Episode 7: Creative Tranquility with Kimberly Wilson

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Today I’m chatting with psychotherapist and entrepreneur Kimberly Wilson about her journey as a multipassionate entrepreneur, getting things done while preserving your energy, and making space in your life for regular creative play.

Guest: Kimberly Wilson

kimberly wilson

Kimberly Wilson is a psychotherapist in private practice, serves as president of Pigs & Pugs Project, and designs eco-fashion line TranquiliT.

In 1999 she founded Tranquil Space —named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure—and sold it to YogaWorks in 2017. She’s penned a few lifestyle books catered to tranquility seekers and hosted a podcast since 2005.


Here’s what we discussed on this episode:



You’re listening to How to Be Creative, a podcast about what it means to be creative across different disciplines, industries, life circumstances, and career structures. You’ll learn tips for fitting creativity into your daily life and hear from a bunch of different people about how being creative has helped them reach goals, open doors, and live a more rewarding–or at least more interesting–life. I’m your host, Kat O’Leary, and I’m excited to introduce you to some of my favorite creatives, as well as to the tools that help me get my most crucial work done.


Kat: Today. I’m talking with Kimberly Wilson. Kimberly is a psychotherapist in private practice. She serves as president of Pigs & Pugs Project, and she designs the eco fashion line tranquility. In 1999 Kimberly founded Tranquil Space, named among the Top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel and Leisure, and sold it to YogaWorks in 2017. Kimberly has penned a few lifestyle books catered to tranquility seekers, and she’s hosted a podcast since 2005. Welcome, Kimberly.

Kimberly: Thank you so much for having me. It’s a treat to be here with you.

Kat: Oh, my gosh, I feel the same way. I always get so much out of our conversations. I was just kind of chuckling to myself as I was reading the piece in your bio about pending a few lifestyle books, because I feel like you’ve written more books than anyone else I can think of. I feel like you come out with some kind of new project every year. I guess to get started, it would probably be helpful for some of my listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with your work to hear a little bit more about your background. Obviously, I just gave a little bit of a taste. But, you know, I followed your work since late 2006. I think is when I started listening to your podcast, which is now called Tranquility du Jour. And in the time that I’ve followed your work, I feel like you have worn and then kind of taken off a number of hats while sort of staying true to your sort of intrinsic Kimberly brand. So I’d love to maybe start with, like, kind of a rundown of sort of everything that you do currently on sort of the path to get there, starting with, you know, on some of the early days of your yoga studio in DC on and through the books you’ve written in things like that. So this is that annoying job interview question of “Tell me about yourself,” but can you tell me about yourself?

Kimberly: Sure. Yeah. So, you know, the journey really did begin in 1999. Whenever I was working in the corporate world, I was a trademark paralegal. And then I went back to Georgetown University to help run the paralegal program and announce whenever I left in the self employment in July 2000. And at that point, I was operating a yoga studio in my fourth floor walk up. And this is before people knew what yoga was. It definitely was not on all the street corners like it is now. I feel like you can find yoga everywhere, and back then I used to have to describe what yoga was. So anyway, I’m like, “I’m gonna leave full time employment to invite people into my living room.”

So I did it and then we, um we grew and we grew and we grew. And so for 18 years I nourished and nurtured and fed in many, many ways to Yoga studios, one in the Arlington area of Washington, D. C. And then in D. C. Itself. And so that was a fun journey. And, you know, over the years, like by the end, one of our soul, that we had 100 employees, 50 teachers, all trained by us, really, really sweet community and vibe. And now you know, it’s been taken under the wing of another kind of big yoga studio kind of brand. I think they have 60 or 70 studios across the U. S. So really excited to see it kind of get its wings and move on.

And then for me in the interim, I had gone back to school 10 years ago to get a master’s in social work. Not think, you know, I’m going to sell the yoga studio and move on, but more of like, Oh, you know what’s next for me in the next 10 years, the studio was turning 10 and I thought, What what’s next for me? And so I’d always loved the idea of being a therapist. So I went back to school and got that masters. And, you know, by the time you finish all the hours on the whole promise for it, it was like seven and 1/2 years.

And then I opened a private practice, and in the interim, I launched a clothing line back in ’02. And you know, it’s now locally sewn. I’ve worked with the same seamstress here in DC for maybe 13 years and local locally sodas, I said, eco-friendly fabric. So that’s a fun creative outlet. I released two new collections, one in spring and fall, and it’s made with organic bamboo and organic cotton fabrics.

And then I’ve got a nonprofit Pigs & Pugs Project, which started out Tranquil Space Foundation again, kind of going off of the yoga studio brand. And it was for teen girls. And then, you know, about 10 years into that I was like, I really am like, obsessed with animals. So it became the Pigs & Pugs Project. And, um, that’s really see cause those air to animals that I am obsessed with, and the logo is absolutely the adorable, and we give micro grants to pig sanctuaries and pug rescues across the US needing help. Then also, we hosts three awareness raising events each year.

So that’s kind of like the nutshell of the various things that I do and, you know, on the Internet did write some books. As you said, I wrote six books and then released one planner that I’ve updated think six times over the years. So yeah, my big thing is really how to infuse more creativity and more tranquility and productivity into my life through these products that maybe weren’t out there that I was seeking, such as a yoga studio with a particular vibe or a clothing line with a particular vibe. It’s very much all about mix and match clothing, and, um, and then, you know, even a nonprofit focus on two beans that I’m like Obsessed West. So, yeah, that’s the trajectory.

Kat: That’s amazing. I think, you know, combining pigs and pugs and doing work for both animals, I think, is a perfect example of how you manage to blend a bunch of different things that maybe would seem like they wouldn’t all fit together in the same project or the same entrepreneur and kind of make it seem, you know, sort of seamless and like a holistic brand. So and that’s something I’ve always admired about you because I feel like you have built this career and brand that just feels very authentically you. And so I’d love to dive in a little bit on kind of how you balance those multiple passions that you have while delivering a cohesive message. And then, I guess, kind of related question is, what does it really look like for you to, you know, allocate time to all of the different things that you are working on that you care about? And how has it changed in the time that, you know, you’ve gone from yoga being sort of the central thing to psychotherapy being the central thing.

Kimberly: Yeah, for sure. And you know, the things that I forgot to mention earlier is, um, you know, I started a blogger in 2004 and then a podcast in 2005 and so I think that’s really helped to from a creative standpoint and from kind of expanding the reach of what is tranquilly de jour be on the four walls of a yoga studio. I mean, that’s nice in, you know, with your next question, really of like, how thio? I kind of do these different pieces.

And, you know, over the years I’ve tried many things from like, Okay, Tuesday is tranquility. The clothing line Day and Wednesday is X and, you know, with the yoga studio that really didn’t quite work in the sense that I mean, I definitely I did that for a bit. And it is helpful because otherwise you’re like, taking on and off all these hats. But there was just always a fire to be put out at the studio from like a toilet that wasn’t working. And it’s on the floor that prenatal yoga is on and all the ladies are upset or, you know, it’s like, um, plants not being watered. I don’t know, just like random things. There was always something, and so I felt like that was constantly just roughed ing my ability to focus creatively because you’re constantly like putting out fires.

But you know, for me now, I typically I see therapy clients Monday through Thursday afternoons and evenings and then in the mornings I’ll use that for tranquility to shore. Blog work may be working on the podcast. Podcast interviews or connecting with my local seamstress, so it’s kind of tough because oftentimes my days they’ll start mean they start at, like, seven with the three pugs wanting to be fed and walked. But you know, my work day really starts it, say 9 a.m. And then it’ll go often times till 9 p.m. Say the early part of the day being creative space. But it’s also a lot of admin, let’s be honest.

And then therapy work and then in between what I try to do is I typically will have, like a noon yoga or ballet class to help balance it out. And then Friday’s, ideally, are my creative days, where I do a lot of the podcast interviews like I had to I had to earlier today and then, of course, now chatting with you. So it’s 1/3 and then I also in the morning, you know, chatted with somebody on planning kind of some 2020 goals, and so it tends to be kind of my time, and I really want to keep it sacred in the new year, where it’s like Friday is you know all about like, some of these creative pieces, such as the podcast and then also just kind of focusing on working on the business rather than they’re working. But what’s the saying? It’s like you work on the business, not in the business, right? So really working on that? And, um and I love that idea because then it’s like, Okay, how do I, you know, get strategic, right? Versus, like, putting out fire after a fire after fire? Because if you think about it going from sitting with a therapy client and then like working on the new collection for tranquility and then walking the dogs and then doing a podcast interview, you just can’t. And so my big thing has been like, I mean, you can, But can you to it Well, and so my big thing has been like, Okay, how dowe I batch things. How do I you know, this is my time for this. And then that way I could be more strategic about the
whole process.

Kat: Yeah, I love that so much. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book Deep Work by Cal Newport.

Kimberly: I’ve been wanting to get that. Do you recommend it?

Kat: I really recommend it. So he he talks a lot about the neuroscience behind why it’s so hard to shift gears from one task to the next and why batching matters so much and why it’s so important. And it kind of uses that science to guide you toward, you know, sort of better practices around deep, focused work. But one of the things he talks about is that your brain, when you go from, you know, one type of project to another, it leaves behind this residue of the previous thing like your brain, hasn’t you maybe have, like, you’ve tried to force yourself to move forward on to the next task? But your brain is still just a little bit stuck on the item before, and so that puts you in the space where you’re not giving 100% to the task at hand. And so when you’re able to batch things that are either, you know, one big project or very similar projects where it’s not as big of a shift for your brain it just, you know, helps you get so much more done and and better work done.

Kimberly: I love that. And I think it’s a great reminder, as I read somewhere that it takes 20 minutes to get back to where you were if you’re interrupted. So this idea of like right if you like, let me just check Facebook real quick. Oh, let me respond to this text now then it like it takes you that much time to get back into the depth of where you were with whatever project you’re working on. And if you think about it, were pulled constantly in so many directions. It’s surprising we get anything done sometimes.

Kat: I absolutely agree. Yeah, that I I don’t know that I’d heard that stat, but anecdotally, it definitely feels true for me on dso Actually, 11 other thing, as you were talking that I was thinking about is so you started your blogged in 2004 which is now 15 years ago. I spoke with the podcast in 2005. Um, and I really more than anyone else, I think whose work I’ve followed regularly. I feel like you are so consistent in your output. And how do you do that while preserving your own energy and not getting burnt out?

Kimberly: That’s such a great question. And Kat, it really is one of those things where it’s a constant battle sounds harsh, but it’s a constant struggle. You know of how to encourage others to bask in self care and find tranquility, you know, without getting burnt out. And so, you know, I think that the big piece honestly for for it and for me, as I’m varied, clear on at the beginning of each month of right now, what are my goals for the month and at the beginning of each week? What are my most important tasks? My MITs and and you do and making sure that I get some movement.

And every day I mean, clearly, walking the dogs is a lot of that, but you know, a yoga or a ballet class or something along those lines, I think really, really helps, because otherwise it’s like if I’m constantly outputting, especially for someone who is more introverted, a highly sensitive person, blah blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, it’s like I really have to protect my time and energy. So for me, it’s really it’s focusing on the inputs and getting clear on what are my goals. And that’s not always easy. I have to say, like even though you know, I have a list of many things I want to dio sometimes gonna be hard to prioritize. And so I’ve basically, you know, for years, the past 20 years of entrepreneurship, I’ve kind of been like Okay, well, what’s you know what’s coming up? So I’ve got a couple online classes that are happening. All right, so you know, getting those workbooks created is an important project, you know. But it’s like, Oh, there’s also some future things that I would like to work on. And if I’m just constantly working on what’s in front of me, like, what are the headlights shining on in the dark? Then I don’t get to see the full vista, and I think that’s an area where I’d really like to focus a bit more of kind of paring down, doing less, but doing it deeper.

Kat: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. And I think there’s, um, there’s a cartoon and I’m not thinking of the name of it off the top of my head. But it’s, uh oh, it’s from I think it’s from that website. Wait. But why? Where he talks about the the urgent versus important quadrants, the maid, the Matrix and and and it’s all about, like why you get so much of the urgent stuff done and not enough of the important stuff done and why it’s it actually should be the opposite and kind of like how to think about it so that you can do things a little bit differently, and I think that’s a huge priority for me as well. It’s like taking a step back versus always, as you were saying earlier, putting out fires

Kimberly: Right, right, that’s no fun. And whenever you find that you’re living your life that way, you just wake up and you’re like, Oh my gosh, that is what my life consists of. That’s no, you know, it’s just like, Oh, that’s what It’s good to hit the pause button and take a step back and reevaluate and really, that’s what I did whenever I realized it was time for me to move on from the yoga studio.

Kat: Yeah, and so can you talk a little bit about that decision? I don’t think we’ve ever actually discussed it. And I’m really interested. I know. It was probably a bit bittersweet for you, you know, having built that business from scratch. But what were some of the things that led you to decide it was time to move on?

Kimberly: You know, it’s interesting. As I would say, It’s like I knew it in my body. I felt it in my body. And I knew that the 10 year least the lease was coming up for renewal, and I knew that there was no way I was gonna renew it. I mean, it was so expensive. And, you know, Thio, um, run that business. And, you know, what’s what’s really great is you know, we we really created, I think an amazing a community and space for people in this space was just gorgeous. Did you ever see it, Kat?

Kat: No, I didn’t, Uh, which was one of the things that you know, when I saw that you had sold to YogaWorks, I was just like, Nooo, I never made it down there.

Kimberly: You know the good thing is, they really kept the vibe of it. But listeners. It’s like you know, they’re chandeliers. There’s it’s, like three stories, 4000 square feet. And then you know, there’s a 2000 square foot one, so half the size one room studio in the Arlington location, but with, like, damn a school paper and, you know, reclaimed wood floors and just a lot of detail. A lot of really sweet attention went into it, and, you know, But I just knew that yoga, in a way, was declining with the numbers, and it was one of those things to for the past years. I was pretty much pro bono and supporting myself. You know, by seeing part time clients and, you know, it’s like when you’re doing so much, you’re giving so much of your, um, finances. You are.

You know, I kind of din’t have any sort of free time. I would teach on Thanksgiving me and a few other teachers, you know, to raise money so others might eat. And then I would, you know, teach on Christmas Eve to give people a space before the holiday. And, you know, It’s just like when you’re giving so much and you’re getting so little back. I began to feel like the giving tree, and that was just cut down to a stump and I had nothing else left.

And, you know, I knew that I was not going to be able to sign another lease. I just in my heart could not do it. Could we have found the financial means? Sure, yes, we could have continued, but I just felt like it was just It was time for me to move on. And so it was really great. You know, I was introduced to the CEO of the company, and then we were in communication for many, many, many months, and it just happened that they wanted to move into the DC Metropolitan area, and so it worked out. I mean, it could not have been better timing, and what was perfect for me is that the studio kept going as it wasthe. Like all the teachers kept their jobs. All the employees cut their jobs like you know, so they really did a wonderful job I think of trying to bring, you know, keep the Tranquil Space feel while turning it into a YogaWorks kind of branded studio.

And then, you know, for many months, like probably for another year, I still taught regular mindfulness class there and would practice there some. And then I just found that it it just didn’t feel right anymore. I think it was time for me to let the space, you know, be the space that it is and that it was becoming. And, you know, it was time for me probably to move on like I still teach, like all I’m gonna teach him a workshop that I lied annually there, you know, within the next few weeks. And, um so that’s, you know, sweet. And I love seeing people that, you know, some people I’ve known since my living room whenever I had the studio there. But, you know, I feel like just circle back to really answer your question. I feel like you know it in your bones when you’re like, I can’t do this anymore. And when I realize that and I realized it was time to move on, you really have Thio, um, begin to dismantle in whatever way you can, because otherwise you’re kind of living a lie, you know, and it’s not fair to you. It’s not fair to others. And whether or not that’s a relationship you’ve outgrown and to me, really the relationship to the studio, Um, but also, you know, a city you’ve outgrown or a project you’ve outgrown. When it’s like man, you just don’t feel it in your body anymore. It’s almost like, hurts thinking about it or going to it or working on it. Then I think it’s really it’s never easy, but it’s important to take that step back and and make those changes.

Kat: Yeah, I love that so much so as you’ve been kind of talking about this idea of feeling it in your bones, what I’ve been thinking about is, um, you know, I feel like historically I was a very kind of neurotic, very in my head, over thinking everything type of person, and then the last few years, in part because I had a really good therapist who helped me kind of ground myself more in my body and through practices like yoga, meditation, et cetera. I I feel like I am so much more sensitive to what my body is trying to tell me that I used to be. And I suspect that in your case, you you are probably compared to the average person way more aware just because you have that yoga background of what’s happening in your body and when something doesn’t feel right. Whereas I think the tendency can be a times to, you know, find these sort of rational or intellectual justifications for things that just aren’t working anymore.

Kimberly: Oh, absolutely. We’re great at talking ourselves out of things and be like, Oh, it’s just easier to stay in this relationship or, you know, this partnership or this business or whatever. And yet I think it’s always good, you know? Ask yourself is Is this still serving me? Is this who I am now? Like you know, we grow and we change from year to year, month, a month, day to day. And, um, it’s always good, I think, to do our best to acknowledge and honor that.

Kat: Yeah, I love that so much. So one of the things I think would also be helpful for my audience is to hear a little bit about kind of how you make space in your life for creative play on what that looks like on a regular basis, whether that’s daily weekly monthly. Um, because I feel like in the time that I followed you, I’m just very aware of your ability to set aside time for these things. I know you’re very inter art journaling. Um, I know when you travel, you take watercolor classes and things like that, and I think all of those things are so important. And yet I know so many adults who can’t quite figure out how to fit them into there. You know, daily schedule alongside all the all of the things we supposedly have to do or that are supposedly more important, right?

Kimberly: Right. Well, I thank you for that, because I do find it to be an absolutely critical part of my lifestyle. And you know listeners, it doesn’t mean you have to go take a watercolor class. Even though that was super duper fun on. Everyone who’s coming on the Paris retreats in June gets to work without watercolor artist, and I’m so excited because watercolor easy. But the reason I say all this is that it doesn’t have to be a classy one that you take. Everything we do can be done in a creative way. The way we get trust in the morning. You know what we cook, what we put in our morning smoothie. I mean, all these sorts of things are an an exercise of creativity.

But the thing that really sticks out to me and that I try to incorporate is a weekly artist date, right? So the idea behind it, it’s from the work of Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way, which I highly recommend. And, you know, it’s one of her tools. And she says every week to go on a solo excursion that nurtures your creativity. Now sometimes, too. It’s like, Take a friend. It’s not the end of the world. So you’re breaking Julia’s rule. But I think it’s it can be a wonderful way to accomplished two things. Catch up with a friend and go see an art exhibit. And so, like, for example, this weekend’s upcoming weekend is all about artist dates. So I’m going to go see then that cracker that I’m going to have afternoon tea with a girlfriend, someone who I actually went to college with. And so I’ve known her. I think we figured out, like 25 years, which is crazy. And then the next day I’m taking the bus up to New York City to see a show on Broadway and coming back that same day. Oh my God, I’m so excited.

Kat: But I feel like you do that from time to time, right? You’ll do a little day trip up here.

Kimberly: Yeah, and I wouldn’t say it’s like, easy, you know, because it’s, say, nine hours on a bus and one day. But you know, I get there and back and I don’t miss work. And I don’t miss too much of my dogs and you know, it’s more economical. But anyway, so, yeah, it’s an an entire weekend, really, of nourishing that part of myself even going to a matinee. You know any movie it’s like by yourself or with a friend. I think that’s an artist date. It’s just anything that takes you out of the day to day or doing something the same way all the time. I mean, there’s something to that right of having like removing Ah, too much decision fatigue and having like set routines and rituals. That’s great. So not so much talking about that. But you know, when life feels a little like rinse and repeat, it’s like, Okay, how do I siro in a little color? Little flare, little sparkle, a little love?

Kat: Yeah, I think that’s great. And it’s kind of this idea of freedom within structure, Right? So there are certain things that you certain processes and, um, you know, time management practices or whatever it is that you have figured out, too, you know, get your life set in a way where it runs smoothly and sustainably. But then, once you have that groundwork laid, I feel like it’s actually easier to find the space to do some of those other fun, kind of off the beaten path types of things. And your movie example especially resonates with me because we, uh, we had an Alamo Drafthouse open, um, near me in Brooklyn, not that long ago, and one of my favorite things in life is to just go to a movie there by myself, whether it’s something that’s new or Sometimes they show old movies, and it’s just so there’s just something really nice about sitting in a theater, having to focus on one thing for two hours not having space in your brain for, you know. Oh, I’m supposed to be doing this right now. Or I should have done that earlier And just being right there where you’re you know, where you are, Um, and kind of absorbed in what you’re doing.

Kimberly: Yeah, absolutely. It’s such a fun thing. I remember the very first movie that I went and saw solo and matinee was Legally Blonde, right? So, like, what was that? 20 years ago? 18 years ago? And it was oddly empowering. And I did feel super creative. I mean, it was just, like fun to do something different in the middle of the day because you could And, um, yeah, I just I remember that moment vividly.

Kat: That’s amazing. And legally blonde is actually my favorite movies. So it was You’re right. It was 18 years ago. Is 2001 that it came out? So, um yeah, so I appreciate that act a lot. Uh um, So moving on to a slightly different topic, I was wondering if you could talk. So you named, um, the artist’s way, which I feel like it’s having a kind of, at least among people. I know it seems to be seeing a resurgence in interest recently. I mean, I think it’s always been very popular, but I’ve noticed more conversations about it just within my own circles recently. But beyond that, what are some of the tools and resource is that have had the biggest impact on your life and work?

Kimberly: You know the other book that I always recommend, and it’s a business book and it relates to something I said earlier, is called The E-Myth. The entrepreneurial myth, the E Stands for entrepreneur and the big thing about that book again that probably came out 25 years ago. It’s kind of consider the small business Bible, but he says, if you have a business that can’t run without you, you have a business or you have a job you don’t have a business on. And he’s the one he really emphasizes working on your business rather than just in it. And you know what I mean by that is like, say, you’re a coach if you’re constantly coaching there constantly, you know, doing workshops or things like that, that’s great. But you’re working in the business versus on it like strategic planning. Looking at the numbers, you know things along those lines. It just feel a little bit more bigger picture rather than, you know, baking the pies if you’re, you know, running a bakery.

Kat: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Kimberly: So I love that one. And then I also love Gail McMeekin, um, I’ve interviewed her on the podcast a few times, and I actually worked with her as a business mentor over the years. She’s also a therapist, but she wrote 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women. I really like that. And then, you know, there aren’t necessarily podcasts that I listen to, which is funny, having had a podcast. Now for 14 years, I’m not a big podcast consumer, but I know there’s so many great ones out there, and then I’m also just like a huge book person, like I try to read Su a month, which may not sound like a lot, but that’s kind of my overarching goal. And you know, my pig thing Now I think is learning more about zero waste learning more about minimalism. Um, you know, kind of creativity. And the every day is an ongoing passion. I love like Flo magazine and Bella Grace magazine and veg News. And yeah, so there’s a lot of lot of places where I gain inspiration.

Kat: Yeah, that’s so funny. Cause VegNews and Bella Grace are two for me as well. Um, I recently attended this vision board workshop. Um, that also involved breath work beforehand, and everyone kind of brought magazines, and there were a bunch of Bella Grace issues. I feel like that’s where most of the images on my vision board ended up coming from. So it’s such Oh, my gosh. It’s such a beautiful magazine.

Kimberly: Well, and you brought a really great magazine last year to the workshop, The New Year’s salon. Why was it was that Happiness, I think.

Kat: Oh, yeah. Okay. I think itwas I’m trying to know where I would have gotten it. That was beautiful. Yeah. I mean, any time I’m in, I love when I go to a bookstore and they have a section of those just beautiful kind of independent, usually a little bit more expensive as far as the cover price magazines. That is just one of the great thrills of my life and honestly, comparing it to, you know, even the ones that run you till, like, $20. I feel like there are very few things I find as satisfying as just flipping through a beautiful magazine like that.

Kimberly: Absolutely. They are work works of art, and they really are, You know, they cost up to the price of a hardcover book. But they’re so beautiful.

Kat: Yeah, Yeah, for sure. And a lot of them have kind of, you know, little things you can pull out or worksheets you can do and things like that, which I always appreciate to is I’m a big worksheet person. Right? Um so one other thing I wanted to chat a little bit about, if you have the time, is, um, how you are thinking about your goals for 2020. If this differs at all from how you thought about gold planning in the past and any advice you might have for people who are thinking about kind of what the next year is gonna look like for them?

Kimberly: Yeah, you know, it’s I haven’t sat down and done my planning yet my ideas to do it over the holidays, which, you know, maybe, um, we’ll have already happened by the time this airs. But you know, what I tend to do is I sit down with, like, a beautiful page from, say, Bella greasers, You know, something that I’ve pulled out with, like, a black Sharpie. And then I will write out, Kind of like, OK, what are the things I want for myself from, you know, releasing to podcasts a month, to releasing one blog post a week, to, you know, maybe getting a book proposal to my agent. You know, things along these lines that are bigger picture and I’ll write it on that and then I’ll post it in my home.

And then I’ll also put it into my planner, my daybook so that I always have it with me, and then also what I do is I take those and then I put them into my monthly layout. So every month, when I’m like setting my say January goals, look back at my big picture for the year and be like, Okay, if my goal is to say, read 24 books. Okay, then I put in the two books there, um, to release 52 podcasts or 26 podcast episodes. If I’m going to be weekly or biweekly. Okay, then I need to produce X amount that month. How many ballet classes I want to take on? You know, those sorts of things?

I try to get quite specific, you know, number wise, but I think really big picture. It’s not so much business goals. It’ll be like, Okay, released two collections for the tranquility clothing line. But it’s more of like, you know, lifestyle, you know? Ah, you know, going to see X and concerts, or, you know, um, traveling to Paris, you know things along those lines, and I’ll put those in, and then I just try to see, Okay, where do they fit in for the year? Like I said, I haven’t sat down yet to do 2020 but that is my overall kind of way that I planned a really big picture and then try to funnel it down into Okay, When do I do these and what are the action steps associated with them?

Kat: Yeah, I love that so much, and I think because it it can be really hard when you’re thinking about, especially if it’s a large goal, something like, let’s say, writing a book. It could be very, uh, easy to kind of get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task at hand. Whereas if you break something down into workable pieces and then assign actual, you know, dates that you’re gonna have the time to work on them, you know, it just it gets you some momentum. And it’s just a lot easier to see kind of how you’re going to accomplish that final task.

Um, which brings me to another question, which is when you get off track on something, What are some of the ways that you get yourself back on track? So let’s say you had expected to do a particular task on Let’s say there’s a week where you’d expect it to do a certain number of things on, and then you end up being sick or something like that. That’s beyond your control. How do you then kind of re motivate, um, and then kind of hit the reset button so that you could move forward again.

Kimberly: Well, often I’ll re-evaluate it and be like, Is this still necessary, you know? Okay, so I missed the goal. I didn’t do X amount of classes that week, you know, like, say, you know or whatever, because I wasn’t feeling well. Um, no, I know that’s not something that you can like, pick back up or, um, you know, fix, um, like a project. But it’s like, OK, so this week, you know, since I’m coming off of being a little behind and not feeling very well, I’m gonna actually take my gold down, maybe a notch, and focus on recovering, you know, because sometimes it’s like, you look at it and yeah, you wanted to launch this project or finish this chapter in your book, and it just didn’t happen. And I think the first thing is really being gentle with yourself and then looking at it. Is this really something I want? Because sometimes I find that I will have tasks or projects that I just take for a month, a month, a month? You know, it’s like, um and if it’s not happening and I’m not touching pieces of it than it may mean it needs to go by the wayside. Or it’s something that I save for later this year or even the following year. And I think being gentle and realistic with ourselves is really important, but also holding ourselves accountable. And that’s where even having an accountability buddy or announcing like I am going to finish Chapter X by the end of this month and share it with you on the Blogger. You know, something like that because then there’s something about being accountable that I think keeps us a little bit more on track.

Kat: Yeah, I love this so much, and it really speaks to kind of where I’ve been the past few months. So I think you and I have talked a little bit about it over email. But I just I just had a really kind of challenging second half of the year, and part of that was being sick, Um, for almost two months straight, and that threw basically every goal I had kind of completely off track. And so one of the things that I’ve been trying to do is exactly what you say and be gentle with myself and almost forgive myself while understanding that forgiveness isn’t really warranted. Because I didn’t really do anything wrong by not being productive. I’m trying to nonetheless kind of forgive myself for the fact that I am ending up this year with several of my bigger goals kind of not anywhere near where I thought they would be on. And I think it’s it can be a challenge sometimes to find that balance between as you say, gentleness and acceptance and also accountability and ensuring that, you know, you’re not You’re giving yourself grace. But you’re also not like making excuses, right?

Kimberly: Right? Yeah. It’s a fine line rights, you know, sometimes to know the difference between the two.

Kat: Yeah. So, looking ahead to 2020 what are some of the things that you have coming up that people might want to join you for in the case of retreats or sign up for? I know you usually do these seasonal live Tranquility du Jour events that are digital So anyone can join from anywhere in the world. So what’s on the horizon?

Kimberly: Yeah. So Tranquility du Jour Live, I have that coming up January 5th, and then I’ll have one in March in June in September. And the idea behind that is, you know, we just kind of gathers a community on line. It’s usually via YouTube live, and you can sign up If you go to Kimberly wilson dot com just going for offerings. You’ll find TJ live and you know, and it’s just, you know, and then you sign up and then you get the the private link, and it’s it’s just a fun event in a way to kind of look at okay, what are some tools and tranquility tools for this new season? And, um, yeah, so that I love to do, and I have been doing this for years. They just became virtual virtual meaning, Um ah, kind of online videos. In the past few years, they used to be telephone calls back in the day. Yeah, but it’s, you know, it’s so funny.

It’s a really sweet way to connect with the community. And then, yeah, the only retreats I have this year or Paris, which sold out within a few minutes, so that is completely sold out in June. But then I’m doing one to Provence, end of May, early June and that we still have a few spots left. And so that’s it for retreats for me for next year, I’ll also be creating a new course like, um, that is based on the six tenants of Tranquility does yours on online course. So that’s something kind of fun to be watching for. And then also little regroup, rebrand of tranquility, really taking the clothing line and trimming it down a lot to a certain amount of essentials and all in black.

Kat: Oh, wow. Oh, my gosh. Well, that’s exciting.

Kimberly: Yeah, yeah, I’m like, I mean, it’s our best seller, es and then B, you know, it’s like we had 16 colors and it’s just so much. And, um, you know, I think that paradox of choice is hard. And so let’s just make it easy for people. And so that’s the plan. So that will be coming down the pike in 2020.

Kat: That’s exciting. Wow, all of that sounds amazing. I’m especially jealous of people who are joining you for Provence and Paris. Unfortunately, the Paris retreat is the same weekend that one of my best friends is getting married. So shout out to my friend Amanda. But you’re preventing me from going on retreat. Um uh, looking at that, she’s getting married somewhere That is not super convenient to fly to. And so I thought about it and realized I would be just completely run down if I tried to go to Provence and then immediately, you know, hop a flight back to the US.

And so I’m hopeful something in 2021 will work with my schedule, but all of that looks amazing. So hopefully someone listening will be able to grab a spot for Provence, at the very least. But Kimberly, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. As I was saying at the beginning of our conversation, I always get so much out of our talks and, um and I’m obviously a huge fan of your podcast tranquility to use your, which I’ve been listening to, as I said, for 13 years. I think it’s right around this time of year that I that I found it. I love it.

Kimberly: Thanks for listening!

Kat: It’s the best. No, it’s wonderful. And it’s just um, I don’t know. You bring such an interesting combination of perspectives and, um, I just I don’t know. I feel like the podcast. And I think I mentioned this to you not that long ago. I was going back and listening to some old episodes from back when I originally started listening. And it kind of has this, you know, a consistent feel. And yet it just feels like everything is still so relevant, which, I think is, you know, is a testament to kind of how how like authentic your brand is and how resonant it is.

Kimberly: Thank you. Yeah. It’s like does how to self care or mindfulness or creativity ever really go out of style, you know? So I think you’re right.

Kat: Of course, I think it’s things that we need even more now, especially in our kind of over connected, very digital heavy, heavy world. So thank you. Thank you so much for your time today. I really, really appreciate it.

Kimberly: Thanks for having me. It’s always a treat to chat with you.


So that’s this week’s episode of How to Be Creative. As always, you can find show notes, including a complete episode transcript and links to everything discussed at howtobecreative.org.

One thought on “Episode 7: Creative Tranquility with Kimberly Wilson

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