I love being a mother and a grandmother and treasure those titles above all others. But this is the page for you to learn more about my professional life. So, here it is . . .
Inspiring and providing support for wellness is my passion. It cracks me up to realize I have been a health educator for over forty-six years!
“Susan oozes enthusiasm, pleasure, and joy. The energy she brings to her passion of wellness is absolutely infectious. I dare you to hear her speak, read her work, or spend some time with her and NOT get inspired!”
~Kate Northrup, author of Money: A Love Story
My teaching career began in the early 70s. My former students have described me as someone who taught them from an empowering, respectful, loving, and compassionate perspective. My goal was to present practical health information, decision-making, and communication skills from my heart to theirs. I wasn’t one of those authoritative, “listen to me” or else teachers. My energy flowed straight across rather than from the top down. I didn’t know everything, and OMG, I could write a book on what I learned from my students through the years!
After teaching high school health for almost two decades, I was asked to serve as a consultant to the American College Health Association to provide HIV/AIDS education training for college health professionals across the United States. I loved it. It was my first taste of traveling and it was invigorating to meet others who also had a vision of a healthier and more compassionate world. (Read more below as to how I found myself learning more about this topic in the early years of this epidemic.)
In 1991 I landed a wonderful position as the Director of Health Promotion and assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia. I developed and taught the first “Sexuality Today” class there and loved my students and colleagues. The decade of the 90s went by quite quickly, as I was the mother of two outrageously awesome teens as well as being quite involved with promoting wellness to over 20,000 college students.
During those years at the University of Virginia, I was featured on numerous television and radio shows, including the Discovery Television Channel, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio. I was quoted on a variety of wellness topics in USA Today, New York Times, Mothering Magazine, Baby Talk Magazine, and Rolling Stone Magazine, and published articles in numerous college health and other educational journals. I also served on the Executive Board of the American College Health Association (ACHA), Steering Committee for the National Task Force on School Health through the Association for the Advancement of Health Education, and the Review Panel for ACHA HIV Teacher Education Grant with the Centers for Disease Control.
I have written four health-related books, well, actually, if you include the follow up revised editions, let’s make it eight. The first edition of Into the Mouths of Babes (Betterway Publications, 1984) was one of the first infant nutrition books ever published to offer nutritional guidance and recipes for feeding babies a healthy vegetarian diet. The second edition (Betterway Publications, 1995) was written during my years at the University of Virginia. The third (completely updated and lovingly revised) edition of Into the Mouths of Babes: A whole foods nutrition guide to feeding your infants and toddlers (2013, Balboa Press, a division of Hay House) is the book I am most passionate about sharing. My vision for this book is that it will support the loving feeding of the world’s children with the most important ingredient of all, love.
You may also want to know about my fourth book, Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit (2007, 2011). It’s a practical and inspirational guide to nourishing YOU. Readers tell me they keep it on their nightstand.
“Susan Tate is a joyful, enthusiastic, cosmic cheerleader for life, health,
∼Marc David, Nutritional Psychologist, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and bestselling author of Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet:
Eating for Pleasure, Energy, & Weight Loss
Why did I decide to write a book about AIDS? During a “simple” surgical procedure I had in 1983, the doctor missed and hit an artery, which resulted in life-saving surgery and a massive blood transfusion. I soon found myself exploring more about AIDS (it had just been discovered in the blood supply), and that was before it had the word “HIV” added to it.
I was one of the first teachers to teach high school and university students about this new virus. Since I wanted to share this information, my teaching techniques, and a compassionate view of this disease with other educators, I found myself researching and writing my second book, AIDS & HIV Education: Effective Teaching Strategies. (J. Weston Walch, Publisher, 1988, 1990.)
“The importance of AIDS And HIV Education: Effective Teaching Strategies is clear. Many teachers have been reluctant to teach HIV/AIDS–not for moral or philosophical reasons, but because they felt poorly prepared or because they lacked resources. This text makes HIV and AIDS education for youth manageable. And it is AIDS education that will make AIDS manageable.”
After teaching sexuality to high school students and then college age students and listening to way to many women tell me they had been sexually abused or assaulted, I wrote my third book, Working Together to Prevent Sexual Assault (J. Weston Walch, Publisher, 1995). This book was also targeted to educators so they could better teach and support both females and males on this topic that many still don’t want to acknowledge. I asked my college health colleague from Colorado State University, Dr. Mark Benn, to co-author this book with me. I wanted a male perspective and a layer of psychological safety in the words I planned to write on this sensitive topic. These earlier books were written under my former name, Susan Tate Firkaly.
I discovered The Nia Technique in 1997 and began teaching in 1999. It has become my passion to share Nia with those who also love this somatic, sensory, luscious dancing lifestyle practice. I have had the amazing opportunity to teach Nia classes and workshops across the United States and internationally. I come home filled up with the experiences of connecting with others who value the healing, loving-to-the-body, passion, and joy-filled practice of The Nia Technique. To dance with others from many cultures reminds me that we can connect our global hearts through dance. What a treat! You will find more about that on the Nia page.
Oh, yes, I was recently asked to write the foreword for the Nia Art of Perception: Brown Belt LEARN book by The Nia Technique co-founder, Debbie Rosas. The Brown Belt Nia Intensive training is about love and energy and choices in personal power. It was an honor to offer my thoughts on these topics to welcome readers of this book.
“As a healer, dancer, and body worker who teaches people to fall in love with their bodies and stay connected to sensation; Susan’s words, advice, and insights give us tools for having a passionate and sensual relationship with the body.”
The Seattle area had been calling me for some time, and in 2000 I left everyone I had ever known and loved and moved to a beautiful place just north of Seattle. It was then that I realized I wanted to do the work I loved without the framework of an academic institution. So, I founded Washington Wellness Associates (WWA). I asked a group of colleagues to become my associates, with the main focus of serving as my advisory board. This company became a powerful vessel that held all the parts of my wellness business. At times my associates and I co-presented or teamed up for special events, but the majority of WWA consisted of me.
Spiritual wellness is an important part of wellness, so I guess it was natural for me to want to become a wedding officiant. (I love love!) I am an official, legal-in-47-states wedding officiant. The first wedding ceremony I did was ten years ago in Seattle. I was struck with the profound and deep energy of love that was present in the hearts of the couple I was privileged to marry. Since then I have officiated several ceremonies on both coasts. You’ll find more information on my WEDDING OFFICIANT page.
In 2007 I began to work under the guidance of women’s health expert, Dr. Christiane Northrup. She created Team Northrup, a loving, service-oriented group of wellness entrepreneurs and we partner with a global nutrition company whose vision is “a world free of pain and suffering, a world free of degenerative disease.” Well, I can get behind that and I have! We offer pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements (the only vitamins I would take!), a paraben-free skin care line, and weight management products (aimed at leveling blood sugar) to those who have a need or desire for them. If you would like guidance in choosing which supplements would best support your health, email me. I love helping people sort through the vitamin maze! You may also want to know I am also a WellPro International Certified Wellness Coach.
In late March of 2014 I went to the incredible Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarito, Mexico to complete the Sanoviv Nutrition Advisor training. I returned with the latest science-based nutritional research and a mind/body/soul infusion of practices designed to help me support my clients in eating more consciously, joyfully, knowledgeably, and mindfully. Joining me on this trip were twenty of my Team Northrup colleagues. And oh yes, I got to teach Nia classes while I was there!
Through this relationship with Team Northrup, I mentor women and men who have an entrepreneurial spirit, who share a passion for wellness, and who want to build a residual income using an empowering business model. Let me know if you would like to WORK WITH ME.
It was late 2013 when I made the decision to dissolve the entity of Washington Wellness Associates and move forward as me, Susan Tate. I feel lighter, freer, and clearer for my direction for the next decade.
In December of 2016 I followed the calling of my soul (and guided by supportive whispers from the Divine) and moved back to Charlottesville, Virginia where I raised my children years ago.
I had no idea what I was going to do when I moved. After months of exploring, trusting, praying, and moving my feet, it seems I was led back to the University of Virginia. But, with a little different clothing than I wore when I was working at UVA in the 90s as the Director of Health Promotion and an assistant professor in the School of Medicine! This time, I’ll be wearing my Nia clothing.
I am excited and privileged to teach Nia at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at UVA, thanks to a generous grant from the Charlottesville Women’s Four Miler–an amazing group that raises funds to support the UVA Cancer Center’s Breast Care Program.
You can drop in any time to these classic Nia classes that have a focus of moving to heal. Details are on my Nia page. Please spread the word that these classes are FREE for people with cancer, cancer survivors, their caregivers, & ECCC providers.
So here I am, me, Susan Tate, sharing wellness offerings as a Nia teacher, life coach, nutrition advisor, author, speaker, and wedding officiant.. I am blessed to be doing the work I love. Let me know if I can be of support for your wellness journey. I love inspiring wellness.
SUSAN TATE is recognized worldwide as an author, teacher, and wellness visionary. A respected health educator for over forty-five years, she has a passion for inspiring wellness from an empowering, loving, and compassionate perspective. That perspective was evident when she wrote the first edition of Into the Mouths of Babes in 1984. She revised that book in 1995 and released the completely revised and updated third edition in 2013. She is also the author of Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit (2007, 2011). Her earlier books (written under her former name, Susan Tate Firkaly) include: AIDS and HIV Education: Effective Teaching Strategies, and Working Together to Prevent Sexual Assault.
After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2000, Susan founded Washington Wellness Associates. The company re-branded as susantate.org in 2013. Prior to that time, Susan was the Director of Health Promotion and assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia for many years. She was also a consultant with the American College Health Association, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, providing HIV/AIDS education training for college health professionals across the United States.
A licensed black belt Nia teacher, Nia Moving to Heal instructor, and Nia 5 Stages of Self-Healing teacher, Susan completed all of her trainings with The Nia Technique co-creators Debbie Rosas and Carlos AyaRosas and has taught thousands of classes since she began teaching Nia in 1999. She teaches Nia at the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at the University of Virginia, and also teaches internationally. She delights in being known as a dancing grandmother. Susan is also heart-centered life coach, Sanoviv Nutrition Advisor, a certified WellPRO International Wellness Coach, and a Team Northrup Leader.
Susan is passionate about creating and inspiring individual, community, and global wellness. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
PO Box 202
Earlysville, VA 22936
With great gratitude:
©2000 – 2017 Susan Tate