Sunday, February 05, 2012

rose-colored glasses

image courtesy of psychology today

 since reading yesterday's comment regarding my "deluxe lifestyle," i've pondered clarifing confusion. putting myself out there over the years as a business owner, author, and blogger, i've gotten much better moving on from the sting of not being able to please everyone. however, these comments have stuck with me. probably due to the gross misinterpretation of "my wonderful life."

i forget that readers pop in and out, not knowing the history of tranquility du jour or my work for that matter. having written this blog since 2004, i've shared so many ups and downs, lessons learned, and challenges. this blog has become my muse and my nearly daily source of self-expression. to have this safe space so misunderstood saddens me. 

without going through the commenter's frustrations with tranquility du jour, i wanted to highlight a few truths de tranquility to clear up any misunderstandings (and will be sure to add to my "start here"  section to help alleviate future confusion). 

my week in review is created to capture the various tasks involved in overseeing five organizations, going to graduate school, serving on the board of pigs animal sanctury and balancing it with self-care and creative expression. also, it helps moi see that things got done that week despite a to-do list that feels overwhelming at times. i'm sure many can relate to that feeling!

as a small business owner who works 60+ hours/week, i love balancing the heaps of admin with healthy doses of self-care and encourage others to do the same. after 13 years of being self-employed, i have yet to get a set day off so i seek to infuse life with special small touches such as hot baths, monthly pedis, and yoga. hmmmm, i hear a tranquilolosophy piece coming on: balancing productivity and tranquility!

oh, and to clarify, owning a yoga studio does not make one rich financially. nor does running a tiny locally sewn eco-clothing line, leading a few e-courses or retreats a year, or volunteering as the director of a non-profit. it does allow me to engage in my passions daily and, for that, i feel very wealthy.

may i recommend we all seek communities (blogs, podcasters, authors, teachers, etc.) that resonate with who we are and who we want to become versus criticizing others' efforts? stop by tranquility du jour to read about my sadness, my dreams, my challenges, and lessons learned, but please don't express disdain over my efforts to share inspiration. and please know that all my musings will be tinted with "over the top" rose-colored glasses. because . . . that's how i like it. bisous. x

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Charity Lamprecht said...

Pity, those of us who appreciate, adore and look up to you don’t say it often enough. YOU ARE AMAZING. Those with the negativity, ignorance and misunderstandings seem to be the ones to speak loudest. I would like to apologize to you for not speaking sooner, more frequently and louder!
In the end, opinions from others don’t matter.
Do what you love, love yourself. Know that you are loved.

SnapDragon said...

I would just like to say that i love your blog, I read it every day. I also love tranquilista and I can honestly say that since stumbling across your blog last year I have been nothing but impressed and inspired! I genuinely use you as a role model, since reading your book I have started my own business,ove come my depression, taken up yoga again and I use your ideas and advice to help me when I am feeling down. Thanks to your book and blog I know I have so much more to give and I am just getting started.
I hope my own little handmade gift business and other projects can be as sucessful and allow me a busy and varied life as you have worked so hard for. Your right you can't please every one, but i believe that your life style is one to aspire to and praise and not one to condem and pour negativity towards.


Recy Vintage & Creations said...

I enjoy the things you have to say. Your posts make me feel like I want to pay more attention to the good things in my life. And, I feel like that is what you are doing. You aren't boasting about where you've been or how much money you make. You are simply putting a positive spin on life, which EVERYONE should!

I would much rather read an upbeat blog like yours than one of the variety that the comment was. No thank you on that negativity.

Jerri, Founder Nothin' But Premium Snack Bars said...

Hello Kimberly,
There will always and forever be a tribe of people wanting to point their unknowing fingers at someone who is living a life that they don't understand or envy.
This comment is coming from a woman who has had her life changed as a result of your blog and podcast. Over five years ago I began listening to your podcast and started taking it all in. From your work, I started listening to other people, picking up new books, and thinking in a different way. I shed the lack mentality I grew up with. I let go of the limited thoughts that always told me that I could only go so far. Fast forward a few years and I've started my own business that is rapidly becoming very successful, I've taken a leap of faith, and I'm finally living a life that I'm thrilled about.
So, for all of the negative people who have yet to know how to Thumper themselves, they will have to just live with the fact that there are people in the world who make a difference and at the same time do what they love. LONG SENTENCE.
But, you have no idea how much you've changed my life and I thank you for your work. Please don't stop because for everyone you touch, the ripple effect will reach hundreds of thousands of others.
Take care,

Mami China said...

I have been coming to this blog for almost a year and have appreciated it. I am not a yogi, I am a grad student (also) and a mother to two little ones so the fact that you post about your wonderful life makes me want to strive to also pursue my dreams and goals. I understand that the first commenter was expressing their dissatisfaction with the tone of the blog and I mean this person no harm when I say that maybe it's about looking at Kimberley's blog, as I do, like a blueprint/ strategy on how to live your best life...then instead of negatively commenting on what you perceive as someone else "deluxe lifestyle" strive to find and create your own. That's what I do. Thanks Kimberley for your inspiration. I missed your SF bay area workshop but next time you're in town I am going to strive to be there.

Lexi said...

Kimberely - you are ALWAYS an inspiration ... your week in reviews are benchmarks for me to think creatively about how I want to live my life. In fact - they remind me that self care is essential in life! Life is about choices ... I'm sorry that one reader chose to cast judgment ... I - for one - do not share those views. My life is better having crossed paths with you and your hip tranquil lifestyle! Love ya!

Kelsey said...

I am only 20 years-old, but I must let you know that for the past year that I have been reading your blog, your books, and exploring your different websites that you have inspired me. Not only in my university ventures, but in my plans for my future and what I want to do with my life. You have become a source of inspiration not only to me, but to so many other young and aging beautiful women. In the words of my peers, don't let the haters get you down. Naysayers are always going to naysay. Thank you for everything you do!

Cass said...

I guess I'm the contrarian in the crew. I can both admire Ms. Wilson's accomplishment's and appreciate the sentiment *behind* the commenters post about feeling a sense of inadequacy. Great to see the author of this blog respond to the comments. Even if a bit defensive... I think it's a fair discussion especially since this is clearly a venue for her to promote the her products as well as her prose. It doesn't seem unreasonable to have all perspectives out there. Anyone who wants to live through their blog should expect it. Some of us don't have the pleasure of knowing Ms. Wilson personally and only by the personna in her blog which is - to quote Kimberly Wilson herself - over the top AND seems to represent a person who is BOTH very hard working as well as very privileged. Some of us come to yoga because we are struggling with profound issues in our life - physical, emotional, etc. and aren't always looking to read about someone who's lives and loves seem so perfect!!! That doesn't really inspire me either so my sentiments are closer to the first comment. That the author shares her struggles at time is much more inspiring than reading about the 500 things she was able to accomplish in a week. I would rather read about someone's emotional ups and downs and how they dealt with setbacks than have a sparkly bow tied (again to quote Ms. Wilson) around it all because that just doesn't speak to me either. Yes I can and do read other blogs and saying if you don't like it leave is fair enough but maybe talking about these reflections amongst this community will be even more helpful to some readers who may be struggling with their own reactions. We're all different. I don't think a blog has to be a venue to just give steady props to the author or to talk about how wonderful life is all the time. I am certain Kimberly is amazing but we're all human too so can we just be honest in our reactions? The bad with the good? And let that be ok? Really? I'd like to know who the real person is behind any blog I read, not just the image that is put out there to impress.

Kenya, your self-care bon vivant said...

hey lovely!
hearing from critics of various types never feels good. you've handled it fabulously.

often people feel that another's success diminishes their own, or possibly limits their opportunity for future success. and that's a pity; this world is so expansive, brimming with all the energy needed to please our hearts. hopefully they will sail through that phase and into their own stream of wellbeing.

in the meantime, please know how much we appreciate your exuberant, flower-scented, tea-tinged, sparkly soul! here's one of many mentions on my own blog that show an inkling of my gratitude for all that you take time to share:

you bring the pink to so many of our lives! XOXO, kenya

PS: have we really been enjoying your musings for EIGHT years?!? oh my!

Scribbling Change said...

today we lost a loved one, a kitty that we've had for 15+ years. this post may be disjointed as we just buried her. at the same time i realized i have not said it either. i've not commented in the past. kimberly, you TRULY are an inspiration. i adore the animal love that you give out (we are rescuers) and the energy that life can be ok doing the right thing. don't ever stop being you. you do a ton of amazing stuff out in the world that you don't even know about. the inspiration that you give is positive and right this second that is something in this little part of the universe that is much needed. thank you so much for what you do.

Nicole said...

I can relate a great deal to the original comment (as well as Cass's, here) to the point where I had to leave the "community" entirely. I stopped listening to the podcasts and reading the blog for a few years (YEARS!!) because the "annoying" outweighed the beneficial. Most specifically, when Kimberly began learning French and she began requently replacing "me" with "moi" and so on. I felt it was quite pretentious. Rather than gripe, I simply exercised my right to not come to her site. Last summer, however, after some changes in my life, I sought out what used to be Hip Tranquil Chick and spent time catching up to years of podcast and learned that what used to strike me as obnoxious pontification was just what I needed to hear at that point. I was changing and I was happy to find that what Kimberly has been offering all of these years was finally what I was looking for. She's become a household name here, only I call her Miss Piggy in a very affectionate way (due not only to her spurts of French, but her love of decadence and, of course, piggies!) and my husband knows JUST who I'm talking about and listens intently to what I've learned. Kimberly keeps me inspired to reach for beautiful and extravagant as well as pampering myself and pulling my karmic weight in the world around me.

So as you can see, I've been on both sides of the discussion and can understand what both sides are saying. I, however, practiced the idea of changing myself rather than asking someone else to change. During the time that I wasn't in a place to receive Kimberly's message, I went somewhere else in efforts to find a better fit for me, where I was. We all have that ability. If you haven't found what you need here, there's nothing wrong with continuing to look elsewhere.

And maybe someday we'll see you back!

Cass said...

Ah Nicole - Thank you. YOU are the inspiration. I think Puglet and I need to follow your lead. The OMs and Mois, and chez this and that don't work for me either for same reasons - seems affected/pretentious. Hard sometimes to filter through that to find what I'm seeking so you are exactly right - I should check out of here until i can appreciate it more. Just want to say too that in the midst of financial woes like I've never seen before among family and friends of COURSE I envy trips abroad and second homes. Gave up the mani pedis, massages, and highlights and lots of other things including yoga passes to make ends meet when my job ended. I don't begrudge other's their self care but also didn't enjoy the constant reminder of little pleasure that many of us have had to give up, at a time when I'm trying to focus on the many blessings that still remain.

Hi, I'm Caren said...

How is it possible to bash someone who has given so much of herself FOR FREE for so many years without asking anything in return?

Kimberly is as authentic and thoughtful as they come, and clearly she has provided value to each of you, or you wouldn't be here, complaining that she gets more out of her life than you do.

Envy is so unbecoming. If you don't like your life, change it. But if you would rather indulge in self-pity, ttry not to bring everyone else down with you.

Michi said...

Kimberly, I think there is no need to clarify your intentions. Even if this blog was about your wonderful, wealthy life (which I think it's not) you don't need to apologize for it. Even if your yoga studio and clothes line had made you rich, you should be proud of it, not ashamed. You've work very hard for it. So you have a life you love, good for you, girl! That you share it with all of us should be regarded as an inspiration, not an offense. Even the things regarded as luxuries can be seen at least as a funny enterteinment (I know I will never have the lifestyle of Gwyneth Paltrow, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a dose of GOOP)

pennywhistler said...

I find your blog very inspirational. I have been reading it for just over a year and have done a couple of your courses too. I take inspiration from your blog and just ignore the bits that don't 'speak to me'.

I think we blog readers need to remember that most blogs are a portrait of the best of someone's life (and who wants to read someone whinging every day). We don't always see all the work and sacrifices that go into making that life.

I think if a blog upsets you than just stop reading it or take a break from it. I stopped reading a craft blog because the blogger was a lady of leisure with a rich husband. Every month she would spend thousands on top-of-the-range equipment and designer materials. I felt bad because I could never afford the materials needed to follow her projects. And as a single woman working in a non-profit sector I was never going to earn enough to afford her lifestyle! In the end I realised that there are other blogs out there that suited me better because they were inspirational, but also attainable.

Cass said...

Still don't get some of the defensive reactions to the posts from me and a couple of others. Why on earth can't someone admit they are struggling with feelings of self doubt and envy and inadequacy without getting bashed by the other readers? Supporting a blogger you admire is understandable but for those who were more nuanced in their comments, including Ms. Wilson's post, I say thanks. Telling someone to get lost when they are honestly struggling to make sense of their own reactions? Really yogis? Really? Best you can do?

Sarah said...


Thank you for all you do. It isn’t easy to share so much of yourself with complete strangers on a daily basis. You have inspired me in so many ways! I have not missed a podcast in the last year. I have read both your books and passed them along to my sister as well because I found them so helpful. I check your blog daily because it is the best pick-me-up at my fingertips. I love hearing about what you accomplished each week. It inspires me and helps me to think of ways to take care of myself, go on artist dates, and make the most of each day. I love that you are unique and make no apologies for having your own personality complete with sparkles and pugs and Paris! I’m sorry that envy has reared its ugly head on this blog. And I hope the people who feel that way can find more reasons to be happy with their own lives, so they don’t feel envious of other people who are only seeking to make the world a better place.



waterdancer said...

I certainly struggle with feelings of inadequacy and I find myself reacting negatively to certain things on many blogs and websites. I avoid things and places that make me feel really bad about myself and realize it has more to do with me often than the writer. There are certain post that I skim here and podcasts that I skip because I am not interested in the subject matter or I find the answers too simplistic for my present circumstances. My life has taken a downturn in the past couple of years due to unemployment and some health issues. I have to indulge in the small things like a special type of tea, hot bath and the occassional pedicure. I don't love sparkly bows, pigs, vintage clothes and all things French but reading about it has made me more aware of what I do love and who I am and who I aspire to be. Steve Jobs warned about wasting time trying to live someone elses life. I think that can apply to envying what we perceive as someones fantastic life, particularly when we only see part of it. I am sure Kimberly left off all of the downsides of running a business such as taxes, permits, insurance along with the challenge of trying to fit in the normal tasks of life like laundry and grocery shopping. That is not the blog she wants to write and I respect that even while feeling a bit envious of some of the things she gets to do that my present circumstances don't allow.

Samantha said...

Interesting discussion thread. I'm actually SO relieved to see people admit on here that the sparkly, pink, fake-french accent of this blog can be super annoying at times. I thought I was the only one! Phew!! My other pet peeve is bloggers that constantly post pictures of themselves - especially with that damn hipstamatic lens. The narcissm drives me bonkers. I ALSO understand others might find it charming though. That's how the world is - good with the bad. Nothing is perfectly the way we want it all the time. One reason I don't blog is because I don't want my life and every word I write exposed to that scrutiny but it's wonderful that people feel inspired by reading about another's success and seemingly fulfilling (if extremely full) life. I too have had financial and other stress this past year so I appreciate the folks who have acknowledged their struggles and decided to post even if the comment isn't all shiny and positive. I think we all, if we are honest with ourselves, have these struggles with ourselves at times and we don't need to constantly impose it on others but maybe sharing it is a way to work through our humanness and hopefully find some relief because carrying around envy, sadness, stress and bitterness is painful and just not a very enjoyable way to live. So rather than criticize the 'negativity' I want to offer a dose of compassion and to those who shared. Peace.

MODERN Prairie Girl said...

So beautifully said. I adore hearing about all of the Happenings in your full beautiful life. Je t'aime!

Nancy C. said...

Kimberly, I love your blog and everything you do is so inspiring! It has changed my life tremendously and I am thankful that you exist. Sometimes people have different perspectives, but that is their journey. If your work doesn't inspire someone, then they need to take a look at their own lives to see what needs to be changed. YOU ARE FAB! KEEP IT UP!

Sandra de Zilwa said...

I find your "week in review" very inspiring, if a tad intimidating. You must have time management down to an art! I'm a teacher too and when I look at your blog I am reminded that in order to learn and grow, we must push ourselves AND sparkle. I admire how you balance your hard work with joie de vivre. Keep up the rosy, sparkly, good(and at times, bloody hard)work!

Darlynn Nangano said...


You know what a ridiculous fan I am of yours!I googled "cool chics and yoga" prob over a decade ago and stumbled on your blog and have been hooked on you ever since.

I have watched you grow from one studio to many, start a clothing line and a foundation. I have sought advice (which you answered) on books to read in my first management job. Now, that I own my own business...I love the evolution of it all with what you do and what I can relate to. Your classes have been wonderful.

What compelled me to write today is JUST YESTERDAY I read your week of musing and saw what your plans for the weekend was and it made me realize that I have to work on my time management in order to not be compelled to work as much as I do on the weekend.

So, kudos to you and don't listen to anyone else. You are an inspiration to me and I am thankful.

Darlynn @ Little Blog Dress

Grace said...

Good response. My lifestyle is much simpler than yours (holy cow 60+ hours a week) but I always find something inspiring, indeed, as someone who doesn't have a larger income currently (monthly pedis are out) I find most of your offerings to be delighfully simple, such as the DIY projects. I love your aesthetic and find your to do lists inpiring so keep them coming.

miafae said...

Kimberly - you an inspiration. I love that your musings are through rose-colored glasses. Its the very reason I listen to your podcast and read your blog. Boo to the negativity and the know-it-alls that surround us!

Samantha said...

This thread says to me that there are two kinds of people in the world. those who like everything to be spun in a way that is upbeat and positive and those that actually don't mind a little undercurrent of tension or struggle. Personally, I find the unrelenting upbeat comments to be like having weather that is sunny every day. Kind of boring. I like the storm clouds and thunder and rain. Thanks to the 'negative' people for being part of our world too. You give it more atmosphere and I am sticking up for those who have commented on this blog and willingly shared their honest feedback, be it positive or negative rather than just the 'oh kimberly you are amazing' stuff. I'm sure kimberly will find some insights from both. Isn't feedback a form of flattery? shows we're paying attention.

From Drab to Fab said...

Kimberly, I am truly appauled that people would voice such negative opinions here. There are plenty of people bashing negative sights out there in the blogsphere for those of you who, sadely, don't know how to see the world through rose colored glasses, you don't know what you are missing. To quote a Taylor Swift song "People throw rocks at things that shine" and Kimberly, you are the shinyest! I'm so grateful that I get to share in your thoughts and your day to day musings. And your FRENCH! You are and always will be an inspiration, keep it coming! xo Julie

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jenniferbdc said...

However Kimberly's posts resonate with us on an individual level (positive, neutral, or negative), there is an object lesson here for all of us that *should* resonate: the relationship of two fundamental yogic principles--ahimsa (do no harm) and satya (truthfulness).

"One of the challenges, if not confusions, that often happens with practicing satya (truthfulness) and ahimsa (non-harming) is how to balance them. It's important to remember that non-harming is the central practice of the five Yamas, and that the other four Yamas are in service of that.

To not harm or hurt others is the central goal that the others serve. Learning how to delicately balance not lying while not being painfully honest with others is a real art of Yoga. Think of the many situations in life when your so-called truthfulness could cause pain to others, including simple examples such as your comments about a meal served at a friend's home....

If your mind isn't--in the moment--quick enough to artfully maneuver around such a situation, which would you choose, to be painfully honest or marginally honest for the sake of not hurting the other person? Sure, we'd like to be quick-minded enough to do both non-harming and non-lying in perfect balance, but many of us don't yet have the skill of the master, and need to be ever mindful of the most important practice, which is to first and foremost to cause no harm....

If by speaking the truth, another is hurt it ceases to be truth and becomes himsa [harming]."

May our hearts be filled with love. Namaste.

Angela {Phit Chicks} said...

Listen to your fans Kimberly and ignore the ocassional criticism.

You are here to inspire others, and to inspire, you have to lead a life that others would want to live.

It's a good thing that you are portraying a "deluxe life." You should be.

Arienne - Aspiring SSS said...

I guess it really comes down to different strokes for different folks.

We are all unique - what makes us tick, what makes us who we are, what makes us yearn, what makes us happy and what pulls us down is completely different to the next person. That certainly makes life more interesting!

We don't have any control over others - only ourselves - our own reactions and our own thoughts (bloody hard sometimes!).

It can be hard to understand someone's surface actions (positive and negative) without knowing the whole person.

We all have negative reactions to situations, but the growth and learning comes from looking within and asking ourselves why we reacted that way. At least, I've gained a huge amount of insight into myself through this and have ended up reacting less to people and things including, but not limited to (heehee) my partner (who cannot multi-task to save his life - while I am a multi-tasking queen - yes I can listen to a podcast, cook dinner, play with the dog and make a to-do list all at the same time - maybe I need to learn a little bit of mindfulness...), my mum (who is the best woman in my life but who could bring out the worst in my temperament) and that guy beeping his horn at me in traffic...

I really enjoy Kimberly's attitude and outlook on life. Her blog and podcasts have helped uplift me through difficult times, inspired me in slumps and injected sparkle into flat periods.

Her style may not work for everyone, but I've embraced it because she positively contributes to my world :)

Whatever your view, let's have compassion for each other - Live and let live!

Carolyn said...

Oh my - what a discussion! I'm not here to bash anyone - everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What I will say is this - I am lucky to know you, Kimberly darling, both via the blog and personally. I know your life isn't perfect and that you work extremely hard. I know you are generous and giving and have a huge heart. And I know you have been a positive, inspirational and loving presence in my life, and for that, I will always be grateful. I adore you. xoxo

Jen Safrey said...

This is strange to me...that someone complained they weren't reading enough complaining. Personally, when i am happy i would rather read happy posts from a happy person. When i am sad or struggling, i would also rather read happy posts from a happy person.

Also...there is a difference between having a different opinion and pissing on someone's sunshiny attitude just because she provides a free comments section. I don't believe it is right to come to someone's blog, be mean, then claim they're being attacked for being contrary. That's pretty lame.

There are lots of writers out there, and people to inspire you who resonate with you more. But i hope this community stays happy. to make my day tranquil. :)

hmcauliffe88 said...

It's really true that creative spirits often get criticized... I'm a huge fan of Kimberly and ts and the blog - truly inspirational and a wonderful addition to my own life! While I can see where Cass (and maybe others) are coming from... I want to share a similar case too. My beloved teenage daughter - has her own YouTube channel - being a creative aspiring artist (and all artists are aspiring) she posts her original songs and guitar playing/singing. Almost without fail - she will receive one "dislike" in a sea of "likes". She has become very pragmatic about this. Even thinks its the same person every time... Tying it back to tranquility du jour - the good and positive most certainly outweighs the negative here - and lessons in forgiveness keep us strong, steadfast. Viive la tranquilitie!!

I am Dana said...

So my busy life makes it so I catch up on tranquility du jour in batches when I have a breather, thus being so tardy to the party on this one. I have been following Kimberly since 2007 and she has had an effect on my life in various stages. Because of Hip, Tranquil Chick and the blog I got back into my yoga practice and became a teacher myself in 2009. Thank goodness for it, as I entered a very difficult period of my life, which I got through due to yoga and in part to the inspiration I received from Kimberly. She inspired me to stay positive and though I'm more purple than pink, London than Paris, the blog's sparkliness gave me some bright light in my week. I took what worked for me, such as learning about other bloggers and reconnecting with my crafty self, and left the pigs and jaunts to NYC to Kimberly. I even started a brief blog myself as a source of healing. Reading about Kimberly's life gave me hope for my own future and forced me to assess my goals. I work for a nonprofit, and barely break the poverty line, but I find ways to sip tea, do my own manicures and take day trips to my local city (Philadelphia). It's not that hard, really. Last spring during a very painful divorce, I signed up for the Paris/Provence retreat as a present to myself, a source of healing, and something positive to look forward to. I have been saving all year and asked for donations to my trip as birthday and holiday presents, and I know it's one of the best decisions I could make for myself. I think what I'm trying to say is, a tranquil lifestyle is available to anyone on any budget. You just have to get creative.