I’m going to challenge you to consider this; there is no better gift that you could give your children, your family, your community, or the world than to tune into the vibration of over-the-top joy and celebration. There is a collective energy that we’re all contributing to all of the time. I like to think of it as the soup of life. And what you add to the soup will make it more or less tasty.
In this episode, I’m going to challenge you to add celebration to the recipe, because here’s the deal, my friend, the more you celebrate life, the more life celebrates you back.
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 back to another episode. I’m going to kick this one off with a question; what do you want to celebrate? You see, in life, there is always something to celebrate. There is always something going well, something going right, something that is beautiful to focus upon.
There’s always something to celebrate, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about in this episode. But I want to kick this one off with my own celebrations. First of all, I’m celebrating the most gorgeous Colorado day ever, which I say that a lot. It’s like, today is the best ever and then tomorrow will be the best ever because I choose to look at it that way.
But truly, it’s so beautiful outside. So I wish you could see what I’m looking at, but let me paint a picture for you. So, I’m staring at the most majestic mountain peaks that still have snow on top, but the sky that’s in the backdrop of them is the brightest blue you can imagine. And it’s about 70 degrees; perfect spring day, so, so happy.
I am also celebrating that we have something exciting that’s going to be coming out really, really soon, but I’ll give you a little sneak peek. It’s my signature program called Slim, Chic, and Savvy. It is amazing. And we just gave her a facelift and she’s a beauty. And she’s better than ever and I cannot wait to show it to you. It’s going to be coming up really, really soon, so stay tuned for that.
And I’m also celebrating my dog because he’s under my feet right now keeping my feet warm. He is the love of my life. I have many loves of my life, but he is definitely one of them.
So we’re going to be talking about celebration later on in the episode, but I do want to start with a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I highlight someone in the community who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you’ve probably heard about the giveaway that I’ve been promoting.
It’s for an Hermes scarf because I personally believe that every woman should have one. And so what I asked is that, if you enjoy this podcast, that you leave a review and enter your name to win. And I’m going to be announcing the winner on this podcast, but I think I’m going to do it at the end.
But when I went in and read the reviews, you all, first of all, thank you so much. I’m celebrating you. I’m celebrating this community as well. You know, when I first started French Kiss Life back a long time ago, close to 10 years ago, I had two readers of my email; my mom and my dad. And they had no idea what in the world I was doing, but they were such loyal fans, and they still are, that they would open up my emails and they would read them.
And now, I think about the thousands and thousands of women in this community whose life has been impacted by the French Kiss Lifestyle and I’m just humbled and I’m grateful and I’m so excited. I’m so excited for where we’re all going.
So, for today’s Community Spotlight, it was so hard to choose who I was going to feature, but I chose this particular review because – well, for many reasons, but this person that wrote the review is such an amazing storyteller. I mean, she just brought me in and I was just like, wow is she talking about me? Is she talking about French Kiss Life? It’s so beautifully written.
So, this is from Un Femme D’un Certain Age, also known as a woman of a certain age. And I always butcher French, but I keep trying. So her title of her review was Coco Channel Would be Proud. And this is going to be a little bit of a long one, but I think you’re going to enjoy it. It’s super fun.
So she writes, “We've all done it, laid in bed staring at the ceiling, wondering about our lives. We've walked through our own gardens; knelt at our own graves. But then someone comes along who possesses a remarkable combination of passionate love for others and natural authenticity calling us to experience The French Kiss Life, calling us to transformation.
She coaches our worlds where we need it most; one woman or group at a time. That’s Tonya Leigh, and our worlds clap their hands and cry for more.
This is not a personality cult. Yes, Tonya has a story, integrity, and honesty. She focuses on others' lives and hearts weaving in French Kiss beauty as she takes us with her. She is a duplicate of nobody else. Fasten your seatbelt! You're on the launch pad for refashioning. Tonya elegantly immerses us into a Paris State of Mind where we slowly integrate a new FKL paradigm. The results? healing, wisdom, empowerment, exhilaration, new sense of self, new underwear, brain changes, awareness of personal best, clutter control, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable....however/whatever one needs. AND Changes Happen!! We're not only reconnected to our own life; we fall in love with it. What a priceless jewel dropped into my lap this year.
My favorite scene in The Devil Wears Prada is Andy and Miranda arriving in Paris for Fashion Week. Google it. The sound track is "City of Blinding Lights" by Bono, lead singer of U2 and recipient of France's highest cultural honor. Bono has said that "a true artist digs their hands into their chest, breaks their rib cage, rips out their heart and gives it to their audience."
While Tonya is still quite intact, it nevertheless describes the way she leads the dimensions and adventures of the French Kiss Life experience. Thank you, Tonya. Women are now living life elegantly, graciously, beautifully on their own terms. Coco Channel would be proud.”
Wow, so beautifully written. I just have to celebrate you that wrote this review because, number one, you’re an amazing storyteller. And I was telling someone the other day, when you’re so close to what you do, sometimes it’s hard to put into words and articulate it well. And so I feel like you just did this so beautifully for me.
So you just gave me not only a five-star review, but an amazing gift of your storytelling and your words. So thank you, so, so much. Now, if you want to be featured in an upcoming community spotlight, all you’ve got to do is leave me a five-star review on iTunes or share with me, in some form or fashion, you can find me on Instagram, you can find me on Facebook, but let me know how the French Kiss Lifestyle has impacted your life and you may be featured on an upcoming podcast. Now, let’s dive in to today’s episode.
Okay, my friends. Let’s talk about celebration circles. This is a concept I came up with months ago and I immediately emailed all of my friends and I said, “This is what we’re going to do.” And it’s been life-changing and I know that I’ve been practicing this in small ways throughout the years, but to create a ceremony around celebration is so powerful. So I’m going to share with you in this episode what celebration circles are all about and why you need one in your life.
So, I was coaching a client recently who is like so many of my clients. And she said to me, she was like, “Tonya, my life is so good on the outside. I have a life that so many people would love to have but I’m so sad and feel so unfulfilled.” And so as we were talking during our session, I asked her, I said, “So tell me about your friendships and what you get together and talk about.” And she said, “Oh, we usually talk about how much we hate our jobs, about our husbands and how they’re getting on our nerves, how we’re getting older and fatter, and we usually talk about politics.”
And she chuckled and I honestly, as much as I love to laugh, I didn’t find it amusing at all because I know how damaging the accumulative effect of complaining and negativity can be in our lives. And it actually takes us all away from the very thing that we’re all after, and that is to feel better, to feel good, to feel joyful.
And so I asked her, I said, “So tell me, how do you feel after you leave these gatherings with your friends?” And she said, “Like a toot.” And I was like, “Yah, I’d feel like a toot too.” And I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to be around negative energy and conversation and also to contribute to it. It doesn’t feel good, and yet, we train ourselves into certain states of being.
And I really want you to hear me when I say that. We train ourselves into certain states of being. So if you are accustomed to feeling negative, feeling he vibrations of negativity in your body, it’s very familiar. And the body craves familiar. And so it is going to give you many opportunities to keep giving it what it craves; that familiar emotion.
In fact, studies have shown that when you feel certain states of being, you release certain chemicals in your body. So I like to think that worry has a certain chemical cocktail. Frustration has a certain chemical cocktail; sadness, fear, as well as joy and excitement and passion. So we really have to break our addiction to negativity in order to create a more healthy addiction, which is to more positive emotions. And that’s why I think celebration is such an amazing way to do it.
In fact, when I think about French Kiss Life, I want this to be your training ground for more joy, more beauty, more excitement, more passion, more confidence, more of the good stuff in life. And it’s going to require that you become very aware of the conversations you’re having, what you are contributing to them, and how you are perpetuating them.
In fact, if you want to listen to one of my post popular podcast episodes, it’s episode 121 where I talk about five ways to raise your conversation vibration. But you all, and I want you to really hear me, energy is everything. We live in a world that is constantly telling us to go harder, to go faster, to get better, to be better. And it’s all driven from a place of fear. And then, on top of that, we add the negativity, the complaining, the focusing on what is lacking and what is going wrong.
And here’s the thing, you all, and I feel some TL love coming on because I love you all. You have got to stop participating in these kinds of conversations if you want your life to be better. You are going to have to take responsibility for your energy and how you feel and stop blaming the world for your own state of being because you are creating it. And that is good news because if you’re creating it, you can change it.
So, you need to stop getting together with your friends and talking about how much you dislike your husband. You have got to stop getting together with them and fuming over politics and all of the things that are going on in the world per your perspective. You’ve got to stop getting together with your girlfriends and complaining about how fat you are and really just ripping apart your own self-worth.
And listen, I have done all of these things and I now know they do not serve me, and they don’t serve the world. What good am I showing up as angry or resentful or hopeless or sad, staying in the ditch of my life? I want to be on the mountain top, and you don’t get to the mountaintop by complaining about being in the valley. You get to the mountaintop by celebrating where you are, learning from where you are, and then slowly start making your way up.
And that is why celebration, I think, is one of the most sacred acts that you could engage in every single day. In fact, my clients know, when they come to me, one of the first things I’m going to assign them is every day you’ve got to be celebrating. You are training your mind and you are training your body into a new energetic state of being.
And here’s the thing; again, there is always, always something to celebrate. And I know this. I worked as a critical care nurse and even when people were on their deathbed, they could find things to celebrate. So don’t be telling me that there’s nothing to celebrate in your life. In fact, let me tell you this; the last three years have been the hardest years of my life, watching my daughter go through an illness that we could not figure out.
And I will also tell you, I celebrated more than I have ever celebrated in my life because when things are hard and times are hard, that’s when you need to celebrate the most. I knew deep down that I was going to be of no use to my daughter if I was wallowing and indulging in sadness and worry and fear. So I was celebrating all of the time.
Every time we found a possible new doc that could help, I was celebrating. Any little ounce of improvement, I would celebrate. And on those days where we couldn’t see visual signs of improvement, I would celebrate ahead of time the improvement that I had faith that we would see. And I am convinced 100% that, through celebration, I was able to navigate that journey, and we continue to navigate it, quite honestly. But we have found more answers and solutions that I would never have been able to access if I had been in the ditch of life and just staying there.
So, are you on board with me? Are you willing to celebrate your life a little bit more; just a little bit? Because it’s those actually ordinary moments of life that we’re often so busy chasing the other things that we don’t see how magical and amazing they are. We’ve bought into this illusion that life will be better one day when, so we chase it like a dog chases a bone. And just when we’re about to get there, guess what we do – we throw the bone again.
So off to the races we go again, chasing the bone, when the truth is, what we are all after is to feel better. And you don’t feel better by constantly chasing and delaying your happiness and your joy until one day when. You create that by stopping and celebrating all of the amazing things that are always happening.
And then, the crazy thing is that when you start to live from that place, it is so much easier to create what it is that you want to create in the outside world. And then the beauty of that is, when you’re living in such a state of celebration, you already feel good so you’re not needing that thing to fulfill you. So when it happens, it’s just the cherry on top. And to me, that is the best way to create your life.
So don’t wait until a special occasion to use your best china. Whip it out on a Monday. Don’t wait until the family wedding of the century to wear that gorgeous dress in the back of your closet. Put it on this weekend and take- yourself out to dinner. Don’t wait to celebrate your life. Look around where you are right now and notice something that is beautiful. Notice something that’s amazing. Notice something that is abundant. Stop focusing on what you don’t want unless you want to keep on experiencing that day after day, because what you focus on expands.
So, I hope, at this point of the podcast, I’ve convinced you that you need to celebrate more. Now I want to talk with you about celebration circles. This, again, is a concept that I came up with a few months ago and it’s so fun. And again, I’ve been celebrating for a long, long time. In fact, every night at dinner, I ask everyone at the table, what do you want to celebrate? What went well today?
Because usually, what do we do? We get to the dinner table and we complain, even though we have amazing food on the table and we have our loved ones surrounding us. We’re sitting there complaining about our day and our job and so on and so forth. I like my family to focus on what is going well and right. And I feel like it is my job to lead them in that direction.
They don’t always follow, sometimes they complain, and that’s okay. Sometimes I catch myself complaining, and that’s okay too. We’re all human. But I know, when I’m in that place, it doesn’t serve me and I switch it immediately. I get out of it.
So, celebration circles are gatherings with people, friends, where you do nothing but celebrate. So, basically, what you do is you set a date and a time and you invite your friends to join you for a celebration circle. And then you get together, and instead of complaining or talking about all that’s wrong, there is a clear intention that the purpose of this gathering is to celebrate life.
Now, there are many ways that you can do this. You can celebrate all that’s going well in this moment. What I love to do is I love to celebrate the past, the present, and the future. So celebrating the past means taking something that maybe you’ve complained about and finding the celebration in it. What did you learn from it? How did it make you a stronger wiser version of yourself? How can you see it differently?
Again, this is training your mind. So, celebrating the past. Celebrating the present is simply waking up to this moment and looking for what you want to see. I use this quote all the time because it’s one of my favorites, but Rumi says, “What you seek is seeking you.” So, seek what you want to see and you’ll find it everywhere. And so everybody goes around and they celebrate what is in the present.
And then my favorite is celebrating the future; celebrating ahead of time, acting as if it’s already happened. So, what that could sound like is, as you all may know, if you’re new to the podcast maybe you don’t, but my big dream is to reach one million women in the next five years. And so, at celebration circles, I act as if it’s already happened.
I celebrate the fact I’ve reached a million women. It feels amazing. I love how this work is impacting women’s lives. I love what I’ve been able to create. I love that my dream has come true and I get into the feeling state of it already being a done deal. And what I can tell you, after walking away from a celebration circle ceremony, you can call it, is the energy that is created within that space is intoxicating.
Instead of leaving your friendship circles feeling defeated, same old same old, life is hard, life is terrible, everything’s going to hell in a hand-basket, you walk away feeling inspired. You walk away feeling unstoppable. You walk away feeling so overjoyed and full of joy.
And that is the power of a celebration circle. And this is, quite honestly, why I love my communities online. We have one group, the Slim, Chic, and Savvy Facebook group, and to see these women having goals and reaching them, but celebrating along the way, it’s like this collective energy that we all get to feed off of and we all rise together. And to me, that is the power of a celebration circle.
As that energy starts to move around the room, it starts to touch each and every person in the room and you start to feel on a very different level, which then impacts how you show up. You begin to rewire your mind for more joy, for more passion, for more excitement. And that spreads, my friends.
Now, I can already almost hear some of you say, “Well, Tonya, that sounds good for you, but you have different types of friends. I don’t have friends that I can actually get together and celebrate with.” And I’m going to challenge you that that kind of thinking keeps you where you are.
You are a creative being. Go out there and create these friends. And the best way to draw those kinds of people in is to start celebrating your life right now where you are. Start to walk through the world with that kind of energy, and you’re going to start attracting very different people into your life.
You can even find online communities that are positive and uplifting and start hanging out there instead of on forums where everybody’s complaining about something. You need to protect your energy. You need to have what I call a red velvet rope policy around your life and decide what you are going to allow into it.
I personally don’t want to hang out with people that are constantly complaining. And here’s the thing – and I tell my clients this all of the time – I am always creating my emotions, and ideally, I would love to get to the place in my life where I could be around anyone and it not affect me. But I’ll be honest, I’m not there yet. I’m much, much better than I used to be, but I don’t want to use my energy focusing on managing my mind when I’m around people that I’m choosing to be around.
I’d rather just put myself around people who are coming from that higher vibration that it’s just easy to think amazing things when I’m around them. And so, if you’re in that place where you don’t have the kinds of friendships that you’re deeply craving, start to show up as that friend that you would like to attract and watch what happens.
It is true; like attracts like. And I know, as I’ve shifted my own personal energy, I have drawn in very different people into my world. And the other thing is to consider that you can start a celebration circle with yourself or with one other person, but the point is, create a ceremony of celebration where you really take a timeout and stop and notice how the universe has your back, how there are so many things going well and right in your world.
Focus on what’s abundant. Focus on the beauty that you can see in each and every moment, and then notice how you, as a woman, or gentleman – if you’re listening thank you for tuning in. I don’t want to discriminate, but I know my audience is typically women. But just notice how you start to literally rearrange your own DNA to completely be a new woman.
So, I have a challenge for everyone listening, because I want you to experience how life-changing this is. I want you to schedule a celebration circle after listening to this. Pick a date, pick a time, put on your most amazing dress. Get the champagne or the sparkling water, whatever you want to celebrate with. Call up your friends. Send out an invitation and set the intention that this is a sacred moment in our lives where we are going to actually change the paradigm.
We’re going to shift the energy and we are going to be women who honor and celebrate our lives. And I would be so, so honored if you would include me in on it. Take a picture. Share it on Instagram. Tag me. Let me know how it’s going and let me know what you are celebrating.
I want to make celebration circles just something we all do. I want it to be mainstream because I know it has the power to change our lives and to change the world. So, form your celebration circle and have a blast celebrating your life.
Now it’s time for a J’adore. This is the part of the show where I share something that I am currently adoring, something I’m enjoying. And since we’re talking about celebration circles, take a guess at what my J’adore is for this week; champagne. But not just any champagne – I want to share my latest obsession, especially with it being spring and almost summertime. It is ice champagne.
Now, I know what you may be thinking, “Tonya, that is so sacrilegious. How dare you put ice into a glass of champagne.” But hear me out. I thought the same thing too. But when my business manager called me up and said, “Tonya, have you tried ice champagne?” She lives in Puerto Rico, and she said, “We love it. We drink it all of the time down here.” And I had never had it, so she brought me a bottle to New York City, and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it.
And I especially see myself enjoying it more as the days get warmer. But if you’re still skeptical, I want to share with you something that champagne expert Caroline Brun said. She said, “In Saint-Tropez, people have been drinking champagne this way since the 1960s. It’s a fresher way to drink champagne, which as you know, can be enjoyed anywhere any time. It’s as simple as that.”
So, apparently, this trend started in the very country that invented champagne, in the south of France. And there, it’s called A-La Piscine, or swimming pool style, when you throw a few cubes into your glass of champagne.
Now, if you’re interested in trying it and seeing for yourself, I can only speak to the two that I’ve tried. So I tried first, let’s see, the Moet & Chandon, the Ice Imperial. And then I’ve also tried Veuve Clicquot’s version, which is called Rich. Now, here is the thing, super, super important, because I did taste it without ice. You do not want to drink this without ice because it’s formulated so strong that when you serve it over ice, it dilutes itself. So a word of caution there.
So, now let’s talk briefly about how to serve your ice champagne. Rule number one, you serve it in a large glass. That’s right, put away your fancy champagne flutes because, number one, you’ve got to put ice in the glass, and those flutes aren’t necessarily designed for ice. And then second, the large flute really allows you to get the aromas of all of the different layers and notes of the wine. So I personally like to serve my ice champagne in a large red wine glass.
Okay, rule number two, you want to use about three to five ice cubes, depending on the size, because just because it’s ice champagne, does not mean you need to fill the brim up with ice. You want to get the right ratio. And I have found, in playing around with it a bit, that three to five, depending on the size of the ice cubes, is perfect.
Rule number three, go ahead and put stuff in there. This is a different experience, you all. And it’s summertime, you can put pineapple, you can put mint, you can put strawberries, raspberries, a slice of lemon. You can put all kinds of flavors. Allow yourself to have fun with it.
Rule number four, don’t be afraid of the sun. This is the purpose of ice champagne. I know when I’ve been in the south of France, we always drink rosé with ice. And as the ice melts, we just put more ice in there. Of course, the flavor changes as you do it, but the whole purpose of ice champagne is to be out in the sun enjoying the summer. And so don’t be afraid of the sun; just throw another cube in there if you need to.
And then finally, rule number five, one of the champagne experts said, “This is meant to be served when the skies are blue.” So, if you’re looking for an incredible drink for your summer, check out ice champagne. You may be pleasantly surprised, as I was. And remember to celebrate as you are drinking it.
Now, it is time to announce the winner of the Hermes scarf giveaway. You all didn’t think I was going to forget, did you? I love giving away things. I want to have more money just so I can give more stuff away. It’s one of my favorite things to do. If I could play Oprah all of the time, I would be giving you all cars and trips to Paris and all of the things because I just think it’s fun.
But for now, I’m giving away an Hermes scarf and I think, again, every woman should have one. So before I announce the winner, I just, again, want to say thank you all so much for entering to win. Thank you for the amazing podcast reviews. You have no idea how much that means to me, I’m just so, so grateful.
Okay, are you all ready for the winner of the Hermes scarf? Drumroll… the winner is Cathleen Castello. Cathleen, you are the winner of a gorgeous Hermes scarf. We will be reaching out to you, but if you’re listening to this, make sure you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you so much for your review. Thank you for being a part of the community.
And, you all, stay tuned because I will give away more Hermes scarves in the future. Thanks for tuning in 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.