I Want to Go to Work With You!

This is my dog, Jazzy.  She’s a five-year-old rescued Jack Russell.  In this photo, like most pictures of her, she’s trying to ace the cute factor.  Don’t you think she’s succeeded?

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To be clear, Jazzy could care less about working with you, but she’s a smart dog and she knows that my work with you keeps her in kibble.  And as far as she’s concerned, it’s all about her.

I’m the one who wants to work with you.   I am the writer, after all.  My background is varied (as you’ll read on my Professional Profile tab).  The first half of my professional career was in financial magazine publishing and the second half in non-profit writing and marketing.

Lately, several non-profit folks have confided that they just don’t have time to give their online marketing efforts enough attention.  They want to, but they’re not quite sure where to start (they’re a bit intimidated) and other business factors (like putting out fires!) need to come first.

I get it.  Maybe you’re walking in those shoes; I know I have and it’s frustrating.

I’d like to help.  For a day, a week, or maybe on a monthly contract, I’m here to take projects off your plate so you can better focus on the zillions of other things you need to handle.

I’m trained in business-to-consumer and business-to-business copywriting.  For a more complete run-down of services available to you, please click on the I Write tab.

If you’re looking for a portfolio of writing samples, go to the My Clips and Links tab.  Please keep in mind, the samples shown there are a portion of my writing history.  Let me know if you’re looking for something you don’t see there.

If I can help, contact me at 469.586.4900 or email at beth@bheretoday.com.

B Here Today: 5 Benefits of Checking Your Pooch’s P-Mail

IMG_0250-1024x764My sweetie and I are just back from  a three-day, birthday getaway to New Orleans.  Cafe Du Monde, The French Quarter, The Garden District, and did I mention Cafe Du Monde?

We both needed the escape since the stress level in our house is a bit on the high side.  I’ve been nose-to-the-grindstone lately as I plan, plot and prepare to launch my new career.

Over the weekend, after a couple of hours of brainstorming, I thought, “I should get out of here for a while.  My brain waves are frying and I need a diversion.  Maybe I’ll walk the dog.”

Usually, when I have such a thought, the next thought loops right back to whatever project I’m involved with and the poor dog goes unwalked.  It’s easy to do one more thing, check one more site or look at one more potential profile.

But not this time.

This time I listened to my intuition.

Strap on the harness, snap on the leash

Since moving into a townhouse with a fenced yard, Jazzy’s formal walks screeched to a halt.  Who wants to deal with poop bags when you can open the door?

Jazzy was nearly apoplectic by the time I got her ready.  We made it to the light pole at the end of the driveway before she stopped for her first P-mail check.

A dog’s sense of smell is her most powerful; did you know as a canine reaches the final stages of her life, her smeller is the last sense to leave her?

I read somewhere that dogs communicate with each other by scent and can tell who has stopped where on any given route.  So if you’re walking a regular path in a neighborhood or park, the more your dog hikes his leg or squats her hiney, the more social she is!  She’s like the gossip queen of the pooch patrol!

Okay, so I made up the last part.  I have no idea about the socialization of smelling.

But I do know that Jazzy is a frequent stopper.  So we figure she’s either a nosey little hound who has to be in everybody’s business or she’s a marketing whiz (pun intended!) who wants everyone to know her business!

Learning the benefits of P-mail

As your dog’s human, you can’t know the canine mode of communication, be it social or otherwise.  But you can learn to put your pup’s behavior to good use.

On our weekend jaunt, I thought of five benefits.  There is no-doubt many more.

P-mail benefit #1:  You get to notice the season’s first flowers.  I saw a daffodil in full bloom–on February 17th!

P-mail benefit #2:  Since a dog seldom steps in another’s leave-behinds, you get alerted where not to step as well, thereby saving the effort of taking a stick to the crevices in the bottom of your sneakers.

P-mail benefit #3:  Each time your dog stops to check-in, you can do a check-in of your own by taking a deep breath as you turn your face to the sun.

P-mail benefit #4:  There’s lots of gratitude in each of you being able to walk any distance at all.

P-mail benefit #5:  Bonding time.  Can you even imagine how much more your dog adores you for stopping your precious work and taking her out on an adventure?  And vice-versa, of course.

Most of us are addicted to checking our own P-mail (that’s people-mail!) so be a pal and let your pooch out for some social time.  You, my human friend, will reap the rewards.  You can even have your own Scooby-snack afterwards!

(for more B Here Today posts, go to http://bheretoday.com/)

Latest B Here Today Posts

Love the Life You Live 

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Whatever the circumstances of your life, I hope you never stop loving and that you never stop reaching for love.

When the drama of life takes a downturn, it’s really okay to take some time to feel a little sorry for yourself.   Heck, I spent a few days doing just that this past week after being laid off from my job.

Any more time than that can be dangerous and we end up “sitting in our own s&^t because it feels warm,” as my dear friend John famously says.

Yes, dark clouds do appear on your horizon from time to time.  But how long will you let them block you from that which creates the ultimate sunshine:  love?

Click here to read more . . .

Anne Lamott’s Three Essential Prayers

Well-written, thought-provoking books are like air and water to me.  They’re necessary for survival.

There are certain books that I’ll happily read on my Kindle or iPad.  Then there are books that still require the sensory stimulation that only touching them and reading them can provide.

It’s sort of a joke at my house, maybe at yours too, when I reference a desire to own a new book.

“Okay, now is that a book-book or the e-version?” as if the e-version isn’t a real book.

Help Thanks Wow is definitely a book-book

I received Anne Lamott’s new book Help Thanks Wow for Christmas and dove in immediately while sunning on the beach in Cancun.  If you’re familiar with her work,  (Imperfect Birds, Grace (Eventually), Plan B and Traveling Mercies), you know her irreverent, yet deeply spiritual style.

Click here to read more . . .

Empty Your Bucket List

“My dream is to have a house on the beach, even just a little shack somewhere, so I can wake up, have coffee, look at dolphins, be quiet and breathe the air.” ~ Christina Applegate

One of my favorite television shows as a little kid was Flipper, a fictional story set off the Florida Keys, with a dolphin, a game warden and his two sons, Sandy and Bud.

In the late 1960s, I was a long way from building a bucket list.  But I knew two things about the far-off some day:  One, I was going to run fast across the yard, throw my arms open wide and fly with the eagles and two, I was going to swim with dolphins.

I feel pretty happy about my .500 record.

Click here to read more . . .

Stepping Stones:  A Bucket List Trip

“Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia.  We have it with us right here and now.  Each day my friend’s simple talk in our kitchen multiplies itself in a widening circle of peace on earth and good will to men.” ~ Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and his wife Lois, lived the remaining years of their lives after Bill got sober, here at Stepping Stones, a historic home in Westchester County, New York.

Just up the hill is Bill’s writing studio, which Lois named Wit’s End, and where he penned several books and articles, most notably, Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as The Big Book.

Click here to read more . . . 

 

How to Kick Guilt to the Curb With the “F” Word

From B Here Today on August 20, 2012:

“Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I’m mad at myself and feel like I’ve broken a commitment (to myself).

When I set out to support Greg Williams’ KickStarter project The Anonymous People, I said (to myself) that I would devote two blog posts each week until the August 26 deadline.

Here it is Monday evening (Tuesday morning for some of you) as I write this and the post I intended to write over the weekend wasn’t finished.  Wasn’t even started.

Here’s the excuses:  My dad was in the emergency room 600 miles away with multiple broken bones from a fall, we were house- and dog-sitting and we had a good friend here for a long weekend.  All true.

The bottom line is I am feeling guilt-y.

Here’s the odd thing:  I’ve been having intense dreams for quite some time about the life I left to move to Texas three years ago.  These dreams are often angry and violent and never fail to leave me shaken.

Sometimes, like the one I woke with on Saturday, stayed me with all day.  It involved meanness and power and intentions to inflict both.

Consequently, I felt emotionally vulnerable.  I wanted to stay quiet and process through the muck to try to determine what it might mean.

My friend visiting from California has an incredible wisdom stick and she’s not afraid to use it.

She said, “You probably feel hurt by that dream because you haven’t been forgiven.”

That’s it! I said.  I want the person in my dreams to forgive me.  I’ve made amends.  I’ve tried to right the wrongs as best I can.

But my efforts fall on deaf ears because the person in my dreams wants no contact with me.

I hurt her badly.  But what do I do with all this guilt that I’m just coming to see?  I need closure, damn it!

The dreams we tell ourselves are true and guilt is wrapped in forgiveness

I’ve convinced myself that the person’s behavior in my dream is exactly as it would be in person.  Huh.  Wonder how I know that?

In this particular dream, I’m supposed to be taking a bunch of stuff from  her that is mine.  Take this, this and definitely that.  But don’t touch that, that or this.

I’m so confused.  What am I supposed to leave behind with her?

Could it be the guilt stemming from a lack of forgiveness–self forgiveness?

My sponsor would probably tell me that whether the person in my dreams forgives me is none of my business.  Well crap.  That just leaves one other person to do the forgiving.

My friend from California coincidentally (right!) sent me a link to a Gary Zukav article called “5 Things You Can Learn From Guilt.”  I think she called in the big dogs since she wasn’t getting through to me.

As author and founder of the Seat of the Soul Institute, Gary knows a thing or two about human emotions.  Here is his list of five:

  1. Guilt comes from a frightened part of your personality.
  2. Guilt impairs your ability to learn from your experiences.
  3. Guilt keeps you from being honest with others and yourself.
  4. The relationship between guilt and forgiveness may surprise you.
  5. You cannot give the gifts that your soul wants you to give while you are feeling guilty
Geez, guilt is nothing to mess with.  I have to let it go and my peeps are all correct.  I have to forgive myself.
Here’s my plan for the next two weeks, longer if necessary:  I’m going to pray a specific prayer both for me and for the person in my dreams.  When I finish this post, I’m going to write it off on a clean sheet of paper and place it in my journal which is with me every morning.  I’ll let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, a report on The Anonymous People:  We are closing in on the finish line!  With six days to go, Greg and all his backers (I’m one!) are 88% to the goal.
The links are here in this post and a mini viewer of the film is in the sidebar above.  Please do check it out and consider backing the project.  You’ll be doing it in support of all the voices in addiction recovery.

Addiction Recovery Advocacy

My name is Beth Wilson.  I’m an alcoholic and a 21-year-member of the recovery community.

I’m not here to break any 12-step organization’s tradition of anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.  You’ll notice that I haven’t linked myself with any such group.

Did you know that there are more than 23 million Americans in long-term recovery?  Probably not.

That is one of the reasons that I’m backing Greg Williams’ The Anonymous Peoplea film meant to raise awareness that addiction recovery is real, it need not be anonymous and it is a public health issue, not a moral failing.

In addition to being a talented filmmaker, Greg is a recovering addict.  Greg and I share a disease in common and we share a history of shame because of our disease.

The Anonymous People hopes to end personal shame and public stigma.

I’m dedicating my blog, B Here Today, to recovery-related issues, including reducing stigma and endorsing advocacy efforts, throughout the month of August.  That’s how long Greg has to raise the necessary funds to complete his film, which is really the story of recovery.

To view my blog and more information about The Anonymous People and its KickStarter campaign, click here http://bheretoday.com/2012/08/the-anonymous-people/.

 

B Here Today Recent Posts

B Here With Mindful Compassion

Depending on your perspective, you probably believe the people of the world are either lacking or lavishing compassion.

If you’ve witnessed a heinous crime–the Aurora, Colorado shooting for example–or if you were in New York City the day of the World Trade Center attack, you may see the compassion glass as mostly empty.

Unless . . .

In either of those examples, you witnessed the tender ministering of folks taking care of each other.  In those times, when humans draw deeply from their well of compassion and pour it over the injured and the devastated, they are mindfully compassionate.  They are fully present to the moment in front of their eyes and hands; nothing else exists.

 Read the entire post here:  B Here With Mindful Compassion

Why Brené Brown Grabs Your Attention

Goodbye shame, blame and guilt!  Hello compassion, courage and worthiness.

Finally!  Someone is telling me that I don’t have to read every self-help book, attend the latest guru’s seminars (with or without hot-coal walking) or dig through the rubbish in my inner trash can to become fully present to the beauty of who I am.

The answers to some of the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself don’t have to be gained by a rigorous and intense self fact-finding mission.

Read the entire post here: Why Brené Brown Grabs Your Attention

Do You Argue for Your Own Limitations?

I was reminded recently, thanks to one of my morning meditation readings, that I often argue for my own limitations.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “I can’t do that because ________ (fill in the blank)?”

Usually the reason that fills the blank for me is based on old thinking and belief systems that have dogged me since childhood.

 Read the entire post here:  Do You Argue . . .

Five Cool Blog Posts to Melt the Summer’s Heat

Most of the U.S. is sweltering under a wet, heavy blanket of heat and humidity, and if you’re like me, when the temps turn up in the summer time, so does the cranky meter.

In an effort to curb my verging gnarly attitude and snappishness toward all creatures great and small, I’m really trying to focus on solid, positive thoughts and readings.

I’ve pulled a few of my favorite writers’ blog posts together to share with you in this edition of Wednesday Wisdom.

Read the entire post: Five Cool Blog Posts

Anybody Know Jackson Kiddard?

On Halloween of last year, I wrote a post with five really cool quotes attributed to Jackson Kiddard.  Mastin Kipp, of The Daily Love,

quotes the old boy frequently.  Mastin calls Mr. Kiddard a polymath, a title I struggle with understanding.

Oddly, this post is the one that has received the highest number of comments; there was another one just a couple days ago.

Check it out and let me know what you think!  Who the Heck is Jackson Kiddard?  Don’t Know, But Love These 5 Quotes!

(Disclaimer . . . the post was written prior to the new B Here Today design so their is no photo.)

 

July 7, 2012 BHT: 5 Ways I Would Love a Cancer Diagnosis

I received a cancer diagnosis in my dream last night and I’m happy to say I responded well.

As an aside, Dr. Greg House delivered the diagnosis, and he was as ridiculous in my dream as he was on the TV drama series named after him.

Back to the dream.

I had a tumor in my throat that needed aggressive treatment.  One of my first statements was, “I’m a recovering alcoholic so you’ll need to figure out the pain med regiment.”

House replied, “You have cancer and you’ll be taking narcotics or you’ll be a dead recovering alcoholic.”

In my dream, I kicked and screamed a little, but then quickly moved into acceptance.  I was also quite aware that while I had cancer, it did not have me.

Waking up from the dream

Naturally, I woke feeling as if I were still in the dream.  As I distanced my awakened self from the dream, I realized that while Greg House was a fictional doctor, the possibility of a cancer diagnosis is very real.

I found myself wondering how I would react in real life.

I’ve read that our dreams can be a reflection of the subconscious mind.  Do I think that means I’m going to get cancer?  Not really.  But to be honest, it is a distant fear.

The two-year anniversary of my mother’s death from lung cancer is coming up in a couple of weeks; I’m not surprised that I’m dreaming about the disease.

Do I believe I could accept a diagnosis with grace and dignity like Mom did?

I certainly do.

Unlike Mom, though, whose body couldn’t withstand the triple whammy of emphysema, COPD and lung cancer, in my dream, I believed that the tumor lodged in my throat could be dissolved and that my body would heal.

In my first waking moments, my sense was I would be healed by love.

I think I would use love as a combatant.  I believe I would love myself into healing.  Love is bigger than anything, including medical diagnoses.

What would loving myself into healing look like?

  1. By honoring my body’s need for care with good food lovingly prepared and mindfully ingested. I’m talking about visualizing the food nutrients throwing a party around the cancer cells and inviting them to join.
  2. By movin’ and groovin’ and doing what I want rather than listen to all those medical restrictions.  Remember I said I was aware that the cancer didn’t have me.  I love activity and experiencing new things so why not invite that curmudgeon tumor along?
  3. By keeping the half-full glass of water from spilling.  My optimistic and positive nature has taken me to great places in my life.  I’m not about to let that change because of a revision in my physical condition.
  4. By surrounding myself with positivity.  I’d better work on building and expanding my network of friends so that when I need them they’ll flock to my side with all kinds of love and light.
  5. By not allowing doom and gloom. I’d turn off the news and turn on the heart.  Lots of heart and then lots more!  Bring me laughter–tears are okay too–but don’t bring me anything maudlin.
So, I have a couple of questions for you.  First, have you experienced a dream like mine?  And second, how do you believe you would you handle a cancer diagnosis?  Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Lastest Post: Want to Know How to Mind Your Own Business? Drop the Kitty!

(Please leave a comment at my site link:  http://bheretoday.com/2012/04/want-to-know-how-to-mind-your-own-business-drop-the-kitty/)

 

As a kid, we heard our parents tell us to keep our nose where it belonged.

We heard our playground playmates tell us to mind our own bees wax.

My mother used to tell me to tend to my own knitting.

Of course, thanks to Twitter, we have MYOB.

In recovery rooms, we’re advised to stay behind our belly buttons, to not pay attention to anything beyond the end of our own nose, and my personal favorite:

Stay within your hula hoop.

I’ve been hearing that one a lot lately.

Seriously, do we not have enough going on in our own lives that we have to insert ourselves in somebody else’s business?

Like, who died and made us the be-all and know-all?  (Remember that one?)

I swear if I never hear the phrase, “If I were you, I would _______ (fill in the blank)” it will be too soon.

One day, my friend Megan and I were chatting about how all “those” people offer unwanted (and often uncalled for) advice.  We decided that “they” were determined to infringe on our right to make our own decisions.  We just knew that “those” self-righteous people were out to make our lives miserable with their so-called good intentions.

Megan said, “We should just tell them all to drop the kitty.”

Huh?

Here’s the story, as told by my wise and witty friend:

I started leaving cat food out on my front porch for a very small, bright white cat after a neighbor moved away and left it roaming the neighborhood. I named the kitty James Brown because every time he meowed, it sounded like the singer screaming his song, “I feel good!”

When I first saw he’d been abandoned, I told James Brown he was welcome to live with us if he could get along with my 90-pound dog, Jake. I let the cat in the house, and after several very fast and noisy laps of chase, we made the mutual decision that JB could not be in the house.  

James Brown returned outdoors and each day I’d fill the cat food bowl on the front porch for him. After a few days, I noticed a huge gray cat bullying James Brown off the porch to eat the food. I asked the bully cat politely not to do that anymore.

The second time I chased the bully cat away, I told him that if he didn’t stop, that my very large dog would do the honors next time.

The third day the bully cat was there eating the cat food, and simply wanting to scare him off, I  opened the front door and jokingly called,  ”Jake. Get the Kitty.”

Jake ran onto the front porch,  clamped his huge jaws around the bully cat and started shaking him side to side. A friend was visiting, and both of us yelled at the top of our lungs, “JAKE! DROP THE KITTY! DROP THE KITTY!”

Jake did drop the kitty and James Brown was never bullied again.

The moral of the story?

The next time you’re inclined to bully your way into someone else’s business, jump back in the circle of your hula hoop, mind your own bees wax and drop the kitty!

A First-Time Birthday Blog Contest

Well, at least it’s the first time for me and my blog B Here Today!

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement, posted on April Fools’ Day:

I always thought there was a better reason to celebrate April 1.

It represents the beginning of my birthday month!

This year, I want to celebrate my birthday month with ALL of  cyberspace!

And, I want to give YOU birthday gifts!

(I promise this is not an April Fools joke.)

Here’s the Scoop (Make it Baskin Robbins World Class Chocolate, Please.)

I’m starting a contest today and there are no fools allowed so there’s no way you can be foolish on April Fools’ Day!

Here’s how the contest will work:  When you subscribe to this blog site (by completing your name and email address on the home page), your name gets thrown into my baseball cap (in honor of the second best thing to happen in the month of April–the start of Major League BaseballSeason!).

Quite honestly, I’m really proud of the new look of B Here Today and I want more people to know about it.  The new BHT unveiling happens to coincide with my birthday month so I thought, why not share the news for a whole month? When you subscribe, the gifts automatically begin to hit your email box.

Birthday Gifts for You

First, you’ll receive my brand new, first-ever, e-book, B Here On Purpose, nearly 30 pages of how to apply mindfulness in day-to-day situations.  Then, for the first seven days after you subscribe, you’ll receive a special email about being present in areas of your life, like at work, in nature, with your finances and with your animals.

The contest itself will run throughout the entire month of April.   On May 1, I’ll draw the lucky winner’s name out of the hat and that person will win a $100 Amazon gift card!

There are some really fun twists to the contest and you can view the entire post here: http://bheretoday.com/2012/04/how-to-not-b-foolish-on-april-fools-day/
Join the fun!