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There are times when finding your bliss hides behind some struggle. Along with some kicking and screaming.

The opportunity to promote my most recent book The Most Amazing Department Store with the Jewish Book Council (JBC) recently came knocking on my door. It looked really enticing, yet also intimidating.

If all goes well, I will have the opportunity to “go on tour” to market and promote my book either virtually or in-person. If travel is required, all my expenses will be taken care of. And so, I decided to start the process, because, well, my mother told me that it could be a wonderful opportunity. And, my writer friend Amy Fish did, too, as she participated in the program several years ago, and really enjoyed it.

But it may not go well, as there are some jumps and hoops that I need to pass through. More on that in a moment. Here’s what has happened so far.

The first steps

I was shaking in my socks, but I sat down with my laptop and began. First, I had to fill out a form and pay a nominal fee. That was easy. My publisher then had to ship out a couple of boxes of books over to the JBC warehouse for review. Not so easy as we had some twists and turns, but we did it. Okay, the easy part was over.

But then came the hard and scary part. The “it may not go well” part.

Dum dum duuum!

Next month there will be a two-day virtual conference, where I will be auditioning in front of -gulp - hundreds of community directors! The task? I need to convince all who are watching me that my book, The Most Amazing Department Store is not only a meaningful, entertaining, educational story, but having me as their guest will make their audience laugh, cry and want more.

That’s not all.

To top off my anxiety filled ice-cream sundae, did you know that each author that auditions does not get chosen. That means that this whole process could be a complete waste of time.

Here comes the self-sabotage doubts

Then comes the travel! If I get chosen to visit a city, I will be in a place that’s completely unfamiliar! How will I get there? Where will I eat? What kind of hotel will I stay at? Will I have access to a good coffee place? You know I love my coffee. And what if I get lost, as I have the worst sense of direction. In the world.

What if no one likes my book? Or me? And what if after my presentation, I don’t get “Yays” from the audience, but “Boos”?

There is also a possibility that I won’t get chosen to participate with the JBC. What then? How will I feel? Admittingly I will be disappointed, crushed, and embarrassed, as my family and friends know about this endeavor, and so do all of you – who are now reading my story in The Finding Your Bliss Magazine.

As you can see, one negative thought or doubt can snowball into an abominable disaster, if I let it. How can I do this to myself when nothing has happened yet? Why am I so negative when something great can come out of all of this?

I have decided that the process of signing up for the program, speaking to my peeps, writing my speech, rehearsing it, and auditioning for JBC, will be all worth it. Why? Because I know that, in the wings, waving like a parent flagging down her child at the school pick-up, there will be a lesson just for me. And I will take this lesson with me to my next adventure. And the next one as well.

But what if it goes well?

What if I get chosen to be a JBC Author? How will I feel then? Yes, I will be thrilled and ecstatic, but the dial on my anxious meter will be in the red zone. Most people embrace traveling, (my husband is one of them). I’m one of those homebodies who thrives on routine and loves, you guessed it – being at home. I also really love my coffee machine. As mentioned earlier, a big worry of mine is that I tend to get lost. A lot.

Then I think about stepping out of my comfort zone and I get as excited as the times when my writer’s block finally melts away. I begin to feel giddy when I think about the communities I will speak to. The people I will meet and the places I will visit. The chance I will get to dive into the story that I poured my heart and soul into, and I can share why I wrote the story and how I did it in front of a live audience! To see their reactions on their faces when I tell them about why I wrote about a ten-foot nail polish tower that had to be cleaned from top to bottom – will be priceless. This adventure will be so worth it, even if I get geographically lost along the way.

When opportunity knocks, you may find me kicking and screaming, with some serious struggle as I don’t know if whatever I am striving for will go well. However, no matter what happens, I find a way to get something meaningful out of it. It’s all about the process. That, my friend, is bliss!

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