the Beach meditation, this time using a ‘body scan’ to relax your body and ease any discomfort or tension. This is a great way to focus on the present, moving through the body and noting sensations, whilst clearing your mind of any other distractions and using the breath as your ‘home base’.

Resources and bonus material for this show

Why Creativity Matters

White Rabbit Anomalies

Creativity: Maker Culture for the Mind

Dan holloway’s books on Amazon


The Relaxation on the Beach segment from this episode.


Inside Your Head Episode 3

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

Self Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind by Kristen Neff PhD

Compassion for the Self-Critic

Transgenerational Trauma (Wikipedia)

The Relaxation on the Beach segment from this episode.