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Forming Resilience in Jail

Shaun Attwood Explains How He Learned to Cope in His Talk on Resilience

— April 28, 2017 — Keynote Trends
Shaun Attwood, a speaker, activist, author, and former ecstasy dealer, considers what he learned during his time in jail in his talk on resilience.

He starts out by explaining how he first got hooked on the drug when he was deeply involved in the Arizona rave scene. As he felt happy, open, and totally care-free on ecstasy, he began to rely on it heavily when he was in certain social settings, due to a trauma he endured years prior. Eventually, he began to start dealing, which led to his arrest years later. When he went to jail, he was terrified and realized that it was completely controlled by gangs. At one point, a group of neo-Nazis approached him and forced him into a cell, where they demanded to know his charges. As he was there for drugs, they let him free and intimidated him into following their rules at all times.

Due to the extreme stress he was dealing with while in prison, he eventually turned to yoga as a means of release. In a sense, he got the same feeling he got from ecstasy. Through this, he learned how vital it was to release stress in order to remain healthy. Later, due to an issue with paperwork, Attwood was fast-tracked to a maximum security prison, which he shared with some of the very worst criminals in the country. During this time, he turned to yoga yet again -- which allowed him to cope with the constant stress and lack of sleep.

He concludes his talk on resilience by highlighting the importance of taking the time to breath, relax, and think about things peacefully in order to move past them, as reacting with anger only causes more problems and can be incredibly draining.