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I don’t have to tell you that we are certainly going through an unusual time right now in our lives.

How to use the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to expand into kindness, service, and generosity.I hear from a lot of people that they think I’m a social butterfly, always out and about, but you might be surprised to learn that I’m actually quite introverted. And as such, when I’m not traveling, I generally spend a lot of time at home.

So, what better topic is there to talk about this week than staying at home in style? It would be so easy to think that having to stay home every day is a travesty, and that we’re somehow missing out. But trust me here, your time will be so much better spent if you use this opportunity to make your life richer and expand yourself in ways that you wouldn’t usually have time to focus on.

Join me on the podcast today and discover how to stay at home in style. I’m sharing how to use this time to produce something that adds value to your life and the whole world. Who we are when we’re by ourselves will determine whether we are a victim during this pandemic, and how you do that is completely up to you, my friend.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why I’m using this crisis as an opportunity to expand into kindness, service, and generosity.
  • Where to look if you want to see the beauty that lies in our current situation.
  • Why how you do anything is more important than what you’re doing.
  • What you can do to use this time to add value to your life.
  • How to connect socially with your friends and family during this isolation period.
  • Why who we are when we’re by ourselves will determine whether we become victims of the virus or not.
  • How to make sure you are being part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

“And the people stayed home and read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still, and listened more deeply. Some meditated. Some prayed. Some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed.” By Kitty O’Meara.

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 friends. How are you doing? I hope you’re okay. I know this is such an unusual time in our history. I don’t think any of us have ever experienced anything like this. And I just want you to know that it’s going to be okay. That’s one thing I’ve really come to understand. It’s always okay. it’s our brains that try to convince us that it’s not.

And so, I think we should all take a collective deep breath often throughout the day and just use this time for us. I was thinking about, as I was preparing for this podcast, I’ve been practicing self-isolating for a long time. Believe it or not, I’m actually an introvert. I love being around people, but I think I’m happiest when I’m by myself.

And for those of you who’ve known me for a while, you may think that I’m out and about a lot being a social butterfly because I do travel. But the reality is, when I’m home, I am home. I am in my house, or either outside taking walks and just being with me and the dogs. But for the most part, I am by myself most of the time. And I feel like I’ve become really good at it.

So, in this episode, I want to talk about how to stay at home in style. Because yes, I believe you can do everything in style, even social distancing. And that’s what this episode is all about.

It is time for a Community Spotlight. This is the part of the show where I get to share someone who has benefitted from the French Kiss Lifestyle. And today’s spotlight is on Haley Michelle Odell. She left a five-star review on iTunes that says, “My J’adore is this podcast.”

Here’s what she said, “I am obsessed with the podcast. I’ve listened and relistened to every single episode. And when my phone notifies me that a new one is available, I feel giddy inside. Since discovering this podcast, I have started to notice beauty in the small things. I’ve started nurturing myself, my environment, and my partner. Instead of mundanely existing, I’ve started living life with zero apologies. I’ve learned how to bake bread from scratch, travel just because, spent $20 on a block of fancy cheese. And I threw away all of my stained t-shirts and sweatpants and replaced them with pajamas that make me feel luxurious, sexy, and confident. The wisdom displayed in this podcast has taught me that life is as rich as I make it. And for that, I am eternally grateful.”

Well, Haley Michelle, it sounds like you are doing life in style. Thank you so much for that five-star review. And hey, listen, if you enjoy this podcast, I would really appreciate a review from you. And if you’re wondering why I’m asking for a review, well number one, I feel like maybe you have a little more time now, so you can actually leave me one.

But the truth is, the more reviews that we receive, the more likely we are to get this podcast in front of people that really need to listen to it. So, your reviews really mean a lot. And in case I haven’t told you lately, thank you so much for being a listener. I really, really appreciate you.

I am recording this podcast on March 16th 2020. And this is a day where – well, it seems like for the last week actually – just the energy and the intensity has been on high alert. And basically, we have been told that we should all stay at home as much as possible.

Now, when this comes out, I’m assuming that it’s going to be the same type of situation, based on the projections of how they’re saying this Coronavirus is going to unfold. But here’s the thing; I feel like what I’m going to share in this podcast is applicable beyond the Coronavirus.

Because in life – and I feel like this has been on the verge of happening for a long time. I don’t know about you all, but I have felt this intense energy of things needing to shift. I have felt like we’ve been in hustle mode and just distracting ourselves and just going so fast that it’s almost like this could be a gift for all of us, even though it’s scary, even though financially we’re all feeling the effects of it, even though it’s a lot of uncertainty.

I think, in the bigger picture, that we can actually find the beauty in what is happening right now. I’m choosing to see this as a sacred pause, where the universe and mother nature and the Earth is just saying, “Hey, let’s all just take a deep breath and get back to what is important.”

I’m also choosing to see this as an opportunity for us to really get to know ourselves and to grow. Because I know, when the world’s going so fast, it’s so easy to distract ourselves, to run to the next thing, to always be anywhere other than where we are. You know what I’m talking about, right?

And one of the things that I see a lot in coaching clients is that they’re really afraid to be by themselves because of what’s in their own head. And so, they’re always looking for people to hang out with or for projects to work on and trying to keep themselves busy to avoid the chatter in their own brain. And it’s interesting that we are, right now, being forced to be at home with ourselves. And I think this is a beautiful thing.

I’m also seeing this as an opportunity to expand when everybody else is contracting. You know, I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. So for me, that means when everybody else is full of fear and anxiety and worry, I want to work on being the opposite of that. If we all contract out of fear and scarcity and worry, we are going to be living in a very limited and contracted universe.

And so, I feel like this is a call for many of us, if not all of us, to really expand into goodness, expand into kindness, expand into being of service, expand into generosity, to expand in love. This is our chance, my friends. It’s a chance to lead. It’s a chance to be expansive.

And I’m also seeing this as an opportunity for us to practice embracing what is. We spend so much of our lives resisting and fighting with life that we are exhausted and we are afraid. And this is like a new reset.

And a lot of you are going to be at home, a lot. And as someone who does that a lot, I want to share with you some of the ways that we can be at home in style. Because again, I think we can do everything in style. And this isn’t just about dressing up, even though I am going to talk about that.

But style, if you look up the definition, is a manner of doing something. It’s like how you do it. What is the energy behind whatever you do? Because that’s what is your style. You can do something out of love, such as washing your hands. You can wash your hands and think, “I love taking care of myself. I love protecting my family and my friends and my community. I’m doing this out of service.”

Or, you can wash your hands and do it in a style of fear, like, “Oh my god, I might get sick. I might infect the whole community. Everybody’s going to die so I’ve got to wash my hands.” You get to choose how you do everything. And sometimes I think it’s not as important what you’re doing, but how you’re doing it. I think that’s what really matters; the energy driving your actions.

So, I took some notes of some ideas of how you can be at home in style. The first thing that I want to suggest is that – I know for some of you, your kids are at home and you’re thinking, “Oh my goodness, what am I going to do with these little children?” Now, I am not there. My daughter is in college now, although she is back at home, so I am having to deal with that, you know, her wanting to hang out and talk and chat, which is great.

But I think it’s so important that you create a schedule for yourself every single morning. Know what it is that you want to accomplish for the day. Because if not, what you’re going to end up doing is wasting your time. And do you know how most people are preferring to waste their time these days? In front of the TV watching the news, feeding their fear, scrolling through Facebook, reading everybody’s un-useful opinions about what is happening and feeling more panicked and afraid.

And day after day of doing this, number one, you are just building your anxiety levels. And number two, you’re not producing anything that’s going to add to the quality of your life. So, the way to make sure that does not happen is to create a schedule for yourself every single day.

And that leads me to the second thing that will help you do this home thing in style. And that is, use this time to work on things that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time but you’ve always had a reason not to. There is no reason now, now that you’re at home. Create a goal for yourself. The brain needs something to focus on. And if you don’t tell it what to focus on, on purpose, guess what it’s going to want to focus on; the pandemic.

Or if it’s not this, it’s something else. You have to tell your brain, like, “Hey, here’s what we’re going to do over the next 30 days, 60 days, however long this thing lasts.” Have some goals for yourself where you can accomplish those things that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Maybe it’s cleaning out your closet. Maybe it’s creating art. Maybe it’s practicing your instrument. Maybe it’s reading a book or many books that you’ve bought and haven’t had the time to read. Maybe it’s learning to cook a new dish. There’s so many possibilities, right?

If you use this time effectively, this could end up being the best time of your life. That’s how I’m choosing to look at it. for me personally, I’m going to be writing my book. I’m really focused on self-care right now. I am wanting to spend more time outdoors. I’m wanting to spend more time with my family.

I’m choosing to see this as an opportunity. And so, for you, I want you to think about what are those things you’ve been wanting to do, that you’ve been talking about maybe for years. And what if this is the time for you to do it, to give yourself something to focus on that is productive and feels good because I feel like those of us who really are creative during this time and we produce things when everybody else is afraid, we’re the ones that are going to come out ahead at the end of this.

This is a time for creativity, being creative with our thinking, being creative with our solutions, being creative in what we work on. I mean, did you know that Shakespeare wrote some of his best work during a quarantine. In fact, if you read his poem Venus and Adonis, there’s a line in there that says, “The plague is banished by my breath.” And right now, with all of Broadway being shut down and so much of entertainment being shut down, I feel like right now, all of the creatives are inside creating. And when this is all over, I’m hoping we see some of our best works of art ever.

But that won’t happen if we don’t use this time effectively. This won’t happen if we spin in fear and anxiety and worry. Like, let’s use this energy for us. Let’s use this time for us to create things that we’ve been wanting to create, maybe for decades.

Okay, the next suggestion that I have on how to do this home thing in style is to get up and get dressed. If you sit around for the next two, three, four weeks in your pajamas staring at the Tv and stressing out, it’s not going to serve you. There’s something about putting on clothes that feel good that can shift our state of being.

I’m seeing this as an opportunity to go through my closet and get rid of some things, being creative in how I dress up, like upping my house-wear game. Maybe I’ll be posting some things on Instagram. Like, here is my house-wear for today. I think that’s actually a good idea.

But seriously, I tell my Slim, Chic, and Savvy ladies all of the time; it’s who we are being when we’re by ourselves that matters the most. This is about you impressing yourself because you are your most important relationship. And isn’t it interesting how we dress up for everyone else, how we take care of everyone else, how we show up for everyone else.

But when it comes to the relationship between you and you, how you let yourself down a lot. This is an opportunity for you to be like, “Okay, I’m done with that. I’m going to get up every single morning, I’m going to get dressed, I’m going to have my coffee or my tea. I’m going to create my plan for the day. I’m going to work towards what it is that I want to create during this time. I’m not going to be a virus victim.”

We are not going to be victims to the virus. We are going to be women that get up, we get dressed, and we get to work, or we get to play, we get to creating, whatever it is that we choose to do for that day.

The other thing that I want to offer you is to find ways to serve. We may be at home right now, but there are so many ways that we can help out. For example, if you are a healthy younger person, maybe you could volunteer to go and get groceries for an elderly neighbor.

I’m choosing to also buy gift cards from my favorite restaurants where I live so that I can help support them during this time when they’re struggling. Maybe it’s sending out cards to people that you love. There are so many ways that we can serve right now, but again, if we’re just spinning in fear and panic, it’s all about me, me, me, right?

Something really amazing happens when we stop focusing on me, me, me all of the time and we turn the camera out and we say, “How can we help? Who needs me right now?”

It’s so amazing how it shifts your state of being. So even when you’re at home, look at how you can serve, how you can be a part of the solution, not the problem. And that even goes for what you post on social media. Please don’t be posting things that are going to invoke fear and panic in people and not give them a solution.

And I see this all of the time. I’m like, why are you posting that? Does it help anyone other than for you to share your panic with the whole world? We need to work on our own panic, our own anxiety, our own worry before we start posting on social media.

Now, this is not about putting our head in the sand. This is not about pretending that this is not happening. But there is a difference between fact and fiction, right? Fact is something we can all agree upon. Fiction is everything else. And right now, when I’ve tuned into social media, which I’m not doing that much of these days, it’s a lot of fiction.

It’s a lot of what-ifs, and most of the what-ifs are very scary. And that doesn’t serve us. In this moment, it doesn’t serve us to project negative stories into our future. And so, I want you to be of service right now.

You know, one of the questions that I asked my Slim, Chic, and Savvy ladies when I did a mini-training for them, I said, “Who do you want to be over the next three to six months? Like, how do you want to be known?” Let’s pretend your children, your grandchildren, your friends, family, community, they’re talking about who you were during this time, and who would that woman be. And then you can serve from that place. How does she think, how does she feel, what are the actions that she’s taking? And then align those actions with who you want to be over the next three to six months.

Okay, next idea on how you can be at home in style is to host an online celebration circle. Now, if you have not listened to my podcast on celebration circles, I highly recommend it. You can go to frenchkisslife.com/127.

But oftentimes, especially right now, y’all, people get together and what do they talk about? The Coronavirus, right? It’s like we have Corona brains. We’re all infected with it because we’re thinking about it all of the time.

And if it’s not this, notice how, when you get together with friends, what you talk about. A lot of times, if we’re not mindful, our conversational vibe can be very low. We get together and we discuss problems with no solution. We get together and we complain. We get together and we gossip. And right now, more than ever, we need the opposite of that energy.

We need people that are expansive. We need people that are looking for the good. We need people that are really inspiring us to see possibility in all of this chaos. And that’s why I think since we are all socially isolating right now, this is a great time to hist an online celebration circle where you literally get your friends together and you can use Zoom, you can use Skype, you can use FaceTime. And you get together and each of you shares what you are celebrating in your life.

You can share your dreams. You can share your goals, what you’re working on. And there’s something so beautiful about shifting the energy of worry and panic and stress into a state of celebration. Because if I’ve learned anything in life, it’s this; no matter what is happening around you right now, there is always something to celebrate.

And because what you focus on expands, it doesn’t serve you to sit around and focus on things that cause you to worry and panic. You can prepare. You can be mindful. You can protect yourself and your family. And you can do it from a place of celebration. You can do it from a place of love. You can do it from a place of protection if that feels good for you.

But I think now, because a lot of us are feeling socially isolated, I think it’s a beautiful opportunity for us to use technology to connect with other people. Call your parents. FaceTime them. Tell them you love them. Get your girlfriends together so that you can celebrate. And I promise you, you will feel so good after doing that.

Okay, the next one is to spend quality time with family. Now, some of you all may be thinking, “Listen, I don’t have to spend any more time with my family than I have to.” And what I can say is use this as an opportunity to reconnect. Use this as an opportunity to love them. Use this as an opportunity to get to know them.

Maybe this is a time that you bring dinners back and you all sit around and you talk about your day. Please don’t talk about the virus because you probably talk about it enough.

Maybe you have a celebration circle at your dinner table. Maybe it’s a time that you play games together or you go on hikes together or you watch movies together. And if you don’t have family, if you’re living alone, use this as quality time with yourself.

This is a beautiful opportunity for you to get to know yourself, what you love, what you don’t love, what’s truly important to you, what is valuable to you, what you’re ready to let go of, what you want to create with your life.

And for some of you, it might be very difficult being at home alone with your own brain because right now your brain’s probably going crazy. But that too is such an opportunity. Get a journal and write down all of your thoughts and then you’ll see why it’s so hard to be with you. And that you can change.

You can change your thinking until you get to the point where you love your own company, you love being by yourself. And I can relate to this one because I used to be someone that I was terrified to be by myself because the language in my brain was so terrible that I would do anything to escape it.

I would work. I would try to get together with people. I would do so many things to distract myself from my own thinking because at the time I didn’t realize it was my thinking. I just thought I was flawed and terrible and needed to be fixed. I wasn’t. Just my thoughts were flawed. That’s all.

But now, I’m happy. Like, I am my own best company. I am my own best friend. And honestly, that came out of sitting with myself. When I was doing it, it was not pleasant. But I’m so glad I had the courage to face my own thinking and to really question it.

Do I want to believe this about myself? And it turns out, I didn’t, and I changed it, and so it’s such a different relationship now. So, again, you can use this time at home to really get to know you and to really make that the most important relationship, because it should be.

The relationship you have with yourself should be the most important relationship, even more important than the relationship with your children. Because if the relationship with you and you is not solid, it’s so hard to be in relationship with other people.

But I’m also seeing this as a time for us to really ask ourselves, like, what’s important to us. It feels like we’ve all been in such a frenzy for the last years that this is like an invitation for us to take a pause and to do a reset and ask, what’s really important? What do I want to do with my life? What am I doing that’s just BS, I don’t even want to be doing it and I’m doing it?

For some of you, you may decide during this time that you want to start a business. For some of you, you may decide that you want to move. For some of you, you may decide, you know what, I am ready to take care of myself. I am done neglecting my own self-care. This is the time.

So, use this time to get to know those things about yourself. And then also, this is a time to elevate your self-care. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to be pushed to extremes for us to make changes. But I think a lot of people are looking at their own self-care right now.

We’re being faced with this unknown virus and people are worried about their own health. This is a time for you to boost your immune system. This is a time for you to really take exquisite care of yourself. You can exercise from home. There’s so many online exercise programs. I’ll be on my Peloton. You know, you can go for walks.

You can really take time to slow down and take a rest, because for some of you all, you’ve been going so fast, you’ve been forced to take a rest. Take advantage of it. For some of you, it’s about eating healthier. So maybe now is the time for you to clean out that fridge and start cooking beautiful meals for yourself, meals that serve you, that feel good in your body.

So, make sure that you take really good care of yourself right now. Of course, I want you to always do that. But again, I feel like this is a call for us to really be mindful of our health and how we’re taking care of our health.

So, style is about creativity, you all. And right now, we are facing challenges. But I am a big believer in that every challenge offers up an opportunity. And so, I want you to switch away from problem mode to possibility mode. Like, what is the possibility in this time at home right now.

And if you’re not at home, let’s say you’re still working but you’re freaked out and you’re scared and you’re worried. Number one, that’s okay. You’re human. We’ve all probably experienced that. But just know it’s your brain creating it. But what is the possibility in your situation right now.

You know, I have a friend of mine who’s a personal trainer and she is at home now because her gym closed down. And what she’s doing is she’s creating online videos for her clients, so she’s still making money. She’s using her time at home effectively. Why? Because she got creative.

And again, that’s what style is all about. And the way to tap into your creativity is to ask high quality questions. So, no matter what you’re facing right now, make sure you’re asking questions that you really want the answer to. So, questions like, “Oh my god, what if I die,” that’s not a useful question because your brain’s just going to freak you out.

Or, “What if I run out of money? What if the whole world ends?” These are such un-useful questions. I want you to ask creative questions; questions that are going to offer you u possibility in this time of uncertainty, in this time of chaos. And that’s how you can do this whole staying at home thing in style.

So, for each of you, here’s what I’m imagining. You’re going to wake up in the morning and you’re going to get dressed in something that makes you feel fabulous. You’re going to do your hair. You’re going to do your makeup. And if you’re a gentleman listening to this, you’re going to do whatever you do to get yourself ready for the day.

And then you’re going to sit down and you’re going to create a plan. And you’re going to be like, “Here’s what I’m going to create today. Here’s what I’m going to do.”

And then I also see you being this expansive light in the darkness. I see you getting clear on who you want to be over the next three to six months, and reverse-engineering that in order to create your schedule, to know what you’re going to do for the day.

I see books being written. I see art being created. I see dances being danced. I see songs being sung. I see online celebration parties. I see families maybe connecting deeply for the first time in a long time. I see women who have neglected their self-care, making it a priority. I see hikes and bikes and I see smiles.

And I also see a lot of grace because what is going to happen over the course of three to six months is you’re going to experience being a human, which means there are going to be times where you don’t get dressed, where you do find yourself glued to a TV and you start freaking out.

And you know what, that’s okay. I teach my clients all of the time, every single moment is a chance for a you-turn, Y-O-U, back to yourself, back to your dreams, back to who you want to be.

This isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being aware. It’s about commitment. It’s about practice. And knowing that in any moment, no matter what you’re feeling, you can choose to shift your energy and you can choose to do your time at home and your time in life in style.

It is time for J’adore. This is the part of the show where I get to share something that I live with you. And I think today’s J’adore is so fitting for the time that we’re in. we’re needing comfort. We’re needing entertainment. We’re needing laughter and we’re needing a lot of love.

So, here’s my recommendation for you all. It’s a Netflix show that a friend of mine turned me onto. She was like, “You have to watch this.” And I came home and I started watching it and I’m like, how did I know about this show? Some of you have probably already watched it.

But the name of the show is called Schitt’s Creek. And what I love about the show is it’s a town where there’s no homophobia, there’s no racism. It’s just people beautifully existing together. And you can feel the personal growth of the family who ends up in Schitt’s Creek after they lost their millions.

Their name is the Rose family. And what they find in Schitt’s Creek is there’s always enough. There’s always enough love. There’s always enough support. There’s always enough to go around. And it’s just been so rewarding because I’m on the fifth season now, just to see this family evolve and to watch their growth throughout the show. And it’s just hilarious.

I love all of the characters. I really do. I really love the son. I really love the mother because she’s so dramatic. But I will tell you who I’m most touched by is the daughter and watching her grow up and really get in touch with what really matters and watching her come into her own.

During the show, you get to see how the Rose family shows up in this little town called Schitt’s Creek just full of resentment. They’re all wearing couture. And just to see them get back in touch with what really matters. It’s such a sweet, sweet show.

For those of you who’ve watched it, you know what I’m talking about. And for those of you who haven’t yet, you’re welcome ahead of time. Have a beautiful week, everyone. Cheers.

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 Three Mindset Makeovers Every Woman Needs, by visiting frenchkisslife.com/mindset. Because, after all, mindset is the new black.

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