|  Blog Post   |  Stay curious

Stay curious

My morning walks with three little dogs, one who is in and out of a dog stroller, feel like a literal embodiment of the work I teach every day.

First, an example of how quickly some people judge.

When someone passes me, I usually get one of two extreme looks and comments…

A scoff, a slight eye roll, and maybe even an under-the-breath comment about how ridiculous I am.

Or a wide smile, and even a squeal, of how cute they are and what a good idea the stroller is.

Then I get the choice of how much I choose not to make up a story about each of these people and their responses and how much grace I extend to them.

Some days I win the extending grace prize. Some days I struggle big to find that grace, especially when the air is humid St. Louis thick and sweat is dripping down places that aren’t pretty, and when I cross paths with someone who doesn’t move to the side and makes me navigate the curb with three dogs and stroller, all while saying how full my hands are.

So today, I use adorable Gracie here to remind us all to choose curiosity and extended grace.

Get curious about how come this cute dog is in a stroller. It’s because her arthritis is debilitating to her, and she still needs to and really wants to go on our family walks, it’s one of the only times she perks up every day.

Get curious about how come someone cuts you with judgment. It’s probably because they are struggling with something, and remember, it truly has more to do with them than you.

Stay curious.

Choose grace.

Love well.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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