‘Zen Bender’ chronicles search for self

Stephanie Krikorian: A Ghost Finds Her Own Voice




Stephanie Krikorian has penned almost two dozen books. The problem is, she can’t talk about most of them — until now.

After a life in the corporate TV news world, Krikorian began working as a ghost writer, helping celebrities and experts write their autobiographies. But most of those jobs require non-disclosure agreements, so the word is mum.

“It’s important to get along, to click, at that first meeting,” she said. “I always see it as an opportunity to help someone who may be very successful in some facet in their life, but not comfortable as a writer. I try to find their voice for them.”

Krikorian, a Springs resident, also writes the Hamptonomics column for the New York Post, and her work has appeared in various publications. She started life as a journalist for the Grimsby Independent in her hometown in Ontario. But now Krikorian has just released her own book, under her own name.

“Zen Bender: A Decade-Long Enthusiastic Quest to Fix Everything (That Was Never Broken)” chronicles the 10 years she spent self-seeking after being excessed from her television news job in the wake of the 2008 recession.

“It was hard to start a new career. I was single and in my 40s, always trying to lose a few pounds, and I just threw myself into the world of self-help. The vision board was my gateway drug,” she said with a laugh. “But I got so blindsided by everyone else’s advice that I lost track of trusting my own gut. There were so many things out there offering fixes, I figured there must be so many parts of me that are broken.”

“As I started a new career,” she writes in “Zen Bender,” “I began growing increasingly susceptible to the fix-me brigade. Life in general, plus all the entirely different set of anxieties that come from working for oneself, made me vulnerable.”

The book is filled with humor and soul-baring honesty, as Krikorian describes her adventures down just about every self-help road there is. She vision-boarded, cleansed, saw healers and coaches, sound-bathed, Marie Kondo-ed her closet, dieted, had readings of all kinds, and found that the more she tried to fix herself, the more broken she felt.

“I grasped at every single fix. It was exhausting,” she explained, going on this self-help bender for 10 years. Krikorian described one Reiki session as “grueling” — not a word generally associated with an energy healing. But following Kirkorian’s journey to its Dorothy Gale-like conclusion — disclosed in the title’s parenthetical — will have a lot of other seekers nodding their heads.

“And I’m not saying that all of the things I did, that they didn’t help,” she said. “Some of them did. But it also caused a lot of anxiety, because I ceded power to others, and lost sight of my own inner voice.” It was a walk on the Venice, CA pier when she finally realized that she had the answers within her all along.

One of her concerns when writing books for others, was letting her own voice come through, but here she lets it shine. An example of Krikorian’s humor; on her website, www.stephaniekrikorian.com, she lists her impressive biography, and then adds “unrelated skills” — she’s an excellent parallel parker, repeated raffle winner, and also very good at jump rope.

bridget@indyeastend.com