how to get unstuck, Carla Coulson, how to get your mojo back

How to Get Unstuck or Get Your Mojo Back

Hello beautiful ones, so often when you ask yourself ‘how to get unstuck’ or ‘how to get your energy or mojo back,’ it could be that you are looking outside of yourself for the answers instead of looking inside. 

If you feel stuck or trapped in a situation, it can literally suck the life out of you, your creativity just flies out the window like a flock of birds leaving home never to return again. We don’t know how to get out of the knee-deep mud that engulfs us and somehow we feel like a car whose battery is dead! 

Do you feel like your situation is out of your control and in the hands of someone else? Take heart if you are feeling like this you possibly have ‘given’ your power away to a situation, a person, or a belief? I’m going to invite you to look at it in another way.

One of the things that don’t get much attention in our lives because it can sound and feel a little dull instead of all sparkly with gold is responsibility. Yes, dear sweet old responsibility is one of the most empowering choices on the planet yet so often we give it away, we reject it and we let our power and energy drain out of our lives. Without energy, it is almost impossible to change anything. 

how to get unstuck, Carla Coulson, how to get your mojo back

When we feel stuck, often we have given the responsibility of our situation to someone else, we feel ‘blamey’: we blame our boss, coworkers, partners, financial situations, dog, cat, and the list goes on. We play games that if ___________ (fill in your excuse) wasn’t happening, then I would be able to ___________ (fill in your dream or goal).

We feel like we don’t have the power, that the power lies outside of ourselves, but if you take a fresh look around and see that possibly you aren’t taking responsibility for that particular area of your life. I like to think of responsibility as your inner superhero with a flying pink cape that will scoop you up and get you back on the right path. 

If you’re asking yourself, ‘how to get unstuck or get your mojo back?’ my question to you is ‘What would happen if you shifted from blame to responsibility?’ My best guess is you would get your power back!! It doesn’t mean that all of the challenges in life will magically disappear but what it does mean is that the energy flows back to you. Yup, you climb back in the driver’s seat of your life instead of being a passenger in the backseat and you can move out of being stuck and on the way to what you want. 

When my health was at rock bottom about 7 years ago, I blamed my job, where I lived, and my partner. When I pulled up my train wreck before it hit a wall, I got my power back by taking responsibility for the jobs I accepted, the way I was living, what I put before my health, what I was saying yes to instead of no, and gaining knowledge, I got my mojo back and everything grew from there. 

Here are some tips on how to get unstuck: 

  1. Who/what are you assigning blame for in your current situation? 
  2. How does it keep you stuck or impact your life? 
  3. What is the truth? What is your part in this?
  4. What can you take responsibility for today? 
  5. What decision do you need to make?
  6. What’s one step or action you can take in this new direction?  


I love responsibility, I love owning up to when I screw up and changing things when I have the power to change them.


Sending you light and love,


If you want to know how to get unstuck and get your mojo back so you can live more wholeheartedly, reconnect to your joy, creativity, and purpose, click here.

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Six Tips For Creative Clarity in 2018

Dear Folks,

I have just landed back in Paris and excited to start 2018 and share my six tips for creative clarity in 2018!!

I loved being in Australia and having the chance to meet so many beautiful new people, hear their stories and share mine.

I loved 2017! It was a year full of new and exciting experiences, a ton of travel and one that I am proud of.. including taking these pics of two beautiful gals the fabulous Sarah Hudson of Birdie Hill and her daughter Clare. What a fabulous day with two divine women!!

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I remember back to this time in 2017 and what my hopes and dreams were and how I jotted them down in my journal. It’s extraordinary to look back and see so much of what I wanted actually happened and the beautiful thing was at the beginning of the year I didn’t ask myself ‘how’ I was going to do it, I just knew I wanted to do it.

That’s the magic thing about clarity. When you are clear on what you want no matter what area of your life and you mix it with passion, light, and love you are an unstoppable creative cabaret dancer (you know what I mean) !!!

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So I thought these tips might help you get clear on what you want from 2018.

  1. Think of your biggest vision for yourself and your creativity and don’t ask yourself how you will do it, just know you want to do it. Write a text on what you see and feel. Get into detail about the work you will create, the people you want to work with, the places you will visit, where you want to create or how much money will be in your bank account!! Whatever is authentic to you.
  2.  Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a stage or on a big screen at the end of 2018 telling your story, whose lives will you have touched, what work will you have created and what peace of mind do you feel? Will you have presented your first exhibition, launched your book, worked with the world’s best clients, made people laugh and dance and sing and touch them? Will it be that you have better relationships, more time and peace or dare to create what you have wanted to do forever?
  3. What are you going to make non-negotiable in 2018 for your business, creativity and life. What are you done with? What do you want to let go of?
  4. Close your eyes and ask yourself what is standing in your way of your vision for 2018 and where you are now. Is it a belief, systems, money, time or something else? Get clear on what will be the one thing that will come between you and your vision for this year.
  5. Create a morning routine that will support you and your vision for 2018. What you do in the morning sets up your day so create a routine that will take you a step closer each day. It could include meditation, exercise, journaling and visualizing.
  6. Give yourself permission to create what’s in your heart cause that’s where the good stuff is and when you create from a place of love and joy that’s when the universe sends you the magic.

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All photos copyright Carla Coulson of Birdie Hill

I will leave you with my new favourite quote by Marianne Williamson

“Do what you love. Do what makes your heart sing. And never do it for money. Don’t go to work to make money; go to work to spread joy. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and the Maserati will get here when it is supposed to.”

Happy 2018.


PS: If you want to hit it out of the ballpark in 2018 (or create something beautiful)  and need a hand I have one spot left for the coming months and love to help you realise your dreams. More details HERE.

Related post: 10 Tips To Change Your Life

Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets.

How My Photographic ‘Mantras’ Helped Bring Me My Life Today

carla coulson, chasing a dream, heart in the sky

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

Dear Friends,

It feels like so much has happened this year, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have had a chance to reflect back on the past sixteen years and what has actually happened, why somethings worked and somethings didn’t and what photography has given me.

I give photography much credit for everything I have today!!

When I left Sydney in 2000 I lived along, ate take-away food each night alone, dreamed of finding someone to love and share my life with, to live in a community and belong and spend the 2nd part of my life doing something I loved (not much to ask for right??)

When I arrived fresh of the plane in Italy in 2000 and started at photography school, I was a clean slate. I had just pushed aside the first 35 years of my life and was about to start on a path that I knew nothing about.

carla coulson, love, italian joy, paris tango,

Learning photography and watching images appear in the darkroom filled me with excitement, wonder and curiosity.

Each day I went out into the streets of Florence and took photographs. I had no agenda other than learning, seeing, feeling what came naturally and trying out my ‘training wheels’ photography skills on daily life.

Days, weeks, months, years passed and I was still out on those streets taking photos of things I loved – that brought me pleasure, made me laugh and filled me with happiness.

When I decided to try and publish a book in 2003, I looked at all the pictures I had taken and there seemed to be some recurring themes. Like a lot!

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There were images of love, kissing on church steps, couples locked in a passionate goodbye at the train station and sitting on a bridge in the sun. There were images of friends, family and community, of people eating, share and enjoying food together, of Italian beaches and summer, faith and travel and of course Joy. These images were what I was attracted to without any ulterior motive.

So off I toddled to a publisher one day with my big bunch of photos and hope in my heart. These photos and my story became my first book Italian Joy and I will be forever grateful to the wonderful publisher Julie Gibbs and Penguin for her vision in saying yes to my dreams.

This summer (11 years) since Italian Joy, I picked it up and started flicking through it again. I started for the first time to see it in a different light, with new eyes and new thoughts and what has happened in the intervening years.

carla coulson, black and white photography, laughter, mantras

Well, I am sure you have all heard about affirmations and mantras? The power of repeating something you want, over and over again till the big boys and girls upstairs hear it and grant you your wish.

I realised that my photos were my mantras – I took so many photos of people in love that it eventually came to me. I took so many photos of family, friends and community – I found my tribe. I took so many photos of summer and Italian beaches it became part of what I do and I took so many travel photos that I became a travel photographer for the first 12 years of my life and got lucky enough to publish 7 books. I took so many photos of joy it became part of my everyday and all those poor people I stalked in love helped me find my very own sweetheart.  And I started to believe in something greater than just what we see.

carla coulson, italian joy, paris tango

Did focusing subconsciously on things that were missing bring them to my life??? Were the big boys and girls upstairs hanging over my shoulder in the darkroom looking at what was appearing in the developer? Did someone not only hear my message they saw it? Or was it the fact that hundreds of thousands of moments of everything I wanted were recorded not only on film but in my heart and mind?

carla coulson, italian joy, jump, amalfi coast

All Photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

Am I the only one this has happened to? I would love to hear if anything similar has happened to you like this..

Maybe taking photos of what you want might be the next new ‘post it note on your fridge with your daily affirmation?’

Much love


“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Greg Anderson

Check out my Portrait Lightroom Presets here.

Kiss Goodbye Fear In Business and Life

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Photo Copyright Carla Coulson

I like to think I am not a fearful person and thanks to my parents they tried to instill the opposite in me and my brothers and sisters – to be adventurous, trusting and game.

But hey, when you leave your life and swap it for another one there are always going to be days that bring your down, cause a big knot of fear in your stomach or anxiety that has you asking yourself what have you done, have your made the right decision and where to from here?

Fear can be crippling, it can make creativity stop dead in it’s tracks whilst it grips you to the very core and allows you to lose the focus on the good, the fun and your path.

I have learnt to fight fear and anxiety in my own way and I thought I you share some tips with you today in case it has its hands on you.


Ask yourself why you are fearful, did something happen to trigger the fear? Are you fearful of a thought or something that has actually happened? Becoming aware of your fear is the first step. Sit with it and realize what it is about.


When I am fearful, mine is often running the same scene on loop so I get out of the house, go for a walk, get the blood flowing and most times I come home and I have a new attitude

Fight Fear With Love

Love is the best way to combat fear. Go and do something with love in your heart, visit your mum or grandma, give to someone on the street, buy a bunch of flowers for yourself or someone you love or make a friend a cup of tea.


There is nothing like the music you love to take you somewhere else, to happy times and good memories. I put Cat Stevens on full volume and walk around Paris as though I am in my own film. By the time I come home I am ready for anything.


Take the deepest, slowest breaths counting to ten on the inhale and do the same thing to exhale. Do this for a couple of minutes and think of nothing else other than counting your breath. It will slow your heart rate and calm you down and if you are awake at night it will put you back to sleep.

Do Something Positive

Instead of stewing in your fear and anxiety do up to 5 positive things that will help you. It could be folding the washing, writing an email you have been promising yourself to do, write a blog post, call a client, go get a hair cut. I have always found moving forward with something positive is a wonderful remedy.

Watch A Funny Movie

Yes, ditch the documentaries, Games of Thrones and Vikings for a while and watch something YOU love, that makes you laugh, the kind of belly laughs money can’t buy. Don’t watch movies that will make you cry or things will just get worse.


Go out and dance, if you can’t, put on your favourite music and let yourself go wild. You know about ‘dance like no-one’s watching’, own it, bring out all the dance moves you have been storing up since you were a teenager and then let them rock.


When we are fearful or have anxiety meditation can bring us back to ourselves instead of scattering our valuable energy everywhere it can centre us and calm us.


If you are continually feeling anxious, go and get your thyroid checked. One of the symptoms of a thyroid out of whack is anxiety.

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” Marianne Williamson





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How To Run Away From Yourself

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Photo Copyright Carla Coulson

Dear Friends,

I spent the first big chunk of my life as a ‘Yes’ girl and it was the closest thing I can think of to actually running away from yourself.

You asked me and I did it. I didn’t matter how inconvenient, unplanned or uninteresting it was, I said ‘Yes’.

It took me all the way to my adult life to sit back and examine this weird, compulsive behaviour of mine that had a life of it’s own. When someone asked me something, the Carla inside her head was screaming ‘NO, YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING, DRIVE ACROSS TOWN NOW TO LOOK AT YOUR NEW PAINT COLOUR NOW’ instead I answered ‘sure, give me 30 mins and I will be there’.

Trying to please everyone all the time is downright exhausting, I have never felt so powerless as when I was doing this and the more I did it the further I ran away from myself. My anglo-saxon background was peppered with phrases such as ‘don’t rock the boat’ and ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all’ and this made me a ‘card carrying pleaser’.

Not only in my 20’s and 30’s did I lose my way (you can read about that here) but I also lost my voice. I had managed to silence the inner me and I didn’t have the courage to tell the truth and say a word as simple as ‘no’. Until, one day it all came crashing down and I stood up and said ‘no’. No, I don’t want this life the way it is on everybody else’s terms and that was the beginning of something amazing, the journey to becoming a photographer and me and a life in Italy as told in Italian Joy.

It took me almost a lifetime to learn the most powerful word in the English language, no! The first couple of times it didn’t roll off my tongue it got stuck in my throat, kind of splattered it’s way out in a frightened choke. But the more I learned to say ‘no’ the more I started living the truth and the life I had always wanted to live started opening up.

Why do we feel we need to say ‘yes’ to everything, a lunch invitation we don’t want to go to, to help paint a friends house, do a photography job that you are not sure how to do, take the neighbour’s dog for a walk, drive across town because someone calls and suggests it when in fact it is totally inconvenient?

Why you might be saying ‘Yes’ to things you don’t want to do (including the wrong jobs for you):

Low Self Esteem – I was eager to please because I didn’t put any value on myself so therefore I felt lucky when people asked me to do anything.

Fear – I thought if I said ‘no’ people would never ask me again

Trying to please others – Yep, trying to keep the whole world happy and not rock the boat

Codependency – I was a card carrying one of these. I assisted and enabled numerous boyfriend’s bad behaviour and addictions because I couldn’t say no.

Don’t want change – When you are running around after everyone else’s request you don’t have to focus on your own problems, issues or needs.

Allows no space for you – Yep, being busy, busy, busy means you are free to totally self-abandon, put yourself last on the list.

Why You Should be Saying ‘No’ to things you don’t want to do:

Because you don’t want to do it – inside you are screaming ‘YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING’ so it’s not your truth and you are living a lie.

You aren’t being honest with yourself – or anyone else

You are wasting your time when you could be doing something you really want to do – this counts also for your photography and why so many people starting out get confused. They take what’s on offer instead of asking themselves what they want.

You are damaging your health – Stress is 300 more times damaging than sugar (or so my hubby who is studying to be a naturopath just told me)

Nurture yourself – You were put on this earth to do something fabulous and the first step about getting clear on what that is by finding the real you. Look after yourself, be kind to yourself, spoil yourself as though you were your own very best friend.

So dear friends, take some time to think if you are running away from yourself and be kind to the most important person in your life, YOU.

Sending you big hugs and happiness.

“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.” John C Maxwell


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