Business 25 March 2018
It's never too late to teach girls the power of being a woman and showing them the steps they need to take to be as successful as possible. GiRLiFE, a company created by Melody Pourmoradi, has not only made empowering girls simple but it also allows women to earn an income while doing it! The business provides girls with enriching educational programs and activities, like nutrition workshops and fun crafts to do, that anyone who wants to can host. Pourmoradi, inspired by her twin daughters and her own childhood, wanted more ways to show girls the power that lies inside of them, so she decided to start her workshopping empowerment company, GiRLiFE. We chatted with her to answer all of our burning questions about this almost 'too good to be real' business.
I felt a very deep calling to introduce young girls to empowerment principles from a young age that could change the course of their lives for the better.
1. Can you explain to us how GiRLiFE works?
Sure! GiRLiFE is a digital training that gives passionate women across the globe access to an exclusive girls empowerment curriculum, one that enables them to create their own successful GiRLiFE group in their community.
2. How does GiRLiFE get women involved in running these empowerment workshops?
We welcome women who are looking to create a positive impact on the future generation of women to join our mission. Through our digital platform, facilitators have access to unique lesson plans, nutrition projects, crafts illustrating each workshop theme, resource lists etc. We essentially provide them with the A-Z of what they will need to get up and running as a facilitator.
3. Can anyone get involved in GiRLiFE or is there a criteria people have to meet?
In essence, to become a GiRLiFE facilitator, our criteria are that you are a woman who feels a deep calling to introduce young girls to tools that will support them to move gracefully and mindfully through their lives. The training gives women the confidence and the know-how that they need to step into their own power while empowering their local girls.
4. How many workshops have been done?
I have piloted dozens of workshops in my own community. To date, we have 30+ facilitators across North America and Asia sharing the GiRLiFE message on a weekly basis in their hometowns.
5. What do girls learn during the workshops?
The girls learn that they each have many unique super-powers inside of them. They are taught to access their own inner wisdom, to use gratitude to positively shape their lives and to truly understand that they are brilliant and powerful beyond measure...each in their own unique way. Workshop themes include: Kindness Rocks, Intuition & Finding Your Voice, Meditation, Happiness is a Choice I Make..among many others.
The girls learn that they each have many unique super-powers inside of them. Photo Courtesy of White House Black Market
6. How much do the workshops cost and what benefits do girls get with their payments?
Workshops are approximately $40 for a two-hour session. Girls walk away with A) a group of like-minded friends B) the understanding that the power to create a fun-filled and positive life is already within each of them C) the knowledge that the thoughts they feed their minds, along with the foods they choose to feed their bodies, impact their overall well being.
7. What made you think of GiRLiFE?
After struggling with anxiety and feelings of not being “good enough” in my own girlhood, and having twin daughters myself, I felt a very deep calling to introduce young girls to empowerment principles from a young age that could change the course of their lives for the better. I have worked as a women’s life & wellness coach for the last ten years and in my experience, as grown women, we are working towards unlearning fears that were unconsciously placed upon us as children. Setting young girls up with a solid foundation that gives them access to their own authentic self is paramount so that they do not need to spend their adult years uncovering layers of societal demands and constraints that were placed upon them and made them forget who they truly are.
Now more than ever, our future generation of women needs to know how to use their voices and own their power. Photo Courtesy of White House Black Market
8. What do you hope to see for the future of GiRLiFE?
My goal is to see multiple GiRLiFE workshops in every community across the globe. Now more than ever, our future generation of women needs to know how to use their voices and own their power.
9. What is the ultimate goal you have for the company?
My ultimate goal for the company is to see the curriculum expand even further (we just launched part two of the series this past month!) while growing our audience through different mediums such as books, podcasts and other helpful tools to support young girls through every stage of their lives.
10. What struggles have you faced with starting GiRLiFE?
One of my biggest struggles in creating this platform is that it was difficult to effectively share my vision others. The business model is unique in nature because while we are striving to bring empowerment to young girls, we are also aiming to financially and personally empower the women who become facilitators for the GiRLiFE program. Not only are these women nurturing their own inner child with these principles, but they are being compensated for the good work they are putting out into the world.
11. What has been the most rewarding part of creating GiRLiFE?
There have been so many rewarding components to beginning this journey. Hearing from parents who share that their daughter has used her GiRLiFE tools to move through anxiety, school pressures, and other fears is really a full circle moment for me. Also, having my facilitators share with me that doing this work has elevated them and given them a new sense of purpose is meaningful to me in a way that is difficult to put into words.
12. What advice do you have for girls who want to start their own companies?
I would tell them this: “know and believe that any idea that you have ever imagined can and will come to life if you believe in your own power and take the steps to making this dream a reality. It's all inside of you! The world needs that special brand of magic that only you can share.”
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."