Henry David Thoreau said, “That man is rich whose pleasures are the cheapest.”
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.
Hello, beautiful friends. How are you feeling? I love that question, by the way. One of the things that I often do on my coaching calls is I ask my clients to all give me a one-word check in. And what this means is to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling in one word.
Isn’t it crazy that so many of us can’t even identify our feelings outside of mad, glad, happy, sad? We are like little robots going about our lives never really just checking in and saying, “Whoa, what’s going on with me? How am I feeling right now?
I think it’s such an important question to get used to asking yourself and being curious about the answer, not judging yourself. Are you anxious? Are you excited? Are you happy? Are you hopeful? Are you determined? Like, what is going on for you?
Because our feelings are creating our entire lives and our feelings are created by what we think. And so, doesn’t it make sense to check in with how you’re feeling right now?
This morning, I asked myself this question when I woke up, “How are you feeling, Tonya?” And the answer that came up for me is I’m feeling so optimistic, even with a twinge of excitement. And I’ll tell you why. Like everybody else, my emotions have been all over the place the last month. And I’ve had to really work on my mindset to keep myself in a stable emotional state. But I really do believe that something incredible is going to come out of this time.
I am so optimistic that the science and innovation that comes out of this is going to be life-changing. I’m so optimistic that we’re going to value our lives and our connection more than ever. And I’m so optimistic as well, and excited, that we are getting back to the simple pleasures of life. It’s almost been like this little pause of, like, check in with what’s really important.
And that excites me because when we can appreciate the simple pleasures, everything else is just the cherry on top. So, how are you feeling, my friend? I hope that, whatever you’re feeling, that you know it’s all okay. welcome all of it. Because when you do that, life truly does become this magical playground.
It is time for a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I get to highlight someone in the community that has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Traceysmith620. She left me a five-star review on iTunes that says, “Tonya est Magnifique.” My French accent, by the way, is horrible. But I try. That’s all we can do, right?
But here’s what she said, “A five-star review for a five-star podcast. I’ve been listening to the FKL podcast for over a year now, read her ebooks, and recently attended her Week of Calm class. I can’t tell you what a difference it’s made in my life. I’ve always been a people-pleaser, putting myself and self-care at the bottom of my to-do list, leading to terrible consequences. Since listening to Tonya, I’ve also learned that the quality of your questions is so important; the art of visualization and being the person you want to be now.
Tonya challenges you to think differently. After all, if you want a different result I your life, you must think, be, and do in a new way. Tonya is the big sister I’ve always wished I had and I look forward to a new podcast every Wednesday. Her practical tips and way of thinking have led me to be the person I’ve always wanted to be and her sweet southern charm and laugh make a pleasure to listen to weekly. I look forward to reading her new book when it comes out, listening to her relevant podcasts, and taking future classes from her. If you really want to change your life, start here.”
Tracey, thank you so much for that sweet review. I really appreciate it. and it’s so funny, you guys, whenever I’m reading these reviews, some of you say that you love my laugh and my giggle. But do you know, I have people who don’t? Yes, I get messages. Not often, but every-once-in-a-while someone will say, “I just think your giggle is so silly.” And I’m like, “You’re totally right, it really is.”
But it’s who I am and I think, more than anything for all of us, I want us just to give ourselves permission to be who we are and to know that sometimes people won’t like that, and that’s okay. we’re not everybody’s glass of champagne. And that doesn’t make them wrong. It’s just not their preference, and that’s okay.
With that said, if French Kiss Life is your glass of champagne and you have not left me a review, what in the world? Head on over to iTunes and let me know how the podcast has touched your life.
One of the things that I fell in love with when I first went to France was the appreciation and the enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. I think about my dear friends who live in Antibes in the south of France. And they have such a simple lifestyle, and yet, it’s so rich.
I just think about the times that we’ve sat in their backyard under a grape vine just sipping a glass of wine and talking for hours with beautiful cheeses, amazing food, and music playing in the background, just the laughter.
And it’s really interesting because, over the last few weeks, I’ve been coaching a lot of women around what is happening right now, especially around the fear of losing jobs, losing money in the stock market. Even some of my clients have lost their jobs. And I was thinking about, what if we all lost everything; the material things of life?
What would we be left with? We’d be left with life’s simple pleasures; the things that actually can bring so much joy to our everyday. Now, I don’t think we are the types of people that are going to lose everything. Like, we have a certain amount of ambition and resourcefulness that we would be able to afford some things, right? But what if we lost all of the big things?
Like, I think about me, like, what if I lost the ability to be able to travel to France or to go anywhere? What if I lost the ability to have Netflix or some of the little extras of life? I would still be left with life’s simple pleasures.
And when I think about what I enjoy most about life, of course, you all know I love beautiful clothes; I love travel, I love going to Europe and staying for an extended amount of time. But if I didn’t have a chance to do that, I would still be happy because, when I think about what I truly enjoy, it’s the little moments of every single day that cost me very little or nothing at all.
For example, a cup of coffee in the morning. I don’t know about you all, but I go to bed at night thinking about my cup of coffee the next morning. And I have my little Chemex coffee maker, my little pour over. It’s such a ritual for me that I get so much pleasure from.
The other thing for me is music. Like, I love music. I have it playing all of the time, except when I’m recording the podcast or teaching a class. But generally, there’s always music playing in the house and it just fills me with such a good feeling.
There’s my dogs. You all, I can just look at their faces and just feel so much joy. And in the evenings, our tradition this time of the year, because we live on a lake, is to go down to the lake and they swim. And I just literally sit there and throw sticks and I’m with my dogs and I’m so happy.
The other thing for me is to go sit outside on a sunny day and just sit in the sun reading a book. I love books. Life’s simple pleasures. And just feeling that sun on my face and my body, it just fills me with such a warm feeling. It’s so simple and yet so rich and so beautiful.
My baths at night. I look forward to those at night, just the way I look forward to my coffee in the morning. And then I’m sitting there and I’m like, “Oh my goodness, I have warm water. How amazing is that?” Do you know how there are people in the world who don’t even have water? And here I am sitting in a bath full of warm water. It’s, like, crazy when we stop and really think about it.
And then I think about my friends, being able to call them and laugh until my belly hurts. Simple pleasures. Lighting a candle and smelling that in my home all day. It’s such a little act that doesn’t seem like a lot, but every time I take an inhale and I can smell that aroma, I’m just so full of joy.
Even going out – right now we’re heading into spring in Colorado, and I’m already excited to think about the wildflowers that I get to go look at. At the grocery store, I can pick up an inexpensive bouquet of flowers that I can bring home and sit it on my desk and just stare at it. Simple pleasures.
Thinking about my friends in Antibes again, they don’t have a lot of money. But I guarantee you that they live a life richer than most people that are multi-millionaires. They live on the port in Antibes and so it’s not unusual for them to just walk out of their front door and go and take a dip in the sea. That’s free. It costs them nothing.
And then they’ll come back and they have such a huge community of friends and they have weekend barbeques, like so simple, and yet so many of us don’t take the time for those simple pleasures because we’re always chasing something else. We always think that life is better over there.
And then when something like a pandemic comes along and our “over there” is threatened, we start to feel like life has lost its meaning. We start to spin in fear and worry and anxiety. And I say this often, but I am all about creating our dreams. I think it’s fun. I think it’s exciting to see what we’re capable of creating in a lifetime.
And if you’re someone that wants lots of money, I’m all for it. I’m like, “Let’s go do it.” But I don’t think that life is better over there than it is right here. And if you’re failing to really appreciate the simple pleasures in life, how are you going to really appreciate the big things in life?
For years, I’ve been telling my clients who are so afraid of risk and maybe losing everything and failing, I’m like, “You know, years ago, I started to think about that. What if I did lose my company? What if I did lose my money? What if something terrible happened and I’m just alone with me?”
And I’m the kind of person, I always feel like I would have the ability to generate some income. I’ve figured out, like I said earlier, we’re ambitious, we’ll figure it out. But I was like, “Okay, the worst thing that I could envision for myself is that I end up in an RV by a river.” It’s the whole, like, “She’s living by a river,” story.
But then I’m like, is that so bad? Actually, no. I’d be by a river. I’d have a bed. I’d be able to catch some fish, hopefully. I think I’d be able to go to the store as well and pick up some things. I’d have books. I’d have my dogs. I would have my simple pleasures. I would have music. I’d have that sunshine. I’m sure I would have friends over and we would sit on little lawn chairs watching the river flow by, right?
We would appreciate the simple pleasures. And it would be beautiful. And you know why? Because I would make it beautiful. I want to make my life beautiful no matter what. And enjoying the simple pleasures is a part of creating that.
For years, I have talked about enjoying the little luxuries that are always available in our everyday life. And now more than ever, I think it is so important. And let me tell you why.
Number one, most of us are living in fight or flight. We are in sympathetic overdrive with our nervous system. We are cranking out cortisol. We’re burning our adrenals out. And I found this happening to myself a few years ago when my daughter was sick.
I was like, “I don’t have time to enjoy the simple pleasures. I’ve got to make this happen. I’ve got to figure out what’s going on with her. I’ve got to fix it,” right? And I started to notice that my body was wearing down and I was like, “This has got to change. How am I going to take care of my daughter when I’m not taking care of myself?”
And so, I simply started to add back in the enjoyment of the simple pleasures, like the simple things; taking a little walk, getting outside, reading fiction, listening to music. And I started to notice that I just felt better. Why? Because I was tapping into my parasympathetic nervous system that’s all about rest and relaxation and digestion. And I started to build back my health just by enjoying the simple pleasures.
But the other thing that I find really fascinating is that other than that brief period when Sarah was sick, for the most part, I’ve always had those simple pleasures in my life. And I say always, I mean like within the last 10 years. Whenever I went to France for the first time, I’m like, “They really have this thing figured out.”
We need to enjoy our everyday lives so much more. And I’ve noticed that I’m actually more productive when I’m taking time for the simple pleasures. Now, a lot of times, we don’t do this because we think we don’t have the time for it and that it’s just superficial and it doesn’t really help.
But I started to think about this and asked the question, what if simple pleasures is the key to better productivity? And I came across this study that was done by some psychologists and they had like 122 participants in this study to see how simple pleasures affected their goal achievement.
And what they discovered is that on the days that had very few simple pleasures, that it ate away at their goal progress. And then, in contrast, on the days where people experienced a high number of simple pleasures, they stuck to their goals. They were able to make progress. Why? Because simple pleasures create positive emotions. And positive emotions are key to progressing towards our goals.
Think about it. Let’s say, for example, your goal is to lose weight. And throughout the day, all you’re doing is checking off your to-do list, telling yourself how you’ll never get it done, telling yourself how there’s so much to do, feeling overwhelmed, and then it’s five o’clock in the afternoon. What are you going to do? It’s like you have no willpower left.
That’s when I would always run to the pantry because at least that gave me a little hit of pleasure. Now, I was sacrificing my goals of losing weight and getting in shape and feeling healthy, but in the moment, I was so pleasure deprived that, of course, I wanted to reach for food.
But imagine a different approach where throughout the day, you’re slowing down long enough to actually enjoy and taste your coffee or your lunch, you’re laughing with friends, you’re taking a break to go and sit in the sunshine and go and read a good book. You’re filling up your pleasure tank.
You see, we are driven to pursue pleasure and to avoid pain. And so many of us are pleasure deprived because we don’t give ourselves permission to enjoy the simple everyday pleasures that life has to offer, most of them not costing us a thing.
So many times, I wonder, why are so many of us just rushing around trying to get to the next thing, checking off that to-do list and running ourselves ragged? And do you know why? Because we want to feel better. And we think that by rushing through life and getting to that next goal, we're going to feel better.
We really believe that over there is better than here. But it never is. You’re just going to find yourself over there rushing to the next thing and neglecting to really enjoy and appreciate those simple pleasures of life that are, again, always, always available.
I want you to really think about this. Why are you in such a rush? Why are you always trying to get so much done? Do you ever even stop and ask yourself why? And what it’s costing you? And do you even like your reason for what you’re doing?
Again, this is not a discouragement of going after your dreams. I mean, come on, we have this one life. I think it’s fun to see what we are capable of creating, but not at your own expense. And what if – just what if – enjoying the simple pleasures of life are the key to creating what it is that you want?
Because what you want is that feeling. And the more you can enjoy the simple pleasures of your life today, the more you’ll be able to create that feeling for yourself. And when you’re feeling the way you think you’re going to feel over there, you’re more likely to create what it is that you want.
I do not see one downside to enjoying life’s simple pleasures. The only thing I see is the upside, the benefits, how it will bring the joy back into your everyday. It will bring you a little bit of relief. It will help you to make your days more beautiful. You’ll start to feel better, again, by the simplest of pleasures.
I want you to be curious about what your simple pleasures are, because it looks different for all of us. You might not enjoy coffee. Maybe for you, it’s meditation in the morning. Maybe for you it’s a cup of tea. But I want you to be curious about what brings you pleasure; the simple things. And I want you to commit to taking time out for those things.
The next time you’re feeling rushed and you’re running the story that you’re overwhelmed and you’re never going to get it done, what if instead of trying to get more done, you took a break, you pressed pause, and you enjoyed a simple pleasure?
My experience is that you would tap into the beauty and the abundance and the joy of this moment. And you’ll still get it done. But you’ll have so much more fun doing it.
It is time for J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, it will be no surprise that I love skincare. And it’s a question that I keep getting asked a lot about recently.
And so, I want to share another one of my favorite skincare tools. And it is called Dermaplaning. Basically, I shave my face. Yes, not only men shave their faces; us women can as well.
And let me tell you why I love Dermaplaning so much. So, if you touch your face – which we probably shouldn’t be doing right now, but let’s just say you do – you’re probably going to know there’s a lot of peach fuzz on your face. And what Dermaplaning does is it takes that peach fuzz off, which often is what harbors dirt and germs and bacteria, which can then cause acne and blemishes.
But it also is an exfoliator. So, when you Dermaplane, you’re taking off that top, top layer of your skin, which causes you to have much more luminous, vibrant, and healthy-looking skin.
Now, I’ve been doing Dermaplaning for many years and, for the longest time, I would go to a professional esthetician and have them do it. And occasionally, I still do that. But you all know I like to DIY things. I love to learn. I love to educate myself. And I love knowing that I have the skill that I can do it on my own for times that we might just be sheltering in place. Which, perfect timing, right?
Actually, that’s not the reason why I learned to Dermaplane. The main reason for me is that I travel a lot and I love knowing that I can do it on the road. So, I found a tool by a company called StackedSkincare. And it’s an amazing tool that I personally use myself.
Now, if you are a professional esthetician, please do not send me messages about how I should not be doing this. I have watched all the YouTube videos and I was also an operating room nurse for a bit, so I feel comfortable handling blades.
And the way I think about it is I’ve been shaving my legs for years, so I feel like I can shave my face. Now, if you don’t think you can do it, please go to a professional because there is a risk that you could slash your face and I would feel horrible if you attempted this and then cut your face all up.
I’ve nicked myself one time, very, very small, when I first did it. And I learned, okay, you probably shouldn’t hold it that way. But I love this tool. And when I use my blade, I typically use it five to six times and I sterilize it after each time. It’s so important that you sterilize it because you don’t want to be putting a blade on your face that hasn’t been sterilized, for obvious reasons.
In terms of how often I do this, I do this biweekly. So, twice a month, I will shave my face. I will Dermaplane. And what I love about Dermaplaning, unlike other procedures that you may do to your face, is that you get to see immediate results. Like, as soon as I do it, my skin just looks more vibrant, more alive, more healthy.
And so yeah, that’s another one of my skincare secrets. I Dermaplane twice a month. I shave my face. If you want to see the exact tool that I use – because you do need a really good tool. Do not go on Amazon buying a blade to shave your face if you decide to try this. Please, trust me.
You want to go with a reputable company that creates a quality product. So, if you head to frenchkisslife.com/dermaplaning, you will see the exact tool that I use. And again, proceed with caution. Do not slash that beautiful face of yours, okay.
Have a beautiful week, everyone. I’ll 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 frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.