If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there… When nothing new can get in, that’s death.

Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers

Moments of exponential faith and ecstatic thrills followed by feelings of pure grief and painful knots in one’s stomach . . . these are the feelings of growth. A few weeks ago, I found myself sobbing uncontrollably in my living room listening to guitar sounds.  (That’s right, darlings! French Kissing Life has moments of torrential downpours of tears).

When in this place, my usual tendency is to hunker down in my house and shut the world out.  ”I’ve got this,” is what I tell myself, and I allow myself to cry, kick, scream or whatever needs to be done to move though the pain, not run from it.  And, by the way, I always put on lipstick!  If you’re going to be a hot mess, might as well be a glamorous one.

But, the truth is, I didn’t feel like I had it.  I had worked on my thoughts.  I had meditated. I had put on my favorite NARS color and had done all the things I’ve been trained to do to process an emotion.  Still, here I was: in an emotional mayhem.

I was spiraling, burning into ashes and it hurt.

Finally, I decided to do something out of the ordinary and reach out to my closest friends.  I fired off a mass text message that simply read, “I need some love.  Please send me good mojo.”

Complete side note: it’s amazing how all you must do is ask.

Within seconds, the love started pouring in, and the one that hit home for me was:  ”Tonya, you are just experiencing growing pains.”

Duh…yeah…that’s all it was.  Yet, if as if I were delivering an emotional baby, and in a sense, I am.  I am delivering a new me.  I am like the Phoenix Rising (which, by the way, is my given last name).  God must have known what he was doing long before I did.

And, it hurts, and it’s joyful.  It’s all of these wild emotions wrapped up into the present moment.

It’s all normal. It’s simply signs of growth.

As you began to spread your wings and fly, doubt will set in.   Can I fly? Or will I crash to the ground?  This is normal.

As you step out of the old into the new, you’ll feel like you’re losing your footing.  So normal.

As you take risks, you’ll look failure in the eyes, and you’ll wonder if you’ve got what it takes.  Totally normal.

And, in these moments, your mind will tell you to run back as fast as you can, to the known, the familiar, to stable grounds.

You’ll be tempted to run to safety.

Everything you read will convince you that either of your choices are wrong or right.  You’ll feel pulled in every direction.

That’s when you stand still and listen.  

And, that’s when you’ll hear, “Darling, let go.  We’ve got this!” And, your role is to trust that inner voice.  This is called surrender.

Upon surrender, you’ll be able to saunter towards a most beautiful life.

What I’ve come to discover is that your most decadent, beautiful life is not found in the safety zone.

If you’re choosing to live safe, you’re not choosing to live. You’re simply surviving. Tweet This! 

When you truly French Kiss Life, you commit to thriving, and the journey doesn’t always feel pleasant.  However, to the extreme that you can feel fear and sadness is to the same degree that you can experience joy and bliss.  To avoid one, denies the other. 

Growing pains . . . it’s a part of the process.

It’s simply your life unfolding.



Self-Image Makeover

Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance