IAMAdoptee interviews Laura Cerrano, adopted from Colombia and citizen of the world, as she shares her journey to becoming a Feng Shui Master.
What is your name(s)?
Silvia Céspedes Serrano (my birth name) + Laura Cerrano (the name I use today).
I’ve had a few names over the years and I feel each name change reflects pivotal moments in my life. With regard to my name, Laura Cerrano came about due to the expansion of the Feng Shui business. As my adopted mother, Carole and I were establishing my portion of the company, Feng Shui Manhattan, she said I needed a searchable personal name on Google, a way to stand out. This name would give way to higher levels of personal, spiritual, and professional development.
How do you identify yourself?
I’d say, I identify as a human being trying to do good in the world.
Where were you adopted from and when? If you would like to briefly share any aspects of your life before adoption, please do.
I was adopted from Bogotá, Colombia, officially surrendered in June, 1984. In terms of my life before being adopted, I only have bits and pieces of information collected from my adoption papers and the stories shared to me by my adopted mother and father, Carole and Robert.
From what I understand, my biological mother surrendered me because I could not be economically supported. I left behind one sibling, a brother, and another sibling, my half-sister who was already adopted two years prior and brought to the United States. During 2020, I took a 23andMe DNA test and to my greatest surprise my half-sister (the one who was adopted and brought to the United States) turned out to be living only two hours away from my mother-in-law’s home in California. Since that time we’ve stayed connected, building our relationship.
What is Feng Shui? And what motivated you to learn and want to become masterful at this practice?
Feng Shui translates as “wind” and “water.” The intention of use in modern-day times is to provide guidance on how to navigate life and live in peace, balance, and harmony with your surroundings. Adopting Feng Shui into your lifestyle goes beyond the physical changes, as it also encourages an internal shift and transformation in how you choose to perceive, interact and respond to the world around you.
My mother, Carole, introduced me to the practice of Feng Shui at age 12, while she was studying to become certified. The Feng Shui principles became an integral part of my life that has provided a solid foundation for personal, spiritual, and professional growth. The teachings provided a soundboard for everyday life situations, prompting discussions within our household about choices, and life cycles, learning through the grace of others, becoming more aware and consciously connected to our surroundings, along with the power of ritual, ceremony, and prayer. Looking back, I had two educational systems simultaneously unfolding. One was for public schooling and the other was homeschooling for alchemists.
In 2000 I became a Certified Feng Shui Consultant under the mentorship and guidance of my mother. I apprenticed and provided professional Feng Shui consultations alongside her until May 18th, 2010. That specific date marked graduation day for both of us because that is when she passed away and I inherited the Feng Shui practice full-time.
After my mother’s passing, my heart was literally broken and in so much pain it hurt to breathe. In 2012, my best friend’s grandmother, Alice, channeled my mother from heaven. She had a very clear message for me. Essentially, my mother shared that because I was in so much grief, that emotion was holding her soul back from truly transitioning out of this world into the next, while also holding me back from evolving. When I received that message I thought, “OMG! How could I do that!” A light switch went off with complete understanding and launched me into researching various healing modalities to truly help me release her and me from the grief. Those explorations and studies began with Reiki, and evolved into inner child and emotional intelligence work, various forms of meditation, Ascension work, geopathic stress dowsing, sound healing, and Cherokee bodywork.
With each new healing approach studied and learned, I would integrate the lessons into my overall lifestyle and services.
Studying and exploring never stops. Currently, I’m beginning to investigate Tarot card reading and participate in drum circle facilitation and improv jam sessions. What I love about all the healing mediums mentioned is that each one offers me a unique perspective and language on how I could approach healing with self, another person, a group, and the overall community.
My drive to keep learning and sharing is because humanity needs it.
Are there specific programs you are creating or have created for the intercountry adoptee community?
Offering a series of Feng Shui workshops will be the first program that is officially geared toward the intercountry adoptee community.
In what ways has your identity as an adoptee changed, evolved, or developed over the years?
When I was younger I viewed being adopted as a negative, seeing myself as a lone wolf, so to speak. As I grew older my perspective shifted. I began seeing and referring to myself as a universal citizen. Of course, I want to know more about my roots and heritage from Colombia, all the while releasing the need to claim a single identity.
Are there any ways you have incorporated your Colombian heritage/culture into your daily life?
I’m still learning about my Colombian heritage and culture but one aspect that I’m becoming more familiar with and enjoying very much is the food and rhythms. Due to the pandemic, my trip to Colombia was postponed, so my husband and I have plans in the coming year to finally visit. As for other sub-divisions of my heritage and culture in accordance to what my 23andMe DNA test revealed, I’m pretty much a mutt of the world. Some of the biggest DNA pools stem from “Indigenous American” roots, as well as Southern Europe, and flow into parts of Western Asia and North Africa. With that said, I’ve begun exploring the various heritages and cultures that have been fused together.
Is there one book, film, or movie you would recommend to fellow adoptees?
One book that I cherish is called, “Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype”. This book shares intercultural myths, fairytales, and stories, many from the author’s own family. The intention of this book is to help women reconnect with the powerful, healthy, visionary attributes of their instinctual nature.
How do you take care of yourself?
I enjoy travel adventures with my husband and friends, let that be locally, nationally or internationally. Meditation, body movement, and especially drumming and jamming with other musicians have become a current fan favorite with what recharges my batteries. During my college days, I was heavily involved in the arts community, mainly through painting and drawing. I’ve been slowly getting back into that form of expression and look forward to exhibiting again. Attending sweat lodges has also become a much-needed self-care ritual and setting aside time as needed to check in with my own team of healers is a must. I also really enjoy cooking. I find that to be fun and freeing with experimentation, releasing the feeling of “I need to be perfect.” A big key component of my self-care is making sure I receive quality sleep.
Feng Shui Manhattan’s practice integrates a variety of holistic healing approaches, blending modern-day and classical Feng Shui. These unique combinations provide a platform of healing and benefits that extend into her client’s living and working environments, along with their overall well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.