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Do not let your shadow walk you.  You are not a slave of the past.

Dodinsky

If you’ve ever allowed your past to define you, please allow me to share some brief snippets of my story: I grew up in a little trailer in a little town. Now, I live in a penthouse (actually, it’s a condo on the top floor, but penthouse sounds more glamorous:). I grew up eating fried chicken and processed cheese straight out of the wrapper. Now, I prefer filet mignon and pungent cheeses like Epoisses (but, I still love fried chicken).

I was raised in a church that forbade jewelry, makeup, and ladies wearing jeans. Now, I rock all three with grace and confidence.

I dropped out of high school at seventeen. Then, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University.

I was married at 18. Then, I divorced and learned how to love myself first.

20 years ago, I had no clue who Coco Chanel was. Now, she is one of my greatest idols (and a woman who didn’t live in her past.)

15 years ago, my accent was so thick that I pronounced “chest of drawers” as “Chester drawers.” Now, I speak in front of packed audiences across the country knowing that everyone in the room can understand me.

I went to sommelier school. The first day, I pronounced rosé like the flower, which resulted in a burst of laughter from the class. I ended up passing the blind tasting with flying colors and aced the final. Who’s laughing now, darlings?

10 years ago, I had no idea what an ROI or a P:E ratio stood for. Now, I’m a learning to be a savvy investor.

For a decade, I served as a critical care nurse, tending to hearts and lives. Now, I run a company that inspires both.

My body once carried 75 extra pounds and earned me the nickname “blimp.”  Now, I’m a healthy size 6.

Why am I telling you this? Because some people think that I’ve always had it together – that I came out of the womb wearing Chanel and sipping Champagne.

Ha!

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’ve come a long, long way.  In fact, I’m a completely difference woman.  Sometimes, it amazes even me.

So, while I talk of all things French, joie de vivre, travel, style and lipstick, it wasn’t too long ago that my life was void of these beautiful things.

I am a woman who knows the pain of loss, understands feeling paralyzed, has lived through countless amounts of shame and guilt and is no stranger to sleepless nights.

I also know that if I, a girl that grew up in the Deep South in trailer parks, can cultivate myself and live confidently in a world that I absolutely adore, there is no reason why you can’t do the same.

It’s all between your ears. Every bit of it.

If you can change that, you can change your world– and that of many others, too.

Here’s another truth that I’ve learned along the way:

You get to tell the story of your past.  Make it a fairytale, not a nightmare. (tweet it)

I see my past as a beautiful part of who I am – adding texture and vibrancy to my soul.  The years I struggled most were the same years that my past was my prison.

How you interpret your past will impact your future.

So, my question to you is:  what part of your history do you need to rewrite?

Please share in the comments below.

With a sincere heart,
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Tonya

(P.S. After numerous requests, I’ve finally opened up some space to work with me privately, either virtually or in-person.  If this is something your soul fancies, email support@tonyaleigh.com)

 

 

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