Marcelo‌ ‌Valansi‌ ‌-‌ ‌Building‌ ‌your‌ ‌Community‌ ‌

During the time of crisis in Costa Rica’s real estate and industries, some of the contractors and developers lost their projects. But during the profound lull that followed the crisis, a new idea was born stirring the direction of real estate development in Costa Rica. La EcoVilla was born and it grew to become home to many.

In this podcast, Marcelo Valansi shares how he started building this community. It started out as a dream and a conversation; an idea of a visionary who decided to put his dream of living in harmony with the environment into action.

One of Marcelo’s passions is to enjoy nature, sail, dive, travel, explore, learn from different cultures and meet new people around the world. Marcelo has extensive experience in developing residential and commercial projects of different scales in countries like Argentina, the United States, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Marcelo’s vision about home and his innovativeness gave birth to a new home for many other people. It started as a businessman’s idea about developing new projects. But its purpose grew to regenerate a site and to create communities that leave an impact, accessible, profitable, and sustainable. Because building and caring for our community is actually part of our relationship with nature.

Communities and the place we live in are meant to be a home—a place where we feel cared for, a place we care for, a place of connection, peace, and alignment. In much the same way that communities—as it is people living together more than just structures beside each other—is a source of support, sense of belongingness, and co-creation.

Come and envision your community and learn how you can make it true from Marcelo Valansi! Sharing his experience and insights at Outer Travel, Inner Journey!

Links mention in the podcast

Podcast Highlights

  • 2:28-4:22 – Marcelo’s Turning Point
  • 4:57-5:46 – Disconnection to People
  • 7:33-9:32 – Adjustment of our Planet
  • 13:22-14:05 – Creating a Village
  • 16:56-20:32 – Definition of Community
  • 22:00-28:12 – 9 years of Growing a Community
  • 32:43-34:29 Marcelo’s Challenges in Life
  • 35:21-37:53 – Support System
  • 38:55-40:16 – Achieving your Dreams


Pocket Quotes

  • “We will not survive as a species. I feel that the planet is much stronger than us and that they will likely to wipe us.” – Marcelo Valansi
  • “If we start planting trees to regenerate the ecosystem, we can live  in harmony with nature and we can produce more than we consume.” – Marcelo Valansi
  • “Everybody should be empowered to lead or contribute to a community that can work.” – Alexandra Kreis
  • “If we want to see a change in the world, we cannot keep giving the same education we  receive that brought us here.” – Marcelo Valansi
  • “Life is too short. We all have dreams. It’s really important to make them happen sooner than later.” – Marcelo Valansi


Guest Bio

Marcelo Valansi is an innovative entrepreneur who is dedicated to the design, development and implementation of self-sustaining regenerative projects and communities. Marcelo has extensive experience in developing residential and commercial projects of different scale in several countries, such as Argentina, the United States, Panama, Costa Rica.

Kerstin Walsh – Marriage and Rituals

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In this podcast, I sit down with Kerstin Walsh to discuss the transformations we go through with (foreign) rituals like marriage and how they influence our growth. Kerstin married her Indian boyfriend in his home country, through traditional Indian ceremonies.

Kerstin is a freelance artist, which allows her to express herself through teaching and creating art. It is extremely healthy to express ourselves freely, especially through art. Take a look at some of Kerstin’s work on her website – she will leave you speechless!

Links mentioned in the podcast:

sunday souls session

Yoga class for who are you showing up for?

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]You know you don’t know everything, but you behave often like you do. At least, I have done so for a big part of my life. Not knowing makes me feel uneasy.. This stage of discomfort is sometimes the best way you can learn something new, and in the process expand your comfort zone.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]In my first few years as a yoga student, I learnt to embrace discomfort. Because of the way I was studying yoga and the random structure it followed, I never knew what kind of class I was in for whenever I showed up. Would we be going into forward bending for the whole 90 minutes or maybe backbending? Or even worse, if you’re impatient like me, would we be spending the entire class sitting and doing Pranayama, or at least back then attempt to do it.

Some people would find this way of learning intimidating and scary, while I’m sure many others find it exciting. For me, it helped me to gain a better understanding of stepping into the unknown.

By stepping into the unknown we acknowledge that we are more than the sum of our actions and thoughts,

and we are nearing the thought that we come from somewhere and are heading to something bigger. By not knowing what style or technique we would be practicing at yoga, allowed me to let go of any expectations – of both the yoga class and of myself. At the same time, the most important thing I had to learn was to stay open to this ‘discomfort’ and how I would receive each lesson. 

In yoga classes today, I see a lot of challenges that students are faced with

– trying to fit yoga into their schedules, showing up to class tired or frustrated with trying difficult poses. And as a consequence, people often decide to not show up to class or try to switch teachers or basically just don’t practice when they don’t feel like it. 

Someone once said to me, “Growth is beyond comfort – it is felt when you are uncomfortable in a situation and you feel your resistance rising. Then you truly start to grow.”

Now, I am far from torturing myself these days just to feel discomfort. Discomfort needs to be chosen as wisely as we choose to rest. But comfort today, as we know it, is almost killing us. Our comfort from eating, exercising and entertaining is bringing stress to our bodies.

The Ancient Sanskrit texts of the Upanishads discuss the idea of preyas and shreyas. Preyas mean ‘that which is pleasant’ and shreyas mean ‘that which is helpful’. Sometimes that which is pleasant is not at all helpful to you, while sometimes that which is helpful is not at all pleasant to you – especially at first, because of your negative habit patterns. So you should try to understand what is really good for you and what is truly helpful for you.

In this manner preyas should be used wisely.

To me it was a helpful knowing that whatever yoga exercises we would be doing in class, my yoga teacher would guide me through them. I put my trust in my teacher that no matter what, I wouldn’t be completely defeated by the end of every yoga class. At first, when I felt discomfort I believed I wasn’t practicing yoga anymore, as it didn’t feel pleasant. I thought I knew what yoga was (with my three years of experience), but it took me another two decades to truly see through my shadow issues.

Yoga is not a physical discipline, as we are made to believe in the West, but at best it’s a discipline of controlling your mind and emotions, so that they don’t overcome you. As explained in the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, ‘Yoga is the containment of the fluctuations in the mind and mind patterns.’

Learning how to embrace discomfort in yoga is just one example of controlling your mind, or Ego, to move forward and grow.

But what’s most important is trust. We all need a teacher that we can trust, and then when you find trust in a teacher you need to in turn be open about how you are feeling, where you are at with your practice and if you are feeling discomfort. You are not expected to always show up to class radiant, strong and healthy. But you are required to show up – if not for anyone else, for yourself!


In my 25 years as a yoga teacher and ayurvedic practitioner, what has struck me most is that very few of us explore beyond an initial interest in looking into our shadow issues and self sabotaging ways. This is due to, what my teacher once described as, “flitting around”. Constantly moving from one thing to another instead of seeing an opportunity to mend.


You are the creator and the experiencer of your own life. Like Visnu and Laxmi, abundance and dharma come hand in hand. Visnu is known as a nurturer, and his consort is Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity. When we nurture, preserve or appreciate what we have – relationships, our resources but also our unique gifts, than Laxmi will step up and shower us with abundance.


Showing up for yourself is all about being honest with how you’re feeling and what you need. Try to establish your state of mind and emotions before you enter a yoga class, rather than realising it mid-sun salutation. Stop and ask yourself:


  • What do I want out of this class? 
  • Where do I need to surrender and what door do I need to close to fully participate?
  • Can you be open about how you’re feeling and let the teacher in – if necessary?


Honour yourself and respect that sometimes you might not be functioning at 100%, but you can commit 100%.

It’s normal to feel tired, challenged or uncomfortable. The secret is to embrace this feeling and learn how to grow from it.

And it helps to have someone you trust with you along the way.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Can we truly grow without community?

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]The question came to me earlier this year at the cinema when I was watching an on-screen discussion on all things religion, philosophy and human survival. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text] On a road trip to Spain, the main characters of the movie 303 pose the idea that Neanderthals became extinct because of a lack of cooperation.

We know that Neanderthals and modern humans had a complicated relationship, and it’s been said that the fate of the Neanderthals came out of clashes with the first modern humans – through violence, competitive replacement and competitive exclusion. Ultimately, these two species could not co-exist as competitors.

So now, more than 600,000 years later, have we learned nothing?

As humans, do we thrive when we are competing with one another or when we learn to cooperate? 

I know that I find peace and encouragement when I am surrounded by the right kind of community.

Don’t you? The feeling of ‘belonging’ or even just the desire to belong can be a very powerful thing. In my journey of self discovery, the knowledge and inspiration I absorbed from others around me not only helped to guide my own personal journey, but made me strive for the success of others in my community. It’s another way of looking at the ‘survival of the fittest’.

Take, for example, supportive communities like AA or Weight Watchers where people come together to share their progress, struggles and, most challenging, their failures.

What is the secret to their success?

It could be about a sense of responsibility – where being part of a group holds you accountable for others achieving their goals. Or we could use the idea of ‘group survival’, which is about the creation of a network and a safety net to pull yourself back up.

When things in life become unsure and confusing, we all want to be held and supported. Even those people who are too shy to say so, or on the other hand, those who are too rebellious to admit. But we all want to find people that we can connect with and talk to.

I believe that a group is always the best foundation for learning faster. Groups naturally have a synergistic effect on people.

Of course, this will only work in your favour with the right kind of community around you. When we keep the company of people that don’t want to grow, we will be pulled into their direction instead. And even with the right group, the benefits won’t come if you don’t commit and make use of the tools available to you in your community – think of it as your own personalised toolbox. 

When things in life become unsure and confusing, we all want to be held and supported. Even those people who are too shy to say so, or on the other hand, those who are too rebellious to admit. But we all want to find people that we can connect with and talk to. When we are in ‘rebellious mode’, we often can’t see the value of a group. It’s normal to mistake this feeling with a sense of independence. With so many self-help tools available to us, like books, apps, websites or blogs, people set out on these journeys believing they can deal with everything alone. But there is huge value in having people around you along the way. It’s about the experience and support, to jump over the hurdles quicker. 

The idea of ‘group survival’ is that humans are more concerned with the survival of groups than individual survival.

Farnam Street outlines that “groups survive better if they have individuals with different strengths to draw on.” It makes sense right? The more tools you have, the better equipped you are to succeed in a project. The more different types of people you have in a community, the more prepared you will be for unexpected circumstances.

When we see ourselves as part of a group, we want the group to survive and even thrive. It’s no longer just about being the best you can be as an individual, but wanting the best for your community.


In my online support group (Creating Space) you will learn the value of living a life in sync with the circadian rhythms. Long ago, these were already discovered by the vedis through the act of dinarcharya and the yogis ( outlining Yamas and Niyamas). Most members make mind-blowing leaps and are able to stick to their resolutions, rather than only gaining some advice and a recipe on how to live their day and mend their health. But the group truly holds them to their own set of standards and helps them to keep moving, inch by inch.


Join us, if you dare.