Listen to the Full Episode:

I had a realization recently when I was walking through the park: kids are full of life. There’s a drive to want to experience more of life. So, what happened? Why have so many adults lost that thirst for life itself? Why are so many adults feeling depressed and defeated with the life that they’ve created for themselves?

How to start thinking thoughts that give you life and energy.

I’ve been there. For most of my 20s and even parts of my early 30s, it was me trying to get that thirst for life back. I wanted to be full of life. And today, I can tell you I am. I feel like a kid again. So, are you ready to get that aliveness back and be full of life? 

If you feel like you’re a wilted flower right now and you want me to come and put some water on you so that you can begin to bloom again, you're in the right place. Tune in this week because I’m discussing what I’ve noticed within myself over the past decade that has landed me in this beautiful place right now where I feel so full of life, and I’m ready to share it with anyone who needs it.

Women have been asking me for years to do something around business. And I’ve also had many women ask me for a mastermind. That’s why I am incredibly excited to announce that we are opening enrolment for my new Business Image Mastermind! This is going to be a small group of extraordinary women, we kick off in May 2022, and applications are now open! Click here for more information and to apply. 

Have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Click here to get your copy and learn how to think and show up in treas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.

What You Will Discover:

  • What I believe it means to be full of life.
  • Why being full of life isn’t just about being happy and positive.
  • What we can learn from children about looking forward to the future and striving for more.
  • Why, although you might not want to hear it, exercise and movement are non-negotiable if you want to feel full of life.
  • The importance of play in every aspect of your life.
  • Why, when you’re full of life, you attract other people that are full of life as well.
  • How to start thinking thoughts that give you life and energy, instead of thoughts that burden and drain your energy.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

One of my favorite quotes by Rumi says, “With passion, pray. With passion, make love. With passion, eat and drink and dance and play. Why look like a dead fish in this ocean of God?”

In this episode, I’m sharing with you how to be full of life. So, let’s dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.

Hey, gorgeous people. Welcome back to the podcast. And if this happens to be your first time, I’m so happy that you are here. And I want to ask you all a favor. If this podcast has had a positive impact on your life, I would greatly appreciate it if you head over to iTunes and leave me a review.

Now, for today’s episode, I want to talk about something that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. A few weeks ago, someone asked me how I was feeling. And my response was, “I’m just feeling so full of life.” It’s such an incredible feeling. But it’s probably not exactly what you think.

In fact, when I say, “Full of life…” what comes to mind? And a lot of people automatically go to this version of themselves that’s happy and ecstatic and all positive emotion. That is not what I’m talking about.

Full of life is an intensity of emotion. And you can’t have ecstasy without he opposite of that. You can’t experience the highs without also being willing to feel the lows. And so, when I talk about being full of life, it’s really just being open to what life presents to me.

And so, it means not wasting my energy fighting against what is happening. It means not spending time fighting negative emotion. It’s really me just having my arms wide open to life and saying, “Bring it. Bring it. I was made for this.” And I’ve actually done a whole episode on that topic alone, so make sure you check that out.

But I was thinking about the members of the School of Self-Image and one of the first things that they do when they join the membership is they do a case study of their future self. And there’s a whole process that I run women through.

But the one thing that I’ve noticed with every single one is that their future selves are full of life. And I was talking to a friend of mine who’s actually a member of the school not too long ago. And she was telling me all of these ah-has that she’s been having since she joined the membership.

And she said, “I remember that version of me when I was about eight years old.” And I started to think about this concept of being full of life and wondering when we lost it.

A few days ago, I went to the park. Fortunately her in Colorado – well, I’ll speak for Denver – we’ve been having gorgeous spring-like days. And so, I was at the park, and I was watching the kids on the playground. And I realized, kids are full of life. Just watch them.

There’s an excitement. There’s a passion. There’s a drive to want to experience more of life. So, what happened? Why have so many adults lost that thirst for life itself? Why is it that so many adults are feeling depressed and defeated and frustrated with the life that they’ve created for themselves?

And listen, you all, I’ve been there. Most of my 20s and even parts of my early 30s, it was me trying to get that thirst for life back. I wanted to be full of life. And today, I can tell you I am. I feel like a kid again. I feel like I’m aging backwards.

And I’ve been able to watch myself and understand why that is. And it really comes down to an attitude. But what happens is, a lot of you want the outside world to change first before you develop this attitude. And so, you never allow yourself the experience of feeling full of life now, which will attract more things outside of you to feel full of life about.

So, are you ready to get that aliveness back? Do you feel like you’re a wilted flower right now and just you want me to come and put some water on you so that you can begin to bloom again? Because I’m going to share with you what I’ve noticed within myself over the past decade that has landed me in this place right now where I really feel so alive and so full of life.

I just feel an energy that I had lost for a while. But she’s back. And she is back, my friends, in a big way.

Okay, so thing number one – and I mentioned this earlier. But we’re going to talk about it in a little bit more detail. To be full of life, you have to be full of feelings. You cannot experience that aliveness if you are afraid to feel all of what that means.

Recently, my daughter’s been going through a heartbreak. And I have watched her cry and lay in bed and just be so sad. And of course, as a mom, I want to make it better. But then, as a woman that feels so alive right now, I don’t because I know part of being fully alive is feeling heartbreak. It’s feeling disappointment. It’s feeling frustration. It’s feeling anger.

You can’t experience the ecstasy, the love, the joy, the happiness, all of the things that all of us want to experience, unless you’re willing to feel the negative side of that. And so, I’ve just been comforting her and supporting he and letting her know, no one gets through this journey of life without heartbreak, unfortunately. It’s just part of the curriculum.

When we came into the world, it was like, “Okay. heartbreak, check, got through that one.” Might have several on your particular curriculum. I know I have. But you have to be willing to feel.

I think back to the years where I felt dead inside. There wasn’t a lot of energy moving around. And the one thing that I noticed is that those were the years where I did not want to feel. I didn’t want to feel discomfort. I didn’t want to feel boredom or sadness or frustration.

And so, what would I do? My particular antidote to those things was to eat. I would eat my feelings and that would make me feel more dull and lifeless.

For some people, it’s working. For some people, it’s maybe gambling. There are so many ways that we can try to escape life. But you can’t be full of life if you’re spending so much time running from it.

And so, now, I just allow myself to feel the discomfort, the fear, the worry, the anxiety, the anger. I allow myself to feel all of it because I know that in order to be fully alive and to be full of life, I have to be willing to experience all that life has for me. So, that’s the first thing; the willingness to feel all of life, all of life’s emotions.

The second thing is I noticed, when I was thinking about being a kid, one of the things that I feel like all kids have are dreams and goals and desires. Now, as a kid, you may not think of it as a goal yet, but there’s something you’re looking forward to.

Maybe it’s looking forward to summer vacation. Maybe it’s looking forward to seeing your grandparents at Christmas. Or maybe it’s looking forward to graduating from middle school and then there’s high school and then you’re looking forward to college and then a job and having a family.

It’s like you have all of these goals and these dreams and then there’s a certain point where so many of us get to where we just stop. We’re like, “Okay, I did all of the things that I was told I was supposed to do.” So, you get married, you get the job. You have the kids. You have your retirement plan going. You have the house.

And then, you just stop. And the reason why I’m so full of life now is that I don’t stop. I easily could. My life is so good right now. I could stop dreaming. I could stop having goals and I could be content. But I know that full of life doesn’t exist in that place for me.

Aliveness is having something to look forward to. It’s having a life outside of your current life that you are excited to get out of bed and create. This is why one of the first things that I have members do within the school is they have to create an extraordinary goal for themselves.

An extraordinary goal is outside of the “Lose five pounds.” That’s not really exciting. Or “Organize my bedroom.” Okay, that’s a great thing to do, but does that make you excited about life? Does that make you think, “Wow, there is more to life than where I currently am and I’m excited to go out there and create that for myself?”

To be full of life means to be full of dreams and goals, no matter how old you are. I was watching this video about this woman on YouTube. She’s 71 years old and she still dances every day. She looks phenomenal. And she’s going out, she’s got a very vibrant social life. And she said, “I want to be an example that you don’t have to just roll up and die when you get to a certain age, that you can keep going, that you can continue to be full of life into your 70s, 80s, and 90s.”

This is why I intend to always have an extraordinary goal that I am going after. I want to have those goals to give me something to look forward to, to give me a focus so my mind just can’t wonder unsupervised because I haven’t given it something to look at and give its attention to.

And on top of that, knowing that each of those goals are going to introduce me to the next version of myself. I think it’s so exciting. So, do you have dreams and goals? And if you’re feeling dead inside, if you’re feeling like you are not full of life, then I’m going to highly recommend that you create one for yourself and make it extraordinary.

Another one of the ways that I cultivate this fullness of life, this aliveness, is to move. We’re going to talk about exercise. I know some of y’all are very opposed. You don’t like it. You have a lot of thoughts about it that don’t serve you. You have many excuses that seem valid. And you resent that you feel like you have to do it.

And all of that needs to stop. You need to make a commitment to move your body and move it often, and let me tell you why. If you look into nature, things that are alive move. Guess what doesn’t move… dead things.

If you’re feeling dead, if you’re feeling heavy, if you’re feeling just this burden on yourself, that is a call to get up and move your body.

One of the reasons why I’m feeling so alive these days is that I’m moving more. I’m exercising almost every single day. I’m getting up and I’m stretching instead of just sitting at my desk all day working. I’m going to the gym. I’m going to the park. I am moving and my brain is trying to convince me that it’s a terrible idea.

My brain tries to convince me that I can do it tomorrow, that I have too many other things to do that are more important. But do you know what? Nothing is more important than my aliveness. And so, I just don’t listen to that part of my brain because that’s the part of my brain that if I continue to listen to, I would be feeling dead like I did all those years ago.

If you want to be full of life, you have to move like someone who is full of life, that’s full of energy. And if you all are feeling low-energy, I know that feeling. I’ve been there. I talk about this with my members.

One of my goals right now is getting to that next level of fitness for myself. Because I’ve had years where I’ve just been low-energy and wondering what in the world was wrong with me. But I’ve been moving more. And with that movement, I’ve increased my energy.

Now, the brain, when you’re feeling tired, will try to tell you that you just need to rest. But what if that is the trick trying to keep you where you are.

If you haven’t been moving on a regular basis, just start by stretching every day, going for a 30-minute walk, just get moving. Because alive things, they’re moving. So, if you want to be full of life, you need to do what alive things do.

The next thing that I have noticed that gives me that full-of-life feeling is play. And over the last three years, I have been playing more than I’ve ever played in my entire life. Even as a kid, I’ve never played as hard as I’m playing right now.

And of course, play is different for everyone. But the intention is the same. It is that spontaneous, pleasurable, and flexible activity that you do for your own self-amusement. And the intention is always just to enjoy and to learn and to experience more of life.

My play looks like dancing in the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner. It’s playing cards and games. I love games. We play a lot of games. But it’s also just being spontaneous.

So, for example, this past weekend, we were sitting at home. We had planned to have a quiet night watching TV. And we get a text from a friend who just flew into town. And he’s like, “Hey, get dressed. We’re going out.”

So, it was like nine o’clock at night. And there was a part of me that wanted to say, “No, let’s do it later.” But that’s the part of me that used to talk me into doing things that made me feel dead.

And I was like, “No, let’s go.” So, I jumped up. We got dressed. We ended up meeting at like 10 o’clock and stayed out until 2:30. We met some really fun people, had some great conversations. It was such a fun night of play for me.

When you think of kids who are full of life, what’s the one thing that we notice in them? They’re always playing. And yet, we get this story in our brains and it’s instilled in us by society that, as an adult, you need to be more serious. You shouldn’t play as much. You can play after you get your work done.

And I think that’s a very dangerous message. I want to make my work feel like play. I want life to feel like play, like it’s just this one big game that we’re all figuring out, and we can have fun while doing it.

It’s all about attitude. You can dread it. You can fight it. you can resist it. Or you can approach it with a sense of wonder and awe and playfulness. And I will tell you, choosing the latter will, number one, allow you to have so much more fun in your life. But it also leads to better results because of how you’re showing up.

And everything is energy, my friends. When you start to show up in a more light, playful manner, you’re going to start attracting things very differently than the heavy, burdened version of you. So, play more so that you can be more full of life.

The last thing that I have noticed that has led to this alive feeling that I have, bigger than I’ve ever had it before, is I’m thinking way more life-giving thoughts, thoughts that give me life, that give me energy versus drains my energy.

So, I want you all just to pay attention to what goes on in your brain every day. Do you wake up in the morning thinking, “I’ve got to get through another day? I wish my kids weren’t being kids right now. I wish my husband would be different. I hate this job I have.” Just notice what is playing in the background of your life all of the time that you probably don’t even notice.

Maybe all you notice is that you feel awful, you feel dead inside. Well, if you’re feeling that way, it all comes down to your thinking.

I wake up in the morning thinking, “I am so happy that I get another day.” One of my favorites is, “Look at the sun. It came up and I didn’t even have to make it happen. I just get to enjoy it. I just get to witness it. I just get to take it in.”

My kiddos tell me that I annoy them sometimes with how much I appreciate the day. We’ll be in the car and I’m like, “Guys, just look out that window right now. Look how beautiful it is.” Sometimes, I start singing for no reason.

I talk about life in such a way that it wants to hang out with me more. It wants to give me more of it because I do appreciate it. And let me tell you all, some of you may be thinking, “Well, Tonya, that’s easy for you, look at your life now.”

I started this a long time ago and it’s just increased over the years. But I didn’t wait until my life was how I thought it should be. I started this process when I thought my life should be very different than the way it was. And that has been exactly how I’ve been able to create the life that I have now.

And let me assure you all, my life is not rainbows and daisies all of the time. No one’s life is. If anyone sells you that, then you need to run because that’s not life. We all have problems. We all have experiences that are uncomfortable.

Just like I was saying, this past week, I’ve been nursing my daughter’s heartbroken heart, it’s part of life. And yet, in all of it, we can choose to think in such a way that’s not fighting it but, like, “Hey, I still appreciate you. Thank you for supporting me in this. Thank you for having my back, universe. We’re going to get through this. And it’s a beautiful day.”

You cannot be full of life and attract more of what life has to offer you if you’re hating your life, if you’re complaining all of the time because you think life should be different than what it is right now.

Being grateful for the life you have is the secret to creating the life you want, celebrating your life is the secret to life giving you more to celebrate. And every moment, you can focus on what you think is not going well. You can focus on what you don’t have. Or you can choose to focus on what is going well, what you do have, what is abundant for you.

Always choose the latter, and as you do, you will notice that you become more alive. And with that alive feeling, you start to show up differently, and then the world just rearranges itself to mirror that aliveness back to you. Have a gorgeous week, my friends, and I cannot wait to see.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.


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