Rise Up Strong: Mind-Body Leadership Skills for Women

Esther Wyss-Flamm, for the Shuttle

It likely comes as no surprise that the majority of Weavers Way members are women, and that women typically take the lead in promoting community health and well-being. Our ability to span family, work and community involvement is an expression of a more feminine form of leadership, distinctly different from our classic masculine image of an individualistic leader. My belief is that our strength as women leaders depends on how we align our physical energy, emotional well-being, mental focus and spiritual grounding so we don’t burn out.

Over the past several months, I’ve had conversations about this with a variety of women leaders, most of them small business owners and heads of local organizations in Philadelphia. I discovered there’s a whole lot of unacknowledged leadership from women going on in our neighborhoods. They’re improving community health through wellness businesses, helping community members learn new skills, advocating for mental health, fair education and services for the elderly, and practicing and promoting urban farming and other cooperative practices. 

I also learned that women are reluctant to see themselves as leaders. (The word “leader” has a negative meaning for many of us, as we associate it with tainted public figures.) Additionally, we’re too busy making things happen, to step back and appreciate the importance of our work. Third, women are often teetering on the edge of burnout, wanting to be fully present at home as well as at work. And finally, women are hungry for ways to make their vision for a healthier future happen with more clarity and ease. 

These conversations have helped me dive into a deeper understanding of mind-body leadership, and identify practices that help activate our sense of inner strength, alignment, mindfulness and presence. I’ll be detailing these practices in a series of free, interactive talks organized by Weavers Way on April 18 and 23rd at 6:30 p.m. I’ll also taking a deeper dive into the concept of mind-body leadership during workshops for Mt. Airy Learning Tree on May 2 and 9. Visit www.weaversway.coop/events to learn more about the presentations at the Co-op, and www.mtairylearningtree.org for the May workshops.

Knowing how to draw on our physical, emotional and mental energy allows us to step into courage, stand fully in our strength, connect with each other and claim our place as powerful, loving leaders in our family, neighborhood and city. 

Want to find out more about mind-body leadership? Come to the interactive talks organized by Weavers Way in April — visit www.weaversway.coop/events to learn more. Or, sign up for a workshop to be held through Mt. Airy Learning Tree on May 2 and 9.

Esther Wyss-Flamm is a mindfulness coach, yoga instructor and member of the Weavers Way Board of Directors. Learn more at www.estherwyssflamm.com.