Frenchie Friday: The Beauty of Tears

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“Do not apologize for crying.

Without this emotion, we are only robots.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Over the past week, I’ve been French Kissing Life. But, it hasn’t looked the way you’d probably suspect. In fact, it’s felt quite messy beautiful.

I’ve cried for three days straight: Puffy eyes.  Stuffy nose.  Mascara running down my face.

Not a pretty site.

Like clockwork, I expect this emotional breakthrough once a month, and it’s always around that time.  Ladies, you know what I mean.

During that time, things feel more intense and magnified, and it’s like my heart opens up and tries to take on the whole-wide-world at one time. The smallest little thing will induce a flood of tears – seeing something beauty, receiving love, an inspirational video.  And, life’s challenges feel bigger than they really are.

Fortunately, I know myself well enough to understand that this is part of my unique feminine rhythm. It, too, will pass (and come again).

But, I’ve learned to embrace the tears, just like I cherish the laughter.  I believe it’s one of the secrets to French Kissing Life.  

I will never forget watching a very chic Parisian woman sobbing in the Luxembourg gardens.

Sitting on a bench, surrounded by beautiful flowers, she let her raw emotions spill out and flow down her cheeks to hit her silk blouse and let the world bear witness.

The French pride themselves on their self-expression and don’t constantly pursue happiness, giving them permission to fully experience life in that moment.  That’s joie de vivre!  

During our French Kiss the World Society retreat last year, an expert on French femininity shared with us: “A french woman will cry to get her way.”

In essence, if she needs something and has exhausted all of her options, she will resort to shedding a tear– or many. In turn, men will gather around the sobbing woman to offer help.

Believe me, I am not suggesting you manipulate others through false tears, but I am saying that there is power in vulnerability and emotion.

In fact, today, during a leisurely 3 hour lunch with girlfriends, the tears started to flow (again).  Our poor waiter started scurrying to bring a linen napkin to the table.  God forbid, a tear fall into my leek and watercress soup.

I smiled (through the tears) and said, “You are such a sweetheart. Thank you.”  Next thing I know, we’re sharing a pistachio and honey goat cheese cheesecake on the house.

I know we’re taught to put on our big girl panties, toughen up and put on a happy face.  But, if I’ve learned anything, it’s this: A woman who doesn’t cry has hardened her beautiful heart. (tweet it)

Society teaches us to remain strong, stop crying, and wear a smile 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Pull yourself up by the bootstraps,” they say.

People are posting their “perfect lives” on Facebook, and no one dare tells the truth when they are asked the simple question, “How are you?”  Everyone always seems to be fine or great!

When was the last time you told the truth to this question?

I laughed out loud at lunch today when the waiter bravely asked our table if we were having a good day and my lovely (and very honest friend) said, “No!  What about you?”

Denying how you feel is not the pathway to freedom.  Before you move on, you must acknowledge where you are (and the stories that go along with it).   And, oftentimes, unless you’re living in a constant state of tears, you don’t even need to dissect every thought in your head.  You just need a good cry.

Emotions come and go, but who you are deep down is solid.  Don’t you ever forget that!

Crying should be a part of every woman’s beauty plan. It’s cleansing, releasing and part of your feminine essence.

It doesn’t mean that you’re neurotic or weak. It means that you’re strong and secure enough with who you are and you allow to feel what you’re feeling.

It also doesn’t mean that you have to stop living.  This week, I wrote more than ever, started planning a new project, and had a dance off in my living room.  Not to mention all the beautiful, ordinary things of my day.  And, I wore my lipstick through it all!

I just did it with tears.

Tears are simple, honest and soften the heart.

I invite you– brave, strong, and graceful woman– to acknowledge that tears are a beautiful part of being human, especially embracing your feminine essence.

A woman who fully French Kisses Life can say at the end,  I laughed all of my laughter and cried all of my tears! 

With a Tender Heart,

Signature

Tonya

15 Ways to Live with More Ease

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“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
― Pema Chödrön

Recently, a nickname has been brought to my attention: The ease whisperer.

If you know a little about me, you most likely know that I despise words like grind and pressure, and the term “pushing your way to success” holds no place in my vocabulary.

I’ll leave those for men in power suits on Wall Street, thank you.

I want our journeys to be filled with something much different.

My feminine heart believes:

The journey to the dream should be as beautiful as the dream itself,

and entered into with ease.

But, how do we define ease? Here is what I found:

:: Not difficult.

:: Freedom from great effort, financial need and worry.

:: Freedom from constraint or stiffness.

:: Release from pressure or tension.

In the 2014 French Kiss the World Society, we have been discussing this concept a lot lately.

The greatest misconception I often hear from high-achieving women like the amazing Society women is that in order to earn wealth, success and fame, they must treat life like a man and trade in their graceful femininity for dominating masculinity.

But, what I will encourage you, as I encourage them, is that a life of ease and grace comes with many terrific benefits (tweet it).

These include– but are certainly not limited to– increased productivity, joy, creativity and satisfaction.

Also be aware that:

I love to create, add value and do things in the world.

I love to be productive.

I do not sit on beaches in the South of France and sip rosé .

Okay . . . on occasion you will find me there. But, it’s because I work smart and efficiently as well.

I have adopted a life model of ease. It looks a little like this:

I work, at most, five days a week.

I strategically design my life.

I prioritize friends, family, loved ones and leisure.

I choose physical activities that energize me.

Even when I sometimes miss the mark, I aim for ease is in everything I do.

Here are 15 ways to put more ease into your day:

1. First thing’s first: prioritize. If you have 100 things on your to-do list today, choose a few and simplify. Focusing on just a few things per day will allow you to give them your best. Have a master list of things that are most important for you, but don’t expect to get them all done in one day. Every night, I decide what my top three priorities are for the next day, write them down, and wake up knowing what I have chosen to do… and do it.

2. When you wake up, breathe. Don’t immediately grab for the phone or computer to check emails, social media, or anything else. Ease into your day with a delicious cup of coffee or tea, meditate, listen to calming music, stretch, or do anything else that slowly eases your mind and body into the start of a new fabulous day.

3. Don’t tell yourself: “I don’t have time.” The truth is that you are the designer of your life and you create time. Believing and owning this statement will release you of so much pressure of the daily grind that you will feel so much freer to live with ease. When I embraced this truth, I found more time than I knew what to do with.

4. A lot of mental energy is spent on the useless parts of life like what people will think of you, what you “coulda, shoulda, woulda” done, and other areas that aren’t deserving of your precious time. Ease will flow through you when you live within your own world and create from your soul.

5. Maintain a clutter-free environment. Wake up and go to bed with a clean and neat house. Ease does not exist in clutter.

6. Make self-care a priority. When you don’t take care of yourself, you will run into problems that will complicate your life. Self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity.  

7.  Stay in your own business.  Drama and ease don’t mix.  Focus on what you are doing in the world and your reactions to it.  Let everyone else be.

8.  Know thyself.  When you know what your values and natural strengths and commit to designing your life around them, you will discover that ease is the result.

9. When you find yourself resisting or pushing through life, ask yourself: “How can I create ease around this issue?” Your mind will seek the answers to the questions you ask. Ask good ones.

10.  Visualize your day before it begins. Before your feet hit the ground, choose to enjoy a day of ease. Yes, challenges may arise, but if you stay aware and present, you will be much better equipped to handle them.

11.  Look for creatives paths of ease. Sometimes, assumptions block us from seeing a better path. Always feel your way into what feels like luxurious ease.

12. Choose action over worry. Without awareness, you could spend a lifetime consumed with illusions that will most likely never happen. If you find yourself worrying, take an action step with something that you have control over. Sit down with your finances and map out a plan, make a call, go for a run, whatever it needs to be. Inspired action will lead to a life of ease.

13. Simplify.

14. Eat with ease.  All the rushing, guilt, deprivation, and numbing out often linked to food will lead you further away from living a life of ease.  Sit down, savor, nourish your body with delicious foods, eat until elegantly satisfied, and enjoy piece of chocolate or cheese guilt-free. The table is a beautiful place to practice ease.

15. Most of life’s self-induced pressure arises from taking life not in stride, but running it like a never-ending race.  There is no hurry. Slow down. What you will most likely experience is your ease speeding up, not your mind.

In the end, ease is a state of mind.

I already gave you some defining words for ease, but before I leave, let’s take a look at other words that represent ease:  serenity, luxury, contentment, affluence, prosperity, calmness, and happiness.

And its opposite: agitation, discontent, displeasure, disturbance, misery, work, unrest, perplexity, strife, and turmoil.

Darling, which state of mind do you want to live in? Which do you currently live in? How will you commit to living a life filled with that vision? How will you commit to adding more ease into every day?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

With Love and Ease,

Signature

Tonya

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