The response I received after last week’s podcast was so immense, I decided to do a second collection of love notes. These are little notes that I’ve been writing over the last 10 years to the community, full of inspiration and insight and my own stories on what it really takes to live a well-lived life. So, enjoy this second collection.
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.
Good morning, my friends. And when I say morning, I’m talking about 5AM. I don’t know what happened, but I woke up at 3:30 and I was wide awake. So, I decided to get up. I have finished putting up my Christmas tree. I have folded a batch of laundry. I have journaled. I put on some acoustic guitar music. I’ve been getting things done.
And so, I decided, instead of waiting until later, when I had the podcast scheduled in my calendar, that I would just go ahead and do it right now because I’m feeling good at 5AM.
So, today, I am going to share a second collection of love notes. The response was so great last week that I thought, why not do another episode where I share with you things that I’ve written over the years. I cannot believe how much content I have, you all.
I was going through my Instagram. I was going through my Google drive. I have been writing for over 10 years now. And this is some good stuff. And I don’t want to keep it from you. And so, let’s dive into today’s collection of love notes.
The first one is called Style Is My Love Language. Women are often confused and sometimes upset about my love of style. They imagine excessive splurging and a closet full of designer handbags and shoes. Although, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s what you desire.
They sometimes see it as shallow, vain, and impractical. However, every woman has a style. The question is, is it on purpose? But style and I have a love story; one that continues to unfold in beautiful and magical ways.
You see, style has helped me to see myself differently; the difference I wanted to see. Style has asked that I be more intentional with my choices, keep wearing the same old things or choose something that matches the woman I desire to be. Style has created opportunities for me because, like it or not, people judge you based on how you show up in the world.
Style has been my therapy. The right outfit can pull you out of a rut. Style has inspired me to be more playful and creative. Why not wear those polka dotted shoes?
Style has played a crucial role in shaping me into the woman I am today because it demanded that I transform my self-image. But style is so much more than clothes. It’s your way of being in the world, how you greet another person, the sound of your voice, the way you walk into a room, the way you sign your name, the way you pour your coffee, the way you dance.
Everything you do is style. And that’s why style is my love language. It is my expression of love to myself, to others, and to my life.
Big Feelings. I’ve made some big decisions over the past month. And the growing pains are immense. What I’ve come to learn is big decisions equal big feelings. I have cried until I thought I didn’t have any tears left. And then more came. I have felt nauseous. I have experienced breathtaking anxiety. And through it all, I stayed with the feelings.
I didn’t abandon myself. I didn’t abandon my decisions. I didn’t turn to food or alcohol to numb myself. I didn’t back out of my decisions out of fear. I felt all of the feelings that come with change and growth.
As I was walking with a friend a couple of weeks ago, I said, “You know what? A big life requires big feelings.” It’s so true, right? If you want to live a life that your 90-year-old self will be celebrating you for, you’ll have to feel the big feelings that come with that kind of life.
And within those big feelings, you’ll be introduced to a part of yourself that you didn’t know existed; the strongest, most brilliant, most loving woman that is capable of big feelings. As I love to say to life, “Bring it. I was made for this.” And guess what? So are you. So, go feel those big feelings because a big life awaits on the other side.
Change the Channel. In every moment, life is offering you a choice; to focus on what you want to see, or to focus on what you fear. Creating your life on purpose is about managing your attention. Right now, especially, you may feel that there is more negativity in the world. That’s only because you’re tuned into it.
Life is always offering you up whatever experience you’re looking for. But here’s the good news. If you don’t like what you’re tuned into, you can change the channel. If you’re feeling heavy and afraid right now, notice where your attention is. The news? Your friend’s doom and gloom story? Scary stories on social media?
However, in this moment, there are other things you can focus on that feel better; the stories of recovery, businesses that are thriving, new innovations that are happening, beautiful images that spark excitement, mother nature right outside your window.
Stop placing your attention on things that make you feel heavy and start placing it on things that make your soul come alive. So, let’s play a game. If you’re feeling heavy, anxious, and afraid right now, just notice where you’re focusing. Just be curious with yourself. Then, shift your focus. Look for something that feels light and joyful. What did you just find?
- I keep hearing things like, “This is going to be a tough year. This is the worst year ever. This probably won’t be a growth year. Everyone’s going to struggle this year. You should probably just do what you need to do to stay afloat.”
All this doom and gloom thinking is contagious. In fact, you may be nodding your head and thinking, “Yeah, it’s definitely a tough year.” And by all means, you get to choose to think that. But before you do, ask yourself, how does this type of thinking serve me in any way? They are sentences. Not facts.
It’s interesting how we cultivate herd mentality by tuning into the same media outlets, listening to our same friends say the same things on social media, and falling into communal thinking. If I’m going to get herd mentality, I want to get it from the best herd that’s heading in a direction that I want to go. If not, I question it.
My word of the year is amazed. And I think the universe served up the perfect circumstance for me to amazed by myself and my life. I plan to make 2020 my best year yet.
I want to offer a little follow up to this love note. I wrote this back in April at the height of COVID when we were just finding gout things were shutting down. And I can honestly say that this has been my best year ever.
And when I wrote this, I had no evidence of it. I had no proof that it was going to be my best year ever. But I want you to notice how my thinking created that. I refused to buy into the doom and gloom stories because, in life, there’s always going to be part doom and gloom.
There’s always going to be bad things happening in the world. But what I want you to ask yourself is how does it serve you to tune into it? It doesn’t. So, for me, back in March and April, I just made a decision that I’m going to make this my best year yet, and I looked for ways to do that. That is the power of your own mind. And hey, listen, you still have almost a month left in 2020. Why not make this your best month yet?
Fear of Feelings. Rainer Maria Rilke said, “Let everything happen to you; beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” How often do you avoid doing the things you know you need to do because you’re afraid of a feeling? We do it all of the time.
We don’t want to feel deprived, so we overeat. We don’t want to feel fear, so we don’t get on the plane. We don’t want to feel rejection, so we don’t put our work into the world or go on the date. Feelings come and go, which is why I always tell my clients to live their lives based on their desires, not their moods.
You can spend an entire lifetime running from your emotional life at the cost of the life you truly desire. And the irony, all those feelings are created by your own mind, which you can learn to manage.
What if you let feelings happen and you showed up anyway? What if you learned to manage your emotions instead of them running the show? What if you walked into the feelings instead of running from them?
I know what would happen. Your entire life would expand because, to the extent you avoid negative emotions, you’re also depriving yourself of the positive ones.
The Reflection. Want to know what you believe? Look at your life. It is the reflection of your mind. If you believe that you’re not likable, you’ll push people away energetically. If you believe that you can’t manage money, you’ll have disorganized finances. If you believe it’s hard to find clients, you won’t have a lot of clients.
Equally, if you believe that people love you, the universe will deliver all the evidence in the world that you’re loved. If you believe that you’re a rock star with money, you’ll show up differently with your finances and create order and abundance. And if you believe that there are millions of possible clients for you, you’ll find them everywhere.
You will always prove yourself true. It’s just how the world works. What’s inside of you is creating what’s outside of you. If you want to change your outer world, dive into your inner one and start cleaning, editing, and rearranging it to match what you desire. What is one belief you hold that your life is constantly showing you?
Flow. How often do you get an intuitive nudge to do something like wear the dress, call the person, create the program, book the trip, go to the event, pick up the book, take the class? And before you’ve taken action, you’ve already talked yourself out of it?
The past few months, I’ve been an incredible state of flow, described as when a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. And I’ve been asking myself why. And it really boils down to this one thing. When I get a universal nudge, I’ve been following it immediately.
There’s no internal negotiation. It may go on my calendar or I may make the call or I share the idea, but I’m not overthinking it. Instead, I’m trusting it. I’m following it. I’m living it. It feels like life is breathing me.
Sometimes, it makes absolutely no sense in the moment, but I’m learning to trust that intuition that resides in all of us and desperately wants to guide us, if we’ll listen. The brain will always try to lead us in a different direction because its cared, but the soul is fearless and will always lead us towards our best lives.
Are you listening, or are you killing your ideas, your creativity, and your life with overthinking every single thing to the point that you do nothing? If you want to experience flow today, I want you to listen, pay attention, follow the fun, follow the inspiration, the joy, and start moving away from what’s weighing you down.
The You-Turn. Sometimes, we act in ways that contradicts who we want to be and what we want to create. We overeat or overdrink. We procrastinate. We lose it with our kids. We spend too much money. We say hurtful things. But do you know the worst part of all of these situations? The way we beat ourselves up.
You are human, which means you’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to have failures. But what you make them mean is everything. You can make them mean that you’re a terrible person and you’re never going to become who you want to be or reach your goals. Or you can make them mean that you’re learning and growing and that it’s all a part of the process.
The former feeds guilt and shame, which actually feeds the behaviors you want to change. The latter feeds self-love and compassion and creates forward momentum. With my clients, I see a direct correlation between the speed of failure and recovery and how it determines success. We call it You-Turns and it’s spelled Y-O-U; turning back to who you want to be and what you want, turning back to the truest version of you.
Every moment is a chance to do a You-Turn. You don’t have to wait until tomorrow or New Year’s Day. This moment is the perfect opportunity to do a You-Turn. And the first step of a You-Turn is self-forgiveness. Please stop beating yourself up for being a wonderful and very human being.
Changing Others. Isn’t it fascinating that we want others to do the things that we don’t even do ourselves? We want others to support us, even though we aren’t supporting ourselves. We want others to love us, even though we aren’t loving ourselves. We want others to say nice things when the thoughts in our own heads are way worse. We want our partners to make more money because we’re scared to go out there and do it ourselves.
We want our kids to eat healthy when we’re stuffing down our emotions with donuts. We want others to stop complaining and be more positive. And then we complain when they don’t.
I have done every single one of these things. I wanted others to do the work for me. I do this emotional outsourcing; wanting others to change so that you can feel better. That’s the lazy way out and it’s also the hardest.
If you want true peace of mind and freedom, let others be who they are and you focus on who you want to be. When you realize how hard it is to change yourself, you’ll understand the absurdity of trying to change others. Take back your power, let people be who they are, and focus on being the best version of yourself. Anything else is madness.
Thank you so much for listening to this second collection of love notes. And stay tunes, because next week, the third and final collection for now is coming out. I hope to see you then. Have a beautiful day, an amazing week, and I look forward to seeing you in the next 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 Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.