Every day I make sure to model to my clients the work I’ve done to change my own life.  And I am reminded that happiness is a choice we must make every day and that it doesn’t really come easily to anyone.

I’ve survived…

a year of my life in a body cast.


the loss 3 babies.

the loss of my first furry child.

the loss of future dreams.

the loss of my identity and sense of belonging.

and at times, the loss of my hope and faith.

I’ve had to redefine my happiness and choose to thrive many times over.  And in the last year of my life, I’ve worked my ass off on becoming a better, happier and healthier person.  And the more time that passes in this work, the more I realize that no one gets out it.  I honestly believe the people who are “making it look easy” aren’t really living as happy and as fulfilled of a life as they could be.

Choosing happiness can be a huge pain and definitely takes time, but it is also effort that shows immediate pay off.  I can stamp my foot and scream at the top of my lungs that it is fair.  But the fact is, nothing in this life is necessarily fair or unfair.  It just is.  And I can choose to focus on the uncontrollable or realize that the only power I have is what I do with what has been bestowed upon me.

That acceptance means I work every day, and sometimes every minute, to choose my happiness.

I thrive because…

I exercise.

I dance.

I listen to happy music.

I meditate.

I write.

I read.

I journal.

I eat right.

I help.

I engage and connect.

I live authentically vulnerable showing my soul to all the world.

I choose to continuously work on the art of letting go of what was never meant to be mine.

And I choose to embrace my whole self, losses and flaws, along with the joys.

And I choose, every day, to practice this happiness work and to model it to my clients.  Showing them they aren’t in this fight alone but rather have a knowing partner to walk alongside them, and at times push them forward from behind.

This journey has been a constant reminder that sometimes we just don’t get what we wanted and that sometimes life just doesn’t turn out the way it was “supposed” to.  But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened exactly the way it was meant to.  We just have to have the faith that we may one day get to truly understand it.

And in the meantime, I choose to embrace this uncertainty, trusting in my work and in the practice of happiness.

As this is my thriving acceptance and my story, and therefore me.

11 thoughts on “Thriving and Not Just Surviving

  1. Claudia Kane says:

    Wow very powerful, as I read each sentence and thought, well, that pertains to me and that is how I feel. Then on to the next one and well, that pertains to me and that is how I feel. See where I’m going with this. Sometimes it is healing to read words that come from your heart as well as the author. Thank you Justine for that.


    1. jlbf4 says:

      Thank you Claudia, it’s been so insightful for me to have you along my journey. ❤


  2. Michelle says:

    Beautifully written as always!!


  3. Tanya Rasa says:

    What a beautifully honest and vulnerable post…thank you for sharing with us.


    1. jlbf4 says:

      Thank you Tanya! Hope you are well!!!


  4. Marie Hassett Smith says:

    “The power of vulnerability” Brene Brown.., you’re speaking your truth Justine. I take my hat off to you lady! Your words are inspiring and I hope to get there one day.


    1. jlbf4 says:

      Thank you Marie!


  5. Jessica says:

    I just found your blog. Thank you so much for creating it! I have endometriosis and my husband has azoospermia. So crazy, being as we are young and healthy otherwise. We obviously cannot have children. Your words are truly inspirational and I’m sure you are helping a lot more people than just me 🙂


    1. jlbf4 says:

      Jessica, thank you so much for the read and comment. Hope you enjoy some of the other posts too and find them helpful. Would love any feedback! Much love and ever upward light, Justine


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