The Guilt Free Friday Interviews – with Sophie Eastop-Scopes

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews are a series of honest and inspiring conversations with those affected by guilt.

In this episode, virtual assistant Sophie Eastop-Scopes talks to me about her parental guilt surrounding her difficult labour and birth, the impact that had on her bonding with her son, and the way guilt has affected her life since, as a mum and as a business woman.


Sophie Eastop-Scopes is a Virtual Assistant and Social Media specialist; but first and foremost she is a mum to Alfie. Based in South-West London Sophie raises her son alongside her husband in Surrey; navigating the world of motherhood, guilt and work. 
For more information or to contact Sophie directly please visit:
If you would like more information on Sepsis (which can affect anyone at any age) please visit:  

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews – with Shalini Bhalla-Lucas

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews are a series of honest and inspiring conversations with those affected by guilt.

In this episode, motivational speaker and author Shalini Bhalla-Lucas tells me her story of finding her soul mate, losing and then reconnecting with her family and dealing with the grief of losing both her husband and father in the space of 18 months.  This powerful story tells us a lot about how guilt can be involved alongside many other powerful emotions.


Shalini Bhalla-Lucas is an award-winning author, entrepreneur, speaker, teacher/trainer and the founder of Just Jhoom! She is also an accredited Mindfulness and Meditation teacher – teaching people highly-effective, proven techniques to help combat stress, anxiety and depression. She is currently training to be an End of Life Doula. 

Shalini has performed all over the world and has had TV appearances on ITV’s Daybreak, Channel 4s Sunday Brunch and the BBC, as well as on numerous radio stations and podcasts. She has been featured in publications such as RED magazine, Top Sante and Dance Today, discussing physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing through dance and mindfulness. 

In January 2017, Shalini set up the Jeremy Lucas Education Fund in Kenya in memory of her beautiful, kind husband Jeremy Lucas who passed away in 2016 after a two-year battle with cancer. The Fund is currently providing scholarships for 16 Samburu children for secondary and tertiary education. 

Shalini self-published her first book “Always With You – A true story of love, loss…and hope” in July 2018. The memoir is about her personal battles with mental illness, the coping strategies she relied on to regain a positive mental state after severe depression, and the death of her husband. Shalini writes frankly about her experiences of love, bereavement, grief, depression and suicidal ideation, as well as her struggles with religion and Indian culture, and ends the book with a message of renewal, recovery and hope, and aspirations for the future. In October 2018 the book became a No 1 Amazon Bestseller. 

“Online Dating @ 40 – The Nobheads, Nutjobs & Nice Guys” Shalini’s second book, a funny and candid account of the highs and lows of online dating, was published in February 2019. It is an honest personal account of a 40-something-year-old determined to ‘live again’ following the untimely death of her beloved husband and soulmate Jeremy. 

In May 2019 Shalini was chosen from hundreds of women to be one of six inspirational women from the UK to be featured in the hair beauty company TRESemmé’s Power Your Presence Online and TV Masterclass. In the programme Shalini is featured alongside celebrity Emma Willis speaking about Being Positive, The Power of Thought and Building Resilience. 

Shalini’s third book “Happiness! Is It Simply A Mindset Shift?” will be published in the autumn of 2019. 

Shalini’s website:

Facebook and Instagram @justjhoom

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews – with Samantha Houghton

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews are a series of honest and inspiring conversations with those affected by guilt.

In this episode, author and ghost writer Samantha Houghton discusses her guilt connected to her son’s anxiety, and how parental guilt carries on far beyond their formative years.


Intuitive Ghostwriter, inspirational book mentor and award winning author

  • Published author of The Invisible Girl: A Secret Life and creator of #1 bestseller Courage: Stories of Darkness to Light
  • Multi published ghostwriter
  • Authentic public speaker
  • Co-scriptwriter of upcoming inspirational film
  • Book lover and avid coffee drinker
  • Trauma thriver



To create the most powerful impact on humanity I possibly can, directly from my heart, using the power of words through books, film and speaking. Hearing the right and profound words have encouraged me massively in my life to free myself of complex trauma, heal and aim to reach the life of my dreams. I use this to inspire and motivate others in their darkness to choose to rise, transform their lives by seeing how possible it is to go against all of the odds but to succeed and to live their purpose. I aim to create and leave behind a global legacy that will serve millions of souls forever during my lifetime and after I have departed from this world. 





The Guilt Free Friday Interviews – with Janet Groom

The Guilt Free Friday Interviews are a series of honest and inspiring conversations with those affected by guilt.

In this episode, author Janet Groom explains her struggles with infertility and how guilt shaped much of her own self worth and value.



Janet Groom is an Author and Book Coach. She has published two books –one fiction ‘The Naked Knitting Club: Book 1 – Casting On’, and one non-fiction ‘Write to Heal: 10 Ways to Use Writing and Words to Boost Your Well-Being and Transform Your Life’. Janet has found power in words and enjoys writing her own stories, as well as helping other incredible people to share their personal uplifting stories into the world. She hosts ‘The WRITE Word Show’ sharing interviews and insights on writing. Her vision is to share inspirational books into the world. Janet is married to Mark, and they live in a typical chalet in the heart of the Swiss Alps.

You can connect with Janet at:

Don’t Dismiss Your Guilt Because Others Experience More

We all love a powerful personal story. There are many incredibly inspirational people out there who share some of the hardest and traumatic times of their lives, to help understand the lessons they got from those experiences. And it is true that it can be really valuable to see that others have got through adversity – it can give you hope that your current situation is not impossible to navigate.

But there is a down side to this as well. It is really common for you to dismiss your own suffering, your own feelings of lack of worth or opportunity, by stating that “my problems aren’t as bad as theirs – what have I really got to complain about?”

While it may be true that seeing others going through a harsh experience can help out yours into perspective, it is really dangerous to downplay your own suffering because it doesn’t sound or look as hard as others. Pain is pain. Discomfort is discomfort. Emotional distress is emotional distress. And it is an entirely personal experience – nobody can know the grade or severity of your pain except you. And it doesn’t matter if you compare it to others and think that you don’t have the right to complain – yes you do!

The reason it is so important for you to acknowledge that your own pain and suffering is real and deserves validation , is because without doing so, it is nearly impossible to move past it. It stands in your way, blocking your path until you admit it is there. Only then would you be able to look at someone else’s situation and see whether you can learn lessons from them. But don’t let the only lesson you learn is that you are not suffering enough – there is no such thing.

Don’t Allow Guilt To Obscure the Difference Between Fact and Opinion When It Comes To Body Management

Yesterday I saw people taking photos of these adverts on the London Underground and I was interested in why they would do it. I understand that the previous time such a campaign was launched there was a huge backlash saying that it was fat shaming and subsequently they took them down.

I think it is dangerous to make everything that feels uncomfortable be classed as a guilt trip or shaming – because it is easy to fall instead into asserting that anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, that makes you feel guilty is automatically bad. Remember, there is good and bad guilt – good guilt can spur us into action to change our behaviour and so when guilt gets triggered it is important to first check which kind it is. With body management, it tends to be a bit of both and that is why it is confusing.
Guilt around body management is very difficult to navigate – if Guilt is triggered then everything said whether factual or opinion will be interpreted as an attack. I believe that everyone is fully responsible for their bodies and should be left to manage them however they see fit – what works for them. But they should also have access to the facts and information that allows them to make an informed choice.
Taking personal responsibility for your body has been slowly eroded away by decades of marketing aimed at telling you that someone else knows what the perfect You looks like, and in order to break free from that we have take personal ownership of our bodies both in how they look and our health. But we have to realise that for many people being made to feel guilty is still very raw.
Everyone can treat their bodies however they like – if they are not harming anyone else, then it really shouldn’t matter. However, part of taking that kind of ownership is to understand the consequences of your decisions – without judgement from others. Find out the facts of what you plan to do, do the risk assessment and then decide whether to carry on or makes changes. But don’t stay ignorant of facts just because they are uncomfortable or trigger the guilt that forces you to look more closely.

When A Guilt Trip Becomes Dangerous – Domestic Violence Abuse

Domestic violence affected around 2 million people in the UK in 2018 (according to the ONS) and this number does not include all of those who are experiencing it but not reporting it.

The fastest way for attackers to discharge the guilt they feel over their actions is to blame the victim, to paint a picture that they ‘deserved’ it or they put them in a position where they ‘had to’. From the outside, their position looks indefensible, but when you are in the middle of that moment, you struggle so much with understanding why someone who you believe cares for you would hurt you in such a way that you grab at anything they give you – even the blame. It is the ultimate guilt trip designed solely to make you behave in a way that meets their needs and completely denies your own.

I have spoken to a lot of people about the guilt associated with domestic violence and many of those contacting me regarding the book are doing so because they recognise the cycle they are in, of knowing that the relationship has gone beyond what is safe, but also feeling that in some way they have brought it on themselves. One of the proudest moments for me is when these people (of all genders) begin the baby steps of living guilt free, and have that moment where they see the violence for what it is – an attack on them, with no justifiable provocation.

Living guilt free is much more powerful than you can possibly imagine. it can give you the strength to recognise a situation, seek out help, do what is safe and healthy for you.

If you have been subjected to domestic violence or you are starting to feel fearful around your partner or loved one, then please believe that you are worth so much more than this. Organisations such as Domestic Violence UK can provide support and details of ways to get yourself out of danger and with people who understand your position.