Elaine Butler – Changing and Loving Her Life Through Exploring Sustainability

Life Through Exploring Sustainability! In this episode of Outer Travel, Inner Journey, we look through the eyes of a prolific sustainable living activist, Elaine Butler. She maintains a website wherein she shares information about concepts related to sustainable living and what can people do if they want to start living in harmony with nature.

Her journey started when, as a young mother, she wanted to contribute to improving the world, to be part of something bigger than herself. She joined an environmental political party in Ireland and heavily lobbied for environmental policies for 4 years. She realized in the process that the more she researched, the less she knew, especially with the basic things about environmentalism and sustainability. She noticed that even simple things like the disposable coffee cups that she drinks from are neither recyclable nor biodegradable. From then on, she kept a record of everything she was learning and shared it through her blog.

For her, the last 6 years of living sustainably are not only about choosing differently, it’s living with a different set of priorities. She chooses to live opposite the traditional way of overconsumption, overindulgence, and convenience. In trying to avoid buying stuff, she opts to borrow, lend, repair items or get them second-hand. To do this she connects and operates with her community, interacting with people more than the traditional way of living.

Elaine underscores that taking action on climate catastrophe in every way possible should be encouraged. Instead of waiting for billionaires and large corporations and pointing fingers to act on it and be responsible, individuals can start somewhere simple which eventually, along with like-minded people, will make an impact. She emphasizes that everyone should take the first steps in protecting the planet, no matter how small that step may be.

Elaine lives in a way such that the planet’s health and resources will still be available for future generations to come. She said sustainability and climate chaos exposed how interconnected humanity and nature is. And being in harmony with nature is also reconnecting with ourselves and our communities.


Links mention in the podcast

Pocket Quotes

  • Sustainability is living in a manner that protects the planet and resources for future generations. Similar to the native American way of approaching things where they make decisions with the next 7 generations in mind. – Elaine Butler
  • We all have to do our bit. Rather than pointing a finger and saying “well, I’m not doing anything because that person’s not doing something”, I would rather do my bit and point finger at the other person and say “well, you need to try harder”. Whereas (if) we all just stand and watch the world burn pointing fingers at one another, does it really help us? Even if it’s not fair, it doesn’t help anybody to do that. – Elaine Butler
  • Overall, what we have to do in the overdeveloped world is to reduce our consumption levels. They are just, completely on whack, they are not sustainable. – Elaine Butler
  • I feel more connected to humanity. The challenge of sustainability and climate chaos is that we now are seeing how interconnected we are. – Elaine Butler
  • I am doing this because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I do think my life is so much richer and so much more rewarding doing this than it was previously where I struggled to know what my purpose was and I don’t feel that now. – Elaine Butler

Guest Bio

SustainabilityElaine Butler is a designer and environmentalist, managing her website Living Lightly Sustainably in Ireland since 2016. She shares in her website practical ways on how to live a sustainable lifestyle. She has appeared in various radio shows and contributed to a number of newspaper companies and websites. She gives talks and on sustainable and zero waste.

How do you want to Come out of the Pandemic?

Ah, I can smell freedom already!

Freedom is what I’d like to call it. For someone who loves and lives by traveling, this sure is freedom! For months and months now, my entire body is aching to be out and about, observe life, laugh with people and be in places again.

My family, too, has been too excited! (Shout out to parents out there who have kids and teenagers who simply cannot and should not be contained in a ‘box’ that is our homes!)

But as I plan my next holiday, I realized something from somewhere deeper.

This—what I’m feeling—is not all about the excitement for the breath of fresh air, for the warmth of the sun shining on my face, for the campfire stories I’ve been hoping yet again to share with people. 

It’s so much more.

This opening up into a new normal is an opportunity to change gears and plans. Point is—no one is watching. Or more so, whenever there was a crisis or a new world, we have used this to liberate ourselves from our past self to move forward into a future self that is more along where we see ourselves now.

As I’ve said in my previous blog, this period is an expedition of discovering who I will be the day after tomorrow.

So ask, are you looking to be flushed out and just wait on the next travel plan? Or are you using this flush to recreate yourself?

This is your chance to start new. We always say that whether you are in a better place or not yesterday, tomorrow always presents an opportunity to be in a better place than where you are today.

That’s true, of course.

But this one that we have right here is a lot bigger: it only comes around once in a blue moon. Cause it’s not just you. It’s the whole world that’s starting anew.

So before you say, ‘yes, yes I want!’, ask: do you know what will come your way? What is pulling you back into your old behavior, role, place? Where do you stop believing in the new you? What is empowering you? What is holding you back?

I am curious are you afraid to run into challenges and what might they look like—let me know your answers in my survey below.

Personally, to trigger the NEW ME, I have been daily journaling on my next 10 goals (the sky is the limit) every day. The way it works is simple. Write down 10 goals (not so easy to come up with – think of financial, career, emotions, partnerships, health) and leave it be. Then turn the page and do it again the next day.

Also, I support this future self-thinking by meditating daily around the new exciting change (morning and evening). 

And as everything is still in slow gear take time to spend being idle—allowing myself to just get bored and step into an empty space and spaciousness.

But really, I want to see and understand what you are missing around recreating routines and habits that support your new goals. That way, we continue to be valuable travel partners in this new journey. The roads are opening. Where do we want to go?

healthy habits & empowering routines survey
healthy habits & empowering routines survey

Traveling To my Identity – Maskarm Haile

‘An empath—but what are you really?’

This was Maskarm’s question to herself before she embarked on that first ride out of Ethiopia. She knew she always had this incredible gift of being able to put herself in someone else’s shoes and feel things as if she was them. She understood her ability to see, hear and feel things. But in her world back in Ethiopia, there was no place for such. And so she went out to fly.

Deeply sensitive, intuitive, good listener, self-sufficient. These were the qualities that had let her successfully sail across pan-Africa and beyond as a couch-surfer, meeting people along the way who either challenge her chosen way of life or think alike. But more importantly, it was indeed an outer travel to journey towards what within her.

Maski was born and raised in a religious and traditional Ethiopian family. From the very start, traveling was her dream but it was not something comprehensible in her family and their culture. But she knew she had to be someplace and went for it. To her, it felt as if someone left her here on Earth by mistake and that being in one place for a prolonged period of time is not her safe space.

Traveling gave her inspiration and a feeling of oneness. It unpacked for her so many things about herself, her childhood and traumas, her connection with her family, especially her mother. Traveling was her healing until she arrived and became ready to recognize her identity and share it with others (through writing and her book, Abyssinian Nomad).

But it wasn’t all happy and exciting. Along her journey, Maski found out she has fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues. To her, maybe it was a way of saying ‘I’m done here and now it’s the body’s time to heal.

For years of searching, Maskarm lived in total freedom. But she also learned that there are things that needed to happen and shouldn’t be refused and ignored to preserve that perceived freedom. Especially if that comes from within—a voice that wants to be heard, a thought that needs to be shared and read, or even a feeling or pain that has to be tended to. Letting it all out is freedom in itself.

Links mention in the podcast


Podcast Highlights

  • I felt like someone left me here on Earth by mistake and they’re going to come back and take me. I felt this is not my place. That was the feeling the entire time except when I’m traveling. – Maskarm Haile
  • It was my dream to travel. But it also became like a pilgrimage for me. Most of the time, I don’t know why I’m in one place, I just know I have to be there. It just unfolds. The experience of it makes me feel I need this more. – Maskarm Haile
  • During the lockdown, I do miss some things but I also see it as a grace to us. It’s like an opportunity given to us to go within and search for more.  – Maskarm Haile
  • If it keeps showing up, don’t ignore it because it will catch up. – Maskarm Haile
  • Being wise is about listening, sharing, and being sensitive. Not just knowledge. – Alexandra Kreis

Guest Bio:

Maskarm Haile is an empath and traveler from Ethiopia who wandered across pan-Africa and the world in search of her identity. She is the woman behind the book Abyssinian Nomad. Maskarm, in her book, incredibly wrote about her priceless memories and experience.

Wandering The Forgotten Path – Jolanda Todt

Traveling never ends, when you are wandering the forgotten path. It’s the curiosity and bewilderment that propels us forward, not the one thing that we want to solve. But as we go into our inner sanctuary, we realize there is nothing to resolve. It’s just all a play of life. After all, life is so hard to fit into a shoe.

This week’s guest – a fellow traveler – wandered to the forgotten spaces wanting to learn more about life and the life that exists beyond her experience.

Jolanda Todt, an artist, designer, cultural educator, went around getting away from and, eventually, wanting to reconnect to her memory of her father. Jolanda became a spiritual researcher, a truth-seeker in her own right.

Losing her father to suicide as a result of his long-running mental health situation, Jolanda realized how difficult situations in our lives make us reach out and reach deeper. And these experiences are what sailed her through life and brought her to immerse in the indigenous community and culture of shamans—something her father wouldn’t have thought she will do but she certainly has grown to love doing. She learned that psychological illnesses have complementary spiritual counterparts.

But the ceremonies in these communities forged a strong connection to Jolanda and her experiential understanding of life. The two women singing, praying, and chanting for hours left a strong impact on Jolanda. In her culture, women are fighting for their space and place. But in these indigenous cultures, women have such a beautiful space, expressing their spirituality, in such a very authentic way.

Being part of this community gave Jolanda invaluable nuggets of wisdom – the like that doesn’t resolve questions but moves you through the unending quest for learning. The like that she proudly brings in her journey from sorrow to understanding the life that her father had.

Links mention in the podcast     

Podcast Highlights

  • Difficult situations in our lives make us reach out and reach deeper at the best times. – Alexandra Kreis
  • Trauma can be passed on to generations. – Jolanda Todt
  •  In our culture, women are fighting for their space and place. But in this culture, these women have such a beautiful space; they are expressing their spirituality, in such a very authentic way. – Jolanda Todt
  •  The bigger the questions are, the bigger answers required. – Jolanda Todt
  • Life is so hard to fit into a shoe. Travelling never ends. It’s the curiosity and bewilderment that propels us forward, not the one thing that we want to solve. But as we go into the inner sanctuary, we realize there is really nothing to resolve. It’s just all a play of life. – Alexandra Kreis

Guest Bio

ForgottenJolanda Todt, an artist, designer, and cultural educator from Berlin. She studied communication design and has done exhibitions, performances, and lectures in Germany, Iceland, and London

Art and Science – It’s a Tie – Philipa Daria

Art and science, indeed, can become one. Daria’s journey tells us that. 

This heartwarming conversation with Philipa Daria Filip traces back the strokes of that interesting moment of discovery of her art. It also dances us to the intricate details of how her artistry has been married to her world of science and philosophy of living sustainably. 

Her moment of truth was that long journey from Poland to Paris—almost like an exposure trip to her unlived childhood days captured in countless photographs in an attempt to vividly store its beauty intangible memory—that went straight to a vernissage. But Daria’s art and science started even way back. 

Although Paris, and its beauty and promise of sustainable living, is the cradle of Daria’s art, her motivation to marry art and science transcends beyond her artistry and this city. It is actually about her philosophy. Inspired by David Rocks’ Quiet Leadership, she lives by the lesson that we don’t learn on a linear curve; it’s more parabolic. We have to focus our attention to make the space to make mistakes until we hit the curve. More like in art. 

Coming from the logical corner—from studying and practicing engineering to teaching math and physics, and coming from a family who did the same—Daria found herself grabbing the camera and pouring out all her artistic side into it as her way of expression. But not only that. It is also her way of communicating details and of teaching science to the public eye. She has brought all these things together and calls it art is science and science is art. 

To Daria, we can use common knowledge to understand the foundational principles (in math, science). And by slowing down and paying attention to the details—not doing shortcuts—we get so much more and higher quality understanding. In a way, sustainable learning. 

Beyond Daria’s mind for details, she leaves an important trick to muster: Know when to focus on the detail and when to be a master of the subject to be able to appreciate and teach it. Know when to pull back and look at the big picture and how all pieces fit together. Not being a specialist in anything and trying to work and teach on it is equally dangerous as being a specialist in just one thing. 

And above all, Daria inspires listeners to apply artistry to life: “Do not be afraid to try something new. Let it flow. Do not be afraid to take a chance.” 

Links mention in the podcast  


Podcast Highlights 

  • With art, I’ve never felt so refreshed and rejuvenated. It further bolstered this concept of arts and science and how it impacts life. – Philipa Daria Filip 
  • The symbol of the delta, which means change, appears everywhere in science. We can use the common knowledge to really understand the foundational principles. By slowing down and really paying attention to the details, not doing shortcuts, you get so much more and higher quality understanding. – Philipa Daria Filip 
  • The trick of life is knowing which quote to follow when. When do we need to focus on the detail and be a master of a subject to be able to appreciate and teach it and when to pull back and look at the big picture and how all pieces fit together. Not being a specialist in anything and trying to work and teach on it is equally dangerous as being a specialist in just one thing. – Philipa Daria Filip 
  • Do not think that you have to choose one or the other. Just dabble in your art or artistry and however, it shows itself. See how that makes you go about your day to day life. You can find ways to combine it. – Alexandra Kreis 
  • Do not be afraid to try something new. Let it flow. Do not be afraid to take a chance. – Philipa Daria Filip 

Guest Bio 

Philipa Daria Filip is a teacher at the American School of Paris. Born in Toronto, Canada and to parents who emigrated to Canada from Poland/Ukraine after WWII, Daria had always longed to revisit her roots and explore Europe. She grew up in a family with an inclination to science—her mother always wanted her to be an engineer. She worked for three years in Western Canada and had a lot of experience working in industrial plants and factories. But in 1998, she switched to teaching math and science in high school and since then taught in different schools until she found her way to the American School of Paris. 


Richard Fuhrmann – Why We Need To Tell Our Stories

Eavesdrop on this conversation with Richard Fuhrmann about his inner journey and sharing this journey through storytelling. With so many wonderful opportunities to share and listen to people’s experiences of healing, awakening, and self-discovery, we ask: why through storytelling? 

In this podcast, Alex brings on this question (and more!). Alex navigates the conversation behind her work: making the space and sharing the limelight to people’s stories—the campfire ones that are not so alien but are so ‘us’. And Richard, a holistic consultant for entrepreneurs from Graz, Austria, and a solopreneur himself, join this by sharing the stops, bumps, and crossroads in his inner journey. 

Richard’s spark and story may not exactly be the same as in many of us. It started early for him, but not one that he’s been sure about right from the start. But as he said, ‘we are all on the same journey: from ourselves to ourselves.’ 

Along his road, Richard realized and took to his mission the importance of bringing the consciousness of compassion and love for one another to the space of business, especially the tech industry. This is founded on his principle that human beings are meant to be tribal and that it’s part of how human beings survived and evolved. And storytelling is one act of sharing and embodying the tribe! 

But as solopreneurs, how is storytelling making us visible? How is it leading people to find us? Richard’s answer is simple: People who need you will find you. And hence why our stories of awakening should be told and be brought out there. So people can stumble upon us and see what resonates with them and, eventually, find us. 

And for us who listen, always be aware that the person we follow has been through a lot. Celebrate the wisdom in their stories by not putting them up on a pedestal but by giving credit to their experiences and life stories. 

Surely, this is the podcast that explains why you should listen to one! 

Links mention in the podcast 

Podcast Highlights

  • We are progressing so rapidly in technology, but we, as humans, are left behind. Our emotional intelligence, compassion for each other, and our understanding of the foundations of our society are not at par with the rate technology is progressing. – Richard Fuhrmann 
  • We need more people in powerful positions to develop more compassion for other people. And this takes introspection—that we are not separate from one another in the consciousness level. This changes everything. – Richard Fuhrmann 
  • A calling is something within you that whispers of curiosity to discover and follow something. If you follow this calling, only then it starts to unfold. – Richard Fuhrmann 
  • There’s more that we can’t see with our eyes. But with sensing and feeling. It’s a whole new level of experiencing the world, other people, and your own journey. If you open to this as a question, you’ll find your answers.  – Richard Fuhrmann 
  • Many people are reluctant to own their stories in detail. It’s some form of protection to the listeners. Because sometimes when we hear stories, we come into the copycat mode, we think their way is the only way to move forward. Storytelling can be an informed conversation as well.- Alexandra Kreis 
  • 2020 is the best year to face your fears. Fear starts within. It’s not something bad per se; what’s bad is the way we treat fear. – Richard Fuhrmann 


Guest Bio

Richard Fuhrmann is from Graz, Austria. His urge to know more led him to spend time with Indian monks from the Kriya Yoga tradition and being in an Ashram near Miami for 5 weeks at the early age of 18. Richard did a lot of meditation and introspection and his journey back to himself made him learn Vortexhealing® and he spends time with an Advaita-teacher, whom he also wrote music for. He also studied classical guitar, jazz guitar, and music-therapy. Richard is engaged in a systemic coaching course in business-consultancy called “money coaching“ since 2013 and worked with different entrepreneurs who were interested in meditation and who wanted to know more about themselves. 



Gary O’Toole – Traveling with the Stars

Today’s podcast is a daring conversation about a hot topic. But hopefully, casts a light of hope for everyone.

With Gary O’ Toole, an astrologer based in Galway Ireland, we will talk about traveling with the stars. Gary takes us to an enlightening ride to understanding astrological perspectives and how they view what’s happening around us right now.

Despite still getting a weird look when he talks about what he’s doing, Gary loves his craft and practices Indian astrology and what he calls timeline astrology. Like the way yoga was a weird place 20 years ago, Gary decided to just follow this interest and a teacher studying the stars and planets because, to him, he gets a sense of release with astrology. It frees him to be who he is and to be in the moment. Gary and Alex looking at how astrology was reduced to horoscopes that claim a one fits all. Instead, it’s true nature; it’s about reading those patterns and using them as a guide to the person we’re becoming.

No one astrologer can predict 100% accurately. Astrology is like describing the same thing using two different languages but still using the same alphabet. Different perspectives, different outer travels to guide one inner journey.

Looking at 2020, astrologers see that we’re in the conjunction of stars, Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (contraction). Jupiter is in line with the philosophy of expansiveness and abundance while Saturn is more in line with the stoic philosophy. In history, looking at those times when all planets have come together, it’s marked with epidemics and upheavals. But what message do we really want to pick up from these?

To Gary, it is both an opportunity and a responsibility that he may be able to predict but he will always have to skirt a fine line between not scaring people but preparing them at the same time. There’s enough fear already. And so we have to focus our eyes on what other messages are in front of us. The stars like Saturn are showing us that, ultimately, things are all good. Things have to happen in a certain way. Sometimes we don’t like the way they happen but it has to happen that way. And 2020 has been a very good time to really look inside and see where we’re measuring ourselves.

Coming from different practices, there’s one wisdom Gary and Alex share: Step back. Let’s be grateful for the things that we have as we have them. It’s always helpful to align a little bit out of the self-consciousness into the bigger consciousness by just noticing that you’re not alone. Worry not, there’s an energetic movement in the skies and everywhere.


Links mention in the podcast


Podcast Highlights

  • You are who you are. You can have a million different labels and each one could bring a different aspect of you. But Indian astrology brought out a map of my life. It was amazing that my life can be explained by the planets and how they move. – Gary O’Toole
  • Astrology is like looking at a person from many different angles. But it isn’t about pinning you down and labeling you, it’s more about the timeline, about timing things and decisions. In ancient India, astrology was used to time rituals. – Gary O’Toole
  • It is a pivotal year. But it’s like we’re turning a corner; it’s going to be some years before we can see that corner in the distance and see where we’ve come around. – Gary O’Toole
  • Simplifying life: 2020 has helped me clear out all the things I thought I needed to do in my life. The biggest lesson of Saturn and Capricorn this year is about sustainability– what can you keep doing every day. – Gary O’Toole
  • Astrology has always been for me a double-edged sword. It’s solving a problem and at the same time, when you’ve addressed something, you can no longer pretend that it’s not happening. The more important thing is to be open. Astrologers will give you different stories based on what they’re looking at. You can take whatever from that. – Gary O’Toole
  • We’re all human. We all have traits that we can see as we have in common. But astrology is about what we want to extract out of this moment, what personality traits we want to emphasize, what is being emphasized in these timelines. It’s not so much about who you are, but who you’re becoming. – Gary O’Toole
  • Sometimes the best of the best seems to be the worst of the worst at that time. Like a prediction of my death. I went past that date but it helped me a lot in life. I think that as a possibility, and it completely changed the way I lived my life. That way, it helped me, but it was also highly unethical. – Gary O’Toole


Guest BIO:

Gary O’Toole is a Vedic (Indian) astrologer living in Galway Island, Ireland. He trained in counseling and studied Ayurveda with the American Institute of Vedic Studies and at the International Academy of Ayurveda. He is a member of the British Association of Vedic Astrology and lectured at their annual conference. Gary practices timeline astrology and has authored a book titled Cosmic Bodies: The Ayurvedic Astrology Guide to Health & Well-Being, available on Amazon and am currently working on a book about timing techniques titled Timeline Astrology. He writes every day to share with people what he reads about planets which is soon to be available in an app!

Sonja Radvila – Fears and Desires (mindmonsters) – a Storybook Ontake

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In today’s show, I set down with Sonja Radvila, author of the book ‘Young Yogi and the Mindmonsters’. An ontake on Patanjalis Sutras as a children’s story. Get to know how Sonja created the book. How she struggled with publishing and writing as an inner and outer journey. And get in a chance to own your own copy by entering our raffle.


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