The seven-day mental diet is one of the most powerful tools I have used in my personal spiritual/life path as well as in my retreats, workshops, and class teachings. These teachings are from Emmet Fox (1886~1951), scientist, philosopher, author, and spiritual teacher. His work has inspired me for over 20 years.
As a spiritual teacher through many modalities (yoga, massage therapy, mind/body healing and much more) I know the power of thoughts. I also know it takes discipline and commitment to change them. I encourage and invite you to use this diet as a conduit in changing your life!
“The subject of diet is one of the foremost of the present day in public interest. There are unlimited resources on the Internet, books, magazines and articles on being food conscious. Experts on the subject say that physically you become what you eat-that your whole body is composed of the food you eat.
Of course, no sensible person would argue with this; but in this article we will address the subject of dieting at a level that is infinitely more profound and far-reaching in its effects. Let us refer to this as Mental Dieting.
Everything in your life today-the state of your body, whether healthy or sick, the state of your home, the present condition of every phase of your life in fact-is entirely conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you have entertained in the past, by the habitual tone of your past thinking. And the condition of your life tomorrow, and next week, and next year, will be entirely conditioned by the thoughts and feelings which you choose to entertain from now onward.
This then is the real key to life: if you change your mind your conditions must change too-your body must change, your daily work or other activities must change-for weather you be habitually happy and cheerful or low-spirited and fearful, depends entirely on the quality of the mental food upon which you diet yourself.
Please be very clear about this. If you change your mind your conditions must change too.
In short, if you want to make your life happy and worthwhile, you must begin to train yourself in the habit of thought selection and control. This will be difficult for the first few days, but if you persevere you will find that it will become rapidly easier, and it is the most interesting experiment that you could possibly make. You will be amazed at the things you will learn about yourself, and you will get results almost from the beginning.
Make up your mind to devote one week solely to the task of building a new habit of thought, and during that week let everything else in life be unimportant as compared with that. If you will do so, then that week will be the most significant week in your whole life.
This then is your prescription: For seven days you must not allow yourself to dwell for a single moment on any kind of negative thought. You must watch your self for a whole week as a cat watches a mouse. A week will be enough to begin to establish the habit of positive thinking. Some extraordinary changes for the better will have come into your life, encouraging you enormously and then the future will take care of itself.
But the seven days are going to be strenuous. Mere physical fasting would be child’s play in comparison, even if you have a good appetite. So do not start it lightly. Think about it for a day or two before you begin. The start in, and the grace of God go with you.
You may start any day of the week and at any time of the day, it does not matter, but once you start you must go right through the seven days. This is essential. The whole idea is to have seven days of unbroken mental discipline in order to get the mind definitely bent in a new direction once and for all.
If you make a false start, or even if you go on well for a few days then for any reason “fall off” the diet, the thing to do is to stop for several days, and then start fresh again. Even if you do not count the lapse of negative thinking, Nature will.
First of all, what do I mean by negative thinking? Well, a negative thought is any thought of failure, criticism, spite, jealousy or condemnation of self or others.
Second, you must be quite clear that what this diet calls for is that you shall not entertain or dwell upon negative things. It is not the thoughts that come to you that matter. Of course, many negative thoughts will come to you all day long. Some will come on their own. Others will be given to you by other people, either in conversation, conduct, or disagreeable news. These things however, do not matter as long as you don’t entertain them. The thing to do is, as soon as the negative thought presents itself-turn it out. Turn away from the newspaper, turn out the thought of the unkind letter, or stupid remark, or what not. When the negative thought floats into your mind immediately turn it out and think of something else positive.
Suppose that on coming home or at work you are greeted with a lot of negative conversation-do not preach a sermon, but simply do not accept it. It is your mental consent; remember that constitutes your diet. Suppose you witness an act of injustice let us say-instead of reacting by accepting the appearance and responding with pity or indignation, refuse to accept the appearance at its face value: do anything that you can to right matters, give it the right thought and let it go at that. You will still be on the diet.
In closing, I want to tell you that people often find that starting of this diet seems to stir up all sorts of difficulties. This means that things are moving and is it not the very object we have in view? Suppose your whole world seems to rock on its foundations. Hold on steadily, let it rock, and when the rocking is over the picture will have reassembled itself into something much nearer to your hearts desire. The remedy is not to deny that your world is rocking in appearance but to refuse to take the appearance of the reality. (Judge not according to appearances but judge righteous judgments).
Do not tell anyone else you are on your diet, or that you intend to go on it. Remember that your soul should be the Secret place of the most high. When you have come through the seven days successfully, allow a reasonable time to establish the new mentality and then tell the story to others. And finally remember that nothing said or done by anyone else can possibly through you off your diet. Only your own reaction to the other person’s conduct can do that. Keep your thoughts positive, optimistic, and kindly while the outer picture is rocking. Keep it in spite of any appearances and victory is certain.”
If you get in a pinch just ask, what would love do or say?