Dana Bryant: La femme guerrière
Most women who are brought up in this world are forced to limit themselves from who and what they could be. For some, it is addiction that keeps them holed up, while others are pushed back by their own mindset. No matter what it is, Dana Bryant, the Cofounder of Warrior Women Ignite, is here to help every woman who desires to change and reach success. Dana shares with us the Elite Success Training and how they create life-changing experiences that are designed to get women unstuck in every area of their life. This episode will inspire and remind you that with a tribe of women to support you, you can break free from the things that are stopping you from succeeding.
We're back with myself co-hosting MChef Burst of flavors, also to Chef Marie. Chef Marie, hello.
How are you?
I’m most excellent. We have Dana Bryant here who is absolutely amazing. I'm going to go before I introduce her, I'm going to tell you how our show format works. Our show format is fairly simple. Our show is actually about lifestyle, fitness and balance and that's one of the reasons why Dana Bryant is here. We have a recipe from Chef Marie and we're going to have an anecdotal funny story from Dana later on the show and also too, we're going to be doing a little bit of a quote from Chef Marie.
We have the wonderful Dana Bryant here.
Welcome, Dana. We're so pleased to have you.
We’re so happy that you’re here. To express my gratitude as a human being, I know that you do a lot of self-love work, you are an entrepreneur, you are the Cofounder of Crossing the Jordan, which I like to call CTJ. You are a wife, a mother and a grandmother. You're so young. I can't believe you're actually a grandmother. For those guys who don't know and haven't seen pictures of her, please look her up.
Dana is gorgeous inside out.
Thank you. It's hard to believe I’m a grandmother too.
As well as being a visionary, there’s so much more. Dana, can you give the audience a tad bit of maybe your humble beginnings? BI know the start and what your trials and tribulations were. Let's start off with that with the $7 or $15 story with you and your husband, Michael Bryant, who’s an amazing man. What are you actually doing?
Basically in my twenties, in high school, I had a real drive for success. I could say I wanted to be an entrepreneur because entrepreneurs are often birthed the one mowing the lawns or some crazy idea to do something out of the box. It was who I was, I was a visionary and an entrepreneur at a young age, but I lost my way late teens, early twenties. With a sheltered life, didn't understand trials and tribulations or certainly know how to cope with them. I found myself with this gaping hole inside my heart and soul and everything else and I felt ill-equipped on emotionally handling much at all. It was in conflict with being success-driven. The mind and the body were not aligned whatsoever.
I became more and more of a hot mess, losing hope while at the same time having a lot of vision and that's an interesting lonely place to be because you're not aligned with who you desire to be and when you don't, you can’t ever relate. Your low self-esteem comes with that like, “What's going on here?” I fell in love, if you could call it that with a very bad man and abusive man early on in my twenties. I come from a family where my parents were together since they were thirteen. I didn't have any experience of troubles or bad men. I come from this long line of healthy marriages. When that happened, it set me on a course and what ended up happening is I turned to turn to a lot of things to numb the pain as that abuse move forward.
I paid a lot of consequences in my life for my actions but what ended up happening is in the midst of that, I had a burning desire to help women that were who I was and who I wanted to be. That passion birthed Crossing The Jordan. That passion set me on a course to studying for decades how not only to be successful financially, to be a balanced whole woman because we all know and in my days of on the streets, you could have a ton of money in your hands and if you're not living the right life, money means nothing. That set me on a journey and eventually, I met a man that had a similar past to mine but also with a similar passion for life. We knew that there was something missing, that there was not a training that took people to their future self in the way that we've designed Crossing the Jordan to be or do. There is a huge gap in those that are drug addicted. When I say gap, I mean it's either you're a victim for the rest of your life destined to a deadly disease or nothing. There's some I'm sure out there that I'm unaware of but to treat addiction as if it is a personal development issue per se, that's the rough draft.
That's unknown in the market place. Facilities don't operate like that. We consider ourselves elite training for life change and very Navy Seals-ish, if you will. Michael and I took $500 and all a lot of faith and starting Crossing the Jordan and now we're a multimillion-dollar social enterprise. All those things, those entrepreneurial spirit that Michael and I had as young kids, we put it into the work and trained other people how to have that entrepreneurial spirit is important. Many criminals and addicts are quite creative human beings and they're just misdirected. We help them find their way, their burning desires. We breathe life into that person they desire to be and that's how it started. It’s all with a few bucks and in a big giant dream and now we're in the midst of living out that dream.
Thank you for bringing such a positive impact to our world and you are making luck. You are not taking chances.
You’ve got to get out there and do it. Often, we have opinions and we don't take action. I was blessed to never forget where I came from and having that suffering and seeking of that woman with that child alone and not knowing what direction. It applies to you, Chef Marie, because living in balance is what we focus on here. They have a hardcore physical training. Imagine being a few days sober and being involved in some crazy military physical training. They have to push past their limits and their body has to submit to their mind and that's revolutionary because they realize that they don't have to be ruled by their emotions nor take some drug to numb the pain. We focus on organic eating and getting the whole body balanced. That's the key to our success.
Talking about balance, would you like to share with our audience your type of daily routine?
For me, I have a very strict routine. We've launched something we call Daily Essentials. The Daily Essentials are our daily habits. We are all the sum total of our daily habits. Good or bad, we become the sum total of what we do. Most everyone plans with me because they've developed bad habits and paying the consequences for that accumulation of those bad habits. For me, every morning I wake up at 4:30 AM. I meditate in front of a fire for close to an hour, sometimes guided meditation, often not, it’s a very rigid meditation schedule because I do believe deeply in Quantum Physics and I'm a woman of faith. That is my time to focus on my future self and the science behind that and then connect to our Creator.
That meditation time is a time of gathering my thoughts, learning how to change your state of being, which we can all do. We think we can’t, but we can alter our state of mind. I work out either at the gym or at home, I'll go jogging at home. For the first two and a half hours, my life changed when I spent that amount of hours in the morning because of the level of production I produce at a high level, I couldn't do what we do if I didn't. The mental clarity, the focus, the daily essentials are dates and deposits into your family, to-dos and today's lists where you have to organize your day before you even started, otherwise you're ineffective and doing fake work, as I like to call it. It’s fake work.
We will spin, we think we can multitask and science proves that we're not so good at it. Multitasking is not the smartest thing to do. I tried to not have fifteen bars open with multiple projects. We go into deep work. My daily schedule, I have daily huddles with the company, my particular unit at the companies. Those are very targeted times of focus. My daily routines are I have greens every single morning, that's the fuel of my body. I fill my brain with plenty of learning throughout the day because we need to activate our minds to keep them healthy.
Those are the overall journal every day, I make sure I journal. Sometimes I say, “Help God, write the journal,” because I'm rushing. My intention is to focus on getting my thoughts because if we don't, we're scattered throughout the day and it is a ripple effect in our life. That's it. Those daily essentials, there are five of them. My finance is one of them, keeping that real clear, the vision and the targets that we set for the company, being clear and hitting those targets. That's vital because if you don't know what you're doing, you won't get to where you want to go. Connecting with the ones I love is the biggest thing. Most of us get out of balance with that.
We have some daily habits called dates and deposits. I date my husband every single week and daily deposits with my kids for ten minutes, FaceTime. Those are intentional actions that we take. The sum total of those has a massive impact on the company and our personal life and my health. I used to be asthmatic. At one point, Kaiser asked me to get it all my affairs in order but it didn't look like I was going to make it. That was a wide eye-opener. I eat mostly keto and try to do a lot of intermittent fasting. I'm lagging a little late.
I actually still give you the title of Keto Queen. I do want to say some things. I want to go back to a tiny bit for people who are reading.
I’m giving a lot of information.
You are generous.
You are the living embodiment of what I would like to call and it's not called that anymore, but we talk about Warrior Woman Ignite. I’ve got to give you some props. I've worked with you closely, and how I showed up because I was a tad bit broken, you helped me develop, even though you're a woman. It’s with Michael as well, but I work with you so much more than I work with him. It's like how to be in a space. When I was coming to space, I was like, “I'm not getting respect nor am I showing up how I think that I'm showing up.” I worked firsthand with these women that I couldn't believe that were on drugs, methamphetamines, meth, crack, any drugs, alcoholism, you name it. You're a tad bit light but these people are jumping out of airplanes. They're getting the rush not from drugs, but with some life. I’ve got to tell you something, Dana, you and Michael have something that's special. If you are in the area of San Jose, California or Sonoma County and you don't know where to turn next, you can turn to Crossing the Jordan. What’s crazy is that you don't accept everyone.
You better know what you're getting yourself into. You can't get into the Navy Seals too easily, you know right away. Neuroplasticity is the fact that our brains can evolve. We don't understand that as a society that what is required to rewire our brain and what's possible after drug addiction and in the process of healing your mind and so we've tapped into that. I think it's a major part of our success along with our faith because we discount, we marginalize addicts. We're not helping society certainly, criminalization and all those things. Anything is possible if you're a forward thinker. I get to be the living testimony for everyone because I'm the founder. I get to be the woman that people get to see how far she came and then we of course are all our own testimony but there's so much hope and we're all responsible for our societal impact on the world. I think our current condition is because we're making it someone else's problem until it's our niece or nephew or daughter or husband, until it impacts you personally. We marginalize them when we walk on by. On our current news, we're paying the consequences for that deterioration of the mind in human beings, but there is a holistic approach that I think people get a lot of confusion around that holistic approach.
By your daily habits, your life can completely transform and the space we hold. I'm trained to hold the space for someone. Feedback in someone's life is so important and we reject feedback. You can have an experience where Chef Marie had an experience two seconds with you and we were like besties within 60 seconds. Why? Because of the experience that we gave one another at that moment. You think, “I don't know that person.” First impressions are pretty impactful. For me, I'm trained to show up in a way that there's an invitation for change, unsolicited advice no one wants to hear. If you create the space for someone that they feel safe and you invite the opportunity to give feedback, people leave changed overnight. You're such a pleasure to work with, it’s such a pleasure to see somebody transformed so quickly mostly because you didn't take offense and you were willing. What would it look like if we open ourselves to feedback? We call it blind spots. Somebody has blind spots and you can't see it because it's a blind spot. We have to invite people that can see in our blind spots and if we can posture ourselves in love like that. I don't like feedback either, but I'm committed to it.
That’s not true. You’re saying that maybe but we've spoken before for countless, numerous times about ideas and projects, you're so open.
I meant about that person when somebody is telling you about your personality defect. What I'm saying is that project-wise, if you're creative, you should probably listen to your creative team. We wrestle a little bit, you and I. I'm saying personal, it's the invitation to people to say, “What would it look like if you didn't take offense? What if you took it as an observation of yourself to work on?” I have a commitment of if three or more people say something about me, I will stop and change because the number is not one. That one person consistently, that might be about them. If I have a character defect that because I'm so harsh and I'm direct so three times in one day I hear that, I 'm like, “I’ve got to shift immediately. They're right. It’s the common denominator.”
I think we're spending so much time pretending to be someone we're not and then somebody sees those blind spots and then we shut them down. We're missing an invitation to change and it can be beautiful. That’s what I mean and it doesn't feel good. That was my point. I still have to go through it like, “I'm being that rude now.” You want to defend yourself. At the end of the day, I noticed over so many years of this, when I lay my head down at night and I received the feedback and I was able to shift, “What did my night look like? What did my peace of mind look like?” As opposed to me wrestling and trying to defend myself, we all know what that feels like. It doesn't feel good. I get the benefit of being a whole woman based on shifting and being willing to listen. That's a pretty cool payoff that we all miss. Those are when somebody like Chef Marie becomes highly successful. Why? Because you posture yourself in a place of love and all these opportunities open to you and people are attracted to you instead of repelled by you. I've done a lot of repelling in my life. I know what that feels like.
Chef Marie, when I met her, you guys have different voices, but you guys follow the same super open people. Chef Marie, you've been very gracious with time and attention to me, same with Dana also too as well. It's crazy because I'm being mentored by two women. It's actually pretty powerful. Both of you are super visionary and with Chef Marie, there's never an option for something not to happen. You’re like, “We're going to do it. There, it’s happening.” I’m like, “What’s happening right now?”
I’ll force your head to look out. Here we go.
Let’s make it happen.
What happens is I noticed that this is such a key to success because my husband, who’s a genius, will tell me, “How do you know that you're a leader? Will you look behind? Is anyone following you?” It seems simple but it's true. Are you creating the energy and the excitement in someone else's life? They will follow if you do. I shared the vision from Crossing the Jordan for a long time and I didn't shut up about it. There were times in my life that it was annoying because I wasn't attracting any attention from people because I wasn't posturing myself in a place that was leadership, but I didn't stop there even though I got the feedback that was negative. “What do I have to do to lead well? What do I have to do to bring the excitement?”
At this point, I'm quite persuasive because I practice on how to be persuasive. I think we’re like, “Stop at that. I don't know how to sell. I don't know how to persuade people. No one's listening to me,” but that’s just step one. “I'm not too good at that but how do I become better at it?” That was my mission. Now, I'm the main source of raising money for the organization. I'm the face of the organization because I cheerlead for people. We created this space that people are now attracted to the energy in which and that's what occurred with us. Chef Marie, we were attracted to each other because of the joy and excitement we have for one another. Lee, you're so talented. I got excited about your talent with you. I didn't care what your current condition was. You’re so talented. We get to decide what part of that person we align with and often people will shift because you can focus on the positive.
I had an incident happened that I wasn't too happy about and I said to the person, “We get to choose what we see in a situation.” One person could see the distraction, the other person could see the truth of what was occurring because their heart was postured in love. A couple of our students here at the academy were being distracting to someone and I said, “It’s sad that you're only seeing that piece because what I saw is them pouring their heart out in worship. You saw the two that were distracting. Did you see the 80 that were full of love?” I came across somebody in that same environment that was tearing up so grateful that we were there, that they got to see such an outflow of love. One person saw the outflow of love that was taken to tears and the other person saw a few people being distracted on their phone. All weekend I've been like, “We get to choose what we see.”
It’s that mindset.
I choose to see the good in people. I choose to see way past their current reality.
You are always there, every day.
It gets tiresome but it's worth it. The alternative is not appealing to me, to live a mundane life and move through life selfishly, when you're not making an impact. Anyway, we all have an impact that we're designed to make and we're all chasing often the wrong thing. If we're chasing the impact that we can make, everything else flows including the money. Success follows you being passionate about what you do. We just get the equation backwards. Those are my nuggets.
In MChef Spices, you can see different, wonderful spice recipes, anything from salmon to cashews to anything else. Chef Marie, do we have any something we can give to them for a quick little bit for a recipe?
Absolutely. We have to mention that we have a wonderful giveaway because we have the amazing Dana with us so we wanted to give a super nice bundle to Dana so she can cook at home her favorite Keto recipes and also to all the team at the Crossing the Jordan and a give-away to our audience. Because you are our dear Keto Queen, I thought of proposing a super cool, easy fat bomb recipe, a brain food recipe for your after-morning meditation. It’s very easy. Let's go with one cup of coconut flour, one cup of almond butter and sunflower seeds but lightly roasted. You’re going to get all the greatest nutrients and benefits for all hormones for a woman and for men so you give that to your man. He's going to be absolutely happy with this. It’s going to give him some energy. Because we are in Keto and unfortunately fruits are not our friends right now, but we can certainly up to get a lyophilized blueberries or strawberries, a little bit of lemon zest or lemon orange for vitamin C and you mix it all together, you put it in the freezer and then you make it in nights as well. That's it.
I love that. I could even do that. I can figure that out. Thank you.
Thank you, Chef. That was absolutely amazing. Let's get into something that a lot of people, a lot of women potentially and men also do as well, eventually that will come, tell them when that's going to be. Warrior Women Ignite, WWI, World War One is here and it's not on the other turf of Germany or anything like that. It's with the inside of yourself. Women need a tribe. Can you please tell me what does that mean? What’s the inspiration of that? I know a tad bit but I want everyone else to find out what that's all about.
What happened is that I completely transformed my own life and became quite successful. I reverse-engineered that success and found that it did align with Quantum today's modern science and the discovery is we're in Quantum Physics and our age-old wisdom that either science ignores it or people of faith ignore the science. We've intersected those teachings together. That said, Warrior Women, is my love child. What I desired to do for over several years is to launch a women's training. I don't believe in the rehab model at all. I think that we have all made mistakes in our life. We have all made mistakes in relationships. We all feed some addiction and the training in which we birth, my husband and I, are focused on success and what it takes to move forward and go after your dreams. It is not specific to a particular addict or somebody that's been in jail a few times.
This is Elite Success Training that we've developed and over the years because I've been doing these trainings for many years at Crossing the Jordan, our social enterprise, our nonprofit. I've been asked to personally train and coach women that aren't addicts. More and more over those over the years, they're like, “I want to be a part of what you're doing over there but I don't need to come to your residential facilities.” I've known that for a long time that we were headed in this direction of Warrior Women and we finally did that. What is Warrior Women Ignite? It is technically an Elite Success Training. It is three levels. One is a 21-day challenge where they come on and women come and do these 21 classes with me and then respond, do their assignments on a Facebook Live. There’s then a 90 day-intensive and it's similar to the challenge but it’s to evolve the brain to change those neural connections, those synaptic connections. You have to do a lot of repetition and the 90 day is the intense training of rewiring your brain. We live in automatic, so we've got to break that drift and shift and learn new habits and it takes time.
Then the last is the Immersion, which is a three-day experience that I trained. It is probably one of the toughest training in the United States. We put women through a total life transformation. Any woman at any level of success could go through these immersion trainings. When they see the imagery, sometimes people get a little intimidated but physically, most women could make it through. It is a serious mental, toughness challenge and training. Then you have the Return to The Citadel where we create an environment where women come together. The entire training is about bringing together a tribe of women. We are so isolated anymore and authentic connection is extremely difficult to find these days because of social media. We all have these conversations and it's easy to say we don't connect because of social media but what do you do about that?
We've created an environment of some serious authenticity and along with myself, Sarah Grieb, who is our other master trainer in a tribe of women. We've developed this training mechanism. It's easy to say that you read the books about millionaire habits and all these great things that we see and read books, but you have to be plugged in. I don't like the word system, I love mechanism because it's like you're plugging into a way of being that you're creating this machine inside of you that is creating these new daily habits.
That's what where Warrior Woman Ignite is. You are submitting to a small unit of women, your targets for your life and you're being accountable to those targets and learning new habits in this training mechanism. It's scientifically proven but most of all, it's easy to follow because it's so easy. Life gets you and you get up and go to the gym for a while or you connect deeply with your husband for a minute or you have these shallow relationships with women and you don't know how to dig deep into the relationship. We create that environment of you're all getting real together so there's not this fear. We're all getting messy together and it's so wonderful to see women get messy together.
I know I had to go through what I had to go through and get as messy and pay as many consequences as I did because when you've been to the pits of hell, not much actually surprises you. If we can create a space of no judgment, most women are amazed that so many other women have gone through the exact same as they have because we all put on this like, “I'm making it, I'm okay.” To some degree, we're never true with our thoughts. Our thoughts are dark sometimes. We don't know what to do with that. What do we do with those dark thoughts? Most of us are not aligned with who we are on the outside of what we're feeling and how we are being on the inside and this in-cohesiveness causes such damage in our life, women especially. Women hold a lot of sacrifice. We are trying to hold our families together and our businesses and keep balance and be there for our husbands and we're like, “We're worn out.” Unless we have a tribe of women to carry us, I think that is one thing in society that has fallen away.
We used to be women down by the river birthing one another's children. I love the idea of down by the river, that does something for us. You even have an expression on your face right now, Chef Marie, you related to that. We went down by the river, screaming and dwelling for one another’s sorrows and breathing together and birthing and celebrating together. It’s all these things that we don't do anymore and it has caused quite an effect on our lives. What would it look like if we could stand in the gap for women that were suffering and stay in the mess with them and hold the hand up for them? You can't give things away. You don't treasure it when you give something to somebody. When you teach them how to be a new way and serve other women and advance in that way, something magical happens. It's like it's in our DNA. We're designed and we’re like, “We're supposed to be there for each other like that.”
My heart is to have a global movement. We already have quite a movement going that there is this level of authenticity because for women, there is seems to a lot for men but there seems to be a gap for women. Further, we go to these wonderful trainings and these business trainings for men or even the women one but we don't get to the heart of it. We're always trying to do the next thing in business, either from network marketing, to online courses, to going to college. We're always looking for the thing to do but we missed out on the reason why we're not successful. It’s that who we are is where we need to focus on. We’ve got to master our inner life and then all that other stuff is added because we have all these character defects that we’re not willing to look at and there are thieves of success. There's indecisiveness, procrastination, disbelief. If we're not focused on eliminating those thieves, nothing we do to make money or be in a good relationship is going to work. It's why we get frustrated. That's why we go to the next job or try the next thing and then we make it all about the outside stuff.
When you became who you were designed to be, all that stuff is possible. We’ve got to stop chasing what we're supposed to be doing and become the person that we're designed to be. It’s not like, “What's your purpose?” We'd all get caught up in that. The real raw, get unstuck, get out of survival. We can't even function in survival. Think about it, I use this analogy all this time where if you have a migraine, you have to go to a dark room and crawl up in a ball. Most of us have had that experience and in those moments, you don't have any great ideas. You're not thinking about how much you love your husband and how wonderful he is. You're not thinking about this great next thing you're going to do, you can't even function. You're about surviving the next couple of hours in hopes that you can get relieved in your mind.
The same thing happens when we're in survival. When we're hurting inside, we can't do anything well, so we got to get all that junk out of there. Sometimes it's in our subconscious that we haven't even been connected to. It's that thing that we can't get over. We don't even know what it is because we buried it so much and we're living on automatic. We're automatically responding to yesterday. When you get out of survival, that's what Warrior Women does. Warrior Women has this training mechanism that is completely designed to get you unstuck in every area of your life because sometimes we're successful in one area and not in the other. We're out of balance. We address every area of your life so that there's balance and get you unstuck. Watch what happens when you get unstuck. That's what happened to me. I got unstuck. At that creativity and everything that was already in there started slowing out and then success was easy at that point.
For the audience, what would be something for them if they're in the current situation? Are there some complimentary classes?
Yeah, absolutely. It's a beautiful thing when you're already a successful entrepreneur because I want to give away this. I’m not holding anything back, you come from that's the blessing of being unstuck like, “Here it is, this is the truth and there's a $47 challenge. I wanted to make it available for anybody but if you can't even afford that, we put together a complimentary class for you.” I want women to see the truth of their current reality. You can shift and move and there's a tribe of women that will help you do that. You can go to WarriorWomenIgnite.com and there's a complimentary class. You helped me put it together, Lee, so it's got a lot of stuff in there. It's not some quick little class. There are a lot of nuggets in there that can be used in somebody's everyday life.
I think I told you probably should charge for it, but I understand it.
It’s like, “What are you doing it?”
You're not charging for it so I think there are a ton of nuggets that are absolutely amazing. It's actually a twenty-minute class or something like that. It's very comprehensive and you can actually take away a lot of things. I know that I'm a man, but I listened to it.
This success training is focusing on the women but those principles apply to men as well. My husband's a part of a brotherhood and things. Men seem to do that a little better than women, would you say, Chef Marie? Women, we tend to struggle to be connected because of the judgments we have, we're catty sometimes. I call it friendly fire in the battle. We're shooting at our sisters. This has got to stop. We can come from different approach and inspire them. Inspiration and motivation aren't enough. Everybody needs an actual mechanism to plug into.
It's we're creatures of habit but you can add that to a place where women love each other. Most of the world has this definition of love wrong. Love is beyond tough love. Love is saying, “Sister, you're stuck in survival, girlfriend. I found a way out, do you want to check it out? I refuse to leave you wounded on the battlefield.” The women in my tribe, I do this visual training like, “You're throwing that girl over your shoulder. We're going back for her. She's worth going back for. You shot a friendly fire, she's wounded on the battlefield, she's hurting and your job is to go get her.” When we drill that in, women blossom because it's who we want to be. We're so scared to be our authentic selves
That’s why we picked Warrior Women because women desire that too. My husband's like, “Are you sure?” I'm like, “Yes, women are attracted to that level of strength and confidence. I am a warrior for other women. I have a calling, I have a purpose, I have an impact and I am not going to shoot at my sisters in the field and leave them there.” Culturally, we have done that because we as women can judge each other quickly. What would it look like if you had the freedom to not? Everybody comes alive in that environment. You can't help it and I've been in the situations where I have judged somebody because I'm quick to judge. It's a natural reaction. It doesn't mean that you don't do it. It's what you do with it after. It comes there. It comes in our mind, we're like, “What is she wearing?” I've trained myself to see the best in someone. When you connect with them, you connect with a woman in her grief for five seconds, every judgment you ever had is gone.
All of a sudden you hear that some of these women lost their babies at a young age or their mother died. We make so many things up and if we literally spend five extra seconds, you're like, “How did I ever judge you?” Then you're melting together. That's what Warrior Women is. We invite women to come together in that space. You don't argue about your politics in that environment, you're not judging each other's paths, you could care a crap about someone's religions or religious background or not, somebody having a completely different religion from you or it's not spiritual or spiritual or whatever.
It's so amazing to me to see how they melt away so quickly when we engage. When we don't engage, what happens? We stay separate and then divided. When you get real with a woman that's in pain, I've seen the most miraculous transferring of love. You could feel it on someone almost instantaneously when someone puts down their guard and is willing to let somebody in that they probably wouldn't have let in because they judged them unfairly. Especially addict women, because they may gather that everybody else has it all together and everybody else doesn't have it all together. It's different forms of messy. You meet a politician, “I was such a broken woman on the streets of Santa Rosa here and now, I've sat with the Mayor, I've sat with the District Attorney, I've been on a task force with them. They are messy too. They're not perfect. They have life issues.” I'm like, “I spent a whole lot of time thinking that everybody like this was perfect.”
It’s idealism. We think that a lot.
It's crazy, “Now, I'm a successful entrepreneur. I'm out there. I'm around successful people. What a life waste for any woman to think somebody else has it all together?” They come out in different forms. Sometimes it's depression, sometimes it's isolation, sometimes somebody is so focused on making money, it becomes a debilitating thing for them. They don't have a happy marriage, lots of forms of things. We make up so much about each other. When Warrior Women get together, committed to one another, so much opportunity is birthed out of that because we create the space that we're equal. We're all together in this thing called life and we're doing our best. If you can focus on believing the best in somebody, miraculous things happen. I see somebody come in, they are so broken, they’re off the street, they're dirty, sometimes toothless. It’s not the most pleasurable experience at first but what does it look like on their graduation day? That's what I focus on. They don't look any like the person they were spiritually, physically, emotionally. Most of them are best friends now. Maybe you saw them in their current condition when I met them, you wouldn't have given him the time of day. What would the world look like if we all operated like that? Chef Marie, you've met many of them, haven’t you?
Yes, I did. They are angels. You are one of them because you're the leader.
Thank you, you're pretty angelic.
They are very rich inside out.
I like that word rich.
I can't wait to go see your people again at Santa Rosa.
We'll come to you some day.
Come to Vegas.
My daughter lives there so I'll be coming shortly. Thank you, though. Thank you on behalf of women for allowing this space because if we did more of that, things would be different. It starts with one, and you and I are here and we're doing it. Thank you very much for doing your part in the world, Chef Marie.
Thank you, Dana.
Do you have a story that's funny that you can share with the audience? What would be that story that people know you for? I've got a story in my mind. Not exactly but what you've done is probably crazy but anyway, I don't know if that’s a story or not.
A funny one, I don't have a clue. I'm pretty funny. I put myself out there to be vulnerable so people can see that a successful woman can be silly. Help me out with the story.
Come on, Dana, you are funny, you are full of humor, you have all these colors in your personality.
I play crazy tricks on people.
The one I have is not very funny but it's a bit about your past and about an FBI agent that you guys are not friends and stuff like that. I don't know if that's appropriate or not but we don't have to tell that, we can tell that much later.
Which one? Do you mean that I'm friends with the FBI agents that were after me?
Yes. That and people are going, “What was that all about?” Literally, you let you go that part of the story.
Do you want me to go there, Chef Marie?
Lee brought it out. I’m going to go for it so we're going to show my family story. In 1997, I actually was arrested. I am one of the only female bank robbers in the entire country that did this on my own and I was 23. It’s nothing to be proud of, but I did get a lot of publicity because I was what they called Bonnie without the Clyde. The sad story behind it is not the glamorized criminal stuff that I was a very miserable broken woman on a suicide mission. The crazy story is that I was one of the FBI's most wanted and the story he's telling you about is that the actual scene is that the FBI was looking for me. The place was surrounded by helicopters and everything and I was escorted out by the same FBI. They actually escorted me out of my own crime scene because I didn't fit the description for what they thought I looked like or my way of being. The FBI agents, they surrounded the place and I made a request for them to let me out of the crime scene and they actually escorted me as if I was this amazingly successful woman. I've had high speed chases. Honestly, I've never even seen a movie as close to as exciting as what mine would look like. I don't like to glamorize it because it was horrible but I am in Time Magazine and other magazines about what happened because it was so unusual for a woman to do it without a man and do a takeover style.
It’s never heard that before, very unusual.
That’s never heard of. The judge said, “I think a very bad or terrible thing happened to a very good woman,” and there's a whole thing behind the domestic violence and everything that occurred in battered women's syndrome but I don't play the victim. I actually did the crime. I did the time. I paid back the banks. I've done everything to reconcile and I've committed my life to change because I want to show people what is possible if you turn your life around. It’s not just mediocre. I don't want people to settle. I don't want people to get out of prison and settle for mediocrity. The marginalized people over here, “This is where you're supposed to work.” You can do anything. If I could have spent all those years in prison and I'm talking to you now on this show and I'm in this 12,000 square foot corporate office building we had, it goes on and on and we're creating a global movement. There's no us in them. There are no ex-cons and addicts in us. There are people and it gets messy sometimes. We make mistakes, but we can remember what's possible. My stories are crazy. I've gotten into two getaways. Imagine me in a getaway car and outrunning the police. I never got caught in any of my getaways.
I'm not marginalizing or sensationalizing, but I want the men and women to hear one player. If you think for one second in your life that you have it any worse, I wanted you to hear this story because it's so powerful because of a couple of things. One, what would your life look like if you went all in? Dana Bryant, you went all in. You went and you said, “What would my life look like if I decided to say yes?” You did that and that's why I want everyone to hear that.
You can't hold anything back. I live life to the fullest. I'm getting my certification to be a skydiving instructor. Many women are like, “Many people have all this energy. They don't know what to do with it and then they get caught up in these criminal activities.” If you think about it, if they spent that same energy impacting the world for good, what would it look like? My decision was, “Why would I hold back?” My past is not going to hold me back. I robbed a bunch of banks. I did a lot of time. That's it. That's the truth of what happened and I'm going to get judged for it. I do every day. I cannot be concerned with what people think. I was a kid. I made a mistake. It is not my destiny for the rest of my life and now the sky's the limit.
Actually, I'm on the quest to prove what's possible, not because I need to prove anybody but I want to be this person that people can look at and say, “I had so many of our own limitations. We make ourselves victim to our own story. I just refused to.” That person's dead and gone. I observe who she was. I take nuggets from who she was, what not to do. I take the amazingness of who she was and apply it to who I am now and that's it. We make it too much complicated. I was that person. Now I'm not, end of story. She's gone. That's it. Then we can have our goals accordingly. Most of us get stuck in the old person. What a waste of time.
Chef Marie, do you have a quote for us to get us out of this wonderful interview that we've had with Dana?
Yes, and I think that goes in relation with Dana, which we talked about. It’s very deep. It's about fears and it's from Dr. Henry Link, “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature's way of warming us to get busy.” Let's get busy with Dana and let's contact Dana to unlock these patterns, to overcome them and to break those fears.
Anything is possible.
Ladies, I had a wonderful time with you both. Dana, thank you so much for being on. Chef Marie, it's always a pleasure. I am known as the Spice Man and we're also named the MChef Burst of Flavors show. It was a wonderful time and thank you so much.
Thank you. That was awesome. Thank you so much.
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