Sera's Personal History
As so many clients and yoga students share with me their life experiences, the joys and the sorrows, trials and tribulations, I feel like it is a valuable part of my work with others for them to know something about me! And since I prefer not to take up too much time in a session to discuss myself, I offer those interested a basic personal history here so you can get to know me a bit more.
I was born in NJ in the fall of 1972. I had an older brother, and a wonderful stay-at-home mother. My father was a psychiatrist with a private practice in NYC. I grew up in that area of NJ near Manhattan, and went to public school in an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse setting. It taught me a lot about the social inequities that many endure.
I went to college at Cornell for 2 years, however it wasn't meant to be. Came back to NJ and after a few years reorienting my life's purpose, working as a waitress at a local chain restaurant, I graduated from Montclair State University in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in Business.
In the Fall of 1996, my parents were tragically killed and left me to handle the estate. My older brother was unfortunately not in any mental state to attend to anyone's affairs, including his own. So a few weeks before my 24th birthday, my family was gone and I was put in charge of all the family's affairs.
Needless to say this was quite a traumatic period in my life. Luckily, I had wonderful friends and a charming new boyfriend, who lived in Florida. As I got my head wrapped around the tasks put before me, I moved in with him on the west coast of Florida. He was a fundamentally vital part of stabilizing my world through this period, and we got married in 1999. Thankful that my family had left some funds to support me, I spent those years working to settle the estate, clean out the house, and sell it, which I finally succeeded in doing in 2002.
The events of September 11th, 2001 deeply affected me, as it did all the residents of NYC where I still had many friends. I began practicing yoga regularly soon after the event, and attended peace vigils with the Green Party of Florida in Sarasota, where I then lived. I became an activist, feeling compelled to put my own personal energy into the noble fight for social justice, environmental sustainability, and world peace, as I sought to play a role to relieve suffering. To this day, although my political idealism may have waned a bit, my love for humankind and all life on this planet, as well as for the democratic process inspired by all our wonderful, raucous Green Party meetings, has never left me.
In 2003, as I was once again reorienting my life after finally settling the estate, it became more apparent to me that my husband was falling into a pattern of addiction. We divorced in 2004, and later that year I left Florida. I came back to the northeast, but not to NJ, to Easton PA. A good friend of mine named Steve lived and grew up there. As he had become a dear friend in the 5 years we had known each other, there was a deep bond and understanding between us. However at that time, we had recently become aware of how our friendship was moving towards something deeper...
Such is how my lovely current husband and I got together. In early 2005 Steve and I moved to Thurmont, MD. Several stray cats came with the house and are now part of our family.
In late 2007 my brother, struggling for years with bipolar disorder, under the care of the State of NJ in a mental hospital, committed suicide. As much as I was devastated by the loss, I also knew how deeply he suffered his whole life, especially after our parents died, and so in some strange way there was an element of relief. A few years later, I spread part of his ashes on the graves of our parents, buried where my mother grew up in Washingtonville, NY.
In early 2008, still grieving the loss of my brother, I begin teaching yoga in Gettysburg, PA, and later that year at Ananda Shala in Frederick. It was not easy at first, but with each successful class I grew in confidence and learned to trust in my intuition in how to support and guide others. And in the process, I also saw how beneficial it is to have more training! I have never let my practice stay in a routine for too long, always seeking more knowledge. This his how my nickname of the "workshop queen" emerged. LOL!
(For more on my various trainings and certifications please go to my professional training page)
Over the past decade since I began teaching yoga, I have learned and grown so much. And yet the more I know, the more I am aware of how much there is to know, and how little we really see of one another's sufferings as human beings. Thank you for reading this brief summation of my past. I am always open to discuss any aspect of it further if it resonates for you in your life.
So much happens in life that we feel the need to carry all by ourselves. Yet every day we have another opportunity to open more to life beyond the superficial ~ to share our own experiences and hear another's views. With practices designed to clear the pathway into our hearts, to connect more deeply to ourselves, and to one another, we find that inner space of authenticity. My practice of Somatic Pathways is in service to this individual aspect in each of us, arising from the collective Source like colors of a rainbow. May we each find and develop our own somatic pathway for abiding in the Love and Truth of What IS... That we are all unique, all Loved, and ALL ONE.
With Blessings & Gratitude,