Conscious Language with Cat Thompson

This week on The Living Experiment, by listener request, we’re doing a special guest-episode follow-up on the topic of Conscious Language, a subject we originally addressed way back in episode #66.

Joining Pilar this week is Cat Thompson. She’s the teacher and friend who originally introduced Pilar to the study of Conscious Language.

Conscious Language is about noticing and choosing your words with awareness. It’s also about recognizing that everything you say both reflects and influences your daily reality — your perspectives, beliefs, attitudes, energy, and intention.

Here, Cat shares her expert insights about how Conscious Language works, and about why it might be worth incorporating into your life.

“Conscious Language with Cat Thompson” Episode Highlights

  • “I am …” statements as a declaration and reflection of your reality
  • Thinking about “I want …” as a self-programming intention to desire without having, and how rephrasing with more intention can bring the desired experience closer
  • Language that expresses victimization and fear vs. empowerment and creation
  • The Automatic Negative Thoughts stemming from childhood traumatic events and ancestral history, and how paying attention to our words can be the first step towards healing
  • Cat’s simple questions to help process and evolve negative emotions
  • The manifestation of guilt in “I should …” statements
  • Suggestions for where and how to start changing your language to serve you better
  • “I” vs. “You” statements, and speaking only from your own experience
  • Why the younger generations are creating their own language, and considering that their language might be what they’ll need to function in a high-tech future
  • The emotional awareness and Healthy Deviant skills required to move from a victim reality to a creator reality

Cat’s Experiment of the Week

If you’re feeling stressed or upset about something, use this worksheet to walk through your emotions. Later, when you’re not feeling so triggered, go back and look at the words your emotions used to talk to you. Notice what the different parts of your personality are trying to express, and how they’re creating those expressions. Do you see any trends that might make you aware of when you’re moving into a negative emotion?

Pilar’s Experiment of the Week

Review one of the Resources in the list below. Notice what you have an appetite fordoes something really pique your curiosity, trigger a reaction or ring particularly true for you? If you’re inspired to upgrade your own language, engage a friend and talk about what you observe in each others’ speech.

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This week on The Living Experiment, we’re celebrating the power of the Pause — the importance of taking regular breaks, and the rewards of getting into agreement with your body’s natural energy-production and repair cycles.

We reveal the biological necessity and scientific importance of ultradian rhythms — the regular fluctuations between output and recovery that allow our bodies to maintain optimal energy, focus and vitality. And we offer practical guidance on recognizing your body’s “need a break” signals, and building more brief, health-supporting pauses into your day.

Whether you want to improve your energy, metabolism, hormonal balance and mood, minimize stress and inflammatory conditions, or just want to get more good stuff done during the course of the day, ultradian rhythm breaks are your best friend. Here’s how to make the most of them.

“Pause” Episode Highlights

  • Why trying to be consistently productive all day long doesn’t work (3:00)
  • Circadian and ultradian rhythms in the body, and why they matter (6:30)
  • Why managing time is less effective than managing energy (11:00)
  • “You need to have a valley to have the next peak” — the rules of the ultradian healing response (12:00)
  • The scientific research behind ultradian rhythms (13:00)
  • How to know when you need a break, and the wide range of break options (15:00)
  • How our go-go-go corporate culture undermines productivity and creativity (22:05)
  • The relationship between ultradian rhythms and key health factors (26:00)
  • How taking regular breaks can reduce emotional reactivity and improve willpower (27:30)
  • Simple ways to pause during the day (30:20)
  • Key takeaways  (42:10)
  • Experiments for the week (44:00)

Drink a glass of water each time you take a break.

  • Set an alarm if you need initial reminders to break; effects of good hydration will encourage subsequent breaks.

Book two 15-minute interval breaks during the day to check in on your body.

  • Aim for one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon break every day for a week. Start by just noticing how your body feels at those moments; bonus points for then taking the break your body wants.

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Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We’d love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook and share your stories with us there.




This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Travel — the real challenges it poses for health-seeking people, and smart things you can do to make it easier on your body and mind.

Dallas starts by sharing a little about his recent run-in with hotel bed bugs. Eek! Then we get into the more typical array of pesky problems that most health-conscious travelers face — from limited food options, disrupted sleep, and excessive seat time, to dealing with special temptations, increased stress and social isolation.

We share some of our best tips and tricks for pre-trip preparation, and for rolling with whatever conditions you’re faced with out on the road, up in the air and while stuck in random hotels.

We wrap up with some easy experiments you can try out on your next trip.

“Travel” Episode Highlights

  • Why traveling (especially for work) can take a huge toll on your health (3:25)
  • Dallas shares his unfortunate encounter with bed bugs (4:45)
  • The challenges of healthy eating on the road, and why planning and preparing so important (8:00)
  • Why breakfast is a big deal (11:00)
  • Packing “low-maintenance” food for the trip (12:15)
  • Pilar’s “Quick-Trick Snack Stack” (14:50)
  • The special lure of cravings on the road (16:20)
  • Finding healthy options away from home (19:00)
  • Consider bringing some condiments (23:10)
  • Weighing your options — eating junk vs. not eating at all. (25:00)
  • Getting to sleep in weird hotel rooms (27:30)
  • The worry of waking up on time (32:55)
  • Why relying on TV to wind down or fall asleep is a bad idea, and how to avoid it with a bedtime ritual (34:15)
  • Staying “regular” when you are off your normal schedule and out of your normal environment (39:30)
  • Fitting in exercise (or not) (41:30)
  • The value of getting out and about (46:50)
  • Being where you are vs. being consumed by your digital devices (48:30)
  • Experiments for the week (54:00)

Tweak your hotel room for better sleep. Plus: Ask locals for on-the-ground advice. 

  • Lower the room temperature, use a white-noise app to cover ambient sounds, and get the room as dark as possible (blocking light from clocks, under the door, etc.)
  • Connect with the people in the community by getting their suggestions for what to do and where to go.

Avoid an unhealthy, mediocre breakfast by packing your own basic supplies. Plus: Mimic your home evening routine while staying in your hotel.

  • Bring nuts, seeds, flaked coconut, and dried fruit with you, and order fresh berries and yogurt as a base. Having eggs? Ask for a side of sautéed greens.
  • Make your hotel life feel more like home by maintaining your normal evening routine. Take a shower, unpack your suitcase, settle in.

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Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We’d love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment  on Facebook and share your stories with us there.




On this episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Seasons — the natural fluctuations your body goes through during the cycles of winter, spring, summer and fall, and the nutrition, fitness and life-rhythm strategies you can use to stay healthier through all of them.

Dallas shares his simple but powerful, science-based model for eating, moving and sleeping in accordance with the seasons. Pilar offers up some insights about the value of observing nature’s ebb-and-flow patterns, rather than being driven by the non-stop madness of modern-day mass culture. Together we explore the wisdom our human bodies still carry about patterns of dark and light, warm and cold, exertion and recovery.

And of course, we wrap up with some seasonally-appropriate experiments you can run in your own life.

“Seasons” Episode Highlights

  • How our human rhythms got out of sync with nature: the disorienting influence of electric lights, artificial temperature controls, jet travel, standardized daily schedules, and more (2:45)
  • How the agricultural and industrial revolutions radically de-seasonalized our diet, activity, sleep and other lifestyle patterns (5:00)
  • The value of embracing a nature-designed, seasonal model of health rather than a standardized, modern-era prescription (8:00)
  • The biological (hormonal, neurological, metabolic, immune) effects of circadian and seasonal rhythm disruption (12:00)
  • Strategies for getting back in touch with more seasonally appropriate rhythms (15:15)
  • Why eating locally and seasonally is a great place to start, and why seasonal oscillations (between lighter, plant-based, higher-carb diets and heavier, meat-and-fat rich diets) can make sense (16:45)
  • Why all this applies to you (at least somewhat) even if you live in a very consistent climate (21:00)
  • The difference between short-term “corrective” phased eating interventions and a more sustainably healthy seasonal approach, especially for the microbiome (24:00)
  • Following our intuitive appetites (rather than diet dogma) toward more seasonally appealing eating choices, and why summer is a fine time to eat fruit (27:20)
  • Beyond diet, changing your exercise approach (power, strength, speed, endurance, etc.) and sleep cycles with the seasons (29:40)
  • Moving beyond cultural programming and habitual repetition toward natural body wisdom (31:30)
  • Observing the yin and yang energies of winter and summer, and the transitional subtleties of spring and fall (33:00)
  • Dallas walks us through how he approaches seasonal eating, and why it’s actually pretty easy (36:30)
  • The importance of giving yourself permission to listen to and trust your own body (38:50)
  • Timing your fruit intake — and why permanently cutting out entire food groups is rarely necessary (40:15)
  • A recap of the logic of the Seasonal Model (45:35)
  • Recommended experiments for the week (47:25)

Take a look at how well your current food/activity/sleep programs are coordinated.  Seek to correct any observed imbalances.

  • Assess your diet, exercise routine, and sleep schedule. Do they complement each other and the current season?
  • Brainstorm how you can better align these different factors for better results.

Look at the season that’s coming into view and consider: What is one single, relatively simple thing I could do to accommodate this shift of season?

  • Trust your first instinct in deciding which specific change (an adjustment in food, activity or sleep) would be most impactful, appealing and doable for you.
  • Don’t stress about integrating a bunch of seasonal changes all at once. Make it gradual. Keep it easy.

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Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We’d love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment on Facebook and share your stories with us there.




In this episode of The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Mornings — the challenges they present for many, and some smart strategies for redesigning them in ways that work better for you.

Pilar shares the central elements of her flexible, minimalist morning practice, and Dallas shares his mindful approach to making coffee. We explain the underappreciated power of your first waking moments, and offer a fleet of suggestions for creating healthier, more rewarding mornings — without taking on a bunch of new, time-consuming commitments.

Finally, we serve up some practical experiments to help you consciously reclaim your mornings so you can more successfully start each day on your own terms.

“Morning” Episode Highlights

  • The value of creating a morning practice in a way that develops self-efficacy and gets your day off to a positive start
  • How exposing yourself to your smartphone (or any mass media) first thing in the morning stresses you out, makes you vulnerable to unhealthy impulses, and robs you of your best ideas
  • Pilar’s low-key morning routine, and the value of rightsizing your daily commitment
  • How Dallas uses a conscious coffee-making ritual to build some reflective centering time into his days
  • The importance of savoring and noticing your practice experience — vs. “just doing it”
  • How taking control of your morning sets up a successful day
  • Think you are too busy for a morning practice?
  • Dealing with barriers to establishing your morning ritual
  • Good reasons to make your bed every morning
  • Dallas’s morning routine
  • Feeling resistance, and doing it anyway — plus, the value of noticing how you are NOT doing it
  • Claiming “you time” as a form of self-respect and self-preservation
  • The art of moving purposefully into a restful state
  • Permission to do it your way

Take a minute or two in the morning and slowly, carefully, mindfully and systematically make your bed well. Take three breaths when you’re done, then go on with your day.

Consider doing a one- to three-minute practice every morning for a week. Make a check-off sheet for each day that you can put on your refrigerator or some other prominent place in your home. Include a line next to each day to write down what got in the way if you didn’t do your practice. At the end of the week, notice the patterns that arose.

Share the Love!

Each week, we offer you a few life-shifting experiments to try on your own. We’d love to hear how they turn out, and what insights they provoke! Connect with The Living Experiment  on Facebook and share your stories with us there.