Kimberly Wilson is the creative director and founder of Tranquil Space, one of the top 25 yoga studios in the world, as well as the author of “Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat” and “Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play.” Miri McDonald, an expert on organizational development and strategic communications, recently spoke with Kimberly about what inspired the book and how we can all bring a little more tranquility to our work lives. Follow Kimberly on Twitter @KimberlyWilson.

Who did you write “Tranquilista” for?

Tranquilista provides tips on living a more tranquil lifestyle for people staying home with tots, launching a new product or service, or working within a fortune 500 company. The idea is to infuse doses of tranquility into all you do, and still be productive and passionate. The key is connecting to your spirit, spending time in reflection, setting goals, leaving a legacy, and doing it all in style!

The latest Gallup study on engagement found that 30% of respondents are engaged, 52% are not engaged, and 18% are actively disengaged. How can the Tranquilista way of life help people feel more engaged at work?

Take responsibility for where you are. If you don’t want to be there and you’re not engaged, it brings other people down and depletes the organization’s mission and resources. Pursue your passion. Ask for what you need. Constantly challenge yourself. Release what you do not have control over and focus on what you do have control over. This simple measure can make a big difference with releasing frustrations and shifting perspective.

How can CEOs and other leaders within organizations use the Tranquilista philosophy to inspire and engage their workforce?

Give kudos. Human beings are delicate creatures — we need to feel appreciated. Ask “how can I help you?” and “what resources do you need to do your job better?” Reaching out, regular check-ins, and paying attention to what is going on outside your office is critical. Small tokens of acknowledgment go a long way toward creating engagement. Be a shining example of what you are seeking in your team. Ask for what you want vs. pointing out what isn’t working.

Obesity is on the rise and office workers are at the high risk given how much time they spend sitting in a chair at a computer. Add the high level of stress that comes with many jobs, as well as the commuting, and office work can look like a health hazard. What’s your advice for infusing yoga and physical activity into the workplace?

Get active . . . now! Walk during lunch. If it’s an option, walk or bike to work. Join a nearby gym and get a buddy to help hold you accountable. Take regular stretch breaks throughout the day and even a walk around the block can do a lot to clear your head. Pack healthy lunch and snack choices. Skip sodas and sip organic teas or water with mint leaves instead. These little things can make a big difference toward your overall wellbeing.

What words of wisdom can you share specifically for human resource professionals in terms of their ability to use Tranquilista as well as any other yoga philosophies to make their companies better places to work?

  • Practice compassion first and foremost. People need to feel appreciated and a part of what is going on within the organization — not like cogs on a wheel.
  • Practice satya (truthfulness). Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Practice svadyaya (self-study). What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What is working? What isn’t? Constantly assess and improve.
  • Pursue your passion. This helps ensure that what you are doing for a living fuels you well beyond a paycheck.
  • Make a difference. Be fully present with your team, clients, vendors, board, etc. Leave the world a better place due to your role in it.

Image credit, shironosov, via iStock

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5 Responses to “Kimberly Wilson, on how to bring tranquility to your worklife”

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