A couple of mornings ago, I was doing my typical morning journaling practice, and that’s when I had this big a-ha moment. You see, I feel like women that are attracted to French Kiss Life – and gentlemen, because I know we’ve got some gentleman listeners out there. But at the core of what we want is we want to live extraordinary lives.
We want to see what’s possible. We want to reach our goals, have more fun, enjoy our lives more. And it occurred to me that, in order to do that, there are only three areas in our lives that we need to focus on upgrading in order to do so. And that is what this episode is all about.
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, my beautiful friends. Welcome to another episode of the French Kiss Life podcast. This is episode number 155, and I’m sure that number has some kind of spiritual value, but I’m just really proud of myself for doing 155 episodes. I’m also extremely ecstatic to be back at home in my bed.
As much as I love to travel, I really, really do, I equally love coming home because my core essence is a home body. I can be a hermit, you all. I’m that crazy woman that’s, like, sitting at home talking to her dogs all day every day. I guess, for me, I love the contrast of life. I love travel, but I equally love coming back home. I love being around lots of people, and then I love being around no people. I love experiencing the contrast. I think it makes life fun and interesting.
But yeah, I’ve just been at home wearing my robe in the evenings and hanging out on the sofa with Glen and the dogs and binging on my latest Netflix obsession, which I’m going to share with you in today’s J’adore, so stay tuned for that.
But for now, it is time for a community spotlight. This is the part of the show where I get to highlight someone in the community who has benefitted from what we do around here at French Kiss Life. And this spotlight came from Nina. She actually sent me a message on Instagram and it just really warmed my heart.
So here’s what Nina had to say, “I don’t remember what I was searching for on Pinterest, but when I stumbled upon French Kiss Life, I knew I had found what I needed. I fell deep into a world of beauty, possibility, and joie de vivre. I have been following you now for six months and I can honestly say that no one is doing it like you. I look forward to having you in the car with me on the way to work every Wednesday. Tonya, you are like my virtual BFF. One of the first things I did was download your Paris is a State of Mind ebook.
Chapter six blew my mind. You see, my entire life, I’ve been searching for happiness. I thought that was the point of life. And that one short chapter really helped me to see that I was causing myself so much misery by doing so. I don’t know if this will make sense to you, Tonya, but there’s this deep sense of joy that has been with me now for a few months because I know it’s okay to feel sadness, fear, and all the emotions. I also know that it doesn’t mean that my life has gone wrong.
I cannot tell you the freedom that that has given me. As you say. It just means that I’m a human. I cannot tell you what a shift this has made in my life, not to mention I’m dressing up every single day, and for the first time in a long time, I feel unstoppable. I hope you know how much your work is impacting lives. It has surely impacted mine. I love you. Nina.”
Well, Nina, I love you back. And thank you so much for sending me that message. It just makes me so excited to hear from you all because sometimes you just don’t know. You don’t know whose lives that your work is impacting. You’re just over here working your own little space with yourself and your computer and your microphone and so it really does mean a lot when you all leave a review on iTunes or you send me messages or you send my team emails, just letting us know.
It’s why we do what we do. And I can tell you, one of the things that you said, Nina, is I don’t know if you can relate to this, but you’re having this deep sense of joy now that you’re not trying to be happy all of the time; I absolutely relate. In fact, I was just meeting with my CFO and I was saying to him, you know, it’s really interesting. And I’ve never met an entrepreneur that this doesn’t occur to. And it’s something I’ll probably do a podcast on in a future episode, but I was sharing with him that I always have this low-grade anxiety, and I think it’s just part of constantly growing and constantly putting yourself out there and constantly stepping into the unknown.
But the difference now is I’m okay with it, whereas before, I would try to fight it. I would think, oh my gosh, something’s gone terribly wrong, I’m really screwing up the law of attraction. And you know what, none of that could be further from the truth. I think accepting ourselves as we are, how we’re feeling, I think that is the key. That’s when you release all of the resistance, and then you can just be anxious and go about your day and have a productive day and get things done and just be okay with however you’re feeling in the moment.
So, yes, girl, I totally understand what you’re saying. And for any of you who have not downloaded my book, what in the world are you waiting for? You may not have even known that I wrote this really lovely ebook called Paris is a State of Mind. It is 14 chapters, and I just went back and reread it myself and I was like, wow. I wrote it years ago, but it’s actually really good. So, head over to frenchkisslife.com/paris to get your copy.
So, do you want to live an extraordinary life? Of course, you do. I feel like that’s why we are here. We are here to see how much we can love, how much we can play, how much we can create. We are here to French Kiss Life.
So as I was saying at the beginning of the podcast, I was journaling the other morning and I had this huge a-ha moment. I was like, you know, there’s only three areas of our lives that we need to focus on upgrading in order to live an extraordinary life.
Now, I know you’re thinking, well that sounds easy, just three? But know that any type of change requires attention, intention. It requires awareness. It requires discomfort because change is discomfort. But my goal for this podcast is that when you are going about your days, you will start to think about these three areas and how you can upgrade them.
I’m going to call them the three Es. Yes, the three Es. And the first one is education. Back in episode, I think it was 147, if you go to frenchkisslife.com/147 it will take you to a podcast that I did called the necessity of exposure. And that podcast was all about exposing yourself to new ideas, to new ways of thinking, to new possibilities because you don’t know what you don’t know.
In fact, some of you may know this, but I chose my word of the year this year as CEO. And I’ve been reading a lot about what it takes to be an effective CEO. And it’s been a huge learning curve for me. I was a nurse for 15 years. I did not grow up in corporate, and so I’ve had to learn a lot.
But I was just reading a book on being a CEO last week and it was saying that the most effective and successful CEOs make learning a number one priority. Think about it this way; if you want to grow your life, if you want to grow your business, if you want to grow your relationships, if you want to grow as a human being, you have to grow your mind.
What I can tell you for myself personally, like this year of all the years has been my biggest growth year as a human. And not ironically, I’ve also consumed the most books this year. On average, I’m reading a minimum of two books a week.
Now, is that a coincidence? I think not. I think that is a huge part of my big growth spurt this year. And I also realized that, in order to be an effective coach and to be an effective teacher and to be an effective leader, I have to constantly grow myself as a human being. And so I’ve made that a huge priority this year.
Now, when it comes to education, there are many ways to educate yourself. You don’t necessarily have to go back to school and get a degree. There are books. There are movies. There are organizations. There are so many ways to expand ourselves, but I want you to think about how you can grow your own mind.
And this may mean learning new tools and skills. It may mean learning new ways of thinking, new perspectives, but are you growing your mind? Are there areas where you can begin to upgrade your education?
And some ways to think about this is to ask yourself, like, where am I being challenged right now? Because I promise you, there is someone in the world who has overcome your challenge. What if you were to be educated by them, right?
Another way to think about it is, what am I curious about? I am always encouraging my ladies to follow their curiosity because it’s there for a reason. I will tell you that, if I had to attribute one characteristic why I am where I am today, it’s because I followed my curiosity and I educated myself about it.
So, for example, I was curious about the world of wine, and so I went to sommelier school, and then that led to the next thing. And then I hired a coach and I was curious about it. I’m like, what is this coaching thing? I want to learn more about it. And I educated myself about it.
And I continue to do this in my life because, here’s the thing, your education is something that no one can ever take away. And I believe it is an investment that pays the highest return. Education on how to think, education on new skills, education on new perspectives. I’m telling you, upgrading your education will change your life.
And I have so much proof of this, not only in my own life, but I am constantly hearing, every single day, from women in my Slim, Chic, and Savvy community, how educating themselves, learning new ways of thinking, new ways of being, learning the tools to practice in their everyday lives is changing the entire trajectory of their lives. It is an investment that keeps paying off. So, where can you upgrade your education?
Okay, let’s talk about the second E. And interestingly, I don’t feel like this one is talked about enough in the personal development world. I definitely talk about it in my programs, but in personal development, we tend to talk about the inner world. That’s what I call it; your mindset. And that is huge. But we also have to think about things that impact our mindset. And so the second E is your environment.
When I’m coaching women, I’m always looking at their inner world and their outer world. And they are both impacting each other. And so, as you upgrade one, you’re going to upgrade the other, and so they complement each other beautifully. And so I’m always looking at women’s environment.
And this is a big category because it includes all the things, right? It includes the people you hang out with. It includes the condition of your home, the clothes you wear, the foods that you eat, the quality of your water. What about the quality of the air that you breathe? It’s also the materials that you consume, your intellectual consumption. All of that is a part of your environment. And all of that is impacting how you think and how you feel and how you show up in the world.
And I know that, with tools to manage your mind, you can be in certain environments that are challenging and still manage how you think and how you feel. But as I tell my clients, if I have a choice to put myself in an environment where I’m going to bloom and where I’m going to thrive, why would I intentionally put myself in environments where I’m constantly having to manage my mind?
Now, sometimes you’re going to find yourself an environment that you’re going to choose to be in. And I say choose because it’s always a choice. And when you’re in those environments, I hope that you do have the tools to manage yourself in them. But I want you to think about, why put yourself in environments where it’s so hard to grow?
You know, I talk about blooming where you’re planted, and I do believe in that. In this moment, how can you bloom? And sometimes, to bloom in this moment, you need to switch up your environment a little bit. Maybe you need to stop hanging out with certain people. Maybe you need to start eating a certain way. Maybe you need to get outside and breathe some fresh air. Maybe you need to start consuming things intellectually that really excite you and inspire you, educate you.
So I want you to be thinking about environmental upgrades because your environment is impacting you, whether you realize it or not. In fact, I remember hearing this story about these two boys that were separated at birth. They were identical twins and they went off and lived very different lives. They were in very different home environments.
One was in a very abusive environment and the other one was in a very nurturing and loving environment. And years later, they caught up with both of these gentlemen and the quality of their lives were completely different. The one that grew up in the abusive household was experiencing addiction. I think he had gone to prison. Whereas the other one had a happy and healthy life.
They were identical twins, so they had the same genetic DNA, and yet because of the environments that they grew up in, they ended up creating very different results in their lives. And I’ve seen this impact on my life, like joining masterminds, putting myself in rooms with people who are smarter than me, people that are optimistic and dreamers and doers, how wit impacts me, which is why part of my education is putting myself in environments full of smart people, who know things that I don’t know, and also in rooms full of inspiring people, in rooms full of optimistic people.
And so I want you to think about your environment and I want you to notice how it impacts you. It’s why I’m such a big believer in having flowers in the home because every time I look at a vase of flowers, it impacts how I think. It’s also why I’m such a huge advocate of using style as a personal development tool because it’s powerful to look at yourself and see a woman who respects herself, who took the time to look her best, to dress in a way that feels good to her.
It impacts how you think about yourself. I know this because I know, those days when I don’t put in the effort and I’m just lounging around in god knows what, it impacts how I feel. And how you feel is everything, as we’re going to talk about in the next E. But for now, I really want you to pay attention to your environment.
And again, this is the people you hang out with, the clothes you wear, the condition of your home. You all know what it’s like when your home is a mess. You look at it just sparks thoughts that create overwhelm and anxiety. What if you made it a practice of constantly upgrading the condition of your home? Can you all tell that I’m passionate about this topic?
But listen, I’ve experienced it. And what I know to be true is you upgrade your environment, you upgrade your mind. And when you upgrade your mind, you upgrade your life. So I really want you all to pay attention to where you can make environmental upgrades.
Okay, let’s talk about the final and last E, and that is your energy. Everything, my friends, everything in life is all about energy. And when I think of energy, I think of emotional energy and physical energy. So emotional energy is how you feel. It is your emotions. It’s happiness, sadness, joy, ecstasy, anger, resentment, excitement. It’s all of the emotions.
It’s energy. It’s a vibration that’s being emitted from your body. And we can sense energy from people. We can be around people and we can tell if they’re anxious. We can tell if they’re uptight. Or we can tell if they’re relaxed and just having a good time. We, as human beings, can feel energy.
And then there’s physical energy. It’s the energy in your body which allows you to walk or run or do the things that you want to do. So anything that you can do to upgrade your emotional and physical energy is going to have a positive impact on your life.
And let me tell you why; like attracts like. Energy is constantly looking for like energy. So when you are showing up in a higher state of energy, number one, you’re going to be attracting things that you could not attract when you were vibrating at a lower state. And I know this to be true.
And just a practical way to think about it, think about someone that’s going in for a job interview, right, and they didn’t sleep the night before. So, number one, they’re tired; physically, they’re tired. And then on top of that, they’re feeling anxious, full of fear, they are full of doubt and they go into the job interview.
I just want you to picture that person. I want you to hold that image of them in your head and just look at how they will probably show up versus the person who got a great night’s sleep the night before, who took their supplements, who had their green juice or whatever they do and they are excited, they are optimistic. They are looking forward to this opportunity. I want you to imagine that person in your mind.
Who do you think would be a better fit for the employer? The latter, right? That is how our energy works. And so I am always looking into my own life about how I can upgrade my energy, and when it comes to emotional energy, I do it through a lot of mindset work because how we think impacts how we feel.
And remember, your environment’s impacting how you think, so upgrading your environment will probably upgrade your energy. It’s all interconnected. But I love, in the mornings, to just go on, like, rampages of appreciation, creating that excitement, creating that energy that I want to fuel my day.
And on a physical level, I’m always looking at how I can upgrade my environment to create more energy. So I’m paying attention to how foods feel in my body. I am paying attention to, am I sitting too long? Do I need to get up and move around? Do I need to dance? Do I need to get on my Peloton? Do I need to go for a hike? Because I know that the more physical energy we have, number one, it’s easier to create emotional energy.
Can you see how this is so interconnected? I know that if I, for example, didn’t get a good night’s sleep or maybe I had a bunch of French fries the night before – which, by the way, I love me some French Fries. It is my secret indulgence. Although it’s not secret any longer, I’ve told you.
But let’s just say I didn’t eat well the night before, I didn’t sleep well, and I’m just physically exhausted, it is so much harder to manage my own mind. And so the more we can create physical energy, it’s so much easier to manage our minds to create that emotional energy that is required to live an extraordinary life.
So I want you to be thinking about how you can upgrade your energy. Maybe you need to start with just something small. Maybe it’s going for a 10-minute walk in the morning. Or I believe most people are dehydrated, so maybe it’s drinking an extra glass of water during the day to create the physical energy. Also, how can you cultivate that emotional energy?
Maybe you create a practice of gratitude in the morning. Maybe, first thing in the morning, you watch something on YouTube that’s inspiring or you read something that’s inspiring or something that educates you. But I want you to be thinking about how you can upgrade your energy both emotionally and physically. So, there you have it, my friends; the only three areas that you need to focus on upgrading to live an extraordinary, extraordinary life.
It is time for J’adore, the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And I just have to say, I noticed that some of you noticed that I didn’t do a J’adore last week. Seriously, I was hoping that I could sneak that in and no one would notice. And then, last Wednesday, I cannot tell you how many Instagram messages that I received asking me where the J’adore was.
And so it was a test to see if you all were paying attention, and obviously, you are. But it really made me happy because it tells me that you enjoy this part of the show, so I will do my best not to skip another week.
But let’s talk about this week’s J’adore. And I know that I said that it was a Netflix binge, but I was wrong. It’s actually on Amazon Prime. And it’s a show that I stumbled across. I can’t remember how I found out about it.
I don’t know if someone mentioned it or I was just trying to find the next thing to watch, but I was a little bit skeptical, only because Glen and I love to watch things together, and I saw this and I’m like, “He’s not going to like this,” because at first glance, it seems like it could be like a chick-series. And it sort of is. But it’s called Modern Love. And it’s based on a New York Times column called Modern Love.
And so it’s this anthology of these different stories that take place in New York City, really talking about love in all of its beautiful and complicated forms. And for me, what I really appreciated is that it’s not the typical Hollywood happy ending. It felt like real life, you know.
There are episodes that are dealing with mental illness and unexpected pregnancies and, you know, two gay men who are trying to adopt, and death, and marital problems. It just covered the gamut.
But the line that really stuck out for me was the line by Catherine Keener, who plays a journalist in the series. And she says, “Sometimes you realize that true love, in its absolute form, has many purposes in life.” It’s not actually just about bringing babies into the world or romance or soul mates or even lifelong companionship.
It truly is a beautiful and, I think, well done series. It has some wonderful actors and actresses in it; Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Andy Garcia, like a really great cast. And at the end of the day – I was thinking about this – how did I feel watching it? I felt like what I’ve always known; love is complicated and it’s equally beautiful.
And I’m also happy to report that Glen loved the series, which I was shocked by. But we literally watched the entire series in two days, that’s how much he loved it. So, go check out Modern Love on Amazon Prime and you’re welcome. I’ll 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 3 Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs by visiting www.FrenchKissLife.com/mindset – because after all, mindset is the new black.