Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview: Ksenia Closson

Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

This week's interviewee is Ksenia Closson, founder and publisher of Simply Happy Me, an online magazine devoted to fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

My daughter. She surprises me every day. She is genuine, clever, talented and wise. She is also sarcastic, but not intentionally. When I look at her I see my kid, but when I look at her actions I see a mature, intelligent person with her own thoughts and amazing skills.

For example, she loves making pancakes on the weekends. It’s kind of a tradition – making pancakes together as a family. On the weekdays I don’t have time, so we usually have a quick breakfast like cereal. She kept asking for pancakes on weekdays. One of these weekday mornings she got tired of waiting. She crawled into my bed at 7:00 in the morning saying: “I made the batter, you just have to bake the pancakes now.” My daughter is 6-years-old. You can imagine my surprise followed by my request to repeat what she said with one of my eyes still closed. She repeated it without blinking. I was speechless.

When I came downstairs, there it was – a bowl-full of pancake batter, perfectly whisked. It was a nice light shade of green. She explained she added food coloring to make it interesting. She can’t read directions yet, her reading is at Kindergarten level, so she made this by memory. Let me tell you those pancakes were better than mine- sweet, tasty and healthy. She used Agave syrup instead of sugar. Here is a funny thing, because she can’t read the ingredients labels, she added a dash of cumin to the batter instead of cinnamon (lol), but I couldn’t taste it. I was impressed. My eyes were tearing. I was wonderstruck.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

The night. It’s the only time I can be alone with myself. The night allows me to be truly creative and create something that comes from the inner me, without any distractions or the noise from the outside world.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

Ugh! The mornings. I am not a morning person. (I am more like a grumpy bear awoken from a pleasant afternoon nap, haha).

How do I deal with my mornings? It depends on the night I had prior to the morning. If I had to stay up all night to meet a deadline, than waking up in the morning is rough. First I get a cup of strong aromatic coffee – trivial but makes a huge impact. I lounge on my beautiful sofa by an open window and enjoy a few breaths of crisp morning air. I feel good when my surroundings are pleasant. I lean back and do something that requires zero physical or mental effort - relax. I multitask constantly throughout the day. It can be overwhelming. This ritual allows me to gather my thoughts, acknowledge myself and think about my goals for the day. I like to plan major tasks and build my day like a puzzle. A few follow-up calls can be made out of the car, while I’m driving. Articles can be written at night. Serious tasks are done around midday when it’s everybody’s “go-go-go” time. There is a saying “If you want something done, give it to the busy person” – that actually works. Busy people tend to get in this mode when they are on a roll. So the more you give them, the more they will get done. I try to squeeze my interactions with people in those windows. It works wonders.

The other kind of mornings that I experience is when the deadline is met and my tasks become more of an administrative nature. Those days usually flow a little smoother. I try to avoid coffee on the mornings when I had enough sleep. I am a fan of yoga. If I went to bed in a decent hour, I am excited to attend a 6:00 a.m. session. It creates powerful results. Those days tend to be very productive. I can clearly see the difference between the days I started off with yoga and the days I didn’t. I wish I could do these sessions every day, but due to my busy schedule it is not possible. Sometimes I practice yoga by myself, but I feel that rejuvenation I experience after the class led by an experienced instructor is much more beneficial.

What do you wish your were more conscious of?

Time. We all need more time.

How do you stay focused on what is truly important to you?

Professionally speaking: I have an enormous white board in my office. It has my short-term and my long-term goals. Spreadsheets help too. I write down everything I think about. If I decided to write an article on a subject, I will write down a few words and create a catchy name for it. It will help me to define the direction of article in the future. Those little notes get filed in a particular folder, so I know where this article should go. If I see somebody I want to interview in a particular issue of Simply Happy Me, I will write their name down and add them to our editorial calendar.

Tracking helps to know where I am with the small goals and tasks. These small tasks support my big goals. Keeping my eyes on the details is what helps me see the bigger picture and how it’s coming along.

As far as my personal life goes: There is really no effort required. If something is important to you, your focus will be there. No work, no friends, no other kind of commitments are going to stand in the way. The most important thing in my personal life is my family. The rest naturally falls into place.

Ksenia-yogacropAbout Ksenia:

Ksenia has a positive outlook on life and a genuine interest in a healthy lifestyle. She is founder and publisher of Simply Happy Me, an online magazine devoted to fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being. She loves helping people to get answers and make better choices. She believes that happiness is the key to success.

Where to find Ksenia:

You'll find Ksenia at Simply Happy Me:

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