The way you communicate with others can either draw people in or actually push them away. It can inspire people to want to listen to you, or it can cause people to actually ignore you. But most of all, the way you communicate sends a powerful message to yourself, so why not learn how to communicate as the queen that you are? Which 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.
Ola, my friends, I am recording this episode from Mallorca, Spain. And I’m just so happy right now. We’ve been here for three days, and on day one of being here, my soul was like, girl, this place is going to be in your life for a long time.
Has that ever happened to you, you travel to a place and there’s just an immediate connection? And then there are other places that you go to and it’s great – my friends joke I can have fun anywhere, and I can – but there’s not always that soul connection? Well, for Mallorca and myself, we are connected.
I mean, come on, let’s just talk about the olive oil, and not only the olive oil, but the tapas and the incredible people and the beautiful mountains and the turquoise water. Yeah, I’m so happy.
You know, just this morning, I was sitting out on the terrace and I was writing in my journal. And what came through me was, “Tonya, you created this.” And I share that with you because if you have a dream, if there is a deep burning desire within you, you also have the ability to create it, or it wouldn’t be given to you.
And I know that when you look at the life I’m living, you can either look at it as, “Oh it must be nice for you,” or you can look at it as, “Wow, if Tonya can do it, so can I.” And I hope that you will choose the latter. I hope that the way I’m living my life will inspire you to consider that your dreams are just as worthy, just as powerful, and you are just as capable of creating them.
This is French kissing life, my friends. It is having fun creating your dreams. It’s saying, “You know what, I’ve got this one life, let me see what I’m capable of creating or experiencing or becoming or doing.” Do not limit yourself. Do not put parameters around what you are capable of having. Allow yourself to dream and then do the work to become the kind of woman who can create that for herself.
Okay, that was a whole tangent that I was not expecting, but y’all know how I roll. When something comes through me, I just let it come. I don’t stop the flow. And with all of that said, it is now 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 this spotlight is on Rachel from Chicago.
Rachel left a five-star review on iTunes and here is what she said, “Oui, oui, oui, I can’t believe that it’s free. This podcast is so divine and it goes in so many different categories. If I had to give the super short version, it would be, meet you, only better, and PS, you’ve been there the entire time.
Tonya touches on everything from fashion to cooking to deep-needed conversations about how to meet ourselves where we are. I know her listeners aren’t only women, but as women, we are subjected to an endless stream of self-improvement blather; the underlying assumption being that we aren’t good enough as is. Tonya helps to clear out the condition cobwebs and introduces you to someone amazing; you. She also helps open our eyes to the gorgeous world around us, all its art and beauty, without being a Pollyanna. She is a former critical care nurse and understands how fleeting our time here really is.
I love that she fosters consciousness in her listeners and I love her realness. She’s not shy about coming from humble backgrounds, about the scariness of trying new things, about the depth of despair and the heights reached by choosing love. Most importantly, she provides a path to feeling our feelings, whatever they may be.
I took a marvelous game-changing workshop with her on setting goals and breaking them into manageable pieces. It’s called the Dream Atelier. And I know she offers a lot of golden advice on this podcast for free. Best of all, the topics and advice are timeless. I went back and listened to ones from five years ago and they’re still spot on. Thank you, Tonya.”
Well thank you, Rachel, for that beautiful, beautiful review. It really means so much to me. And in reading your review, the one thing that really popped out that if you all take nothing else away from this podcast but this, I will feel like my work in the world is complete. And that is you are not broken. The only problem is thinking that you’re broken.
So all of the energy that you run around trying to fix yourself with, I want you to use it to have more fun, to try new things, to create more, to enjoy your life more. It’s really hard to enjoy our lives when we think that we’re broken. It is such a lie. And so my mission on this podcast is to speak the truth, and the truth of who you are is you’re amazing, and there’s so much out there that the world is waiting for you to experience and to enjoy and to become and create.
So, if you enjoy this podcast and you have not left me a review yet, what in the world? Head on over to iTunes. Hit that subscribe button. Leave me a review and maybe, just maybe, I will feature you in an upcoming community spotlight.
In episode number 29 of the podcast, I talked about the difference between princess versus queen energy. And to this day, it’s one of my top podcast episodes. Women really love the idea of stepping into their queen energy. And as someone who’s been a princess, I will be the first to admit, I will tell you that really learning the tools to embody a queen energy is life-changing.
And so, in this episode, I want to talk about how that specifically applies to communication, because every day, we are communicating ourselves to the world. And the way we show up and the way we speak and the way we carry ourselves sends a very powerful message.
Now, one of the things that I’ve personally noticed in my life is that for many years I was afraid to speak up. I was that person in the room who had ideas but because I had so many broken beliefs about myself, that I wasn’t smart enough, that I wasn’t good enough, I would find myself just cowering and not sharing and closing myself off.
And then, the result of that is it doesn’t feel good because our soul knows the truth, that our voice matters, that we matter. And so every time you act out of alignment with your soul, it’s going to feel terrible.
So, years ago, when I decided, you know what, I really do want to be the best version of myself, and I think the best versions of ourselves are the women that we came here to be, right? And it’s buried up underneath all of these limiting beliefs. And so one of the things that I did is I really focused on communication. I didn’t want to be scared to speak up. I wanted to be able to communicate how I felt and to ask for what I needed.
And so I did all kinds of things. I went to Toastmasters, I read books on communication, I read books on leadership. And I found for myself that the pendulum started to swing in the opposite direction, of being very vocal and very just sort of aggressive. And I’m sure people were like, “She’s a bitch.”
I didn’t mean to be. I was just playing with the energies of how to be an effective communicator. And so I discovered for myself, that approach didn’t really work either. And so, at the time, I didn’t have the words of how I wanted to communicate. I just knew that I wanted it to be bold and powerful and confident, and at the same time, I wanted it to have a feeling of femininity. I wanted it to really honor the woman that I am.
And later, I’ve come to understand it’s that queen energy that I was after, being able to stand in who you are and communicate from that space. And so I want to share with you some tips that have really helped me to communicate like a queen. And I also really encourage you to go back and listen to episode 29. If you go to frenchkisslife.com/29, you will be able to listen to that episode because they really do go hand in hand.
So, let’s talk about tip number one on how to communicate like a queen. And that is no blaming. In conversation, the moment you start blaming someone else for how you feel or for what has happened, you become a victim. And queens are not victims.
We take 100% responsibility for how we feel because we know that that is where our true power comes from, when we are accountable to ourselves and for ourselves. And so the moment you start saying, “Well you did this,” or, “He did this,” or, “You made me feel this,” you have given all of your power away.
So when you’re communicating, I want you to practice saying, “I am feeling this and it was triggered because of what happened,” right? So you are honoring that something did happen that triggered a feeling within you, but you’re also saying, “I am feeling this. This is on me. This is mine.” And then you can say, “This is yours.”
This is what happened, maybe this is how you contributed to it, but you’re not making that person responsible for your emotional wellbeing because, at the end of the day, my friends, as hard of a pill as this is for us to swallow, you are the creator of your own emotional state. And when you really get it and you start to practice it, you’re going to realize it’s the best news ever because Uncle Johnny can be over there acting like an idiot at Thanksgiving dinner, and you can decide on purpose how you want to feel about it, how you want to speak to him, if you even want to be around him. But you don’t blame Uncle Johnny and his behavior for your feeling state.
Now, I want to be very clear, queens have boundaries. Queens have a red velvet rope. So you can say to Uncle Johnny, “When you make these kinds of jokes, I feel really angry. And for that reason, I am going to choose not to be around you at Thanksgiving dinner. If Uncle Johnny is there, I will not be attending.”
You get to take care of yourself in that way. Uncle Johnny still gets to be Uncle Johnny and you get to decide what is good for you. But queens do not communicate with blame. We take 100% responsibility and we decide what is good for us and we have that red velvet rope policy up for ourselves and we communicate from that place. It’s such a big difference, you all.
The second tip on communicating like a queen is to be honest. We are walking around, a lot of the time, lying to ourselves and lying to others. We are saying yes when we really want to say no. We are not being truthful about how we’re feeling about things. And what ends up happening is you build up resentment, you become very angry, and if you were just honest, you would just bypass all of that drama.
You know, I was just filming a behind the scenes for the Slim, Chic, and Savvy society. That’s my monthly membership for women who have been through the foundational program who want to continue working with me. So, part of that is they get a behind the scenes. And this particular behind the scenes was with two of my dear friends.
And we were just talking about friendship and the importance of honesty. And one of the reasons why our friendship is so strong is that we’re really honest with each other. We don’t lie to each other. We say how we’re feeling, not blaming the other person, but also being honest with what is going on for us and then we hold space for each other to figure it out and we support each other.
But queens are honest. If queens are angry, we don’t show up with a happy face and be like, “I’m so happy.” We’re like, “No, I’m feeling anger and this is why,” and we take responsibility for it, but we don’t lie to ourselves and we don’t lie to others.
And again, I want to be very clear that when you are honest, you’re not blaming. If you’re feeling anger, you get to own that anger. You get to communicate, you know, this is what I’m feeling right now. But you don’t say, “You did this to me.” I want to be very clear because women will hear, well I get to be honest, I get to tell people how they’re making me feel.
No, you get to be honest with how you are feeling taking 100% responsibility for it and never blaming someone else for that. That’s when you get all of your power back, my friends, when it comes to communicating like a queen.
Okay, the third tip I want to give you is to be direct. This is so important. And I see this with my clients all of the time and I pick up on it immediately. So here’s what being indirect sounds like. And this is actually an example from a recent exchange with a friend of mine.
She called me up and she’s like, “You know what? If it’s not too much trouble to ask, I’d really like for you to bring an appetizer to the dinner party.” And I was like, “Okay, alright, just ask.” Just say, “I really would like for you to bring an appetizer to the dinner party.” Not, “If it’s not too much trouble, I’d like to ask…” That is us cowering. That is us not stepping into our power and saying what we want, saying what we need. It’s a very indirect way of communicating.
Or if someone asks you a question and you really don’t want to answer it, you get to say, “I don’t want to answer that question.” Instead of saying, “Oh…” and beating around the bush and making yourself miserable, just be direct and be like, you know what, I don’t feel comfortable answering that, period.
Part of being a queen is being direct, saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Another one that I hear that you all struggle with a lot is when people ask you to do something and you don’t want to do it and how you beat around the bush and say, “Yeah, you know what, I’d really love to but I’ve got to check my schedule. I think the kids might have an event that night.” And it’s like, just be honest and be direct, “Thank you so much for the invite but I don’t want to go. Thank you so much for the invite but it’s not a good time for me. Thank you so much for the invite, but I’m going to say no.”
You just get to be direct. And I know it’s uncomfortable because I know we are people-pleasers and we want everyone to love us, but at the sacrifice of what, your own wellbeing and feeling small and feeling powerless in your own life? Just practice being direct.
Okay, the next tip that I have on communicating like a queen is to listen. Queens are able to be in a space and to listen and to really put themselves in the other person’s shoes, to really listen for the messages of what’s being communicated without feeling like they have to have all the right answers and to fill every space with words. You can just be and you can really tune into people.
And if you’re listening to someone and you’re trying to figure out what you’re going to say next, you’re not really listening. You’re in your head, figuring out next sentences versus really just being present with the person and trusting that what is meant to be said will be said.
True queen communication gives the space for people to communicate with you and for you just to be present with that communication and truly listen to people. If you are judging people as they’re speaking or you’re trying to figure out what to say next or you are checked out looking around and not even present in the conversation, you’re not in your queen power. True queens really listen and they listen with an open mind and an open heart.
The next tip that I have for you is to speak with confidence. So I hear this a lot on coaching calls, and I’ve certainly done it too, you guys. It’s not like I’m in my queen energy all of the time. I catch myself being a princess sometimes. But when I catch myself, I notice how it makes me feel, and it makes me feel so disempowered.
So here’s what it sounds to not speak with confidence; one, it sounds very wishy-washy. So, for example, I think I want to. When you’re in your queen energy, you commit. This is what I’m doing. This is what I’m committed to. There is no thinking about it. It’s like, yes, this is what I want to do.
Or, I think this is what I believe. No, this is what I believe. There is a confidence to it. It’s you believing in yourself. Another one that I hear a lot is, I’ll try. I’ll try to be there on time. Or I’m going to try to lose weight. Or let’s see how it goes, that’s another one. It’s a very passive way of communicating versus, I’m doing this, this is how it is going to go for me because this is what I’ve committed to.
And so I want you to notice how your language feels when you’re communicating it because if it feels wishy-washy, it means that you are not committed. It means that you are not going all in. It means that you don’t often trust yourself. And if you want to trust yourself, you’ve got to practice trusting yourself, practice speaking with confidence, showing up for what you say you’re going to do because that’s what it feels like to be a queen.
Tip number six is to speak from a place of power. So this is a big one because a lot of times, on my coaching calls, women will show up and they’ll say things like, I’m struggling with, this is my struggle. It’s like life is one big struggle. You don’t want to be the struggle queen, right?
I want you to practice saying, hey, listen, this is what’s happening, give me the facts of it and then start to speak from a place of power and look at what are the possible solutions for you, how can you navigate this challenge, what is this challenge here to show you? What is it here to teach you? What are all the possibilities that you can find within that challenge? That is what it feels like to speak as a queen.
And, y’all, don’t get me wrong, queens have challenges just like everybody else. It’s how we go about them, it’s how we navigate them. And so before you start framing your life as one big struggle and coming from a place of disempowerment, communicate as a queen.
Say, here’s what’s happening, yes it’s challenging, but I’m also a smart and capable woman and here’s how I’m going to respond to it, here are the possible solutions to it. Do not come at your life as if life is happening to you. Queens know that life is happening for them and they communicate from that place.
And then finally, tip number seven, and this is going to be the most powerful tip of all of them, and this is where I struggled for so long and learning to get into this energy before communicating has changed everything. And that is to speak from a place of love.
When you get into a state of love before you communicate, you may find that you choose different words. You may find that you say less. You may find that you are way more intentional. And what you will definitely find is that the result is so much more beautiful than when you react and you speak from a place of anger or you speak from a place of sadness or you speak from a place of disempowerment.
When you get into the energetic vibration of love, what flows through that is going to be felt from the people around you, and that doesn’t mean that you don’t have tough conversations. It also doesn’t mean that you deny what you’re feeling, that you are not allowed to feel angry or sad or hurt or whatever it is that you’re feeling.
But again, remember, queens don’t blame other people. We take 100% responsibility. We’re honest about how we feel. And what I have found to be super helpful in my life is that before I react to those feelings, to give myself the space to sit with them for a while and understand what’s going on in my brain to cause me to feel that way and then to really get into a place of love for myself and the other person or the other people.
And when you communicate from that place, it is so much more effective because you’re not going into that conversation with your armor on, ready to defend yourself. You’re going into that conversation wanting the best for all people involved. And when you go into anything wanting the best for all people involved, your energy is so different and the results are going to be so different.
For me, one of the best ways to think about this is to think about our children. Our children can do things that make us angry, that really just make us want to pull our hair out. But when we really think about it, we love our children. We want the best for them. And when we can communicate from that place, even though we’ve been angry at what they’ve done or we’re saddened by how they’re showing up, when we can get into that place of love, we are so much more effective at really understanding them, understanding the cause of why they’re doing what they’re doing, and to also speak from that place of love while also setting boundaries and saying, hey that’s not acceptable in our house, that’s not acceptable for me.
And that doesn’t mean the other person won’t be upset. It doesn’t mean they won’t be angry. But you get to know that you communicated from a place of love, you spoke your truth, you didn’t blame, you were direct, you listen, you speak with confidence, you speak from that place of power, and then you speak from love.
And when you practice all seven of these tips, it shifts your energy in such an incredible way. It puts you back into what me and my daughter call the power seat of our lives. So practice communicating as the queen that you are.
It is time for J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. Now, I know I’m in Mallorca right now, and what I’m going to share in today’s J’adore is not necessarily needed where I am because it’s beautiful outside, it’s about 75 degrees.
However, I’m going to be going home soon and in Colorado, we are already getting snow. And one of the things that I look forward to this time of the year is curling up on the sofa with a good book and my favorite throw. It’s by Barefoot Dreams. I call it the cozy throw. In fact, you can go to frenchkisslife.com/cozythrow to see the one that I’m talking about.
But especially this time of the year, to practice what the Danish call Hygge. It’s where life has this feeling of cozy contentment and wellbeing through enjoying the simple things in life. And for me, there’s nothing like, again, curling up with a good book by the fireplace, having a great cup of coffee with this throw.
It literally feels like heaven when I’m wrapped in it. So if you are looking for a throw to add to your fall and winter collection, again, head over to frenchkisslife.com/cozythrow to see what I’m going to be wrapped up in this season.
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.