Former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post UK and Global Editorial Director for Huffington Post Lifestyle
An award-winning editor and writer, published in newspapers, magazines and websites including Marie Claire, the Guardian, Glamour, Vogue.com and Cosmopolitan. Carla was the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post UK, also acting as Global Editorial Director for Huffington Post Lifestyle.
This Sunday, HuffPost UK celebrates its third birthday, and rather than ask for piles of presents, we asked some of our favourite bloggers to gift us with their three best pieces of advice. Over the past few years, as our audience has grown and our team multiplied in size, the stories we've heard from our amazing army of bloggers - more than 9,000 in the UK today - continue to inspire and amaze, and I feel privileged to be in a position to share these with you. To kick things off, here are my three contributions - all of which have stood me in good stead during my editorship. I may not have followed them to the T all the time, and certainly forgot them on numerous occasions, but they're a timely reminder when times are tough about how to live a more fulfilling life.
I learnt a new word during a yoga class this week: 'Yama'. Devoted yogis will probably point out that it's hardly a new word, having been around for centuries and centuries, but I'm an occasional yogi, and it's been going round and round in my head ever since. According to the yoga teacher who introduced me to it, Yama means not pushing yourself too far. In a world when we're constantly told to strive for more, to push our limits and test our boundaries, the idea of it being ok - and not just ok, but actually wonderful - to find a comfortable spot and just sit there for a while resonated.
Say 'Cannes' to the average guy or girl on the street, and they automatically think film festival. However, for the last six days, it has been the media industry clogging up La Croisette - the famous boutique-lined, beach-front boulevard - for the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. A melting pot of advertising creatives, PR gurus and media moguls this week flew into Cannes to drink their body weight in rosé, shake hands on deals and, if they were really lucky, party with Kim Kardashian. Away from the starry parties, however, the advertising industry is facing many of the same challenges other industries do, starting with the lack of women role models.
A summit took place in London this week tasked with ending sexual violence in conflict. Even if you weren't aware of this, you'd have been hard pressed to miss the fact that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were in the country. The two incidents were, of course, related, although from the barrage of press releases hitting my inbox charting the Hollywood stars' choice of designer outfits, not everyone seemed aware it wasn't a red carpet situation. Dubbed 'Team Hague' thanks to the stars flanking the foreign secretary as he made his way through the four-day global summit, Brad and Angelina were in London to bring attention - and more importantly action - to a topic that all too easily falls off the news agenda.
With Jay Z and his not-all-that-happy sister-in-law dominating the celebrity pages, and a hero cat called Tara on the front pages (remember when it was only the internet that loved cat videos?!), serious news was in short supply this week. Or it might have felt that way. Meanwhile, a group of people whose names you quite probably don't know, were taking part in a televised debate to help decide who runs the European Union.
My stress nightmare - the reoccurring dream that always pops up when I'm run down and overly tired - is simple and terrifying in its simplicity: it's my French A-Level tomorrow and I haven't got round to revising. As millions of men and women across the globe head into their own exam seasons, I sigh a little gasp of relief that that is all behind me. With this in mind, we decided to approach it slightly differently this year, and have been quizzing some of the best brains in the business to help those of you studying through your exams, and out the other side into an uncertain jobs market...
I'm breaking my own rule this week, and starting with a story that very much made the front pages - the front page of <em>Time</em> magazine to be precise. Earlier this week, Beyoncé was crowned queen of the US title's 100 Most Influential People In The World list, or the <em>Time</em> 100 as it's more generally billed, and consequently pictured looking her usual stunning self on the front of the magazine. So far, so good. The socialsphere, however, didn't take long to react and when it did, the reaction wasn't pretty.
With April Fools' Day doing its best to upset the news agenda this week - at times on Tuesday it was hard to work out what was true, and what was the work of some reporter's overactive imagination - sifting through the inside pages required a healthy dose of skepticism. Our hearts and bodies got a lot of column space this week, with health headlines dominated by the news that it's seven portions of fruit and veg we need a day, not the five we originally thought. Meanwhile, another report suggested it's actually friends we really need to keep healthy.
I was duped into going on the understanding I was tootling down to Devon for a spa break with a friend. I swear the first sentence of the email that came through from aforementioned friend, was along the lines of '<em>Conde Nast Traveller</em> voted it best spa retreat in 2012'. There may have been other lines; I just didn't read them. So deposit paid, time booked off work, and then the kit-list arrived.
I can be pretty cynical when it comes to marketing messages, but it feels like happiness is having a moment right now. We know that technically money can't buy happiness, but maybe we're actually beginning to really believe it. We see photos of the rich and famous sunbathing on their yachts, we speculate about how much industry leaders are being paid, and it just doesn't have the appeal it used to. As part of HuffPost's Third Metric movement, we're hearing stories from across the globe of individuals placing emphasis elsewhere in their lives. They're prioritising health and happiness over personal gain, and today, on the International Day of Happiness, we want to celebrate that.
International Women's Day takes place this Saturday, and will be celebrated with events across the world. The theme this year? 'Inspire Change'. Taking that notion on board, this year at HuffPost we have decided to move the conversation on. While it's all too temping to go over the same old arguments - so many of them still far from resolved - it's also time to look to the future and celebrate those paving a way for the next generation.
As a society, we like our news fast and our solutions faster, but this week delivered a reminder that problems that made front-page news years back can make for positive updates a decade or so later (albeit hidden on page 23 of the paper). Teen pregnancies are a case in point. Oft-used as the (im)perfect example of 'Broken Britain', it was announced this week that girls aged between 15 and 19 are today half as likely as their grandmothers to become pregnant.
As Kiev erupted into violence this week, the world's media made its way to the city's makeshift morgues and, once again, made record of a country taking democracy into its own hands. There has been no end of dramatic imagery emerging from the city, but perhaps the most moving piece to resonate around the world was the YouTube video <em>I Am A Ukrainian</em>, which made post-grad student Yulia the voice of a country in two short but powerful minutes. The sale of WhatsApp to Facebook may have been the big financial and tech news of the week, but arguably it was Tinder that deserved the headlines. In a certain Russian town, the dating app saw a 400% increase in users in the past seven days...
Whether you are celebrating Valentine's Day or not this year, it's certainly difficult to ignore. Of all the articles that have been written about the event, and we have certainly run our fair share on HuffPost UK, I don't believe there are any as poignant or heart wrenching as our blog from Guantanamo Bay resident Shaker Aamer.
With typhoon Haiyan but a distant memory for most people outside the Philippines, reports emerged this week of a stand-off on one of the islands most seriously affected, which is keeping thousands from being re-housed. There are still 50,000 people in Tacloban whose homes were destroyed or are unsafe to live in. Despite a pledge from the mayor to re-house everyone by December, the necessary funds to make that happen have not been forthcoming from the Philippine government. Why? A decades-old feud between two political families
Beyoncè made front pages the world over this week, thanks to her seriously raunchy Grammys' performance with husband Jay-Z, with columnists getting their knickers in a twist (pun intended) over the appropriateness, or not, of her La Perla ribbons and Saint Laurent sparkly tights.
On the HuffPost blog, however, the heat wasn't about Bey's outfit, but the lyrics instead. Writer and rape victim charity worker Ellie Slee demanded to know why a reference to Tina Turner suffering domestic abuse at the hands of Ike Turner wasn't omitted for the performance...
From across the globe we've gathered stories about businesses harnessing these values to improve their work places, politicians practising mindfulness and bankers being encouraged to -- shock, horror! -- nap at work.
While the rich and famous debated all that's important for the future of the planet in Davos this week, on UK soil there were some startling reports showing we still have a lot to solve in the present, too. Fifteen years ago, the landmark Macpherson report was set up to look at the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence back in 1993. To mark the anniversary, a new study was published this week, which showed there have been nearly 100 people killed in race-related attacks in this country since the original report.
With a new(ish) year, comes a new weekend blogs series from HuffPost UK. After a few years of wrapping up the week's news and politics in my Sunday blog, this year I'll be bringing you a plethora of links to the stories that didn't make the front pages. One of the joys of my job is reading, clicking and watching literally hundreds of features and videos each week, which sadly hasn't made me nearly as good at pub quizzes as it should, but does mean I'm great at recommending obscure websites, blogs and all manner of other publications.
Hands up those of you giving up booze for January? Now those planning a detox New Year diet... Have you ever noticed how many New Year resolutions are all about giving things up? During the most depressing month of the year, instead of indulging in the things that make us happy, we ban the good bits and suck all the fun out of life. With this in mind, this January at HuffPost UK, we've decided to twist things on their head and instead of saying no to all the things we love, we're saying yes to everything life affirming instead.
31/12/2013 17:11 GMT
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