Amelia Casals, Visionatrix
How did I become a Visionatrix?
Almost 13 years ago, I had what you could probably call an early mid-life crisis: My 10 year relationship exploded, I quit my tech job, I moved out and bought a plane ticket to Brazil.
When I came back to Seattle, I had zero idea what was next for me. I turned down a job offer at Microsoft. I thought I might be an artist. I considered becoming an escort. I lived in friends’ spare rooms and spent my savings freaking out.
One afternoon, I bought a big pad of butcher paper, taped some sheets up on the wall, and started writing. Big, wild, ambitious things. Honest. Ugly. Gorgeous. Pages and bright colors later, clarity appeared. I knew what I wanted, needed, and would do.
It was a new roadmap to the chapter of my life.
Each winter after that, I took myself away for a day or two to the woods. I brought a big pad of paper and some colored sharpies, and nestled in the dark, cold, solitude of winter. I meditated, ate, danced, thought, slept, and wrote.
The outcomes were astounding. I became honest with myself – both truthfully critical, and earnestly loving. I wrote what I knew was true, and what I wished would be. I learned to tell the two apart.
I’m a big fan of business books, self-help literature, motivational speakers, recovery programs, sexuality education, meditation tips, and life hacking ideas. Over the years I have tested new concepts and exercises, always seeking to experiment and refine this visioning process.
A few years ago, some friends asked about it, so I agreed to share the process with them. We went away for a night, and did a two-day visioning session. A year later, I did it again with two other friends. Then, a colleague asked if I’d do the process one-on-one.
So it occurred to me – what if I’m not really the only one who needs this visioning process? What if setting aside time in the dark, cold, and quiet of winter to experience inner solitude and reflection would actually help people?
Well, this is the experiment. After years of thinking about sharing this work with others, I’m finally doing it. Hopefully, with you.
My influences & admirees
Some of my influences:
Danielle La Porte
Julie Atlas Muz
My background and credentials
I hold a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis on Women Studies and African Studies from the University of Washington. I studied Ethnomusicology at University of Zimbabwe, and Folkloric Dance at FUNCEB in Salvador, Brazil. I received a certificate in Software Project Management from UW, and soon afterwards obtained my Project Management Professional (PMP) credentials.
I am a trained dancer, with experience in ballet, contemporary, Jazz, Afro-Haitian, -Cuban, and -Brazilian forms. I studied Tantra under former Body Electric instructors and am a trained Sacred Intimate.
I have worked as a barista, special events coordinator, aerobics instructor, campaign manager, peepshow dancer, software project manager, sacred intimate, headmistress, executive director, and international showgirl. I have worked for Bill Clinton, performed for Hugh Hefner, raised a half a million dollars for AIDS charitites, and completed a triathlon.
I’ve travelled across North America, Europe, Scandanavia and to Brazil, China, and southern Africa. I’ve taught over 500 people how to perform Burlesque. I’ve founded 5 businesses, and currently run and operate four of them.
I speak conversational Brazilian Portuguese (badly) and can manage social greetings in French, Spanish, and Shona.
I hold several awards from my experience as an International Burlesque Artist, including the top award in my field “Queen of Burlesque”, Miss Exotic World 2011, as well as high ranking recognition (up to #2) in the Top 50 Burlesque Performers. I have also been named “Top Young Jews to Watch out For” by Heeb Magazine, and featured on the cover of GONyc Magazine. I was granted a community award from the Northwest Leather Community, and was named a Master of Erotic Art by the Seattle Erotic Arts Festival.
The school I founded, “Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque” was the subject of the documentary “A Wink and A Smile”, featured on Netflix and now available on iTunes.
It’s an eclectic background, to be sure. And I bring the best of all these experiences and awards to bear on my grounded visioning work with all of you.