Szen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change

Szen Zone Gary SzenderskiSzen Zone: Reaching a State of Positive Change, by Gary Szenderski, is a compilation of heartwarming and inspirational short stories.
The general overarching theme of the book is change and all of the aspects of it – creating, surviving, and managing change with the goal to recognize the power we have to create positive change in our lives and be what we want to be.
Topics covered include productivity, letting go of the past, embracing the potential of the future, and learning to take chances.
If you are a fan of short inspirational stories like those in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, then this is a book you would certainly enjoy. Wherever you may find yourself in life, you will discover an insight or example in this book to help you change course and take charge of your life.
Whereas ZEN is of the moment and what is, SZEN celebrates what could be.


“Commonly held together by the thread of positive change, each tale tells of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity… Because it’s composed of so many short stories, there is really something for everyone within the pages of this inspiring book. If you’re looking for a dash of hope and a sprinkling of encouragement to change for the better, then look no further than Szen Zone. It’s one of those books that bears picking up again and again throughout the seasons of your life, whenever you need a solid pick-me-up.” – Reviewed by Red City Review
“Szen Zone is filled with illuminating stories and anecdotes that can help point the reader to that promised state of positive change, presented in a manner that’s neither didactic nor preachy. Rather, Szenderski employs an easy going and conversational style of communicating his message to his readers that made me feel as though he were there alongside me, sharing his own efforts and experiences in a spirit of frankness, honesty and sincerity… Szen Zone is a book to breeze through and be inspired by, and then to be read more slowly in no particular order of topic, concentrating rather on the concepts and thoughts which most appeal at the moment. It’s an impressive self-help guide and it’s highly recommended.” – Reviewed by Readers’ Favorite


Chapter 1
The E Spot
Everything everyone enjoys enters; evolves – eventually engaging each entity entirely. Easy? Exactly.
The e-spot is our own personal energy source. For some it’s only a pilot light that maintains just enough oomph to get us through the day. While for others, it’s an inferno ablaze with desire to achieve greatness. What controls the intensity of our own internal flame is always personal and filtered through our own unique perspective. Perspective is actually the fodder for flame and the catalyst for positive change.
Perspective to the e-spot is like oxygen to the fire. Perspective directs and frames choices, creates decisions and defines our dreams. When we feel engaged and energized, it’s because our point of view is in alignment not only with the goal, but also with the means to get there. We somehow know we can do it. It’s the e-spot telling us we have the fuel to make the trip.
If we need more fuel for our own personal trip, we can take a look at your own focal point and perspective. Usually only a tweak or two will open the energy valves. Sometimes it’s getting rid of some part of the past that’s clogging up our thinking, but more often it’s not the elimination of a clog but the creation of a new path – a clear channel that creates separation from what is/was, to what could be. Very SZEN- like if you ask me.
Szenippet: The best way to charge your own engine is to plug into a dream come true before it really does
■   ■   ■   ■
The Key to Life
Buddy, as his homeless neighbors, cohorts and other transients that lived and begged on the streets knew him, was usually pretty upbeat. When he first arrived he was considered one of the more fortunate of the unfortunates. He was still pretty young by comparison; he had his health and thus was selected from time to time to work on day jobs in construction where he would conveniently be paid in cash for his labor.
Buddy would say that he didn’t really have to live on the streets and that he had a plan, but he needed enough money to be able to properly implement it. He liked to report that he always put a little cash away in a safety deposit box at the local bank. The rest went for essentials like food, clothes and diversions – sometimes liquid. Buddy kept the bank key around his neck and would nervously reach for it from time to time to insure he had not lost his ticket to a new life. But those that watched him only saw a rusted skeleton key hanging by a plastic chord. No one ever said a thing to counter his enthusiasm for a new future. Buddy was, after all, the only positive, enthusiastic presence around and he had a way of getting others to start to be positive as well.
Time is never kind to those who live without a home. But Buddy knew he wasn’t meant to be where he was and would tell anyone that asked that he was about to move out into his new place and leave the streets behind. The story had not changed in 8 years, but he told it with such conviction that most people on the street half expected that one day, Buddy would simply move away. They always asked him to remember them, his friends that lived next to him all clustered under the overpass.
 The days on the street are monotonous with little to do, no funds to go anywhere, with competition for begging, collecting recyclables and the occasional day job. Each of those homeless, living day to day, had their own schedule and no one policed the other. And although Buddy’s construction working days had been dwindling over the years he never seemed to be around much during the day. Most assumed he spent his days like everyone else, walking, and hunched over scouring the ground and sidewalks for loose change, discarded lottery tickets or anything else that might be of value.
 One night Buddy didn’t come back to his cardboard space. There were lots of opinions on why he hadn’t returned. Maybe he got arrested, hurt or had just left on his own. After no Buddy for 8 days, a fair waiting period, his “stuff” from his space was split up amongst the remaining street dwellers. As the weeks passed, Buddy’s enthusiasm and positive stories, were being missed more and more. A void emerged where there had been a beacon; the smidgeon of hope was now an emptiness felt by all. And within the context of this emptiness, the legend of Buddy and his positive ways grew. It wasn’t long before the stories trumped the reality. Speculation and hearsay created unbelievable story lines of how Buddy had managed to escape, leaving behind a whimsical, delicious and totally positive imprint.
The real story is this: The key he wore did fit a lock, but to a door not a box. A door that opened to a room that not only held his childhood memories, but every dream he ever had – A room in an old house where a skeleton key worked just fine. A house that protected Buddy’s secrets with a special room that held bank receipts and pay stubs and boxes of memories. A closet with a key next to where his mother sat and waited to hear him and feel his kiss to her cheek. She never knew where he spent his nights, but the money he earned by working and saving by renting his own room to strangers kept her alive. Those extra few years where she couldn’t move, but able to talk were filled with stories of love and life and making plans and believing in them. Those were the years that truly changed Buddy’s life and well worth his homeless adventure.
Buddy’s Mom eventually passed on, but her son and his story is still going strong.
Some years later Buddy passed on too. Shortly thereafter, an official looking gentleman in a business suit visited the homeless turf where Buddy’s story was still being passed along to new members of the less fortunate. The man had a clipboard and a roster of names and he called out each of twenty-two names individually, until a group of 13 huddled around him. Nine, it seems had not outlived Buddy.
The visitor handed each an envelope with an address and cab fare. This would be their new home, compliments of Buddy; it was furnished and ready to live in. They each would be made the legal owner and the only instruction was to help as many others as they felt comfortable doing; it was up to them. Buddy was explicit in his will – his greatest, lasting gift would be the power of choice.
Szenippet: The door to the life you want doesn’t need a key.


Gary SzenderskiAbout the Author:
Gary Szenderski is an author, speaker, teacher and branding specialist, internationally acclaimed as an expert on the subject. He specializes in helping people and organizations to navigate change, and frequently speaks and writes on the topic of emerging brands, personal branding and companies in transition. Gary is an award-winning writer, author of the Book of Szen and Szen Zone, often quoted marketing expert, and recipient of the Distinguished Instructor Award from the University of California in Irvine where he teaches branding. He resides in Southern California.
Readers can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Gary Szenderski, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at or 805.807.9027.