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Meet Blake Blankenbecler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blake Blankenbecler.

Blake, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always felt everything at an incredibly deep level. For a great deal of my life, I fought against my sensitivities and tried to be like the carefree, happy girls that I would see having such an easier time at life. I struggled pretty severely with anorexia while I was in high school and throughout my early twenties continued to play the exhaustive game called, “I want you to think I have it all together.”

Looking back, its so clear to me that I had zero clue how to be myself, how to use my voice, and how to work with my deep, sensitive emotions. It wasn’t until I started investing in my own healing (counseling, yoga, journaling, telling the truth to my friends) that I discovered my sensitivity was my greatest superpower. It was what allowed me to connect so deeply with others. When I began to own that as my strength, everything shifted for me.

Eventually, I got my masters in counseling because I wanted to hold space for women to come into their own. In the midst of completing my education and starting a successful private practice in Nashville, I met and married my husband. After a year and a half of marriage, we both decided it was a good time to make a huge transition and move out west. LA was the last place I expected us to move, but now I know wholeheartedly it’s where we are supposed to be!

While we were in the midst of making plans for our move out west, I sensed that the traditional path I could take to get licensed as a mental health counselor wasn’t what I was supposed to do. I’m a big proponent for listening to and honoring our gut instincts. I still very much wanted to work with and support women, but in a way that felt more congruent to me and allowed me to bring my own creative flair to the table.

Growing up, I had zero intentions of being a business owner. And yet, if my younger self saw me now, I have a feeling she would be so excited and so proud at what is being built and created for women’s self-care.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No! Franklin Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” I don’t think the change and the growth that we are most proud of comes from seasons of ease. It comes from when we learned about just how much grit and tenacity is within us to persevere and grow amidst struggle. So with that, I trust that down the line I’ll get to create something beautiful and honest through my current struggle that can help other women. I see that as the gift of our struggles.

Before we moved to LA, I had to close down my counseling practice. That meant saying goodbye to clients I had worked with on a weekly basis for years. It was one of the most heartbreaking and humbling experience. These women allowed me into the most intimate parts of their stories and to say goodbye to these women that I cared for so deeply was heart-wrenching! It’s a peculiar position to be the therapist that ends the counseling because its almost always the other way around.

Additionally, I definitely struggle with imposter syndrome out here and feeling like the wellness world is already saturated with incredible voices. I continue to work really hard to stay connected and grounded to my worth – hello self-care!!! – And use the insecurities that can come up from weird places like say Instagram for my benefit. At the end of the day, I don’t want to promise or promote easy change that comes in tidy, three-step packages.

We can all look back at our most transformative seasons and see it was neither linear nor easy. The best change takes time and is quite messy. I hope as I continue to build my business and share my work, I keep telling that truth.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I noticed in the past few years there had been this influx of talk around the importance of self-care for women. Lots of systematic myths about taking care of yourself were being debunked, and articles left and right about the importance of self-care. The only problem was when I would talk with my clients and other women about self-care, they really didn’t know what that meant for them. Sure they knew it was a good idea to take a walk, eat healthy food and do a face mask every now and then, but the kind of self-care that was healing, restorative, and actually got them back into our bodies, stories, and emotions… they didn’t know how to make that happen.

That’s how Intuitive, Narrative-Based Self-Care was born. I wanted to use my extensive education in mental-health and self-care along with my own personal narrative to invite women to create sustainable practices that allowed them to show up freely and whole-heartedly in their lives and relationships. It worked out so well that I was able to use our move to LA as a launching pad for my business. I now educate, guide, and coach women to look within themselves and use their story, body, and emotions as data points on how to care for themselves well.

That is done through the individual session that are held in my home-office and also done virtually, through weekend retreats of women sharing space together, and through speaking and educating organizations and groups on Narrative-Based Self-Care. Online courses and workshops are in the works, and I’m excited to get those out shortly!

I’m proud that this business is built from the things I value most: being kind, taking risks, holding curiosity, and telling the truth. I think that is also what sets me apart from others. I openly claim I don’t have the secret sauce, the special three-step plan, or the quick and dirty fixes. I don’t help women get out of the hard parts or avoid the pain. I teach women how to care for themselves well and intuitively in the midst of their struggles.

Honestly, its the struggling and the wrestling and the journeying out into the unknown, risky lands that makes life so meaningful. It’s my goal to help women experience every last drop of meaning they can!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband Jordan first and foremost deserves so much credit. I’m grateful to be married to a man who not only advocates that I step into my strength but insists I use my voice. My natural bent can often be to shy away from scary things. Jordan is constantly confronting me that I show up and do them anyway!

Dr. Denis’ Thomas and Dr. Joy Samuels were two of my most beloved professors and mentors in my master’s program who graciously held space for me as I came into my own as both a person and a professional. They taught me so much about what it means to be a strong, kind woman who isn’t afraid to take up space. And of course my parents and my two brothers. We have a messy, beautiful, wild family.

Honestly, having two brothers who love me tremendously but aren’t impressed with what I do is a really grounding breathe of fresh air.

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