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Forty, chronically single, and up an extra 20 pounds, TV news producer Stephanie Krikorian fell victim to the Great Recession, finding herself suddenly unemployed. One unwanted pregnancy away from being a Lifetime Original Movie, Stephanie had to reinvent herself...and fast. So, to keep her head above water, she started ghostwriting self-help and diet books for a variety of well-known experts. However, she didn't just write each book she took on, she lived it - chanting, journaling, reflecting, reframing - whatever it took to get deep into the heart of each project. And then, as her ghost-writing business grew, she started reading other self-help books as well-for "research." Or so she told herself. That's when things went next level.
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of life fixes available, Stephanie scrambled to plug the multiple holes that surely must have existed in her mind, body, and soul. She went on what turned out to be a near decade long Zen Bender. She hit the guru circuit hard, like it was her job - no psychic, class, coach, fixer, or self-help book left behind.
Zen Bender is a collection of witty, moving, insightful stories, bookended with both the zany words of wisdom Stephanie picked up during her decade seeking personal growth and enlightenment, and some more concrete, grounded advice of her own.
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Disappointed with focus on self indulgence
I got excited about this book after seeing comments by Stephanie in Gretchen Rubin’s blog about finding happiness. While I appreciate Stephanie’s willingness to open up about her personal journey, I felt she came across as complainy and spoiled. I couldn’t connect at all with her so-called dilemmas except for losing a job, which I’m sure is tough. I’ve lost a parent and have had to face much more difficult life challenges as a working mother, so, I really struggled with finding empathy for Stephanie’s frivolous spending spree to find self satisfaction with life. I also felt the narrator needed to sound older to give Stephanie more credibility.
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A fun listen
For any of those who read "The Secret" and who delved into any type of self-help, new age healing or haven't but want some insight into that world, than this is a fun read for you! There were some laugh out loud moments that made me think about the the crazy things I have been coaxed into doing in the name of AFOG (another freaking opportunity for growth). A fun, light, lively read about someone getting through the great recession and reinventing herself.