The Silent Scream of Incarceration

There was a hushed air of expectancy in court thirteen at The Old Bailey, as the barrister, a short and slightly balding man with Mediterranean features, shuffled the papers in front of him. The defence he had prepared was considered to be a complete long shot. Everyone claimed that this was an impossible case to win because of the number of legal precedents it was relying upon.

Mr Addezio slowly stood up, turning briefly to smile at the brown haired girl in the dock, before addressing the judge directly. From the moment he began speaking, Mr Addezio owned that courtroom. He was expressive, articulate, passionate and intense. At times, Mr Addezio paused, adding gravitas to his careful chosen words. At other times he spoke in barely a whisper, with tears in his eyes, causing the brown haired girl to want to cry out loud. She remembered watching the judge, watching the press crammed into the viewing gallery, they were all completely and utterly mesmerised by the presence of this one man.

On the 22nd December 1978 in court thirteen at The Old Bailey, legal history was made. Mr Addezio’s brilliant defence – left me – the brown haired girl – walking out onto the steps of The Old Bailey as a free woman. I was eighteen and so painfully shy that I could barely manage eye contact with anyone other than my closest family. I had no qualifications, no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life, and I had just faced the real and very frightening probability that I would be spending twelve – fifteen years in Holloway Prison.

I had just witnessed, just experienced one man’s charisma. Mr Addezio had transformed my life against all the odds. It was at this moment in my life that my passion, my lifelong quest to learn more about charisma began.

When I left prison I had two choices. It would be so easy to shrink into a bucket of self-pity, giving my ‘ordeal’ an excuse for my own failings. Or I could seek to find meaning, to find some purpose in what I had been through.

The journey to the woman I am today has not been easy. But my own essence, my life’s work has been based upon what happened to me in my teenage years. I have subsequently worked with over two thousand individuals on a one-to-one basis, using the tools and techniques that worked so well for me over the years. I’ve spoken at numerous conferences on charismatic leadership, delivered masterclasses for CEOs and trained and accredited people to deliver my charisma blueprint.

I think it’s fair to say that people who meet me cannot equate the woman I am now with the violent teenager who was once incarcerated in solitary confinement in Holloway prison. In healing myself, in finding purpose out of what happened to me, I’ve been blessed with a second chance to give something back to the society that I love.

It comes as no surprise to find myself on the cusp of an opportunity to work with prisoners and young offenders. It feels as if my work on charisma which has spanned three decades has simply been a warm up for the work I am about to embark upon. The thought of going back into prison feels unbelievably terrifying. But who better to empower these women who have committed crimes and have developed a level of self-loathing that masquerades as indifference and aggression? Who better to show these women that I too was once where they are and I can show them the path to healing and redemption. Like them I have been judged and condemned for my past actions but I have somehow managed to learn from what happened to me and transform the bad into a positive force that has helped thousands of people.

The tools and techniques that I’ve learned, applied, created and blended are powerful. They had to be! I was lost in the quagmire of hopelessness and needed something significant to pull me from the misery of my futile existence. I’ve become obsessed with Quantum Mechanics, loving the principle that we are all vibrating particles of energy that flash into and out of being, millisecond after millisecond. I’ve studied cellular biology and am fascinated by the impact that thoughts and emotions have on the way a cell is activated. I’ve become a master with energy. Not the sort of energy that can be measured from a physics perspective, but the sort of energy where you meet someone and in just a few seconds they manage to suck the will to live from you! I devoted five years running open programmes for business leaders at The Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, testing the efficacy of my approach. I’ve failed many, many, times in the pursuit of finding powerful and quick ways to transform an individual into the best version of themselves. But every failure taught me so much that it directed me to the next way of doing and being. I’ve pioneered new exciting ways to help individuals reconnect with their true authentic selves and witnessed the transformation of those who have trusted me.

My definition of success is to help as many people as I can during my time here on Earth. Regardless of whether I meet them for a moment, a few weeks, years or a lifetime. If I can create a positive ripple within the hearts and minds of others then I feel that my work is rewarding and holds huge purpose for me personally.

Working with prisoners and offenders brings up my deepest fears – what if I’m not up to it? What if I break down? What if I fail? But I’ve never been one to allow fear to stop me from doing that which I believe to be the right thing. So it’s time to sharpen my tools, further refine my techniques and have the courage to bring to life processes that I’ve not yet been brave enough to use. It’s time to once again up my game and allow the thirty years of study, research and development climb the next mountain.

I am ready.

I am ready to release the silent screams of those who have been incarcerated and continue to remain prisoners within the monstrous thoughts that torture their mind. I am ready to do whatever it takes to support, inspire and enable those who have given up and see themselves as the dregs of society. I intend to show them that nothing is for nothing. With the right mind-set, the right energy, the right emotional balance, they too have the power to transform their lives.

Can you help?

I am seeking ten volunteers who are interested in working with me on Skype because I want to test an evolved version of how I’m currently working. I would be happy to work for a third of my usual fee in exchange for feedback. Do you have demons that you’ve buried? If you have issues that keep sabotaging your happiness and you are open to a deep and powerful process then please get in touch for an initial discussion. Email: nikkiowen@audiencewithcharisma.com

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