During my short 24 years, the women I have carefully watched, even imitated, tend to linger around and eye up the decisions in their lives – the leaps of faith – that taunt the consciousness with one resounding and ever open-ended question: “What if?” What I love about Lisa and her commitment to bouncing back is her staunch determination to never just ask the question, but to discover every possible answer. When I first met the one and only Bien, I was standing on that exact precipice, asking “What if?” but not daring to take a step further. Lisa was brazenly, painfully honest when she asked me what I was afraid of, and she struck a perfect balance with her unconditional support and demand for “better” when all my answers fell short.

We so seldom step back from the canvas of our lives to observe, feel, evaluate and assess what we have thus far created for ourselves. We are so afraid to erase the parts we have come to dislike, resent and suffer through, for fear of “rocking the boat” or failure. But when a woman like Lisa Bien writes a book like this, and puts your own brush back into your own hand once and for all, it is irresistible to not only ask “What if?” but to start imagining, sketching, and creating the life you want, all over again.

Lisa teaches us that self-love is the landscape upon and before which our lives and the best versions of ourselves are built. When she encourages us to bounce back, she reminds us that our lives are always and continually ours to claim – at any age, at any phase, and with all our unique and vibrant colors. Thank you, Lisa, for pioneering this message; may it always serve as a testament to the human will and the very best life still to come.

Anna Tate, former student