Listen, I’m not afraid of the dark because I know of the light that burns within me. And that same light that burns within me burns within you too. So, that means you don’t need to be afraid of the dark either.
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’s it going? I am having the best day. I just wrapped up a coaching call for the Dream Atelier. And I’m just so in love with this group of women. I’m in love with all my groups of ladies. We have the best community on the planet.
Now, I’m a little biased, but other women confirmed that too. But it’s so exciting to see all of their stuff come up when they set out to create a big dream. I find it so exciting. It happens to me too. Every time I set out to reach a new bigger goal, all my stuff comes up.
And I tell everybody, I’m like, “That’s actually the best part of creating it.” Because you have to get rid of all that stuff; the stuff that tells you that it’s not possible, the stuff that tells you it’s never worked before, the stuff that tells you that you don’t have enough time, the stuff that tells you everybody’s going to hate you and judge you if you do this, the stuff that tells you people are going to make fun of you if you fail, all that stuff.
And imagine clearing all of that up and how free you feel and how much you’re able to create. That’s when you French Kiss Life, my friends. So yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing.
I’ve been coaching so much in all of my groups and I’ve made some really big decisions recently. And I think that’s the beauty of what’s happening right now is that we’re able to really take a step back and ask ourselves, like, “Do I want to continue like this? What do I want to change? What do I want to let go of? What do I want to do more of? What do I want to do less of?”
And so, I’ve been using this period for a lot of reflection. And with that reflection, making some big decisions that I cannot wait to share with you all. It’s so exciting. Seriously, I am so giddy about it. So, yeah, stay tuned because more of that is going to be coming up soon, and I’ll be sure to share all of it with you here on the podcast.
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 the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Carolina Brooke. She wrote a five-star review on iTunes titled Life-Changing.
Here’s what she had to say, “My only complaint about this podcast is that it only airs once a week. Seriously, hooked. I have been a fan and I’ve been following you for years and you continue to amaze me and ignite that little fire within me. I also adore the J’adore section and was recently gifted the CozyChic blanket you rave about from my mother, who also listens to you. And boy, oh boy, were you right about this blanket? I cannot sleep without it. Thank you, Tonya, from the bottom of my heart for sharing your light with all of us. I never get tired of listening to your wisdom.”
Well, thank you, Carolina Brooke. Isn’t that blanket so lovely? In fact, I have it over my legs right now. That’s the weird thing in Colorado; the temperature is always changing. So, I always have my blanket close by.
But hey. Listen, I don’t know if you guys know this but we actually created a whole page on the website with all of my J’adores. So, if you want to go back and look at things that I’ve recommended, all you have to do is go to frenchkisslife.com/jadore. And, if you have not left us a review, what in the world? Head over to iTunes or Stitcher and let us know how you enjoy The French Kiss Life Podcast.
In this episode, I want to talk with you about cultivating a bring it attitude. So, here’s what I mean. I have been coaching so much over the last month with everything that’s been happening. I know that our brains are wanting to freak out. Our brains are convinced that we’re all going to die and that we need to be very, very afraid.
Or, maybe your version is, “We’re all going to lose all of our money and we’re going to be homeless and the government is trying to kill us.” There’s so many different versions out there. And we think it’s because of COVID. But our brains have been doing this since way before COVID happened.
Think about it. It’s almost like Whack-A-Mole. You feel like you’ve taken care of anxiety in one area of your life and, all of a sudden, something happens and it pops up in another area.
And so, one of the things that I’ve been sharing in my coaching groups is that when you resist life, when you fight it, nothing will bring you greater suffering. Nothing.
As Byron Katie says, “When you fight with reality, you only lose 100% of the time.” And I know what it’s like to have this attitude of, “I don’t want this to be happening. I don’t want there to be a pandemic. I don’t want my relatives to get sick. I don’t want to lose my job.”
And so, what we do is we end up resisting it and fighting with it and arguing with it and focusing on it. And when you don’t want what life is serving up to you, what ends up happening is that you miss out on life’s buffet.
I was talking within my membership group last month about the power of embracing the contrast. Because if you think about it, without sadness, we wouldn’t appreciate happiness. Without fear, we wouldn’t appreciate love. Without anger, we wouldn’t appreciate peace. But what we often do is we want to resist one, which then keeps us from really enjoying the other.
And for me, I experienced this many years ago. I say many. It’s been like four years ago when my daughter got sick and I was convinced that the universe somehow was confused. I’m like, “This should not be happening. I don’t want this. Can I return this, please? Because this is not what I had planned.”
I had planned for my daughter to go off to college and do her four years and get her Bachelors and then maybe go on to get her masters. And I had it all planned out, you all. It was a perfect plan. She was in Santa Barbara. I dreamed of going to visit her there often. I dreamed of what it would be like to go to football games. I dreamed of what it would be like to meet her friends that she met at school. It was such a beautiful dream.
And her first semester, my dream just came crashing down. She came home. she was sick. She never went back to Santa Barbara and she’s just now going back to school because she’s just now starting to be well enough that she can go into a classroom and actually concentrate enough to learn.
Now, think about it. All of her best friends from high school graduated this year. The dream that I thought that my daughter was supposed to have, they’re living it. I could fight with that. I could be like, “No, that’s not the way it’s supposed to happen.”
And I did fight it in the beginning. I’ll be honest, I was like, “No, I do not want this.” And the more I fought with it, the more I argued with it, the less effective I was within it.
And then there was a day, I’m like, “I’m not going to fight this anymore.” And that was the day I was like, “Bring it. I was made for this. I was meant to have this daughter that has this sickness. I was made for this.” And I will tell you, no other statement has brought me more confidence and more power and more peace than, “Bring it. I was made for this.”
I’ve talked about, on the podcast before, about the power of improv. In improv, you’re handed a story and you say yes to it and you add to it. It’s living a, Yes, and…” life.
Someone doesn’t hand you something, you say, “Yes, but…” right? Which is what we often want to do in life, “Yes, but I don’t want that. Yes, but that’s not the way it’s supposed to go.” Imagine what your life would be like if everything was a, “Yes, and…” if everything was like, “Bring it. I was made for this. Here’s what I’m going to do with this.”
And we do this in so many areas of our lives. We get on the scale and we’re looking at a number and we’re like, “Yes, but no, I don’t want that number.” But, in the moment, that is the number. What are you going to do with it?
What if you were like, “Bring it. I was made for this number. This is what I’m going to do with it. This is how I’m going to choose to think about it. Here’s how I’m going to use it for me.”
Some of you have actually lost your jobs in this and you’re arguing with it. and every time you argue with it, you’re losing your power, the power that you could be using to be creative to think about what’s next. You’re saying, “Yes, but this shouldn’t be happening.”
But what if you were like, “Yes, and… Bring it. I was made for this. I’m going to use this for me. I’m going to use this to make my life even better. I’m going to grow from this.” It changes everything. I will tell you, as I was saying, it’s where I get my confidence from. It’s where I get my courage from.
I was talking about this big decision that I just made and my brain wants to freak out, just like every brain wants to freak out when we make a big decision. But first of all, I tell my clients all of the time, I’m like, “Listen, the most important decision is the decision after the decision.” And that is you deciding how you’re going to feel about it.
Don’t make decisions and then second-guess them. Don’t make decisions and then back out on them. Go all in and decide that you’re going to be determined, you’re going to feel confident about it, you’re going to feel peace about it, whatever you want to feel about it. because fighting with your decisions is the same as fighting with life.
But when you have that, “Bring it, I was made for this,” attitude, you’re not afraid of life. You know, here’s the way I like to think about it. I talk about French Kissing Life. And part of life is going to be hard. Part of life is going to be tough.
Years ago, I wrote about this in an article about Stop Chasing Happiness. Life isn’t always supposed to be happy. That’s not life. To me, that’s not joie de vivre. The joy of living is embracing all of life; the hard parts and the amazing parts. And so, when I think about, “Bring it, I was made for this,” what I envision is me just standing in life with my arms wide open just ready, willing to experience whatever life wants to hand me because, here’s the thing; life is going to hand it to you anyway.
Fighting with it and wanting it not to be there is not going to stop it from being there. And so, you have to ask yourself, do you get power from fighting with it or do you get power by embracing it and saying, “Bring it?”
When I finally switched to this attitude with my daughter, that’s when I was able to finally sleep at night. That’s when I was able to find creative solutions and find doctors and professionals to help us. That’s when I started to find the humor in it. and then, I started to see my daughter’s humor. I was like, “Well, we can either laugh or we can cry.” And we did a little bit of both.
But it’s also when we started to find the gift in it. and just yesterday, she came up to me and she was like, “Mom, I really think it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me.” But we had to stop fighting with it to discover the beauty within it. Are you with me?
Imagine you – like, I want you to envision you just standing in the life you have right now with your arms wide open and saying, “Bring it, I can handle the discomfort. I can handle whatever comes my way,” and give yourself the experience of knowing that.
A lot of you won’t allow yourself to experience the discomfort, won’t allow yourself to experience taking the risk because you’re so afraid you can’t handle it, so you never have the experience of knowing you can handle it. And then sometimes, something comes along that you don’t have a choice. You have to handle it. And you discover how strong you really are.
That’s what happened with me with my daughter. I was like, “Wow, we got through that.” But in the beginning, I didn’t know if we would. But we did. And I am so grateful for it because I am so much stronger. I am so much more confident. I have evidence that I can experience hard things and come out of it even better.
Now, if I would have spent the last four years feeling sorry for myself and feeling sorry for my daughter and resisting what is and fighting with it and wanting to bury my head in the sand and pretend it wasn’t happening, I wouldn’t have come out of it the same way. It was that bring it attitude, “I was made for this,” that gave me that internal fight, that internal light that even in the darkness I knew we were going to be okay.
Now, some of you may be hearing this and you’re thinking, “Yeah, but Tonya, what if she didn’t get better?” It doesn’t matter. I still want to live with a, “Bring it, I was made for this,” attitude. No matter what life serves up to me, I’m going to take it and I’m going to make the best of it.
This is not about just taking what’s handed to you and doing nothing about it. This is about, “Yes, bring it, I was made for this. Meaning I was made for this challenge. I'm going to take it and use it for me. I’m going to grow from this. I’m going to learn from this. I’m going to take the raw material that life is handing me and I’m going to make something beautiful with it.”
Some of the thoughts that have really helped me cultivate a bring it attitude are thoughts like, “God would not give me anything that I could not handle. This situation is for me, to make me stronger, to make me wiser, to make me more loving, to make me more compassionate. I’m going to take the ingredients that life is giving me and I’m going to whip up a delicious recipe.”
I love to think about it like that. You know how – what is the show, Top Chef? They’re handed these ingredients and they’re like, “Go do your thing. Have fun. Make something delicious.” And that’s sort of how I see life. It’s handing us these ingredients and a lot of us are like, “We don’t want those ingredients, can you give us some more, please?” But no, life is like, “No, these are your ingredients, what are you going to do with them?” Make something beautiful with them.
I also love to think, “I’m going to use this for me. I only win when I embrace, “Bring it, I was made for this.” These kinds of thoughts build my confidence. They give me courage. They inspire me to make decisions. They inspire me to take risk. They keep me going. It’s the, “Yes, and…” You’re never stuck because you’re not fighting with what is.
Life is flowing through you. You’re not putting up a big dam wall, but you’re letting life flow through you. You’re like, “Yes, and yes, and yes, and…”
When you say, “Bring it, I was made for this,” what you’re really saying is, “I’m not going to fight with my life. I’m willing to feel the discomfort of growth, of change. I’m willing to fail. I’m willing to embrace life as it is. I’m willing to grow from this.”
And then, what ends up happening – and this is the most fascinating thing of all – is that because you’re so willing to feel all of life, you start to feel more of the highs. So many of you aren’t experiencing the highs because you’re so afraid of the lows. And so, you fight the lows and you spend all of your energy fighting the lows that you never get to pivot and experience the highs.
A lot of you are not experiencing joy and ecstasy and pleasure and passion because you’re so afraid to experience the opposite. You’re fighting with it. But again, when you open up your arms to life and you say, “Bring it, I was made for this,” you get to experience all of the tapestry of life; the complexities, the different colors, the different textures, all that life has to offer you.
You begin to experience all of it and you’re not afraid, you’re not living in a constant state of worry, you’re not full of doubt because you know that you were made for this. So, I want you to think about what’s happening in your life right now that you don’t want to be happening, something that you’ve been fighting and resisting and arguing with.
And I want you to imagine that that situation is still there, it hasn’t gone anywhere, and you walk into it. Maybe you imagine that the situation is in a room. Or, let’s pretend it’s in a stadium, all around you, this huge stadium. And you just walk out onto the field of that stadium and you open your arms wide open and you shout, “Bring it. I was made for this.”
It is time for J’adore; the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And as I was saying during the Community Spotlight, we put together a page on the website with all of my J’adores. So, if you want to go back and look at things that I’ve recommended, you can go to frenchkisslife.com/jadore.
But today’s J’adore is one that you all asked me for because I posted my bookshelf on Instagram. Which, by the way, are we friends on Instagram? If not, what in the world? Head over to @tonyaleigh and let’s connect.
But I shared this bookshelf on Instagram and women were asking me, “Where did you get it?” I love it. It’s a gold bookshelf with glass shelves. It’s sort of an asymmetrical shape. Well, it’s actually tall and rectangular, but the inserts are very asymmetrical and they hold different sets of books. And I’ve got a little joie de vivre frame on here. It’s just so beautiful. And it’s so pretty to look at.
I don’t know about you all, but actually, I think I do because I don’t feel like we would be in each other’s worlds if we didn’t have a lot of similarities. We’re probably all women who love to be surrounded by beautiful things. And I know, at the end of the day, our thoughts create how we feel. But one of the things that I teach in my programs is that as you elevate the quality of your environment, it sparks new thoughts.
And when I look at my bookshelf, because I just put it in my office behind my desk, every morning when I come and sit down to journal and to think about the business and my life, I just get so many great ideas. And I think it’s because I’ve curated an environment that matches how I want my future to feel. It’s like bringing your future into the now.
Anyway, that could be a whole other episode. I know this is just a J’adore, but when I’m talking about my J’adores, I always love to talk about why I love them so much. And I do love this bookshelf.
Now, unfortunately, the one that I have is no longer available. But I did find one that’s very similar. And if I were to buy one all over again, this is the one that I would buy. So, if you want to see it, head over to frenchkisslife.com/bookshelf.
Have a beautiful week, everyone. 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 frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.