Listen to the Full Episode:

Gratitude is easy when things are going the way you think they’re supposed to go. You’ve hit your goals, everybody’s behaving the way you want them to behave, the weather is great, life is good. But what about having gratitude when things get challenging?

Why challenging times are the perfect time to work on elevating your gratitude practice.

This year has given us the perfect opportunity to practice radical gratitude. COVID has been no joke, and we’re still in it. And for me personally, choosing gratitude as a practice has helped me in navigating this year with more grace and elegance.

And the choice is available to you too. You could be focusing on all the problems of 2020, but did you know in that very same moment, you can be acknowledging what’s right, what’s abundant, what’s going well, and all that you have?

Tune in this week to discover the impact of choosing gratitude and living your life from that space. I’m sharing the two things that have upgraded my gratitude practice over the years, and the profound effect that always looking for gratitude has had on my life and in helping me achieve what I thought at one stage were impossible goals.

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of The School of Self-Image. If you need a little help with the work of transforming your self-image in an amazing community of inspiring women, I highly encourage you to come join us.

What You Will Discover:

  • The impact that living in a place of gratitude has on my emotions and my life.
  • How I see people using gratitude against themselves.
  • What it feels like to be in a gratitude rut.
  • Why right now is the perfect time to work on elevating your gratitude practice.
  • 2 ways you can upgrade your gratitude practice.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

Abraham Hicks says, “Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something, you are telling the universe, more of this, please. More of this, please.”

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.

How are you doing, my beautiful friends? I am so excited to be recording this podcast. It’s actually going to be dropping the day before Thanksgiving here in the US. And I feel like it’s such a perfect time to talk about gratitude. But first, I just have to say that I am so grateful for you.

Each week, when we release the podcast, I usually get a lot of DMs. I get some comments on social media from you all just telling me how much you enjoy the podcast, how it’s been a positive light for you during hard times, how it’s helped you grow, how it’s helped you fall in love with yourself, which is what last week’s episode was all about.

And as much as you think I give to you, I want you to know that you all give so much to me. I really feel like this community is like my extended family. And you’ve probably heard me say on the podcast before, if you’ve listened to some older episodes, when I’m recording this, I pretend that we’re all in the room together and we’re just chatting. Except it’s a one-way conversation.

Which unfortunately, for me, I would love to be able to have a two-way conversation with you all. But I’m just so grateful for you. And I want to talk about gratitude because it’s very trendy in the personal development world to talk about gratitude and why it’s important.

You know, people love to talk about gratitude journals. Some people keep a gratitude jar. I’ve even heard about gratitude gardens. And let me tell you, I am all about the gratitude because I have found in my own life, when I am in that place of gratitude, my stress levels go down. I’m happier. I’m more productive. I’m a lot more nice to be around.

So, I do think gratitude is one of those practices that has literally changed my life and helped me deepen my relationship with myself and with other people. But I also think it can be very trendy and we can start to use gratitude against ourselves.

You know, as a human, you’re going to have all kinds of emotions. And sometimes, we try to gloss over the – I guess we can just say – negative emotions because you think that you’re not supposed to be having them. And sometimes, you can gloss them over with gratitude.

I am all about feeling your emotional life, feeling what is present for you and understanding it and then shifting it. And gratitude is one of the ways that I shift my emotional states all of the time.

I also think we can get into gratitude slumps, gratitude ruts. And for me, what that feels like is I’m going through the motions of being grateful but I’m not really feeling it. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Like, you write it down in your journal, “I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for my job. I’m grateful for my house. I’m grateful for the food. I’m grateful for my friends.” But you’re not really feeling gratitude. You’re not feeling the emotion of gratitude.

And that’s the purpose of a gratitude practice, is to generate the emotion of gratitude. And so, I want to talk in this episode about two ways that I have gotten out of gratitude slumps where I just felt like I was going through the motions but it wasn’t really working, and how I’ve elevated my gratitude practice.

So, I like to think of gratitude as an affirmation of the goodness of one’s life. Now, gratitude is easy when things are going the way you think they’re supposed to go. You’ve hit your goals, everybody’s behaving the way you want them to behave, the weather is great, life is good. Gratitude is easy when things are acting according to the way you think they should be acting.

But what about gratitude and the challenges? And I feel like this year has given us an opportunity to practice radical gratitude. Because we’ve had a crazy year, y’all. COVID has been no joke and we’re still in it.

And I will tell you, for me personally, having gratitude as a practice has helped me to navigate this year with a lot more grace. Because in every moment – you’ve probably heard me say this before if you’ve listened to the podcast but – in every moment, you could be looking for what’s missing, what is lacking, what is wrong. You can be looking for all the problems, but did you know, in that very same moment, you can be acknowledging what’s right, what’s abundant, what’s going well, all that you have?

And so, practicing shifting into that state of gratitude and abundance has been such a life-saver for me this year and I want to continue this practice, even when things are good, even when they’re not good. Because when you are in that vibrational state of gratitude, I feel as if God, the universe, source, however you want to acknowledge that energy in which we’re all a part of, I feel like it looks down on us and says, “She’s ready for more.”

So, let me share the two ways that I have upgraded my gratitude game. When it comes to gratitude, I think it’s about quality not quantity. I don’t think it’s about the numbers of things that you’re grateful for, but the depth of the gratitude that you have for some things.

So, as I was saying earlier, you can pull out your gratitude journal and you can write five things that you’re grateful for. But I want you to ask yourself, is it generating the emotion of gratitude or is it just something that you’re doing to jump through the hoops to say that you’re a grateful person?

I’ve done it. I know what that’s like. Deep gratitude is when you get into the emotion of gratitude. And the way I like to do that is to think of one thing and go deep into why I am grateful for that person or that thing.

So, for example, I could write in my journal, “I am grateful for my daughter.” And then list four other things that I’m grateful for. But it’s so much more effective and impactful on me to go into depth as to why I am grateful for my daughter.

I’m grateful for her spirit, for her tenacity. I’m grateful for how she makes me laugh, her sense of humor. I’m grateful for her strength. I’m grateful for who I am in her presence. I am so grateful for her smile. I’m grateful that’s he never gives up. I’m grateful that she has this beautiful awareness that allows her to see life from a much bigger picture.

And I will go on these gratitude rampages like I just did for like five minutes. And it starts to generate just this incredible emotion within me that simply writing he name down on a piece of paper will never, ever do.

Just today, I did this with my smoothie, actually. Because we can have gratitude for everything. And as I was making my smoothie, I pulled the wild blueberries out of the freezer, put them in the blender, into my Vitamix, which by the way if you don’t have a Vitamix, I highly recommend. But I put it in my Vitamix. I got my almond milk. I put my protein powder in there. I put a scoop of collagen. And I started to do this practice with my smoothie.

Now, this may seem silly. But I will tell you that I was able to generate just so much thankfulness for the smoothie. And I started to think about just the blueberries that I was putting in there and having so much gratitude for the people who made that possible.

I thought about the farmers, whoever picked the blueberries, the people that packaged them. I thought about their families. And then I thought about the almonds and whoever made that possible. I thought about my Vitamix and all of the people that worked so hard to create this machine that I love so much.

And then, I started to think about how grateful I am for these nutrients that I get to put into my body and how good it feels. I started to think about collagen powder. Like, hello, there are people on this planet that don’t have running water. And the fact that I can buy collagen to put into my smoothie is a miracle.

And I spent time just being so grateful for tis smoothie, where in the past I’ve taken it for granted. I would just make a smoothie, drink it, and move on. But I will tell you, just stopping and showing a depth of gratitude was able to generate this beautiful emotion within me. And literally, I was in awe.

I was like, how often have I overlooked the simple things that I have and taken them for granted? And by practicing a depth of gratitude, it forces you to look at all of the little things in your life and go deeper into them and give so much thanks for the goodness in your life.

So, if you want to up your gratitude game, I’m going to challenge you to consider not writing down a bunch of things that you’re grateful for and not really feeling it, but choose one of those things and really dive deep into it and really look at why you’re grateful for that thing. Really think it through. Go deeper into that emotion of gratitude. It’s an incredible and beautiful practice.

The second thing that I do – it’s one of my favorite things to do – is to give gratitude for my future. Now, some people think that you can only be grateful for things that you currently have. So, what these people do is they look into their past or into their present to look for things to be grateful for.

But I love looking into my future and thinking about things that I am excited to have in my future and then feeling grateful for it today. You have to remember, the brain doesn’t know real from imagined. So, you can look at something and see something and have gratitude for it. Equally, you can close your eyes and see something and have gratitude for it. The brain doesn’t know the difference.

And let me explain why this is so important. The law of attraction states that like attracts like. So, when you’re in a certain vibration, you are going to attract things and people and opportunities that are also at that vibration.

So, when you are in a state of gratitude, that vibration is aligned with more things to be grateful for. It’s the way the world works. I’ve seen it in my life. I’ve seen it in my friends’ lives. I’ve seen it in my clients’ lives. It is physics.

And so, I love to go into my future and imagine that I already have everything that I want. I think about goals that I have. And I go to the place of having already achieved them. And I imagine what I’m feeling. And gratitude is always part of the emotions that I’m feeling in my future. And the cool thing is, I don’t even have to have those things to feel it. I can begin to experience that feeling now by imagining myself having it.

Now, when you do this – and this has happened to me before as well – you may have a hard time getting there because you have so much doubt. And then that becomes your work. You need to look at all of the thoughts that you have around achieving that thing in your future. And you need to work on those thoughts and clear them up so you can get to that place of feeling it now, even though you don’t yet have it.

And what you’re going to notice is that those good feelings cause you to show up differently. They cause you to take different actions. And then sometimes, serendipity happens. I think it’s law of attraction. But something comes along. Maybe it’s a person. Maybe it’s an opportunity that you couldn’t have planned for that helps lead you to the outcome that you want. But I believe having gratitude for it ahead of time, having gratitude for that future is the key to creating the future that you want.

I remember doing this when I wanted to make a million dollars in my company. And at the time, I was probably making about $250,000 a year. And I remember wanting to create that feeling of gratitude for having reached a million dollars in a year within my company. And I couldn’t get there.

It was so difficult for me because I had all of these limiting beliefs. Beliefs such as I don’t know how to make it happen. I don’t have a big enough team. No one in my family has ever made that kind of money. There was just one after another. And I had to work through that.

But as I was working through it, I was also practicing going to the place of having created a million dollars in revenue in my company. And eventually, I did get to the place where I could feel it. And let me tell you, that was like two years before it happened.

I was practicing living in that place. I was imagining being able to pay my team members which then can support their families. I imagined all of the amazing clients that we would be serving. I imagined being able to do things for my mom and dad. Like, what would it be like to have a million dollars?

Now, granted, when I reached a million dollars, I didn’t personally make a million dollars because I have expenses and I have team members to pay. And I’m so grateful for that. I’m grateful for taxes, right? But I just imagined getting the call from my accountant that I had crossed the million-dollar revenue line.

And when I got the call – actually, I think he emailed or Slacked me. I can’t remember. But I remember when it happened, I was grateful. But it wasn’t that big of a deal because I had been living in that place for so long, it was actually very anticlimactic. I had already been experiencing it. And I really deeply believe my experience of it ahead of time is what allowed me to ultimately create it.

I do this for all of my goals, all of the things in my future that have yet to create or to experience, I love to go to that place and give gratitude for it before it happens. Just generating that emotion of gratitude.

You don’t have to wait until something happens to be grateful for it. Like, when I book a ticket to go on a trip, I haven’t been on that trip yet, but I’m grateful. It’s like I know it’s coming. I’m in that place of gratitude for the trip. And we can do that for our futures as well.

So, these are two ways that I have personally upgraded my gratitude game to really make it more impactful and more effective. Gratitude, along with love, are two of my most favorite emotions to generate because I feel as if everything that I want is hanging out within that vibrational level.

And so, my work every day is to create those feelings for myself so that I can become a match for more of those things. More things to love and more things to be grateful for.

So, practice upgrading your gratitude game. And again, I just have to say, I love you and I am so grateful for you. I can’t tell you what an honor it is for me to be able to be in your ear every single week sharing what has helped me up-level my life and has helped me fall more in love with my life.

Have a beautiful, beautiful week, my friends and I can’t wait to see you in the next episode. Cheers.

If you enjoyed this episode and you want to dive even deeper into the French Kiss Lifestyle, let’s start with a makeover; a mindset makeover. You can download my free training, The Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting Because, after all, mindset is the new black.

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