What do Ellen DeGeneres, Sophia Loren, Oprah, Chanel, and Mother Theresa all have in common? They are or were iconic women, women who decided who they wanted to be in this world. And in this episode of the French Kiss Life podcast, I’m going to share five reasons why every woman should discover her own inner icon because, let’s face it, we did not come to this amazing experience of life to be vanilla or to fit in or to be liked or to live a mediocre life. We came here to be self-expressed women.
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. How’s your day? I hope you are having a wonderful one. Mine is going really, really well. Last week was a doozy, like, such a doozy. I’m not sure what happened, but I got thrown right out of what I call my sweet spot.
I was so full of anxiety and discomfort and when you’re in the thick of it, it’s so hard to see your way out. But thank goodness I have the tools that I have and it’s what I teach, and so I was able to go back to one of my courses called Modern Day Icon. And by going through that course again for myself, I was able to get back into my sweet spot.
Now, I share this with you all because I want to be really open on what it’s like to evolve, on what it’s like to create yourself. It’s messy. And every day is not rainbows and unicorns and daisies and puppies. And yet, a lot of times, we don’t talk about this stuff. We don’t talk about the days when we’re full of anxiety and the days when we’re doubting ourselves or the days when things just feel so hard.
But I want to be really open about that because I think it’s so important for you to see that everyone, every human being – I don’t care who you are and how successful you are and how much money you have and how many amazing handbags are in your closet – every single person goes through this. And I just want to be willing to talk about it. I want to be able to just put it out there and then share with you how I navigate it.
So for me, last week, I was in the middle of it and I kept showing up for life and I realized, this is just part of the deal. This is part of the journey. And I just sat with it and then I used the tools that I teach. And I went back to one particular lesson in Modern Day Icon where I talk about what expands you and excites you and what depletes you and drains you. And from that lesson, I was able to get back into my sweet spot.
And I learned so much from that week, last week. I learned that we are just one decision away from changing everything. We are just one shift away from changing the whole paradigm. So I share that with you because if you’re going through a really difficult time right now or you’re feeling lost or you’re just feeling blah and you can’t figure it out, just know, please hear me, know this; this is temporary.
Do not fight it. Do not tell a story how you’re a failure or you can’t figure out, because that’s only going to make it worse. Just be willing to feel it and then understand that it truly is temporary. Everything in life is always changing, including how we feel. And just by knowing that, I’m able to ride it out a lot more easily. Although last week was quite bumpy, but I just buckled up and I hung on and here I am.
I really feel like I needed to go through last week because now I’m in such a stronger state; stronger than I’ve been in for a long time. So, anyway, that was a little Tonya Leigh love for you. Now is the part of the show where I do a Community Spotlight. I spotlight someone in the community who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Chantelle who happens to be one of my Modern Day Icon members.
And here’s what she wrote, “Modern Day Icon really helped me define who I am as a woman and what my strengths are and what I enjoy. I learned so much about who I am and I learned to own it; all of it. The lessons are amazing. They really changed my entire life. It has been six months since working with Tonya and the changes are huge. I’m a completely different woman. I think every woman should take this course. I do think that Tonya should charge more for it personally because the cost is so low compared to what she offers. For any woman that does the work, they will define who they really are and it will open up a whole new way of being in the world.”
Chantelle, thank you so much for those kind words. It’s such an honor to know you and to have you in the community and to see how Modern Day Icon has impacted your life. Now, if you want to be featured in an upcoming Community Spotlight, all you have to do is leave me a review on iTunes, or you can just simply email us at email@example.com and share with us how your life has been impacted.
Let’s talk about why every woman should discover her iconic self. I’m going to give you five reasons why, but I wanted to first give you some context around why I am so passionate about this topic. I remember, years ago, when I really felt so stuck in my life and it was like I kept reacting against myself. I had all of these stories about who I was and how I should be in the world. And then I started to think about the women I truly, truly admired and what they all had in common is that they were, in my eyes, iconic.
Now, when I say that word to a lot of women, they’ll say things to me like, “But, Tonya, I’m not a movie star. I don’t care to be. I don’t want to be famous.” And that is okay. This is not about being famous. This is about you deciding who you want to be as a woman.
When you look at the word icon, it means to represent something. And right now, what are you representing in your life and are you doing it on purpose? And so, I had such an a-ha, like the big awakening, when I realized that I didn’t have to be who I had been told I should be my entire life, that my life is actually my greatest masterpiece and instead of me constantly trying to fix myself, which is what I was doing for years, which led me to be overweight, it led me to have all of these negative stories about myself, there was another option.
And that option was to create myself, to decide who I wanted to be as a woman. And that’s the thing, you all. In coaching women for a long time now, I hear what you say around this topic. You’ll say things like, “I’ve lost who I was. I don’t know who I am anymore.”
But listen up, you just decide. It’s not an answer that’s going to fall out of the heavens into your lap. You literally decide who you want to be as a woman, what is your essence. And I’ll never forget, for me, the turning point was I was working one night in the intensive care unit.
For those of you who may just be joining French Kiss Life, I was a critical care nurse for many, many years. And I was working a late-night shift, 12 hours, and it was one of those nights where we didn’t have a lot of patients, which was unusual. And so we had time to just sort of chill out.
And there was a visiting doctor there and at around 2am he turned to me and he said, “So, Tonya, who do you want to be?” And I was like, “A good mom, a good nurse, a good wife.” And not that there’s anything wrong with those things, right. I think those are great things to want to strive for.
But then he said to me, he said, “But I’m not talking about the roles you play in life. Like, who do you want to be as a woman?” And, y’all, I did not have an answer for him. I was like, “Huh?” Because no one had ever asked me that question in the way that he was asking me.
And so I remember driving home the next morning and the question would not leave me alone. I kept saying, “Tonya, who do you want to be?” And the first word that popped into my mind, I was like, “Well that’s ridiculous,” because you have to also remember that I grew up in the deep bible belt of the south. I grew up in a trailer. I grew up not really traveling. And really, I could barely speak proper English at the time.
It’s not even that I had a thick southern accent, which I did. But my English was very improper. Even now, you guys will probably hear me say things that are not grammatically correct, but that’s okay, I keep going. But the word that popped in my head, I was like, “Well that will never happen.” And the word was worldly.
I wanted to be a worldly woman. As a little girl, I dreamt of travel and Paris and really, I was so mesmerized by the world of art and fashion, and yet it was so far from who I was when that word popped into my mind. But thank goodness I didn’t completely reject it.
And this is what often happens. We’ll have a big dream or a big idea or we’ll have this premonition of who we want to be, and because it’s so far from where we are now, we just immediately just say, well that’s not possible. And we don’t even entertain the idea.
But I did, I started to entertain, what if I could be a worldly woman? What if I could start to learn about the world of fashion and art, for example? And so I started to play around with the idea, and that one question, who do you want to be, changed my life.
I get a little teary just talking about it, that I gave myself permission, number one, to be honest with myself and to answer it, and then to start living it out on what I call my iconic journey.
So I want to share with you the five reasons why I think every woman should embrace being a modern day icon. So, the first reason is you stop trying to fix yourself and you start creating yourself instead. It’s very different to try to create results when you think you’re broken versus creating results from a place of wholeness, from a place of excitement, from a place of possibility.
And for years, I thought I was broken. And because I was in this cycle of trying to fix things that weren’t even broken in the first place, I was missing out on this amazing opportunity to create myself from a place of joy and abundance and excitement.
And so when you start on your iconic journey, whatever that looks like for you, you’re going to feel this internal shift that is so much fun because you realize, I don’t need to fix myself. The only reason why I feel broken is because I keep telling myself that I am. And when you realize that that is not truth – and you will know your truth because, as my mentor Martha Beck always said, “It will taste like freedom.”
You telling yourself you’re broken does not taste like freedom. That is keeping you shackled. But when you start realizing the truth of who you are, and that is that you are whole and you’re amazing and then you create from that place, it is so much fun. And that’s what being a Modern Day Icon is all about.
The second reason why I think every woman should be a Modern Day Icon is that you start to show up fully in your life now because being iconic is all about your essence. It’s not about anything outside of you. And so many of you are thinking, “Well, I need to lose weight first,” or, “I need to go make a million dollars first,” or, “I need to have an incredible wardrobe first,” or, “I need to be married first before I can then cultivate who I want to be as a woman.”
But that’s not how the universe works. When I started to embody a worldly woman, that’s when I started seeing opportunities to become a worldly woman. I want you all to really see how this works because who you are being is attracting everything in your life. I could not have attracted the things that I’ve attracted if I was being the poor girl that lived in a trailer growing up and I kept running that story in my head.
So the beauty of deciding who you want to be as a woman is that you get to embody her now. You don’t have to wait until one day when. And that’s when life becomes so much fun and magical, because again – and this leads me to my third reason why you should become a Modern Day Icon – is that you begin to attract new people and things and experiences into your life.
When you are embodying who you want to be, it goes back to the law of like attracts like. So if you’re embodying a wealthy woman, if that’s what you want to be, you’re going to start to notice wealthy things around you, wealthy people, wealthy experiences. You’re going to show up in a different way that attracts that into your life.
An example of this that happened relatively recently is that I was in Paris last year running my retreat. And my Paris retreat is so fabulous because there’s such a shift that happens within the group. It truly transforms women’s lives, and mine as well. Like, every year, when I run that retreat, it’s like a new level for me.
And so at the end of that retreat, I remember writing in my journal, “God, I want to spend more time in Paris and I would love to get into the world of style.” And I just started embodying it. Like, of course, it’s easy to get into the world of style in Paris. I made it no big deal and I just acted as if it was going to happen.
Well then fast forward two months later, I get one of my friends, who is a stylist in Paris, she reached out and she’s like, “Hey, Tonya, I can get you into Chanel’s apartment and the home of Louis Vuitton,” which, if you don’t know this, it’s very difficult to get inside Chanel’s apartment. There have been many people that have tried and it’s not an easy thing to do.
And so I was like, of course this is happening, because I was embodying it. I didn’t know how it was going to happen. I didn’t know when it was going to happen. But that’s actually the beauty of this practice and this way of being is that you’re not desperate because you’re already it.
You’re not desperate to make more money because you’re already wealthy on the inside. You’re not desperate to be more worldly because you’re embodying it on the inside and you’re doing things to feed that desire of yours. And so I really know deep down that I got that invite because I was embodying a woman who is involved in the style world of France. Like, it’s no big deal.
And I have so many more examples like that of just attracting things because I was a match for it. So, listen up; you cannot attract money if you are feeling lack. You cannot attract love if you’re afraid of it. You cannot attract more clients if you don’t see yourself as worthy enough of having them. You can’t attract more adventure and fun if you have a story running that it’s dangerous.
So when you line up your energy and your beliefs with what it is that you want, you begin to attract it into your life. It’s so much fun. And yet, because so many of you doubt that process, you don’t allow yourself the experience of having it.
But when you commit to being a Modern Day Icon, that’s one of the things that you work on; aligning yourself with who you want to be as a woman and then just relaxing around it and allowing it to elegantly flow into your life.
The next reason why I think every woman should be a Modern Day Icon is that you learn to turn your crap into diamonds. Here’s what I mean; you do not let events define you. You define them. You understand that everything is happening for you. And so when you’re living in this place, instead of seeing obstacles as problems, you begin to see obstacles full of possibility. And when something happens, you use it for the good of your soul and you don’t make it the bullet to your soul.
Modern Day Icons realize that they’re on a heroine’s journey and the obstacles are meant to be there to grow you, to help you evolve. If it were easy, we’d all be doing it. So when you’re living as a Modern Day Icon, you’re asking yourself questions when you have an obstacle or a challenge.
You’re asking yourself things like, how is this happening for me? What is this here to teach me? How am I going to use this to grow me? How can I turn this crap into my diamond? And I will tell you, that kind of mindset shift and those kinds of questions change everything. So I’ll give you an example of what this looks like in my life.
So, recently, I got what I thought was a brilliant idea. It woke me up in the middle of the night, and the next morning when I got up, I just journaled it out, so excited about it, the name, everything was so, so clear. And then I went to get the domain and it was taken. And I was like, how is this taken? This is such an unusual thing and it’s one of those that’s taken but no one’s using it and they want, like, $30,000 for it.
And so I was like, “Okay, this is perfect, I’m not supposed to have that.” And I started to ask better questions. I started to make my mind work a little bit harder because we can get lazy with our thinking. If things don’t work out, we’re like, “Well, I’m done,” right? But I was like, no, I still love the idea but I need to just work with it a little bit more. This is happening for me. I’m not supposed to have that name.
And so, by doing that, I sat with it for like three or four days and then, again, in the middle of the night, it came to me. And I was like, oh, that is supposed to be the name. And so I went, it was available, I grabbed it, and here we are. And it’s little things like that, that when you’re on an iconic journey, when things happen, you don’t just give up. You realize this is part of the journey.
The other way this plays out too is the stories we tell about events. We get a hateful comment and then we start running the story of, “I’m not enough.” Or something happened in our past and we’re telling ourselves a very disempowering story around it.
When you are an icon, like, you are really standing in your own power, you have defined who you want to be as a woman, you learn to use everything for you, not against you. You tell the story that you want to tell about whatever happens that fuels you and excites you and keeps you on the heroine’s journey, on that path. So, when you’re a Modern Day Icon, remember, you turn your crap into diamonds.
And here is the last reason why I think every woman should be a Modern Day Icon; what do icons have in common? They all have followed what lights them up and they stop doing the things that kept draining them. Really take that one in. If you were to look at what you do every single day, what percentage of that would be what lights you up, excites you, expands you? And how much of that list would be things that keep you stuck, that keep you drained, that are buried in old stories and behaviors and habits?
Iconic women have the courage to follow what I call the hot. You know when we were kids and we played hot and cold? Like, Iconic women are always tapped into their bodies and they notice when things start to feel warm and they start following that. And then they follow it to the hotness. And they do more of that. And if things start to feel cold, they move away from it.
I told you last week, one of the things that came up for me was that I noticed that I was following the cold, and it was a big wakeup call for me. I was like, “Whoa, what’s happening right now?” This will never ever lead you to where you want to be. It’s time to navigate your way back to your sweet spot.
And I did that by following the warmth, following it, following it until I landed on smoking hot. Like, I needed that contrast actually, looking back, I needed to feel that cold in- order to get back to the super, super hot. So if you’re in a place where you’re cold right now, it’s an amazing place to be because it’s showing you everything you don’t want. And from that place, you can start to navigate back to what feels warm and then hot for you.
And so, when you are a Modern Day Icon, you have the courage to follow what lights your soul on fire and move away from everything that’s draining you. So, let’s do a recap, my friends; the five reasons why every woman should be a Modern Day Icon.
Number one, you stop trying to fix yourself and you start creating yourself instead. Number two, you start to show up fully in your life now as the woman you want to be. You don’t wait until one day when. Like, today, in this moment, is the best day and the best moment and you are just one decision away from changing everything.
Number three, you begin to attract new people and things and experiences into your life because you become a match for it. Number four, you turn crap into diamonds, my friend. Life can throw you nothing that you don’t know how to work with it. And what an empowering place to be.
You know that, no matter what happens, number one, you’re going to be okay and you’re going to use it as fuel for your dreams for who you want to be. And then finally, the last reason is that you start to follow what lights you up and you stop doing all of those things that keep draining you.
It is time for a J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you all. And today’s J’adore is super special to me because I created it. It is my Modern Day Icon course. If the podcast resonated with you and you’re like, “Yes, Tonya, I am ready to be fully self-expressed, I am ready to navigate my journey with more ease and elegance and fun,” this course is for you.
And I want to extend the community a special exclusive invite to join the course for two reasons. Number one, for the next few days, you’re going to be able to get it at a reduced cost, and on top of that, we are going to be completely revamping Modern Day Icon.
And when you join Modern Day Icon now, you are going to get the new version when it comes out at no cost. So it’s like, why not? It’s such a good investment. And I’ve had women tell me, time and time again, how much this program has changed their life. I’ve had women tell me, like, for the first time in my life, I feel like the woman I’ve always wanted to be.
I’ve had women tell me how this course has helped them make more money. Because here’s the thing, you all, when you are shrinking, when you’re so concerned about what people are going to think, when you are trying to do things that you shouldn’t be doing because your soul is so against it, it really robs you of showing up in the world fully expressed.
But when you are in the world fully expressed and just in flow of life itself, the money takes care of itself. Things start to happen for you. You start to attract new people, things, experiences, as I was talking about in the podcast. I’ve also had women tell me they’re just happier because they’re not fighting against their natural desires. They’re no longer struggling against their own souls.
So I want to just share with you a little bit about Modern Day Icon. And please, head over to moderndayicon.com to find out more, but when I think about my life at this point, there have been two stages. And I know there are going to be many more, but when I started my personal development journey; I’m starting from there.
Stage number one was really about me coming to terms with how I was holding myself back, all of the limiting beliefs and the weight of that and the impact that that had had on my life and starting to undo that. And then I was left with, well, alright, what’s next?
And that’s where Modern Day icon comes into the picture because part two was all about me being so fully self-expressed. And when you all see the Tonya Leigh of today, you’re seeing the results of Modern Day Icon because I started to build my life around my values. I started to talk about and live the things that I am passionate about.
Because I feel like, at the end of the day, you’re not what loves you, you are what you love. And so I just became unapologetic about my love of the French culture and personal development and style. And now, as a result, that is how I’m known. And that didn’t just happen. It happened because I decided and I started to live out the answer to the question, who do you want to be? And that’s where it starts.
So, when I was in that place of what is next, I started to look to the women who I truly admired. And every single one of them were icons from all different walks of life, all different industries. And I started to reverse engineer the qualities that they all possessed and then created tools so that women can begin to create those qualities within themselves.
Modern Day Icon is broken down into eight salons where I teach you the tools to help you define your dreams and dissolve the beliefs holding you back from them, where you learn how to navigate your journey with more ease and elegance. I teach you how to spot your unique gifts and strengths, because one of the things I see y’all doing, and I’ve certainly done it too, is that we’re told we should be good at certain things in order to be successful.
But what I can tell you in studying iconic women is that that’s BS. An iconic woman knows that she needs to leverage her gifts and her strengths and she should stop doing stuff that doesn’t fuel her soul. You will also learn how to infuse your life with luxury and worth.
Yes, we talk about money in Modern Day Icon because an iconic woman knows, number one, she is worthy. She has nothing to prove and she has everything to give. And so when you’re coming from that place and you are feeling abundant, as I was saying in the podcast, you begin to attract more abundance into your life.
The Modern Day Icon course, at its core, is all about us embracing who we want to be as women and having the courage to live out that answer every single day. And what I can tell you all is life becomes ridiculously magical and fun when you do that.
So, my friend, if you are ready to be a Modern Day Icon, head over to moderndayicon.com and join us. Have a beautiful week and I will 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 FrenchKissLife.com/mindset – because after all, mindset is the new black.