If I’m honest with you, I’ll confess that working for someone else, on their terms, was like slavery. It wasn’t that I couldn’t conform to a 9-5 schedule… it was so much more than that.
I wanted to be with my kids and be part of their childhood, and to share with them a gift that is sacred and that we are forced to forget in the “real world.”
We go to school and we go to work and we use our rational mind. We perform repetitive tasks and follow provided protocols. We conform to what “society” expects of us – we lather, rinse and repeat. We become faithful servants of a system we didn’t create.
Albert Einstein said it beautifully:
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
I guess like Einstein, I’m a fan of the illogic, the irrational, the seemingly impossible.
Why can’t you be like your brother?
Why can’t you be more like your sister?
I wish you were more like “that child.”
I was the brat, the weirdo, the spirited child who needed a beating several times a day and to be reminded how worthless she really was, to be set straight.
Scratch that. I was a little girl using her mental faculties to create a world where she felt home. I still am. And I am the mother of daughters who are free to use their mental faculties, their sacred gifts from God, without constraint.
Even though society places great emphasis in our five senses (our ability to see, hear, smell, taste, and touch) as the ways to perceive our world, we are the most powerful when we use and develop the six mental faculties we all possess: imagination, intuition, will, perception, memory, and reason.
Each of these higher faculties of the mind is a kind of superpower we can use to create a life we love.
“An educated person is a person who has so developed the faculties of their mind that they can acquire anything they want or its equivalent without violating the rights of others.” ~ Napoleon Hill
When society speaks of education, you think in grades and degrees, and neither of those is an accurate measure of someone’s potential. You are a being of unlimited possibilities, created in the image of God – not just your body, but your mind, too.
I propose that we look at education in a different way, that we understand that teaching our children information is not the answer to a happy, well-adjusted life, but rather teaching our kids awareness to understand the superpowers they possess between their ears.
Mental Faculty #1 ~ Perception
One of my favorite quotes by Wayne Dyer is “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Your perception is the source of your point of view, your perspective. By exercising our ability to change our perception, we can shed limiting beliefs that block us or hold us back.
I recently advised a loving mom and professional blogger whom I mentor to go shopping for a new dress for an award ceremony. I promised her I would accompany her and assured her I knew it would work out, but she was convinced that she couldn’t find a dress in her size, her color, her price range, within a time range, at a certain store. Knowing the power of perception, I quickly changed my mind: I told her, if, in fact, our trip to the store would be unsuccessful, I was unwilling to waste my time.
She decided to change her perception and open her mind to the possibility of finding just what she was looking for, and so she did – and in record time! The dress was breathtaking… and it was always there, whether she believed it or not, but she had to first believe in order to go and find it. We have to choose to see something in order to see it.
Mental Faculty #2 ~ Reason
I once attended a conference where I heard Bob Proctor say that mental activity does not constitute thinking. The reason is what gives us the ability to really think, to be consciously aware of the thoughts and ideas that come to our mind and to choose to reject or accept them into our reality. This is undoubtedly one of the most precious gifts God gave us: the ability to choose what images we hold in our minds and create our results.
When I was pregnant with Elisha, I lived in a small apartment and had mismatched furniture that included a small glass top table. I wanted to show some visitors a collector’s spoon I had just acquired and was particularly proud of and decided to climb on the table to get it. As the table collapsed, the glass shattered, and my bare feet touched the carpet, the first thought that crossed my mind was “what was I thinking?!” – and the truth is, I really wasn’t.
I have used this story to teach my daughters that sometimes we make poor choices simply because we don’t think things through. Our mental faculty to reason acts as a cool screenplay writer, providing a few possible alternate endings, and we are the savvy directors, choosing what makes the cut. Reason analyzes, compares, and evaluates ideas, and it helps us choose wisely.
Neuroscience has shown that the conscious mind only uses about 5% of the brain. I always tell my girls that our mind is one of the best tools we have to access infinite wisdom, and when we do use it we set ourselves for success. If used poorly, our minds can send us down a spiral of failure and truly sabotage every effort we make to pursue the life and lifestyle we desire.
Mental Faculty #3 ~ Will
The mental faculty called will gives us the ability to focus only on an idea and exclude everything else. This is an ability required to succeed at anything and can be illustrated by any success story you can think of, because in order to create success, one must filter out negative thoughts, distractions, and people who may interfere with our success. This mental strength can be developed through practice, because what we focus on expands.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, they say. Or is it “when?”
Back to the time I quit my job to work from home, everyone thought it was madness. I had many moments in which I had no idea where my rent was coming from and it was the 31st of the month! There were times of obstacles, uncertainty, struggle, and doubt, but I focused on what could be, on the vision I was pursuing, and many years later, I don’t regret a thing – even if some people don’t understand or approve my path.
This wasn’t a “decision;” it was a series of decisions made daily (and several times a day) to hold the promise and to embrace the permission I had received to pursue a vision that was given to me. You know what I mean?
Mental Faculty #4 ~ Memory
I remember becoming friends with a certain person who was taking pills for his memory. I explained to him that one’s memory is a muscle that you can exercise, so he ditched the pills and got better at learning without them.
I am in no way a medical doctor or a hater of pills – even though I don’t take any, but truth is that most of us can take advantage of brain plasticity to improve our capacity to memorize and store information, and remember it when we need it. Most of us are not qualified to diagnose ourselves with having a bad memory, and we have been told we must “renew our minds” (Romans 12:2).
In Alice in Wonderland, the Red Queen says to Alice, “Tell me what you did tomorrow?”
Alice says, “Well that is impossible, nobody can tell you what they did tomorrow. Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet”.
With pity, the Queen says to Alice, “Well it’s a pretty poor memory that only works in one direction”.
I actually write myself letters from the future, telling myself what I did tomorrow. I can attest that something I commit to my memory has become true and also, that holding on to “tragic” memories has held me back from succeeding many times. How are you using your memory to create your success?
Mental Faculty #5 ~ Imagination
Thomas Edison had the following saying carved in his desk – “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.”
Imagination is a miracle tool that allows us to find wonder in the mundane and to become a vessel for creative ideas to flow.
When we vividly imagine a thing, place, or situation with emotional intensity, we produce the same emotional and biochemical reactions in our body as the actual experience. No wonder virtual reality has become so increasingly popular!
Many people think they are not creative, but we are children of a Creator, wonderfully and fearfully made in His image.
I often get questioned because I homeschool and that doesn’t mean bringing the schooling system to my home, but rather allowing my kids to daydream and use their mental faculties to create and imagine.
Everything is created twice, and the biggest masterpieces and inventions were created by people who decided to dream and believe. What society calls cliche is ancient wisdom: ideas are the first and foremost currency, and by holding those images and ideas, we are able to create anything we want in this world when we nurture them until they materialize.
Mental Faculty #6 ~ Intuition
Are you intuitive? I’d say you are as intuitive as you make your mind up to be. I’m so puny!
Intuition is what many call your sixth sense. It is what you refer to when you say “something doesn’t feel right.” It is a message from the Infinite, a spiritual prompting, or personal revelation.
It is easy for us to dismiss our “gut feeling,” or even worse, to dismiss our children’s, when the truth is we are more powerful when we are in tune into our intuition and can use it to predict outcomes, make wise choices, and get access to the mind of God.
By consistently analyzing your performance, you can quickly fine-tune your intuitive factor, and become quite skilled at predicting various outcomes.
Wayne Dyer spoke of intuition as “guidance or as God talking, and this inner insight is never taken lightly or ignored.”
Are you using your 6 mental faculties to create freedom?
You can unlock your mental faculties to create the freedom you desire in your life… on your terms.
By being conscious and aware of the tools you have at your disposal and using them mostly properly, you can massively increase the odds to live a life you love. For me, it was being an entrepreneur, working from home, and being able to enjoy my daughters’ childhood. What’s your path?
What are some things you do to exercise and develop your higher mental faculties and to encourage your kids to do the same? I look forward to the ideas you have to share!
Elayna is a homeschool educator, single mom of 4, founder of the Positive MOM Community, award-winning Storyteller, Story Strategist, and Student of Pain. She’s a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, and 3x TEDx speaker. To receive a gift from Elayna, click HERE.
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