Empowering Young Women: Luz Hernandez-Hidalgo’s Journey from Struggle to Strength with y.e.s.girlife

Luz Hernandez-Hidalgo, founder of Blissful Minds Coaching LLC, DBA y.e.s.girlife, has a powerful story that shapes her mission to empower young girls. From experiencing bullying and anxiety as a young immigrant to navigating the challenges of motherhood, Luz transformed her struggles into a passion for coaching. Her journey is a testament to resilience and the importance of mental wellness, especially highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, Luz shares her insights on overcoming personal and professional obstacles, the transformative impact of her workshops, and her aspirations for a future where every girl can thrive with confidence and self-worth.

Can you tell us about your personal journey and what led you to establish Blissful Minds Coaching LLC, DBA y.e.s.girlife? 

As a young girl, I experienced bullying in middle school as I was dealing with the culture shock of coming from Mexico to a new country and dealing with the language barrier. I was made fun of for my unique accent when I read in front of the class and was constantly picked on for being different. This led to severe episodes of anxiety and negative thought patterns that impacted my self esteem at an early age. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin and was constantly judging myself (very self conscious). My perfectionism was rigid as I didn’t allow myself to make mistakes but the worst part of all was that I was passing these deteriorating patterns onto my two young girls. My self esteem was low, I didn’t have the courage to set up boundaries with others and constantly found myself doing things for others before my wellbeing. I can say that I was pleasing others at my own cost by getting lost in motherhood. Motherhood was a non-stop chore as I was stressing out about everything I had to do. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be a mom as my daughters have taught me a lot. It was the patterns I was implementing in my life that depleted me from enjoying life in the present moment. My girls were my big why I started coaching girls because I was becoming aware of the importance mindset has in a young girl’s wellbeing. Therefore, I decided to start doing girl empowerment workshops with my two girls and their friends from school, girl scouts, and sport teams. 

What specific experiences or observations during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted you to focus on mental health and empowerment for young girls? 

I started doing girl empowerment workshops virtually in August 2020. I created my own workshops based on the needs of my community. I work with girls from a low income background and girls of colored communities where mindset is not a priority but instead a focus on survival. There is an increase of mental health challenges that are not being addressed due to the lack of resources and education on wellbeing. Girls started experiencing anxiety and depression which had a toll in their self esteem. I started noticing the pandemic effect in my own household as my girls lost contact with their friends and stopped all of their extracurricular activities from one day to the next. Even though, I tried to create a safe space at home for them to attend school via zoom the experience wasn’t the same. My girls started spending more time in their rooms or on social media trying to connect with their friends. I also started hearing from parents that their daughters were feeling sad, distant, and being anxious. 

There was an increase in anxiety, depression, and low self esteem as the girls were facing challenges during the pandemic. These feelings were not being addressed at the moment as we were all in flight mode not knowing what was happening in the world. For these reasons, I knew it was important to address mental wellness through my workshops. 

How do you define success for the girls you work with? 

What motivates me continuously is the transformation that takes place in each workshop. I have had girls show up with anxiety and depression but as they go through the mindful activities of the workshop and start opening up to the awareness of their mindset, they get to see a different perspective of their inner world. The girls gain self confidence and resilience by nourishing their self worth. It is an eye opener for the girls to hear peers talk about the negative thoughts they struggle with, opening an awareness that girls of different ages go through similar experiences. Success is different for each girl as I see her unique talents, strengths, and gifts. If I had to pinpoint success in this heartwork it would be to see the girls accepting themselves for who they are, getting out of their comfort zone, and trying new things. These workshops create a safe space where girls can express their feelings and validate them. I have been doing girl empowerment workshops for almost four years which has felt incredible in a sense of the girls I have supported with this heartwork, the people I have met in social media and my community. This has opened doors to opportunities in the realm of girl empowerment as I get to bring awareness of the benefits mindfulness brings in a girl’s world. 

What are some common challenges you’ve encountered while running Blissful Minds Coaching LLC, and how have you overcome them? 

The challenges have been real in the sense of building up a business behind the scenes. My main challenge was my inner critic by doubting myself to get out there and lead girl empowerment workshops. I felt like a fraud as I didn’t believe in myself. I still remember my first workshop feeling shy and nervous. It was via zoom since we were in the pandemic with the weather being in the 90 degrees and without AC in my house I was dripping in sweat. The more I continued doing workshops I knew I had to invest in a mindset coach if I wanted to start a business. I was getting on my own way and needed support to manage my thoughts and feelings. I have invested in four coaches since 2020 to continue my inner work. 

I am currently faced with tech issues by trying to build a website and landing page, setting up payment methods, automating systems as much as I can to save time. As a small business I have limited financial resources, making it challenging to invest in marketing, program development, and outreach efforts for girl empowerment initiatives. Building awareness and visibility for girl empowerment programs can be difficult at times, especially when competing with larger, more established organizations with greater marketing budgets. Even though, I have limited resources I keep investing in branding, social media programs, and tech experts to support me in setting up the backend of my website, social media, and marketing content. 

Overall, while my small business in the realm of girl empowerment faces various challenges, I am happy to be doing what I love as this is my passion. These challenges have also given me the opportunity to make a meaningful impact by leveraging my creativity, innovation, and passion for empowering girls. Through strategic partnerships, community engagement, and a commitment to my mission, my small business can overcome these challenges and create a positive change for girls in their communities. 

Can you share a particularly memorable success story or transformation from your work with young girls? 

Yes, I can share a blissful testimonial from a bright girl that started my girl empowerment workshops via zoom during the early stages of the pandemic when everything was shut down. 

This testimonial is from Yamileth, age 15 at that time, from the City of South Gate: 

My struggle before the workshops was that I was a shy person as I didn’t really like to participate, I was really insecure, and I had a really negative mindset.The tools that Luz has shown me is to be confident and to overcome the shyness, like for example when she says, ”This is a safe space there are no wrong answers.” It makes me feel that what I’m going to share isn’t gonna be judged or isn’t going to be wrong so I share what I’m thinking with the girls around me. She also taught me to be confident in myself, those workshops really helped me through my insecurities. Yes, I still get insecure here and there but I put to practice what she taught us and changed my mindset from negative to positive thinking. 

How I have put to work the lessons Luz has taught us in my daily life is when it comes to school, and tests I used to tell myself “I’m going to fail this test or I can’t do this” but Luz mentioned in one of her workshops how to change negative mindset with positive mindset. Now, I say to myself instead of “I can’t do this” to “I can do this,” “I got this,” 

and “I believe in myself.” When it comes to insecurities as I mentioned earlier on how I get insecure here and there, Luz in a recent workshop had us decorate a mirror so we can see ourselves in the mirror and compliment ourselves. I still have the mirror and I still do it because it boosts my confidence. 

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with anxiety, depression, or self-esteem issues? 

The first thing when a girl is struggling with anxiety, depression, or low self esteem is bringing awareness to her thought patterns that keep circulating on replay mode (inner critic). After bringing awareness she will be going through a self discovery process where she will reflect upon where these messages are coming from. The feelings that those thoughts elicit in the body. Validating the feelings even the ones that feel uncomfortable. Then, we will reframe those thoughts through mindful activities, such as journaling, breathwork, meditation, or visualization. I use different techniques as each girl is unique and what might work for one girl might not support the other. Therefore, I allow the girls to try each mindful activity throughout each session allowing them to check in with themselves to see which one supports them during those episodes. We work on managing the mind and body as it is an interconnected system. The thoughts that we think create our inner and outer world. 

Lastly, I would let the girls know to practice compassion and kindness with themselves as inner work is a healing journey. There is no magic taking place but to acknowledge the amazing girls they are from the inside out. Understanding that they are powerful beyond measure when they manage their mind and body. 

How do you incorporate mindset shifts and resilience-building into your coaching approach? 

There is always a lesson behind each tough situation. Teaching the girls to go into a tough situation with curiosity by asking themselves…What can I learn from this? Or what superpowers can I gain from this situation? Instead of playing the victim look at a situation as a learning experience where they are building up that mindset muscle. 

I encourage the girls to practice gratitude by being grateful for what is working at the moment even if it’s a small act like getting up and breathing fresh air. Gratitude reframes our perspective and encourages a healthier mindset. There is always something to be grateful for. 

Resilience teaches us that we never stop learning and growing- That’s a beautiful thing! Even adults are always learning and growing too. When the girls get to hear these messages their inner world shifts towards looking at life like it’s happening for them as an opportunity to grow. 

What role do you believe self-care plays in overall mental health and empowerment? 

Self care plays a vital role in mental wellness and empowerment as it grounds you from the fast pace life we are experiencing. Self care looks different for each individual. My self care practice is pausing through out the day to check in with myself, how I am feeling and what I am thinking. I get to stay in silence to just quiet the mind and urge to be doing something all the time. 

During my workshops, I teach the girls that taking care of their wellbeing is an important part of self care. We practice breathwork, our breath is our best friend, to calm the mind and get oxygen flowing through the body. We also do a 5 minute meditation to ground

ourselves before we start talking about the mindset tools. It is a peaceful feeling where we start from scratch and ready to embark on a self discovery journey. I have had girls share that the meditation helps them feel better and reduces their stress. 

How do you balance nurturing the mind and body in your coaching programs? 

I am very passionate about introducing girls to the mind and body connection of their wellbeing. I feel like we need to give girls the inner knowing that they are powerful beyond measure and can get through any and all experiences that may come their way. 

I focus on nourishing the mindset with various socio-emotional topics. The girls learn through mindful activities how to regulate their nervous system by practicing breathwork, body movement, tapping, among other useful techniques. We talk abou the power of our thoughts and feelings by choosing empowering ones. 

We bring it all together by creating an empowering craft to illustrate everything we’ve learned. This craft serves as a reminder to keep practicing what they learned in each session. It is a powerful visual that can also support with reframing. Using hands on activities is another mindful activity that helps the mind to feel calm and spark their imagination. I love seeing the girls get creative with their craft by adding their own special touch. 

The last part of the program is the nutrition portion, where the girls get to create their own healthy snack as they learn about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Here is where the girls learn of the importance of nourishing their body with healthy food as it has a greater impact in their mind. We get to talk about body image and how each body is unique doing wonderful things for us. Praciticing body love and embracing their body is an empowering way of looking at themselves. 

What are your future goals and aspirations for Blissful Minds Coaching LLC, DBA y.e.s.girlife? 

In the next five years, my vision for my girl empowerment business is to create a profound and lasting impact on the lives of girls across various schools and communities. I envision expanding my current workshops into larger-scale by taking on group coaching that reaches a wider audience of young girls, empowering them with essential socio-emotional tools to boost self-confidence and resilience. 

I also plan to establish partnerships with schools to offer tailored empowerment workshops within their curriculum. By integrating these workshops into the school system, we can reach a larger number of girls and provide them with the support and guidance they need during their formative years. Additionally, I aim to hire and train a team of passionate facilitators who share my vision and values, allowing us to scale our impact and reach even more schools and communities.

Furthermore, I envision hosting annual girl empowerment conferences or summits, bringing together girls from different communities to participate in immersive experiences focused on personal growth, leadership development, and community building. These events will serve as empowering spaces where girls can connect, learn, and inspire each other to reach their full potential.

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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