Monthly Archives: May 2013

Shifting through the mud

walking in mud

Mud is dirty, icky, and gleefully squishy.

“I give myself permission to walk through the mud.”

That was the first of (approximately) one trillion insights offered to me during tonight’s Wholly Shift session, and it immediately resonated.

I would rather not get dirty. I take pride in keeping clean. However, dirty is part of the deal when I choose to grow and transform (or simply stay alive), and so instead of avoiding the mud, I might as well walk through it.

Sure, mud is messy, but I’ll get to a river or shower soon enough, or it’ll dry up and dust away. However it happens, the dirty never stays.

The clean doesn’t either, of course, which was another lesson the universe wanted to teach tonight. Just like washing our hair—the cycle of fresh and clean, to greasy limp, to wet and clean again—life is a flow. I might as well go with it.

And I don’t have to flow alone. Mud walking is slow going–it’s slippery, and requires awareness and careful attention. (Not unlike walking through snow.) Sometimes it’s yuck, yuck, yuck.

But it’s also affirming. Because when you’re walking in mud, you KNOW it. There’s no mistaking the terrain for smooth sidewalks or grassy meadows. Every squishy step is invigorating in its own way–there’s no doubting you are dirty and ALIVE.

Some people think mud is bad, and that’s okay. I don’t have to hang out with them, and I don’t have to feel bad either. Because I’m dynamically supported, I can holler, “Hey! I’m in the mud!” and be assured I’m in good company.

“When you’re in the mud, you can be experiencing the mud, and at the same time you can experience yourself being with yourself in the mud.”

That’s something Laura said near the end of our session, and it sums up one of the many ways I’m shifting. I can trust that it’s okay to get dirty, but with compassion, I don’t have to get stuck.

Wholly Shift!

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 9.39.13 PM

Laura Hames Franklin knows what’s UP.

Of all the impressive people who impacted my life last weekend at Nathalie Lussier’s Off the Charts event, the person who rocked my world the most was Laura Hames Franklin.

I’ve been learning about about personal growth and healing for years, and I’ve gotten excited about many methods and modalities. I feel fortunate to be alive at a time where there are so many different techniques and approaches to feeling better and connecting with universal truth and guidance.

But when I encountered Laura’s work, I felt electrified like never before. Like someone had finally presented me with the ANSWER, in all caps.

And the coolest part about that ANSWER? It’s been inside me all along.

It’s not a novel concept to me, the idea that the wisdom is within. Intellectually, I’ve known it a long time, and to a good extent I’ve also felt it emotionally and physically. Processes like Inner Bonding, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and especially yoga, to list a few examples, have helped me get in touch with my body and spirit simultaneously.

Yet nothing has been as simple as what Laura taught me on Saturday–how to balance the left and right brain with some astonishingly easy and effective tapping. And nothing has felt as instantly transformative as what she guided me through on Sunday, and then again on Monday and Saturday when I attended her free webinars.

Basically, Laura teaches that every atom in the universe is connected (science shows this), and that we humans have the ability to tune in to universal intelligence if we’re so inclined. And that when we let our bodies feel and function as they’re meant to, possibilities vastly expand.

Laura’s exceptional scientific and anatomical knowledge combined with her well honed intuition enable her to help others access the wisdom that always exists in what she calls our “innernet.”

One way she does this is through an online experience she calls Wholly Shift. The program, eight real-time sessions over the course of four weeks, is called Wholly Shift because, well, it shifts you, wholly.

I have already been so immediately affected and inspired by what I’ve learned from Laura that I took the plunge and applied for a scholarship to attend the next Wholly Shift program, which starts tomorrow.

It wasn’t easy for me to ask for the scholarship. In fact, yesterday morning I decided not to. I was a bit intimidated by the requirements–I’d never, ever made or edited a video before, much less one of myself asking for aid, and certainly not one to post online for the world to see.

Also, though I was dismayed to notice it, I wasn’t quite sure I had the “willingness to boldly share this information with [my] community,” which was something she was specifically looking for.

The thing about Laura’s work is that it’s not for everyone, and while I KNOW it is for ME, I worried that I’d seem wacko or “out there” if I enthusiastically promoted her to my community at large, which surely includes people who aren’t ready for or interested in what she offers.

But you know what? Her work is AMAZING. And I want to be a part of it. And, because I somehow surpassed my doubts and fears, and somehow managed to create, post, and promote the heck out of my application, I gave myself the best chance possible to get what I want. That feels good no matter what—but then, tonight I found out that I WON!

And you know what else? One of my mom’s friends saw my video and was inspired to check out Laura’s work. That couldn’t have happened if I’d let my insecurities rule. So, yeah, I’m super psyched to start Wholly Shift tomorrow—and I intend to keep on sharing.

Off the Charts Empowered

Each of the business cards I collected represents an authentic connection I made with another empowered human. "Networking" never felt so natural!

Each of the business cards I collected represents an authentic connection I made with another empowered human. “Networking” never felt so natural!

“All I have to do is show up.”

That’s what I told myself in advance of Nathalie Lussier’s Off the Charts Live, a weekend conference I’d paid money to attend yet wanted to skip.

I thought I had no business being there, mainly because, well, I don’t have a business. At least, that’s what it felt like. (Now I understand that not only do I already have a business, I might even have two! )

So, even though I’d committed my time and money, I experienced huge resistance in the days leading up to the event.

“I don’t really feel like going to the business conference this weekend as I don’t feel I belong but whatever,” I journaled earlier in the week.  “I will show up. That’s all I have to do, I really have to keep remembering that. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in worry and overwhelm.”

And so I showed up. I was tired, and I was just barely on time, and I sat far in the back of the theater, up against a wall. Instead of smiling at anyone or attempting to make conversation with the other women in the room, I focused on my phone, typing out my frustrations.

Off the Charts resistance

I was experiencing off the charts resistance.

And then I did something brave.

Nathalie, who, by the way, is a super successful, sincere, excellently kind and helpful human, opened the weekend by inviting participants to introduce themselves. As I listened to woman after woman describe her business and her ambitions, I started to feel smaller and smaller. My worst fears were coming true–I was out of my league, over my head, an imposter, a poser, a wannabe baby.

My head was filling fast with self-hateful lies, but thankfully my stomach, which always tells the truth, was tingling for me to talk. I’ve learned to listen to that tingle, so even though I was frustrated and scared, I raised my hand and stood up with a microphone.

“I’m Christina Bryza, and I don’t have a business, or, I guess, I AM my business, ” I told the audience of intimidating strangers. “I’m a writer, and my first book, Are You My Boyfriend?, is being published in February, and I want to be prepared for that to be big, and so I need to build a brand and website for that, but I also care a lot about helping others heal, and I teach yoga, and I’m not sure how everything goes together and I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

[Note: I’m paraphrasing the above dialogue, as I wasn’t recording myself when I said it.]

I sat down, flustered and defiantly embarrassed. Nathalie nodded and said, “You’re in the right place.”

And, oh my goodness wow, I so totally was.

I learned and experienced SO MUCH at Off the Charts Live. Plenty of it was nuts-and-bolts  practical and on-the-ground applicable: how to develop strategy, construct a business model, build my list, increase site traffic, make sales, and launch a product or service.

Plenty more dealt with emotional intelligence: how to get out of my own way, balance my brain, cultivate empathy, manage my time, form meaningful strategic partnerships, and connect with a dynamically supportive community.

But the truly transformative aspects of the weekend were not things I could take notes on. (Although I did fill up the custom Moleskine I was given.)

Because validation, and clarity, and inspiration, and confidence…those things are intangible—and they are also invaluable.

And while I presume I would have received some of those benefits even if I’d stayed a silent observer, I know that speaking up early on allowed for some amazing interactions. If I hadn’t pushed past my (dis)comfort zone and made myself known, I’m pretty sure I would have spent the first break tapping away at my smartphone.

Instead, a woman came right up to me and identified with what I’d said, and I was instantly invigorated. She’s a writer too, and we spent the rest of the break enthusiastically chatting.

Our connection was the first of many easy, authentic friendships I formed in the course of the weekend, each with exciting implications and possibilities. When I exchanged business cards with these women, it didn’t feel like “networking,” it felt like necessary action to be sure we stayed in touch.

And I’ll make sure we do, because I need their guidance and support, and I want to help them too. As Nathalie said during one of her presentations, “we’re here to educate. We’re here to bring everyone off the charts.”

I’m so grateful to Nathalie Lussier and all the awesome people who participated in her event. I’ve never felt more able to shine my light and show up big, and I owe a lot of my energy to what I’ve derived to be the weekend’s magic formula:

Generous Wisdom + Genuine Connections = Off the Charts Empowerment!