In life, I have found that the greatest lessons have emerged from what initially may seem like a tragedy.  I recently suffered a terrible skiing accident, which landed my arm in a sling for four months.  Each day during my recovery, there was a new challenge to overcome, which I attempted to handle with as much grace as possible. What I couldn’t overcome, however, was the Velcro sling prescribed by my doctor, which just screamed “victim!”

Gray Morell and Me (sporting my Alexander McQueen suit and Donna Livingston Design original designer sling) at his Shop on La Cienega Blvd.

Victim?  Not this lady!  Each morning, I would rummage through my closet to find a scarf or shawl I could fashion into a makeshift sling that not only made me look better, but also made me feel better.  When I faced the world, people saw me—not my injury.

My Cousin, Jay, and Me (in a Catherine Malandrino jacket and Donna Livingston Design original designer sling), posing with my display that featured the work of Kees van Dongen at the Gray Morell Showroom during Legends of La Cienega.

With my son’s wedding around the corner and my stunning J. Mendel gown hanging in the closet, I didn’t want my injury to detract from my son’s special day (or J. Mendel’s impeccable design!). I decided to take a beautiful scarf that complimented my gown and have it tailored into an actual sling, so instead of focusing on my injury, the guests would only see the beaming smile of a proud mother.

My Son, Chris, and Me at His Wedding in May (Notice the sling? Me neither!)

Sharon Osbourne, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Me at a Recent Michelle Obama Event

A wise man once said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  This is a lesson for life as well as fashion and design.

Have a pair of vertical structural beams or poles in the middle of a space?  Turn it into something useful and visually appealing such as a room divider or bookcase.  Suffer a downsize due to the dip in the economy?  Use it as a catapult for a new and more authentic life direction.  While the path may not be apparent at first, we all have the power to take a negative and turn it into something positive.

Can you recall a positive change that emerged from a negative situation in your own life?  I would love to hear your stories of courage and inspiration!