In today’s Community Spotlight, we are sharing all about Blake Blakenbecler. She is all about thinking beyond the traditional notions self care and making that time truly your own. Blake is focused on empowering women to invest back into themselves in a way that feels good to them. She encourages her clients to think bigger than just a spa day or shopping spree for their self care, but to connect on a deeper level and care for all parts of themselves.
Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Blake Blankenbecler, a recent transplant of Los Angeles by way of Nashville. A few months ago my husband and I said goodbye to very secure jobs, packed all of our belongings into a u-haul, and drove out west. Upon moving here, we looked at eleven different apartments in 3 days. It was brutal. We like to think of it as our initiation period into LA. Thankfully, we found a treasure of a home nestled right below the Hollywood sign. It’s a dream for sure!
Moving to LA became the perfect time to transition and launch my business. I am a Self-Care Educator and I teach women how to care for themselves well using a modality I created called Intuitive, Narrative-Based Self-Care. What that means is that I work with women individually and teach them how to become fluent in the language of their story, their emotions, and their body. We use those three parts combined to serve as invitations for how a woman can care for herself in a way that is uniquely geared towards what she needs.
There is a great deal of talk about self-care, but it’s so much more than a face-mask or a manicure. Narrative Self-Care is about connecting deeply with yourself and caring for all parts of you, even the parts of you that feel rejected or unworthy. It’s learning to work with all these different parts of yourself instead of against them.
I love the work I get to do and I love seeing how it’s evolved. I feel like I’m getting to use all the best parts of myself for the empowerment of other women and that’s a cause of celebration for me.
How did you get started with your business?
When I was in Nashville, I worked as a counselor and had a thriving private practice. I specialized in women’s sexual abuse and eating disorders. I loved the work deeply. When my husband and I were in the planning stages of our move, I had every intention of continuing to do that work in California. I even had an open door at a great practice in town, but when I was interviewing, I had this nudge in my gut that traditional therapy was not what I was supposed to be doing. I’m a huge advocate for listening to and honoring my gut, so I did!
During that time, I noticed that for many of the women I worked with, when we would bridge the topic of self-care they really didn’t know what that meant uniquely for them. Sure, they knew it was a good idea to get 8 hours of sleep a night, workout, and eat healthy, but as far as connecting with their inner selves and engaging with their needs, and knowing what it meant to care for themselves well on a deep level, they didn’t have a whole lot to go off on.
I wanted to bridge that gap and use my formal education, my experience as a counselor, and my own story all together to create Intuitive, Narrative-Based Self-Care. I work with women on an individual basis whether that’s in person or virtually. Online Narrative Self-Care courses are in the making and I can’t wait to release those in the upcoming months. I want to make this work accessible to a wide range of women and with the explosion of online courses recently, I knew that would be a great way to do that.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced along the way has been battling with my own self-doubt. I can be hard on myself and take myself out of the game before it even starts when I get too much in my head and get caught up in what others may be thinking. A few months ago I had a dream where a woman I very much admire looked at me and said, “Blake, you are going to have to work harder than you’ve ever worked to believe in yourself.” I’ve never had a dream like that so I knew those words would need to become anchors for me to step into this work confidently.
I’m learning that having fortitude in my patience is the kindest thing I can give myself as I build my business. I am always talking with my clients about how good, whole-hearted change takes time. I’m currently drinking my own medicine and getting to reframe not being exactly where I want to be two, three months out of the gate as being a gift in letting me hone and develop my skills and expertise. Don’t worry, I’m using my own craft of Narrative Self-Care to care well for the parts of me that feel insecure. Going out on my own and putting myself out there in this way feels so vulnerable!
What would you say has been one of your biggest “wins”?
I had no idea that LA would be such a wonderful place to launch and build my business. There are so many small women-owned businesses here which means there are so many women who have gone before me to create successful spaces in their respective niches. I was told to be wary of the women in LA because they were going to be catty, competitive, and mean.
I’ve found quite the opposite…
So many women have heard about my work and after getting to know me, they’ve have become advocates for what I do and are telling their own clients about Narrative Self-Care. I love that women are coming together to support one another and I am grateful to be the recipient of that support as I work hard to grow my business. I know that when my business grows that means more women being able to care for themselves well which means their relationships with themselves gets to change and flourish just as much as their relationships with others! That gets me excited and so grateful that I have a growing circle of women in LA who support my work.
Did you have any help building your website or did you do it yourself?
As a one woman show, I got scrappy and with the help of y’alls incredible tutorials I built it myself. I had been searching and searching for templates that reflected my style and would be able to bring color and life to the work I was creating. Thankfully I stumbled onto Station Seven’s site and was blown away. I immediately knew I had finally found what I was looking for. It was certainly a labor of love, but such a good exercise in getting out of my comfort zone and learning I could do so much more than I expected of myself. Mike and Brittni were huge helps to me when I had questions about coding and colors. I’m over the moon pleased with how my website turned out and from the response I’ve gotten from others, they have really loved it too!
Any advice for others looking to start out?
The most important thing I’ve learned is that like my dream I had a few months ago, you have to work really hard to believe in yourself and stay committed to your dream, especially when things get scary and the insecurities and self-doubt come a-knocking. If I don’t believe fully in my work, I have no business inviting women to be a part of it. It doesn’t mean you have to have a surefire confidence pulsing from within you every waking hour, it does mean that you need to be diligent to deal with those insecurities head-on and work through them.
I recommend asking for help early and often. I think that sets the tone for your business that you are teachable and willing to admit you don’t have it all figured out. Surround yourself with people who have also built their own businesses. Starting out can feel lonely and disorienting, so it’s helpful to have people alongside of you who can empathize with you and also encourage you that good things are ahead!