My name is Paty ‘Mariposa’ Hernandez. Many call me Mariposa due to the name of my business, Mariposas Holistic Healing. Mariposas, which means butterflies in Spanish, symbolize transformation through difficult moments and the freedom to live with purpose, happiness, and health. For many years I have considered mariposa as symbols of transformation, changing from one being, a caterpillar, into another, a mariposa. They also represent freedom through flight and bringing joy to whoever sees and appreciates them.
I chose mariposa as the name of my business because it incorporates my bi-cultural lifestyle as a Cuban-American and my nomadic heart. I’ve always smiled whenever I see a butterfly fluttering, so getting a butterfly tattoo on the right side of my shoulder was easy. My first tattoo was a very happy sunflower on my left at 22.
Freedom has always been a significant value for me, as has traveling, which I see connected. Since I was a young girl, I enjoyed traveling to new places, thanks to my parents, and connecting with others through conversation and helping out however I could. My parents often found me chatting with someone in line at the airport, on a bus, or at the pool. These experiences have taught me about compassion and empathy, which have helped me personally and professionally.
Transformation, a symbol with mariposa, is about changing from one being into another. Through various techniques I’ve learned along my journey, I’ve been dedicated to reshifting the trauma I’ve experienced and the heavy feelings of sadness, guilt, anger, or others that come with it. Like a mariposa sitting on a petal, which I call life, I maintain my balance through a holistic balance. It’s a daily choice to be grounded in place, fly away, or shiver in the darkness.
The traumas I’ve encountered in my life have to do with loss. My first loss was when I was 12 years old, and we had to move out of my childhood home due to my dad’s decision. It wasn’t until I was 17 that someone pointed out that I was angry with my parents for “doing this to me,” which I was demonstrating unconsciously through my rebellious nature. I eventually learned to forgive them so we could release the pain.
The next tragedy that hit was in we discovered my sister had throat cancer in 2010. At this time in my life, my maternal grandfather was the only person who had it that was close to me. We were all shocked as she was only 32 years old. She wasn’t a smoker, so how could she have throat cancer? Every member of my family was shocked to the core. She returned to Miami with my parents after visiting me in El Salvador, where I served my last year in the Peace Corps. She returned to Atlanta, where she lived on her own, and visited doctors there so she could apply for low-income insurance.
It was hard to shake off the idea that cancer meant death. After hearing about the options of chemotherapy and radiation and their side effects, she decided on a different path. She opted for natural healing techniques which she researched. My parents and older brother became apprehensive about her decision. I was numb to the situation and unsure what to do or think.
Yoli, my sister, and I were very close. We called each other soul sisters. Yoli was also of a nomadic heart and identified as a bird as it was also an expression of freedom. Yet this closeness began when I was 18 years old and in my last year of high school, and she was away at college in Atlanta, Georgia. Before then, we fought often as our egos were involved in our relationship. As a baby, I remember feeling loved and adored by my family, especially the adults, yet as I grew older, I was constantly ignored at home and school. I know now that my family members weren’t being mean (except for Yoli) or had ill intent. Yet as a child, I constantly felt rejected by Yoli, whom I admired. There were times when she would play with me, which was often on her terms.
All that animosity changed when we traveled together for 2 weeks in the north of Spain when I was 20 years old and she was 23. The initial purpose was that I would spend two months in Valencia to study abroad. She suggested the trip, and our parents offered to pay for our airline tickets. How could we refuse? On this trip, I let my vulnerability out and asked why she was so mean to me growing up. She answered that, in fact, she was jealous of me and how easy making friends seemed to me. I was flabbergasted. Sadly, we wasted so many years of having a good relationship because we assumed incorrectly. Since then, we have been like two peas in a pod.
One day she sent me an email stating she was determined to learn more about cancer and heal it naturally as I was still in El Salvador. Upon returning to the States, I stayed with her for two weeks. During my visit, she taught me about integrative health and complementary techniques such as sound healing and raw food. She also saw a holistic therapist and attended spiritual services at the Unitarian Universalist Church. She focused on understanding why she had cancer, which originated in her lungs and the throat chakra. She read books from Louise Hay and healing cancer naturally books. She listened to podcasts, spent time outdoors, and said yes to what helped her feel good. She also said goodbye to her current boyfriend, who loved her tremendously because she didn’t love him in that way.
After I visited with her, I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where I began my Dual Master of Social Work and Public Health. Her healing journey influenced my professional and personal path as I wanted to understand how trauma impacts chronic health issues. I learned Reiki in 2010 to “heal” her as I wanted her pain to disappear. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand the true purpose of Reiki as I couldn’t heal her; that wasn’t my purpose. Reiki taught me that healing was about helping her to let go of this physical life when her body could no longer deal with cancer. The spiritual connection Reiki offered me helped me prepare for her death as I was with her when her angels came for her. Three days after the angels visited her, she passed away on May 21, 2010, in the early morning hours. She was in hospice at our parents’ home in Key Biscayne, facing the ocean, which was one of her favorite places to be. Reiki was one of the tools that helped me through the grief I was experiencing at losing the one person I truly loved the most. She was my best friend, my soul and blood sister.
One year and 2 months later, our mother was diagnosed with cancer, in the same area as my sister but with a different name. She opted for complementary medicine, cancer, and natural healing. By then, I had more knowledge about Reiki and other techniques I shared with her. I was still in graduate school then and would return home whenever I needed to care for her. She had back surgery to remove a tumor and was placed on a trial chemotherapy drug that gave her some extra time with us. In 2014 her body began to deteriorate and I returned home to Miami I was alone with my mom in a private hospital room She passed away in September 2014.
Mariposas Holistic empowers Reiki practitioners and individuals to become aware of the trauma that’s causing stress and overwhelm through an integrated, holistic system of transformational programs, support, and self-care resources. They can then manifest their highest potential towards a happy, healthy, balanced life as they continue to serve the greater good.
I began Mariposas Holistic in 2013 while living in Nicaragua after relocating there after graduation with high hopes of empowering communities as I was working with a non-profit organization. I was continuing my work with first responders and community members who have experienced trauma and sharing techniques to reduce stress with them. I went to Nicaragua for my Public Health internship in 2011 and fell in love with the simplicity of the country. It reminded me of my life in El Salvador, and I vowed to return to life. I returned in 2012 for the summer and then in 2013 for what I thought was for good.
My dreams were shattered as the Director of the non-profit decided that I should leave a couple of months after I arrived due to a series of events and miscommunication we were both responsible for. About a month after arriving in Nicaragua, I took on a job teaching English to pre-k students at a nearby school for extra money. After about a month, my voice was hoarse, and I wouldn’t say I liked it.
About a week after the Director told me to pack up, my thoughts ran rabid as I was withered in agony about what to do. I debated about returning to the US with my tail between my legs with embarrassment as my family was against this idea. Then one day, a text came through from someone asking for help. She asked if we could talk on the phone and explained that she was desperate. She had heard from a mutual friend about my ability to ease people’s pain and discomfort using my hands. She explained how she felt lost after the medical community could not help her after many appointments and medication attempts.
We began her treatment with counseling and energy healing sessions, a first for me. After a few sessions, we discovered the source of the pain, an emotional attachment from childhood that continued into adulthood that was trapped in her subconsciousness. Using these tools and her intention, she was able to release it holistically, and to this day, the pain has not returned, and she’s much happier and healthier.
This awakened in me the desire to assist people on their healing journey in conjunction with the medical or mental health field or on their own so they can awaken to a new understanding of their unconscious beliefs. It was never thought before 2013 that I would become an entrepreneur, and I’m grateful Spirit has offered me this path which I walk with gratitude. I am now on a mission to help others connect to a spiritual source through Reiki, gratitude, inner peace, and continued learning as they release stress naturally using complementary tools using Western and Eastern healing modalities.
"Paty is one of the most skilled healers that I have ever known…she has taken pain away from me that went almost unphased for over 10 years…her knowledge about how energy works within my body helped me to better understand how I can maintain what she has freed me from…the thoroughness of healing the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of my wellness gave me added power and clarity in my life… I have been both healed and blessed by her sharing her gifts with me."
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to take this course. Sharing with people who share our beliefs and who want to improve one or more aspects of their lives is extremely gratifying. I look forward to continuing this journey that has brought so much hope and wellbeing into my life.”
“Paty is a very intuitive healer and through Reiki has helped me to release negative energy and beliefs that were holding me back and keeping me stuck. Her holistic approach has helped me to realize how I’ve been holding on to energy that no longer serves me and that there’s tremendous relief in just letting go. I highly recommend her services.”
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Certified in Trauma Incident Response (TIR)
Unitarian Reiki Certification
Certified Health Coach through Integrated Institute of Nutrition (IIN)
Usui Reiki Master/Teacher Certification in Las Cruces, NM
Dual Masters of Social Work and Public Health from New Mexico State University
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