Thursday, March 29, 2007

How Super Hubby Saved My Birthday

A week before my birthday, I was making a new vision board for myself. You know how it is when your birthday is approaching. It seems like a perfect time to re-affirm my vision and goals. After watching The Secret, I was inspired to put on my vision board an One Million Dollars bill (transformed from a regular one dollar bill, just like Jack Canfield did in The Secret).

At around the same time, Red Lobster had their Lobsterfest commercial on TV again. I don't know about you, but I LOOOOOOVE lobsters! Actually, I love all seafood, but lobsters, crabs and sushi are my top 3 all-time favorites. Unfortunately, I found out last year that I had a little asthma and allergies, so I'm not supposed to eat too much shellfish. :-( That's a different story. Anyway, because of the TV commercial, I started to crave lobsters really bad. So I hinted to dear hubby that I'd love to have a lobster dinner for my birthday.

Being the engineer that he is, DH took my hint literally and firmly believed that I wanted to go to Red Lobster for my birthday. That's easy enough, because there is one about 20 minutes from our house. On the other hand, the tricky part is, they don't take reservations on weekends. We've been to that restaurant before, and knew how popular that place is. If you go there at dinner time, you could easily have to wait for more than an hour to get a table.

I was very busy with work that whole week leading to my birthday, which happened to fall on the weekend, so I totally forgot about the Red Lobster commercial, and didn't suspect that DH was planning to take us there. I mean, Red Lobster is a nice normal-weekend restaurant, but I was hoping for a more upscale, romantic place for my birthday dinner. You know what I mean? But, of course, I didn't want to tell him directly that I wanted to go somewhere nicer -- a place that at least takes dinner reservations. That's my mistake -- not asking for what I really want. On the other hand, come to think of it, he was planning to bring our kids along the whole time, how romantic can it be? LOL!

So, on the day before my birthday (my birthday was on Sunday, don't ask me why DH decided to have my birthday dinner on the day before, not on my actual birthday), DH rushed all of us to Red Lobster before 5pm, hoping we could beat the dinner crowd. When we walked into the door, my heart sank. The lobby was jam-packed and there was a LONG line. We were told that we'd have to wait ONE HOUR for our table. I turned and walked out. No way am I going to wait for an hour for my birthday dinner!!!

"OK, what's your Plan B? Where should we go now?" I asked DH.

He just stared at me with a blank look. Then he said hesitantly, "Um, I don't know what other restaurants are around here".

Oh no. Oh no no no no no. He didn't have a Plan B?!!!!!

I said, "How about Legal Seafood? I'm sure they have very nice seafood and lobsters there."

DH protested, "But that's not around here." (OK, it's about 20 or 30 minutes away, but, hey, so much better food over there!)

After much hesitation, DH finally said, "How about Outback?" (OK, another normal-weekend restaurant)

"Fine. Whatever." (you know what those words mean, when spoken by a woman)

By that time, I was fuming, partially because I was getting too hungry.

So, we loaded everyone back in the minivan and drove across a couple towns (in the opposite direction) to go to Outback. I decided to take the matters into my own hands. I couldn't risk driving all the way over there, and found out they were closed or we couldn't get in, etc. My blood sugar was getting too low, and I started to have a bad headache. So I called 411 and then the restaurant, to make sure they have lobsters on the menu, and to make a reservation for us. After that, I was too upset to talk. I pulled out my iPod and listened to some meditation music, trying to calm down.

When we got to the restaurant, there was another LONG line. Luckily, because I called ahead, our wait was a lot shorter. But, still, we had to wait another 25 minutes. So, an hour and a half after we left home, dinner was still nowhere to be found.....

While we were waiting, DH gave me a small gift bag. I could see a birthday card and something wrapped in tissue paper. I was so mad at him that I wasn't even curious what he's got for me. It wasn't until the middle of the dinner, when I was no longer hungry, that I started to lighten up and enjoy the dinner & my family. I thought, LK and CB were behaving exceptionally well. Usually they'd have whined terribly if they had to wait a long time for dinner. But this time they were waiting quite patiently (the small piece of extra dark chocolate I gave to CB also helped). They seemed very excited about the birthday gift DH got for me. It's like their big secret with their daddy. I finally started to feel curious about the gift.

I thought, it's probably some jewelry, or clothes, or bath products, or spa gift certificate. You know, the usual.

DH wasn't THAT creative in gift-giving. In fact, I sometimes cringe at his choice of jewelry and stuff.

Never in a million years did I expect the gift that DH gave me. I should've given him more credit.

When I pulled out the gift from the gift bag, I was speechless.

DH had ordered for me a tempered glass plaque-like trophy with the engraving "Million Dollar Life Coach". It is so beautiful. I couldn't believe he thought of that idea!!!

He said he got the inspiration when he saw the One Million Dollars bill on my vision board. he obviously knew how much coaching means to me, and my desire to empower other women through coaching and writing. I wanted to have the money so I could have more power to help more people and give back to the world.

It is a rare gift when someone upholds your vision for you, and truly believe in you. I was moved to tears.

For the rest of the night, I couldn't stop smiling.

I put my trophy on top of my dresser. I also put a photo of it on the vision board in my office, so I can see it every single day.

So, this is how Super Hubby saved my birthday. Quite a great save, wouldn't you agree? :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oprah Meets Jerry, Esther and Abraham!

Oprah will be talking to Abraham and Jerry & Esther Hicks on XM Radio. Tune in to "Talk to Me" on XM Satellite Radio's "Oprah & Friends" channel (XM 156) on March 29th, April 5th and April 9th. Visit Abraham-Hicks website for detailed show schedules. Or visit or

If you don't have an XM Radio subscription, you can sign up for a free on-line trial at this link.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Carnival of Healing #78: Blossom into More

This week I am hosting Carnival of Healing #78: Blossom into More on my other blog Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul.

Carnival of Healing is a weekly round-up of personal Web sites and blogs on the topics of holistic health, wellness, spirituality, and self empowerment. In honor of the first day of Spring (March 21) and my upcoming birthday, I decided to choose a spring-like title for this edition of the Carnival of Healing.

Spring, to me, signifies renewal, growth and hope. There is also a tremendous sense of empowerment to observe how the entire planet and its creatures "come back to life", so to speak, after a brutal winter. Even the tiniest of seed holds the power and potential within to sprout and grow into something spectacular. As human beings, we have more options and choices than plants and most animals in the nature. We ought to celebrate and harness the power within us, to heal ourselves and make this world a better place. I'd like to share with you a quote I came across the other day.

"You are built not to shrink down to less
but to blossom into more."
-- Oprah Winfrey

I hope you allow your self and your life to grow into full bloom.

Go over to my other blog now to read all the fantastic articles we have this week!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Take Time for Friendships

© Copyright 2007 Hueina Su, Beyond Horizon Coaching

I remember reading a story about a mom telling her soon-to-be-married daughter to never let go of her girlfriends. At first the daughter thought she wouldn't need her girlfriends any more, since she was going to become a wife, and have her own family very soon. She did, however, heed her mom's advice. She kept in touch with her girlfriends over the years, and as she grew older (and wiser), she became more and more appreciative of her mom's advice and her girlfriends.

I, for one, can totally relate to that story.

My own mother, who loves me dearly, gave me a very different advice, though, before I became a mom myself. She told me, "Be prepared to sacrifice at least 10 years of your life for this baby". Yes, sacrifice. That's the exact word she used. I looked at her and nodded, like a good girl I've always been, but, the "rebelling" part of me was like "Sacrifice? 10 years? No way! What about me? What about my life???"

I know that "self-sacrifice" is a virtue in my culture (I wrote an article about this before), and my parents totally subscribe to that value. My mother basically cut off her ties with all her friends when she got married, partially because she thought that was "the right thing" to do, and partially because she was too busy helping my father's practice and raising the three of us. She took pride in being a "good mother" (she is a great mother, in fact), but, even as a young child, I could see her lonliness. There's a void in her heart that even her picture-perfect family couldn't fill.

So, on that day when my mother offered her motherly advice, I nodded in appreciation for her love, but knew that that's one advice I would not take. I knew deep in my heart of hearts that, I will love my children like no one else will love them, but, there's some part of me and my life I will not "sacrifice". My friendship with my friends is one of those things.

Over the years, I've made many dear friends, in school, at work, and through my children's friends. Some of my oldest friends have gone through the same life transitions as I did: college, graduate school, career, marriage, kids, 2nd career, etc. We've been through a lot together and separately. The guys who used to play tennis with me till sundown every weekend, are now playing a bigger game in the business world. The girls who used to play dress up with dreamy eyes, have since put on career suits or are busy dressing up their lovely kids. We used to travel to scenic spots and pose for each other's photographic "masterpiece"; now most pictures we take are about our own kids (most of my friends even leave themselves out of the holiday photo greeting cards).

We don't always keep in touch very often (you know how busy motherhood/fatherhood can be), and some of us don't even live on the same continent any more, but we've somehow managed to still keep each other "around" in our lives. You know the kind of friends who you can pick up the phone to talk to, after not hearing from each other for years, and still feel like you've never been apart? I was overjoyed when one of my best friends in high school got in touch with me (thank goodness for Internet), after we'd lost touch for more than 10 years!! It was such a precious gift to have her back in my life. We've got a lot of catching up to do, needless to say.

Last month, I was invited to speak at a local MOMS Club. This brought back SO many memories! There was a time when my husband and I moved a lot due to his job. We'd lived in 4 different states in 6 calendar years. When we made the move from Maryland to Delaware, I had to give up my career as a counselor, and we both made the decision that I would stay home for a while to take care of our 8-month old baby girl. When we moved, we only knew one couple in the state of Delaware, who lived half an hour away from us. I was totally unprepared for the transition from full-time working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom with my first baby, in a new city where we knew nobody, and our families hundreds of miles away. I missed my own office, my lunch break, my colleagues & friends, my paycheck, but most of all, my freedom. I was lonely and exhausted. Then one day I saw a flyer in the grocery store about MOMS Club, and that changed my life. I was so fortunate to have found a small group of moms with similar education & background (we were all professional women who decided to stay home for our first baby), and our babies were only a month or two apart. The weekly playgroup and the friendship I formed with these moms became my life-savor. We all went on to have our second (some of us had the third) child, and although most of us moved away after a couple years, most of us kept in touch and remained good friends till today (my daughter is 11 years old this year).

It's a rare gift in life to have good friends like that. I'm very blessed and grateful to have many in my life. How about you? Do you have friends you can lean on? Do you stay in touch with your dearest friends? Do you have some long lost friends that you would like to re-connect? Or, would you like to make some new friends who share your life experiences, passion or values? What are you waiting for? Life is too short.

"We will meet again my friend,
A hundred years from today
Far away from where we lived
And where we used to play.
We will know each others' eyes
And wonder where we met
Your laugh will sound familiar
Your heart, I won't forget.
We will meet,
I'm sure of this,
But let's not wait till then...
Let's take a walk beneath the stars
And share this world again."
-- Ron Atchison

Don't wait any longer. We're all extremely busy. When do you think you will actually have "free time" to connect with your friends? You've got to "make time" for friendships -- nurture the old ones and cultivate the new ones.

When you think of a friend, pick up the phone or drop him/her a quick note. It doesn't have to be elaborate, either. While a handmade card will be treasured for a long time, a quick email to say "hello, I miss you" would be appreciated as well.

Make a point to make a coffee or lunch date with your good friends. I usually try to have at least one of these dates a month. Just seeing them on my calendar makes me so happy. Occasionally I go out for a Girls Night Out. Since my kids were very little, they knew that Mommy needed her "playdate" just as much as they needed theirs. I always come home energized and happier, and the good mood could last for days or even weeks.

If you've ever gone out with your girlfriends, I'm sure your husband noticed the difference when you came home. That's a good reason to convince him that you should take turns to go out with your own friends, on a somewhat regular basis. It's good for your mental well-being as well as your relationship at home. If you don't have a partner to watch your kids, try to hire a sitter or team up with another mom, so you can spend some quality time with your friends sans your kids. Even though you and your friends might still spend your time talking about your kids, spending time with your friends alone will definitely lift your spirit.

It takes efforts to maintain friendships, of course. It's not always easy, especially when you've got a full plate already, but the investment in friendship is well worth it in the long run.

Be the one to reach out to your friends. Make a small (or grand) gesture to show that you are thinking of them today. Both you and your friends will thank you for that.