Mindfulness Mode

Mindfulness Matters; Akai Jackson

May 22, 2022

Akai Jackson is on a personal journey to explain that mindfulness matters and that growth results from emotional wellness. Akai founded ‘I Excel Today’, a personal development agency that curates health and wealth programs to take clients from existing to excelling in their physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. Akai uses his life experiences and his background as a decorated college athlete to help people grow into the best version of themselves. Akai is the author of ‘The Making Of A Man, a book explaining that men are living in a culture full of mixed influences and that it is possible to bridge the gap between mind, body, and spirit.

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Most Influential Person

  • My father has been a huge mindfulness supporter of mine. That is to say, anytime I do a talk and I struggle with something I can't make two sentences flow or make it make sense. So I don't know where to go, what to do, what to step into. Therefore, my father is a huge influence on me in doing that, keeping me on track and moving me in the right direction.

Effect on Emotions

  • I feel like I grew up in an era where you didn't speak unless spoken to. That is to say, I'm also a man who thought there was an unwritten rule. “Thou shalt not express emotions to anyone you check that stuff right inside”.
  • So I think just as I've gotten older and understood that invulnerability comes strength, and I've realized that me being able to open up my chest and be able to look at a man like you and say, “Listen! I've got pain, I'm broken. I've been heartbroken. I've got these things that I'm wrestling with and dealing with. I find true strength and vulnerability”. So that's super helpful.

Thoughts on Breathing

  • Breathing is extremely important when it comes to anything, whether it's mindfulness or even just being able to make sure that you maintain a conscious thought and conscious behavior.
  • For example, your subconscious brain constitutes 95% of what you think about and that means five or 10 is left.
  • So one of the main ways that you can actually be in touch with who you are, what you are when you are, why you are and your surroundings are to slow your breathing down and be very conscious about your body scanning and being able to close your eyes, take deep breaths and go through a mental checklist.

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Bullying Story

  •  I have a student that I work with now. So on the spectrum, he has sensory processing issues.  He actually has suffered from bullying all year. To the point where his parents and I are having conversations about him, not returning to school. It's going to be his senior year.
  • Firstly, he would miss the social aspect of what his senior year would look like, he would miss all the interactions, from senior trips, the prom, and all those things.
  • So when I first got started with him, the first thing we put in is a list of what to say, when you talk to yourself is extremely important. We build some affirmations.
  • Then we talk about if you treated yourself like your best friend, would you say any of the things that you say to yourself repeatedly, for instance, I'm dumb, I'm stupid, I can't get this, I'm never gonna amount to this.
  • Certainly, you don't let your best friend talk to himself or herself like that. So why would you talk to yourself like that?
  • Therefore, we did a mindset shift and transform this into how to become a great thinker, some of the commonalities behind being a great thinker? Let's get obsessed with observing the masses and doing the opposite.
  • As a result, we asked him if it was okay to make a decision. Do you want to complete your senior year online? Study to get your GED so we can get you out in the workforce sooner? Or do you want to go back to high school?
  • Lastly, he looked at me dead in my face. And he said I'm going back to high school.

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