Photo Copyright Carla Coulson
Of all the questions people ask me it’s often about changing their lives.
Change is a big subject in my life and it is something that has accompanied me almost since I was born. You see my parents were ‘changers’. We moved town 4 times by the time I was sixteen (for my dad’s job) and I lived in 18 different addresses in Sydney (and ruined my mum’s phone book) before I eventually moved to Italy.
Every weekend of my childhood my parents took our family ‘somewhere new’. I was put on a plane when I was 4 with my big sister who was 5 and off we flew to our grandparents almost 1000kms away. Our parents each year took us on a holiday to a new corner of our world, whether we loaded up the Valiant or we slept on a bus for the best part of 48 hours to reach the top of Australia.
Without realising it my parents were preparing me for a life of change. I have now lived in 3 countries and becoming a photographer meant everyday would be filled with change and constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone.
Excitement, newness and adventure I discovered looking back on my journey is part of my DNA imprinting.
Change isn’t a competition, it isn’t about what others have, it’s about you, your feelings, your passion and making the life you want. Change teaches you to be humble and generous, to give more than you receive and to be thankful for the kindness offered to you when you are the odd ‘woman’ out, standing in a corner on your own in a new situation wanting to fall through the floor and someone reaches out with a word, a gesture or a show of humanity.
I have always had the feeling that someone is watching over me, that when I want something bad enough the universe hears me and when I truly believe it, it happens. Believing is the key and the power of positive thinking is the most powerful gift we have.
My parents gave me this gift and if you are a parent reading this I encourage you to do the same, their gift to us was to allow us to believe in ourselves, that things were possible and to always be positive. My parents were never filled with fear for us, for our futures and our security. When we crashed our bikes and ended up in hospital they let us get right back on (and boy did we know how to crash). I don’t believe it was a conscious thing, it was just the simple way they lived and thought and this was passed onto us.
Change is easier for some and harder for others but this doesn’t mean that all of us can’t change things.
So here is a little advice:
1. Take one step today towards something you have always but only ever thought about, contemplated or dreamed of doing. Even if that is grabbing an excel file and working out your finances, going to meet someone you have always wanted to, write an email that you have been putting off forever and start putting change into practice.
2. The next time you see someone in a difficult situation cross the room and offer a word to make them feel included. The world will return this to you a thousand times over.
3. Give when you can, a coin to someone on the street, your time, your heart or your thoughts.. All of this will be returned when you need it the most.
4. Make a mood board of where and how you want to live including photos that inspire you and put it some where you will see it everyday.
5. Close your eyes once a day for a couple of minutes and imagine the life you want as though you are living it. Think about the details of where you are, what you are wearing, how you feel, the smells and sensations.
6. Don’t compare you, your life and where you want to go to others. Everyone is unique, we all have our own way of doing things and so do you. Believe in yourself.
7. Always be kind.
Change is a million little steps with an open heart and an action plan!
Sending you love dust from Paris.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” Martin Luther King