Beauty is not an accessory. It’s a necessity.

I was in Paris, France last week for a business retreat and to spend time seeing the city with my 16 year old daughter, Grace.

Earlier this month, the Les Arts Decoratifs museum opened the exhibit showcasing the body of work created by legendary fashion designer, Christian Dior.

I decided that this was a must-see for my daughter and I because we are both so connected to fashion and our personal sense of style.

Based on what I knew about Dior and his work, I was certain this exhibit was going to be fantastic.

I was wrong. It was better than that. Words that come to mind are magnificent and epic. How about extraordinarily beautiful? Stunning.

All of it.

Going from room to room and seeing the creations of Christian Dior and the House of Dior was an experience that moved me to tears many times that day.

Why would one cry over dresses?

If you think it was about the dresses, you’re missing the point.

The tears were about being moved by the creativity and vision of this man.

The tears were about the passion, vision and meticulous detail that went into each and every design.

The tears were about how the clothes were designed and constructed as an homage to the female form. They were created with awe and respect for a woman’s body — not to shrink or hide it.

The tears came because I have come to understand the importance of beauty and what it adds to my life — and I was sharing that and witnessing it with my teenage daughter. That is part of my legacy.

Sometimes when we look at our lives and how we can improve or grow (whether it’s our personal development or our professional lives), we look to the practical first.

Maybe it’s a book we’re supposed to read to help us figure out how to make more money.

Or a program that we think will teach us how to eat so we lose weight and get our shit together.

Perhaps it’s a class on getting that promotion we want or building that magic “six figure business” we see pop up in those Facebook ads.

But here’s what I’m learning more and more each passing day of my life:

When we put ourselves in the path or presence of beauty, all of those parts of our life are amplified.

Beauty is not just about an aesthetic; beauty inspires joy, creativity, wonder, possibility, new questions to considers, solutions for perceived problems, a way in where you once thought there was an obstacle.

Beauty isn’t just a sideshow in our lives that we hope to happen upon or schedule into our lives when we have time.

It’s not an accessory. It’s a necessity.

Beauty is the way.

Anything in my life that has meant something to me in terms of how I love myself and others or contributed to my personal and professional success has come from inviting beauty into my life every day.

Losing weight and loving my body? Recognizing my beauty and creating beautiful practices to nurture that.

My marriage and my family? Seeing the beauty in the perfectly-imperfect journey of family life and the miracle of unconditional love.

My work to serve others and the growth of my business? Nurturing the beauty of my creativity, business savvy and desire to be a change agent for women throughout my life.

Beauty is my personal and professional development. I live in beauty whether I am witnessing the couture gowns of the House of Dior suspended from wires in a starlit ceiling or arranging flowers from the grocery store on the coffee table of my living room.

All of it fuels the joy I feel in my life.

I love who I am more.

I love and give to my family with an open heart.

I serve my clients and students with empathy and love — I give them the best of what I know to help them grow.

Beauty isn’t a special dress that you store in a closet until a special day.

It’s not a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience that you will never know the feeling of again.

Invite it into your life in simple and significant ways until it becomes like breath.

Create or seize the opportunities be a part of something beautiful — whether it’s art, music, fashion or a place you want to see.

Be intentional about this — even for just one week — and observe how your mind shifts and your life can change.

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