first lucia circle

May 23, 2016 - Daily Notes, From the Editor

I have a habit of taking big bites out of life. I commit to things that move my heart with a great deal of optimism, confidence and inspired momentum. These enormous bites often result in stuffed cheeks and wide, watery eyes.  I am not always as graceful as I'd like to be.

My two-year old niece does the same thing when her grandpa gives her candy. She puts the entire thing in her mouth and even though it makes her teary-eyed, she refuses to spit it out or take smaller bites. Her commitment might be a bit unwieldy, but it tastes so very good.

I am hosting Lucia Circles in my living room this summer, inviting a handful of the brilliant women I know to come for coffee, movement, breath, juicy conversation and journaling around themes that hold relevance in our creative lives. The first was this past Saturday and the theme was commitment.

As a part-time yoga teacher, I am familiar with holding space for people to move their bodies and have their own internal experience, but holding space for other women to share what's in their hearts and minds, out loud in a circle, is new for me. I realized this as we sat down and began to talk, that perhaps I had bitten off more than I actually know how to chew. 

Thankfully, women seem to instinctually know how to hold one another. While I was quietly worrying about whether and how I could adeptly facilitate an inspiring conversation...the conversation unfolded. What I had hoped for, happened. The women who came collectively knew more than me, and so I learned.

Three braved the rainy Seattle morning (and multiple unmentionable obstacles) to get here, drink coffee, and spill their wisdom.

One has found her calling and gone to great lengths to prepare herself to offer her gifts to the world in professional ways that heal and bring light. She is also a mother to a toddler and finds herself questioning where she should commit her energy right now. Is there room for both? How?

Another shared that she is experiencing the raw, rug-pulled-out-from-under-you feeling that accompanies the potential unraveling of a marriage. The big stuff. What are we supposed to do when the commitments we built our lives upon start to come apart? 

A third recently "quit" a big commitment she made professionally, completely shifting her life. I write "quit" in quotes here because what she shared led us all to consider the power of the language we use. What is the difference between the word "quit" and the words "redirect" and "evolve" as they relate to making and breaking commitments?

Our conversation wound around each other's stories and held space for questions, tears, inspiration, and hearty laughter.  


One of the women in our circle said, "I think it's possible to commit gracefully."

Commitment has always sounded to me like a tense, tight, heavy sort of thing. Grace, on the other hand, is supposed to be light and forgiving. What could it possibly mean to commit gracefully? 

Time is one element, we decided. We do not always grasp the amount of time it will take to bring a promise to fruition until we are knee-deep in whatever it is we've committed to. When things are not going the way we envisioned or hoped, it can feel overwhelming, like anxiety or even failure. Can we give ourselves permission to take more time? This is grace.

Committing to a process rather than an outcome is another piece. The same woman asked, "When you started Lucia, were you committed to an outcome or were you committed to the process of creating something meaningful?" Her question gave me pause.

Maybe we can lighten the weight of obligations we tend to place upon ourselves by turning them into daily practices instead of goals-that-have-not-been-met-yet. Maybe keeping a commitment simply means doing the best job you are able to do each day, living your life the way you wish.

"I think it's also important to own our commitments, rather than let them own us," someone offered. "We are always evolving and so are our promises. It's important to keep taking stock of what we commit to and check in to see if that is still what is needed."

Is it graceful to place an entire truffle in your mouth when it is so big it makes your eyes water? I imagine at age two my niece doesn't care but I guarantee you once it is in her cheeks she is not going to spit it out. Nobody rushes her and in time it melts. Soon she's asking for another.

I intend to make good on the wisdom three ladies poured in my lap on Saturday by shifting the way I think about my own commitment to Lucia. I am going to give my promises permission to evolve.

And I am really looking forward to sharing more from these Lucia Circles with you as they unfold this summer.

With gratitude,


all in

May 20, 2016 - Daily Notes, From the Editor

What does it mean to be all in?

I made a list last autumn of the qualities I am seeking in a partner.

Sitting by the big fireplace at Lake Crescent Lodge with a glass of wine and a blanket wrapped around my feet, it was the first Monday night in November. I had scrambled alone up 2,000 feet of steep switchbacks to summit Mount Storm King that morning before breakfast and spent the rest of the day adjusting to the clarity that comes from listening to the pounding of one's own heart for a ninety-minute hard climb before finally stopping to rest atop a craggy, precarious ledge of a mountaintop with a view of, well, everything. Something shifted inside me and I had to write it down. 

My notes on a partner are four journal pages long. They begin with "sexy as hell" and end with the words "ALL IN" in capital letters, underlined twice. I wrote it with the sort of emphasis that would imply knowing exactly what these two words mean. The truth is I do not. 

What does it mean to be all in? How does it look? How does it feel? What do you do when you are? How do you invite and hold space for someone else to be "all in" with you? That was November and this is May, and I am still exploring this question. 

Aside from romance, I have been simmering on the meaning of commitment as it relates to Lucia. One year ago this month, we introduced Lucia to the world and today I am discovering the real work has only just begun. I made the decision to be "all in" with this magazine before I fully understood what it would entail and how much I would have to learn about what it really takes to create a successful business publishing.

"Being all in means not giving up," a friend of mine said. "It doesn't mean that you have to have it all figured out."

Last night I stopped by Anthropologie to buy two coffee mugs. From day one, I have envisioned Lucia being on the shelves in this store. It would be a perfect fit. We are not carried here yet, but I think the right buyer simply has not discovered us. It is only a matter of time.

I was buying these mugs because tomorrow morning I am hosting the first small Lucia Circle. I only own three coffee mugs that are not chipped or broken and there will be four women drinking coffee in my home.

Lucia Circles are a new experiment. How else can we explore the meaningful questions and curious themes in our creative lives? How else can Lucia's mission, to inspire and enlighten the world by giving voice to the heart and celebrating true beauty, be brought to life?

To begin, I've invited a few brilliant women I know to come over for a couple of hours, sit in a circle in my spacious light-filled living room, have a juicy conversation, and do a little journaling. I'm hosting four circles this summer and if they go well, I may continue them or move toward something larger like a retreat.

Our theme for tomorrow is commitment. I stood in my kitchen this morning asking myself, "Why on earth did I pick this theme? It's so unwieldy and uncomfortable and odd and constrictive. What if no one can relate?"

Then I picked up my journal, flipped through the pages, and saw the words I had written back in November: ALL IN. 

Maybe the words we place in all caps and underline twice are important not because they are answers, but because they hold questions. Maybe the answers do not come to us in words. Maybe they must be lived.