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Recently, I got a comment that really triggered me. My anger welled up so fast after reading it that I wanted to respond quickly and ferociously and give this person a piece of my mind.

How the little choices we make end up shaping our lives in a big way.Thankfully I didn’t. I paused, took a deep breath, and asked myself, “Who do I want to be in this moment? How can I respond to this in a way that I’ll be proud of tomorrow?” I acted accordingly, replied kindly, and moved on. I’m so glad I did.

This is the sacred pause in practice, and these little five-second pauses can change your life. Our life is made up of millions of small decisions like this, and when we pause to check in with our higher self, it helps us walk closer to her and to a life we love.

And when I say “practice”, I mean that literally. I work on this every day; sometimes I nail it, and other times I fail miserably. But that’s all part of the journey.

Today you’ll learn how you can change your life in five seconds or less, thanks to these sacred pauses. I’ll tell you about how this practice has helped me in my life and career, and why it’s such a useful tool for shaping the life you want, five seconds at a time.

What You Will Discover:

  • How the little choices we make end up shaping our lives in a big way.
  • What a sacred pause is.
  • Why we want to react immediately (and often negatively) when we have big emotions come up.
  • How I recently used the sacred pause when I felt triggered by a negative comment.
  • Why pausing, then showing up for yourself as the woman you want to be will help you respond more positively to difficult situations.

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Episode Transcript:

Five seconds, it doesn’t seem like a lot of time. But what if I told you that you could change your life in the space of five seconds or less? That’s what we’re talking about on today’s episode.

Bonjour, and welcome to the French Kiss Life podcast, where personal development meets style. I’m Tonya Leigh, certified master life coach, and the hostess of this party where we explore how to live artfully and well. Each week, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories, practical tips, and timeless wisdom on how to elevate the quality of your everyday and celebrate along the way. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Bonjourno, from Milano. How do you like my Italian accent? I know, it needs some work. But so does my English accent, so all is good. But yes, I am in Italy. I am actually – I wish you all could see the view right now. I’m looking out at this most gorgeous building. It’s like a salmon color with the most intricate stonework.

And I’m thinking, wow, this is my life. And I was thinking about all of the little choices that I’ve made that have led to where I am today. And we’re going to be talking about that in today’s podcast. I’m going to be talking about how five seconds can change your life.

But before we do that, I have to give a shout-out to someone in the community. Yes, this is the part of the show where I do a community spotlight. And today’s spotlight is on Go USA Soccer, which, by the way, I’m a huge, huge soccer fan. But anyway, here’s what Go USA Soccer had to say in iTunes.

She left a five-star review saying, “Having followed Tonya Leigh for going on 10 years now, I always say, if Tonya’s offering it up, I’m taking it. This incredible woman always meets you where you are and has something valuable to offer you at every stage of your journey.

I am virtually a different person than the woman I was when I first started engaging with Tonya and yet still, I listen every week and I sign up for everything she offers because this lady delivers tenfold on what she promises. She has always been an integral part of my journey through my 40s and now, as my 50th birthday approaches, I can definitely say she’ll be right there with me through my 50s as well. I’m so grateful for this beautiful woman who is encouraging each and every one of us to French Kiss Life. Keep up the amazing work, Tonya.”

Wow, I just got teary reading that because, you know what’s so beautiful about what I do and having done it as long as I’ve been doing it, is that I feel like we’ve all watched each other grow. Just like I’ve been with you on your journey, you have probably been watching me grow and evolve as a woman and that’s what it’s all about. And that’s why I love this community so, so much.

I love being a witness to your journey. I love supporting you on your journey. And so when I get messages like this, it just really warms my heart and just reaffirms why I do what I do. So thank you, Go USA Soccer, your review means so, so much. And if you listen to the podcast and you enjoy it, I would really appreciate your review as well.

You can actually head to and we walk you through the steps that you can take to leave a review on iTunes. But I also know that some of you are on Stitcher and I need to head over there and check out the reviews that have been left there as well. So any review you leave, I greatly, greatly appreciate it. And who knows, maybe I’ll be featuring you in an upcoming community spotlight.

Mel Robbins wrote a really great book called The Five Second Rule, and basically the summary of the book is that when you get an idea, it is so important that you act upon it within five seconds or less. So, for example, I mean, how many of us in the morning, the alarm goes off and we want to hit that snooze, even though the greater version of ourselves jumps out of bed immediately?

Well, in the space of those five seconds, you can jump up immediately and get your day going. But the way I want to talk about five seconds and how it can impact your life are in the space of what I call the sacred pause.

Now, for those of you in Slim, Chic, and Savvy, you know this is one of the lessons that we work through, but I wanted to just share it with the entire community because it’s so important that we understand that our life changes based on the little daily decisions that we make within five seconds or less.

A great example of this is about three months ago, I was really triggered by a comment. And I’m a big believer in that when something is triggered within me, it’s something that I need to heal within myself. But often, what we do when we get triggered, we want to blame, we want to react. We want to sometimes hurt the other person.

I don’t believe that the bigger version of ourselves wants to do that, but I guess you could say our un-evolved parts of ourselves, we want to hurt the person the way they’ve hurt us. And I felt that rise up within me when I read this comment. I was really, really angry. Like, really angry. And anger is not an emotion that I feel that often, so when I feel anger, I know there’s something for me to look at within that.

But when it first happened, what I wanted to do immediately was just give this person like a verbal knockdown. That was my first reaction. But I remembered the sacred pause because I know that whenever I’ve reacted out of anger, it never, ever ends well. And it can keep us in these toxic patterns that are so hard to get out of.

And the irony is, the more you engage in it, the more you react to that emotion, the harder it is to change it because it starts to become a pattern that feels like who you are. But I believe at the core of all of us, who we really are joyful loving human beings who have a lot of hurt, a lot of hurt that we need to process and understand.

So for me, when this happened, I took a sacred pause. It’s about five seconds where I really get to take some nice deep breaths and not react, but decide to respond in a way that feels good to me and it never feels good to respond out of anger.

In the moment, it feels good. It’s just like overeating in the moment feels good.  We get to escape the emotion. We get to get rid of it. But over the long-term, it feels terrible and we all know that. And yet, when we are triggered, when we have all of these intense emotions coming up, if we’re not aware, we just will try to get rid of the emotion without taking the time to understand it, and then responding from a higher vibration.

So for me, during the sacred pause, I just took some deep breaths and I said to myself, Tonya, who do you want to be in this moment? Do you want to be an angry bitter person, or do you want to look within you and question all of the stuff that this comment just brought up for you? Which will give you a bigger ROI in the long-term? Which will give you a better result?

And so that’s what I did. Instead of reacting to the emotion, instead of resisting the emotion, I just took a breath and I let the emotion be there and I just felt it. I could see my mind going crazy. And then I responded in a way that would make me proud tomorrow and the next day and the next day. And, you all, this is my daily practice.

Some days, I nail it, and some days I fail miserably. But it’s within the space of those five seconds that we can make new decisions, new choices that will completely change the trajectory of our lives. And it doesn’t have to be just around being triggered and being angry. It could be that pause right before you go to reach for food and you’re not hungry, taking five seconds to really ask yourself, am I reacting right now or am I responding? Is this who I want to be?

Maybe it’s in the space of you procrastinating yet again, you’ve got those five seconds where you can choose to get on Facebook or Pinterest and waste your time, or you can use those five seconds to really take that nice deep breath and say, who do I want to be in this moment? Do I want to be a woman that shows up for her dreams? Do I want to be a woman that shows up for herself? And then take that action.

Maybe for you, and this used to be one for me, it’s like when you pick the kids up from school and there’s a lot of energy and you start to spin in overwhelm because you know you’ve got to go home, you’ve got to get the homework done, you have to get dinner on the table, you have to get the laundry done and then you have to go to work the next day.

And there’s that moment where you can engage in the familiar pattern of overwhelm, or you can take that sacred pause, take that five seconds to take a deep breath and say, wait, it can be different. It doesn’t have to be this way. I can let the kids be crazy in the back seat, I can still have dinner that needs to be cooked, I still can have laundry that needs to be done, I can still have the job that I need to go to tomorrow, and yet I can respond to all of it so differently.

And those choices happen in the spaces of five seconds or less. And those choices are shaping your entire life. I was working with a client recently and we were talking about the sacred pause. And for her, the cycle was to overeat and then beat herself up.

And I said to her, if you just stopped beating yourself up, you would start to make progress. But she has this story that if she’s not beating herself up, she’s not going to lose weight, which isn’t true, it’s not the way it works. But I told her, I said when you overeat – and you are, that’s part of losing weight by the way. Losing weight, you’re going to overeat during the process, which I think we expect ourselves to be perfect and then when we’re not, we beat ourselves up, which makes us want to eat and it’s just a really toxic cycle.

But I told her, I said, listen, if you just stopped beating yourself up, if you took that sacred pause and made a new choice of not beating yourself up but being kind to yourself and being curious about yourself and understanding why you did it, you would begin to change. You would literally become a new woman. And you will lose weight in the process.

And so she’s been practicing this for a few months now and she has lost 15 pounds. And she’s done it five seconds at a time. She has done it by stopping in that moment when she hears that old familiar voice, saying you’re such a loser, you’re never going to lose weight, this is not going to work for you. And in that really small space saying, wait, is this who I want to be?

The woman that’s lost the weight, is this how she talks to herself? Is this how she treats herself? Because really, that’s what the five seconds are all about. It’s an invitation to embody your future self. And that requires intention, it requires awareness, and it requires new decisions.

So the next time you’re triggered or the next time you find yourself, that split second before you are going to engage in a familiar behavior that doesn’t serve you or you are going to engage in the familiar emotion that you no longer want to practice, I want you to take those five seconds, take a nice deep breath and say, hey who do I want to be in this moment? How can I use these five seconds for a new choice, a new decision, a new me?

Because you can change your life in five seconds, so when you start thinking about the change you want to make and what you’re wanting to create in your life, instead of going into overwhelm at how big it may seem, I want you just to say, “You know what, just five seconds at a time,” because within those five seconds, you can make new choices, my friend.

It is time for J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And since we’re officially in the fall season, I wanted to share one of my favorite fall staple pieces in my closet, and that is my Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots.

 I remember buying my very first pair, probably maybe 10 years ago. And I remember at the time thinking, this is crazy to spend this much money on a pair of boots, because I’d never spent that much money on any pair of shoes. But when I think about it now, the amount of wear that I got out of those boots, it’s so worth the investment.

And it’s such a great piece for your fall wardrobe, and even winter because you can pair it with pants, you can pair it with tights and a cute skirt. And the best part, they are comfortable. Because maybe you’ve heard on some of the previous podcasts, when I’ve talked about shoes, I have a hard time finding shoes that actually feel good on my feet. I can walk all day long in my Stuart Weitzman boots.

So if you’re looking for something to add to your collection this fall, I would highly recommend checking out these boots. You can head over to Have a great week, everyone, I’ll see you on next week’s episode. Cheers.

If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The 3 Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs by visiting – because after all, mindset is the new black.

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