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Community Highlights: Meet Julie Fernandez of Metta Healing Arts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Fernandez.

Hi Julie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
It is because of my own personal experiences that I can show up authentically and support my clients on their own healing journey.

Since my earliest memories, my life was filled with abuse – sexual, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. I spent my entire adolescence suffering from trauma and its symptoms including depression, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders along with all it was accompanied by including shame, feelings of unworthiness, unlovability, disempowerment and an unshakable feeling of being stuck in my own body. It’s no surprise then that the cycle of abuse led me to unhealthy and abusive relationships later on in life and an inability to trust or feel safe in my body or the world.

Through somatic practices including yoga, breathwork, strength training, martial arts, dance and Somatic Experiencing, I was able to heal. When I learned how to understand my own nervous system and my brain, I learned how to listen and trust my body. How to find safety with myself and release all the stuck traumatic stress energy in my body that was still affecting me even after the trauma events ended.

For the last nine years, I have been supporting others in their recovery after trauma and stress disorders and its impact on their bodies and minds.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I’ve had many challenges along the way, but looking back I would say that my biggest challenge has been my desire to do it all! Since as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to help others, especially seeing the amount of suffering in the world. And now having a business where that is what I do, I found myself getting carried away with the desire to help everyone which also meant that I had to know everything! For a long time, it felt like I wasn’t doing enough for the world. I had to get really honest with myself about my capacity and abilities. I had to accept that while I am limited, I can still do my best to help the people that I can reach and to trust that that is enough.

As you know, we’re big fans of Metta Healing Arts. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Through Metta Healing Arts, I offer 1:1 private sessions, workshops and courses all of which support people in healing trauma and stress disorders.

As a somatic trauma recovery coach, I support people in discovering their innate capacity for healing. My method to healing differs from traditional therapeutic practices as I take a more holistic approach. I approach Somatic therapy with an understanding that we are one interconnected system, meaning that our emotions, physical body, and thoughts affect one another. Trauma, as well as our emotions, is stored in the body and therefore, healing practices must include the body. Using tools and techniques from Somatic Experiencing, Family Constellations, yoga, breathwork, mindfulness, martial arts and other body-centered modalities, I invite the exploration of unsettled trauma in the body – helping people reconnect with their strength, reclaim their bodies by learning to listen to and trust, attune to their real needs, and move through life with less stress and anxiety, and more peace and connection.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
In addition to having my own clinical practice, I am the primary trauma therapist at Hope Integrative Psychiatry, a multimodal clinical team in Los Angeles, CA and I also serve as Lead Trainer and Curriculum Mentor for Exhale To Inhale – a nonprofit empowering survivors through the healing practice of trauma-informed yoga. We teach yoga to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as the staff of the organizations that support survivors. In addition to yoga classes, we also offer training for yoga teachers, clinicians, educators, advocates or anyone who is committed to building communities of support.

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Image Credits
Malena Lloyd

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