Category Archives: Changing Your LIfe

Change + Affairs Of The Heart

Carla Coulson, Eiffel tower, seine river, pont alexandre III, paris, dusk paris, carla coulson

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


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Save The Date – Italian Joy Limited Edition Prints

fine art travel photography, naples vespa, black and white photography, joy, emotions, silver gelatin print naples vespa, italy fine art photography, carla coulson

SAVE THE DATE – The cover image of Italian Joy will be available in my print shop Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 8am Paris time, 6pm Sydney Time and 2am New York time.. Naples Vespa 2003 Limited Edition image print of 30 signed and numbered, silver gelatin hand print 30 x 40cm on fibre based paper by master printer Toros.

Italian Joy (the book) holds a huge chunk of my heart. Those years living in Italy were the most special years of my life, so full of learning, adventure, happiness, fear, finding photography, love and living my truth.

There was so much to learn and take in. I was fresh, eager and in love with everything Italian and filled with joy for the simple life I was living. When I look back it was the purest emotion I could ask to live and feel. I was doing what I loved, in a place I loved with no compromises.

The photos I took in those years are some of my dearest, they are part of me and my journey, they are filled with the emotions and joy that I felt taking them and the love I have for photography.

Over the years many people have asked to purchase an image from Italian Joy but I never had the time or courage to delve into my archives and organise it. There was a little hesitation on my part too, it all felt so personal.

But this winter I promised it was time to share my babies with loved ones. I know many of you have had a great connection with Italian Joy, hundreds of you have written to me kindly sharing your stories about being inspired to make changes to your life, go on your own Italian adventures and others wrote that it made them feel simply less alone.

fine art travel photography, fine art photography italy, italian joy, vespa naples, joy, emotions, silver gelatin print, black and white photography, toros I wanted something special for the cover image of Italian Joy, an image shot in Naples in 2003. I wanted a silver gelatin print onto fibre based archival paper printed by Master Printer Toros who has printed for Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Josef Koudelka and recently David Lynch. So I headed to his darkroom like the old days and watched him at work, testing the contrast of the image numerous times, before printing the first full image.

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The print process takes time, he prints multiples of the same image with different contrasts, dodging and burning special parts of the images till we agree on our favourite. hand retouch silver gelatin photo, carla coulson, italian joy limited edition prints, italy, vespa naples, joy, emotions, change your life, toros, When the images have been printed, dried and flattened he hand retouches away any dust spots.

david lynch, mep paris, toroslab, black and white photography, silver gelatin,

My spirited friend Toros with an image he recently printed for David Lynch for his exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.

So dear friends SAVE THE DATE, the cover image of Italian Joy will be available as a 30 x 40cm silver gelatin print in my print shop Wednesday 11th March 2015 at 8am Paris time, 6pm Sydney Time and 2am New York time (sorry guys but you will probably be still out partying). Set your alarms because it is a limited edition of 30 prints worldwide, signed and numbered till sold out..

If you would like a dedication on the back of the print to a friend or for yourself there is a ‘add an note’ section prior to putting in your payment details.

‘You may have the universe if I may have Italy.’ Giuseppe Verdi




Ps: If Italian Joy made an impact on your life I would love you to share this post. x

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An Auto-Immune Update

carla coulson, ranunculas, flowers paris, fleuriste paris, pink flowers, pink,

Thanks to everyone who has written to me and asked me to keep them posted on my progress treating my 3 auto-immune conditions naturally.

I have been wanting to share my latest results from December with you but raced off to Australia to teach a workshop and soak up the sun.

I have continued to eat the way I explained in this post here and live the same way but a couple of habits have crept back in like coffee. I love coffee and it’s been a hard one for me to let go of.

For the first 8 months I didn’t let a drop pass my lips but prior to Christmas and in Australia I was back to having a good coffee 3 or 4 times a week and in Oz almost everyday.

I also started to re-introduce grains such as rice and sarrasin (buckwheat) but in all honesty I feel better without them.

So here’s the score card from December..

Alopecia Areata – Gone, gone, gone.. All 3 bald spots have re-grown and I have a fabulous ‘horn’ sticking straight out of my head where the regrowth is so strong it just grows vertically. Francesco thinks I will soon ‘be growing hair on my back’..

Thyroid Values/Graves Disease – These values were ‘kicked to the kerb’, as my American friend loves to say back in August. All three thryoid values were back in range and have remained there and I have no symptoms at all. You can see the results here and how they changed from my first blood test.

Lichen Sclerosus – This was the trickiest Auto-immune to deal with but I have decided was the easiest way to measure my overall health. When I ate the wrong foods or stressed myself out it hurt like hell. Since early December my dear friend Lichen and I are on the very best of terms. I behave myself and so does he!! All lesions have healed and I have the occasional itchy attack when I eat too many food with oxalates in them.. You can read the details when I discovered what oxalates were back in May here and how I adopted a low oxalate diet.

TSH Antibodies – I started this adventure with TSH anti-bodies measuring 11.9 which I believe indicates the severity of Graves Disease. Over the past months every blood test the anti-bodies continue to drop as my body self heals. My latest test in December dropped again and mumma is getting closer to ‘zippo’. They are now at 3.22 and the antibodies need to be under 1.75 to be home free. This has been the progress..

TSH Antibodies – Dates and Blood Results – Under 1.75 to be in remission

23/12/2014 – 11.9

4/2/2014 – 7.54

22/4/2014 – 6.49

14/8/2014 – 4.86

18/12/2014 – 3.22

Francesco and I decided to do our own form of ‘lent’ this year. For forty days  he would try to give up coffee, wine and ciggies and I would go back to no coffee or grains.

There is another reason too, some of my little lovelies have started their own adventures with auto-immunes (not their choice) and I want to help them make this road easier. So just after Easter I am hoping to have my last blood test and kiss this chapter goodbye.. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime I will leave you with some lovely links especially if you are a mum and you are trying to find some healthy living alternatives for your children.

I love:

The Organic Sisters – Two lovely sisters with children who have had their own health issues and changed their diets. They share wonderful recipes with a simple list of ingredients that work. They also have e-books for lunch boxes and sugar free sweets

Mummamara’s Kitchen – This is a recent discovery through my dear friend Ath. Mara shares great recipes with a focus on family food. Great for kids..

Healy Eats Real -  I discovered Hannah Healy one day on Dr. Google when I was dying for a crunchy biscuit. I found this delicious recipe for Ginger Snap Cookies. I often use chestnut flour instead of the almond and coconut flour.

I Quit Sugar – The lovely Sarah Wilson has made it easy for all of us. There is every cookbook here for kids, adults, cooking in your slow cooker, smoothies and chocolate

Paleo Grubs – has an exhaustive range of meal ideas and you download this dessert E-Book for free

Pete Evans – has developed a ten week program with recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you can’t think of what to do with another root vegetable (aka us poor Northern Europeans in winter) check out his Paleoway

I have gathered all my auto-immune posts together so if you are too struggling with an AI you can read what I have been up to here

Wishing you the very best of good health and I will check back in after Easter.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” Mahatma Ghandi


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The King’s (Avedon) Message

avedon cat, carla coulson

 King Avedon Copyright Carla Coulson

Ze Carla az kindly let me have ze blog to tell you a little about ze New Year in Paris.

Ze Paris iz always a good idea but last year it waz extra good. We had ze sun, yes ze sun waz shining in ze Paris a lot more zhan I am used to so zhat meant more of ze bistro lunches on ze terrace, more lying on ze floor warming ze heart and ze fur on ze tummy and ze sleeping it comes very eazy with ze sun.

When you are born in ze Paris like me you appreciate many of ze French tings.

Like we like ze talking in ze low voice (I even purr quietly), we like ze fine things (ze duck and ze foie gras) and zhose chocolates like ze new man in me building makes (Pierre Herme). When we go to ze café we sit at ze tables zhat are really close together but we never look ze cat next to us in ze eye. And ze waiter when he wants to ignore us he never looks us in ze eye. Looking in ze eyes is big code in Paris. If you come to Paris and no one looks you in ze eye it just means zhey aren’t ready to serve you. Parisian catz know zis isn’t ze rude way it’s just ze French code.

If you haven’t been to ze Paris you will see on the streets ze poulet roti (roast chicken) and zhey drive me wild and me dreams are filled with zhose little terrines of ze piggy and ze livers. I have ze dream of being a vegetarian zhen I take ze walk through ze Marais and see the golden poulet going around and around in ze machine and me little head starts to spin and I want to attack ze whole machine and take zhem all home to eat. Grrr.. and me plans of being a vegetarian are spoiled for anozer time.

Ze Marais is really having ze shaking up lately. More of ze fine tings in ze pretty shops are here like le ze candles of ze Cire Trudon who have moved onto me street (I swear zhey have the poulet roti candle I can smell it in me dreams) and de chocolate man Mr. Pierre Herme haz ze pretty shop in our building. He makes ze macarons with ze strange flavours zhat us Parisian cats like, foie gras (what waz he tinking) and ze truffle.

In ze summer when it’s not freezing me paws off I go down in ze morning to say hello at ze window and see ze lovely macarons and ze chocolates. I give them me ‘starving Paris cat face’ in ze hope zay may bring a little something to ze door with ze foie gras in it. No chocolate pleaze.

I am a king cat (zhat means I am ze boss around here) and someone needs to rule zees two ozerwise I wouldn’t get the best tucker and me bed wouldn’t be made of cashmere and me dinner wouldn’t be 3 courses. I give zhem ze shaking up when zhey get a little lazy and do the relaxing a little too much.

In me next life I am going to be a pirate and sail ze seas with ze other cats and we we will go to ze places with ze sun, ze Bahamas, ze Greece and ze Morocco where you find ze curvy girls catz. Did I mention I love ze sun? Sometimes I need to push the poulet roti over in me dreams to make space to dream about ze sun. Ze perfect life I tink would be hugging a poulet roti in ze sun maybe in ze Greece with ze curvy girl cats nearby.

I know youze will have a good year zhis year and I know youze love ze travel like ze furless mummy. We have a lot in common. Ze FM and I we both dream of ze sunny places lying on ze beach on ze stripey beach bed, me with ze poulet roti and FM with ze camera.

I know ze 2015 is going to be ze best year of your life. Us Parisian catz we do ze meditating, we tink a lot about what we want in ze life (you know we have many) and zhen we close our eyes, hold our paws together and say ‘puuuuurrrrrrrrrr’ and what we want comes true.

Itz ze same for you. If you want a poulet roti or to be a photographer like FM you just need to meditate on it, close your eyes, believe you catz can do it oh and zhen work very hard to make it happen.

Ze important ting is to believe in your dreams (even if they are dominated by poulet roti). Ze dreams are ze little messages to us catz and zhey are important especially when you live in ze Paris.

I know zhis because I have had ze many lives. Every life I believe in me dreams and zhey come true and ze same can happen for you catz.

So if your dreams for 2015 have ze Paris in zhem please come to see ze Marais with ze shaking up and when you are walking down ze street one day you might see me looking in ze window of ze Pierre Herme. You will recognize me cause I am ze spicy one.

Peace, love and light (and poulet roti) from your favourite Parisian cat

Happy 2015..

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Voltaire


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Mini Italian Joy

italian joy, carla coulson, lantern books, italy, escape to italy, starting over in italy, photography, photographer,

‘There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning”. Louis L’Amour (from Italian Joy)

It’s such a beautiful thing to have a book published, it’s the most extraordinary feeling to have your story wrapped between two covers. It’s even better when you slowly find out other people love it.

I have officially been part of 8 books (photographed and written 3 and photographed 5 others) and I have loved working beside such incredibly talented people.

But there is nothing like your first book, in my case it was my story about leaving my life, chasing a simpler life, finding Italy, photography and love. It was story it seemed that resonated with many people around the world who too were looking for a life with more meaning. And many slowly made their way into my life.

Italian Joy was first published in 2005 and this year it has been re-published in a smaller, soft cover version and it’s adorable. I want to tuck it into my handbag and carry it with me!

It’s a story many generations can relate to, a common story that in a funny way has no time or era, it’s just about living life the way you thought you wanted to live it and finding emotions and happiness you never thought possible.

If you have someone in your family who has itchy feet, not sure where they are going or loves Italy they may just love the “mini me’ version of Italian Joy. Oh and the great news it’s only $31.95!!

You can find it online here or in all good bookstores in Australia.

The lovely Jilly Bennett just sent me a note to say most of my books are available in the Uk via The Book Depository

Wishing you a fabulous Christmas and holiday season.






PS> I would love you to tell your friends x

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