Listen to the Full Episode:

It is time for another Dear Tonya episode, where I get the opportunity to answer some of your questions. Once again, I received so many amazing questions, so I’ve got some of the best ones on the show today, and I’m sure we’ll have another Dear Tonya soon, so be sure to keep them coming.

How to free yourself of the “big mistakes” of your past and allow yourself to move forward with grace and elegance.Some of you want to know about the little things that bring joy to my life, and others want to know about the changes I have made throughout my life and the big goals and dreams that I am chasing. But one thing you all want to know is something that feeds into every decision in every area of our lives: and that is mindset.

Join me on the podcast this week as we discuss where you should focus if you feel defined by your big mistakes, how to incorporate self-love as a daily practice, how to decide on your next big goal, having confidence in front of the camera, and so much more.

What You Will Discover:

  • How to incorporate self-love into your everyday.
  • My three all-time favorite luxury purchases, the stories behind them, and how they impacted my life.
  • The mindset required to make your luxury purchases even more luxurious.
  • How to decide on your goals and what you want to pursue in your life.
  • What stops us from choosing a big goal to go after.
  • How to handle your thoughts and feelings around environments, people, and changes that you immediately feel negatively about.
  • My mindset and practical tips for confidence in front of the camera.
  • How to free yourself of the “big mistakes” of your past and allow yourself to move forward with grace and elegance.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

Guess what time it is. It is time for a Dear Tonya episode, where I get to answer some of your questions. And today, we are covering all the things, from being camera ready, to big mistakes, to living a life of luxury. Enjoy.

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.

Hi, friends. So, I need to ask you a question. Do you ever have those nights where you just don’t sleep? I just had one. And I can’t figure out why because I’ve been sleeping so well. But last night, I could not go to sleep. I only had like two hour’s-worth of sleep. And then, I had meetings all day.

And I was laughing with my team because I told them, it’s like my brain is not firing. I literally could not put a sentence together during my entire team meeting. It was a hot mess. But you know what? I showed up for it. and I’m also showing up for this podcast because I have it on my calendar to record a podcast right now, and one of the things that has changed my life is showing up for what I schedule for myself, and being willing to do it imperfectly.

Even right now, I feel like my brain’s starting to come online, but it’s still not quite there. But I’m going to do this podcast anyway. And I share that with you because I see so many of my clients slow themselves down because of their perfectionism. And listen, I get it. I used to be one of you.

In fact, I thought about this before I started recording. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even… see, I can’t even put a sentence together. Isn’t this funny? But we’re just going to keep rolling. Years ago, I would not have even allowed myself to record right now because my brain would have convinced me that it’s not good enough and that I should wait. And then, I would create this anxiety and stress because I would be late. I wouldn’t turn it in on time. And so, it would just build up all of this unnecessary resistance in my life.

And so, for me today, I just feel like done is better than perfect because perfect is an illusion. It’s a made-up story. What is perfect? What if this is perfect? What if this is good enough? The beauty is that we get to decide what’s good enough. And I just choose to always believe that whatever I’m doing is good enough because there’s no upside to thinking that it’s not.

Now, with that said, I always want to be better. I always want to improve. But I don’t want to do it from a place of shaming myself and making myself feel less than. I want to do it from the energy of, “This is good enough and I’m excited for it to be better.” I’m excited to record a podcast when my brain’s actually working. But for today, this is what you’ve got.

So, today I’m going to do another Dear Tonya episode. This is where I get to answer your questions. I did one, I think it was last month. And so many of you enjoyed that format. I’ve decided that I’m going to do these a little more often.

So, I think it was about three weeks ago, I reached out to my community on Instagram. Which by the way, if we’re not connected on Instagram, what in the world? Go to @tonyaleigh and let’s connect. But I asked them what questions they had for me. And there were so many good ones, but I’ve pulled out some that I’m going to be answering today.

So, the first question is from FGirl77 and she asked me, “What has been your favorite luxury purchase.” This is a tough one because I actually have three that come to mind, so I’m going to share all three of them with you.

And the first one I’ve actually talked about in a previous podcast. So, if you go to, you can listen to or read about the eight investments that changed me as a woman. One of those investments was in a luxury handbag. And I’m just going to read to you from the transcript from that episode.

“I had walked by the Louis Vuitton in Aspen, Colorado for years but would never let myself go in. Ever since seeing an ad in Vogue when I was around 10 years old, I wanted one of those handbags. But the voice in my head constantly asked, who are you to have such a beautiful purse? So, I admired from afar.

I watched women through the window checking out like they were at the grocery store. No big deal. But for me, it was such a huge deal that I couldn’t even walk into the store. One day, I heard a voice in my head whisper, darling, it’s just a handbag. And a beautiful one. Go in there and buy it, enjoy it, and treasure it.

I walked in that day and checked out, just like the ladies I had seen in there before. It really was no big deal. But here’s how it changed me. Let’s face it, a handbag doesn’t change a woman. As that voice said, it’s just a handbag. But what did change for me that day was not creating so much drama in my head about what I was worthy of or not worthy of, to stop judging other women for how they invested their money, and to honor what I wanted.

And I have been taking exquisite care of my bag for years. It will be with me for a long time as a reminder of that young woman who finally rallied the courage to buy the handbag.”

Okay, so that was number one, my luxury handbag, my very first one. Number two, I would have to say, my Max Mara coat. So, the story behind that one was I was in Paris with my ladies on a retreat, I think probably three years ago, maybe four. And I took them to the Max Mara store. We had a private showing. It was so fun.

And for those of you who don’t know, Max Mara is an Italian brand and they’re known for their beautiful coats. That’s their staple in their collection. And so, I tried on this camel-colored coat and just fell in love. I actually tried on a navy one and a camel one. And all of the women were like, “You have to buy this coat.”

And at the time, as much as I wanted it, it didn’t feel like an abundant purchase. I knew at the time, if I would have bought that coat, I would have had a lot of scarcity around it because it was so much money and I had not yet caught up to that kind of investment. And so, I didn’t buy it.

But I thought about that coat for three years, four years, however long it was. And so, last year, I was actually in London and I went into the Max Mara store and they had a coat in there from their couture collection. And I tried on some of the other ones, but the woman was like, “You have to try on this coat. It matches your hair. I just want you to try it on.”

And so, I did. And naturally, I fell in love with this piece. And I purchased it. And it was such a different energy than if I would have purchased it those years prior. I was in a different headspace. It’s what I call an abundant purchase. It didn’t bring up any scarcity, any lack, just so much joy, so much excitement knowing that I was investing in a coat that I will have literally for the rest of my life. And living in Colorado, coats are really important.

And then, the final one that comes to mind is my most recent purchase. I just bought an Audi SQ8 and it’s the same situation in that I’d been thinking about getting a car for years, but it never felt right. And so, in the meantime, I was driving around in my old, old Jeep Grand Cherokee.

And so, when the time came, when I moved to Denver, and now that I was in the city, I was like, “Oh, now is the time for me to really think about upgrading my car. It was such a different experience. Again, it was one of those purchases that was made out of an energy of abundance.

I’ve been teaching a course called The Wealthy Woman within my membership site. And one of the things I told them is that it’s so much more fun to buy things when you have the money to buy it. Because there were many years where I didn’t have the money to buy things and I would go out and buy them anyway and it would bring up so much scarcity and lack that I couldn’t even enjoy it.

And so, when I think about all three of those purchases, I was just thinking about this as I’m talking. The things that they had in common are they are things that I had wanted or thought about for years. They weren’t impulsive purchases. It wasn’t a purchase of, “This thing’s going to make me better I’m going to go out and buy it.”

It didn’t come from a place of not enoughness and lack. They were well-thought out and intentional purchases. They weren’t impulsive. They weren’t instant gratification. In fact, I think about my car. I drove that old Jeep for almost 10 years.

And that brings me to the other point. There was a sense of anticipation. If I would have bought the handbag as soon as I decided I wanted a handbag, or if I would have bought the car, if I would have bought the coat as soon as I tried it on in Paris without really thinking about it, I would have missed out on the anticipation of it, which I think makes purchases even more luxurious. When you hold off and you work hard and you save your money and then you have the money to do it in such a way that it feels abundant.

And so, yeah, I would say that those are my top three luxury purchases that are coming to mind right now. But listen, if some of you are listening to this and you’re thinking, “But I wish I could go and get a new car. I wish that I could buy a handbag.” I have been there. I grew up in the deep south in a trailer. So, I didn’t grow up around luxury in terms of haute couture and three-star Michelin restaurants.

That wasn’t a part of my life. But you know what? I had a rich life back then. I had family. I had love. I had community, which is one of the most valuable things that you can have. But I journeyed into the world of luxury. And if you want to read more about this and my personal journey, I actually wrote an article that went viral maybe 10 years ago. It’s been a long time. But it’s called How to Live a Luxurious Life on a Not So Luxurious Budget.

So, if you Google my name and that title, you can read about how I started to bring luxury into my life. Because I believe every woman is deserving of luxury. And I don’t want you to think you have to wait until you can buy a handbag to live a luxurious life. You can begin to live luxuriously in the life you have right now. And because what you focus on expands, the more luxury you bring into your life, the more luxurious your life is going to feel.

Next question is from Curty_K17. So, she asked, “How do you narrow in on what goals to focus on? I feel like I have so many I want to do.” This is a question that I get a lot. In fact, I have a program called the Dream Atelier where I teach women how to do this. But here’s what I want you all to understand.

If you think that your happiness is in a goal, you’re going to be terrified to pick one. I really want you to hear me out here. If you think your happiness is in a goal, you’re going to be terrified to pick one because you’re going to be afraid of picking the wrong one.

You can’t pick a wrong goal because the purpose of a goal is to grow you, the purpose of a goal is for you to evolve to the next level. And so, for me personally, just taking the pressure off of myself of, like, I need to pick the right goal, I just pick a goal and I go all in on that goal, knowing that who I’m going to become in reaching that goal is going to spill over into every area of my life.

Now, I do have a process that I run women through where you do a big dream download and you get really clear on, “If I could only accomplish one dream in my lifetime, which one of these would I choose?” And then, based on whichever one you choose, you start to create goals to help you reach that dream.

But what if you just had fun? What if you didn’t put so much pressure on yourself to pick the right one? What if we all just lightened up and we saw goals as a fun pursuit in meeting our best selves, knowing that no matter which one we choose, that is the ultimate purpose of a goal.

So, for you, I’m going to encourage you just to pick one. You’re going to have all the FOMO come up. Deal with the FOMO. But don’t let it distract you from whatever you choose because what if you couldn’t choose the wrong one?

And then look at your goals and say, which one, if I were to accomplish, would I be most proud of? Or which one would grow me the most? These are questions that you can ask yourself in choosing your goals. But at the end of the day, you just need to decide and you need to go all in on that goal.

The next question is from Lori. She says, “I am 63 and disabled. It is hard to feel glamorous when using a walker. Any ideas?” Lori, yes, I have some ideas. But the first thing I want to do is I want to read you the definition of glamor.

It is an attractive or exciting quality that makes certain people or things seem appealing, enchantment, magic. Now, what didn’t we hear in that definition? What we didn’t hear is that you can’t be glamorous while using a walker.

I want you to really hear me out, you all. We put so many limitations on ourselves with our current circumstances. And as I was reading your question, Lori, I immediately had this picture in my head of this woman that I saw on the Upper East Side of New York.

She was an older woman using a cane. And she literally was one of the most glamorous women I’d ever seen. She was dressed exquisitely. Was she a little slower than the rest? Yes, but I saw it as she’s just sauntering. She’s taking her time, showing the world who she is.

And so, this is where we have to really get in the habit of asking ourselves powerful questions. A powerful question is how can I be glamorous while using a walker? Now, all of a sudden, your brain’s going to come up with creative ideas of what that looks like for you and how you can feel glamorous, no matter if you’re sitting in a chair or you’re in a walker. Because as you said, it’s a feeling you’re after.

And do you know what creates your feelings? How you think. And if you’re thinking that you’re disabled and that’s limiting you, you’re taking yourself out of the enchantment and the magic of life. How can you take your current circumstances and create magic with them?

Because to me, do you know, what would be glamorous is seeing a woman like yourself using a walker and rocking it and owning it. Those are the kinds of people in our world that catches our attention. We’re like, we want what she’s having. She’s not letting life stop her. It may slow her down a little bit, but that woman is still showing up. And you have the ability to show up as best you can with the life that you’ve been handed.

And so, I just got all kinds of crazy creative ideas of accessorizing your walker, just like we tie a little scarf onto our handbags. You could tie a little scarf on your walker. Doing your hair and makeup in a way that feels beautiful for you, dressing in an outfit that makes you feel glamorous. So, I really want you to ask yourself this question, how can I feel glamorous while using a walker?

Next question is from Pam and she asked, “How do we understand feelings caused by things, like the environment, not by thought?” Okay, Pam, so first thing you must know is that feelings are always created by thoughts, always. So, for example, you could be in – I’m just going to go extreme here. You could be in a warzone, but without a thought, you don’t have any feeling.

But we know that’s not possible, right? Immediately, our brain is going to have thoughts about the environments that we’re in. And that actually serves us. If we’re in a warzone and we have gunshots firing and bombs exploding around us, we want to access that fear response.

But if you think about watching that same scene on TV or at the movies, you may have very different thoughts. Similar situations. You’re watching it or you’re in it. But you have different thoughts. So, it’s always, always your thoughts creating how you feel.

And so, I just come from the school of thought of I want to put myself in environments where it’s easier to think beautiful thoughts. It’s why, for example, I always have fresh flowers in my house. It’s why I love to hang out with people who are enjoying their present moment and are excited about their futures.

I don’t want to hang out with complaining people. I don’t want to hang out with the Debbie Downers. I could experience peace in those situations, but it would take so much more effort because I would constantly have to be thinking about what I’m thinking about and working n shifting my thoughts in that situation.

Now, sometimes we do find ourselves in environments and around people where we get to do that work. And I think it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t want to fight that part of life either. But I intentionally try my best to put myself in environments where it’s just so much easier to think beautiful thoughts. But I really want you to understand this, you all. Without a thought in our head, we have no feeling. We’re just neutral. It’s when we start attaching thoughts to environments, to situations, to people, to things that we then have an emotional experience of them.

Okay, next question is from Momma Finds Bliss. I love your name, by the way. But she asks, “How do you learn how to become comfortable in front of the camera?” You do it by how you learn to be comfortable with anything; by putting yourself in front of the camera and feeling the discomfort of it and doing it until the point that it’s now comfortable, truly.

A lot of you are waiting for things to be comfortable before you do it. but the brain is always going to try to convince you that the unknown is a scary place, so don’t step into it. And that scary place could be leaving a job. It could be getting in front of a camera. It could be anything that’s just unfamiliar to you.

So, the way to get comfortable in front of a camera is to get in front of the camera and practice, and knowing you’re just going to get better. When I look back at my old videos, I’m surprised any of you that have been with me for a while are still hanging around. Because they’re so awkward and weird and you can tell I’m super-uncomfortable.

But by doing that and being willing to be terrible at it and just showing up and practicing over and over again, it now, I won’t say it feels completely comfortable, but it’s definitely way more comfortable than it used to be.

Now, some practical tips that I can offer you about being in front of a camera is to imagine someone you love on the other side. You’re just having a conversation with a dear friend. I think that’s really helped me. Because before, I used to imagine a big group of people and they were all going to hate me and judge me, which of course makes it really uncomfortable to get on camera.

But the moment I started to visualize and to think about my clients that I love so much and just talking to them like I would talk to any friend, then it was a different experience. I also recommend that you just pull your video camera out and you practice. Practice in front of the camera. And you’ll be able to see when you’re being your true self and when you’re being your camera-nervous self.

And just notice the difference between the two. Like, what were you thinking in the one where you look super-comfortable? And then what were you thinking and feeling when you were appearing super-awkward? And again, just having that honest self-reflection from a place of love and from wanting to improve, I promise you, you’re going to be so comfortable in front of the camera. But it’s going to be uncomfortable at first. So, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.

The next question is from Brooke. She asked, “How do you keep a major life mistake from derailing your progress?” Okay, Brooke, I want to give you a really useful tool. And when you really understand this, it will change your life for the better.

So, I teach my clients that there is a difference between fact and fiction. So, what are the facts of your situation that you’re calling a major life mistake? And the facts are something that you could go to court and everyone would agree, yeah, this is what happened. We can all agree upon it. and it won’t have adjectives, like major, right? Just the facts.

The facts, for example, would be, “I have $10 in my bank account.” We could all look at your bank account and agree, “Okay, she has $10 in her bank account.” The facts may be, “I’m wearing a blue dress right now.” If you all could see my dress, you would hopefully, unless you’re colorblind, all agree that it’s blue.

So, I want you to begin to think about, what are the facts of the situation? Now, you’re telling yourself it was a major life mistake. And all I want you to do is to ask yourself, is it useful to call it that? Does it serve you in any way? And I’m going to guess that it doesn’t.

To me, there’s a lot of shame in that. There’s a lot of guilt. There’s a lot of, “Oh, if I could have done it differently, I’d go back.” But you can’t. It’s done. I always want to tell the story that’s going to free me and allow me to move forward. And beating myself up for, quote unquote mistakes, just causes me to shrink and to hide and to play very small.

So, let’s say for example, let’s just play around with something here. Let’s say that you went into a $100,000 worth of debt. And now you’re telling yourself that you made a major life mistake.

Okay, the facts of the situation is Brooke has $100,000 worth of debt. Now, I’m not saying you do, but let’s just pretend for a moment. Now, you can look at that number and you can tell yourself, “Oh, it’s major. I made a huge mistake. There’s something wrong with me. I’m not good enough.” And that kind of thinking keeps you stuck.

Now, let’s think about a different way to look at the situation. Instead of calling it a major life mistake, you could say, number one, it’s just a number. It’s a negative number. All of a sudden, you’re feeling a little bit of relief because you’re not beating yourself up for being a human and making what you’re calling a mistake.

Then you could begin to, I like to call it the thought spiral upward. You begin to tell yourself things like, “I forgive myself, I’m a human. This is how we learn. This is how we grow. I can figure this out. I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m going to learn how to make more money. I’m going to learn how to be better with my finances. This, quote unquote mistake, is going to be the best thing that ever happened to me because of who I’m going to become to change it around.”

And I just invite all of us to offer ourselves so much more grace and compassion because part of the human experience is failure. Part of the human experience is what we like to classify as mistakes. But be mindful of the story that you tell around these mistakes.

Because again, you can tell a story that keeps you caught in the mistake, that keeps you from being able to move forward, or you can be the heroine of your own story and you can attach a new meaning to it that fuels you, that drives you, and helps you to create what it is that you want in your life. So, be kind to yourself, my friend.

Okay, I must warn you all that a major storm just appeared. So, there’s thunder and lightning all around me. But the show must go on, unless my power goes out.

Okay, the next question is from Elena. And she asks, “What would you do, at first, if you were at the beginning of your style transformation journey?” Oh, this is such a good question. And, you all, I haven’t planned my answers to any of these, so we’re just going to see where it goes.

But what I would do first is I would play around with the essence that I want to embody. Because a lot of times, we’re out there just buying clothes, we see something in a magazine or on TV and we’re like, “Oh, I want something like that,” without ever really being intentional.

Like, what do you want your style to say about you? How do you want your clothes to feel? What is the message that you want to send the world if you couldn’t say a word through how you show up? And to be curious about that answer. I think it’s a beautiful opportunity for you to get to know yourself.

What colors light you up? What shapes? What textures? What fits? And just be really curious. And a great way to do this is to go on Pinterest and just notice the outfits that really speak to you. So, that would be number one.

And the second thing is to have fun with it. Like, what if we all approached style with a sense of fun and play? I remember when I was growing up, I used to love to go over to my aunt’s house and go into her closet, because she had some really cool pieces. And it was so fun to try things on and just see how they fit. And it wasn’t serious. It was just a sense of fun and play and wonder. And I feel like we need to get back into that energy as women.

The third thing that I would offer you is to just be mindful of how your current style feels. What current outfits do you have that are really more in alignment with who you want to be and where you’re going? Because really, style comes down to awareness and being intentional.

And so, if I were to start my style journey over again using all that I just shared with you, I would definitely buy less and invest in really good quality pieces that embody the essence of who I truly am. Because when I first started my style journey, I was just buying all the things and I thought that would fix the problem. If I have a lot of clothes, then style will be easy.

And it turns out, the opposite has been true for me. Having a very refined wardrobe has allowed me to really step into my style and has made style so much easier. So, figure out the essence of what you want your style to say about you. And also, just be mindful of what the gap is from where you are now, and then it’s the process of getting from where you are now to where you want to be by investing in those good-quality pieces.

The next question is from Ciara. She asks, “How do I keep changing my thoughts on people who trigger me? Thank you.” So, the first thing that jumped out in this question is that you’re trying to change your thoughts. How do I keep changing my thoughts?

Now, hear me out. Eventually, we’ll get you there. But the first step is to be willing to have the thoughts about the people who trigger you. Because it’s not the people triggering you. It’s your thoughts about those people. And what we often do is we want to change it really quickly because we don’t want to feel triggered. We don’t want to feel a negative emotion, so we’re like, let’s hurry up and change our thoughts.

But can you see, there’s so much resistance in wanting to hurry up and change your thoughts? What if you were willing to have thoughts about the people who trigger you. Imagine that.

Let’s imagine it’s your sister and she walks into the room and she says the usual thing that triggers you. Now, what you’re trying to do, you’re trying to find that thought and change it really quickly. But what if you were like, “I’m willing to be triggered. I’m willing to have these triggering thoughts about my sister.”

All of a sudden, there’s one less layer of resistance. And can you just be in that space of being triggered? Just watching your mind do what it does when your sister is around? That is step number one.

But if you try to hurry up and bypass step number one, you’re never going to be able to get there because you’re always going to want to change it fast, quick, instead of just being with it. There’s such a peace to just being with the thoughts. They’re just thoughts about people.

And we may not like them. But what if we could learn to just be with them? And I’m talking about your thoughts, not the people. What if we could just learn to be with our thoughts first and just notice what goes on in your brain when you are being triggered?

I will tell you all, just that one step has allowed me to not even have to go to step two many times, which is shifting your thoughts. There’s like an instant release of resistance, an instant awareness. And I can find peace just by not fighting with my own brain. And so, I want you just to play around with that.

What if you were willing to have thoughts about people that trigger you? And once you get into a space of allowing for that, that’s when you’re ready to actually move onto changing your thoughts. But I don’t want you to rush through this process. I think this is the most important process, to be able to be with yourself, not react to the person or to yourself, but just to be with yourself in that beautiful crazy brain of yours. Because guess what, all of our brains are beautiful and crazy.

Next question is from Simone. She asks, “How did you overcome the fear and loss of familiarity when you left nursing?” Okay, what I can tell you is I didn’t experience loss. I was so excited about what I was stepping into and I as focused on what I was gaining that I didn’t have a feeling of loss.

However, I had a lot of fear. And the fear was around stepping into the unknown. The fear was letting go of something that my mind had convinced me was secure and stable and stepping into something that my brain was telling me was not secure and stable.

And I phrase it that way because it’s just your brain. Security and stability is something that you create from within. It’s not something a profession gives you. And so, I did experience a lot of fear during that transition. My brain would go to things like, “What if this doesn’t work. What if you fail? What if you can’t come back to nursing?”

And I’ll never forget when I let my nursing license expire. My mom was convinced it was the worst decision ever. She couldn’t believe it. She was like, “Why don’t you just keep your license? You don’t have to practice.” And I was like, “Mom, no. That part of my life is over.”

And by that time, I had worked through so much of my own fears and insecurities that her thought didn’t trigger me. I had built the confidence in myself by that point. But I do remember her being so super-concerned about it.

And all I can think about was all the fear that I had to process in order to be able to hear her say something like that to me and me not be triggered. Because you only get triggered when it brings up something within you that you need to address, something that you need to heal.

And so, it just took a lot of work. And here’s the thing, you all. It’s a common theme. But any time you’re stepping into the unknown, it’s going to be scary. And the only way to make it less scary is to step into it and to normalize it.

So, over time, believing in myself, showing up, doing the work, I had now created a new reality that felt very normal to me. It felt very abnormal to think about being in the nursing profession. But that process was full of so much discomfort. And so, I didn’t overcome it. I just walked straight into it.

And eventually, I came out on the other side. But here’s the thing, you all. I am constantly walking into fear. Right now, I am creating something new and it’s the same voice, it’s the same concerns, it’s the same scary what ifs.

But whenever I’m in that place of the fear and hearing my brain go to, “But what if it doesn’t work out? What if no one likes it? What if everybody hates you?” I immediately go to the opposite and give that equal attention. What if it does work out? What if people love it? What if you have many people that love you?

And so, for all of you that are going through change and you’re stepping into some scary stuff, I want you to manage your brain, number one. But I want you to really focus on the positive what ifs. Because that’s going to get you excited. That’s going to keep you moving forward. And eventually, you will walk through that ring of fire and you’ll come out on the other side.

Okay, I’m going to answer the final question. And we had so many incredible questions and I wish I could get to all of them. But maybe I’ll do another Dear Tonya pretty soon. In fact, if you like this format, let me know.

Okay, this is one of my favorite questions. It’s by Daisy and she asked, “How do you incorporate self-love into your everyday?” Such a fun question. So, first of all, I want all of us to understand that love comes in many forms. But it always comes from the place of I want the best for you.

So, throughout my day, I am administering all kinds of love to myself. And sometimes, it’s tough love. And we have to be onto ourselves because sometimes our brain will try to convince us that lying on the sofa all day eating chips is loving.

It’s like, “Oh, you deserve it. You’ve worked so hard. Just go lay down. Watch Netflix all day and eat those chips, girl.” But I know for me, that’s not self-love. That’s self-sabotage. And so, I have to be onto myself. So, sometimes self-love is like, “No, we’re not doing that, sister. I love you too much for that.” It’s just like a mom. You think about a really loving mother, they’re not going to let their kid play in the street.

They’re going to have a toughness about them because they love that child so much. And so, when I’m thinking about self-love, I think a lot of times, we go to things like pedicures and manicures and flowers and all of those things are amazing. And I definitely treat myself to those things.

But I find that the best form of self-love is often the toughest love. It’s the love that expects the best for me. It’s the love that wants the best for me. And it’s the love that brings out the best in me.

So, some practical things though that I do every day. I talk to myself in the mirror. I know, it sounds crazy. But I literally look at myself in the mirror and I talk to myself. Here’s an example. Like, in the morning, I’ll wake up and I’m looking haggard and I just look in the mirror and I’m like, “I love you so much. You’re so beautiful. I am so proud of you. You continue to amaze me.”

I literally talk to myself like that. You all would think I was a little crazy if you were in my house. But I’m always celebrating myself too. And this is something that I never did before. I was too busy beating myself up. But I don’t do that anymore because it doesn’t serve me. And you beating yourself up doesn’t serve you either.

And so, I’m always congratulating myself, like good job, great work. Look at what you did today. I’m forcing my brain to focus on what’s going well. Because if I didn’t, guess where my brain would go? To all of the things that I didn’t do, to all of the mistakes that I’ve made, quote unquote, to all of my weaknesses, to all of my failures.

That’s what the brain does. So, if your brain does that, just know that that is normal. But what I can also offer you is that the more you practice celebrating your amazingness, your accomplishments, all of the things that are going well and right, you’re retraining your brain with new neural pathways so that it becomes very odd for you to beat yourself up.

You’ve gotten rid of that neural pathway. By default, it’s more normal for you to celebrate yourself than to beat yourself up. But that takes time and that takes practice. But that’s definitely a part of my self-love is also congratulating myself, celebrating myself. And sometimes, it’s tough. It’s saying, “I know you don’t want to go and record that podcast right now because your brain’s not working. But guess what, I love you enough that I expect better.”

And then there are all of the other things, like the foods I eat, I feel like, are a testament to my self-love. Eating high-quality foods. Also, putting the fork down even when my brain’s telling me to keep eating, I feel like is a form of self-love. Going for walks or going to the gym, a form of self-love. Putting myself in beautiful environments, making sure my home is clutter-free and I’m surrounded with things that I love and that feel like me, that’s a form of self-love. How I dress myself is a form of self-love.

Everything can be a form of self-love when your intention is coming from love. Which means you could go and get a manicure and it’s not coming from self-love because you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. The wrong energy is fueling it.

And so, a great question for all of us to ask ourselves throughout our day is what feels like love right now? When you’re at work and you’re at the desk and you’re tired and you want to reach for some cookies, just take a pause and say, what feels like love right now? Because you may realize what feels like love is to get up and stretch, maybe drink some water, hydrate. It may be to reach for a healthy snack.

But you will know what is love based on how it feels and the results that it creates. Because I can tell you, love creates beautiful results in your life.

It is time for a J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And you all may not know this, but every week before I’m about to record the podcast, I walk around my space and I look for things that I have that I absolutely love.

And I keep wondering, am I going to run out of things? And I don’t think so. Because there’s always something to love. But today’s became very obvious when I looked around in my space and currently I have about five candles burning. And then I opened up one of my cabinets and I have like a candle collection.

I might have a little problem, but I do love candles. I love the fragrance. I love the flickering sound that I sometimes hear. I just think that it’s such a simple way to add luxury into our lives. And I have many candles that I love. I have Diptyque, I have some candles that my friends just gave me. But the one that’s burning in front of me right now is so beautiful.

I love the glass that it’s in. It’s a pink frosted glass with little – I don’t know what we would call these. I want to say little dots all over the outside. And I found these candles at a cute little gift shop in Durango. And I became a devout lover of these candles and I would always keep them in stock.

And when I recently moved, I was like, what am I going to do? Where am I going to find these candles? Well, I found them online, and so I want to share them with you. You can head over to to see what is burning at my desk as I record this for you.

Do not underestimate the power of these little simple pleasures that can add so much to our days. They may not seem like a lot, but it’s the energy. Every time I look at this candle or I smell it, it sparks a beautiful thought in my brain. And that flows into everything that I do. So, go check out this candle at Have a beautiful week, everyone, and I will see 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 Because, after all, mindset is the new black.

Enjoy the Show?

Self-Image Makeover

Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance