An Interview with the Wellspring School for Healing Arts
The Wellspring School (WS): What is the inspiration behind your upcoming class series, The Feminine Leadership Lab?
Leah Walsh (LW): This series was honestly a very selfish venture. It is also a complete experiment, which feels perfect given the title. I’ve felt called to support women of all ages for some time (this is the heart of my coaching business), but I want to have these conversations in community, not just one-on-one. The power of community learning & healing always blows me away. I wanted a safe space to explore what holds us back, the stories that define us, and how we can help one another liberate ourselves from our prisons of fear and the paralyzing hurt from our anger and tender wounds.
There are two basic premises for the series.
One is that leadership isn’t a role, it is a practice.
The other is that the most important presence women can bring to the world to is their own embodied expression of the feminine principles of life situated uniquely within their own story. I believe, no matter our gender identity, we all carry a mix of the yin/yang qualities of life. However, as energetic and physical bodies of mothering and creation, women with a feminine sexual essence will naturally embody these feminine principles in a way that cannot be expressed by others.
I truly believe this practice, explored in our daily lives, is undeniably the most powerful source of love, healing, and forgiveness that can be released on our planet. So…given this…I was really curious and excited to offer this course to my communities.
WS: How is class different from other courses on leadership women might find in town?
Great question. First, I am so grateful I’m not the only one holding space for this exploration. This conversation is happening so many places right now. And thank goodness! One of the principles of life that I naturally associate with the feminine (but do believe it is more a human quality, we’ve just been navigating such a distorted masculine-expression for centuries upon centuries the feminine is bringing it back in) is cooperation. I see this work happening in energetic collaboration with so many other sisters, mothers, and elders that I may or may not know.
This being said, there are some very distinct features that make this series different. One is that it is happening outside of a professional context. This means we can look at how we lead, love, and struggle in our own lives not just at work but in our personal relationships, romantic partnerships, cultural identities, our inner lives, emotional language, body image, and parenting. This list is endless.
Second is that the classes will be guided by the practices of storytelling, writing exercises, and an energetic-body centered tools. Rather than focusing on women in history, feminist theory, or the impact of injustice on women’s bodies and the earth, I want us telling our own stories of where we come from to speak that history while we simultaneously practice new embodiment tools and encourage each other embrace a new layer of change and personal healing.
WS: Who is it for?
This experience is for women who can be deep listeners for each other and emotionally support one another’s learning. It is for women who already have been on their personal development journey for some time or have a mindfulness practice.
It is for all of us that crave to be seen, heard in our fullness. For all of us who no longer what to apologize for our power or beauty or the fullness of our bodies.
It’s for women with a strong sense of purpose, knowing that we are creating a future that has space for us. For our own joy, anger, grief, playfulness, and tender love. And, in creating such a life, we are also creating new ways of being and belonging that will nurture life for all beings for generations to come.
WS: Anything else you want people to know?
Yes. A few important logistics. The class sizes will be small. 6-8 people. I am offering this course online as well, in case that works better for people’s schedules or energy levels after a full day. I am offering a few discounts. Please find all the details on the course registration page here.
And finally, as a white Western woman, I hold a lot of privilege that has come to me down from many, many generations. Many of my ancestors had forgotten the sacred feminine principles of life in many regards. I’m learning some of those stories of these ancestors so I can better understand those parts of myself. I know that if I do not see my privilege and how it clouds my vision, then my leadership practice will naturally exclude, harm and hurt others. This ultimately limits the permission I give to myself to grieve, forgive, and create new possibilities.
In this work, I see us using our creative expression in writing & poetry, our own stories and the library that holds all of our stories (our body!) as the radical and most perfect place to lead from our feminine essence. With courage, we do this work together, hand in hand.