I love the quote by Audrey Hepburn that says, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” So now is the time that the buds are starting to appear. We’re seeing more and more blue skies. This is the season of freshness, of newness, of getting rid of the clutter of our lives.
This is the time when we all start to think about spring cleaning. But I want you to think about, what about spring cleaning your mind? Your mind is creating your experience of life. It’s impacting how you feel on a daily basis, and that’s impacting how you show up and the actions that you take in the world.
So, before you start cleaning out your closet, I want you to think about spring cleaning your mind. I want you to plant those thoughts that will create a beautiful tomorrow.
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.
We’re going to kick off this show with a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I highlight someone in the community who has benefited from the French Kiss lifestyle. So, today’s Community Spotlight is on Katie.
She left a five-star review and here’s what she said, “This may be the best podcast I listen to. I have been listening to this podcast for a good three years and I savor every minute of it. Tonya Leigh gives the best inspiration on how to truly live your best life in a way that is loving and luxurious. I have implemented a lot of Tonya’s advice over the years and I have even booked my first trip to Paris for this September, all thanks to Tonya’s reminder that now is the time to book that trip, to start living your best life, and to live your life in love and abundance, not fear and scarcity. Thank you, Tonya Leigh for this amazing podcast and please keep them coming.”
Well, thank you, Katie, for leaving a review and sharing how this podcast has impacted your life. This is why I do what I do. This is what keeps me going, and so I am so, so grateful. And one of the things that I just want to say in conjunction to this review is so many of you are waiting until one day when – one day when you have enough money, one day when the kids are out of school, one day when you’ve lost the weight, or one day when, fill in the blank – to do the things that you want to do.
And our mind will try to convince us that we must wait. But what I have found in my life and in my client’s lives is that when you create the courage to start checking off all of those things you’ve been putting on hold until one day, that is when magic happens, my friend.
So, I want you to think about what are some things that you’ve been waiting to do, and what if you committed to planning them out, putting them in your calendar, and just making them happen? You have so much waiting for you to show up for. So I want to challenge the whole community. Choose one thing that you’re no longer willing to wait to do and commit to doing it.
Now, if you want to be featured in an upcoming Community Spotlight, I would absolutely love to share how The French Kiss Life Podcast has impacted your life. And the way to do that is to leave me a five-star review, or you can simply take a screenshot of this episode on your phone and share it on Instagram or your IG stories and be sure to tag me, @tonyaleigh.
Hello, hello, my friends. Welcome back to the podcast, where we are going to be talking about spring cleaning our minds. So, when I think about how I’ve gotten to where I am in life, it all started by me waking up to the lies I had been telling myself; the lies like I’m not good enough, I’ll never have enough, I don’t have what it takes, I’m not smart enough.
And I didn’t realize it at the time that I even had those thoughts. I just thought I felt like crap most of the time because that’s just the way it was. So when I realized that my mind was creating my life, it was creating how I feel on a daily basis and therefore that was impacting how I showed up in the world, which was impacting what I was creating in the world, I started to become very mindful of what goes on in my head.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what I think about. Now, this practice has become so much easier over the years because I know when I’m not thinking in my truth because I feel contracted. I feel afraid. I feel full of anxiety. And to me, that’s just part of being a human. But it’s also a sign that I need to go in and clean up my mind, to get me back into the state of being that I prefer living in, which is joy and playfulness and love and abundance and excitement and passion and joy; all of those amazing emotions.
So, I wanted to give you a simple process of how you can begin to spring clean your mind. This is the time of the year when everyone starts going into their closets and their drawers and just cleaning out the clutter that’s accumulated over the year. But what about that clutter of your mind?
We spend more time cleaning out our cars than we do our own mind, which is crazy to think about, because your mind is what is creating your entire life. So one of the things that I’ve noticed with clients is, when we start to look into their minds, they become very overwhelmed because they realize they’ve accumulated a lot of mental clutter over the years.
And what I like to equate it to is imagine not cleaning your house for like 10 years, and now it’s time to go in and clean. It’s overwhelming. And so what we often want to do is just avoid it, to pretend it doesn’t exist, to keep closing the door. But I want you to have the courage to open the door and begin to look at what needs to be cleaned up.
So, let’s think about this in terms of the process of if you were to have to clean up your entire house, what would you do? Where would you start? So when I think about cleaning up my mind and when I’m working with clients around this topic, one of the things that I want to suggest is that you pick the area of your life that is causing you the most suffering or pain, or the area of least satisfaction, or the area that you’re excited about improving.
This is like walking into your house and realizing, okay, I’m going to start with the basement. This is the area that I keep thinking about I want to clean up. It’s the area that has gotten way out of control. I’m just going to start with one area of my house. And the same goes for cleaning up our mental clutter. Just start with one area.
If you try to clean it all up at one time, you will be so paralyzed with overwhelm you will do nothing. So maybe, the area that you really want to focus on is around your health, or maybe it’s relationships. Maybe it is your finances or your career.
So choose one area that you want to begin to spring clean. Once you’ve chosen that one area, now what you need to do is figure out what is in that area. What is in the basement? That is when you have to pull all of the things out. This is why I love the Marie Kondo book. If you haven’t read it, it’s genius. It’s called The Magic Art of Tidying Up.
And what she suggests, when you’re cleaning a space in your house is that you pull everything out of the space so that the space is clean and clear, and then you get to decide on purpose what you put back into that space. And for me, cleaning up our mental clutter is the exact same thing. You need to know what is in that space so that you can purposefully decide, does this belong in this space? Is this thought or belief creating the results that I want in my life? And, if not, it’s got to go.
So, the way to do this is to take a piece of paper out and write all of your thoughts about this area of your life. I did this years ago around my weight when I was deep in weight struggle. And when I looked at what I wrote down on that piece of paper, I was like, no wonder I feel so disempowered and I feel so hopeless.
I had written down things like, I will never lose weight. I’m always going to be fat. I’m always going to struggle with my weight. I’m confused about what to eat. The list just went on and on and on. And I was like, “Oh my goodness, this is craziness.” But that was what was going on in my head and I had to be willing to look at it.
And here’s the beauty of writing it down, is that it separates you and you can begin to look at it as a scientist, right, as an investigator. And with that separation of seeing it on paper, you can then decide, “Whoa, what do I want in my life? What is going to help me create the results that I’m seeking?” So, write all of your thoughts down.
Now, one thing I do want to point out, and I see this a lot with clients, is that you need to understand the difference between fact and fiction because you may write something down like, I only have $100 in my checking account. That is a fact. That is neutral. I think about my daughter having $100 in her bank account and she feels like the most abundant person ever, right?
There are people that, with $100 in their bank account, they would feel amazing. But you have a belief about that. So when you’re writing down all of these thoughts, you need to figure out, is this a fact? And if it is, what are my thoughts about this fact?
It’s just like if we were to all gather around you and you’re standing on a scale and it reads, let’s say, 180 pounds. We could all agree upon that. But we would all have different thoughts about it. There are some women that would see that number and they would celebrate. Other women see that and they have a very negative story. You need to dig into the story of what you’re making that mean. Write down all of the thoughts about it.
So, once you’ve done that, you may look at this piece of paper and just go into overwhelm. Some of these thoughts you’ve probably been thinking for years and they really feel true to you. But if it’s fiction, if it’s your opinion, it is simply a thought that you’ve thought for so long, and now you have a lot of evidence for that it feels true. But here’s the best news; you can change that.
But if you’re looking at a whole piece of paper with all of these thoughts on it, you’re probably thinking, “Tonya, there’s just way too much.” And you may have that temptation to just close the door and not deal with it. Again, when you French Kiss Life, you have grace, grit, and gumption. And you’ve got to have the grit to look at that paper and then decide which thought you want to focus on first, which belief.
If you could change one of the beliefs on that piece of paper right now, if you could start working on changing it, which one would you choose? This is when I think we can Marie Kondo our own minds.
So, her approach to supporting her clients in deciding what to bring into their space, to bring back into it and what to let go of is she asks them to hold each item and ask themselves, does this spark joy? So for each of these thoughts that you’ve written down, you need to ask yourself, does this spark joy or confidence or passion or excitement or love or abundance, whatever is the feeling state you want to create more of in your life? And if it doesn’t, it’s got to go. It does not belong in your space.
So, go through all of those thoughts and ask yourself, does this feel expansive? Does this spark joy? Does this excite me? When you think about your future self, the future you that’s created what she wants, does this thought belong in your future? If not, we need to bag it up and take it to the dump.
Now, that’s not so easy. I get it, because the chances are, again, you’ve probably thought this thought for so long that the neural pathways are so deep in your brain. But here’s the good news; now we know that the brain is plastic. Neuroplasticity tells us that we can change our neural pathways.
So how do you begin to do that? Well, it’s hard to go from – I will just give you an example from my life – “I will always struggle with my weight,” to, “I will never struggle with my weight ever again.” Now, I am there now. I don’t even really think about my weight. It’s really a non-issue. But I didn’t go from, “I will always struggle with weight,” to where I am now overnight.
I did it by practicing new thoughts; thoughts that I could believe felt a little bit better. So when you’re looking at that one thought that you’re going to focus on, what can you practice that would give you a little bit of relief? Because here’s the thing, and this is so important; if you’ve been in a state of anxiety or worry or sadness for maybe years, you’re going to have to make little tiny shifts on a daily basis that, over time, will put you in a totally different area.
You’ll be in a whole new different ocean, my friend. But you’ve got to start somewhere, and that somewhere starts by you being aware of what you are thinking and then choosing one thought that you want to clean up; choosing that one thought that you are ready to let go of. And maybe that’s your next thought to practice.
I am willing to let this go. Imagine if every time that popped in your mind, you’re like, “Nope, not going to hang onto that one. I’m willing to let it go. I’m willing to let it go.” And you start to feel a little bit better and you show up a little bit better and you start creating a little bit better results in your life. And then you go to, “I am letting this go. I see myself letting this go.”
And then, one day, you look in the mirror and you’re like, “Oh my goodness.” Like me one day, I realized I don’t even think about my weight anymore. How crazy is that? It used to be my obsession. It used to be that thing that caused me the most pain on a daily basis, and now I rarely think about it. Now, I just nourish my body with delicious foods. I eat like a naturally slim woman, and therefore, that is my experience.
But here’s what you all have to know; when I started this process, I was at one point over 75 pounds overweight. And then I starved myself down to a size two. On both ends of the spectrum, I was miserable. I was like, I thought when I was skinny, I’d be happy. Turns out, that’s not how it works. But I started to think like the woman in my future, and I had to be willing to look at the dirty areas of my mind and to start cleaning them up one thought at a time.
And that process has helped me completely restyle my mind to become a completely new woman. And personally, I love this practice. And when I’m working with clients, I’m always encouraging them to see this as a joyful practice. Because here’s the truth, you all, our big belief that we are broken and we need to be fixed is the belief that’s keeping us stuck.
And I tell clients all of the time, you are not broken, but your thinking is. So let’s clean that up and you will find this whole new world of possibility and magic and enchantment is awaiting you. But the first step is to be willing to look into the closets and the dirty corners and the cobwebs of your own mind. It’s about pulling all of the stuff out and looking at it one by one and asking yourself, does this spark joy? Does this belong in my future? And if not, we’ve got to spring clean it.
So, I hope that you will take me up on this. I want you to think about the area of your life that you find really challenging right now, or maybe it’s the area that is the, quote en quote, dirtiest. Or maybe, it’s simply the area that you’re excited about improving.
And then write down all of your thoughts about it. And then choose just one thought that you want to practice changing. And then, of course, you can practice other thoughts, but what you’re going to find is that as you do this and you start to feel a little bit better, it’s going to impact how you approach the other thoughts. And they may start to change on their own. For me, when I focused on, “I’m willing to let go of the belief that I will always struggle with my weight,” I noticed the other beliefs started to change as well.
So again, spring clean your own mind. And here’s the best news; when you have an organized, clutter-free mind, it impacts also how you take care of your physical space. So, it’s like a twofer, right? Spring clean your mind and you’ll notice that you’ll start to create more organized external spaces as well.
And do you want some more good news? It’s just like in your house when you have a constant practice of cleaning up. When springtime comes, it’s not as daunting a task. Things haven’t accumulated. You haven’t created a lot of clutter. And the same goes for this practice of your mind.
If you haven’t cleaned your mental space in maybe years or decades, or maybe you’ve never really looked into your own mind, at first, it’s like walking into the house that hasn’t been cleaned in years. It’s a little overwhelming, a little daunting. But one by one, you begin to clean it up, and then if you keep a consistent practice of cleaning up your minds, you don’t have the accumulation.
You don’t wait until once a year to clean out all the clutter, but you make it a daily practice. And here’s the other thing that I’ve noticed personally; whenever I set bigger goals for myself, all of my stuff comes up that I need to clean out. And so again, for me, it’s just something that I do on the daily. I’m very aware of how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking that’s creating that feeling. And I just have a constant practice of cleaning up.
So, more than anything, I want you to fall in love with your own mind, even though it may have a lot of clutter right now. I want you to love your mind, I want you to love yourself enough to keep it clean, because that is what you deserve, my friend. So, happy spring cleaning your mind.
Now it’s time for a J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I love with you. And today’s J’adore is perfect for today’s topic, which is all about spring cleaning your mind.
So, about three or four years ago, I decided that I wanted to incorporate a meditation practice into my daily life. And I wanted it for a couple of reasons. Number one, I tend to be high-anxiety. I have a very busy mind. And I had read studies that said meditation is such a useful practice for people that struggle with anxiety.
And then I also noticed that the people that I really admired and respected who were doing incredible things in the world, this was the one common practice that they all had in common. And so, I started reading books on meditation. I actually took a couple of courses on meditation. And I started incorporating it into my daily life in small bits.
I would do five, 10 minutes, and I built up a practice of sometimes 20 minutes. But honestly, I was never really consistent and I always wondered if I was doing it right. Can you relate if you’ve tried to meditate and you’re like, “Is this working? Can someone tell me if this is actually creating any kind of result in my life?”
I did notice that I was feeling a little bit more calm, but I just didn’t feel the connection. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t I be reaching nirvana by now?” That never happened.
So, fast forward to Christmas of this year, or this past year, my guide, Glen, gave me the Muse 2 headband. And it was a game-changer for me in terms of my meditation practice. So, the way it works is that you download the app to your phone and you connect it to the device via Bluetooth and then you choose a soundscape, which is usually weather related, although they do have one that is city sounds. It’s not my favorite. I like rainforest.
So typically, what happens is I put this band on my head and I start my meditation practice. And because my mind tends to be a little busy, I immediately start to hear loud stormy sounds, lots of wind. You can hear the rain pouring down. But as I pay attention to my breath and I become more and more calm, the weather in the background starts to become more and more calm, to the point that I start to hear birds chirping.
That’s when you know that you’ve reached that calm state. And then you get points for every bird that chirps. So it becomes like this fun game. I will never forget the first time I had a bird chirp. I was like, “Oh my god, it’s working. I’m so excited.” And all of a sudden, stormy weather came back and I had to calm myself back down.
So, it’s such a useful tool because, again, it’s giving you real-time feedback. On the app, you can track your progress. They give you challenges. And it, again, becomes like this fun game that you are excited to sit down and participate in every single day.
For me, I love to do a morning meditation and then an evening meditation. And I’ve noticed that after my meditation practices, I feel more calm, I feel more focused, I have more clarity. And I love to also do it when my mind is so busy and it’s trying to tell me to go harder or faster to try to figure something out. I will usually just step away and meditate for like 10 minutes, and it’s crazy the results that I get from doing that.
So, if you are someone that wants to start meditating, or maybe you want to deepen your meditation practice, I love this device. I love it so much that I became an affiliate for the company. And if you want to find out more, you can go to frenchkisslife.com/muse.
And again, I think this is a wonderful complement to the topic today of spring cleaning your mind because when you can become aware of the thoughts in your head and you can constantly come back to your breath and come back into your body, what you’re going to realize is that they’re just thoughts. And you can master your own thinking. And when you master your own thinking, you truly do master your own 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.