Mind, Body & Spirit

One thing I always told myself and I believed this wholeheartedly to the bottom of my heart was this. I knew that one day, it would be different. One day I would look back and smile, not because of how hard it was, but because I made it through.
— Akeem Haynes






A Few weeks ago, I had a session with my old coach back when I played football in high school. Apart from the session being great so was the conversation and the insight. He’s got about 15-18 years of knowledge on me when it comes to this thing called life.


I learned along long time ago, that when somebody older is trying to educate you, you shut up and listen. Period. Never ever be too into yourself that you think you know everything because you simply don’t. but we’ll save this part of the message for another day.


Between reps we would grab some water and sit on the bench and id ask questions. And the more questions I asked, the more I learned, the more he reiterated what I knew, but he said it in a way that I wouldn’t have said it in.


People say things differently, they give different examples and explanations. Put it like this, you could show 10 people how to make chicken, and the chicken would taste differently 10 different times, even with the same recipe. Interesting huh?


But as we started talking more, we started talking about the mind, body and spirit. How you treat your body as a whole. How to feed your body the right things inside and out. Which leads me to the message today.







If there was a ranking, this would probably be #2. The mind is a complex component. Very complex. You can think yourself into doing anything, but you can also think yourself out of everything. And I mean everything. The mind is a place where all our information lives, its where our dreams and created, its where our ideas are stored.


Your mind can be your greatest weapon, or it can be your greatest road block. I’ve probably said in many of these messages, be careful of the story you tell yourself on an everyday basis. I don’t mean to every sound redundant, but that’s probably the only edge I’ve ever had on anybody else. The story you tell yourself, every day is the story that’s going to come to fruition. Some of you may have read the book so I’m going to expound on this story so it’s a little different. When I was in high school my only motive, was to get a scholarship in football, or track. I knew that without a scholarship I couldn’t afford to go to school at least for a few years. All I could do was control what I did on the field, or on the track and classroom. Everything else was out of my control. I couldn’t control going to school and only eating one meal a day or sometimes none. I couldn’t control that most nights we had to use candle light and take cold showers in the middle of winter. I couldn’t control the fact that I wore the same two pairs of shoes throughout high school, I couldn’t control wearing the same clothes throughout high school, I couldn’t control sharing a place with 10 other people at one point. SOMETHINGS ARE GOING TO BE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL, REALIZE THAT. But what is in your control you have to take full advantage of that.


One thing I always told myself and I believed this wholeheartedly to the bottom of my heart was this. I knew that one day, it would be different. One day id look back and smile not because of how hard it was, but because I made it through. Every single day before I took the field or track id tell myself in a short prayer. “Today is the day, if not today, then tomorrow. I just have to keep working and believe in it, and have faith. It’s going to work out”


Every day, envision the things you want. Envision how you’re going to make it out of this tough time. And I know some of you are going through some things right now, but continue fighting and breaking those mental barriers.


The things you tell yourself in your mind every single day, will one day come to fruition.


It is possible. It will be done. It shall be done.





Take care of your body please. Take care of your body. This is so key. One thing half the world doesn’t realize is that if you take care of your body, it will take care of you. I hate vegetables. I don’t like broccoli, or peas, or tomatoes, or anything of that stuff. But I know what it does for me in the long run, not the short run. If you focus on the short term when it comes to your body, you’ll probably find an excuse to not go exercise or not drink that water or not drink that green juice.


Between you and I, I could eat ice cream and cookies every day. And I mean every day, and I’m not strong guy when it comes to desert. I’m strong but I’m really not that strong. I could grab a cookie, get a few scoops of ice cream and dump it right on that cookie, add some fruit and eat that every single day. Mannnnnnnn just talking about it!


But I also don’t want to get big. I don’t want to put on that extra weight because I know how much harder I’m going have to work to sustain that habit. So, I eliminate the pressure and I don’t really buy it in my place.


It feels good to work out, it feels good to break a sweat, it feels good to get results, it feels even better to watch your body go through transformation. Your body will love you for it, not only now, but later.


Drink more water. Eat more greens. Do yoga. Go for a walk. Stretch more. Go for a jog. Hit the gym. Play some basketball. Play tennis, gulf, whatever it is. Get out and be active even if it’s for 10 minutes out of the day.


Watch how that small change changes your mood throughout the day. The best way to help you if you get angry is to take a boxing class. Hit a punching bag. Exercise that anger away.


Eat, drink whatever you want, in moderation it’s all good. But remember



If you take care of your body today. It will reward you later.




This is probably the most important one of them all. You must believe in something. I’m a Christian. I believe in God. Believe in something. Strengthen your relationship with a higher source. I’ve gotten this far in my life, because someone was praying for me when I wasn’t praying for myself. Somebody was praying for my breakthroughs and guiding me through decisions when I could have taken another path.


You can feed your body and mind as much as you want, but when those things break down, what do you lean on? Where do you get that guidance from?


I’ve made a lot of changes in my life this past year, especially in the past few months. And this has been the area where I’ve seen the most benefit from. I read or listen to the bible every day. I pray to God for guidance, for acceptation, for forgiveness, and most importantly I pray more for people.


The thing about having a belief in something, is that no matter happens, you commit to it. Even on the days you don’t feel like it.


Sometimes when things aren’t going well, I’ll take a few moments and ask God to help me understand his ways, because sometimes he makes me want to fight him, but he accepts that. (I think)


I’m not saying you have to believe in my god or anybody else’s god. But believe in something. Take the time to feed your spirit. Because whatever area that you feed, will eventually get nourished.


Whatever area that you feed, will eventually get nourished.


Feed your faith, feed your spirit.





Mind. Body. Spirit.



Akeem Haynes

Two Types Of Pain

Everybody hurts, everybody goes through something. Everybody. Life doesn’t throw warning signs, its unexpected and pain is pain. But the difference between pain that helps you press forward and the pain that keeps you down, is how you use that pain and the meaning you give behind it.
— Akeem Haynes



Sometimes bad things just happen. Point blank.

There isn’t always an explanation for why things happen.

We’ve all heard that saying “everything happens for a reason”. And as much true as that is, I believe that statement only applies 99% of the time. There is a 1 % chance that sometimes you just might get the short end of the stick.


I don’t mean to be negative or to sound pessimistic. I’m always overly optimistic and positive. But this is reality and that’s how it is sometimes. I was reminded of that this morning when a close friend of mine is going through a tragic moment with his family.


One thing I’ve realized, is that when things happen it changes you. There are two types of pain in this world. There is pain that teaches you a lesson, and there is pain that keeps you stuck in the past. But no matter which one, you will still hurt. You will still feel pain.


What do you do when you have these encounters with life?, When I was 14 I lost one of the people I cared about the most. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was at a friend’s house getting ready to go to football practice. And my phone rang, and it was my mom, at the beginning I couldn’t really hear what she was saying because she was crying.


But what I did make out after she calmed down a bit was this. “Akeem, your grandfather died today”. At the moment my heart froze, but for some reason I wasn’t showing any emotion. I believe it’s called “Shock” ha. I remember grabbing my stuff and heading home.


When I got home I dropped my stuff in the house and went and sat on the steps and waited. I feared that the worst was yet to happen. That was my mom’s dad. And I knew she wouldn’t take it well.


A few minutes later she came home. And as the car drove away, she saw me sitting on the steps, took 4-5 steps and dropped to her knees and screamed “why”. The only thing I could do, was hold her and let her know that everything was going to be okay.


And that’s when it hit me. See I had spoken to him a week before he passed away. And his last words to me was “when are you coming to see me?”. He would always ask me that because I made a promise after my mom and I left Jamaica. And when it hit me, that’s when I realized I broke my promise to him. That’s when I realized that I’d never hear, or see him anymore in my life. I promised him that before he passed away I would come back and see him. And at that moment, I realized that I will never be able to fulfil that promise, for the rest of my life, that will sit on my heart. And that’s when emotions took its course and I broke down in my room at 4am in the morning.




I wanted to honor him. I wanted some way to apologize to him for not fulfilling that promise. I wanted something for him to see as he looked down on me.


The next morning before school, I grabbed a plain white shirt I had, grabbed a sharpie. And stared at the shirt for about 10 minutes and wrote.


“RIP Etel Samuels

Forgive me, for I have let you down. But I will never leave this earth without giving everything I have to it. In your name, I will live on this earth and earn and work for every single thing. I won’t let you again.”


And then I grabbed a white arm sleeve, and wrote down his name and the year he passed away.


I wore that shirt and that sleeve every single high school football game that year. And every time I felt tired, I’d look at that sleeve and found that energy I needed. We ended up winning the high school Championships that year and I ended up breaking the city record for touchdowns, rushing yards, receiving yards, kick return yards and Touch downs. Needless to say, I left everything I had on that field because of the pain that was left in my heart.



Recycle your pain. Everybody hurts, everybody goes through something. Everybody. Life doesn’t throw warning signs, its unexpected and pain is pain. But the difference between pain that helps you press forward and the pain that keeps you down, is how you use that pain and the meaning you give behind it. I used that pain to motivate me, I used that pain to dig deeper, I used that pain to flip on a switch that said “aye Akeem you got more in you. He’s watching you.”  I recycled my pain.


Recycle your pain! Some of you may be hurting right now, you may be going through something at this very moment. Don’t let that pain keep you down. It’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to feel a type of way about things, it’s okay to be down. But it’s not okay to stay there.


On the other side of that hurt, and pain is a smile. A new motivation, a new meaning, a new purpose behind why you do what you do.


Use your pain to make you better, not bitter. Use the pain to propel you forward, not de-gress your downwards. I know it’s not easy, I know it’s tough. But you must and you need too. There is someone out there that is watching you, there is someone out there looking up to you and saying “she/he is so strong. If they can get through it I know I can do too”.


On the other side of pain, is a smile. A smile that someone is watching.


And no it won’t be easy, and yes some days will be easier than others. But nonetheless, you got this and you can and will get through it.


You will get through it.







Akeem Haynes