Ross James – Bamboo Camel

The title of the book ‘Ascent, Crest, Perspective: The Making of a Bamboo Camel’ is anything but ordinary, but its author, Dr Ross, James has had an anything but ordinary life so far.

The book is a memoir reflecting on his years as a journalist, academic and researcher, as well as the personal battles he has faced.

Ross is a storyteller who uses personal journals and correspondence to tell the story of what happened after he left a family funeral business and yielded to the leading of Providence.

Ross explains an Ascent, a 20-year period of preparation as a journalist, academic and researcher. The ascent of preparation levelled out on the Crest of purpose, a 20-year period of his life’s work, motivated by the teachings of Jesus whose life exemplified care for the marginalised and poor. He lived and worked in several Asian countries then relocated to Australia and led initiatives to develop community-centred media projects throughout Asia.

After detailing the Ascent and explaining the Crest, in Perspective Ross reflects on achievements concurrent with clinical depression and accompanied by despair and loss of joy. Some excerpts from his personal journals are painful reading; some revelations are vulnerable honesty. Yet, Ross accepts a proposition that depression might have been a ‘gift of a handicap’ which compelled him to depend on Providence to overcome his limitations. His startling conclusion is that he is, after all, a bamboo camel, designed with specifications to fulfil a providential purpose. – The Bamboo Camel

Ross has worked in many countries, including Australia, the Philippines and Pakistan.

It was a great pleasure to welcome him to my podcast Bleeding Daylight to be able to hear some of his story.

You can hear our conversation on Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts or use the audio player below.

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Caris Snider – Anxiety Elephants

Depression, anxiety, fear, pain, shame, failure, feeling not enough, even wanting to leave this world. These are all things that Caris Snider has experienced.

Caris is my guest this week on my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.

If we’re honest, most of us have some kind of disconnect between our personal inner world and the person that the world sees, but for Caris, it was like a gaping chasm.

She very much seemed to have it all together. She was a wife, mum, friend and worship leader. Unfortunately, below the surface, things were quite different. Caris was hiding a secret, even from those closest to her and on Bleeding Daylight we lift the lid on that secret and discover the turnaround that not only helped her, but that has allowed her to help others.

Caris is the author of the book Anxiety Elephants and it was an honour to have her join me on Bleeding Daylight.

Whether you’ve encountered any of the feelings that Caris did, or you’re wanting to help someone you know, you’ll find hope and encouragement in her story.

Listen to Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts or use the audio player below.

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Rob Mason – Shame Off You

In a world of frantic busyness and increased anxiety, Rob Mason’s book Shame Off You deserves to be on everyone’s bookshelf. As well as telling Rob’s personal story of anxiety and shame, it’s a practical book that will hand every reader the keys to begin a journey towards better mental health.

In the most recent episode of my podcast, Bleeding Daylight, we take an honest and open look into Rob’s inner life and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Rob Mason suffered with the shame associated with chronic anxiety and panic attacks for over 10 years but he says that what he once thought would ruin his life, has in fact, enhanced it. As a church pastor and sports chaplain for nearly 30 years, he’s had the privilege of walking alongside thousands of people, struggling with their emotional wellbeing.

You can hear our conversation wherever you listen to podcasts or click the play button on the player below.

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Dave Ebert – Tears of a Clown

It’s almost a cliche, the comedian who is secretly battling depression, the person who makes everyone else laugh, but who is fighting their own inner struggles. Dave Ebert has a passion for comedy, but the laughs haven’t always been easy for him. He has faced a very real battle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Dave is someone who has turned comedy from something that masked his own pain, into something that brings healing for others, including women released from sex trafficking.

In the latest episode of Bleeding Daylight we get to explore a little of the inner conflicts that Dave has faced over the years and the way that life is now so very different for him.

You can hear his story by searching for Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts, or listen using the player below.

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Who will you ask today?

RUOK logo

It’s heart breaking to think that some people believe that death by their own hand is a better alternative than continuing to live.

Losing someone to suicide is such a devastating experience. There’s no chance to talk things through and work towards a solution. It’s an event that fills the rest of your life with so many ‘what if’ questions.

R U OK? is doing something about the tragedy of suicide. They believe that something as simple as a conversation can make a world of difference. That means that you and I can do something that may save someone’s life.

We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world’s smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there’s power in that simplest of questions – “Are you ok?”

Today, Thursday the 11th of September, has been named R U OK? Day for 2014. It’s a day that reminds us to stay connected to those around us and to make sure that those we love are doing OK in the journey of life.

We want to stop little problems becoming bigger by encouraging all people to help each other through life’s ups and downs. We all experience relationship problems, financial difficulties, stress, illness and death and we can all benefit from the support of those around us.

While R U OK? Day is an Australian initiative, suicide is a world wide tragedy. Who will you reconnect with today? Who needs you to ask if they’re OK today?

While R U OK? Day is today, let’s not only ask people if they’re OK today. Let’s make sure we’re caring for those close to us all year round.

If you are suffering any kind of emotional distress and you feel that you need help, R U OK? Day has resources available to help.

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