Did you hear? My popular week of Joie de Vivre is back. In fact, it’s happening next week. So if you haven’t joined us yet, what in the world? Head over to frenchkisslife.com/joy. These are daily challenges designed to help you put the joie back into your vivre and to add more elegance into your everyday. And one lucky lady is going to win the box of joy filled with my favorite things. And if you know me, you know I like nice things. So if you want to participate in adding joy to your everyday and be eligible to win the box of joy, again, head over to frenchkisslife.com/joy.
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.
What is happening, my friends? I’m actually recording this the day before I leave for my seven-week European adventure. We are going to the south of France first, and so I wanted to get this podcast done because when I’m in the south of France, I’m going to be recording the week of Joie de Vivre videos, which I talked about in the intro.
And I highly recommend that you join us. Seriously, we did this a few months ago. Women loved it so much that they were asking when are you going to do it again. And so back by popular demand, we are hosting another week of joie de vivre. So make sure you join us at frenchkisslife.com/joy.
Speaking of joy, do you know what brings my joy? Highlighting one of you. Someone in the community who has benefited from the French Kiss Life lifestyle. Yes, it’s time for a community spotlight. And this week’s spotlight is on Fisherwine.
She left a five-star review that says this. “Love FKL. I found Tonya about two years ago. I find her brand of personal development so refreshing because she makes it okay to be feminine, enjoy beauty and luxury without guilt and really celebrate daily life. That’s what I enjoy and now I feel like I have permission to spoil myself and that little girl inside who never got what she wanted as a kid. Thanks Tonya, for allowing women to be beautiful and feminine, while also being smart and serious. To be taken seriously without having to become our masculine counterparts. Keep bringing the joie de vivre.”
Well Fisherwine, I am bringing it, my friend. That is exactly what we are about at French Kiss Life. We are about joy and beauty and celebrating our feminine, and all the while creating our dreams. And so I really am glad you’re a part of the community and I really appreciate your five-star review.
Now listen, if you listen to this podcast and you really enjoy it and you have not left me a review on iTunes, what in the world? What do I need to do? Do I need to send you a gift? Do I need to tell you how much I love you? Tell me what I need to do to deserve your review.
But no seriously, I do appreciate all the reviews that come in and I only want you to do it if it feels good for you but again, if you enjoy the podcast, I would greatly appreciate it if you go to iTunes and just write a really quick review and maybe I will feature you in an upcoming community spotlight.
Phillipa Soo said exposing yourself to many kinds of art can only lead to amazing things. It helps you learn about your own art, your own taste, what kind of art you want to create for yourself. In this podcast, we’re going to be talking about the necessity of exposure.
And I was inspired to do this podcast because I was actually having a conversation with my daughter. She is at that young age where there are so many options, and yet it can feel overwhelming. I think some people have a very clear understanding early on what they want to do, although I think that’s very few and far in between.
Most of us have to figure it out. We have to get out into the world and be exposed to many, many things in order to experience the contrast of what we want and what we don’t want. And yet when I ask women what do you want, it’s the number one question that women have the hardest time answering.
And I tell my clients all the time, I’m like, you’re not allowed to say I don’t know because I don’t know keeps you stuck. It keeps you from figuring out the answer because as long as you’re saying, you know what, I don’t know, you don’t have to go out there and figure it out.
But if you really want the answer to that question what do I want, it is going to require that you get exposed. That you expose yourself to the world, to many different things in order to figure out what it is that you don’t want and what you don’t want.
I was thinking back to all of the things that I was clueless about. For example, I thought chest of drawers was called chester drawers because in my neck of the woods, where I grew up, no one said chest of drawers. Everyone just said chester drawers. I thought it was named after a man named Chester.
I had to expose myself to people outside of my little bubble to realize oh, I’ve been saying it wrong this entire time. It’s actually chest of drawers. Equally, there are little things like style things. You know, when you grow up in a certain environment and everybody pretty much dresses the same, thinks the same, you don’t know what exists outside of that environment.
And so I remember going to Paris for the first time and realizing wow, it’s actually chic to leave part of your blouse not tucked into your pants. But I didn’t know that. It took travel and really looking outside, again, of my little bubble to realize how to be more stylish.
Another example is like the world of wine. There were so many things that I was curious about but I just didn’t know. For example, Chateau d’Yquem, which by the way, if you enjoy wine and you’ve never had Chateau d’Yquem, highly recommend it. It’s called wine of the gods for a reason.
My French friend says it’s like god in velvet pants, which I don’t know what god in velvet pants would look like but maybe it tastes like Chateau d’Yquem. But again, everything that I’m experiencing now is because I was exposed to the possibility of it. I did not realize that it was a possibility for me to have my own business until I was exposed to other people that had their own business. And I was like oh, so I could start my own business.
When I was growing up, I was either going to be a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary. Those were my options. That’s what I was exposed to. And then I got outside of my little part of the world and I realized wow, people are doing so many other things. I was just in one of my Facebook groups for the Slim, Chic, and Savvy society, which is a monthly ongoing membership program only for the women who’ve been through my Slim, Chic, and Savvy program.
And in this program, we go deep and we really practice the tools that they’re learning in Slim, Chic, and Savvy. And so one of the first things that I had them do is create a really big goal for themselves. It was like okay ladies, it’s time to stop playing. We’re going all in. We’re going big. Whatever that means for them.
Again, big is such a relative term and big is different for all of us. But one of the ladies in there, her goal is to become an entrepreneur, and right now she’s in the corporate world. And she wrote a post that I thought was so brilliant because what she is doing to realize her goal is to start exposing herself to entrepreneurship.
So even without having a concrete and definite answer to what she wants to do, I know without a shadow of a doubt, by exposing herself to that world, she will gain clarity. She will be exposed to ways of thinking and ideas that she would have never received had she just sat at home and tried to figure it out.
What is it Einstein says? You cannot solve problems with the same mind that created the problem, which is why exposing yourself to different ideas and people and places will begin to shake up your reality. It will begin to offer you new options. It will offer you contrast as well.
Because during the exposure process, you will be exposed to things that you don’t like. And that’s okay. That’s part of getting clear on what you do like. So back to the conversation that I had with my daughter, I said hey listen, you need to go out there and put yourself in new places. You need to try new things. You need to be exposed to different places and different ways of thinking and to different possibilities that you cannot figure out sitting at home.
And this is where I see a lot of y’all going in circles. You’re sitting at home trying to figure out the answer to these big questions that you don’t have access to yet. The answers come from living out the question. If you want to figure out what you want in your life, go out there and live your life. Try new things. Do something different. Meet new people. Travel to a new country.
Because the more exposure you have, the more your life expands. The more possibilities you are exposed to. So I want to talk about three areas that you can consider more exposure. The first area is exposure to the arts. Now I know some people think the arts is frivolous. But in terms of exposing yourself to the arts, I have found that art helps me get clarity on what I want and what I don’t want.
If you ever listen to a music genre and you’re like everything in your body is that’s a no, but then you turn on something else and everything in your body is like a yes. Like there’s something within that music genre that speaks to your soul. And everything in life is a clue for you. It’s like playing hot and cold.
And so when you expose yourself to the arts, you can notice what feels very hot and what feels very cold. I was reminded of this last night. I stumbled upon this amazing, amazing music video. It’s called Cellophane by FKA Twigs. I’ll be sure to link it in the show notes.
But I watched this music video and it’s her pole dancing, but it was so ethereal and beautiful and I felt like I was swept into this fantasy world. And I realized from that what I was being exposed to was highlighting me wanting to dive more into that fantasy world. Me wanting to dive more into my femininity.
And so again, exposing yourself to the arts can give you so much clarity around the feelings that you want to have in your life. And sometimes the way you get there is by exposing yourself to things and discovering what you don’t want in order to figure out what you do want. So how can you expose yourself to the arts more? Different music, different artists, different types of movies. Just expose yourself because within the arts are so many ideas.
The next area to consider exposing yourself to is to new places. You know, the reason why you’re listening to this podcast called French Kiss Life is because I expose myself to France and fell in love with the French culture. Had I not gone on that trip, I would not have discovered a love within me. I would not have known that it even existed. I had to be exposed to it.
And I have so many examples of this. My clients have so many examples of this. One client that comes to mind is this lady that I worked with a few years ago and she lives in rural Wisconsin. And one of our coaching calls, she told me that her dream was to go to New York City. She had never been and you all should know, if you work with me and you tell me you want to do something or experience something, you better bet you’re going to do it.
So I had her book the trip. She made it happen. And I got an email from her about a year ago and guess where she’s living? New York City. Crazy that that happened. But she went there and discovered her love of the city. She discovered that that’s where her soul felt at home. And because she exposed herself to it, it gave her direction.
Again, it showed her what she wanted more of in her life. So consider exposing yourself to new places. Is there a place that you’ve been wanting to go? Or maybe you just get out on the weekends and travel somewhere close by, but you get out of your familiar environment where you’re looking around and you’re thinking the same thoughts and feeling the same ways and doing the same things.
You got to shake your world up a little bit. Also exposing yourself to new experiences. How many times have you said no to doing things because you were a little bit afraid that something deep within you really wanted to try that thing?
For me, it was scuba diving. I had always been curious about what life is like under the ocean, and yet I was super afraid but I was like, you know what, I am not going to live my best life by being a scaredy cat. And so I finally got my dive certification and went on my first dive and instantly fell in love. It’s now something that I do every chance that I get. But I had to expose myself to that experience.
And there are so many things in life to experience and to explore. What I encourage you to do is to follow your curiosity. What is something that you’ve been curious about? Like you sit around thinking I wonder what that would be like? Maybe it’s jumping out of an airplane. Maybe it’s learning to kayak. Maybe it’s running a marathon.
But again, what experiences can you expose yourself to in order to discover what you want more of in your life and what you want less of. And then finally, the area that I want you to consider exposing yourself to, and this is a big one. And it’s different people.
Now, I’m not suggesting you get rid of all the people in your life. Not at all. But I am suggesting that you consider putting yourself in different rooms with different people who have different perspectives, who can offer you a different way of seeing things. This one for sure has had the biggest impact on my life.
When I started to expose myself to people – let’s say for example who had money. I realized that by being with those people that my beliefs around money started to change. I grew up in a trailer. I grew up with lack mentality. I grew up with not a lot of money. And so for me, money was something that I was always fearful of. I always had anxiety around it. It was something that felt hard and impossible and I had a ceiling as to how much I thought that I could make.
And then I started hanging out with people who really burst that ceiling for me. They were like, no sister, it’s not how it works around here. And for them, money was easy. It’s just what they had. It’s just a part of their norm. And I have all kinds of examples about that. I have it around my weight as well.
Growing up in the south, I would look around and the majority of people that I would see were overweight. It’s sort of a cultural norm in the south, especially in my little part of the south that obesity is just a normal daily happening. And because that’s what I was seeing every day, that’s what I was being exposed to, it’s no wonder that I also struggled with my weight.
But when I started to expose myself to healthy people, people who didn’t eat their emotions, people who actually enjoyed exercising and loved living a healthy lifestyle, it started to rub off on me. And so when you think about exposing yourself to different people, one of the things that I suggest for you is to think about people who have what you want and figure out a way to be around those people.
I am telling you; it will change your life because it will change how you think and how you think is everything. The other thing about exposing yourself to people is that you never know when you are going to meet that one person that changes the trajectory of your life.
So here’s a really great example. I exposed myself to a new place. I went to the south of France and I met this new person. And this new person ended up inviting me to be part of the Monaco Luxury Network, which is sort of hilarious when I think about it because I don’t think I owned one luxury piece at the time and I definitely could not pronounce Yves Saint Laurent, but there I was.
And it was all because I had the courage to get outside of my little bubble and to meet new people and to be open and honest about what I wanted and what my dreams were, and the universe just conspired on my behalf and exposed me to the people I was supposed to be exposed to who offered me opportunities that again, I would have never been offered had I been sitting at home trying to figure out my life.
And so if you’re someone right now that is struggling with the question what do I want, go out there and live out that question. That is how you’re going to discover the answer. Take dance classes. Learn a new language. Go to a new country. Go to a networking event. Just try a lot of different things because in all of that, you’re going to get clarity.
It’s either going to be I don’t want that or it’s going to be that’s more in alignment with what I think I want, and then you move in that direction. That is how you figure out your life. You live it. You live it fully and expose yourself to as many things as you can expose yourself to.
Right now, I am preparing to meet my ladies in Paris for the French Kiss Life experience. And my goal and my intention is to expose them to a life and a way of being that maybe they’ve never even considered before. I want them to be exposed to possibilities because I know that exposure gives you so much data.
I have seen women come back from that trip completely changed with so much clarity about what is a strong yes and a strong no in their lives. And it’s all because they had the courage to expose themselves to something that was outside of their daily norm, even though it’s not a cheap trip and even though it’s not convenient. They have to get on a plane and travel across the ocean. It is so worth it because of what they expose themselves to and as a result, how it shifts them internally, which then they bring home into their daily life.
And so I want you to really hear me out here. This is a challenge. This week, I want you to expose yourself to at least five new things. Maybe again, it can be in the arts, it can be going to a different lunch spot, it could be hanging out with a new person, it could be trying a new experience. But exposure is necessary to living a beautiful life.
It is time for J’adore. The part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And since I’m in travel mode and I’ve been sharing some of my favorite travel things from my favorite luggage, which if you want to go check it out, go to frenchkisslife.com/away to my favorite makeup organizer, you can find that at frenchkisslife.com/makeuporganizer.
This week, I’m going to give you one more and then we’re going to move on to some of my other favorite things in the future episodes that aren’t travel related. But this one definitely makes travel so much easier, and it was something that I didn’t discover until this last year and that is a travel steamer.
Y’all, life changer. Because I don’t care how good you pack, inevitably, your clothes are going to get wrinkled. And I don’t like ironing, plus I don’t think ironing is good for our clothes and so having a travel steamer, it’s so quick and easy and gets the wrinkles right out, and voila, you’re ready to go.
So if you want to check out the one that I like, I actually found it in London last year but I think you can order it. You can go to frenchkisslife.com/steamer to see the one that I like, but there are many different types of travel steamers, so find the one that really fits your budget and fits your needs.
But if you travel, or even if you don’t, you don’t even have to travel to appreciate a good steamer. You can steam your clothes at home, but especially when you’re traveling because clothes do tend to get wrinkled. Having a travel steamer, game-changer, my friends. Game-changer.
Thanks for tuning in this week. I will see you in the next episode. And until then, go out there and French kiss your life.
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.