MENTAL AGILITY: Learning to Use Our Minds Creates New Doorways.

New Online Course – 12 Weeks

MENTAL AGILITY: Learning to Use Our Minds Creates New Doorways.

The Doorway to Courage.

I am here to listen, teach and mentor. These roles have always brought me joy.

I want anyone who is seeking to be able to join me in this quest for finding more inside yourself.

I mentor this course for twelve weeks. Please call to schedule the presentation.

COURAGE: The Doorway Named “Courage”

Go to:

The Courage Scroll read by Heather Carlile.

Listen or watch the slide show here.



Mental Agility Makes Emotional & Spiritual Strength

DOORWAYS IN YOUR MIND: You’ve probably heard people say that we only use a fraction of our brains. True enough. But, have you ever considered the adventures you might take if you were handed keys to more doorways into your mind?

You may already have opened some of those doors, walked through into a new endeavor or are still pausing on the doorstep. Sometimes it is interesting or exciting and sometimes it’s boring or grueling.

WORKING IN THE BRAIN GYM: In psychology, many of us are on a relentless quest for setting up the circumstances to inspire what we call “cognitive restructuring.” We are looking for approachable and practical, if not appealing, tools to help mitigate difficulties such as depression, anxiety, shame and anger, etc. I like to think of it as teaching mental agility.

I consider myself your trainer…we workout in the gym of your brain. This method will build strength you might have been missing.

NEW METHODS: Since we now have a couple of generations in psychology working on this, we have some really cool and helpful ways to take us to new and colorful doorways. Oftentimes, it’s freeing, fascinating and happy.

DISCERNMENT: Sometimes we open a door to the past where we recall the hardships and hurts. That’s when we pause on the threshold to brace ourselves or to gauge the extent of our readiness and resources. We may need more maturity, support or private time. We may know that it will be an ordeal and, like on a trip into the wilderness, it is unwise to take such a journey unless carefully prepared.

CRAVING FOR MORE: I like to think that we learn best when we are relaxed, interested, enthusiastic, curious and comfortable. When we are positive and optimistic. Those old fashioned traditions which demand some sort of grade, test, proof, self discipline don’t work much.

Mental agility is our natural craving for more, for next, for better, for mastery.

INVISIBLE DOORWAYS: This program using The Twelve Great Virtues is meant to provide you with all of the tools you need to find new parts of yourself through using your thoughts in new forms…for opening doorways which haven’t been on your radar.


COMPANY: Learning is usually more fun when we have company and conversation. And, when we notice something new in ourselves, and we put it into words to communicate about it, we learn more deeply. We show and grow with each other.

So, welcome. In my years of teaching, this doorway into new thinking always works and people treasure the experience as well as the result.

PERMANENT BRAIN AGILITY: The spiritual practice of The Twelve Great Virtues is an ancient tradition. Our oldest encounter is through the Pythagoreans. This is my favorite and most efficient form of schooling ourselves into permanent mental expansion. As we continue to teach the Classical Greek ethics and virtues, you might be interested to experience a brief introduction to the concepts undergirding this positive focus for mental agility by one of the great experts, Dr. Jim Stephens, on Aristotle’s Ethics who explores “how human happiness chiefly depends upon a person’s character which is formed by making good choices.” And that, in ”human nature, the meaning of the good, and the virtues (are) necessary for happiness.”


THE OLD WAY: I liken the usual usage of our thoughts to a road map in our brain. We learned certain words and sentences starting very young. The adults spoke their thoughts, some of them to consciously teach and model for children and many of them thoughtlessly which weren’t meant for learning brains. Regardless, that’s the box of thinking each of us received.

MENTAL ROAD MAP: Our interpretation of those ideas may have been colored by a recent celebration, achievement, confusion or threat. But, it becomes written on our road map. A wonderful source of good things which are coded on our mental road map was Mr. Rogers with his friendly words, context of neighborliness, creative and affirming ideas. On the other hand, we heard controlling and cold things said which were scary, humiliating, mean or dishonest.

GETTING BOXED IN: At some point in our lives, those old negative assumptions in the narrow-minded box get in our way and sometimes derail us from being true to our purpose.

That’s what I call roads or directions of thought which have dead end barriers set up or, even worse, the surfacing attitude goes to gravel and then becomes sticky black asphalt.

DEAD END BLOCKS: When you find yourself stuck, blocked or spinning your wheels in your mind, you’ve hit a Dead End. It’s time to notice that stubborn habit programmed from the box and, like we learn how to re-direct a two-year-old child facing “an encounter with futility,” to think around the corner. We can consider new self talk such as:

“What else? I’m courageous and resilient, let me get creative here…let’s see what’s around the corner!”

DARN THOSE RUTS: If you keep telling yourself those old grouchy and critical things which make you feel bad, you’ve gotten into the old thinking patterns which have become deep ruts and, voila, you are on the smelly Ass Fault! And, there’s no pavement of intelligent ideas ahead.

OFF THE ASS FAULT: When we follow that familiar, easy and negative train of thought, it’s pretty sticky. It has become second nature, practiced, and has deep ruts. All it takes is a conscious consideration to notice our mind is running on the Ass Fault…oops! We can use patience, discernment and efficiency to take the nearest exit to a pretty highway!

How do we locate the roads we want if we’ve never been there before? If we are on a road without a map, without the names of the streets, highways, towns, we can’t plan, predict of see our options. But, is you have a GPS, you can avoid the Dead Ends and the Ass Fault.

NAMING: GPS-Global Positioning Satellites are very handy! What is your mental GPS? When you know the names, you have known places in your brain and you know where you want to go. The words, the labels, the statements about what you want, tag your mind to choose a certain trail or road which can take you to the land of your dreams.

GOOD MIND FOOD: We can choose the best mental nourishment just like we can eat healthy food for our bodies. There are dozens of ways to keep our thoughts on uplifting, expansive and interesting. I like to have a list written down because years ago when I’d notice that I really needed something different and more positive, I’d pretty much blank. Now I’ve got some favorites.

But, when we need to replace the foundational beliefs, there’s no better nor more powerful path than training our minds to seek goodness. In my experience, when we hold all of the twelve virtues in our minds, the end result is caring or loving yourself and everything you encounter. So, the ultimate recipe for finding the internal home where human beings thrive.

THE THRESHOLD: We are about to step through the doorway into  the Mental Gymnasium. We will first tackle the strengthening of courage. Once we have crossed the threshold, the newness begins in the five stages of our journey. The Courage Scroll settles us into how to think about courage. We have new words, language and situations. And, the trail leads us forward. We know what we are looking for as courageous thoughts, words and actions. And we begin to see them and live them.


There are five logical stages for permanent strength or spiritual growth in this journey:

  1. Self Observation Ability
  2. Good Mind Food
  3. Retrospection – The Work of Thinking Backwards
  4. A Scientific Sense with No Criticism
  5. Permanently Expanded Thinking
  1. SELF-OBSERVATION: The first skill for expanding mental agility is the ability to see yourself, to watch the thoughts going through your mind. Once you can detach from being the thinker of the thoughts to observing them, you have a choice about going through the doorway to controlling and deciding what you want to think about.
  2. GOOD MIND FOOD: The core of mental agility refinement is using The Twelve Great Virtue Scrolls. These are the new ideas, words and views based on pure human goodness. The first chapter is courage. Read or listen to the Courage Scroll. It provides healthy mind food, a new vocabulary, new narratives and new thinking routes to familiarize you with what it’s like to have a courageous mind.
  3. RETROSPECTION: This is a spiritual puzzle which is like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. It’s a sort of state-changer which ensures that you can’t help but use your mind in a new way. You end up having another very different viewpoint. And, it isn’t easy or natural, it takes focused concentration to think backwards in time…just like trying to walk backwards or ride a bike backwards.
  4. SCIENTIFIC SENSE: When we are learning we make mistakes. And, it usually takes three times of messing up when we are working on something new and better before it is learned. Be careful not to get on that Ass Fault of perfectionism where you feel afraid or resistant to looking at yourself. Just make sure to notice the evidence of what you do well and what you’d like to improve. Don’t get emotionally critical, just get the data. And expect to forget, rebel or be too late over and over at first.
  5. EXPANDED THINKING: Once you’ve been walking the road of courage for a week, you will notice things which you didn’t see before. When you start thinking something new, you will never be the same, your growth is permanent. Courage will always be at hand now.

Learning to Use our Minds Creates New Doorways into Our Minds.

You may purchase my Study Guide on request ~ It includes all twelve scrolls. 

Contact Heather:    214-636-5889