Many of you may know that for some twenty-five-plus years before Bliss Darling, I employed my psychology degrees within the world of fashion.

When I share some of my globetrotting stories, it can sound absolutely magical – designer clothes, celebrity clients, Paris Fashion Week, sitting side by side, selecting handwoven textiles in a tiny Nagoya mill with Donna Karan, herself.

I’ve certainly had my fill of Dom Pérignon and shared tables with some of the most famous of faces. Most of the time, though, it was nose-to-the-grind in the board rooms of office buildings, deep in merger and acquisition discussions or distribution deals.

The lessons that I learned over those many years were far more valuable than any pair of Louboutins, and they lend a broad and beautiful application within the world of understanding and connecting with others.

It’s my hope that these lessons embolden you, too.


  1. Confidence Is Queen.

Seriously, confidence and poise will get you everywhere. If you don’t trust yourself, who will? This goes for how we act in our careers, our friendships, and our relationships.

Whether you are ‘faking it until you make it,’ or if you truly believe in your abilities, go for life with gusto. Carry your head high and your presence far. Walk into the room with a feeling that everyone loves you.

Unearth your core feelings and speak your thoughts directly. Casual confidence is a seriously attractive trait – nurture it and use it, and miraculously, you become even more confident and relaxed in the process.


  1. Attitude Is Everything.

Further along those lines, a positive, loving, joyful attitude will attract others to you like bees to honey.

Do what it takes to live with joy, love, and passion. Ask yourself if this action, activity, or decision makes you feel the way you want to feel – it won’t always, but it sure better most of the time.

A passionate woman creates a passionate life, and vice versa. She also takes responsibility for her actions and emotions. Do your job to make your life a happy one.


  1. Fashion Changes, But Style Endures.

To quote the good Coco Chanel and apply her quip to life itself, find out what works for you – whether it’s a neckline, a hobby, or a group of friends who cheer you on.

There will be many things to come and go in your life – figure out what is meaningful and enduring for you. Typically, these are core values, such as adventure, loyalty, thoughtfulness. Find what works, repeat it as necessary, and learn how to keep it interesting.


  1. Listen Completely.

A universal truth that I’ve come to understand, which first dawned on me as I sat poolside many years ago, whispering with one of the most famous and deliriously handsome actors there is, is that everyone wants to be heard. Learn to listen completely – to listen for understanding, for connection, not for formulating your response. This goes for any occasion – but especially when you’re with your partner or your kids. Put your phone down, and listen, right then and there.

Your presence is the most valuable gift you can give.


  1. Classy and Fabulous.

A final quote by Coco – the best women I know are both classy and fabulous. They are often unruffled, even in the face of adversity. They brush off pettiness and triumph over bad behavior. They are fun, witty, and have enormous integrity. They carry their values over everything else. They hold their head high, even in the least graceful of situations.

Life will throw you curveballs. It’s not what happens, but how you respond. And, the way you respond says everything about you.