lisa clifford books

What do Florence, Creativity, and Menopause have in common?

What do Florence, creativity, and menopause have in common?

Well, many years ago when I was still in my early forties I had the joy of sharing an honest discussion in Florence over multiple cappuccinos about life after menopause with women who were on the other side of menopause. 

I was curious about this phase of life and the good things they had to say about it.

Now you may think it’s odd as many women are sold the story that life after hormones, family, and menopause aren’t that great but these women were telling me another story, one that I tucked away in my memory for my turn.

They explained that once you learn how to manage the hot flashes (reduce anything that taxes your liver) something incredible can happen, your creativity literally explodes. 

I’ve seen close at hand many women thrown off course with the physical changes of menopause so I braced myself for my turn but I have to admit I was excited about the thought of newfound creativity so it took away a little of the fear.

Well, ladies, I’ve made it to menopause and beyond and I remember that conversation. When a woman hits 50, look out folks, it feels like it’s our time. A woman in her fifties has an invisible sign on her head that says something along the lines of ‘It’s my turn, please get out of my way.’

When my hormones exited the room, many of my chains were cut and from listening to other women, theirs were cut too. Those endless years of serving others, partners, family, work, children, corporations, the right thing to do, and parents slowly come to an end. 

At 50, a fog slowly lifts, kind of like when you wipe a foggy window on a rainy day and you can see clearly. There is a healthy disconnection that I had never felt before, a chance to make decisions with more clarity and less emotional pull, and an intense desire to have time for myself.

lisa clifford

Photo copyright by Damien Anthony Avery-Rossi (@mrhollywoodinoz)

A woman in her 50s is full of stories, experiences, knowledge, and skills, and is in the perfect position to put all of her energy into something that excites her. 

Post menopause, just as those ladies promised, in flooded ideas and creativity.

These days, I wake up and all I want to do is make. I want to make things whether it is gardens, photos, ceramics, words, cat houses, bags, or whatever attracts me on the day. I feel this intense internal desire to create and often when my daily tasks take over and I haven’t had the chance to use my hands, a little Carla monster comes to life to remind me to make time for myself. 

I know I’m not alone. I hear it from other women all the time. 

If you’re reading this and you or your friends would like to start on a creative path or making time for yourself, my beautiful friend and author Lisa Clifford will be teaching The Art of Writing this Spring and Summer in Florence, and could there be a better place for a woman to sit down with a group of other women to explore her creativity, devote some time to herself and her story?

lisa clifford
lisa clifford books

Photos copyright by Lisa Clifford (@lisacliffordwriter)

Cappuccinos, history, fashion, culture, museums, art, friendship, and great food are some of the feasts I devoured when I lived in Florence, and on every visit, my entire being and creative well are refilled with inspiration and joy. 

If you feel it’s your time and you are just getting started on your path and feel like a creative workshop in Florence, you can learn more here.


Sending you love and creativity,

Carla x


P.S. Lisa and I created Naples A Way of Love together so I have had the honour of seeing her work in action!  x




My dear sweet Parisian cat, Avedon, put his head out the door of our Greek village house and looked down at the ground beneath his feet, left to right like he was watching a game of tennis and then raising his nose towards the sky with eyes wide open like saucers. 

After ten years of living exclusively in a Parisian apartment with no garden or balcony, his senses were overloaded with sweet scents of Spring and new information. His eyes were trying to take it all in, his soul appeared like it was ‘rewilding’, running the tape of innate data that had been stored and passed on from his cat ancestors and giving it an update.

Watching Avedon’s ‘rewilding’ is not that dissimilar to mine over the past twenty years, reconnecting to nature, the wild within and without, and listening to my needs and wants and respecting them.

When we reconnect to our instincts, curiosity, intuition, joy,  and the natural world, it’s a sort of homecoming to ourselves, a solid place of contentment where you get your North Star back. 

When the sights and smells, the birds chirping and the wind blowing were too much for him, he would dart back inside to the safety of the house to regroup before he would race back outdoors for another look and whiff of this new world. He just couldn’t take his eyes off it!

It took about 15 minutes of racing backwards and forwards before he had the courage to take one step out of the door frame and onto the ground outside. Neil Armstrong once said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” and Avedon’s version is something like “one small step for a cat, one quantum leap for a Parisian cat!”

We have come so far as human beings but is it too far? Are we too disconnected from a natural way of living and the innate knowledge of Mother Nature? Are we too disconnected from what brings us joy and too focused on what everyone else is doing or thinks to respect our innate nature?

Living on a steady diet of technology, processed food, mass media, OGM’s, pharmaceuticals, and throw in two years of isolation from each other, cancellation of rituals such as weddings, funerals, celebrations of births, birthday parties and anniversaries, and cultural events, we all need a little ‘rewilding’. 

Just like my cat, I believe our instincts are always there, even if they haven’t been called upon in a while, they just need to be reignited. 

Like all things, we need a balance in the way we live, we need love, care, kindness, community, meaning, and sometimes, like Avedon, we need to roll around in the mud! We need to use technology and not let technology use us.

If you’ve lost your focus, your world feels like it’s lacking something and you aren’t sure what it is, you may need just to ‘rewild’ a little.

Here are some suggestions on how you can start ‘rewilding’:

  • Limiting technology
  • A walk in the woods 
  • A conversation with someone you care about
  • Giving and receiving 
  • Eating natural food that doesn’t come out of a box or packet
  • Spending time simply being instead of inaction
  • Planting a garden
  • Respecting our natural world and seeing its power 
  • Learning the names of plants in your local area
  • Getting quiet and listening to your voice
  • Recognising your needs and wants 
  • Plant a herb garden
  • Respecting your natural rhythms 
  • Seeing a Naturopath and learning more about natural health
  • Allowing yourself to do things that feel good


Like Avedon, once you get in touch with your instincts and Mother Nature and start hearing your voice, you just want to keep going there, to that place where you feel good. 

Our beautiful Parisian cat loves rolling in the dirt, smelling the flowers and plants and chasing bugs, lying in the sun with his eyes closed like all his dreams have come true at once, when night comes it’s hard to convince him to come inside, we see just a silhouette of a cat on the rooftops rediscovering the joy and wonder of the natural world.


Sending love,

Carla x

new adventure, my dream was worth fighting for

My Dream Was Worth Fighting For

new adventure, my dream was worth fighting for

Dear Lovelies, my dream was worth fighting for. I just ripped off the bandaid on a cold Parisian winter’s day and took a huge step into a dream I have held close to my heart for years. 

The above inspiration board was shared at the Get Published workshop I did in 2017 in Sydney. I was illustrating to the participants how I continue to reconnect to things that are important to me that I want to realise sometime in the future and how I physically make a board with those images on it to help me bring it to life.

You will see on my inspiration board that there is a vegetable garden, creativity, friends, cats, creative workshops, my family, me wandering down a set of stairs in a Greek village, hubby and me, beaches, simplicity, beauty, and photography. 

There were days when I thought this vision would never happen. Sometimes life felt like it just kept throwing obstacles in my way and delays would crop up out of the blue. It is only with time and perspective when I look back that those obstacles were valuable healing pieces that needed attending to before I could get to the good stuff.

I never gave up, I knew this dream was worth fighting for, I held onto it in my heart and kept working towards it, one small step at a time. My husband and I wanted different things, he loves the big smoke and I am a country girl at heart who loves to get her hands dirty. We had so many discussions about where to move to that we even ended up on the therapist’s couch needing a third person to help us decide. We were sent off to do research, we had to do a creative project, and when I looked at mine (2019), it included Italy and many other things, a slight variation on the above. 

Then Covid stormed through our lives and made me ask deeper questions and gave me insights. One of those was that I was no longer willing to wait for us to come to a decision. If we couldn’t decide then I was willing to start taking steps on my own and we would find a way to make it work as we went. 

The imperfect plan. A chance arose to stay in my friend’s Greek village house last year for 3 months and I jumped at it. Nothing like a dose of reality to see if the dream stands up.

new adventure, my dream was worth fighting for

I found myself on my own in a Greek village and the women opened their doors and hearts to me and I was the happiest gal on the planet tending a swathe of cats who needed tender loving care. I rescued kittens and took them home, I swam, I created a photography project, I worked with my beautiful groups online and I adored hearing the goats’ bells tinkling as I puffed my way uphill to feed the cats in the morning, never tiring of the sight of the sea in the distance.  

I fell in love with life, I could participate in things that were real (sometimes too real), I could contribute with my hands and heart and I loved being in Mother Nature every day. Watching the sun rise and set, swimming in the sea, and picking flowers from the garden brought me great peace. 

When I left to go back to the city, I cried, sobbed like a child as I dragged my bags unceremoniously through the stone streets. Beautiful Bridget of @Venicebybridget once told me when she left Venice for New York a couple of years back that she vowed, ‘The next time I go to Venice, I’ll be moving there.’ I made the same promise to myself! 

I cried when the plane took off, I felt the strong presence of my father and I knew without proof that this dream was worth fighting for.

Today I write this with a scented jar of jonquils on the table, cats sleeping in front of the fire in my friend’s beautiful home with the sounds of wind chimes singing in the garden. My friends will be back to claim their home soon and we’ve started planning and renovating a house of our own.

new adventure, my dream was worth fighting for

Hubby’s coming too, at his pace and his way. Our plan isn’t perfect; in fact, we are calling it an adventure, not a plan. We trust it will work out and are willing to let it unfold as we go. 

Don’t let life pass you by. You’ve been through a lot in the last two years and creating a life you love is worth fighting for. It’s worth getting up every day and taking one small step in that direction, it’s worth believing you too can have change and are worthy of it. And I can promise you when you sit in that life one day it’s worth it.

The world needs more people like you to step into a life of joy, meaning, and creativity that makes your heart sing, and if your heart’s singing you can be guaranteed that the world around you will be affected in the most beautiful way. 

2022 is the year to pay close attention to your dreams and not let life just happen to you, instead, make sure YOU guide your life. What’s your heart’s desire?

Never give up on your dreams. 


Love and light,

Carla x

P.S. If you would like to envision a new life for yourself in 2022, you may enjoy my Reawaken Your Lust for Life Workbook that you can download here.

Detox 2020 and 2021

Dear Glorious One,

I’ve had many people in my groups mention that they are finding it difficult to reconnect to their joy, creativity, and disconnect from their screens, and being confined to their homes and detox 2020 and 2021 from their energy field!!

So I thought I would share my thoughts on all the positive, wonderful things you can do to connect to the essence of being human, back to your creativity and joy.

Firstly, what we’ve collectively been through is big, so if you are feeling chaotic, out of sorts, can’t focus, or don’t know what to do next, you are not the only one. In 2020 and 2021, we saw that we had our lives tipped upside down, our freedom and choice in many circumstances taken away from us, and in many cases, life-altering situations such as job loss and division between family and friends. We have been separated from our mother, Mother Nature, and been fed a new diet of technology, isolation, and disconnection.

The first thing is to start to reconnect to nature, to get out of your house and away from your screens. Our bodies need to be in the natural world, we are part of nature, it calms our nervous systems, it distracts us and fills us with beauty. A day swimming at the beach, hiking, wandering under her skies, or gardening leaves us with a sense of wellbeing. Even if you don’t feel like it, you still feel disconnected from being outside, give yourself this gift.

Reconnect to your friends and family. This is a key, we need to share food, laugh, and reunite. We need to remember what it is to be human, to sit around a table, a picnic blanket, to share stories and experiences, and communicate face to face. Invite your friends over or simply find a way to get together more regularly. This gives us a sense of belonging, community, and support and this is a fundamental part of being human.

Joy is essential. It’s a natural state for a human being and when we are experiencing joy, we are fully present and aligned with who we are. It’s the most pleasurable state and you can build joy into your daily life. It could be sitting in the sun, sitting in your favourite cafe, taking your dog for a walk, painting, taking photos, diving under a wave, or whatever makes you feel good inside.

We all need to collectively get our sense of humour back! To laugh at ourselves again and to take life a little less seriously. Humour is a wonderful antidote to the heaviness of what we’ve been through and laughter is the greatest medicine. Your entire body feels lighter and freer when you laugh.

Creativity is a powerful force and we all need to reconnect to it. Creativity of any kind brings us into the present whether it’s choosing the right hue of your favourite colour to paint, taking photos and picking out the little vignettes of life that you love, baking a cake, drawing or creating ceramics is like being in a ‘creativity safety bubble’. When you are creating you may accidentally find yourself humming, singing, feeling safe and secure.

If you are trying to reconnect to your creativity, here is a little challenge from me. Pick one of the following and do it every day for a week:

    1. Photograph the same scene/object at different times of the day or as many times a day as you like for a week.
    2. Pick a colour and work with that colour for a week, try and find it in your world, or paint with it, knit with it, or create meals with it!
    3. Find something that you are curious about such as a fairytale, a scene from a movie or a book and visually create it. You could paint it, create a photograph or make it with clay.
    4. Take a photo of yourself every day for a week. Get creative, think about the background, your clothes, how you feel and portray what is going on for you in a photo. Remember this is for you, you don’t have to share it with the world so let it be imperfect.
    5. Join a local in-person art or creative class and go and meet your people.
    6. Try and see your local area as though you were a tourist and find all the fascinating things about it that you don’t take notice of every day. Draw, photograph or paint your neighbourhood.
    7. Detox 2020 and 2021 in your home or space. Revamp it, clear the energy with sage, move the furniture around, buy plants and new art. Bring joy into the space you spend the most time but transform it from your 2020 and 2021 version.

Remind yourself every day that the world is a beautiful place and leave your house and see it. Put down your phone as much as you can and reconnect to the people in your immediate world.

Make unity not divide your mantra and remember that the first strategic move in the art of war is to turn groups of people against each other. Don’t play the game, find your patience, kindness, generosity and let’s work together to build a better world.

Don’t wait for tomorrow, enjoy today, don’t postpone your projects or life till things are better. By feeling good, connecting to your joy and community now you will be spreading your light and detoxing 2020 and 2021 from your bodies, you will be filling the world with goodness and kindness and that is what we need right now.


Love to hear what you are doing to get your joy back.

Carla x

creativity, carla coulson

Lessons from Creativity, the Generous Teacher

creativity, carla coulson

Hello Beautiful Ones, 

I’ve been absent for a while and am so excited to be back. 

Sometimes in life, we need to give ourselves the gift of time of being able to reconnect back to what is important to us and process what’s next.

I’ve had a lot of fun taking photos over the past months with some beautiful gals who the universe sent my way and the joy we shared reminded me of the power of photography and creativity in general. 

Here are some wisps of thoughts and feelings this experience gave me:

    • Opening myself to new ideas
    • Working with beauty
    • Looking at the environment in a new way when I couldn’t get what I wanted
    • Being allowed ‘to play’ 
    • The release of anxiety and stress 
    • Being lost in the flow, the process
    • Connecting to a story that I deeply care about 
    • Constantly asking myself ‘what if’?
    • Starting a love affair with my project and staying in that phase till it’s ready to share with the world
    • Entering the ‘process’ of creativity with trust and faith knowing that something will come 
    • Feeling the softening inside after a day of a shoot, the little ‘love rush’ for what was created. 
    • The pure joy of being in the moment 
    • Making mindful choices… Asking those inner questions 


If your life is feeling a little rocky, reach for something creative, give yourself the gift of communing with yourself, being fully in the present, and creating beauty. It’s an easy and fun way to reconnect to joy

Sending you much love,

Carla x

P. S. If you would like a little help reconnecting to something that sparks your joy, you can download my free Reawakening your Lust for life PDF here.