you have that permission to be who you are,
it opens your creativity box...
Article by Louise MERCADO
happens when you give a sweet potato pie to Les Brown,
one of themost renowned motivational speakers in the United
States and tell stories to a 3-year-old child? Those were
the questions I proposed to Tonya Kristina, a Lawyer,
Motivational Speaker, Story Teller, Wife, soon to be parent,
and Author of the book TWELVE SECRETS TO LIVING A LIFE
Tonya Kristina came to my home for a personal interview.
She was warm and inviting. I knew the moment she entered
my home that I had made the right decision. She entered
with such ease. She is soft spoken, friendly and paradoxically,
strong and confident. Tonya Kristina is a spiritual person
and has a strong belief in god. Yet, she has the innate
ability to motivate people with out preaching religion,
even though she will reference her belief in God. Seldom
do you meet an individual who is successful, yet humble,
discussion is one of my favorites. Ms. Tonya Kristina
brought her warmth and humor with her. She stopped practicing
law because she found herself unhappy and discontented
with the way her life was headed. She asked god to show
her what her purpose in this life was. She prayed to the
lord that he would help her place her life on track and
let her sore. She listened and met Les Brown who became
her mentor, but it was not only through this introduction,
prayer and the realization of her purpose that helped
her take that first step, but it was her 3 year old niece
who gave her permission to be herself. It was while telling
a story to her niece that she realized that she could
really be who she is. Asha's affirmation through laughter
and joy, “Auntie, you can really tell a story,"
made Tonya Kristina realize that something magical had
happened at that moment. Children are not tainted. They
are so open and receptive to everything. “When you
have that permission to be who you are, it opens your
creativity box,” says, Tonya Kristina.
Kristina says that god is such a part of her life that
she cannot do a lecture without mentioning god or mentioning
some type of scripture. She says that she is not “preachy,
preachy”. She does not impose her religious beliefs
on people, however it is the theme of her message. God
is a huge part of her life. Where she does not intrude
her beliefs on others, she does reference god and speak
of her blessings she knows came from god. When she was
miserable on her legal job, she made an affirmation.
kept saying it over and over. Please, God, show me my
purpose, put me on my path and let me sore. What came
back to me were words. So, I asked God, what words in
the library, what words in the bible, exactly. Where do
you want me to look? And, I sat with it a minute. Many
times we want it all, now, but that is not the way it
works. You get it in snippets. You get life revelations
in snippets. A revelation comes to you. Oh! That’s
why that happened. Oh! That’s why I needed to meet
this person. Oh! That’s why. It just came back to
me. It’s words. It finally came to me that I am
here on this planet to use words, to empower people. I
always had a love for words. Ever since I was in second
grade, I always was in oratorical contest and reading
in front of the room. So, now I understand that, as part
of the larger vision for my life, to write books and do
speaking engagements and to empower people is my purpose,
even if I only motivate one person to live a better life.
It feels good when people call me and say, you really
inspired me. I really appreciate what you did. That is
important to me.
I titled the book 12 Secrets to Living a Life You Love,
their really not secrets. Their common sense principles
but not common practice because most people, even though
they know the stuff, don’t put it into practice.
That’s why I think we find so many people who don’t
enjoy their jobs. They go to work day after day unhappy
and miserable and maybe perhaps collecting a big paycheck,
but really unhappy. I know that kind of existence because
I was there.
Leaving ones job and making the decision
to change ones life is a very hard decision to make.
You make some poignant comments in your book. I just want
to read a paragraph from your book and you respond. Pursuing
my passion meant being committed to doing only that which
brought me joy. The things that gave me joy were not in
the courtroom. I was in love with telling stories and
making people laugh. Sometimes funny things did happen
within the halls of justice, but believe me funny lawyers
were not in high demand. My big issue was that law paid
better and had more status. I had a lawyer’s ego,
so the last thing I was thinking about was something that
brought me joy without getting a fat paycheck. I had bills
to pay, nonetheless, when money speaks louder to joy,
it gives you the chance to stay miserable long enough
for your motivation to kick in.
I stayed miserable. Sometimes you can be in a circumstance
and you will eventually say enough is enough. Perhaps
a lot of people are not in the place yet. Then there are
those group of people who will stay and never complain.
They hate the job, they hate the boss, they hate everything
about it, but they will not leave. You ask them why don’t
you just quit, why don’t you do your boss a favor
and fire yourself. They won’t do that. Do your boss
a favor and fire yourself!
people who are serious about leaving a situation that
is toxic, those are the people that I can motivate. Those
are the people I seek to inspire. It doesn’t come
easy; it is about taking conscious steps to make it happen
on a daily basis. Success is not in one big thing. It
is in a series, in a hundred little things that begin
to line up in your favor and plant you in your destiny
seed and you begin to sit and say, WOW! This feels quite
Success. What is success? And who is to value success?
Success is when you wake up in a space where you are at
peace with who you are and what you are doing. A lot of
people identify success with six figures, stocks or houses.
Those are material things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m
not advocating poverty at all, but there’s more
to it than that. How many times do you see millionaires
who are unhappy, commit suicide and terrible things that
happen. When you can live in a space where it is beyond
the material, that there is peace with who you really
are, and what you are contributing to the world, that’s
success to me.
I believe in self-fulfilling prophecies. I believe that
success is the journey you take and money is the reward.
How does one motivate oneself into being successful?
My pasture talks about life as not so much a destination,
but a journey. It is the person you become in the process.
People can be very negative and don’t watch the
words they speak. Your words really do create your world
and what’s going on in your environment, down to
the little things. You become the prophet and limit yourself
in a box because you convince yourself of what you are
saying. You create all the time what you say. I say, “I
don’t have money at the moment. I’m watching
my funds grow.• Say something that does not limit
your circumstances. One of the things I tell people is,
“watch your words. Be very careful what you utter
because every day we’re creating in helping god
in this journey.” Work on this. The more you begin to attract resources and people
in your space, you have to be even more careful of what
you say because it manifest, just like that! It gets deeper
as you go. It gets more interesting.
What does fear do to you and how can one overcome the
Zig Zigler said that fear was false evidence appearing
real. It is the antithesis of faith because it will keep
you paralyzed and the voices will tell you what you cannot
do. Moves pass the fear. Something’s are legitimate
fear. However, fear can keep you stuck. Babies only know
2 fears, fear of falling and fear of a loud sound. All
the other stuff is made up. Perhaps things come to tell
us and cause you to be fearful, from outside influences.
Sometimes we make stuff up in our head that has no basis
in reality. It grows bigger and bigger until you live
in the pit of fear. Live life with no regrets. When you
start living with that larger picture, then maybe you
can start moving past some of the fears.
Kristina says that the cynical people will always remain
cynical. She feels that those people who want to remain
cynical can do so and those people who seek to be blessed
will find the blessing. It is hard work, but your mind
can convince you of anything. It is important to think
positive and believe that things will slowly turn around.
How do we get there? What is the process? I have an idea.
I want to do something and I probably ran across 10 people
who said, “no!” but there’s something
inside, like a little bird that keeps tweaking in my ear.
How do I listen to that inner voice and not the nay Sayers?
of the things that I do is that I have an army of allies.
I can go to them and they’ll say, “yea”,
I think you can do it. For the most part, they’re
my cheerleaders. You have to surround yourself around
people who really believe in you, tell you the truth no
matter what, but who believe in your cause. So, the first
thing I would say is to surround you with an army of allies.
Surround yourself with people who are committed to you
and your dream and your process. A lot of people don’t
realize that you cannot afford to surround yourself by
negative people. It will drain your spirit. It will drain
your ideas and it will sap you of all your creative energy.
Watch who you hang around with. Don’t share your
ideas with everyone. They will kill it for you even if
unconsciously. Watch who you share your dreams and ideas
with. That’s another critical piece of the hundred
steps of success that you can take. Persistence is the
main thing. Have the follow through. Be persistent. The
difference between a person who completes something and
one, who does not- the one, who completed, stayed the
course. Get rid of toxic friends and stay the course.
Leave us with inspirational ideas.
When you wake up every single day, I want you to breath
and give thanks that regardless of what your circumstances
look like, give thanks that you are alive and available
to create something new. It is up to you to co-create
what you want with god. Whatever you need, it's available
to you. The way you do it is by deciding that you are
going to do it. Tomorrow is the day, when you get out
of bed you are going to decide that this is the day that
something good is going to happen to me, "Sit and
sort through some things mentally, without beating yourself
up and without beating the other person up you grow through
your experiences, you must grow through this. Receive
a lesson from all relationships. Take the best of both
the positive and negative as a lesson as oppose to a hindrance.
has been a joy for me. Tonya Kristina is an inspiration.
She is optimistic. Her energy is catchy. Anyone who would
like to get in touch with her can e-mail her at tonyaKristina@yahoo.com.
to Louise Mercado: firstname.lastname@example.org