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.

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.

Shawn Flot – Feet on the Ground: Exploring the Mind, Body and Nature Connection

For more than a year now, many of us have been stuck at home. Well, not literally, but the home-grocery routine. Maybe a short occasional stroll outside. But many times we’ve said we’re missing out on a lot of other important things from the human-and-nature connection aspect because of this prolonged isolation.

We also know that we should be moving around more throughout the day to stay healthy. However, working in an office, working at home, or even staying at home can mean you don’t get the chance to get up and wander around at regular intervals throughout the day.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires good posture and purposeful movements.

All of us are born with a sense of movement, and our bodies have their unique language. Some of us lose touch with this sense of movement due to lack of use, illness, disabilities, or blocks from how we perceive ourselves. A movement therapist’s role is to help the person tap into this sense of movement and express themselves, particularly thoughts or issues that may have been repressed.

Shawn Flot, PT, and wellness coach of Moving Into Harmony and Well-Explored Life is back here with us. He studied Manual Therapy at Dynamic Manual Interface w/Frank Lowen. One of his passion projects is encouraging movement with nature by providing online guidance and conditioning to hikers, backpackers, and thru-hikers.

In this podcast, Shawn and Alex share knowledge about moving our feet and going outside with nature. Shawn talks about the coordination of our system and our body when moving. He also shares some experience about his profession and gives some tips on how we should move our body with the right timing of breathing.

This episode is sure to encourage and inspire you that moving outside with nature will help you not just physically but also mentally and spiritually.

Links mention in the podcast


Podcast Highlights

  • 3:08-7:40 – Getting out of your comfort zones
  • 8:08-11:40 – Connection between our Nervous System and our Feet
  • 15:47-22:14 – People Shawn works with
  • 25:42-28:36 – Walking in Nature
  • 28:57-32:29 – The Trapezius muscle
  • 35:42 39:01 – Felt sense

Pocket Quotes

  • “Walking in nature is freeing myself of things I get stuck at. It allows me to feel more inspired.”- Alexandra Kreis
  • “We’re so uniquely different and we come from such different realms of how we operate our lives.”- Shawn Flot
  • “Find yourself a little bit more. Don’t work so hard at it and that’s the key”- Shawn Flot
  • “Reconnect into the body and let the mind be just the feeler of what the body’s amazement can do.”- Shawn Flot
  • “The feet are one of those places where we regain our fluidity and our ability to move in the world”. – Shawn Flot

Guest Bio

Shawn Flot studied Manual Therapy at Dynamic Manual Interface w/Frank Lowen, Hatha yoga at School of Shadow Yoga, and Spec. Hon. Kinesiology and Health Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a Physical Therapist and wellness coach of Moving Into Harmony. Also, Shawn Flot has Online Personal Fitness Training at A Well-Explored Life, LLC.  Doing online guidance and conditioning hikers, backpackers and thru-hikers.

Understanding Nature through Math – Ulli Helmstetter

Math and physics—or ‘hard science’—can be intimidating to some (or many). Because most of the time, it is approached as abstract concepts and principles detached from reality. This area is often a space your kid may not feel too confident.

But to Ulli Helmstetter, teacher of mathematics and physics, these are like lenses to see through this perfectly uncertain world. It’s the knowledge that ties us closest to understanding nature because they are nature itself.

Having to tackle seemingly rigid concepts, it was easy to fall oblivious to your environment and self. No other subject could even frustrate you as mathematics. But Ulli understood these from a perspective that brings him back to the very purpose of knowledge: to be able to live in this world and live in it fully. Math and physics, in their essence, teach about the fundamental principles of nature; problem-solving and adaptation; of the truth, spirituality, and profoundness of life.

And as a teacher, he took it as his mission to share this lens with his students and encourage them to re-discover the infinite magic of the world that we live in as he did when he first fell in love with science.

The whole world is like a hologram. Every piece resembles the qualities of the whole. Like the tail of the elephant—you touch it and you know it’s an elephant. No matter where you look if you look clearly and healthily at things, you’re always connected with the truth. It doesn’t matter which method you use to get or stay connected.

Just like how science is—that it is not a set of information that we have and can hold in our hands. Understanding it is an infinite process as it is ever-expanding. But the basic principles are what we can hold and learn. After all, these principles, math, and physics, are just anchors to the higher intelligence that have let us thrive amid the horrors and wonders of this world!

life Understanding the World of Meditation through Math and Physics

Links mention in the podcast

Podcast Highlights

  • To bring an understanding of the changes in paradigm—understanding what an open, mystical world we are in—has been my mission to my students. – Ulli Helmstetter
  • Science is not a set of information that we have and that we know most or almost everything in the world. We hardly know anything. It’s an infinite process. And it’s fascinating to have the feeling that we can take part in this process. – Ulli Helmstetter
  • Math and physics are not a fixed system that is boring and invented by mankind. This is nature itself. – Ulli Helmstetter
  • No matter where you look if you look clearly and healthily at things, you’re always connected with the truth. There’s no escape. It’s just a matter of being connected. It doesn’t matter which method you use to get or stay connected. – Ulli Helmstetter
  • Math is like a lens for looking at your life. You learn how to approach problems. – Ulli Helmstetter

Guest Bio:

Ulli Helmstetter is a dedicated teacher of mathematics and physics. He has taught in schools in Germany, Costa Rica, and Kenya and over the past 30 years. Aside from teaching inside the classroom, he coaches kids on the more practical skills that kids need to reflect their school performance in exams