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Charisma Recipe




Physical Presence comes from the way you relate to your body. Embodying yourself is the key, that is the way you live in and experience your body. If you pay attention to the simple sensations of your hands and feet. No matter what you might have previous thought of your body, imagine you feel comfortable in it, that it is a proud possession that you love. If you have problems doing this, pretend. Think of a time in the past when you did something physical and felt, however briefly good about your body, about your physical skills. Imagine for a moment you are turned on sexually by your own body, even if this might not normally be true. This is why sports stars often have charisma even when they arenít too intellectually bright. They are physically intelligent.

Sensual Aliveness. When you enter a room pay close attention to all the sensations coming from the room, the sounds, the sights, the feelings and the smells. If there is anything to taste, give it full attention when you taste it. This will give you and the people around you a feeling that you are really present, involved and energetic, alive to everything around you. Even if you arenít really listening or connecting emotionally, they will still have that feeling Whatever you do, even if you are feeling down, be enthusiastic about the place. Of course, there are people who express dominance of a situation by being judgmental and negative, this can give them the attractiveness of a bully. They also pay close attention to their surroundings but they use their awareness to always position themselves above everyone with their bitchiness. This is the warriorís charisma, the power of anger, positioning themselves as in control is an expression of defensiveness.

When you spend a lot of time thinking and being anxious about the situations you are in, then you lock up your energy inside. If you watch really charismatic people youíll see even the negative ones, the bitchy ones, are always very strongly focussed externally.

Listening. Listening to people attentively is another source to being charismatic and glamourous without cameras and spotlights. You want them to know you are interested in what they are saying, really focus on connecting emotionally with people. You can be a charismatic person because you are a lover of people it is because you want them to know they are truly important. Method acting, the technique of Hollywood, uses focussed listening as its central technique for generating charisma by communicating subtle yet apparently honest intense emotion. Of course they use a form of self deception in order to create the lie they are a different character. This lie effect their self-image and so...

Self-Image. People perceive you only in the way you allow them to experience you. We are conditioned by our history to think of ourselves along particular lines. Our expectations of ourselves are what we most often live up to. One of the things actors are taught is to play with peopleís perceptions of them by playing with their image of themselves. They, of course, need to be able to be invisible as well, to cultivate ordinariness if a role asks for it. For charisma, you need to cultivate a character, and from it a self-image, that exudes confidence, glamour and dominance.

Another part of this is to choose a character from the media which can act as a model to help you embody different qualities for different situations. One problem is that many people choose one or two models, or heros, to use in general, rather than using different models for different situations and developing emotional flexibility and depth, and finally a unique version of themselves.

Self-value. The source of confidence is the level of value you place on yourself, your skills and your relationships. Even if most of the time you have trouble seeing how valuable you are to other people around you, if you want to be glamourous you should at least pretend to value yourself highly. When you feel down and your inner voices are attacking you the idea is to think of things you are proud of doing. Think of them with all your senses, see yourself doing it from within your own eyes, hear the sounds of it, even the smells. Imagine doing whatever it is, as if you were the best in the world at doing it. If you really concentrate, you will feel the muscles involved in the activity becoming sensitised, maybe even warm up.

Self-comfort. There are many people who build their charisma out of being loud, pushing into other peopleís personal space, by wearing garish masks, lots of make-up, or building big muscles. By exaggerating the superficial symbols of powerful masculinity or femininity they just come out looking desperate, a poser. They can be very impressive, especially if they are well-practised. Charisma that comes from within is relaxed, it comes from having a relaxed relationship with your body and your self, being comfortable with your surroundings. One way to get that feeling is to imagine you own everything around you. Of course you will be very badly mannered if you behave as if you owned other peopleís things, but you can certainly relax into that feeling.

Body Language. Glamourous people move with grace - meaning smooth and confident, as opposed to jerky, uncertain and tense. The posture of the charismatic is tall, but not straight or puffed up. If you raise your chest up to make yourself seem taller because you feel short or you want to impress then again you look false, pretentious, a try-hard. Tallness comes from relaxation, and being able to trust your body. It is not that it makes you tall, it is that if you are confident and give-off a feeling of strength, then you can give off a glamour which gives the impression you are taller then you actually are. If are strongly physically aware of your own process of moving, the muscles doing the work and sensuality of it, you begin to seem tall to yourself and, believe it or not, others feel it too. Donít believe me, experiment.

Another aspect of inner attractiveness is how you hold yourself, for instance, if your head moves a lot in short sharp movements, you bring your hands up to your face, ears and hair very often and you move your eyes around rapidly, then youíll come across as nervous, submissive, a wall flower. While if you hold your head in a relaxed stillness, and make natural eye contact without staring. If you break a stare, by moving upwards you will seem above the person. If your eyes go down, like so many people do, youíll seem to lose. In fact people who get into staring competitions are very insecure and are like a bully who needs violence to feel good about themselves. Breaking off natural eye contact says you are not interested in the other person and makes you very attractive. Holding eye contact too long can leave you seeming hungry, and low status.

Thinking and Emotional Habits. Everything we have talked about so far is related to your habits of thoughts and out of them your emotional habits. If you want to be charismatic or glamorous then it is a daily practice. When you feel your thoughts about yourself undermining you, practice focussing on positive thoughts about yourself - imagining you are already who you are going to be, is one of the cliches of coaching. Try it, but do it with all your senses. When you are thinking or fantasizing about situations notice the feelings you have about them. Rehearse the things we have talked about here in advance, when your sitting on a bus, driving, waiting in a doctorís rooms or are generally just at a loose end. Practice these and watch the effects on yourself and others, experiment in the playful way that children do, and slowly what seems like games that are false, pretending, become ways of being more honest and expressiveness.


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