Friday, November 6, 2009

Stinky Experiment or The Power of Love

Okay, I'm not posting my good news yet. After I wrote my last post I remembered something I did quite a while ago and wanted to share it with you. So I'll just tell you about it and then I'll give the thoughts on the mind a rest for a while.

Some time ago a friend of my named Katie showed me two jars she had. Here they are:

She told me that both jars contained rice and that she had labeled one with positive and good thoughts and the other with negative thoughts. The first week she put the rice in, she would open the jars and talk to them. To the jar with the positive label she would say things like: "You are beautiful" "I love you" "You make me happy" "You are so smart".

To the jar with the negative label she would say things like: "Why are you so stupid?" "You never do anything right." "I hate you." "You are so ugly." She also said if she were having a bad day she would give the negative labeled jar dirty looks.

She sealed up the jars. This picture was taken of the jars three years later. Katie wrote, "The 'positive rice' is still white and fluffy and otherwise unchanged from the years before (other than being jostled around by moving. The 'negative rice', on the other hand, continues to deteriorate and discolor." Nasty, right?

I was amazed when I saw the jars and told my husband about it. He was...skeptical. And so we conducted our own experiment. I however did not have any jars on hand so I used brand new Rubbermaid containers. Here is a picture after two weeks:

Now unlike Katie, both of my containers eventually grew mold and they started smelling so after a couple months, I threw them away. I don't know if I didn't do the experiment right, or if the difference was in using the Rubbermaid containers instead of glass jars or if I was because I kept in my laundry room where it is quite humid, but Katie has documented pictures over the last three years of her rice.

HOWEVER, it was clear to me that the one I labeled hate and spoke unkindly to had significantly more mold and rot and developed it much faster than the one I labeled Love and spoke kindly too.

The thought I had yesterday after my last post was, "What if the unkind words we say to ourselves are literally causing our bodies to break down." When I berate myself for making mistakes or not measuring I hurting my body?

From our experiment I have tried to be much more careful about what I say to myself and to others. We can be a positive influence or a negative one. The choice is ours.

If this is interesting to you, I would invite you to participate in the rice experiment. (Do a google search to see more.) If you do try it, I would be very interested in your results, so let me know!


  1. This is weird! This truly is the power of positive thinking!

  2. Ok, ok, I know some people would like to throw tomatoes at the skeptic in the room, but I have some thoughts on this.
    Since you open up the containers and speak to them, the "Hate" jar would have a lot more saliva from yelling & speaking aggressively therefore a lot more bacterial growth than you might have with cooing and gentle speaking to the Love jar. Skepticism is a huge part of the hardwiring of my brain! What do you think?

  3. LOL Whittles Wobble! Interesting hypothesis. I could see that as a possibility. I wonder what the results would be if the experiment was replicated but the jars were just talked to instead of being opened and talking to the cooked rice...

  4. You know what we really should have done was had a rice container we didn't do anything to as a control group too. Sorry, I guess I'm not much of a scientist! Still a fun experience though!

  5. Ah! I totally missed the "opening the jars" part. I thought they were being spoken to while they were sealed.

    I still find it fascinating and I believe. hehe

  6. Bonkers. What about trying it with two identical plants? Water them exactly equally and keep them in the same conditions, but trash-talk one and big-up the other... (oh yeah, and another that you just water in the name of good scientific control-groupery).

    I believe that what you THINK can be more important/damaging than what you SAY. I'm not all that negative about myself as such, but have a huge amount of negative thoughts relating to whats happening inside my body, e.g. "You feel that little bump rich? That's CANCER..."

  7. On myth busters they did an experiment like this with plants. One group they said nice things to, one they berated and scolded, and one they did nothing. The first two groups did fine but the group that got nothing did poorer. So if you do need to say something not so nice...tell your houseplant, it will just be happy to listen to you