Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.

Rumi, The Essential Rumi

She was chic, confident, mysterious and slightly haughty.   Who was this woman? She was who I followed into the Hermès store on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Wearing a pair of leather pants, a simple white blouse, her hair slightly messy and her makeup naturally flawless, she definitely had her own unique style. Commanding attention from the sales lady, she meticulously chose the most beautiful scarf while taking her precious time.  Clearly, she wouldn’t be rushed or ignored.

There are certain women that can walk down the street or into a room and command attention, respect and admiration. The woman in the Hermès store was one of them.

Regardless of what you think, it wasn’t so much her looks or wardrobe.  Sure, how a woman presents herself to the world says a lot about who she is; a woman’s style is her self-expression.  But, there’s something deeper and much more alluring going on here.

The French refer to it as that je ne sais quoi, or the “I don’t know what,” but I think I do.

They are possessed . . . by their own sense of self.

A woman who is self-possessed . . .

Doesn’t follow the crowds.  She’s usually walking down her own uncharted path, which usually leads to thrilling adventures.

Breaks the rules.  Tell her what to do, and she’ll most likely do the opposite.  Not because she’s defiant (although it may appear that way), but because she knows what she wants and she’s not going to let someone stop her.

Listens to her intuition.  She knows that her instinct is her most powerful tool, and she trusts it far more than anything or anyone else.

Does things to delight herself.  She doesn’t suffer from the Puritanical plague that preaches “no pain, no gain.”  Pleasure is how she rolls, from filling her home with fresh flowers to indulging in a fine piece of chocolate.

Has her own sense of style.  She doesn’t follow the trends just for the sake of fitting in.  In fact, she shies away from the norm.  If it makes her look and feel good, she wears it.  If it doesn’t, all the covers of Vogue won’t convince her.

Doesn’t need you to like her.  She likes herself; she doesn’t need your approval.  Her lack of neediness makes her so much more present, loving and authentic.

Feels at home in the world because she’s at home with herself.   She saunters down the street, asks for what she wants, tells it like she sees it and holds her head high.  When you truly love and enjoy yourself, the world becomes a fabulous playground.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “I wish I could be more like this,” you’re not alone.

I was possessed for most of my early adulthood, but by ideals that weren’t my own, beliefs that were handed down to me, neverending to-do lists, cultural standards, perfectionism and a host of other debilitating soul suckers.

I had to take complete control of my life and discover who I really was.  I had to learn to trust myself and take inspired action daily.  I had to learn what my own personal style waswhat truly delighted me and have the guts to own it.  I had to stop following diets and systems to discover my body’s wisdom. I had to let go of a lot in order to allow my truth in.

From mentoring hundreds of women, nothing delights me more than to witness a woman blossom into her own self-possession.  And, I know that moment when a woman has claimed her life. She’ll say something like one of the members in last year’s Society, “Tonya, I thought I wanted to be like you, but what I’ve discovered is that I love who you’ve inspired ME to become.”

YES…she’s arrived!



(P.P.P.S.  With spring around the corner, I am in love with the boyfriend jean (as seen above).  Dress it up with a sequined tank, blazer and heels or dress it down with a casual t-shirt and sandals.  A great staple piece for your wardrobe.)

Self-Image Makeover

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