Hello and welcome! I’m Amelia — an artist, producer and Yoga Therapist.
My work explores how to use mind body practices rooted in self compassion as ways to embrace all of who we are, and live heart centered lives full of meaning and wonder.
On the morning of February 6th, 2013, I stepped off a plane from NY where I was living, in my home of Milwaukee. Before lunchtime that day, I was diagnosed with stage IIIb Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I was 27. There on my mammogram, were two heart shaped tumors mirroring one another in my left breast over my heart. On Valentine’s Day, I started nearly two years of treatments. After a year of being symptomatically misdiagnosed, I learned that trusting your heart and using your voice will always lead the way. Science said I had 21 months to live, but I am here almost seven years later, grateful to be alive, healthy and reminded that anything is possible. And I am endlessly grateful to the supportive community that carried and still carry me through — family, friends and even total strangers. In this I learned how connected we really are, and how worthy each of us is of love and kindness.
I’ve always been fascinated with interconnection, and during my treatments flew across the world to become a yoga teacher. Over the last five years, I’ve used mind body medicine tools with an emphasis on self compassion to guide people with cancer through experiences that support them coping, building resilience to stress, and learning how the stories of their lives can be in service of their health and healing. I lead classes and one on one practices while patients receive their chemo. The greatest gift has been witnessing people realize that healing is innate, and have an experience of themselves at true essence which yoga teaches is connection. I believe that slow is the new fast, and that our health and well being deserve intentional space and unhurried time.
Because I was diagnosed with cancer uninsured, and because I now live in a new body with unique needs that requires routine care, I am passionate about making integrative healing modalities accessible to all — financially, culturally, institutionally, and physically. Working with the non-profit CORE/El Centro as a teacher and board member has inspired hope in me that one day this will be possible in the world we live in. I’m also learning more about how to make this possible as a study advisor on a Harvard Medical School program exploring mind body medicine with adolescent young adult cancer survivors.
In my life before cancer, I lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY as a producer. I worked with brands like Conde Nast and Martha Stewart, and had internships with kind hearted photographers like Stephen Mallon and Manjari Sharma. I still nourish my creativity through my photography and producing CreativeMornings/Milwaukee. Exploring my fears and curiosities about what it’s like to have cancer by documenting my experience with photos along the way has been healing, and sharing my personal photo essay, walk through cancer, connected me in lovely ways with other young survivors. One day, I want to travel to the deep ocean and make photos of bioluminescence creatures, who I believe have a lot to teach us about our inner light as humans.
Today, I’m dedicated to creating more holistic models of healthcare, and building inclusive healing communities that support personal and collective wellbeing, starting from the inside out.
Thank you for making the time to be here.
You can read my professional bio here.