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Archive for the ‘Confidence’ Category

You don’t have to shout or show off to be charismatic because charisma is an authentic power that lives within us all. When you are being true to who you really are inside you shine. As your charisma starts to flow you switch your cells into a growth operating mechanism that strengthens your immune system, increases your confidence and expands your awareness. Charisma can be likened to the same state that top class athletes experience – The Zone

You can’t teach charisma, certainly not in a conventional way because the moment that you try to teach an individual a charismatic behaviour that is out of alignment with the essence of who they really are at their core, they will come across as fake, superficial and devoid of charisma altogether. I clearly remember the excitement and nerves surrounding the launch of my first charisma seminar in November 2008 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. I was about to deliver content and exercises created following two decades of research – it felt very personal.

Here I was on this dark blustery November morning about to teach business leaders how to become more charismatic!!! My approach was inspired by the rebellious world of Quantum Physics and the miraculous reactions caused by the discovery of Epigenetics on cellular healing. As I trained to become a Reiki Master I started to appreciate the vital connection between energy and charisma. Paul McKenna, who I met during an appearance on a well known breakfast show in 1992 introduced me to tools that work at a deep level. The unconscious mind plays a vital role when transforming attitudes through charisma. Whilst I was strongly convinced that my unusual approach to developing charisma worked, it was a rather surreal experience to stand in front of a bunch of discerning business people and introduce them to ‘ a world of woo’!

I spent 5 years testing my methods at The Globe with hundreds of business leaders from all types of organisations and it proved to be a period of accelerated change as my blueprint was relentlessly tested, assessed, adapted, refined and improved. In the early days I remember introducing a couple of exercises and realising that I definitely wouldn’t be running those again!!!! Yet the impact of these two days was visible and dramatic. So much so that I employed the services of a Royal photographer who specialises in photographing well-known charismatic people. He photographed people throughout the event witnessing their powerful transformation.

It feels like a cliche to say that many attendees reported that their lives have been irrevocably changed and the impact of these two days endures. I recently posted a request on Facebook to ask people who had previously gone through my programme to share what they gained in one sentence and was inundated by responses that included:

“Totally inspired”

“Completely changed how I feel about myself”

“My life is completely different now”

“Confidence to communicate more clearly with others”

“A rare a unique opportunity to make sense of who you really are”

The better you feel about yourself and others improves your performance at work, it improves your relationships with your family and it improves your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I have evolved this programme into a powerful Charisma Retreat held in beautiful venues for a small number of people. Delivered with the amazing Corah Clark who is, in my opinion, one of the UK’s top Transpersonal Therapists and supported by one of the UK’s top Cultural Architects – Karen Bellamy.

2015 Two-Day Retreats:
Monday 23rd – Tuesday 24th March at Down Hall Country House Hotel, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
Monday 18th – Tuesday 19th May at Didsbury House Hotel, Manchester
Monday 19th – Tuesday 20th October at Down Hall Country House Hotel, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
Monday 16th – Tuesday 17th November at Didsbury House Hotel, Manchester

Book your place before 20th February and receive our Early-Bird rate of £1250 PLUS VAT.

For places booked after 20th February the price is £1500 PLUS VAT.

What’s included:

  • 30 minute one-to-one session using a blend of energetic realignment techniques
  • High levels of additional support with Karen Bellamy and her team
  • Charisma Retreat materials
  • Access to Informal Learning Resources and Charisma Chat Zone
  • Post retreat charisma meditations written and recorded by Nikki Owen

Complimentary call with Nikki Owen
To ensure that our Charisma Retreat will meet and exceed your expectations we offer a free complimentary telephone call with Nikki Owen so you can learn more about what to expect and discover how you personally can be helped. To schedule this call please contact Emma Mattingley by email or by phone on 01732 617816. We tend to manage our lives intellectually – in other words we get stuck in our heads, keeping ourselves preoccupied with juggling an assortment of activities and responsibilities in order to manage the surface of life. We all eventually reach a moment at a certain age when we feel ready to start listening to our intuition and allow ourselves to follow what we feel in our deepest self. It’s the most intelligent, powerful, brilliant, authentic and sane choice we can make. If you feel ready to take this step that elevates you from your head and connects you to the ebb and flow of your heart then we look forward to hearing from you.

Coombe Abbey is a majestic and imposing castle nestled in the rolling undulations of the borders that unite the Coventry and Brinklow countryside. A stunning and breathtaking venue for a gathering of Fellows from the Professional Speaking Association. When I walked into the imposing entrance I was instantly catapulted back in time to 12th century living of isolated monasticism, royal plots and family curses. A musty and surreal historical presence oozed effortlessly from every nook and cranny. Centuries of whispered ancient secrets created an atmosphere pregnant with paranormal possibilities. I  felt emboldened by the mesmerising energy of such a wonderful yet dark building. No wonder castles are becoming the venues of choice for those seeking to hold business meetings with a difference. They add a real gravitas to any occasion that announces your importance like a fanfare of trumpets welcoming you back into the deepest fold like a crusading knight in shining armour.

I suspect it was around the age of four when I fell in love with castles. Fairy tales enthralled me as I listened to my grandmother telling me about beautiful princesses who lived in magical kingdoms. Despite the omnipotent power of the obligatory wicked stepmother or the ugly witch, every story ended with a ‘happy ever after’. The gorgeous princess (beautiful on the inside as well as on the outside) always got her man who was a brave and fearless prince who had risked his life to find her. The princess would be whisked away to an opulent castle surrounded by her heart’s desires whilst she continued to sing with creatures in the forest, undertake tireless charity work and was loved by all who knew her. More than anything I wanted to be a princess and live a magical and enchanted life.

This adolescent desire has never really left me. It was a harsh shock to realise that princes also have intense insecurities and their ability to slay a few dragons and keep me safe was outside of their remit. I needed to sharpen my own sword and embark upon a crusade into the big wide world. There is nothing quite like a bit of adversity to build your castle walls. A failed love affair, a career that breaks your heart or a boulder of responsibility that sucks joy from the magic of your life. When we are hurt we activate a primal need deep within us that erects a protective wall so tough that NOTHING can hurt us again. Over the years our walls often thicken and grow at such an alarming rate we begin to lose sight of who we really are inside.

The illusion of safety inside these castle walls is strengthened by a heavy drawbridge, aggressive archers with a penchant to aim their arrows where it hurts and a moat so deep that monsters lurk in its muddy depths. Having felt under attack for so long, we view most things as an advancing enemy force who wants to invade our personal space and take from us. And so we wait. Feeling safe. Feeling protected. As our supplies of food, water and emotional nourishment become depleted, we start to worry frantically about our future. Did we stockpile enough? Should we have been more frugal during the good times? Can we last until the point of our natural death? When all supplies have finally dried up, some of us still choose to stay where we are, stuck inside these thick oppressive walls as we live in hope that our ‘prince’ is just around the corner. Besides we are too frightened to venture out into the unknown – we have forgotten what it’s like.

There comes a point in everyone’s life that when faced by the probability of a slow and painful death, we may decide to let down our drawbridge and ride off into an adventure to reclaim our hidden self. Surprisingly, ‘the enemy’ is never as frightening as the controlling tyrant we had envisioned for so many years. Surprisingly, ‘the enemy’ is often a little bit like you. Surprisingly, ‘the enemy’ wants what you want – to feel safe, to feel loved and to live a life that has meaning and purpose. A mind at peace, a mind not focussed on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe. When you realise that ‘the enemy’ is a projection of your shadow self you accept that you truly do possess all the resources you need inside to attain whatever you want. Your life’s circumstances do not define who you are, they reveal the essence of who you really are inside. If we strive too hard for the ‘happy ever after’ we lose sight of the magical land we are blessed to inhabit. Every second of every minute of every hour is a sacred gift that we can cherish or disregard. Protective walls don’t stop us from getting hurt, they stop us from enjoying the exhilaration of life.

Regardless of whether or not my Prince Charming ever rides in and carries me off into the sunset (good job that I’ve joined Slimming World or he might find me a heavy burden!),  I am determined to pull Excalibur from the rocks and begin to love and accept my own inner demons for what they really are.

I have been given a beautiful string of real pearls by a lady called Sylvia that I have only known for 6 months. It is one of the most moving gifts I have ever received. The necklace belonged to her late mother and she told me that she felt drawn to give them to me. As I tried on the necklace, I was reminded that pearls are created when sand gets inside an oyster and irritates it. The oyster suffers greatly as this exquisite jewel grows more beautiful at the expense of the oyster’s pain. There is real truth in the expression ‘the world is your oyster’; the irritations of your life develops your inner essence, defining the person you are today. However, this feels too simplistic and doesn’t honour the suffering that we witness around the world on a daily basis. Sometimes when I read the news, witness the pain of another human being or when I’m feeling the struggle in my own daily life it is difficult to see a ‘pearl’ in the midst of such enduring darkness.

Life gives you whatever experiences are most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. You possess within you a Universal Intelligence that is the biggest ‘pearl  making’ laboratory in the world. The same Intelligence that grows trees from seeds, that lets birds fly, that waves the ocean and gives birth to new stars. Your pain and your suffering is giving you the opportunity to experience a higher version of you.

Many of us believe that our purpose here on earth is to seek and find happiness. We do what we do today because we crave success, however we define it, and the future becomes our salvation. I spent 15 years of my life sacrificing the present moment for the promise of future wealth, future relationships, future health and well-being. Working crazy hours, not taking time to invest in my intimate relationships, too busy to eat healthily. Leveraging my assets, accumulating debt, building my overheads to a point that just to stand still was too expensive for me to contemplate. Yet my mind was fixated on some obscure point in ‘my future’ when I could relax and enjoy myself. During a particularly intense 15 year period I encountered set back after set back. Business losses, toxic relationships, a failed marriage, money worries and a breakdown as I began to rebel against the relentless pressure. My spirit has always been a fighting one yet there were times when I felt a deep down weariness as I cried out “can I start again please?”.

As I’m writing this I’m smiling. I  recognise that this frantic treadmill that I chose to place myself on was not the best way for my heart. When you let go of trying to resist the natural ebb and flow of your life and accept the present moment as if you have chosen it then that peace you feel is the energy vibration of your consciousness. It is our ego mind that likes to judge whether something or someone is good or bad. If we can simply accept that our difficult experiences are like grains of sand designed to build the pearl within us then everything starts to feel easier.

Humanity is not destined to live happily ever after because it’s in its struggle and pain that humanity evolves. If we were all to exist in a utopian world of bliss then how could we learn and grow? It is in the struggle that we begin to find our inner beauty, our inner peace. It’s  only when we experience moments of darkness do we have a context to experience the light that shines brightly within us.

In my charisma seminars I conclude with a story that I have adapted from the book Illusions, written by Richard Bach, that I’d like to share with you in my own words:

Once upon a time there lived a village of starfish at the bottom of a great ocean. The current of the ocean swept silently above them all, young, old, rich, poor, good, evil – the current going its own way, knowing its own, true, powerful self. Each starfish in its own manner clung tightly to the rock face and coral because resisting the current was its way of life and clinging was what it had learned from birth. Yet after awhile, one starfish cried “I’m tired of clinging! Though I cannot see it with my own eyes, I trust the ocean knows where it’s going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will, for if I keep clinging on I shall surely die of boredom”. And the other starfish cried “Fool! That ocean that you worship will throw you smashed and tumbled against the rocks and you shall die quicker than boredom”. But the one heeded them not and taking a deep breath he did let go and was at once smashed and tumbled against the rocks. Yet because he refused to cling again he was lifted from the bottom of the ocean until he was hurt and bruised no more. The starfish at the bottom of the ocean,  to whom he was now a stranger cried “look a miracle – a starfish like us but he flies!”  But the one in the current said “I am no more a miracle than you. The ocean delights to set us free if only we dare to let go. This life is our true adventure.” But the starfish at the bottom of the ocean kept crying “it’s a miracle, a miracle” and when they looked again he was gone. They were left alone to creating legends of the miraculous flying star.

When I look at people around me, those that I work with, those I pass in the street, I see pain, suffering and sadness yet I also see courage, strength, creativity and compassion. We are doing the best we can in a world that at times, delivers cruel harsh blows. When you honour the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolves and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you embrace every difficulty as a tiny grain of sand destined to shape your greatness then you start to accept the roller coaster of your life with peace and serenity.

Every time I put on this beautiful necklace of pearls – I see an ocean of wisdom and growth within each one.  My thanks to Sylvia for this exquisite gift who inspired this blog. up, how did your parents deal with issues and difficulties? Did they encourage you to talk honestly and openly? Did they tend to explode with anger, shouting obscenities in the heat of the moment? Did they chose to pretend that everything was normal and refuse to discuss anything in preference to sweeping any uncomfortable issues under the carpet? Each of these responses will create an internal build up of emotions that affects the energy and emotional stability you possess as the adult you are today.

The Volcano – when an individual demonstrates explosive reactions to situations that appear out of proportion to the actual incident this usual signals they have buried negative emotions  that have been triggered. I completely disagree with the old saying “sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you”. The emotional intensity behind angry words can create just as much damage as physical abuse. The husband that shouts at his wife, the father that threatens his children, the man who seeks to control and dominate by using intimidation and power. Do you know an individual who dominates discussions and is on ‘loud transmit’ appearing oblivious to the reactions of others? Have you encountered someone who uses put downs and sarcasm to entertain even when their words are cruel and cutting? Growing up in an environment of violent outbursts (even if these outbursts are more often verbal ones) tends to create children who either grow up believing that it’s acceptable to control and dominate others or children who grow up to become habitual people pleasers.

The Glacier – when an individual refuses to discuss matters or uses ‘the silent treatment’ to show their disapproval. This type of passive aggressive behaviour is also extremely controlling and children may often feel they are walking on egg shells around this type of person. The mother who refuses to discuss any disagreement in the belief that her opinion is always right. The wife who blames her husband for past mistakes and demonstrates icy coldness towards him. The woman who has become embittered and hardened by life causing her to become inflexible, critical and judgemental. Do you know people who refuse to forget the past mistakes of others and bottle up their anger and find fault in everything everyone says or does? This refusal to discuss issues in a fair, open and equal way is also very controlling because it fails to honour the other person’s perspective and creates a silo mentality. “I don’t want to discuss it any more so let’s just forget it” – more negativity is pushed under the surface increasing the pressure even further. What are these people so scared of? Children who grow up with a Glazier tend to either close down emotionally and erect their own icy boundaries or will  crave approval from others.

The Mountain – when an individual speaks openly and honestly from their heart whilst seeking to truly understand what the other person is saying. This strengthens and develops mutual respect and creates a solid foundation for relationships. The father that asks their child for their opinion, the mother who actively listens to their daughter. The parent who allows their growing teenager the freedom to make their own mistakes and choose their own path. The individual who is genuinely interested in other people and celebrate diversity and the wonder of uniqueness.  This behaviour demonstrates that all peoples’ views are valid and that there is no ‘right or wrong’ way only infinite ways of thinking and doing. Children who grow up in an environment of Mountain behaviour will be strong, resilient and possess high levels of confidence and self esteem. They will view others through the eyes of compassion and curiosity that conveys respect and genuine interest. These people will naturally create a feeling of calm strength in others and prefer to ‘empower’ rather than wield ‘power’ over others.

During my one-to-one sessions I am continually amazed with how many of my clients are affected by the past and also present behaviours of their parents. Smart, successful and together (well, they look ‘together’ on the surface) people will revert to childhood programming around their parents. Trying to create a positive change by working within the constraints of the conscious mind will often result in failure because these parental issues were not installed within your adult self they were installed  when you were a child and growing up. Often the quickest way to transform your life is to help your younger self find peace and acceptance of past traumas and difficulties. There are a number of high impact techniques that will help you to do this including Matrix Reimprinting, Timeline Therapy, EMO trance and Hypnosis.

As a parent myself I am mindful of the impact my behavioural choices have on Rose my twenty year old daughter. Sometimes in my desire to help her, my behaviour can appear to her to be very controlling. My maternal instinct causes me to want to wrap her in cotton wool yet I know that she needs to develop her own resilience and cotton wool blocks the definition of her own inner strength. Sometimes I’ve lost my temper and been a Volcano. This immediately causes her to either shout back or withdraw emotionally. Other times I’ve used the silent treatment until the hurt in her eyes causes me to feel ashamed of myself. Despite my imperfections as a mother – I am always prepared to say sorry and to talk and discuss issues, problems and difficulties that Rose or myself have.  My intention for Rose is that she feels free to walk her own path knowing that she has my unconditional love with her every step of the way. I don’t want her to feel obligated towards me and if she wants to spend time with me that’s wonderful and if she doesn’t then that’s ok too. Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs on the planet because of the emotional connection of intense love mixed with your own past programming received from your own parents whilst you were growing up.

So what does this have to do with charisma? I believe that we are all born with an abundance of charisma within us. Parental programming, our environment and traumas, hardship and tough times unwittingly trigger a primal need to protect ourselves. So we put up a wall, then another wall and another until we have built so many walls we have lost touch with who we really are at our core. When we act in a way that is out of alignment with who we truly are inside we appear fake, superficial or not genuine. This blocks our flow of charisma. When we feel safe and are brave enough to dismantle our walls then we reconnect to who we truly are inside. This is when we are at our most charismatic.

In my own life my most important value is to be true to myself and I have learned to speak out from my heart. I find it impossible to act as if everything is normal when it’s not. I struggle to do superficial chatting because the other person fears we uncover a contentious issue. I have let go of the need to ‘fix’ everyone I meet because trying to fix others presupposes they need to be fixed! I value people who are authentic, compassionate and non judgemental. I try really hard to live my life reflecting these values and sometimes I get it a bit wrong. Yet if I keep these values awakened within me then maybe my behaviour will create mountains in the minds of others.

Years ago BT launched an advertising campaign based on the principle that ‘it’s good to talk’. The ability to speak out with kindness and sensitivity enables those around us to grow and flourish. The ability to listen beyond words to the views and opinions of others builds connections, respect, understanding and in parental relationships – deep unconditional love. I remember reading a beautiful book by Dr Wayne W. Dyer that said something along the lines of “How others treat me is their path: how I react is mine.”

Extensive research and numerous studies examining the benefits of charisma confirm that people with high levels of charisma are happier, healthier, enjoy more success in their chosen careers and possess increased resilience to the challenges and difficulties that life presents. If the advantages of charisma are so appealing, why then do the majority of organisations shy away from developing the charismatic potential of their leadership team?

There are people who subscribe to the theory that charisma can not be taught, you either have it or you don’t. Other people perceive charisma as a form of psychological bondage that poses an inherent risk for their organisation. I remember when our Business Development Director had a meeting with a major High Street Financial Institution. During the presentation he was a little surprised when their HR Director asked: “Do we really want charismatic leaders?” Charisma can trigger a strong negative reaction because of the legacy left by disgraced and selfish charismatic leaders. Remember the public outcry about the former CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland, Fred Goodwin? The media publisher, Robert Maxwell?

Even when an organisation’s charismatic leader has proved to be an asset to the organisation, what happens to the business after the leader has moved on? How would the public and investors of the Virgin Empire react if Richard Branson cut his connection with the Virgin brand? The former CEO of Sainsbury’s – Justin King used his charisma as well as other attributes to create a tripling of profits during his ten year tenure. Yet on the day he resigned almost £400 million pounds was wiped from Sainsbury’s share value. Little wonder that corporate competency frameworks rarely feature charisma as a desirable leadership competency.

The corporate prejudice against charisma pales into insignificance when looking at the impact of charisma on a nation when used with evil intent. Historical writer and documentary maker Laurence Rees produced a disturbing 3-part series -The Dark Charisma – based on Adolf Hitler, an awkward, dysfunctional man who developed a level of charismatic attraction almost without parallel in history. Hitler shows that charisma is highly dangerous when possessed by a megalomaniac. Adolf Hitler was without question an extraordinarily charismatic presenter. Certainly in terms of his rise to power, his personal charisma was one of the most effective tools that he used to tap into the collective psyche of the German people.

The Harvard Business Review published an interesting view from Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic , international authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing. Dr Premuzic argues that, amongst other things, charisma disguises psychopaths, distracts and destructs, and is responsible for ‘downgrading leadership to just another form of entertainment’. Whilst I disagree with much of Dr Premuzic’s article, it is well written, and certainly mirrors the distrust that the business community seems to have about charismatic leaders. This sweeping generalisation that some individuals may use their charismatic presence inappropriately, often prevents corporations from taking charisma seriously. Whilst I concur that charisma can be used for good, or for evil – that distinction need not prevent an individual or their organisation from benefiting from what is a genuine competitive advantage. As with any attribute, there is a mantle of responsibility inherently implied for the charismatic leader.

Today most leaders, acknowledge that a charismatic leader appears to effortlessly attract loyal and supportive ‘followship’. Charismatic leaders attract more publicity and more attention from outside groups as well as exerting a strong (albeit invisible) bond with their organisation’s workforce. Numerous studies and many different credible research sources show that Charismatic leaders, outperform their non-charismatic peers by an average of 60%.

As a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association I have just been enthralled for 2 days by a diverse range of breathtakingly charismatic speakers. Patricia Fripp is a sharp, powerful and dynamic speaker from the US who used to be a hairdresser. Today she entertains audiences across the globe teaching sales people, speakers and priests to create and deliver charismatic presentations or sermons in some cases. Fripp is tiny in stature yet her presence on stage is awesome. Every word she utters hits the spot and I felt I was in the presence of a true genius. It was also the first time I’ve see Deri Llewellyn-Davies known as The Strategy Man. After a rather startling entrance I found myself mesmerised by the artful way he built beautiful crafted links into his extreme challenges. From running marathons across the desert to climbing unclimbable mountains Deri’s speech was packed with powerful tips to build a successful speaking career. And then onto the stage walked Alvin Law whose mother had in 1960 taken a pill for easing morning sickness. Alvin is a thalidomide baby and was born with no arms. He shows not an ounce of self pity – just sheer guts, wisdom and unbelievable resilience that moved over 400 professional speakers to tears. Watching Alvin use his feet to drink from a bottle, brush his hair and play the drums caused me to feel overwhelmed with the courage this man possesses.

Charisma is an authentic power that captivates the hearts and minds of others. When you are being you and you love what you do you shine. Audience engagement is a leading indicator of a speaker’s success. Developing your charismatic potential in a way that is aligned with the essence of who you truly are at your core is the quickest way to enthral an audience. There are five pillars that impact upon your charisma: 1. Self-worth ( in the context of speaking) 2. Sensory awareness of you and your audience ( if you tune into your Emotional Guidance System you’ll have continual feedback about your speech) 3. Compelling vision that creates an electro magnetic force field that your audience will feel and be affected by. 4. Driving force that determines your level of passion and enthusiasm. 5. Balanced energy so you can simultaneously transmit and receive energy that builds huge momentum during your speech. Everyone including you have an abundance of charisma yet when you experience knocks, obstacles and difficulties you trigger the erection of walls that disconnect you from your inner essence. Therefore, the quickest way to re-connect with your charisma is to identify, acknowledge and dismantle your walls. Here are my top tips for boosting your charisma when speaking or presenting to larger groups:

  1. Be yourself. Speaking and presenting techniques  that are not aligned with the essence of who you truly are inside will mean that you are perceived as not authentic and this automatically dilutes charisma.
  2. Deliver your speeches/presentations/talks in peripheral vision. (Focus your attention on one spot then expand your awareness into the peripheral). This opens the doorway to your unconscious mind and enables you to connect to universal energy referred to as The Field. It is in this transcendental state that stimulates your natural charisma.
  3. Start slowly and build the pace. This builds rapport with the kinaesthetics, auditories and visuals in your audience. You can then speak at your natural talking pace.
  4. You cannot engage the heart of your audience unless you create an emotional response. If you struggle with the ability to access a wide range of emotions then book a session with an Emotional Freedom Techniques Therapist who will help you to release the energetic blockages that are preventing you from connecting emotionally.
  5. Ego is the quickest way to drain your charisma. Showing humility, compassion and vulnerability creates a powerful intensity that builds a strong heart-orientated connection with your audience.
  6. Charismatic speakers utilise more of their Limbic Brain. Limber up your Limbic Brain that controls your self awareness and your emotional responses by performing a Cross Crawl exercise daily. This is simply a cross-lateral walking in place exercise that involves touching the right elbow to the left knee and then the left elbow to the right knee.
  7. Every living thing exudes an electro magnetic field referred to as an aura. The larger your aura the more charismatic you become. Emotions such as love and gratitude are the quickest way to expand your aura. This is why charismatic speakers only speak about the topics that they really care about.
  8. Regularly meditation enables you to build a stronger connection with your authentic charisma because it enables you to slow down your brain wave frequencies to ‘Theta’ – the most powerful frequency for transformation. Accessing Theta when speaking enables you to work in a peak state of flow.

As an international speaker on charisma and energy I recognise how important it is to walk my talk. How can I share my powerful messages if I then go and ignore what I advocate for others? One of my guiding principles is that our mind and body is totally connected. You can’t have a thought without it showing up in your physiology. The way you move your body affects the way you think and the way you feel. So ten days ago I took a ‘less that flattering’ look at myself in the mirror and asked myself the question “what does my body convey to others?” Through my eyes I looked overweight, a bit wobbly in places and my pallor seemed to lack radiance. I looked run down and realised that this wasn’t the impression I want my audience to have of me before I even open my mouth to speak.

In that moment ( and I’ve always been a bit impulsive) I decided to book a Personal Trainer to help accelerate my body into a glorious charismatic shape – full of vim and vigour and vitality. Knowing how controlling I am at times I requested a PT who would push me and not allow me to wimp out of the exercises that were too exhausting to even think about, let alone do. Enter Paul who happens to be exactly the same age as me. He looks supremely fit, is very approachable yet I see the glint of steely determination in his eyes! Within 5 minutes of scheduling my sessions he persuaded me to invest in the gym’s heart rate monitor so he could see how much effort I was putting into everything!

Have just completed my first week and – I can barely walk! Muscles that I didn’t even realise I had are throbbing and given that I’m doing 5 sessions a week I have to now accept stiff and aching muscles as a way of life. The fact that I shuffle around the house these days like a little old granny and feel permanently hungry is an experience in of itself. Yet my heart and my head is determined to really work at this and Paul is a genuinely nice man who seems to know just how much I have left in my tank!!! We now tackle the heavy weights by imagining helium filled balloons lifting them. My burning quads are now instructed to feel ‘ice cold’ and he plays the Rocky theme tune on his phone when I’m rowing. Whilst my body is in major shock, my mind is strong and my intention very clear. Already the gradually increasing power in my body feels good as if I am competing with negative demons and we are in head to head combat. I know I’ll win because I am feeling the negativity weaken into submission with every session I complete and ‘survive’. Watch this space as I’ve done ‘before’ photos ( not a great advert for my brand )yet I’ll only show these when I can celebrate my new emerging muscular physique!!!

On a lighter note I spent an enjoyable hour being interviewed for a US dating site for men who wanted to know how their listeners can increase their charisma and attract more women. Actually my message is the same whether I’m working with CEOs or lonely hearts – just be yourself! When you accept that you are wonderful just as you are, you radiate an energy that compels people’s attention. No tricks, no gimmicks just pure authenticity with a large dose of self worth. As we grow older, many of us have learned to surround ourselves with protective walls to stop us from getting hurt. The thicker these walls the more disconnected we become from our core authentic self. Being charismatic requires you to dismantle your wall so your energy switches from isolated silo to connected collaborative.

That’s why I am embracing the pain in the gym and allowing myself to look like a complete wimp – after all if I can still smile at the world then good things tend to happen!

The gentle man walked slowly towards the clearing in the park that he had visited almost daily since he was a boy. His dear old loyal dog – Cindy, ambled along doing her best to move in synchronicity with her owner yet quite happy to simply sit and stare at the trees.So many memories, so many daily trips and so many dogs had shared the endless supply of treats the man stored in his large pockets. This was his place where he felt truly at peace, at one with Nature and accepted and known well by the regular dog walkers that knew him by sight and often stopped to exchange the odd greeting. Sometimes a large crow circled the skies watching for the opportunity when he too would be noticed, called to and then fed by this gentle man.

If you were to look closely you would see the warmth in the man’s eyes whenever he spied a dog, it was as if he knew that these loving animals recognised a kindred spirit a man who knew how to express appreciation and gratitude for their unwavering loyalty and unconditional love. Every line on the man’s face told a story. The mischievous boy who climbed over the walls into the Zoo to peek at the animals. The long and satisfying walks with his wife whom he had loved with all his heart. And the dogs. Each one more memorable to him than their owner, each one a cause for delight as he tempted them nearer for a quick pat, a ruffle of the ears and a tasty treat.

What the man was less aware of was that he was well known and loved by many that saw his presence as a reassuring glow in the middle of the greyness of their ordinary lives. He was a part of this park or was this park an extension of his nature? It didn’t matter either way because they were both entwined as the ivy that grew steadily to the large oak trees. The dog walkers visibly brighten at the sight of Hugh and Cindy because they cast a warmth into the coldest heart irrespective of the day, the time or the season.

So on the 2nd August the day when Hugh celebrates his birthday, this is a sincere and heartfelt message from one of those dog walkers to say “thank you and Happy Birthday”. There is an abundance of trees in Cobtree and an abundance of days in the park ahead. Enjoy every magical moment.

Happy Birthday love Nikki and Mindy (the Yorkshire Terrier)

I belong to a Fabulous Women’s Group where successful business women who are at the top of their game meet every quarter to provide peer group mentoring for each other. One of the group usually runs a morning session for the others on our specialist skill then the afternoon is devoted to resolving issues raised giving us more perspectives than just our own when creating solutions. I adore this group, the woman are so inspirational and are exceptional role models of excellence in their chosen fields. So imagine my excitement as I travelled up to Pitsford, just North of Northampton to learn how to do horse whispering with the master (or in this instance mistress) of horse whisperers – the charismatic and utterly authentic Lisa Brice. Watching Lisa with her beloved horses was in of itself a magical experience – it was as if there was an invisible thread connecting Lisa and her horse so that an unseen puppeteer was orchestrating the synchronicity of fluid movements between animal and human.

All of my life I have avoided horses in the belief that they are frightening and give me an extreme allergic reaction. Consequently I was thoroughly armed with an Epipen, Ventolin  inhaler and a sackful of tissues (not very ‘Louise Hay’). Yet I found myself mesmerised by the intuitive horses in front of me. It was as if they could see into my soul and were listening intently to the beating of my heart. For two hours I learned how to understand and connect with these beautiful majestic animals and recognised that any changes in my energy were instantly picked up by the horses who gave me feedback in their own decisive way. Watching my fellow Fabulous Women connect with their horses I saw their charisma expand and engage the horses so that collectively it felt as if we were one entity in constant contact with the rhythm of the earth and nature. After a sumptuous lunch in Lisa’s farmhouse kitchen we sat outside in the paddock with the horses. Amanda Waring used her shamanic wisdom to drum an uplifting melody to our emotional hearts as we connected with the full beauty of this tranquil afternoon. In this moment all of us experienced a profound peace that left us feeling simultaneously vulnerable and strong. In this moment I would be prepared to do anything for any one of these women whose hearts seemed intrinsically linked with my own. So this is what engagement feels like. So this is the power of collaboration in its purest form.

In our western culture, many of the leaders that I have worked with feel uncomfortable when they see that part of my charisma definition mentions – heart – . Many organisations already have strong and robust processes in place to build employee engagement. Leadership teams are generally good at winning the – minds – of their people. Engagement and motivation are emotional responses, an unconscious as well as conscious desire to work with heart and soul for the benefit of their leader and their organisation. When leaders cannot communicate with their heart, and find difficult to express their emotional side,  they generally struggle to build engagement, and often encounter even more resistance to changed ways of working. Heartfelt communication triggers serotonin and oxytocin – chemicals that naturally increase empathy, feeling good and trust.

There is a scientific explanation that explains why some leaders can evoke a strong positive emotional response and attract massive followship. The vagus nerve is a bundle of nerves that originates in the top of the spinal cord. It activates different organs throughout the body (such as the heart, lungs, liver and digestive organs). When active, it is likely to produce that feeling of warm expansion in the chest—for example, when we are moved by someone’s goodness or when we appreciate a beautiful piece of music. Neuroscientist Stephen W. Porges of the University of Illinois at Chicago refers to the vagus nerve as the nerve of compassion. This is because it stimulates certain muscles in the vocal chamber, enabling communication and it reduces the heart rate to promote a feeling of calm. Studies suggest that there is a connection with oxytocin, a neurotransmitter involved in trust and empathy. Consequently, the vagus nerve is associated with feelings of caretaking and the ethical intuition that humans from different social groups (even adversarial ones) share a common humanity. People who have high vagus nerve activation in a resting state, are more likely to be altruistic, compassionate, feel gratitude, love and happiness. Genuine charisma boosts the vagus nerve activators and draw people towards them without effort in an almost unconscious manner.

Horses have a sixth sense for people who have learned how to activate their vagus nerve. You can’t pretend to be calm with a horse, you can’t pretend to be confident – these magnificent creatures reflect back to you, that emotion you are feeling deep down – the one you may have worked hard to suppress. So to invest a day learning from horses is day where you automatically learn how to boost your own natural charisma. As for my own limiting beliefs around allergies and fear of horses – I now recognise that they are simply delusional thoughts that are not real. What’s real is the feeling of connectedness to all that surrounds us.

The good news is that in order to increase your charisma you don’t need to learn anything new. You simply have to feel comfortable being you, connect with your emotions and find purpose and personal meaning in your everyday work. This may sound simplistic because it takes real courage to remain fundamentally true to who we really are inside – with every individual (or horse) we meet – and in every context. Years of environmental conditioning often stops us from allowing our softer and therefore, more vulnerable side to show.  Once we start to honour our true self we experience a feeling of euphoria at the sheer sensation of being alive. And in the same way that we never forget how to ride a bike this feeling of bliss is our birthright, it is a natural state that is within all of us, just waiting to be awakened.

How are you feeling inside as you think about it now? I mean if you could choose any feeling that would enable you to get the most joy from today, what feeling would you choose? Take a minute to read through these quotations and notice your emotional response then read on to discover why your emotional reactions send vibrational waves into your environment.

  • Music is what feelings sound like
  • “What day is it?” asked Pooh. “It’s today.” squeaked Piglet. “My favourite day.” said Pooh.
  • We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
  • When asked how they managed to stay together for 65 years, the woman replied, “We were born in a time where if something was broke, you fixed it…not throw it away.”
  • Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.
  • When nothing goes right….go left.
  • Be thankful for the bad things in life. For they opened your eyes to the good things you weren’t paying attention to before!
  • If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?
  • The mind replays what the heart can’t delete.
  • If you are depressed you are living in the past. if you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.
  • Be someone who makes you happy.
  • Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90…..time is a concept that humans created
  • You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life.

According to sociologist Edward Shills, charisma endows its recipients with an almost supernatural power that transcends ordinary human behaviour. A rather dramatic interpretation at first glance. Yet take a look at people with faith when they are praying. Whether in a mosque, a church or a synagogue or a temple you may notice an aura of radiance, a sense of calm peacefulness that surrounds their physical form. From an energetic perspective, the purer the person’s thinking, their vibrational frequency becomes lighter and higher. So in practical terms, emotions such as anger and sadness are transmitted on a low heavy frequency in contrast to love and gratitude which are transmitted on a high lighter frequency. As my 30 year fascination with charisma has caused me to research and study hundreds of leaders in different fields I recognise that many charismatic individuals (who use their charisma with positive intent) are transmitting their energy on a higher frequency in contrast to their non charismatic peers.

Last year I conducted an experiment based on the iconic master of self development, Napoleon Hill. In 1935 he would imagine holding a board meeting with leaders that he admired. He discovered that his ‘counsellors’ would give him inspired solutions that he had not thought about on his own. On October 26th 2013 I invited 12 intuitive people join me to an event where we channelled the essence or spirit of our chosen deceased charismatic leader. Such was the success and power of this event I decided to run another one on Saturday 12th July 2014. This time I wanted to experience whether it is possible to access guidance from a high vibrational frequency that would enable a group of us to connect with a divine source of inspiration. There were questions I was curious to get answers to such as ‘How can you know if you’ve met your soulmate?’ to ‘What happens when we die?’ Under the expert guidance of experienced and trustworthy Psychic Medium Paul Wayman, we gathered at my house by the river to devote a day to what I affectionately call ‘weird stuff’.

As the day progressed we learned how to access a deeper level of trance and experimented with techniques ranging from inspired writing to channelling wisdom from the akashic records. What stood out to me was the power of our collective group energy and the deep feeling of trust and support amongst us. We were experiencing a collaborative culture in its purest form where individuals accessed their purest creative states and enabled a stream of wonderful ideas and solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. At a cellular level our bodies became flooded with Oxytocin and Serotonin (hormones that trigger love, empathy, trust and bonding) It was a special moment as individuals recognised that happiness is not attained when we find peace and calm it is when we attain peace and calm that happiness flows abundantly through our system. The power of the group’s support was demonstrated in little acts of kindness that honoured and respected the individual and the group. Diverse personalities blended and merged to create a glorious sense of oneness that will remain with me forever.

If I imagine this state of flow and connectedness expanding into organisations I am able to grasp how new visions of growth can pioneer the frontiers of organisational development. When employees feel safe, connected and supported within their everyday workplace and are operating from an emotional foundation of calm serenity then performance, productivity and efficiency naturally follows. As authenticity, emotional intelligence and compassion for our colleagues grows, the strength and power within an organisation flows and consequently supports itself to transcend from a stuck sterile operational environment to one of pure potentiality. Today’s visionary leaders recognise that profits should never be pursued at the expense of people or by sacrificing the planet. When leaders work in alignment with the laws of Nature and in support of their emotional guidance system they transform the mundane into the extraordinary.

A few days after this event I experienced a heavy cold (I never usually get ill) as the shift in my vibrational frequency caused a release of emotional toxins. I think this sounds a bit more positive as I cough through the night and drink endless mugs of Lemsip and buying into this ‘it’s just a cold’ malarkey!

So whatever you are up to this week, this day, this moment, take a moment to pause and notice how you are feeling. If it’s a good feeling then know that you are more open, more creative and feel more connected than those ‘Moaning Mildreds’ and ‘Whinging Williams’ that try to poison your bliss.