Aha! Relax and things happen more easily! I need to remember this advice always, especially when stressed.
I spent a good hour last night watching videos on the Himalayan Academy YouTube channel, and feel a bit less worried today. I also cleaned my home mandir and decorated it with some flowers off the bush in front of the house (maybe an azalea? they are a bright magenta color) before meditating for a while, and that seems to have been an additional help. Add in a generous serving of the Bhagavad Gita, and I feel spiritually refreshed.
It’s amazing what moving past over-intellectualizing will do for a strained spirit!
Then I got over my nervousness, chose some holidays I would like to celebrate at a temple, and emailed a friend about going with him and his family. He’s been very open and helpful, and I’m hoping that this will be a good thing! Next challenge: overcoming my shyness enough to actually follow through with this. I’m making a list of holidays (no dates; I’ll have to double check those closer to the occasion) to celebrate, so that next year I’ll be prepared in advance. Not like this year, when I almost missed Diwali and totally missed the Diwali mela (not happening this year! I’m prepared!). God understands, though. I’m making an honest effort!
[I would also like to offer up a general thanks for the wealth of information the Himalayan Academy makes available on the internet. While I don’t know yet where my path will take me, and I realize that the internet is but one introductory resource to an actual guru and Hindu community, the Himalayan Academy presents the information in a way that I find familiar and comfortable, and I appreciate that very much.]