Thursday, March 11, 2010

Interview: Kimberly Wilson author of Tranquilista

Kimberly Wilson, author of the book Tranquilista, stopped by to share with us an interview she did.

Interview courtesy of Kimberly's publicist, Pasta Queen Public Relations.

What is enlightened work and mindful play?

Enlightened work is about forgoing spreadsheets and stodgy office politics to forge ahead with a new way of designing our lives as self-defined entrepreneurs who care about blending balance, bliss, and beauty. When I use the word entrepreneur, I'm referring to today's woman who wants to leave a legacy through her daily actions, whether working for a nonprofit, launching a vegan cafe, or being a full-time activist.

Mindful play allows the incorporation of art, creativity, style, and dreams into one's spiritual journey. I like to think of play as the icing on top of a yummy cupcake - it makes the whole experience more enjoyable and balanced. Mindfulness allows one's playful spirit to remained focused on the world-at-large and making a difference.

What is a tranquilista?

In the book I describe tranquilista as “a woman who embraces her many sides spiritual (she's a tranquility-seeker), creative (loves style), and entrepreneurial (calls her own shots). She hearts fashion and philanthropy. Parties and prayer. Entertaining and enlightenment. The golden rule and layers of vintage gold bangles. She is you and she is moi. She is full of aspirations and always seeking inspiration. Oh, and she sparkles. Literally.” Basically, a tranquilista is a woman striving for tranquility in all aspects of her life by also bringing it to those who surround her.

What is creativity so important to living a tranquil lifestyle?

Creativity ensures there is a spark inside - even if you live or work in what you may perceive to be a non-creative setting. The art of creativity is finding that spark, making that spark, and keeping that spark alive. I think creativity is akin to self-discovery and ongoing happiness. Living in a creative way allows us to color outside the lines, push our edges, wear pink tights, don red lipstick and sparkles, write with a silver pen, and explore new places. By making creativity a priority, stagnation is less likely to occur, growth is inevitable, and, ideally, tranquility will be a part of the process.

You focus an entire chapter on style, how does it tie into work and play?

I find that looking good and feeling good often goes hand in hand. When I don a flattering outfit with a dash of the perfect of accessories and hint of make-up plus dab of eau de parfum, I hold my head high and put my best self forward. In addition to fashion, I address decluttering, communicating clearly, home d├ęcor, beauty rest, bathing rituals, nourishment, exercise, and entertaining. Style plays into how you present yourself to the world in fashion, communication, home and office environment, and more. It's a defining aspect of who you are and how you express your creativity.

You broke the book into three parts: mix, bake, and sprinkle. Why?

Mainly because I'm obsessed with cupcakes and I like the notion of starting with the groundwork first - spirituality, aspirations, and do-gooding, building on the foundation with creativity and style, and then topping it all with icing - designing work as uniquely as you decorate your cupcakes. Below the three parts are explored further:

Spirituality is your foundation for focusing within, growing, and giving back - it's your how-to for living life fully and mindfully. Commune with nature. Live your values. Be a self-proclaimed do-gooder. Go green. Set up an altar. Name and go after your aspirations. Meditate. Connect with your spirit daily. Explore your dreams. Exude a spark that inspires others.

Creativity is where you shine as an individual. Think of your life as an artist's masterpiece. Find inspiration in the mundane. Explore DIY projects. Be unconventional. Dress with panache. Revel in indulgent self-care. Color outside the line daily. Paint your nails with Lincoln Park after Dark. Fill your body with greens and whole grains. Do yoga. Write a blog. Do more yoga. Throw lavish parties for a cause. Be delectably and uniquely you in word, thought, and deed.

Entrepreneurship is all about carving out your own special spot in this world. Find an opportunity and make your mark, whether you own your own business, stay at home with tots, or work for a Fortune 500 company. Innovate. Create an experience uniquely you. Cultivate nurturing relationships. Teach. Save for retirement. Be your brand. Engage in social media. Become an expert. Grow organically. Diversify. Manage your time and energy. Leave your legacy. Consciously choose what you want to convey to the world.

You authored Hip Tranquil Chick in 2006, why did you decide to write Tranquilista?

While writing my first book, Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life on and off the Yoga Mat, I coined the term mindfully extravagant. My hope was to explain embracing flair-filled things such as shiny chandeliers, kitten heels, and little black dresses while also practicing yoga, meditating, caring for the environment, and being a do-gooder. These two concepts may feel at odds, but when combined they make even the mundane more sacred. Tranquilista takes the concepts of Hip Tranquil Chick deeper. As a serial entrepreneur, I receive a lot of questions about creating a business or enhancing one's professional life so I offered up three chapters in Tranquilista on entrepreneurship in an enlightened way. I wanted to offer additional ideas, how to's and tips on living a tranquil life at work and play.

How did you find balance considering you wear so many hats?

I don't see a distinction between my work and play. During down time you'll find me reading business books, practicing yoga, or thumbing through fashion magazines - all of which are applicable to my professional life and fuel my passion. During work I'll be sipping tea, engaging in social media, and blogging about my latest adventure. My work and play commingle in a coherent, holistic way. Also, I'm a sucker for self-care: regular massage, oodles of sleep, yoga, and journal writing.

Why do you emphasize spirituality and do-gooding as lifestyle essentials?

These are foundational building blocks to launching a career and life mindfully. By taking time to feed your spiritual self through simple acts such as time in nature, meditation, journal writing, and yoga, you're able to know yourself better and find your center. Similarly, by giving back to others and striving to let your thoughts, words, and actions have a powerful impact on those around you, you are able to make better decisions, be a leader, and, ultimately, leave a legacy.

You are a paralegal turned yoga teacher/eco-fashion designer/author/nonprofit director. What are the defining moments of your career evolution?

Taking risks. When I could no longer take staying in the corporate world during the day and dabbling in my passion at night, I took a calculated leap into self-employment. Each of my subsequent ventures has sprung from my desire to grow and explore personally and professionally. All have involved risk, but I've taken them in a slow, steady manner that allowed me to manage the growth.

Transitioning from offering a service (yoga) to also offering a product (clothing) was another defining moment as it allowed me to expand my reach and creativity.

Writing a blog and books coupled with producing a podcast have also helped to define my career. I'm now able to reach far beyond the Washington, DC yogis and am blessed with a global audience of readers and listeners.

You've taught women how to live yoga on and off the mat, and how to engage in enlightened work and mindful play. What's next for you?

I've recently returned to graduate school to pursue a Master's in Social Work. This new project will assist with growing my non-profit, Tranquil Space Foundation, allow me to add therapy to my offerings, and keep me busy through 2013!

In addition, I plan to focus more on my creative spirit by producing pieces for my etsy shop (, writing in my blog, Tranquility du Jour, and returning to Paris as often as possible for ongoing inspiration. Ooh la la!

About the book:

Infuse Your Life with tranquility, Panache, and A Dash of Joie De Vivre

As defined by the author, "a tranquilista is a woman who embraces her many sides: spiritual (she's a tranquility-seeker), creative (loves style), and entrepreneurial (calls her own shots). She hears fashion and philanthropy . . . entertaining and enlightenment . . . . She is full of aspirations and always seeking inspiration. Oh, and she sparkles. Literally."

Presenting a potpourri of real-world tips, inspiration from modern-day muses, and savvy sources for further exploration, Tranquilista offers everything you need to bring balance and bliss into your everyday life. With spirituality as its foundation, the book highlights creative individual expression and offers an entrepreneurial approach to everything from homemaking to brand building. Step-by-step projects and to-dos cover a tranquilista's key pursuits: meditation, setting goals, personal style, living green, and even launching a nonprofit. The aim throughout is to help you realize-and revel in-your unique potential to make a splash and make a difference.

About Kimberly:

Kimberly Wilson is a teacher, writer, do-gooder, entrepreneur, and eco-fashion designer. She is the Creative Director and Founder of Tranquil Space - named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, author of Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat, and holds a Master's in Women's Studies.

When she's not bookstore browsing, you'll find her sipping pots of tea, creating versatile designs for TranquiliT, or leading retreats globally. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio, in Daily Candy, Fit Yoga, US News, and Shape.

With a passion for do-gooding, Kimberly launched Tranquil Space Foundation to assist women and girls with finding tranquility through yoga, creativity, and leadership, and is currently pursuing a Master's in social work.

She lives in a cozy raspberry-colored flat in Washington, D.C. with two fancy felines named after French impressionists, a supportive beau, and a black pug.

Indulge in musings on tranquilology through her blog and podcast, Tranquility du Jour. Learn more at


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