Tag Archives: bold

Wholly Shift!

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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!

Bravely blossoming

The onset of NYC spring feels like the epitome of ambivalence. Day after day I wonder: heavy coat or light jacket, boots or flats, umbrella or not?

But it’s more than just my outerwear that fluctuates. My attitude seems unsure as well, a familiar toggle between safe and brave that feels accentuated by the chill in the air and the promise of new life.

“Go ahead and take a risk,” the buoyant breeze seems to say, even as rainclouds frown and suggest I stay inside.

The truth is I’m feeling overwhelmed with possibility and potential, and please note I’m not complaining. Rain or shine I trust in what’s to come; I just wish my circumstances were more certain.

And to some extent, of course they are: I am certain I am cared for, I am certain I am breathing. I am certain I am trying daily, and I’m certain of both failure and success.

On a recent visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I learned a few things about plants. Most of the landscape was still brown, plenty of bare branches and empty bushes.

In early April, a lot of land still looks barren.

In early April, a lot of land still looks barren.

Those plants know it’s not yet safe to blossom—a cold snap could still come and kill, and so it’s wise to wait.

But occasionally I saw bursts of color that delighted me. I felt connected to these flowers, bravely blooming without guarantee of survival. They boldly risked the wrath of winter to show their true colors, and, it seemed, they paved the way for their fellows to follow.

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Some plants are carelessly colorful!

That’s not how it really works, my friend frankly informed me. The flowering plants bloom sooner because they’re not native to the region; in their southern climates of origin it’s perfectly safe to open up so early.

In other words, they’re totally in danger, they just don’t know any better.

All right, so it was ignorance rather than boldness that caused the beauty I appreciated. And maybe it doesn’t make sense to personify plants—the facts definitely damage my metaphor—but the vision inspires me nonetheless.

Each day is different, and a cold snap could come, but I can blossom anyway. I can be bold, and choose brave over safe, just like love over fear, again and again, whenever I can.

And whatever the weather, I can wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’m so scared

Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

I try so hard to be brave. My comfort zone feels like a distant home, a place I love to visit but where I no longer live. And a lot of the time that feels fine. I am excited about where I’m headed. I’m SO excited. But I’m also scared.

And not confessing the fear makes it worse, because then it turns into a shameful secret, and shame is self-hate, and self-hate is harmful.

So I want to talk about this, even though it’s (surprise!) frightening to be publicly vulnerable. It feels like because I am strong I’m not allowed to show weakness; because I have courage I shouldn’t flaunt fear.

But the fact is I’m afraid. And the more I illuminate that truth, the lighter I will become.

I’m afraid I can’t hold all the goodness I’m asking for. I’m afraid to write another book. I’m afraid to look for an agent. I’m afraid I don’t deserve the massive success I envision for myself. I’m afraid I’m a fraud, that my earnest attempts at authenticity are nothing more than ego.

I’m afraid to publish this post, that exposing insecurities is naive and unsavvy. I’m afraid you’ll pass judgment. I’m afraid I’ll be sorry.

And all of that’s okay. Each of my fears and ten million more are not only okay, they’re inescapable.

As a human, I am going to feel fear. A lot. Probably always.

But I also feel love.

Love is my trump card, my winning lotto ticket, my night-light, my soft blanket, my wide smile, my huge hug. Love is my hope, and my laughter, and my promise to keep trying.

Love is what I have to give, and fear is what I face to do so. Neither emotion will disappear, but what I focus on will flourish.

So today I choose love. Awareness gives me the option, honesty gives me the freedom, and with gratitude, I am not so scared.