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The Crave Compass

Soul Cravings: The Path to Joy and Fulfillment

Pay attention to your soul cravings and align with your core values, strengths, and passions for deep fulfillment. In the podcast episode, Tonya Leigh emphasizes the importance of listening to your soul's cravings, which originate from the deepest part of you and are in harmony with your core values, strengths, and passions. These cravings differ from societal cravings influenced by external expectations and norms. By paying attention to your soul cravings, you can experience a profound sense of purpose, joy, and alignment in your life.

Tonya shares her personal journey of discovering her soul cravings, such as a desire to learn about the world, feel at home in different cultures, and explore various cuisines. By following these cravings, she was able to align with her true self and move towards her North Star. She highlights the contrast between societal cravings, which may offer temporary approval or success but lack deep fulfillment, and soul cravings, which lead to a sense of purpose and joy.

She encourages listeners to pay attention to their own cravings and explore what their soul truly longs for in life.

Episode Details:

00:39 - Tonya's New York City Experience

01:55 - Identifying Your Cravings

02:36 - Personal Development Journey

03:08 - Essential Self vs. Social Self

04:12 - Excavating Your True Self

05:06 - Following Soul Cravings

06:08 - Discovering Worldly Cravings

07:00 - Societal vs. Soul Cravings

10:03 - Discomfort in Following Cravings

12:12 - Recognizing Soul Cravings

13:05 - Creating Space for Soul Cravings

14:10 - Developing Self-Trust

15:37 - Paying Attention to Intuition and Body

21:02 - Practical Exercise: Mood Boards

24:04 - Energy from Soul Cravings

Episode Transcript:

Have you ever felt a deep longing for something more in your life? Maybe you're feeling it right now. It's this quiet, persistent whisper from your soul urging you to explore uncharted territories or pursue a long-held dream. Well, if you can relate, you're going to love today's episode because we're talking about the crave compass, how to navigate your way to a more fulfilling life. So let's dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here's your hostess, Master Life Coach, Tonya Leigh.

What is happening, my friends? I just checked into a hotel in New York City, and I'm sitting here at this table looking at the most stunning cityscape. I can see the Freedom Tower from here, and it is a beautiful day in New York City. And I am going to be inside working most of the day. I have a 7:30 dinner reservation, but between now and then, head down, working. I am here meeting with part of my team because we are working on some really exciting projects within the business. The things that we're working on are things that my soul has been craving, just wanting, desiring, that deep, deep longing.

Last week, if you listened to the episode, I talked about your sweet spot, and I talked about how in my business I have felt out of my sweet spot over the last year especially. I'm moving back into it, and in order to do that, you have to pay attention to your soul craving. And so today's episode's going to be an extension of last week's because I want you all to really think about what you are craving in your life. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to think about a certain part of your life, and it's usually helpful to go to the part that you're least satisfied with, is it your health? Is that your financial situation? Is it your career? Is it your relationships? Is it your spiritual journey? Where do you feel the least satisfied? And what is it that you're truly craving in that area?

When I think about my life, especially back when I first started my coaching business, I was first coming into the world of personal development, I had been doing a lot of work on myself, but I didn't have context to it. I was just stumbling along figuring it out. I had this understanding that I had to change who I was on the inside in order to change on the outside. But then I was introduced to Martha Beck's work. I'll never forget reading her book, Finding Your Own North Star. In that book, she talks about the essential self versus the social self. I realized that most of my life I had paid more attention to the social self, the self that was trying to please everyone, the self that was trying to fit in, the self that was so afraid of disapproval, the self that was doing what everybody told her she should do.

These are societal cravings. They are cravings that are influenced by external expectations and norms. Again, they're often based on what you think you should do or what you should want. With these types of cravings, you get this temporary approval or this temporary feeling of success, but you lack deep fulfillment. Every time you follow them, it often leads to you feeling more disconnected from your true self. And that's the self that I'm interested in helping you excavate and find within you, that's the work that we do within the membership. In order to get back to your true self, the self that you came here to be, the self that is deeply fulfilled, the self that is having an impact on the world in your own unique way, that only you can, the self that has that joie de vivre, in order to get back to her, you have to get in touch with your soul cravings.

This is part of your essential self. They come from the deepest part of you, and they align with your core values, your strengths, your passions. And when you fulfill them, you have this deep sense of purpose, of joy, of feeling aligned in your life. When you follow your soul cravings, even if it's challenging, even if it's hard, it'll feel expansive. And so when I was introduced to Martha's work, I started to do a lot of this deep introspection of what do I really crave in my life? What do I deeply, deeply want? It sent me on this whole path of self-discovery, and it all started with that one question that many of you have heard me talk about when a doctor turned to me and said, "Who do you want to be?"

When the word worldly came to mind, it opened up this little portal into all of these cravings that I realized that I'd had ever since I was a little girl. I wanted to learn about the world. I wanted to feel at in the world. I wanted to discover different cuisines and learn about art and travel. I wanted to be a worldly woman. And by listening to those cravings one by one, whether it's the craving to read a certain book, the craving to turn right down a street, the craving to walk into a store, the craving to take a class, the craving to hire a coach, the craving to order a certain cuisine on a menu, by listening to my soul's cravings, not my societal cravings, but my soul's cravings, has led me towards my North Star.

There have been times, as I talked about last week, where I've gotten off course. Do you know why? Because I was listening to the societal cravings. And let me tell you all, it can be confusing in our own heads. We can wonder, "Is this a soul craving or is this a societal craving? Is this just me being afraid because I've hit an upper limit, or is this because this isn't a good choice for me?" I want to talk about that a little bit because for me, in full transparency, that has been a lot of the work that I've been doing over the past couple of years. The reason why I fell into this work is that I fell out of my sweet spot and I realized I had been listening to my social self, the self that was listening to the people around me telling me that I should want a certain amount of money, I should run my business in a certain way, I should have my team in a certain way. The more I listened to all of that noise and followed through on it, the further I got away from my sweet spot, because those weren't my true soul cravings.

Now, I have a company, of course, I want to grow it. I want to make a beautiful living. I want to support my team in beautiful ways. I want to provide immense value to my customers, to anyone that comes into contact with the School of Self-Image, whether it's through this free podcast or if you're in the membership. But I'm driven differently than some people around me. And listen, I want to be very clear, I believe in wanting what you want. I believe in honoring your soul cravings. But a lot of people are going after things that are societal cravings. They're not their deep cravings. So then they get them, and they may have a moment of fulfillment, but there is a lack of deep satisfaction. It's very important to me, you all, that the way I do something feels good.

And so when I'm doing something that doesn't feel good, I hope I catch myself and course correct quick enough. Because in life we're going to do things that don't feel good. We have to actually to figure things out. Life is about contrast. You have to experience one thing to appreciate its opposite. And then on top of that, there are a lot of people on the sidelines that if they see you doing something that's out of alignment, they like to call you out. And then that just drives you more into the social self, into those societal cravings of, "Oh my God, well, let me course correct and please these people and please these people." I'm just suggesting that we just come back to our soul, we come back to what we deeply, deeply want.

Now, I want to be clear about something. Earlier I was talking about doing things that don't feel good, and I want to clarify that I'm not talking about the discomfort of following a soul craving. I'm talking about the discomfort that comes and the lack of fulfillment that comes from following a societal craving. Because you're going to have discomfort no matter what, but is the discomfort leading you more towards deep, deep fulfillment? Because when you follow your soul cravings, you're going to disappoint a lot of people, there're going to be a lot of people who don't like your decisions, there are going to be a lot of people that judge you. So you're going to have to feel the discomfort of that. Also, the discomfort of, is this going to work out? I don't know where this is leading. Because you're stepping into the mystery of life. That's where soul cravings will lead you.

Societal cravings will often lead you to something that's very familiar, whereas soul cravings, you're stepping out onto the horizon of life, and that can be very scary. But that discomfort is worth it. More than anything, I'm hoping that this conversation is offering you relief, because some of you right now are listening to this and you are realizing, "Yeah, a lot of what I'm doing right now is a societal craving." The last thing you need to do is shame yourself for it, because listen, friend, you are not alone. Everybody listening to this, I don't care how high and mighty you may think you are, at some point, maybe even now, you are following societal cravings. It's driven out of fear. It's driven out of ego, and we do it for a reason. We do it because maybe you don't have the tools, maybe you are afraid of the change, maybe you're afraid of the discomfort. So if you find yourself out of your sweet spot now understanding that it's because maybe you've been following societal cravings give yourself some grace, please. Nothing's gone wrong. Now is a beautiful moment to turn towards what your soul deeply craves.

You'll know a soul craving because it will bring you joy. Even if it's hard, it'll bring you so much joy and satisfaction. It will be aligned with what you deeply value. All of our values are different, so it's important that you understand what you value. And it will lead to growth, and it'll lead to a life. If you fast-forward and imagine yourself following a particular craving and you're at the end of your life, you'll look back and realize that was a well-lived life, versus the societal cravings, which can be unhealthy. They may give you short-term gratification, but they're rooted in fear and external validation, and they will not lead to a life that's deeply satisfying.

So how do we start to pay attention to our soul cravings? Well, it's important to give yourself space because one of the obstacles to noticing and honoring your soul cravings is all of the noise and distraction in today's super busy, super stimulating world. Maybe you need to create space to journal more. Maybe you need to stop scrolling on Instagram and Facebook or TikTok, whatever you love to scroll on. Maybe you need to have some alone time. Maybe you need to plug into different communities. But my own experience has been, when there is so much coming at you, you have to be the one that puts up a red velvet rope around your mind, around your soul so that you can hear you again, so that you can listen and pay attention to what you're being nudged towards and what you're being nudged away from.

The other thing you have to develop is self-trust, because this is a requirement. Because a lot of times what happens is we have the soul craving come up and we don't trust it, and we don't trust it because of things of the past. Maybe you've been following cravings that haven't turned out well and you are telling yourself you can't trust yourself because of the past. But if you examine it, maybe it didn't turn out well because it wasn't a true soul craving.

But what I've discovered is that to follow your soul cravings you have to trust yourself. The only way to trusting yourself is to follow through on the things you say you're going to do for you, to pay attention to yourself. You don't create trust by continuing to doubt and ignore yourself. And then the other thing that you're going to have to embrace in order to discover your soul cravings is the fear and the self-doubt that comes along with it, because it will require that you step outside of your comfort zone. And then the final thing that I'm going to talk about regarding soul cravings is you have to pay attention. You have to pay attention to your intuition and your body.

Your intuition is that inner knowing that is always working to guide you towards your soul desires, your soul cravings. It's that internal compass, we'll call it the crave compass, that is leading you towards what you deeply crave. And that requires that you pay attention to your body and your energy. So notice when you walk into a place, do you feel expansive or do you feel contracted? Do you feel excited or do you feel disappointed? Your body is always speaking to you, but unfortunately, especially in today's world, we can be so in our heads and so disconnected from our bodies. And our bodies hold the answers. That internal compass is always working, but it's going to require that you pay attention to the little inner nudges you get to the physical sensations that you experience when you see certain things, when you hear certain things, when you're around certain people, when you smell certain things, when you taste certain things. It speaks to you through all of your senses.

And so if you feel like you're someone who is disconnected from your body, one of the things you can start doing is just hourly body scans from your head to your toe. What are you feeling? What are you experiencing? Are you feeling tightness? Are you feeling relaxed? Are you feeling tingly somewhere? What are you feeling in your body? Another way to get back into our bodies is through mindful movement, whether that's dance. Recently I've been doing a lot of yoga, which has been really great, not only for my body and my strength, but also getting back in touch with my body, listening, being aware of where my body is in relationship to space, how my body is feeling in relationship to the environment that it's in.

Our intuition is always guiding us. I've spoken about it before, but I love to think of it being hot and cold, that game that we played as kids. When you're moving towards your soul cravings, when you're moving towards your sweet spot, it will feel like it's getting warmer, like it's getting hot. One of the things that I really appreciate about my current team is, whenever we're meeting and we're throwing around ideas, they are consistent because I've talked to them openly about being out of my sweet spot and how I don't want that to happen again, even though it will because that's life, you go in and out of it. But I don't want to be out of it as long as I was.

They are so good at holding me accountable because what they'll say to me is, "Tonya, I want you to pay attention to how this feels. Really feel into it. Get out of your head and let's feel it. What is the feeling right now?" And when I do that, there will be things that logically my brain's like, "Yeah, you should do that," but my body is saying, "No, that's not it. I just moved away from my sweet spot. That must be a societal craving or an emotional craving. It's not a soul craving." So I want you to notice what feels hot. To me, hot feels expansive, it feels exciting, it feels passionate, it feels electrifying. Whereas cold is very constrictive. If you think about it, even like your blood vessels, when you're cold, your blood vessels constrict, when you're hot, they expand, they open up.

That's what it's like, you'll feel constricted. You'll feel slow. You'll feel weighted. You'll feel burdened. You'll feel heavy. Your body is always giving you those clues. Now, your brain may be telling you, "Yeah, you should go for that, you should want that," but what does your body say? The way I like to think about it, you all, is let your intuition, your body, tell you where it wants to go, and then get your brain on board. A lot of times we do it the opposite. We let our brain tell us where we should go, and then we try to force our body to move in a direction that it doesn't want to go.

I just got this vision of some of the horses that I used to work with. I used to love being with horses. I used to have horses. I remember trying to pull certain horses in a direction that I wanted to go, and the horse would just resist me because something in that horse was saying, "This isn't the path. This isn't safe. This isn't where we should go." And so let your body, let your intuition, let your soul tell you the direction that you want to go, and then you're going to have to work on all of the limiting beliefs that come up when you start to head in that direction. But that is the work. That's what's required to live by your crave compass.

And so I was thinking about today's episode, I'm like, "I really want to give you all something that you can do, something that you can try in order to begin to open up this part of you, to access this wisdom that is already within you." One of the things that I love to do, and I've been doing this a lot with my business recently, is creating these mood boards, these boards that just represent something that I'm craving. Now, when you do this, it's very important that you don't try to figure out the how, you don't even try to figure out the what eventually. You just pay attention to the things that are speaking to you, and you don't even have to know why.

So you can go and get a bunch of magazines, you could do it on Pinterest, or even when you're out walking, you can come back and journal. I don't know, I heard the song and for whatever reason, I just felt electrified. It felt so in alignment. Write the song down. But if you want to do it visually, just collect all of these images that are speaking to you and put them all together. And then you can begin to ask yourself questions like, "Is there a theme here?" When you look at your collage of cravings, what emotions or sensations arise in your body? And what did these reveal about what you're craving? Are there any surprises about the images or the words or the themes that have emerged from your collage?

You can ask yourself if your collage could speak, what message or invitation would it offer you about your soul's path? Which of these images or elements of your collage feels most exciting to you right now? And what does that represent about your deepest desires? When I recently did this for the business, I just started putting a lot of images together, and what came to me, because I had images of Europe, some in France, some in Italy, a lot of old world architecture, I saw a lot of neutral colors, so soft colors, but every once in a while there would be a bold image that would jump out. And so I put that there. I saw a lot of fun and play and joy. And so I just started pulling these themes out and asking, "What is this revealing to me about the business and who I'm being in the business? What is that bold move that maybe I'm being called to make?"

I just journaled a lot, and it was a beautiful exercise of really coming back to my soul cravings, paying attention to my body, what speaks to me, asking those questions that allow me to go deeper into what I truly want. And what I can tell you all, there is an energy that emerges when you get back in touch with your soul cravings. I am so excited about this season of my life. I'm so excited about this season of the business. I'm so excited about this season with community and growth that I'm experiencing. All of that has been a result of slowing down, of paying attention, and getting back in touch with my soul cravings.

I hope you all will do this exercise, and I would love to hear from you. If you are on Instagram, come on over, tell me what you think of today's episode and what is one thing that you know that you're craving right now, that your soul is craving. And then the work is to begin to create that for yourself, begin to infuse that craving into your day, into your relationships, into your business, into your career. What is that one thing that your soul is craving right now?

Listen, it's trying to speak to you. Pay attention. Have a beautiful week, my friends. I'll see you on next week's episode. Cheers.

I used to think happiness was a fairy tale, forever just out of reach. I felt stuck a lot of the times, helpless, and like I was constantly failing at life. But then I discovered a simple shift, or three, that changed everything. Now I help women like you create their own powerfully ever-after. In my free masterclass, you'll learn the secrets to unshakable desire, fearless action, and finally believing in yourself. You deserve a life you love, so stop waiting and start creating. Watch the masterclass and unleash your inner powerhouse. You can go to and watch it now.

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