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Even though I have low-grade anxiety most of the time, I’ve accepted it and I don’t fight it, so I feel calm and peaceful most days.

How to work your way back to a peaceful state, without fighting and resisting your emotional experience.But a few weeks ago, I got rattled and I didn’t feel aligned. I had been consuming too much news and social media, and I realized that I was plugging into this collective anxiety that the whole world is going through.

The truth is, to be an effective woman, an effective mother, daughter, worker, wife, leader, entrepreneur, you have to take care of your mental health. And a huge part of that is protecting your peace. And when I realized what was going on for me, I made some serious changes in my day-to-day, so I could get back to my life in a more grounded and centered way.

Tune in this week to discover the importance of protecting your peace, especially at a time when the whole world is experiencing such a heightened level of collective anxiety. I’m sharing the thoughts that help keep me centered and peaceful, and what you can do to create boundaries in your life for those things and people that you love, but aren’t necessarily serving you.

We had an amazing response to the Week of Calm that we did a little while ago, and because I want to help as many people as possible navigate this crazy time with elegance and grace, I’ve decided to leave it open for the time being. So, if you need a little more calm in your life, come join us.

What You Will Discover:

  • How I knew that I was out of alignment, and what was responsible.
  • The thoughts that always bring me back to a state of peace.
  • Why we have to be very careful about the kinds of information we consume and how often.
  • How to work through your feelings when it feels like other people are stealing your peace.
  • Why you actually owe it to the other people in your life to take the steps to protect your peace.
  • How to enforce boundaries with others that protect your peace while still showing them love.
  • The questions to ask yourself to work your way back to a peaceful state, without fighting and resisting your emotional experience.


Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day that really resonated with me and speaks to what today’s episode is about. And it’s attributed to Daily Go Getter Girls. And here’s what it says, “Never let anyone succeed in making you doubt the decisions you took to protect your peace. Be proud of yourself for fully honoring you.”

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.

Well hello, my friends. How are you? I am doing good. I’m not going to say great, and I’m not going to say terrible. I’m somewhere in the middle. A lot of change in my life, which I will for sure talk about soon, but change is hard. It is painful. It is heart-wrenching.

But I’ve come to understand that everything that we want requires that we step into that. And so, I’m in it, y’all. So, if you’re in it, just know, you’re in good company because I’m in it with you. And I also know that this is just a part of life. I talk about this all of the time on the podcast, but part of being human is just experiencing all of it. and so, I hope that’s comforting for some of you all.

One of the things that I tell my clients often, I’m like, “Listen, I do this work right alongside you. And I don’t want anyone to ever put me on a pedestal. I hope that the words that I share and what I teach can support you in living a beautiful life. And I think it’s so important that we, as teachers and, quote unquote experts, are really real about our own process.

I think sometimes it’s really hard because we look at so many people form the outside and we think they have these perfect lives and they have it all together, and no one does. No one does.

I think what some of us have is just the ability to navigate it and not fight it and not resist it, and then as a result, we’re able to move through it with a little bit more grace. Because I’ve tried fighting and resisting life and resisting change and that’s even harder. So much harder.

But yeah, a lot of change, not just in my life, but in the world, right? And I’ve decided that since I have the momentum of change behind me – and guess what, you do too – you know, I’m looking at everything, what I want to change in my life. Everything from personal to business to all of it.

And I feel like this is such a beautiful season for us all to take a step back and say, “Hey, what do I really, really want? What am I ready to let go of? Where have I not been giving myself permission? Where have I not been honest with myself? Where have I not been true to myself?” I think these are all just incredible questions to be asking ourselves right now.

These are questions that I’ve been asking over the last few months and I’m so just proud of myself for having the courage to answer them and to be really honest with myself. So yeah, a lot of change.

And I also want to change up this podcast. Instead of the Community Spotlight and the J’adore, I’m going to just head straight into what I want to talk with you about this week. And then, I’ll do the Community Spotlight -afterwards, and no J’adore this week.

So, I want to talk about how to protect your peace. So, I was inspired to talk about this topic because, a couple of weeks ago, maybe three weeks ago by the time you’re listening to this, maybe three weeks ago, I was just rattled. And I tend to be a fairly calm person, even though I have, like, low-grade anxiety most of the time. I’ve accepted it. I don’t fight it.

And so, I feel peaceful most days. I feel very calm most of the time. But a few weeks ago, I got thrown out of the vortex, as Abraham would say. I didn’t feel aligned. I felt very stressed, a lot of anxiety. And I realized that I was plugging into this collective anxiety that’s been happening in the world.

2020 has been a year that has really shaken us up. And I think it’s going to be in a beautiful way. I am so excited about what is going to come out of this time. But right now, it seems as if we’re all in it. and many of us are plugged into it. So, if you imagine that you can plug yourself into certain energies, right now, the collective energy of the world is one of a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear, a lot of stress, a lot of worry.

And so, if you’re plugging yourself into the world, you’re going to be plugging yourself into those energies. And that’s exactly what I had done. I realized that I was watching news – which I don’t watch a lot of news. I like to stay somewhat informed, but I’m not someone that just sits in front of the TV and watches news all day.

I also noticed I was on social media a lot, which usually I don’t so a lot of social media. I have scheduled social media time. I don’t know what happened. It just went out the window. And I noticed that I was just checking social media a lot more often.

And then, I noticed that there were certain things that I usually engage in that brings me back to a state of peace. So, for example, my meditation practice, listening to certain types of music, being out in nature. These are all things that I typically do that, a few weeks ago, I’m not sure what happened, y’all, but I just sort of checked out of my usual self-care plan.

And as a result, I was feeling, again, anything but peaceful. And that’s when I realized that I must protect my peace. And you must protect your peace. Because to be an effective woman, an effective mother, daughter, worker, wife, leader, entrepreneur, business owner, fill in the blank, you have to take care of your mental health. And part of that is protecting your peace.

And so, when I realized what was going on with me, I was like, “Okay, I’ve got to really put a bubble around myself so I can get back into my life in a more grounded and centered way.” So, I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve done over the last few weeks that have helped tremendously.

I am feeling so much more aligned. I am feeling more like myself. I’m feeling more peaceful. And these are the things that I did. And I’m going to strongly encourage you to consider doing these for yourself.

So, number one, I limited my social media. Because I want you all to pay attention to how you feel when you open up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever your go-to is, I want you to notice what happens in your body. Right now, because the collective energy is one of a lot of anxiety and stress, the chances are, you’re going to open up your feed and you’re going to experience that from other people.

Now, here’s the thing – and I tell clients this all of the time; you are always the one creating how you feel. So, that does mean that you could open up social media and feel amazing. But a lot of times, we don’t want to feel amazing about certain things; when we read a terrible headline, when we read about a friend who is struggling, when we read about whatever.

We don’t want to feel amazing about it. So, just by opening up social media and reading all of the drama and the conflict and the stress and the fears and the worries of other people, the chances are, you’re going to be connected to that energy and you’re going to experience it for yourself.

Now, I believe in having great empathy. I believe in holding space and supporting people and loving people. But we have to take care of ourselves first, right? What is the saying, you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help other people? So, if you’re stressed and fearful and worried, it’s really hard to support and help other people.

And so, I just got, I just got back on social media. I have been spending so little time there except to go in on my groups and check on my ladies, and then I’m out. And I cannot tell you what a huge difference this has made in just a very short time. So, limit your social media.

And I wasn’t going to mention this one, but I think it’s really important to add to that. Juts limit media in general. Media is so divisive. Media is there to get us all riled up and it doesn’t really good job. And so, I just want to plug into that energy. There is a way for me to stay informed without watching the news all day.

For me, I know nothing good comes from it. If anything, it creates stress and worry and anxiety, and then I’m not useful to myself or to the other people in my life.

Okay, the next one is huge. And it’s one that I see so many of my clients struggle with. And that is to limit the peace stealers in your life. You know who I’m talking about, right? It’s the people that, whenever you’re around, you can just feel yourself maybe go from calm to crazy.

These are the people that typically have no boundaries. These are the people that love to complain. These are the people that always seem to be in a crisis. These are the people that are always asking you to help and they expect it.

Now, again, it’s really important that I just preface this one with the knowledge that no one ever causes you to feel a certain way. It’s always our thoughts about that person or that group of people that causes us to feel a certain way. But you know what, here’s what I think about it; I don’t want to use my mental capacity to have to manage my mind so hard in order to be around certain people.

I would rather use that energy to brainstorm bigger issues that I want to solve, to use that energy to be more creative, to think about what I want to create in my life, what I want to help my clients create. If you think about it, you have a limited amount of energy.

And so, if you’re using up that energy to try to manage your own mind because you’re putting yourself in places where people are always just trying to steal your peace, you’re not going to have enough energy to create your life because you’re going to be constantly reacting to what is around you.

And so, I just have found that I feel more peaceful when I am around peaceful people, when I’m around people that aren’t easily offended, when I’m around people that aren’t complaining all of the time, when I’m around people that aren’t angry, I am better able to stay in a place of peace.

Now, would I love to be like Buddha and be able to be around anyone and feel peace? Of course. That’s what I think we should all be striving for. But until then, until that moment, I want to put myself in places where I just find it so easy to think beautiful thoughts.

Now, here’s the thing; we’re all humans and we’re all going to be around different types of energies and different types of people. And I always tell clients, that’s a beautiful opportunity for you to practice. Can you be peaceful when everyone around you is in chaos?

But then, you get to take a step back and ask yourself who do I want to be around? What kinds of people do I love being around, and when I’m around them, I can just feel myself drop into a place of calm and peace? And what that means is you’re going to have to set boundaries with people.

Now, a boundary is not you telling someone what they should do. A boundary is you telling people what you’re going to do if they behave a certain way. So, for example, let’s say that you have a friend who is always in a crisis and she loves to come to you to talk about her crisis and to complain about her crisis and to ask for help around her crisis.

So, a lot of times, we think that a boundary is telling her not to be in a crisis and not to talk to you about being in a crisis. But a boundary is you saying, “Hey, listen, I love you and no. I love you, and no, I’m not going to help you. I love you, and no, I’m not willing to talk about this anymore.” That is how to set a boundary.

Boundaries and peace go hand in hand. And boundaries are hard. But once you begin to set them and you get to experience the peace that comes from having boundaries, or what I like to call a red velvet rope around your life, you will understand that to live in a state of peace, you have to be willing to say no. you have to be willing to have boundaries.

So, pay attention to the people in your life that are stealing your peace and learn to set boundaries with those people. I think boundaries are one of the most loving things that you can do for yourself and for other people.

The other thing to do if you want to protect your peace is to engage in peaceful activities. Now, this is going to look different for all of us. For me personally, it’s listening to certain types of music. It’s my meditation practice. It is taking long walks in nature amongst the trees. It’s dancing.

I don’t know what it is about dancing, but I just feel so peaceful when I am dancing. And I think about all of those activities, what’s really happening is they’re bringing me back to the present moment. They’re bringing me back to the here and now.

And what I love to say is that right here, right now, everything is okay. It’s when our brain starts going haywire and starts regretting the past or feeling worried and scared about the future that we get out of a state of peace. But when we bring it back to this moment – in fact, everyone listening to this, I want you just to look around you right now. Just pay attention to what is happening in this moment without the story. Because without thought, there is no problem.

Without the beliefs in our mind, in this moment, everything is okay. It’s sort of crazy to think about, right? And so, I love these certain activities that just bring me back to this moment. because, in this moment, there is peace.

And so, I want you to stay curious about what brings you peace. For some of you, it may be gardening. It may be knitting. It may be just going for a walk in the city. But I want you just to notice what activities that, when you’re engaged in, they bring you back to this present moment and therefore bring you back to a state of peace.

The final suggestion that I want to offer you in order to protect your peace is one of my go-tos for everything. One of the questions that I love to ask myself is, if I were already there, if I’d already created this thing, how would I be thinking? How would I be feeling? And what would I be doing? How would I be showing up?

So, a few weeks ago, when I got thrown out of a peaceful state – it sort of felt like just thrown right out – but the first step is I didn’t fight it. And I think that’s so important because I think, a lot of times when we’re feeling stressed or worried or any of the human emotions, we think we shouldn’t be feeling that way and then we beat ourselves up for feeling that way, and that doesn’t help.

We’re all human. We’re not all going to be in peace all of the time, unless maybe you’re the Dalai Lama, or maybe Byron Katie, I don’t know. But for most of us humans, we’re going to experience all of the things. And so, the first step is not to beat yourself up and not for you to add to the emotion by telling yourself you shouldn’t be having it, or making yourself wrong for having it.

And so, for me a few weeks ago, I didn’t fight it. I was like, “Alright, I’ve signed up for this experience of being a human, so here we go.” And from that place, I think started to think about, “Okay, if I was in a peaceful state, what would I be thinking? What would I be feeling? And how would I be showing up?”

And this really caused me to do a lot of thought work. I started journaling. And then, when I looked at what I wrote down in my journal, I was like, “Well, no wonder I’m so not peaceful right now.” When I looked at the thoughts in my head, I was like, “Okay, this makes total sense.”

And so, I started to ask myself, “What would I be thinking?” And this question led me back to the thoughts that I typically think on a regular basis. And that’s what had happened. I stopped being intentional with my thinking. I was not thinking on purpose. And instead, I was plugging into outlets where the level of energy and the level of thinking was very reactive.

And so, for me, my process was to unplug from all of that and get back to my truth. And I love what my mentor Martha Beck says, “You will know your truth because it will taste like freedom.”

So, I want to share with you the thoughts that always bring me back to a state of peace. And some of these bring even confidence. And I feel like peace and confidence go hand in hand because confidence is believing in your ability to handle whatever is coming towards you, to handle whatever is happening.

So, in order to feel peaceful, you have to know that you can handle whatever life is bringing you. And so, if you’re feeling a lot of stress, a lot of worry, and a lot of anxiety right now, like many people in the world, I want you to consider practicing these thoughts.

So, the first one is, “It is all happening for me, you, and us.” I really believe that. Everything that’s happening is got our good. It’s an opportunity for us to take a look within ourselves. It’s an opportunity to grow. It’s an opportunity for us to become even more of who we are. And so, just believing that this is happening for me and for us brings me so much peace.

The other one is, “I am loved and fully supported.” I am loved and fully supported, and I really believe that. I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I said, “You know what? I believe this whole experience of life is about our connection to the divine and our connection to ourselves.”

And oftentimes, what happens is we forget about that connection and we’re so worried about our connection to everyone else. And we lose that spiritual connection with something so much greater than us, and that connection with ourselves.

And the relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship. And so, when I say I am fully loved and fully supported, I am talking about being supported by God, the divine, the universe. But I’m also saying, I am fully loved and supported by myself. I am going to love me and support me no matter what. And that thought just brings me back to a state of peace.

The other one I wrote down here is one that I know my clients hear often, but, “There is no hurry.” A lot of times, we think that over there is better. We think that once we get through the pandemic, once we get through the election, once we get through 2020, once we get over there, when we’ve lost the weight, met the man, you know, made the money – we always are chasing things over there.

And it causes us to live life in such a state of hurry and stress. But when you realize that what you’re always after is a feeling, and that to create what you think you want over there is going to require that you embody having it here.

And so, whenever my clients are in a hurry to lose weight or to build their business or to do anything, I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow it down, sister. There is no hurry.” And when you really get it, when you really understand that and you take a deep breath and you relax, it’s crazy what happens.

You become more creative. You’re more excited. You start creating the feeling that you want now. You don’t have to wait until over there. and it just allows you to slow down. And ironically, that’s when you often speed up.

So, that is one of my favorites. When I’m feeling stressed and in a rush, I just take a deep breath and I’m like, “There is no hurry.” And I’m always just blown away with how much faster I’m able to create from a state of not being in a rush.

The last one that I want to offer you is one of my favorites because I spent most of my life feeling unworthy and like I wasn’t enough. And so, what I would do is try to work really hard to prove myself to get people to like me. And let me just tell you all, that is exhausting. And it takes us out of a state of peace when we’re trying to please everybody else at our ow expense.

So, here is a thought that I want to offer you, “I am worthy and more than enough.” I am worthy and more than enough. And I want you to imagine really believing that, really knowing it deep down. Because a lot of you all are practicing the opposite of that and you’re looking at all of the reasons why you think that is true and collecting evidence for it and creating a deeper belief that you’re not enough.

But you get to decide what you think about yourself. You get to decide if you’re worthy or you’re not. You get to decide if you’re enough or if you’re not. And the more you practice believing in your enoughness, the more you practice believing in your worthiness, what’s going to happen is you’re going to force your brain to start looking for evidence for what you want to believe about yourself.

But when you really know that you are worthy and more than enough, I want you just to imagine how you would show up in the world differently. It’s pretty powerful to think about. You wouldn’t be begging people to like you. You wouldn’t be chasing people. You wouldn’t be working extra, extra hard to prove your worth.

You’d probably have a pretty darn good time. And to think about what you would create when you believe you’re worthy, just because you want to. I don’t think there’s any more of a peaceful thought than, “I am worthy and more than enough,” because guess what, you are. And I want you to practice believing that.

So, this week, I want you to also practice protecting your peace. And the way you protect your peace may be different than the way that I protect mine. But I want you to notice what is stealing your peace. I want you to notice what activities you’re engaging in that’s taking you away from your peace. I want you to notice who you’re hanging out with that makes it so much harder to find your peace.

Your peace is important. So, do the work to protect it.

It is time for a Community Spotlight, the part of the show where I get to highlight someone on the community who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Terri03. She left a five-star iTunes review titled Tonya is Le Chat Miaule. My French is horrible.

Here’s what Terri said, “Yes, I’m that proverbial cat lady who finds delight in the simple yet elegant and curious lifestyles of my cats. Tonya is truly the cat’s meow. I learned of her podcast through a coworker who was going through a very difficult time and recommended Tonya’s podcast to me. I have found them to be meaningful and applicable to life.

I love the straightforward manner Tonya brings to the table without guilt or remorse. After a long period of grief and loss, I’ve used Tonya’s techniques to take the day as it comes and to tweak it to benefit me just by changing my outlook and choices. I am moving forward and can now, once more, enjoy the simple pleasures in life like the purr of a contented cat and, through Tonya’s coaching, have landed on my feet. Thank you.”

Well, Terri, thank you for that lovely review. I must say, I love being called the cat’s meow. And hey, listen, if you listen to the podcast and you enjoy it and you have not left a review, what in the world, my friend? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and let me know what you love about the podcast, and I may feature you in an upcoming Community Spotlight.

Have a beautiful week, everyone. I love you and I can’t wait to see you in the next episode.

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.

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