We love shining a spotlight on geeky businesses in our community! This time we are featuring Justine Mastin of Blue Box Counseling, a company using narrative therapy and geek-centered yoga to “[support] you as you explore your life story through counseling and yoga, change the narratives that no longer serve you, and move forward on the adventure of your life.” What a great concept! Now let’s get to know Justine a little better!
First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I consider myself profoundly fortunate to be able to be playful in my work and encourage others to embrace their playful sides as well. I run a business called Blue Box Counseling and Wellness where I provide narrative therapy and a narrative style of yoga (as YogaQuest). When I’m not in the office/studio, I travel to pop culture conventions around the country speaking on geek wellness topics and teaching yoga. In what’s left of my free time, I’ve contributed to a number of books focused on pop culture and psychology, and I co-host the Starship Therapise podcast. I live in Minneapolis with my partner-in-crime and our two pomeranians.
We love that you infuse your geekiness into your job at Blue Box Counseling, especially through YogaQuest! Can you tell us a little about how that came to be?
As a life-long geek, I noticed I never quite felt as though I fit in in the wellness spaces I occupied. It had never occurred to me really that this was because wellness spaces simply weren’t welcoming to folks who were outside of the mainstream. It was at my first CON when I looked around and realized that there was no conversation around geek wellness. The two worlds just didn’t realize that they deserved each other. In that moment I decided that I would find a way to create a style of yoga (my only certification at the time) especially for the geek community. My mission to make wellness accessible to outsiders continues on a daily basis through all of my work.
What’s the best part of your job?
When someone tells me that my work somehow made a difference in their life. Whether it be because they finally feel that yoga is for them, when they never thought it was possible; or because they feel they’ve found a therapist who acknowledges the importance of their experience, there is nothing better than feeling like the work that I do is meaningful and is impacting the lives of others.
At Geek Girl Pen Pals, we pair geeky pen pals based on their “Top 5 Geek Loves.” What are the top 5 things you geek out about?
It’s pretty clear that I geek out about yoga and psychology, so I’ll pick 5 OTHER things.
- True Crime
- Fan Art
Our theme last month was all about Wonderland! Do you have a favorite fictional world, or a favorite thing about Wonderland? (I’ll trim this question based on your response.)
Fictional worlds are how we make sense of the one that we live in, and so I love many of them! I’m not sure that I could choose a favorite one, but I will say that the fictional world I pull from the most often in my therapeutic work is Middle Earth from the Lord of the Rings. This fictional world is rich with archetypes to pull from for helping clients externalize their own challenges.
We’re roasting marshmallows! What’s on your perfect s’more?
I’m a traditionalist: Hershey’s chocolate and well-done marshmallow on a graham cracker.
Finally– where can we find you? Any upcoming events?
You can find info on everything I’m working on at my website.
I am thrilled to announce that you will be able to engage with me online very soon! The Nerdmaste Community will be an online wellness hangout for yoga classes, wellness workshops and more! Sign up here to be the first to hear when it launches and receive a discount!
You can find Starship Therapise podcast wherever you get your pods.
And you can find me @mindbodyfandom on most social media platforms.
Thanks, Justine! It was great chatting with you!