5 Ways To Transform Your Health

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It has been a while since I have written about my journey to wellbeing and how I kissed goodbye my three auto-immunes, Alopecia Areata, Lichen Sclerosus and Graves disease. You can read the original posts HERE.

Without good health and a good level of energy it is difficult to change your life or go after the things that are really important to you.

I have seen this in the Yes Yes Yes – The Year You Say Yes to Yourself group, that when women’s health improves so does their goals, dreams and ability to go after them.

There have been so many lessons to learn about transforming my health but one of the most important one is not to be passive when it comes to your health. We have the power to improve our wellbeing by adjusting how we live, what we eat, drink and the way we react to the environment around us. Good health is holistic, not just about diet, it’s also about our emotions, stress levels and many other factors.

My journey will be different to yours because each of us are unique and it is this very uniqueness that makes you special. I needed to go slower, you may need to go faster. I needed to let go of acidic foods, you may need to add some. My gut health was compromised, yours may be in perfect order. My psychological ‘wounds’ were unique to me, and you may have your very own set.

What you can do and I would like to pass onto you, is the excitement and knowledge that you can gain from learning about food. We play a BIG part in our health and it isn’t the responsibility of a doctor or a naturopath to figure it all out. It’s our responsibility to treat our bodies with love, to feed and nourish them with foods that they need and not to abuse them and then wonder why they no longer work.

veges for a week

If you are suffering from chronic illness, my number one recommendation is to find a local naturopath you trust and work together with a doctor so you can bring back the harmony in your wellbeing and you can take the great energy you receive as a gift and put it into creating the life you dream of!

You can start learning about health and informing yourself through books such as The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, Mystery Illnesses by Anthony Williams, or Super Genes by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi.

You and your body are perfect. If you are suffering from chronic illness today, it is simply that your body is out of harmony and it needs to be brought back to its natural balance. Your health is in your hands and ultimately if you aren’t happy with the way you feel, you have the power to change that by working with doctors and natural health practitioners to heal.

Our health is in our hands.

 

5 Ways you can improve your health and energy today

 

MOVEMENT

 

  1. Move at least 30-40 minutes a day, walk, dance, ride, run or workout.
  2. Become conscious of your posture when working and take breaks during your work day and get up and move.
  3. Rest when you are tired.
  4. Regulate your breathing and take time during the day to calm your breath.
  5. Incorporate yoga, stretching or pilates where you are ‘opening’ your muscles and joints.

 

FOOD

 

  1. Add more fresh food and vegetables to your daily diet.
  2. Check your water intake.
  3. Chew slowly and listen to your body and what it needs.
  4. Swap processed, packet or canned foods for natural foods.
  5. Add Super foods, on a regular basis such as sprouts, algae (dulse), herbs and spices.

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

  1. Declutter and free up space.
  2. Remove electrical devices from around your bed.
  3. Beautify your surroundings.
  4. Add plants and pets (if you can).
  5. Remove objects with toxic memories.

 

EMOTIONAL

 

  1. Remember you are a lovable human being and to receive love, you need to show love to yourself and others.
  2. Observe your reaction to events and the energy it takes from you.
  3. Notice what brings you joy and happiness and build more of that into your day.
  4. Make a practice in your day to bring peace and calm.
  5. Forgive people, yourself and situations on a regular basis.

 

LIFE PURPOSE

 

  1. Follow hunches and intuitive messages about things you might like to try.
  2. Don’t ignore things that are important to you.
  3. Use your beautiful voice.
  4. Keep digging till you find something you connect to.
  5. Say YES only to the things you want to do.

 

Let your curiosity be your greatest ally. I hope this helps you start improving your health today.

Love and light,

Carla

Magic Is In The Doing: An Interview With Domenica More Gordon

Domenica1

I am super excited to share this interview with talented creative Domenica More Gordon in my series on Magic is in the doing, about taking a creative idea and making it real.

Domenica is such an inspiration working across different artistic fields including illustration and watercolour, felt animal sculptures and her recent venture, a stop motion film for the BBC about her wonderful dog Archie from her books of the same name

Dominica’s creativity and honesty make you open your heart and see you can be good at more than one thing and how embracing our creativity is also about embracing our vulnerability.

Over to the beautiful Domenica.

Domenica2

How many years of practicing art did it take to make dogs such an intrinsic part of your art? Was there a special feeling that happened when you first drew Archie?

I had been struggling with trying to write a children’s book since my own children were born. It began with a strong like/dislike to what I was seeing on the bookshelves, further fuelled by memories of my own childhood. So I suppose a sort of unconscious process of sorting and choice was sparked and then turbocharged by the intensity of emotion having children released in me. It was at this time that I gave up working in magazines and began to concentrate on my art. I had no idea if I would be successful, but I trusted the strength of my feelings. Dogs seem to me to be pure emotional transmitters and that appeals to me enormously.

 

What is the importance of getting your work out there and being seen? I’d love to know your thoughts on platforms such as Instagram, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Amazon and all the opportunities for creatives.

There is a great strength to be had from positive and generous feedback from strangers. That is a huge part of why I enjoy Instagram so much. It gives me confidence that I am on the right track and a sort of startled delight that people like what I do. It never tires. At the same time, I think it is important not to go after coverage just for itself. Let it come to you. Grow slowly. If I like an image I put it out there, if I am undecided I don’t …I wait until it feels right. Take pleasure in the process and it grows by itself. If you allow likes etc. to be the driving force behind your choices, you lose your own compass. I am married to a writer and for us the emergence of all the internet platforms is a boon. It is a golden time for storytellers and makers. We can appeal directly to people without having to go through a gallery or an agent (though agents can be very useful at the right moment).

Domenica More Gordon, art

Whether you are illustrating the beautiful Archie series what is your secret to putting so much emotion into your work?

I look for an idea, and it can be a tiny thing that sparks it, like the way someone sits or walks, or seeing a bird on a twig or a certain shape or colour but it has to give me a flare of excitement, no matter how small or fleeting. I have learned to take note of these moments. I then try and feel the feeling behind that flare before I put pencil to paper, then I just let it flow with as little judgement as I can. Often I have to leave what I have done and come back to it before I can ‘see’ it with clear eyes. Then I start to ink it in and add colour. I know it is finished when a right feeling suddenly clicks, and there it is. Until then I never know if it will be any good. I’m getting better at trusting the process.

 

I believe for creatives so much of our magic comes actually playing around with our creativity or taking an action step forward. What ‘magic in the doing’ have you have learnt about showing up for yourself and your creativity every day?

I agree with that strongly. It is only in the doing that you find out what it is you are and what it is that you are telling yourself. It starts a conversation with yourself which does not include any other voice but yours. That is both exciting and scary. It is the most rewarding journey I can think of. After a bit, you will find that you are also talking with an unseen group of others who are the following the same path and that is a joy.

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Image Credit: Bible of British Taste

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Image Credit: Bible of British Taste

It appears to be a bonus growing up with artistic parents but I am sure there are all sorts of comparisons that can block you as well. What did you have to let go of to find your style?

My father was a brilliant watercolour painter and my mother a wonderful artist who hid her light under a bushel. They both influenced me. They showed me about focus, about dedication, about process and just doing… and about getting out from under that bushel.

It made me feel two opposing things at once: ‘If they can do it, so can I’… and at the same time, ‘I will never be as good as they are.’

It took me a long time to find my ‘voice’ as opposed to a version of theirs, especially my father’s… I never thought I’d be good enough… I still struggle with that sometimes…I think that’s a very female tendency.

 

You are a great believer in following your curiosity, can you share with us your number one way that people can start to understand their inner vision or style?

Follow the feeling. If you are excited by something, pay attention. That feeling is your compass and belongs to nobody else but you.

 

How do you keep saying Yes to your creativity and what do you do when fear strikes?

If you do what brings you joy and satisfaction, regardless of the self-defeating spanners which you and others will throw in your path you will find that you have begun a totally fulfilling journey which in my view is pretty unbeatable.

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Huge thanks to Domenica for sharing her wisdom.

You can follow her on Instagram HERE and check out more of her work on her website: www.domenicamoregordon.com.

Creativity, love, and light,

Carla

How Your Life Experiences Inspires Your Creativity

Carla Coulson by Loc Boyle

Image by Loc Boyle

“But I tell you, for me, each photographer brings his own light from when he was a kid —
in this fraction of a second when you freeze reality,
you also freeze all this background. You materialize who you are.”

~Sebastiao Salgado

 

At the age of 35, I rocked up in Florence as an expert of nothing, or so I thought.

 

I stood there that day as I made the decision to sign up for photography school with what I believed to be a clean slate upon which a new story would be written.

 

I had no great expectations. At that moment, I had sold my business and I had enough money to attend photography school for a year to re-educate myself and to pay for my rent and food if I watched what I spent.

 

I felt like a girl who had just received the ‘get out of jail’ card in a real game of Monopoly. I had worked my whole life and here for the first time I stood in a piazza with not much to do.

 

My backstory was WORK starting at the age of 15 working part-time at Woolworths and from then until that moment standing in the piazza, I felt like I had never stopped.
CC by LB in Posi_3107 HORIZONTALBW
After I moved to Sydney, I went straight to work in a bank. That lasted a year then I went back to school and studied my HSC at tech college and dreamed of being a nurse. I did better than I expected in the HSC, so I decided to be a physiotherapist simply because I had more marks. That entailed studying science at the University of NSW and for about 6 months I tried. Though, I felt lost from day one. It was me and a bunch of blokes -I had never felt so much in the wrong world.

 

Towards the end of the year, I quit and found a job at the Sydney Swans where I started working full time. I had a lot of fun in this job, eventually working in the promotions and marketing department when a flamboyant doctor bought the team. It was here where I met my business partner and we went on to start our own promotional clothing business in Sydney.

 

Back in Florence, walking into a darkroom I was excited, but I didn’t have great expectations. I had tried photography twice in my life and ‘failed’ or at least hadn’t connected with it. Here I was again almost 20 years later and having another try. At 19, I had worked in a photography studio in Sydney for a couple of days assisting some poor guy whose life was photographing beer bottles. For me it was the dullest job on the planet as we moved these bottles by increments based on where the light was coming from. I decided photography wasn’t for me. In my 30’s still in Sydney, I signed up for a TAFE course and was the only girl who managed to take an entire roll of film without anything on it. Yet again, feeling so ashamed I never went back to that course.

 

carla coulson, creative coach, creative entrepreneur

 

But during this third go at trying to learn photography something magical happened. When I saw an image appear in the developer under a dim red light it felt like a miracle had happened. I had exposed some light on a piece of paper from an enlarger, placed it carefully in a container filled with developer, gently moved it from side to side and for a couple of seconds all I saw was white paper with a red glow. Slowly, slowly she came to life. The face of a little girl so very faint in the beginning and as I kept rocking the tray, the blacks started to fill in as did the grey tones till after a minute or so, there she was staring back at me.

 

In a dark, humid space with just a red light I had witnessed true alchemy. It was wondrous- all I could say was WOW. I wanted to do it again and again.

 

What I have since realised is that none of us are clean slates. There are no clean slates. We might be learning new skills but what we have inside of us is a mountain of information, experiences, opinions, colours, language, sense of humour, loss, happiness, sadness, stories and ways of looking at the world.

 

When I walked out on the streets of Florence, I carried all of this with me. I took my new found ‘tool’ the camera alongside me and pointed it at things that resonated with me, that something inside of me was attracted to. I didn’t know at the time that many of the things I pointed my camera at were things I was longing for or felt were missing in my life.

 

I granted myself permission to photograph whatever I liked. I had no previous schooling and I didn’t know any of the great photographers other than the ones I was slowly learning about in school. I didn’t yet understand all the important moments in photographic history or art for that matter. I just kept taking photos. This beautiful freedom that came with no judgement was exhilarating! Often I would take the same kind of subjects over and over again, such as people hugging or kissing, or the Madonna in every form on every street corner.

 

Florence

 

Within 2 years, I’d published my first article of words and photos for Marie Claire. Within 4 years I had a book contract where I wrote the story and took the photos. Many of the photos were those first photos I ever took whilst still at photography school.

 

What I have come to realise is that my creativity was always there inside of me, like it is right there inside of you. Once I learned a skilled I added ‘my opinion’ or point of view. It has only been in looking back I started to see how my style developed.

 

Italian Joy became a visual mantra of what I wanted to bring into my life.

 

I adore the quote attributed to Michelangelo, “Every block of stone has a sculpture inside of it. I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” That’s what allowing myself to be creative feels like to me. We are setting free something that we already have. Maybe we need to put on new glasses to see it, but it is always there and we are setting free these things into the world. We are giving birth to our ideas and materializing them with our hands, instruments and tools.

 

“Sculpture, like editing, is about chiseling away at the unnecessary, at the external, in pursuit of the truth and beauty within or by building something up,”  Nils Parker says in his piece, The Angel in the Marble. Whether you do it by chipping away or some other form, all of it is creating. Whether it is a digital download from the cosmos or the divine work that was already in your heart, the act of creating is everyone’

 

So my lovelies no matter what age you are you already have powerful inspiration inside, it just needs to be set free..

 

Love and light,

 

Carla

 

MAGIC IS IN THE DOING – CREATING NURTURING SPACES

claire lloyd, carla coulson, my greek island home, white interior, nurturing spaces, lesvos Dear Friends,

What a joy it is to introduce the first in a series of interviews titled Magic is in the Doing  with women who have followed their passion to make it an essential part of their life. I have a strong belief when you are passionate about something and take baby steps towards it each day with inspired action you eventually create magic!!

And that is exactly what Claire Lloyd has done. Claire  is a dear friend of mine and her passion for interiors has been with her since she was a little girl. She found a way to incorporate her love for interiors whilst working as an art director in magazines in London by slowly buying one property at a time,  feeding this love of beauty and creativity whilst creating a nurturing space.

Her passion for interiors kept calling her and over the years she has created beautiful apartments and homes in London, Greece and Sydney whilst still working at her ‘day job’.

I’m so honoured to have Claire share her story about how she wove this love of beauty into her life.

  1. How did your love for interiors start? 

As a young child I remember laying in bed at my grandmother’s home, looking up at the ceiling and being in awe of the beauty of the ornate cornicing and ceiling rose. I was extremely aware of the morning light and how it revealed interesting details. I would often imagine turning this image upside down in my head so the ceiling became the floor. I would step over the doorway as if it was not an obstacle and imagine different rooms. I was led by my imagination and furnish each room simply in my head. I would find peace and calmness in what I created. Perhaps this was the start for me.

  1. Did you have someone or something that inspired you to buy your first apartment and renovate it? 

The first apartment I bought was in London on the New Kings Road. I had been living in London a few years and was working for The World of Interiors magazine, a dream job and one that truly inspired me on many levels. The flat was very small but completely perfect for my life at that time.

When I first arrived in London a friend had lent me her flat until I got on my feet. I went on to rent the flat and then when I could see I was not returning to Australia I bought it from her. It was a gift having a place to make my very own. My new found freedom in London was my inspiration and the many influences of my job led me to making it a beautiful space.

Not long after that, on a trip to Sydney I decided to buy a small apartment, a little place to retreat to on my yearly visits. My sister Monica was instrumental in my purchase as she took me to view the small apartment a few days before my return to London. On entering the property, I knew it had to be mine.

The decor didn’t interest me it was the light and feeling of the space that grabbed my imagination. There was one other factor too. When I was a child we would visit my grandparents regularly. I must have been no more than 6 years of age and each time we would drive up into Wylde Street in Potts Point this newly created building would catch my eye, I was fascinated by it.  It was a new building and very different to the others that surrounded it, it had something special about it and I wanted to live there. So you can imagine my surprise when this was the building my sister took me to. This was to be my first flat in Australia. I quickly set about making a space I would love.

claire lloyd, martyn thompson, white interior, magic is in the doing, inspiring people, white on white,

Photo copyright Martyn Thompson 

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Photo copyright Martyn Thompson 

  1. I love that you continued to work as an art director and indulged your passion for interiors at the same time. What was the benefit of this and how did it support your creativity?

I really don’t think one thing defines your creativity. I am a great believer in the bigger picture. It is your picture and you can paint it in any way that suits you. For me everything I do is visual, it’s my language. I don’t feel there are boundaries it’s just a natural flow and the more you flow the more you create. All areas of creativity support one another in some way and add another layer to each other.

  1. Creating an interior for yourself I imagine is a vastly different process to doing it for someone one else. What has been some of the joys of creating your nurturing spaces in London, Greece and Sydney and how do you adapt your style? 

I have a very definite vision when it comes to my nurturing spaces, simple but clear. I experience a huge amount of joy finding a space I love and breathing fresh energy into them. My style is constant no matter where I am. I use the building, the form and the environment as a guide. I like the space to have an authentic,  to create a tranquil light filled home that gives enjoyment and pleasure. I love a blank canvas and making something cosy, understated and beautiful. Simply … I LOVE beauty and making anything look beautiful.

In Greece the look is much more rustic. We live in an authentic Greek village so I felt the house needed to reflect that authenticity. Matthew my partner, an artist, is great at finding old pieces of furniture and other bits and pieces. He can sniff out all sorts of things and because he is extremely creative he can turn his hand to anything even restoration. Matthew builds furniture for us. He built our bed based the design on the traditional Greek daybed. He white washed it and its fabulous.

White is always my colour of choice, however here on the island I have introduced turquoise for doors and shutters. It looks fantastic against the white and pings when hit by the Greek sunlight. The inspiration for this colour came from the house itself. When we bought the house it was as full with the previous owner’s belongings, some of which Matthew restored so they could be incorporated into the new simpler look. The whole process was fun.

In London the space is less eclectic than Greece and much more minimal. The apartment is large and spread over 3 floors.  Living in London I felt the need for light and clarity was essential. The building is late Georgian so the ceilings are high, there are original fireplaces and there are lovely cornicing details. I wanted to keep the large spaces simple using art and natural fabrics and layering textures to cosy it up.

Sydney is a small apartment with fabulous views and beautiful natural light. Being located in a city the importance again was to create simplicity and serenity. I used Australian cherry wood for the kitchen and all the cupboards, it sits really well with white. To emphasise the dazzling light, because nothing is ever too bright for me, I had a white, high gloss dance floor laid. It really did the trick,  sometimes you almost need to reach for your sunglasses.

Claire lloyd, bresic whitney, white, nurturing spaces, interior sydney, potts point, interior stylist,

Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

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Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

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Photo Copyright Bresic Whitney

  1. You are a renaissance woman and are the author of Sensual Living, photographed and wrote My Greek Island Home, I believe all of us are creative, what would you say to someone who wants to try more than one creative art or blend them like you have?

Just do it! Listen to yourself and what you want to do and what makes you feel happy and alive and focus on that. Also give yourself space to create and let it flow naturally.

  1. In what ways have you always said YES to yourself? 

I like to think YES is a word I use often. YES, has taken me far, sometimes it’s been scary but I have never regretted saying it.

It took me to London led me to taking on jobs I felt were far beyond my ability. It took me to Greece to experience a new life which taught me so very much about living authentically.  I really hope there will be a mountain of YES’S ahead of me and I never stop saying YES.

Huge thanks to Claire for sharing her beautiful story, eye and passion for creating spaces. You can follow Claire on Instagram HERE

Light and love

Carla x

PS: One of Claire’s beautiful properties is on the market in Potts Point Sydney via Bresic and Whitney and you can find more out HERE

 

Your Dreams are Valid!

If you are 40, 50 or 60+, you are the perfect age to bring what you want into your life.

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