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Mindful : December 2013
December 2013 mindful 47 nal using digital publishing tools. I see topics like “how to let go of an unhealthy relationship” and “g ratitude” on the pages they’re poring over. Nicole Pressly Wolf, a longtime publishing-industry professional, tells me it’s a delight to work with people whose ideas of life are still forming. That’s Fisher ’s mission here: to catch young women before they’re locked into conventional ways of seeing a nd being seen. “ Women have so much to contrib- ute, yet often lack confidence,” she says. “ When I created the program five years ago, I asked myself, ‘What do I wish someone had told me when I was young? What extra help do girls need to move into leadership roles?’ It’s different for women today than when I was coming up, but the world is still fast-paced, with lots of verbal stuff thrown around. If you want to move through it with feeling and intuition, you need to be empowered to feel that it’s fine to do things that way.” → Slowing Down “How do you bring yourself to work, how are you doing, how are you affecting others? These are impor tant things,” Eileen Fisher says. “And meditation can make you more conscious of those. It slows you down enough to stop and see what’s going on. It’s a small thing, but it ripples out. If you want to change, you have to be able to slow down, stop, and shift. Other wise, you may be efficient but you always do things the same, even if you need to consider changing.” → The Eileen Fisher leadership program engages young women before they’re locked into conventional ways of seeing and being seen. Community Foundation, whose main projects are a leadership institute, which operates a program to “foster leadership at tributes” in teenage girls, and Green Eileen, a recycled-clothing initiative. Both a re housed a few blocks uphill in a rundown building with three-story col- umns desig ned in 1895 by Stanford White as the headquarters for Cosmopolitan. First, Campbell shows me a round the headquarters, which is loose and flowing, like the desig n center—and Eileen Fisher clothing. It has lots of open spaces where business can be done on the fly and eavesdropping is permitted. It’s where architects design the look and feel of the retail stores, where the highly successful web store is run, and where a miscella ny of core functions a nd ga rment-industry specialties occur that are too arcane for my untrained eye to sort out. Glass-walled “duck-in” rooms with names like Delight and Creativity line the work areas. The large café space by the river is used by a local meditation group for weekly gatherings a nd special events. Wellness is central to the Eileen Fisher mission. Everyone has a wellness account they ca n use for massage, proper work wear, acupuncture, yoga, and so forth. We pass a yoga/meditation room, a lactation room, massage rooms, a nd a patio where you can sit and watch the river roll by. At the same time, it’s clear that people are working very hard. The sense of ease does not breed a lack of commitment. Over at the Stanford White building, Campbell and I visit the leadership insti- tute, a warren of rooms where a 12-day training session for high-school girls is going on. In the first room, a dozen girls are intently working on creating a jour- 2