Thursday, 10 January 2008

Charisma in Eight Acts

a. Theol. A free gift or favour specially vouchsafed by God; a grace, a talent.

b. spec. (Only in form charisma) [a. Ger. (M. Weber Wirtschaft u. Gesellschaft (1922) I. iii. 140).] A gift or power of leadership or authority (see quot. 1947); aura. Hence, the capacity to inspire devotion or enthusiasm.
Definition of Charisma - Oxford English Dictionary

What is this thing called charisma? Some people seem to have so much charisma that people like being around them. Last night I witnessed charisma in action during my bus journey. Because a lot happened, I have written the experiences as different Acts.

Act 1, Scene 1 - Law of Attraction

When I got on board, the bus was already full which was very unusual for that time of night. I found a space to stand. I noticed this young man beside me speaking to a woman. There was something about him that attracted me. Although he was having a conversation with the woman, he kept looking in my direction as if he was trying to include me in the conversation. He talked about how much he liked meeting people. He said he had accounts at MySpace and Facebook and wanted to add the woman as a friend. From what I could make out the woman had an American accent though she said she was living near Brick Lane in East London. I told the woman Brick Lane has nice cheap restaurants that provide really good food. She agreed. The man talked about how he was talented and longed to show everyone how talented he was. After a few minutes the woman got off the bus.

Act 2, Scene 1 - My space or yours

One seat was now available so I sat down. I was very curious about the young man and engaged him in a conversation. I told him I used to have an account at "MySpace" but I deleted it because I didn't have the time to devote my attention to it. My friend said he preferred "Facebook." He explained the benefits of having a "Facebook" account and how you could download various software. (In fact, a friend recently invited me to join "Facebook." He thought it would be a good way to keep in touch as he lives out of London and I don't get to see him that often. Although I opened an account I've been a bit lax as my heart is not really in it).

I told my friend on the bus I loved YouTube and enjoyed watching old videos. We chatted about music and various music channels. He also mentioned Channel U, which I'd never heard of before. He said it specialises in Urban Music, the kind of music he prefers. He said he was a great dancer and he could make a living out of it. He kept saying "I'm not scared though." I told him there was nothing to be scared about. I said if he loves dancing he should go for it. I said there were lots of avenues out there for dancers such as videos, TV shows, even street dancers. He could even promote himself on YouTube or MySpace.

Act 3, Scene 1 - So you think you can dance?

At another bus stop several people got on including a man and woman with their son in a push chair, and a young woman. The young woman was speaking on her mobile phone. I could see my friend had noticed her as she was very attractive. When the woman had finished speaking on her mobile, my friend told her how much he liked her pink phone. It turned out they had similar mobiles but in different colours; his was black. My friend continued talking about his love of dance. As he spoke he attracted other passengers' attention. The toddler in the push chair also wanted to be included and started chatting to my friend in his baby language. In between chatting to the baby, my friend asked me if I wanted to see him dance. I said yes. He showed me a clip on his mobile of him doing various movements including the "worm", which is moving like a worm on the floor. I was very impressed. I told him he was very talented.

The woman with the pink mobile agreed. She said if he was really serious about dancing, he should get himself a choreographer so he could get trained properly, or register in dance classes. She said she was a dancer and has worked with both Beyoncé's (the American R&B singer) and Madonna's (American singer) choreographers. I was really thrilled at the synchronicity. I told my friend they should keep in contact but the woman said she wasn't interested in Internet social networks.

I asked her how she got into dance. She said she used to get herself in lots of trouble until she discovered dance at 13; she's now 16. Then she was introduced to choreographers who mentored her. She talked about how important it was to get someone to mentor you. I told her I could understand where she's coming from. I asked her if she had ever watched the film, Billy Elliot. She hadn't heard of it. I told her it's about a boy growing up during the miners' strike in the early 1980s. Billy is interested in ballet but as a working class boy it's not what is expected of him. Billy ends up secretly joining a ballet class. His teacher sees that he has potential and ends up giving him private tuition and nurturing his talent. Despite the obstacles, Billy is offered a place at a prestigious ballet school in London, which means leaving home at 11. He eventually becomes a professional dancer.

The young woman said she loved dancing and has appeared in music videos and on Channel U. I told her my friend and I had just been discussing Channel U. After chatting for a few minutes, it was the young woman's stop. I shook her hand and wished her the very best.

Act 4, Scene 1 - I am a dancer

My friend and I continued to chat about his love of dancing. He was 19 years old. I pointed out to him that meeting that girl was a sign to inspire him to follow his dream. He told me he believed in having an education and having a talent. He said he wanted to make lots of money through his dancing. I said to him, "Instead of thinking that 'I could be a dancer' tell yourself, 'I am a dancer.'" He liked that. He repeated it a few times. "I am a dancer." I told him he already had such charisma anyway that attracts people and he only needed to believe in himself and love dancing and the rest will take care of itself. Before he got off, he shook my hand and I wished him all the best.

Act 5, Scene 1 - This train terminates here

While I had been chatting to the young man and woman, I'd also noticed an older man opposite me who was reading. From time to time he would look in our direction and look away. Now that my friend had got off I focused my attention on him. Then his mobile rang and he chatted for a few minutes. From what I could make out, he usually travels on the tube (underground trains) but they weren't working; that's why he had to take the bus. Now it made sense why the bus had been so crowded. He needed to get to a place in East London. When he finished his conversation, I asked him where he wanted to go. He said a place called Walthamstow. I told him I was travelling part of the way and I would show him how to get there. He was very relieved.

"It's fun travelling by bus," I said. "People speak to each other on buses."

"Yes, I noticed. No one speaks to anyone on the tube. If you do they think you're nuts."

"I haven't been on the tube in ages,” I said. "Do people still open up their newspapers and ignore everyone?"

"Yes, they do," he smiled.

Act 6, Scene 1 - Let's talk politics

Another man sitting next to me said he had also been affected by the tube problems which he believed was due to the big football match that evening.

"If the Underground can't cope with a football match, how are they going to cope with the Olympics in 2012?"

That made all of us laugh.

"We might as well keep Ken Livingstone on as Mayor because at least we know where we stand with him," he said. "If Boris (the Conservative Party mayoral candidate) can't run a magazine how do we expect him to run London?"

"You have so much faith," I laughed. "When is the next election anyway?"

"This year. That's why Ken cut the fares so we could vote for him. The fares will go right back up as soon as he's mayor."

We all had a good laugh.

"At least we know where we stand with Ken," he continued. "Before Ken got voted in, he promised he would bring in Congestion Charging. Then Ken won, brought in Congestion Charging and people still complained. Why complain? You voted him in! At least he did exactly what he promised he was going to do unlike other politicians."

"That's so true," I chuckled. "It's amazing how Ken came back after good old Maggie got rid of the GLC."

"I remember. I was a young boy growing up north during the coal miners' strike," he said.

"That's so amazing! I was just speaking to a young woman earlier about the film "Billy Elliot" which is set during the miners' strike."

"You sound as if you've had a very interesting bus journey," he said.

Unfortunately the next stop was his stop and he quickly said goodbye.

I told my other friend that ours was the next stop.

Act 1, Scene 2 - I should be so lucky

As soon as we got off that bus, I noticed our next bus was right in front. I beckoned my friend on. "That was good timing," he said.

On the bus I told him he needed to get off two stops down and catch another bus that will take him all the way to his destination. I even knew the road he was going to because I used to use the library facilities on that road. He said he was visiting a friend and lived in Stratford in East London. I told him how to get home by bus. He was very impressed at how familiar I was with the London bus routes. I told him if I ever went on the gameshow, Mastermind, my specialist subject will be London buses.

As we arrived at the stop where my friend was meant to change, I noticed the bus he wanted was right in front; at that moment, my next bus pulled up behind. So we both jumped off.

Before my friend and I parted company he said, "Thanks for your help. I've never been this lucky in my life!"

I then caught my bus home.

Act 1, Scene 3 - It's magic

As I walked home from the bus stop I thought about the meaning of charisma. Charisma is really the amount of Love one is expressing; how willing one is to shine one's light. The young dancer was full of passion for dancing and wanted to share his talent with everyone. His passion attracted people to him. The young woman dancer also had charisma. It was her love of dance that had given her a new lease of life, which she was happy to share with others.

Sometimes people with charisma inspire others to shine. I noticed this about the man I travelled on the next bus with. At first he looked very serious. When we were chatting his face lit up and was transformed into absolute beauty. He even appeared a lot younger. I also noticed that the man who was discussing politics also looked animated and was full of life. I could tell he loved a good banter.

I believe that because of the Love we were all experiencing, that bus journey was raised to a frequency of pure magic where everything flows and there are synchronicities galore. In other words, everyone was being their true selves - Joy.

Some people find when they return to their "normal" lives, they can't sustain that high frequency and resort to fear and doubt. Before you know it the individual starts believing that his experience of Joy was only a transient dream that was nice at the time but not based on reality. Some even attribute experiences of Joy to the spiritual plane, which have no place in "physical" reality.

In truth, Joy is right here and now. Those who are experiencing doubts are the same people capable of being Joy. It's simply a matter of where one focuses one's attention. Focus on Joy and Joy dissolves all experiences of doubts. Joy is where the magic is at.

So how do you keep that Joy going? By being true to yourself; by following your dream; by opening your heart to love others.

I hope my friends in that bus journey continue to be Joy in the here and now or connect with people who are able to raise their frequencies.

I am Charisma; I am Magic.



Related articles: Little Acts of Kindness Last Forever; Are You a Gutless Wonder?; Love-Hate Relationships; Self-Belief- Revisited; One Dreamer, Many Players; Identity Crises and Wake-Up Calls; Circle of Influence; Magnetism; What is Luck?; Immortality