Some advice to girls…

Three-teens-rounded-corners_250.fwGrowing up is hard sometimes, especially when you feel like you don’t quite fit in or meet other people’s expectations. Some of us worry about being pretty enough or smart enough, while others worry about being good enough.

But, the truth is, everyone feels this way at different times in their lives. These expectations are put in place by many different people, organizations and the media which makes it impossible to be everything to everyone.

Our experiences vary.

Sometimes we try to fit in while other times we choose to follow our heart. Whatever your experience has been, the experiences of younger generations are probably not too different.

Our hope is that the girls of today (and tomorrow) will learn to be confident in themselves and that those around them will come alongside of them, encouraging the same confidence.

The change starts with all of us (both women and men). However unnoticed or unintentional our words and actions are, they have a strong impact on young girls. When we hide something as natural as menstruation or speak ill of our bodies, younger girls will follow our example. We must learn to be kind to ourselves so that younger generations will learn to do the same.

We asked some of our partners and fellow women’s health advocates to share why empowering girls and women is so important. This is what they had to say:

“I am asked all the time the best way to help our girls delay sexual involvement. And the answer is always self-esteem. While people choose to have sex for many different reasons, we know that the girls who feel best about themselves tend to delay sex with someone else the longest. There are many benefits to waiting. Help your girls find what they are good at, whatever that may be, and give them the tools they need to excel in it!”
Stephanie Mitelman, Certified Sexuality Educator, Director, Sexpressions

“When it comes to empowering girls, the most important thing you can do is model the way. That means being really conscious of the ways you talk to and about yourself in front of them; treating yourself more kindly benefits you and them, because young girls are watching your every move and picking up all kinds of clues on how to be, think, and act. It’s pretty astonishing to see all the instances where you’re tempted to criticize yourself out loud. Give them a good example to follow.”
Kate Hanley co-author of the 28 Days Lighter Diet

“I find that when a girl is thoroughly informed regarding the various menstrual management options available to her, she understands the power that is in her control to manage her own needs as best suits her. It is a very personal choice and by making it independently she will surely feel a positive acceptance and ownership of her body and its needs that will serve her well.”
Alison Sanchez, Feby Empowerment Inc

“Possessing self-love and educating yourself on topics like health and wellness at an early age will empower you to achieve the incredible. Make a promise to yourself to never stop learning, and always dream big.”
Leslie Klenke, author of Paleo Girl

“As the Mother of a 9 year-old girl, I am trying to offer her as many diverse role models as possible, as well as teaching her to understand and value how her body works, rather than focus on her appearance. A simple but important and powerful thing we can do for girls is to teach them the accurate names and locations of their reproductive anatomy, not just lump it all under the misleading umbrella of “vagina”. Another idea is to co-create some form of ritual or celebration when your daughter starts her period. She may feel embarrassed, however it’s worth seeing whether she’s interested – as an adolescent I yearned for such an event, however didn’t know how to make the request. So powerful was this childhood dream, in fact, that it ultimately led to the creation of G Day – a modern rite of passage event designed to celebrate and empower girls ages 10 to 12 as they enter adolescence. On April 28 of this year, we hosted 250 girls in Vancouver to talk about leadership, career goals, relationships and what life is like for girls in the developing world, topped off with a ritual where they tied red ribbons around one another’s wrists as symbols of Sisterhood.”
Madeleine Shaw, Co-founder, Lunapads.com

“Across the globe, Spring brings to mind flowers, new life and warmth. Metaphorically Spring can highlight the start of better times. The inner spring in a women’s life as she transitions from a girl to a woman, regardless of her culture or background, is a vitally important and sacred time. This time, facing puberty and more specifically menarche (or a girl’s first period), brings many new beginnings. So often we consider this ‘spring’ time in a young women’s life as something secret and even dirty and forbid our girls to speak about it. As a taboo, this special springtime is disempowering to our girls. Girls who have positive information about puberty and menarche are more likely to have improved body image and self-esteem, leading to a better life.We, as women, mothers, sisters, aunts and friends guiding our girls into their spring, need to support them in positive ways and ensure she begins her beautiful journey in a positive way. Open yourself to learning about the importance of this time in a girl’s life, and have and support positive conversations in our children as early as possible.”
Jac Torres-Gomes author of Cycling to Grandma’s House

“We will be making progress if mothers become more comfortable encouraging their daughters to cherish their bodies by helping them navigate the complexity of their anatomy as a female. If mom’s are not comfortable talking to their daughters, they can seek literature for their daughters to read on their own and open the door for their daughters new wonders of her body. Women’s Health Foundation’s upcoming book, Below Your Belt, is a primer for young girls to know the inner workings of their magnificent bodies. Also, embracing a girls first period by planning something special for her, verses a dreaded afterthought, can change our culture and have girls feel supported during this new journey of being girl, as they all should.”
Molly Kirk Parlier, Women’s Health Foundation

 

Q & A with Holli Rae & Sara Landas, Directors of The Goddess Project Documentary

OnTheRoadThe Diva Team had the opportunity to speak with two incredible filmmakers about their upcoming film, The Goddess Project. The following is just a snapshot of the wonderful story these amazing women have to share.

What inspired this project?
The Goddess Project was inspired by our desire to help women discover their own infinite potential!

In 2011 we made a pact to start living out our dreams and to contribute to the world in a bigger way, and we instantly started meeting other women who were doing the same. As we got to know each of them, we realized how similar our fears and obstacles were, and learned various tools that we could use to overcome them. These conversations made us realize how empowering it is to hear stories from women that you can relate to, so we decided we wanted to travel the country and interview as many incredible women as we could find. In November of 2012, we launched a Kickstarter campaign and successfully raised over $10K from people around the world who wanted to see more diverse female role models on the big screen. Two weeks later we were at a music festival and met a man from Tennessee who offered to donate his bus to us. We saw these as affirmations that the universe was ready for a film of this nature, so we condensed our lives into two suitcases and hit the road with one goal in mind: to find extraordinary women with a passion for the life they live!

DirectorsCan you tell us a bit about your filming experience across the US? 
Traveling across the United States and living out of a mini school bus for 6 months was both the most liberating and challenging experience of our lives. Each day we woke up in a new city and were continually amazed by the amount of women ready and willing to share their stories. We visited over 30 states and found ourselves in the most astonishing places. We met inspiring ladies in coffee shops, at rest stops, and even through Twitter while driving on the highway! We never knew what kind of wild adventure would unfold, but we always had faith that our intuitions would lead us exactly where we needed to go.

It only took a couple of weeks being on the road to realize that living amenity free during the blazing hot summer was much more difficult than we had anticipated. Being on a tight budget, most of our showers consisted of Dr. Bronner’s Soap and baby wipes, unless we happened to find a kind stranger who would let us use their facilities. Many women asked us how we dealt with our flow on the road, and The DivaCup was always the answer! It is an essential for any wandering woman; it is compact, sustainable, and saves money every month!

What did you learn along the journey that surprised you the most?

Both before and during our trip, we were surprised by how many people warned us to “be careful” as there is this fear that people cannot be trusted, or that it is unsafe to travel alone as women. We spent almost 200 nights sleeping in parking lots, along mountaintops, and on city streets, but in the end, we were happy to report back that the most notable encounters were love notes on our windshield and invitations for home cooked meals. We learned that people are inherently good, and when you’re working to make the world a better place, someone will always show up to help you out in a time of need.

When did you first get interested in the creative arts (film)?

Sara: I discovered my love for filmmaking at age 7 when my parents brought home our first camcorder. My hand has been glued to a camera ever since. I attended film school in 2005 and have since worked in many different areas of the industry, all leading me to my true calling, documentary filmmaking. Being able to capture a rare and special moment in time and impart its feeling on the screen is my ultimate passion and the fuel behind all that I create.

Holli: From a young age, I started mixing mediums and creating art to evoke emotion in the people around me. I studied visual communications and design in school, but it was not until I met Sara in 2009 and we started collaborating that I fell in love with filmmaking as a powerful medium for storytelling. Five years ago I would have never imagined I would be making a feature-length documentary. It has been an amazing journey combining our skills to co-create more than we ever dreamt possible!

BusInNYCan you tell us a bit about the film?
The Goddess Project shares the stories of incredible everyday women who are realizing their potential, overcoming their fears, and shifting our world into a new state of consciousness! By interviewing over 100 women from all walks of life, this film bridges the gaps which separate us from one another and broadens the definition of empowerment in today’s society. “Others See Their Possibilities In Your Reality” is the theme of the film because we have personally witnessed how impactful it is to find a role model who is relevant to you. Meeting these women and learning about their unique paths to self-discovery has equipped us with a plethora of powerful tools to transform our lives, and we are so excited to share this insightful wisdom with the world! The Goddess Project is more than just a film, it is a movement to inspire women of all present and future generations to step up, share their stories, and start using their gifts to contribute to the world in a bigger way!

What are the next steps for the project and what can people do to help?

We are currently in post-production editing the film and plan to release it in 2015 with your help! You can help bring The Goddess Project to the big screen by spreading the word & donating via PayPal here. Any amount is greatly appreciated!

As women working in the field of film, what advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?

Don’t be scared to blaze your own trail! If you commit wholeheartedly each day to working towards your dreams, they will eventually come true! All great things take time, confidence and perseverance, and with that understanding, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!

confidentcarrySara Landas and Holli Rae
Sara Landas and Holli Rae are directors of the film, The Goddess Project. They live in Los Angeles, CA where they spend their time making art, dancing and plotting their next big adventure! Learn more at www.thegoddessproject.com

Connect with them on Twitter @thegoddessfilm, Instagram: @thegoddessproject & at Facebook.com/TheGoddessProject

Diva Traveling Tips!

Ready to travel pink suitcase with summer equipment isolatedWith summer just over a week away, the Diva Team thought to put together some summer travel tips for the Diva Community. Whether you are planning a beach vacation, trek around Europe or interior camping trip, there’s a tip below just for you!

Period Care  While we may do our best to plan trips around our periods, they sometimes decide to show up when we least expect it. Being prepared with basic essentials can make a world of difference. First things first, never leave home without The DivaCup – it takes up little to no space in your luggage and is the most reliable method of period care for travel. A hot water bottle, ginger tea and comfy (stretch) pants can also provide some relief to those pesky cramps.

Extra Set of Clothes  When you can, check a bag and when you can’t pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry on, including underwear!

Foot Care While buying a pair of flip flops for $3 is a bargain deal, your feet deserve the best. If you are planning a trip that will include a fair bit of walking, invest in a good pair of flip flops or sandals that offer both comfort and support. Walking or hiking shoes that allow your feet to breathe are also a must.

Hydrate  Ensuring that you have access to clean drinking water is important for any trip. Pack a reusable water bottle and fill up at the water station at your campsite, hotel or airport. Eating water rich foods such as cucumbers, radishes, celery and watermelon can also aid in keeping you hydrated.

Journal  Documenting a trip is one of my favorite parts of traveling, even for business trips! If you will have easy access to the internet a travel or photo blog is a great way for family and friends back at home to journey with you.

Sun Care  While we all love to soak up the sun, it’s no secret that the sun’s rays can have damaging effects. A sunburn can limit the activities you can participate in on your vacation, disrupt sleep and lead to health concerns. Pack only a high level SPF sun block, forgo the tanning lotion and ensure you have a good pair of sunglasses, a hat and cover-up.

Pack a Book!  I’ll admit I’m a bit of a bookworm, always have been and always will be. Reading is a great way to soak up the sun or pass the time when a flight is delayed. Download a book to your personal tablet or pack a small paperback for your next trip.

Snacks  Packing a protein bar in your carry on will ensure you get some nutrients if the flight is delayed and can make for a great pick me up once you’ve landed in a different time zone.

Tune up! If you are planning a summer road trip don’t forget to get an oil change and your brakes checked.

Pack Ahead  We are often told to plan ahead, but how many of us pack ahead? Being on the road with Diva has taught me to pack a few days in advance. This allows for laundry to be done and essentials like toothpaste to be purchased well in advance.

Downsize  While I’d love to bring 6 pairs of my cutest flats with me, I have learned that you really only need three types of footwear for any trip: good walking/hiking shoes, flip flops (if the temperature allows) and flats. If you are traveling somewhere that experiences a lot of rain, rain boots are a great option and you can often pack them full of socks, shoes and clothes. Packing a bottle of DivaWash is a great way to reduce bottle space as it’s great for face, body and The DivaCup.

Games!  Pack a deck of cards or smaller board game (such as Boggle) for flight time, a camping weekend or rainy day at the cottage.

Whatever your summer plans are, all of us at Diva International Inc. want to wish you a safe and happy summer!

Share your Travel Tips with the Diva Community below

With Diva I can…

As we gear up for summer, I can’t help but think of the freedom and ease The DivaCup provides for women (all year), but especially during the summer months.

For me, trying The DivaCup, was life-changing.

Before switching to The DivaCup my summers by the pool were non-existent during my period days. My flow was (and still is) very heavy, that even a super-size tampon would fill up, causing me to frequent the washroom every hour or two (which in a bathing suit, is not fun). With The DivaCup I can go 12 hours before having to empty, clean and reinsert. And there’s no little string to tuck away.

Before switching to The DivaCup, 10 hour road trips with my period, meant 14 hour road trips as frequent bathroom breaks were necessary. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to worry about leaking as a result of sitting for long periods of time when traveling and bathroom breaks are minimized.

Before switching to The DivaCup, period days at the zoo, amusement park or a family reunion were filled with the worry of leaking, running out of product, or just being plain uncomfortable. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to pack backup protection, am comfortable and feel confident against leaks.

And before switching to The DivaCup, the thought of caring for my period during a three day sailing trip or camping weekend was stressful. With The DivaCup, I don’t need to come up with creative ways to dispose of product (no waste!!!) and no need to pack extra protection – stress free!

Last summer the Diva Team put together a series of “With Diva I Can” images to share the many benefits the product has to offer. We did this because, unlike the hassle and waste of disposable options, The DivaCup provides up to 12 hours of leak-free protection, is reusable (no waste) and super comfy (no annoying string or wrappers).

Check out some of our favorites below or share some of your own!

WDIC_Beach 2 WDIC_Drive_in With Diva I can # 1 WDIC_Deck pool image Diva.Golf