Category Archives: home

Where are you supposed to be?

 

Last June I was walking along the Edmonds Beach in Washington as I frequently did during the 16 years I lived close to the Puget Sound.

As I walked, I was reflecting about the fact that four Nia studios had closed behind me in the past six months and I was clearly feeling like God was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t quite sure what!

I was praying quite fervently as I stepped off the little footbridge on the dock by the marina. With tears in my eyes, I looked up and was mentally pleading with the Divine as I asked, “Where am I supposed to be????”

Five steps later (literally) I looked over to my right and spotted the map I’ve walked by hundreds of times. The red dot in the center leapt out at me as my eyes were drawn to the words, “You are here.” I laughed out loud.

Okay, okay, I can take a hint! Live in the present moment and all that stuff I’d been practicing began to pour over me. “You are here.” How simple. I guess that’s where I was supposed to be.

My pondering angst melted as my steps got perky again and I kept moving forward. And, I kept moving forward. SO forward that in December I ended up moving back to the Charlottesville, Virginia area where we raised our kids in the 80s and 90s. The children are no longer here and have children of their own and live pretty far away. So I didn’t move back here for family, I guess I moved back here for me.

Some of you may know that I had felt “called” out to Seattle. I moved there from Charlottesville in 2000, leaving so many people I loved, and a position at the University of Virginia that I was passionate about and thriving in–but I followed the nudging of my soul and packed all the memories and shipped them out to the other coast.

I loved my 16 years in Seattle! I thought I’d live there forever, whatever forever is. So I was a bit surprised that pretty soon after that walk on the beach, I “got the calling” to move back (or forward?) to Virginia.

I love it here (again)! But the transition hasn’t always been easy. The many facets of my work seem to have been tossed into the air. It feels like I’m starting over here, but I brought my 46 years of work experiences and my passions with me.

I miss my friends in Seattle. And I am blessed to be re-connecting with old friends here, while making new friends here too.

I miss my children and grandchildren W A Y more here than I did in Seattle so that part kinda sucks. What is THAT about? Could it be that as I sit on my deck looking out at the Blue Ridge Mountains, if I look left a bit, I can see Buck Mountain in Free Union. We lived just across the field from the base of that mountain many years ago. Memories abound.

A quick note – When I moved here, I had temporary housing in a sweet furnished “med student apartment” on the terrace level in the home of some dear friends. They lived in a beautiful house in the woods. I loved it there for so many reasons. But, I missed having my own “stuff” around me and I need more room and my own place.

After being second in line for four very cool little cottages in the country, I happened upon the place where I live now. Somehow, every time I didn’t get the place I thought I wanted, I stayed quite present to it all and didn’t fret. Okay, I did fret a bit here and there, but truly, I had such a belief that I would find just the right place—and I did. I am now renting a beautiful, light-filled, very sweet carriage house on a 100 acre farm not too far from town. There is much love and kindness all around me. I am truly here.

When I take walks or drive through the countryside, I find I am appreciating the surrounding beauty even more than when I lived here before. Maybe because I have more time to be present to it?

It feels like a new, poignant chapter in life has begun. Many of my friends here have already retired or are about to do so. “Retirement” just isn’t in my vocabulary. “Rejuvenation” is. I plan to do my wellness work until well into my 90s. It feels like I’m just getting started. I’m not talking about working a 40 hour week, but I’m planning to continue doing what I’ve done since I started my own wellness business after I moved to the Seattle. I want to teach Nia until I’m 90 and then renegotiate and maybe go to 100 if I feel like it. I want to present and share and inspire wellness through presentations and life coaching and I want to write more books. I want to sell vitamins to those who are a good match for the ones I offer through my product partner, USANA Health Sciences. I want to continue to hold a loving space for people to “marry themselves” as I support them in planning their ceremony and being their wedding officiant.

I want to, as Ram Dass stated so purely, “Be here now.”

So when I ask myself, “Where am I supposed to be?” I am here.

Where are you?

 

Where is HOME?

grandma-soraya-molly

Molly and I took Soraya to feed her beloved goats at the Gasthof Kleefeld Family Farm in Wolfgangsee last week.

“Hallo!” from Austria, or “Grüß Gott” as the greeting is in this beautiful country. I love the translation: “God greet you!”

You may or may not know that I am here in Austria to support my daughter, Molly, and her family as we await the arrival of my granddaughter’s little sister who is due in two weeks. This unique time with Molly and Soraya is being recorded deep in the center of my heart forever. I feel profoundly blessed to be here and to be extended the generosity of Molly’s husband’s loving Austrian family and their home. (Note: Molly has spent a good part of her pregnancy away from their own home in Fiji because of the Zika outbreak there. Her husband just arrived here two days ago. Hooray!)

My life here is completely different than my life back home. I’m packing snacks for Soraya’s mornings in nursery school, making yogurt popsicles, doing laundry, preparing meals, enjoying doing Nia with my granddaughter, doing laundry, taking my daughter to doctor’s appointments, changing diapers, (did I mention I am doing laundry–AND few people have dryers here?), teaching Soraya songs while she plays in the bathtub, reading to her, learning to use strollers and car seats made in the 21st century, and well, you probably get the picture!

All of this fills me with love. And it hasn’t all been magical and roses and easy. I do tend to focus on the love though, and it makes everything worthwhile and treasured.

I am learning a bit of German, driving along country and city roads, and eating foods readily enjoyed by people in this part of the world. I will be in Austria for a good two months so I’ve found that I’ve settled in here and consider it “home” at the moment.

Home–this word has new meaning for me. The saying “Home is where the heart is” now has a more expanded significance. At this time in my life, I feel deeply that, “Home is where love is.” I am learning to be at home anywhere. I can do this if I just remember to pack the love in my heart and then unpack it wherever I go. When I forget, things can get difficult.

My childhood home was in the countryside of Western Pennsylvania–about 30 minutes from Pittsburgh. After graduating from Penn State in 1971, I married my high school sweetheart and moved to Youngstown, Ohio where my husband was finishing his last year of college. That was home for several years.

In 1979, the three of us (we now had a 3-year-old son, Zachary) moved to Free Union, Virginia–just outside of Charlottesville. Molly was born there a year later. It was home for 20 years and the place where I also “grew up” as we raised our children and filled our home with love.

While there, I was a health teacher at Charlottesville High School and then worked for almost ten years at the University of Virginia as the Director of Health Promotion and assistant professor in the School of Medicine. I loved it there–my family, my friends, the community, the Blue Ridge Mountains, my colleagues, my life. I discovered Nia there and taught my first Nia classes there too.

In 2000, several years after our 25-year marriage ended, I followed my soul’s calling to move to the Seattle area. It has been home, a treasured home for me, for over 16 years.

And now it’s time to move again. It seems that the unexpected closing of three Nia studio doors in the past year has opened up a path that is guiding me to return to Charlottesville. I will be moving there on December 1. I had heard that when God closes one door, He opens another. But THREE doors? Believe me, I am paying attention! This decision to move is a big surprise to me. I am clearly letting the Divine take the lead on this one.

It feels like my work in Seattle is complete and my soul is beckoning me to this next season of my life. As I write this it feels both real and surreal. Seattle will always be a home to me–and the people I met there will hold a dear place in my heart. My gratitude is deep and my heart is full.

As I reflect on my professional life in Seattle, I smile about some of the things I accomplished:

I created Washington Wellness Associates (re-branded as www.susantate.org) and expanded my work to reach across the globe . . .

Earned my black belt as a Nia teacher and taught Nia classes weekly in Seattle and offered workshops across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and in Europe . . .

Joined Team Northrup and added a global nutritional product partner to share information and products to support the health of others . . .

Wrote two editions of Wellness Wisdom: 31 Ways to Nourish Your Mind, Body, & Spirit . . .

Wrote the 3rd edition of my first book, Into the Mouths of Babes . . .

Offered hundreds of hours of holistic wellness coaching sessions, both in person and through telephone or Skype across the globe . . .

Became an ordained wedding officiant and married 13 couples in various cities across the United States . . .

Studied at Sanoviv Medical Institute, a functional medicine hospital in Rosarito, Mexico to become a Certified Nutritional Advisor . . .

Presented over 50 work site wellness presentations in the Greater Seattle area . . .

Led retreats and wellness workshops across the globe . . .

And I “grew up” a bit more as I learned to love even more deeply.

As I move in between homes, I respect the opportunity to connect with you through the many wellness services I offer. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

What will I do in Virginia? I am not sure exactly, but I feel lucky to have created a wellness business that is portable, and even global. So, I’ll pack up www.susantate.org,
pack my love, and be on my way.

Home–where is it for you? Is it a physical structure that you move in and out of? Is it where your love is? Can you take your love and pack it with you when you go to the store, or to work, or to the park, or on a plane, or to a different country? I’d love to hear your thoughts about home. Feel free to leave a comment here!