The past month has been an interesting time. My book, Bridging the Gap that I have been anxiously waiting for was finally released. It was nerve wracking, yet exciting at the same time. The impatient, anxious feelings had built for months. Exciting because it is the fruition of three years work. Nerve wracking because, what if no one likes it? What if it doesn't sell? What do I do now? The mind was going crazy with all of the potential problems. I need to do a book launch, what is that? There are so many new things to think about. Marketing? What, how? Now what? I had no idea where to begin or what to do.
OK, book launch first.
1) Rented a place from a friend for the night of the release. check.
2) Refreshments, check.
3) Raffle prizes, check.
4) Extra books, in case someone couldn't buy one yet, check.
5) Invitations, did these on-line and social media, check.
6) Decorations and advertising, check.
I think I am ready. The night went well. The people who came ranged from a blast from the past to new friends and were a good mix. I couldn't figure out why there were so few people, until I stepped outside into a wind whipped blizzard. This prevented many people from coming and I am glad they did not brave the weather. The 8 mile ride home was sketchy as snow blew sideways on ice covered roads and visibility dropped to almost zero. Thank you to those who stayed home and stayed safe, but still a little bit of a downer.
Maybe they can come to my book signing in a few days.
Book signing, I'm not sure what to do as this is new also. hmmm.
1) Store scheduled, check
2) Verify with store manager, check
3) Table display ready, check
4) Bring extra books, maybe I can sell more then they think. Check.
5) Arrive early, check.
Wow, I had new friends and old friends turn out. I met a-lot of new people who had interesting stories. What a blast. I sold all the books they provided. Good thing I brought extras since I sold them also. I sold that many? Is that good? The manager informed me that it was the maximum number most new authors sell at a signing. Wow, again. I am excited and can't wait to do this again. Definitely a positive.
This marketing thing is a lot of work. I'm tired. This week was successful and now I have to do it all over again for next week, or next month. Can't get anything scheduled? Dang, this is a lot of work. Bummer.
Had three people let me know they enjoyed my book and have put some of the techniques to use in their lives. Nice, that is what I want. That is what it is for. It works. Yes, Grateful.
Had one person express displeasure about my book. That one was expected. In the past I would have argued and tried to prove my point. This time, no response was the appropriate answer. I am still saddened by the reaction. I told the truth. Just because it doesn't match the story they have told for the past seven years doesn't make it untrue. hmmm. Disappointed.
Last month was simply a small microcosm of life. The normal ebb and flow, day in and day out. The trick is how to make it smaller ebbs and smaller flows, smaller ups and smaller downs. How do we create that balance? There are answers and suggestions in my book Bridging the Gap. We can start with breathing exercises such as box breathing to calm the mind. Meditation is another way to be free of or reduce anxiety. Then there are tibetan bowls or singing bowls. The hypnotic effect is amazing. A good massage where one lets go of their senses and zones is another method. How about a walk or hike in nature to forget the things that are nagging at ones self or a good hard work out whether running, riding a bike, doing martial arts, or lifting weights. Listen to music that inspires you or takes your mind away from the stress. These are all things that can take the edge off, and reduce stress and anxiety.
The most important thing is to recognize and acknowledge the issue. Only then can one work through it. Next is to be self accountable with ourself and our beliefs. Be honest and truthful with oneself and others and acknowledge that you are and have been. Find out what works for you. This may mean trying different things and even thinking outside the box to try things one has never thought of. EMDR used to be a theory, and now is a common practice to work through PTSD. Acupuncture was outside the box and now is regularly used to treat physical and emotional problems. There is no such thing as only one way or one right way. Search yourself, search your world and find out who you can trust to talk to and don't be afraid to talk. Find an activity that can assist you in your healing process. Use any from the list above, or try others that have worked for you in the past. Reduce the thought, reduce the tension, reduce the stress, no matter what it takes. Come from your heart, be genuine, authentic, and live to have a great, productive, peaceful, calm life. Consciously choose you and your well being. We cannot help others if we don't take care of ourselves.
I couldn't think of a way to end this blog, until I met with some great friends in a group I belong to. They shared great information which leads to this quick recap. In a previous blog I talked about the friends we seek and keep and today has proven that correct. Associate with people who are like what you want to become. As I go through my daily life I strive to be honest, open, authentic and to make a difference in my own life and the lives of those around me. I don't have to do anything heroic, spectacular, or phenomenal. I just have to be me. My mind kicks in and tells me why things won't work, or that I'm not contributing enough, and all of the negative things to keep me down. My heart says do the best I can and it will be fine. Being sick with COVID slowed me down, and even though I am over it, I am still tired, exhausted, and not up to par. This is when I feel most inadequate. Sometimes I don't speak up as much as I feel I should because of that feeling, yet, when I do I have been told it is insightful, meaningful, and to the point. I am successful. I have written a good book. I have insights that can help others around me. I am now going to add, I can market, even though I am not a formal marketer. I can work through the fatigue and illness so that I am not starting at the bottom again. My goal is to reduce the large ups and downs to manageable ups and downs in marketing as I do in my personal life. Marketing is a microcosm of life, my life is a microcosm of the world. Everyone is having similar up and down moments in some part of their life. Let us each smooth the way in our life. As I even out the ups and downs in my life, my way becomes smoother. As my life becomes smoother, it naturally speeds up as it is easier to work through things. The mountains become bumps that are barely noticeable. As we heal ourselves physically and mentally, life becomes smooth. As life becomes smooth, it flows easier and the ups and downs become smaller and smaller. Will it stay this way? Probably not. However, it is the way we respond that determines the smoothness of our journey. Things get rough, meditation, take the edge off, unexpected surprise, massage, slow things down, big problem, talk to someone, get it off your chest. Use the tools at hand to even out the bumps in your journey. Here's wishing you smooth sailing.