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Sometimes a different perspective can shift everything in a woman's life, which is why I've always loved advice columns.
And, because I receive so many questions each week, I've decided to start my own.
On this inaugural "Dear Tonya" episode of the French Kiss Life podcast, I'm answering listeners' questions about passion in relationships, starting from a place of happiness to achieve your goals, responding to detractors, and how to attain body acceptance.
Below is a summary of the Q&A.
If you want to listen to the full episode, click the audio player above.
QUESTION: When you've been married a while and you're great pals, how do you reignite the passion? - Toni
ANSWER: As time goes by in a relationship, it is easy to begin to think about things that your spouse does that bothers you or start to compare your relationship to other people's relationships. Both of these patterns will turn your once passionate heart into one of boredom and resentment.
Passion is a feeling, and feelings are created by your thoughts. You are the only one that can create your own emotions, so the good news is that if you want to "reignite the passion," all you must do is shift your thinking to more passionate thoughts. The best part of this approach is that your partner doesn't need to change in order for you to feel passion. And, when you're feeling passionate, YOU show up differently. So, don't be surprised if your partner responds to that energy.
QUESTION: I always feel torn between being content and striving for goals. I feel I should be happy with my life, but there's so much I want to do. How do you know which to choose? - Rebecca
ANSWER: Why do you have to choose between happiness and goals? There is a misconception out there that says that you have to be discontent or unhappy before you can set goals and want to improve your life. I disagree. While dissatisfaction can spur change, it's a huge problem when you're constantly chasing happiness through goals. My preferred method is to create a feeling of joy and abundance in the life you have right now and use that energy to create from. Striving for goals is so much more fun when you're coming from a place of excitement and joy versus resistance and desperation.
QUESTION: How do you handle detractors when you set out to French Kiss Life on your own terms? - Sandi
ANSWER: The great thing about the French Kiss Lifestyle is that you get to choose what you do and do not do, and you also get to choose the voices that you will listen to or not listen to. No one can detract you. It's a choice you make to be detracted. And, we often make that choice because we don't want to feel the discomfort that comes from taking a stand for what we want. I'd encourage you to be confident in your life choices - without resentment or anger towards those who may not understand. It's not their job to understand you. That's your job.
QUESTION: The other day I read that I should accept my body the way it is now, but I don't want to do that because I don't like the weight I'm at. Over the past five years, I've put on 35 pounds and I hate how I look in the mirror. What are your thoughts on acceptance vs. wanting to change? - Vanessa
ANSWER: This is a tension that so many women have felt at some point in their lives, and I can tell you from experience that trying to hate yourself skinny doesn't work long term. Sure, you may lose the weight, but you'll be just as miserable. When you think about why you want to lose the weight, it will always be a feeling you're after. Being a smaller size can't give you that; only your thinking can.
When you think about being at your ideal body weight, what do you think you'll feel? Acceptance? Joy? Confident? Empowered? These are the exact feelings you need to generate now to aid your weight loss efforts. When a woman feels confident, joyful and accepting of her body, she's much less likely to overeat. She's more likely to take exquisite care of herself. Withholding your own love is a recipe for more weight gain. Remember that nothing good comes from hating yourself, so commit to the process of accepting yourself instead. It's a practice and worth every ounce of effort.
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