Live Your Best Life: Cristina Colli

 

Live Your Best Life interview with photographer Cristina Colli GabrielleTreanor.com

I’m so happy to bring you the next in my series of interviews with inspiring individuals who are living their best life. This doesn’t mean their lives are perfect, or that they have it all figured out. I don’t know of anyone who ticks those boxes!

What living your best life is all about is being the best version of yourself that you can be right now. It’s about recognising the good in your life, striving to bring more happiness into the world and making the most of this one, precious life we have.

In this conversation I talk with Cristina Colli, a visual storyteller with a beautiful Instagram feed:

Tell us a bit about yourself, what your life is like and the path you took to get to where you are today.
Hello! I’m Cristina. I’m an artist, photographer, and teacher in love with creativity, visual storytelling, flowers, simplicity, and slow living. I’m an introvert and HSP, and when I’m not creating something you can usually find me curled up on the sofa reading a good book, or walking in the countryside. I live in Oxfordshire with my husband and two cats, but I’m Italian. We lived in Dublin for eight years, where I worked as an interior designer.

I always had a passion for photography, flowers, and creating vignettes. My work gradually evolved into interior styling, until I finally combined all my passions into a business, helping brands who want to promote their products and services in a creative way, through visual storytelling. Since last year I also offer mentoring sessions in photography & visual storytelling, and this year I launched the first in a series of three visual storytelling e-courses. Sharing what I know and helping others is one of my core values, and I love watching students grow and develop their own photographic style. That’s the best part of teaching, and I find it very rewarding.

What inspirational quotes or mantras do you find meaningful?
There are quite a few that I like to live by. “Find happiness in the simplest of things” reminds me that we can always find something to be grateful for, even if it’s just a beautiful flower, a good cup of tea, the smile of a loved one, the smell of freshly mown grass, or your cat purring. Life is made of these precious moments, and it’s up to us to recognise and appreciate them.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” I have this quote by Maya Angelou on the inspiration wall in front of my desk, so every time I raise my eyes from my computer screen I see this gentle encouragement to keep creating.

Another one is “Those who do not believe in magic will never find it” by Roald Dahl, because life is truly full of magic, and it’s up to us to see it.

How do you recognise when life’s beginning to get on top of you?
When I start to feel scattered, lose concentration and feel too anxious I know that it’s time to slow down and prioritise!

And then how do you get back to the way you want to feel?
I try to be kind and gentle to myself. Spending time in nature is one of my favourite ways to relax, especially walking in the woods with my husband. I also write in my journal, it’s a great tool for self-discovery and also works for dumping all the thoughts and worries that sometimes clog my mind. Meditation, gentle yoga, playing with my cats, and gardening are all good ways to slow down, ground myself, and get back into a relaxed state of mind.

And learning to say no is important too, we all have our limits and it’s important not to take on too much.

What does the future hold for you, what are your plans, hopes and dreams?
For me it’s very important to create, inspire, and keep my curiosity alive. My dream is to run a heart-centred business that helps others but also nourishes me, and allows me to keep creating and trying new things.

Finally, Cristina, what does living your best life mean to you?
It means being true to myself, following my own path, and making choices based on my core values. It means spending time on what’s important, being grateful, kind, and compassionate not just to others, but also to myself. It means always trying to be the best version of myself, and looking for the magic in life.

Cristina shares her daily floral images on Instagram.  She has a blog and she also writes monthly Creative Notes with thoughts on creativity and updates on her work – sign up here.

Cristina runs an e-course “Visual Storytelling 1: create your story, find your voice”. She will help you create your own visual stories and develop your photographic style. Find out all about the class on her website.

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