By Amy Nicole Tangel
Life as we know it right now can seem filled with unknowns and worries, leaving us feeling overwhelmed, out of balance, and seeking ways to deal with our emotions. Sharing her passion and gift of healing through meditation one woman is helping those in need by offering free weekly virtual sessions of Reiki meditation.
Reiki and Feng Shui Master Laura Cerrano, owner of Feng Shui Manhattan, grew up with Feng Shui as a way of life. The former Farmingdale, NY, resident learned early from her mother who was a Feng Shui Master and, organically, the seeds were planted in Laura through living what her mother taught her as she grew up. While in college studying to be an art teacher at SUNY New Paltz, Laura said Feng Shui was ever present in her life as she traveled back and forth on breaks to study the practice and help with her mother’s Feng Shui client consultations.
When her mother became ill and Laura began struggling to find teaching jobs after she returned home from graduation, she realized this was her destiny. After her mother passed away in 2010, Laura said she then knew in her heart, she wanted to make it her life to help others and take all she had learned from her mother to continue to serve others.
“I was seeing what was happening with people’s lives and even my life. I said this is really important. This not something to ignore, and I didn’t want to,” she said.
Although 36-year-old Laura grew up on Long Island, she was born in an orphanage in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1984 during a time when the country was suffering from economic despair and surrounded by violence as a result of the reign of terror by drug lord, Pablo Emilio “Escobar” Gaviria. Her birth mother gave her up for adoption when she was born, because she could not afford to keep her, and to Laura’s saving grace, when she was about six months old, she was adopted and flown to her new family in the U.S. It was not safe for her adoptive parents to travel to Colombia due to the ongoing violence, so Laura was flown to JFK from Bogotá essentially alone, but the future ahead of her was paved with hope.
Laura’s adoptive mother, Feng Shui Master Carole Provenzale, studied Feng Shui at the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design, originally in Plainview, N.Y., and based today in Syosset, N.Y. She was among the first accredited graduate school class in country to be recognized as a certified Feng Shui consultant, and her mother who graduated in 1997, was blessed by His Holiness Grandmaster Professor Lin Yun.
“She just started feeding me information growing up from 1997 and onward, so my training essentially started there even though it wasn’t in the traditional sense of here’s a booklet. You just lived it and honestly, that is how Feng Shui is traditionally passed down,” she said.
Following her mother’s passing, Laura said she decided to extend her practices from Feng Shui and began studying Reiki with the intention of finding an outlet to help with her grief. She said before her mother had passed, she had told Laura to start thinking about Reiki and to trust it would come to her in her own way, so Laura sought out, Reiki Master from the Center for Inner Wisdom, Lily Rubinstein. Under Rubinstein’s mentorship and teachings, Laura was certified in Reiki with the foundational levels in 2014 became a Master in 2018. From these teachings, Laura has created her own practice and lifestyle to help others heal.
“It is a necessity at this point, and I know it will be a necessity once things are settled, because I am seeing and I am getting the reading of people who are going to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); They are already having it, especially the essential workers in the hospitals,” she said.
Throughout the pandemic, living in New York during a time when there is so much fear, Laura said she has been taking her years of practice to focus on the blessings to help herself and others stay strong through her new virtual weekly Reiki classes. She said she started thinking about what people needed right now, and she said she felt free remote Reiki healing circles offer a method that could be an immediate benefit.
“The idea is to basically give people, even though we are pausing, an opportunity to just pause from the anxiety and depression, and I have been trying to reach out to medical and other essential workers to just listen to the meditation or receive the Reiki,” she said.
Feng Shui Manhattan has offices in New York, Long Island and Los Angeles, CA, and Laura is currently under quarantine in Long Island while her husband is holding things down in California until they can safely travel again. Laura travels the country offering clients a list of holistic and practical approaches to Feng Shui, Master Reiki Treatments, and sound healing, just to name a few of the services to help people with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.
Laura said she is working hard to focus on the anatomy of the body even more than ever, and is studying different chakras in the body to nail down what people are going through. She practices what she teaches and takes her own meditation classes to keep herself in the right place for her own peace and to continue to help others. For Laura, who has been combining her own practice of meditation along with various exercise regimes like riding her bike and lifting heavy items, the practice is essential. Art is her personal outlet, and she often explores different mediums as part of her key to balance.
“When I look at this pandemic, I know a lot has made an exchange on the surface level, but when you really start to peel back the layers, depending on your perspective, this pandemic has blessed me with a lot,” she said.
Throughout the month of May and possibly June, depending on how long the pandemic continues, Laura’s virtual Reiki sessions will be held through Zoom, Thursdays at 7 p.m. Eastern time. People who want to take the class can go directly to the link on her website to register, www.fengshuimanhattan.com or they can visit The Feng Shui Manhattan School on Facebook.