“Her whole being dilated in an atmosphere of luxury. It was the background she required, the only climate she could breathe in.”
― Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
My business manager informed me a few weeks ago that a search for “luxurious living” came up with “Tonya Leigh and French Kiss Life, Inc.”
Who? Moi? What a way to be known, especially when I think of the childhood beliefs I had for years around money: not enough, not deserving, not good enough, blah, blah blah….
Yet, I am a big believer in staying close to the things that make you feel alive. And, anything that feels luxurious melts my heart.
While my journey has been fascinating, one filled financial hardship, extreme excess and settling into elegant simplicity, I’ve learned what luxury is and isn’t.
And, guess who taught me?
The French, of course.
From Hermès to Christian Louboutin, luxury is the backbone of French culture. They take an exceptional amount of pride in their fashion, food, wine, and way of living,
But they also understand that luxury does not need to equate to money. In fact, for the French person, luxurious living has more to do with quality time than stuff.
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
― Coco Chanel
Take a look at any French woman’s wardrobe, and you’ll see that she treasures her Louis Vuitton bag and beloved Repettos, but a closet filled with mindless stuff? Never.
Luxurious living is a mindset, a way of living, feeling, and being.
More importantly, luxury is accessible to you right now.
I began my practice in French Kissing Life when I was working as a full-time nurse and was barely getting by financially. This philosophy changed my life entirely.
When I started appreciating my health, morning sunrises, afternoon sunsets, a meal prepared by mom and all of the small nuances of every day living, my life began to feel a lot more luxurious.
As I started to shift my focus from what I believed to be lacking to what I had in abundance, my state of being changed dramatically.
If you want to live a life of luxury, you must begin to cultivate the feeling of abundance, beauty and passion now. As you do, you’ll shift how you’re showing up in the world, and like myself, attract more luxurious experiences to enjoy.
Here are some ways I indulge in the world of Luxury (notice how simple many of them are):
:: A deep feeling that I am worthy of whatever my heart desires (without this, you’ll push all the goodness away).
:: Taking complete responsibility for your own life and joie de vivre.
:: Respecting that a good handbag gets better, and more classic over time.
:: A signature scent that shares your journey as a woman.
:: Dancing all night.
:: A simplified to-do list
:: A perfectly paired glass of Bandol with oysters
:: Trips to Paris that are marked in my passport.
:: Girlfriends who celebrate and support one another.
:: A decadent piece of chocolate paired with a glass of Bordeaux by the fire.
:: A simple, high quality wardrobe with classic, essential pieces that will never age.
:: Elegant linens
:: A Clean, clutter free home
:: Sauntering, slowing down and being present
:: An elegant home that is clean, clutter free, and filled only with things I love.
:: A handwritten love note.
:: Beautifully crafted stationery.
:: Being the CEO of your mind.
:: Working to live, not living to work.
:: Appreciating art in all of its splendid forms.
:: Local food grown with love and care.
:: Time spent in nature and quietude.
:: Pursuing your dreams and desires in a way that feels delicious and real.
:: Owning who you are and what you love without apology.
:: Celebrating differences vs. comparing them
:: Walking into a room and feeling completely at home in your body.
:: Enjoying sunrises and sunsets and taking the time to appreciate them.
:: Dancing under the moonlight.
:: A garden
:: Belly laughs that leave your body hurting.
:: Waking up excited about your day and taking a big, deep breath in for awareness.
:: Feeling beautiful in your body.
:: Music, music, music.
:: Finding beauty in ordinary moments.
:: Reading a juicy novel under a shady tree.
:: Truffle oil.
:: Glamping (yes, that’s glamour + camping).
:: Skinny-dipping under the stars.
:: Enjoying the freedom to express yourself.
:: A gorgeous pair of shoes.
:: A decadent night-time routine.
:: Using your fine china on a Monday night… just because.
:: Showing up for yourself constantly.
:: Dining on nourishing and delicious foods without all the diet drama.
:: Moving your body daily in a way that feels good to you.
:: Passionately kissing.
:: Being present with your loved ones.
:: Feeling relaxed and at ease with your finances (aka living luxuriously on a budget)
:: Taking risks and going after what you desire.
:: Allowing your desires to flow freely for, and towards, you.
:: Sunday picnics.
:: Sleeping in.
:: Breakfast in bed.
:: Afternoon tea properly served.
:: Lavender spritzed on your pillow.
:: Working in a gorgeous hotel lobby (and it doesn’t cost a dime, except for the cup of tea or glass of Champagne that you may want to indulge in).
Everyone of these can be experienced in the moment. While you may not be in Paris, you can bring Paris to you. While your home may not be completely clutter free, you can put a few things in their place. And, while you may not have Turkish linens, you can take extremely great care of what you do have.
What luxurious experiences do you enjoy? Please share in the comments below.
In Love and Luxury,
(P.S. I opened up space for three private clients in June and they filled immediately. July is almost full. I have one space left. If you want to be coached and supported around creating a luxurious life, don’t wait. These spaces will go fast. Simply email email@example.com and my team will email you the deets.)
(P.P.S. In just one session, one of my clients said, “I feel like you just shook up everything I thought I knew about life, and I’m seeing more possibility than ever.” That’s luxurious!)
Photo Credits: (1)