When I was looking at space for my portrait studio, I looked at a few different ones but nothing seemed to feel right. I finally found a corner unit in the building I’m in now and while that was big enough for photography, something told me that I needed a larger space. I didn’t know why. Luckily, the room next door was vacant and the building manager offered to connect the two. When I saw it, I just knew it was for me. At first, I couldn’t figure out why and considered putting in a sofa but it didn’t feel right. As I was painting and started putting the studio together, I had a vision. That space was meant to have tables and chairs and to host women for informal, yet intentional, conversations about a topic. When I started my journey, one of the things I did was ask various women out for coffee. Some I knew well and others I didn’t. We wouldn’t have the everyday conversations like how our kids were doing or what was going on. Instead, the intention was to have deeper conversations about our purpose and struggles and our deepest desires. I wanted to continue doing this but on a larger scale. What I learned from having coffee with women was the following:

  • We all hunger for deeper, authentic connections but don’t necessarily know how.
  • We think we know the people in our lives but we really don’t.
  • Having vulnerable conversations help us feel connected to each other and the world.
  • Sharing our struggles helps us realize we are more alike than different.

Before I had my very first Coffee with Intention, I knew that in order to create an environment where conversation could flourish, I had to set intentions for the event. I firmly believe that how I show up sets the tone for how everyone else does. So I sat down a couple of days before my first event and wrote out my intentions. I used to read it prior to coffee events but now I don’t anymore since some of the attendees come to multiple ones. I think I’ll start this year’s first Coffee by reading it again. What I wrote was the following:

I will create a safe space for women to show up as their true selves. I will make each woman feel welcome and wanted in this space and to feel like she matters. I will make her feel like she can take off a little bit of her armor so that she can feel a little lighter when she leaves. I will make every woman feel like she is enough, despite what she shares or doesn’t share.

I will facilitate this environment by being open and vulnerable and sharing a little bit of my soul without fearing judgment, confident in my self-worth because I will give it to myself and not look for it elsewhere. I will allow each woman to feel like she can share as much or as little as she wants, knowing her very presence is enough. I will be fully present and actively listen when someone talks so that she will feel heard. I will be grateful for every woman here because she is trusting me to facilitate this meaningful and connective experience.

Thank you for being here.

Since opening my studio in the spring of 2018, the purpose of the secondary room has expanded from Coffees to workshops, collaborative events, and WomanSpeak but the Coffees will always be dear to my heart.

Join us for our next Coffee with Intention on Sunday, January 20th @9:30-11:30am. We will be having intentional conversation about Our Parents. Reserve your seat here.