Whilst most of the UK sat glued to their televisions in a deep ‘trance like’ state watching the men’s Wimbledon’s Final 2014, I was recording a rather unusual deep sleep meditation of my own with two gifted and intuitive energy experts. According to the Sleep Experts (fancy having that job?) getting seven interrupted hours of deep nourishing sleep will ensure you maintain a healthy weight, help you to feel happier and boost your charisma! Yes you did read this correctly. A lack of sleep releases harmful chemicals into our system and switches your body’s operating system into one of survival. The mind and body processes the days events when we sleep so any interruption to this integration cycle will impact on how efficiently your body’s systems are run. Sleep deprivation will send your carb cravings to manic highs as you appear to lose all control of what you are eating because sugar has suddenly found itself onto your best friends’ list. At night emotional issues are mulled over by the unconscious mind, cells switch into growth and as our brain moves into theta and delta frequencies our body’s natural ability to heal itself is awakened and gently replenishes and nourishes organs, muscles and bones.
When our mind and body are working in harmony with the natural ebb and flow of the circadian cycles of life we access a state of peak performance. In this state we access our own natural charisma – an authentic power that captivates the hearts and minds of others. A crucial component to charisma is an abundance of energy. Therefore if your night has drained and challenged your ability to count flocks of sheep then you have effectively interrupted and blocked your body’s natural order to flow. Without this processing period you feel more stressed. As your stress levels rise your charisma is diluted because your system (your mind and body) is out of alignment with nature. Christopher Barnes, researcher from University of Washington is conducting a small research project that looks at whether sleep influences charisma in leadership because often leaders tend to be sleep deprived and his research shows that sleep has important effects on mood, attitude and behaviour. When people are short on sleep, they are more irritable, have lower job satisfaction, help each other less (creates more silos), cyberloaf more, engage in unethical behaviours and have lower engagement in their work tasks. Could it be that that those leaders who have between 7 – 8 hours a night of good quality sleep regularly will exude more charisma and find it easier to create an environment of collaboration.
Sunday was the first time I had recorded meditations with the talented energy guru Sue Bottomley who studied with Hopi Indians and the insightful Suz Jefferies who is a gifted horse whisperer. Our agenda was straightforward – show up and trust our unconscious mind that a sleep meditation will emerge without any formal planning or preparation. A pair of beautifully engraved symbols signalled the start and then the three of us began trusting our unconscious minds, speaking of the lullaby of sleep, moonlight sonatas and walking hand in hand under the stars with our inner child. You may be familiar with the hypnotic technique referred to as a ‘double induction’ where two voices speak different words simultaneously. This process overloads the conscious mind and automatically triggers a state of trance as the doorway to the unconscious starts to open up. I became conscious that with three mindfulness experts in the room we had accelerated this process and I felt as if I had ingested some magic mushrooms (not that I ever have, yet if I was to this was exactly how I imagined I’d feel). Add in some energy chime bars, some rather ‘interesting’ heavy breathing and a bit of artistic mixing by my sister Sal and voila we now have a very powerful 20 minute deep sleep meditation designed to relax even the most hyperactive MD. Not one to miss a testing opportunity my sister and I managed to persuade Gabby, an open minded friend, to listen to it whilst we photographed her in various stages of slumber. I did feel an inner ‘wow’ as she spoke about having an out if body experience……..all in all a rather unusual way to spend a Sunday!
I’m ashamed to admit that I had to Google who won Wimbledon even though the whimpering surrender of Andy Murray’s defeat, along with England’s disappointing performance in the World Cup, has taken the shine off sport for me this summer. Do you think these sporting stars are spending too much time partying instead of sleeping? Maybe a contractual clause opportunity perhaps.
So rather than depress yourself with news of the ’same old same old stuff’ why not just take an extra power nap and boost your powers of persuasion to a whole new level. Charisma is no longer the birthright of the lucky few, it is attracted to those who choose to sleep on it!