5 Tips to Thrive During the Holiday Season

Dear Lovelies,

I just want to say thank you for being in my community and I wish you a fabulous Christmas and holiday season. 

2021 has been an interesting ride! Just like 2020, we had our world turned upside down, freedom restricted, and fear a constant message. There is one thing to remember wherever there is a crisis: there is the opportunity for growth whether it be personally or collectively, to do things better, and for true creativity to be expressed in ways we have never seen before. 

I believe that these two years are forcing humanity to have a good look at the way we do things, and I know so many friends, loved ones, and people in my groups have had the chance to reconnect to what is important to them on a deeper level. They have been reconnected back to their values, simplicity, ways of doing things they never dreamed of before, and seeing how important community and loved ones are.

 

Here are some tips for thriving during the holiday season:

Creativity – Have fun making your home, table, room, or space beautiful. For many years in my 20’s and 30’s, Christmas really annoyed me because it reflected back at me what I was missing in life: love and a family of my own. This Christmas, I am making everything beautiful (geez, I even bought a wreath for the door and fairy lights for the windows). Reconnect to the joy of coming together and know by taking time and care to make things beautiful not only will you receive enormous pleasure but you will create an atmosphere of warmth and welcome. And remember, pleasure translates on the inside as wellbeing and we all need more of that. 

Be willing NOT to be right – Yes, folks, this little gem keeps us all bottled up, tense with anger (sometimes frothing at the mouth) and ready to pounce. It drains our energy having conversations in our head and getting ready to convince the other person of our point of view before they have even finished their sentence. Go off-road this holiday season and LISTEN! Yes, be revolutionary and sit back and listen. Let the other person that normally drives you up the wall have their power and see what happens in your body when you no longer have to argue, convince, respond, or knock yourself out being right. It’s liberating and you may even enjoy this wonderful new experience. 

Community – 2020 and 2021 have seen a lot of division creep in between friends, families, colleagues, neighbours, and communities over you know what! Kick division to the kerb, embrace kindness, generosity, and patience, and get together with human beings this holiday season. What we need is community, to be with the people we love and care about and who make us laugh and give us a deep sense of belonging. Be revolutionary and invite your mates over. 

Love – My number one way to thrive and get out of fear, reconnect to my intuition and sense of peace is to turn off mainstream media. I have walked into many homes in Greece, Australia, France, and Italy over the past 2 years and 5 minutes of mainstream media has me feeling like the world is ending and I might as well just throw the towel in now. Fortunately, I don’t own a television! Without the fear coming into your energy field like a never-ending mantra, you feel better and the more of us that feel better means that we can get on with doing good in the world, focus on bringing to life creativity, projects and new ways of doing things. Love is what we need, kindness, care, generosity, compassion, and empathy not fear. And the more of us that keep connecting to these emotions, that open and facilitate all sorts of magic, the better the world will be.  

Rest & Play – At some point very soon, I am going to do what the tradesmen do and that is ‘put my tools down’ and declare the year done. I have learnt that rest is equally as important as producing. There is value and gold in letting your nervous system have a break, allowing your mind to wander and, who knows, maybe you get the best idea you’ve had this year whilst walking through a forest or sitting in front of the fire staring at the flames! Get out the totem tennis, water slide, throw on the party hats, and play with the kids, live in the present with joy and the future will look after itself. Rest is the new black!

 

I love my community and wish you all the good in the world during the break. I hope these little tips help you sail through the holiday season and sparkle and I look forward to seeing you in January rested, relaxed and full of energy for a New Year.

 

Love and light always,

Carla 

friends dining together thwarting the tyranny of tech

Why I Feel Guilty For Helping The Tyranny of Tech as Jeff Bezos Blasts Into Space (And What I’m Doing About It)

friends dining together thwarting the tyranny of tech

When I saw that Jeff Bezos had blasted into outer space and wanted to take billionaires with him, instead of realising it was the beginning of the tyranny of tech, I thought, ‘What a dick!’ 

Seconds later, a light bulb went off in my head. I realised I’d contributed (in my small way) to make this happen and I was appalled. Maybe it was just the cover for the blinker of his spaceship or the zipper on his spacesuit but I contributed to making this happen, to the tyranny of tech that we now are facing and I am guilty as charged! 

I have been a huge Amazon fan and contributed to the success of this giant in many ways. I loved having my books delivered to my home in Paris as often it was difficult to track them down here or it meant making an effort to trudge off to one of the bookstores that sold English books across the other side of town. I also bought other things that I could have found in a local shop if I had tried such as photography equipment, cat beds, and gadgets, but I used the excuse that it was easier, and herein lies the problem!

Amazon — like many of the incredible tech creations such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google — started out as a truly amazing idea and service that liberated us on one hand and gave us the opportunities to access products once not possible delivered to our doors but have made us exceptionally lazy and housebound.

Then the tech giants grew from backyard underdogs to be a global monopoly that stamped out the competition in the form of corner bookstores and small chains around the world; family-run businesses that had served communities for generations and the individual, the artisan, and the way we communicate and congregate. We have ushered in a new era, the the tyranny of tech. Social media and tech giants hijacked our time, creativity, common sense, and distanced ourselves from mother nature and humanity. Our dopamine addiction and their brilliant use of algorithms have made us slaves to smartphones and screens, dishing up just one more cat video that will give you (me) our next hit. 

Instead of hundreds of thousands of families being able to live through selling books or selling other products that bring them joy, it has become one family, Mr. Bezos’s and his mates.

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology as much as anyone else and I’m grateful that it allows me to have an online business. These giant tech corporations have given us brilliant innovations that have, on one hand, liberated the way we work but also dictate what we can purchase, what information we have access to or don’t, freedom of speech and censorship, the breakdown of communities, and how our society is being shaped. Right now it feels like we are on a giant seesaw where one end is hitting the ground and the other is swinging way up in the air, there is literally no balance. 

In short, we have given this handful of people the ability to control our lives on every level and we have lost our way with how we use it. 

We forget how powerful we are. We think that our actions and choices don’t make a difference but they do, it’s how we consume, what we purchase, where we invest, and who gets our attention, time, and pennies that make certain corporations, men and women, social media platforms and tech giants so powerful. We are collectively responsible. 

The tyranny of tech means that the power in the world right now is in the hands of very few people,  and it’s impacting our world in an enormous way. 

Imagine if Jeff Bezos decided to save the Amazon forest instead of shooting himself up into space on Friday night with his buddies for a whiskey and dry, what a difference that would make? What if Mark Zuckerberg, the ‘illegitimate prince’ in the tyranny of tech, decided to unite the world instead of dividing it with his algorithms and censorship and plans for even more artificial intelligence simply so whatever our brains think will be delivered to our door without hitting a button? What if we all started walking across town to get our books and art products, who would we meet, what would we see, what conversations would we have, what inspiration would come into our minds and what joy we would receive? What if we got the control back in our lives and put down the phones, even left them at home, and freed ourselves from the dopamine that is begging us to pick them up yet again?

Of course, this is all my opinion and you may see it differently and that is OK!

Bare with me whilst I continue my observations.

Here is what it is doing to us:

Disconnection

Social media has contributed more than any other innovation in our lifetime to the breakdown of human connection and isolation. Once upon a time, we relied on community halls and gatherings, feast days, and concerts to come together and do what humans do. Talk, help each other, laugh, dance, rejoice, mourn and live. Instead, people are staying home and making endless Tik Tok videos.

The tyranny of tech means we are isolated in our homes, anxious and disconnected from each other, and held hostage by a screen. A screen that tells you highly curated information so only you get to see what they want you to see. A screen that has hijacked our lives and we have all become addicted to being inundated with useless information from thousands of people we barely know, bits of mind numbing trivia that occupies our consciousness, energy and drains one of the most precious resources we have, our time.

The other great disconnection is with ourselves. The chaotic amount of information and opinions of others derails our intuition and losing your own rudder means losing yourself, decisions and choices become overwhelming.

Social Media — Too Much of the Wrong Information

I had a thought about this the other day! When I was a kid, I would know about some aspects of the lives of the kids around me. There were vague whispers about others through parents, teachers, and other adults, and the news from outside my world came through magazine articles and television. Now if I click on Facebook, I can access trivial information of literally thousands of people that I barely know. Superficial Information that takes up my attention, affects my emotions, and clogs up my brain. The human being has never been in a situation of such ineffective, useless information overload since the beginning of time. No wonder people can’t get anything done or teenagers (and adults) are wracked with anxiety.  Anybody that consumes it, would feel anxious. 

Watch Social Dilemma on Netflix to get a better understanding.

Media 

Mainstream media has become poison. Yep, I said it. 

People always ask me how I manage to stay positive in a world that feels scary and my answer is, ‘I don’t own a television.’ Mainstream media has become a version of social media with its one-sided algorithms and blasting fear into your living room 24/7. No wonder the quality of people’s lives is becoming less and less because the greatest weapon used against humanity today is fear and the mainstream media love nothing better than giving you a daily dose to keep you topped up and under control. What happened to great journalism and debate, what happened to creativity and storytelling? What happened to the search for the truth and the marvels in our world?

Creativity

People often ask me how I managed to create three books of my own and collaborate on a further five when I was starting out? The answer is very simple, social media didn’t exist at the time or it hadn’t ramped up to overtake our lives. I wasn’t busy creating content on social media, walking along a street being dragged out of reality by a ‘ding’, or going down a rabbit hole of posts that triggered my emotions and sucked my time. Instead, I was wandering around villages in Italy or Europe, finding beauty and sharing that with others. I was sharing positivity and joy and allowing space for ideas to come in. People often have remarked that I produced a lot of work and when I look back now with all the distractions in our lives, I realise the difference is the peace and ability to focus. Now you have to have a military game plan to make that happen, strict boundaries, and bucket loads of self-control because the level of distractions and interruptions is mind-blowing (literally).

the tyranny of tech, playing an old fashioned game in italy friends and family, carla coulson

Community

Once upon a time social media came in the form of community halls, festivals, sporting clubs, charities, RSL clubs, music, art classes and many other wonderful ways that humans would congregate. We’ve lost the balance, many of us have had moments in our lives where the tyranny of tech has meant we have had a good night in ‘staring at our phones’ with a home delivered meal instead of putting on our favourite outfit and going out into the world to hear the music and laughter.

Mother Nature

If anyone is shaking her head and wondering what the hell is happening is the mother of all mothers, Mother Nature. One of the greatest tragedies that I believe in our lives today has been the imbalance technology has created with mother nature. It has disconnected us from the great outdoors, from getting off the couch and going for a hike, sitting in the backyard, diving under a wave, planting a garden, and just admiring her beauty. We have forgotten we are her children, we are part of nature and not apart from nature. That we need her as much as she needs us and our bodies do well when we are connected to nature. She is wondering where we went, why the mass exodus from outdoor barbecues, playgrounds, hiking through her forests, and sailing on her seas?

the tyranny of tech, a day at the beach in monopoli, carla coulson

Values 

I would encourage you to check in and see if the people at the head of the places where you consume everything in your life have values that are aligned with yours. 

Ask yourself, ‘What values are important to me?’ Start to consume and align with people, companies, and platforms that have similar values to you. If you don’t align with a guy who wants to blast off into space then find another place to get what you need and with someone who values the same things as you.

What I’m doing to change it and you can too.

    1. I stopped purchasing from Amazon and found other alternatives. I want to do business with people who believe in our planet. I made a pledge to ‘buy better.’ I check who owns what. Instead of buying a Nestlé chocolate, I choose a local French chocolate maker; instead of buying from Zara, I buy from family-owned or small companies promoting quality, not quantity. I shifted a long time ago from products like L’Oreal shampoos to a locally made solid shampoo. For the past twenty years I do the bulk of my shopping at my local market where I meet the same people each week, individual families that run their stalls and sell their produce instead of shopping at big chain supermarkets. Start looking at alternatives, locally made products, small companies, or alternatives to the giants. Start spreading the love/money. Your money will make the difference. 
    2. To lesson the distraction and the tyranny of tech, I have moved my coaching groups off Facebook onto a private platform and will be closing my Carla Loves Photography page for good this week as well as my personal profile and slowly closing down anything that is owned by Mr. Z Berg. Instead, I meet up more with friends in person, have conversations with the ones I love, and set a daily limit on social media. I’m putting time into the community on my doorstep.  Observe how much time you spend on social media and set a limit. Start to become conscious of how it makes you feel and what it stops you from doing because you are consuming too much of it. 
    3. Turn off the television and give it away. Make a conscious decision to control what comes into your mind and energy field instead of letting an endless mantra of fear program you. Start to pay attention to what they are saying instead of letting it cascade over you and you will see the fear is a constant message.
    4. Walk away from your screens, call a friend, knit, go outside, take the dog for a walk, create, play tennis or get your friends over for a barbecue and talk. Join a club, go see a concert, get up and dance, laugh, and celebrate being human. Get out into nature and enjoy her beauty, go on a hike, swim in the sea, or go for a walk on the beach. Fill yourself up with goodness and recharge your tired mind and soul.
    5.  Get connected to your breath and release the anxiety that comes with staring at your screen. You can breathe with Athalee Brown and myself  HERE
the tyranny of tech, friends chatting whilst swimming, carla coulson

Above all, my beautiful friends, remember you are powerful. You may think you are small and what you do won’t change anything, you are wrong, it will change everything. There are millions of us and we are the ones that ultimately have the power and with every choice we make, we can create a new and exciting framework for the future that will serve our families, children, nature, creativity, nervous systems, and our souls.  

If we spread our money, love, and joy around, we spread the power around too, it will be in the pockets and hearts of many thousands upon thousands of families and small businesses that one by one will help us build a better and more harmonious world. By waking up to what is going on we can turn this tyranny of tech around before it is too late. 

Please feel free to add a comment, a contribution, an idea, a way you manage your life today because opening the conversation and working together is what I believe will make a better world. 

 

Sending you love…

Carla x

carla coulson, my body

My One Big Regret – Not Loving My Body

carla coulson, my body

If I could turn back time, there is one thing I do regret, all the other challenges were sent to me to help me evolve and grow. 

My greatest regret is how little I loved my physical bod when I was growing up and into my 20’s and 30’s. How I judged it, put it down, ridiculed it, punished it, wished it to be something it wasn’t, and never saw how beautiful it was. 

You see, my body didn’t fit into the ideal of a tall, slender, beach body like our idol Elle Macpherson had, instead, mine was strong, compact, and muscular.

I spent almost all my teens and twenties wishing I had another body. This beautiful gift, I never loved or appreciated the way I should have. I should have woken every day and said, “Hello gorgeous, thank you beautiful legs for the great work yesterday,” or “Hello lovely hands, you are tireless workers and I’m grateful.” Instead, I looked at my boobs and wanted them to be fuller, looked at my bum and wanted it to be flatter, sighed at my feet, wishing them to be narrower. I lived in ‘lack’ from the body up!!! I couldn’t see what I had; instead, I chose to focus on what I didn’t have, and that right there, ladies, is one of the greatest makes we make as a collective. Loving our bodies is a great place to start the process of loving yourself, respecting your choices, wants, and needs. 

When we stop loving our bodies, we start to disconnect from the most powerful ally we have. Let me say that again: when we stop loving our bodies, we start to disconnect from the most powerful ally we have. Your body is way more than its physical shape — it’s your antenna. It receives intuitive messages, hunches, feelings that are all information that you can use to move through life, and when we disconnect from our bodies, we disconnect ourselves from all that beautiful information that is available to us. We literally turn off our gut instinct and slowly shut off our natural radar. 

There is something else that happens too. We start to shut down our emotions. Our emotions are incredible indicators of what is going on in our lives and to turn these off is a tragedy. Emotions are ‘energy in motion,’ so imagine switching off the vital energy that transports life around your body. Gals, we need to love them. 

I know young girls have even more pressure on them today than I did all those years ago with the girls at my local beach. You have social media that beams into your life 24/7 insane levels of perfection and comparison. Comparison is the parasite that quietly eats away at your self-esteem. 

Choosing not to love our physical bodies is choosing not to love a big part of ourselves and we no longer know how to connect to our hearts, we become walking heads! Stuck in our heads. We turn down the intuition radar. 

I invite you today to make peace with your body. Start to see how extraordinary it is even in its imperfection. Recognise that it’s looking after so much for you, oxygenating and pumping your blood, regulating your heart, seeing, hearing, eating, digesting, feeling, and trying to tell you stuff! Your body is growing new hair and nails whilst you get on with your life, it heals itself when you cut yourself and it’s your bestie. Your body loves you and takes such great care of you, imagine how your life would change if you afforded it the same love and respect? 

Imagine your body is a beautiful bouquet of flowers or your favourite plant. It needs water, food, love, patience, and care.  

When you start to take care of your physical body, love it, be kind to it, feed it well, appreciate it, let it have the rest it needs, when you start to respect yourself, you are saying ‘I love you.’

Give yourself the gift of ‘being enough’ today. Don’t make the mistake I did, wishing away my days for the days when I was a couple of kilos lighter so I could do X or putting off enjoying today because of Y.

Get out of the future and into the present! See that the grass is green, rich, and beautiful where you are right now. 

Start to see your naked body as beautiful, even if it feels unnatural to start with. Find a way every day to talk to your body, acknowledge it and reconnect back to it. 

Love your body like you want to be loved.

 

Four things you can do today:

    1. See it as a plant that needs tending to, good food, rest, water, and kindness and it depends on you to take care of it.
    2. Every morning and every evening pay gratitude to your body for the gift it gives you.
    3. Start to speak to it like you would your very best friend. If your body hears loving words instead of criticism you too will absorb those loving words and start to believe them.
    4. Accept it exactly how it is. Stop putting off life till you transform it into some ideal of what you think it should be. Accept and see it’s wonderful just the way it is. 

 

Sending you love and light,

Carla 

If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity, and purpose, click here to join the free training.

A Fresh Start, Energy, Burnout, and Autoimmunes

Dear Lovelies,

In Paris, we are experiencing a fresh start, a moment of excitement, hope, and good energy for what is next to come. Fresh starts require energy and that comes from our wellbeing so in today’s video I’m talking about energy, wellbeing, burnout, and autoimmunes and sharing my story on how I healed Lichen Sclerosus, Graves Disease, and Alopecia Areata naturally.

Over the years, I’ve blogged about this many times, and recently I had numerous people get in touch about their wellbeing so I thought it was time for a little update.

Enjoy…

If you have any questions leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.

Love and light,
Carla x

a fresh start

If you want to know how you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity and purpose, download my Free Workbook here.

Mum, Eliza, Carla Coulson

A Mother’s Day Roadtrip

Mum, Eliza, Carla Coulson
With my niece Eliza and Mum at the back

My Dearest Lovelies,

When I think of my Mother, I also think of my Father.

Mum and Dad were a formidable team and they did everything together. So this Mother’s Day will seem a little odd for my beautiful Mum as she bravely navigates life on her own since Dad’s death. Armed with her enormous capacity for love, change, spontaneity, and belief in the hereafter, I know she will make it a beautiful next chapter.

This summer, Mum, my niece Eliza, and I did what any gals would do when they needed a little respite from heartbreak — we packed the car like my parents have done throughout their lives and headed out West.

We just wanted to drive, to feel the road pass underneath the wheels, see the landscape change and soothe us, and go to all the towns and places that we visited when we were  young and carefree. We wanted to feel the wind and the heat of driving in the middle of an Australian summer.

We needed an adventure of the heart.

The roads and towns of western New South Wales are imprinted in our collective DNA, passed down from my parents and grandparents and the enormous laundry list of towns they have called home for a short while.

Over the Blue Mountains, the Coulson’s feel like they are going home.

Our adventure included no bookings or plans, and we would just pick somewhere on the map (Mum’s suggestion) and head there.

The rolling hills and valleys of Oberon passed as we headed for Mayfield gardens, one of Mum’s recent dreams. We went to Boorowa, Cowra, Canowindra, dropped in to see friends out of Orange and Blayney and jumped back in the car to drive some more.

We laughed, we cried, we remembered, we argued about whether we had taken the wrong road or not and Mum told us our stories, the ones of her childhood, her family, of Dad and Mum when they were young and she passed onto the next generation the curiosity of places unknown.

We slept in pubs, hotels, motor inns, we spoke to strangers, we swam in local pools, ate Chinese food whenever we could like we did in the 70’s when we would put on our best outfit and Dad and Mum would take us out. 

Everything was fascinating, beautiful, new and I passed three of the most hilarious, special days of my adult life with my two road trip buddies. .

We drove and drove and we felt connected to Dad.

My mum has always chosen to make our lives fun from when we were kids, to show us that every day can be an adventure if we embrace spontaneity.

Mum has given more love and care than one Mum is required to do and on our little road trip she showed us that at 82 her spirit of adventure is still alive and her willingness to embrace the new and unknown is a gift.

Mum and Dad on the road at the end of the 60's.

This Mother’s Day, I’m sending all my love to my Mum and to all Mothers whose incredible work and impact is impossible to put into words and will be felt for many years to come.

 

Love and light,

Carla xx

 

P.S. We have a Mother’s Day Free Print Offer for every purchase of 20″ x 30″ (or larger) Limited Edition Print from my Young Girl in Bloom collection you receive a FREE 12 x 18 inch print of your choice so you can share the love. Full details here