Skip to content

045: What Lives Inside

Ed Zaydel
Ed Zaydel
8 min read
045: What Lives Inside

Table of Contents

Hola Amigos, 

I recently paused my sharing here after realizing, through supportive feedback from my community at Leap Forward, my team at Live the Possibility, and my peers, that my newsletters were not as authentic and vulnerable as I had originally intended. This prompted me to pause and reflect on the true purpose of my writing. I wanted to help be a bridge for others to an alternative way of living, in Costa Rica and beyond, and although I often covered much of the surface level travel images, the latest eco-designs, and regenerative projects - I realized it wasn't a deep, reflective and authentic expression of the truths that live inside of me and what I have been exploring, grappling with and discovering. 

During my pause, I connected more deeply with my motivations for using writing as a tool to learn how to feel myself, discover who I really am, and explore why I’m here. I realized that I am moved to learn how to authentically express myself and overcome my tendencies of avoiding, hiding and masking my true self and what lives inside of me. I am moved to honestly share my own internal learnings and evolutions on my quest to discover who I am and what community really means and looks like in action. 

When I asked myself, how my work on my own internal evolution relates to the work I do in the external world with my clients and projects; this quote sums it up best for me: “Regenerative practice is based on the premise that we cannot make the outer transformations required to create a truly sustainable world without making inner transformations in how we think, how we work, and who we are.” - Bill Reed, Regenesis 

This reflection, after three years at Leap Forward doing this internal work, made me realize that unless I make the internal shifts needed to see myself, others, and the world differently, the external work I do in sustainable development won’t really solve any of my problems nor the ones I see in the world. All of our issues from environmental, social, political stem from the reflections of who we are inside, and thus I choose to look inward first. “As within, so without, as above, so below.” 

Thankfully, I am not alone in this quest to excavate who I am, and why I am here... I am deeply grateful for the care and support of my friends Talia, Caroline, and Ronit and my community at Leap Forward, for nurturing me with these insights and for my team at Live the Possibility, Carol & Phil (Sacred Business Flow), for continuously pushing me towards my best self, and my friends. I would not be where I am, and who I am, without you! 

Here's What I Want to Share This Week:

Taking the Leap into the Fullness of Life (LINK)

As mentioned above, I've long been on a quest for genuine community and belonging, organizing large events in New York City as a teen, delving into Burning Man in college, and immersing myself in retreats and spiritual communities - I loved being in inspiring locations with incredible people - I felt less alone. However, none of these experiences fully matched the ideal I envisioned, prompting my move, rather my leap of faith, to Costa Rica to explore eco-villages and regenerative living. Throughout this journey, I felt lost at times, so I engaged deeply with sacred teachings, plant medicine, and sought guidance from various gurus, constantly evolving internally. Despite these efforts, I eventually felt disillusioned, questioning the effectiveness of these paths - “this is not it.” I still feel a sense of existential loneliness and a feeling of imbalance between my internal and external worlds… 

Then, a chance breakfast in New York led me to meet Ronit Herzfeld, founder of Leap Forward—a group that would become like a second family to me. I've mentioned ​Leap Forward a lot in my newsletter, sometimes not enough I feel, as Ronit helped me utterly transform how I relate to myself and others. Her approach to Human Evolution, which integrates theoretical knowledge from fields like neurology, psychology, sociology, evolutionary biology and biomimicry with practical application of tools and practices within a supportive community, was revolutionary for me. Especially after years of learning theories, personal development and spirituality texts, these weren’t ideas, this was a live practicing dojo to apply these learnings to the court! Leap Forward was truly the first time I saw a group of people in the unknown around being in community together, groping with it, practicing relating to each other with a shared set of values and one where people are learning how to express themselves authentically, co-evolve with one another by caring and supporting each other’s growth, giving each other permission to reflect one another when they are not showing up aligned with their agreed upon values and holding each other accountable and showing up unconditionally loving no matter what! 

This hunger to truly know myself and quest to understand what community and belonging mean, led me to 3 years of dedicated daily personal and interpersonal work within the Leap Forward Community and with rigorous participation in this “dojo”, my perspective has begun to evolve. It’s making me see and feel myself as part of a larger organism, through the projects we do together and the active and assertive care and support I receive daily. It feels much like the interdependence seen in nature or the body’s healing processes. So although I am still discovering what “community” means or looks like, I am starting to see that there are many clues staring at me, in the natural world that surrounds me and in my reality. Now it’s time to embody and live them in my daily life and be that which I seek to find in the world.

Catch past webinars and workshops on Zaydeltube.

People, Places, & Resources...

People: The LSA Meet-Up @ Uvita, Costa Rica (LINK)

We hosted an amazing dinner and meet up in Uvita for the Land Steward Alliance (LSA). We're a group of humans - Costa Ricans, foreigners, men and women of various ages and socio-economic demographics all looking at various aspects of Land Stewardship and how to support each other's projects. We've had architects and experts supporting stewards, indigenous causes funded by members, members meeting each other and hearing each other's stories and motivations in caring for each other and the larger ecosystem we live in. We discussed solutions to implementing a lot of the changes we see needed in the world, as well as challenges like neocolonialism and extractionary development practices even in the "green building" movement. This is a space where we can be raw and honest and address our challenges as well as bring our talents to the table.

The in-person meet up was great, as we got to break bread at one of my favorite restaurants in Uvita - Seba's! In person connection allows a diverse group of people to go deep very fast. Hosted in Costa Rica's Southern Zone, we got to experience some of the magic of the beaches of Uvita and jungles of the Osa. 

More on the LSA here (LINK).

Places: Supporting Indigenous Tribes w/ Futuro Nativo (LINK)

We also had a chance to use the meet-up as an opportunity to support a local non-profit, Futuro Nativo, in their efforts to support the original stewards and inhabitants of this place. The story of place is one of the most important aspects of Regenerative development. Learning about the indigenous tribes in Costa Rica has been just that story I was looking for, yet it wasn't easy to find much out until I met Pippa, the founder of Futuro Nativo. She's done the freakin' work by mapping out all of the indigenous tribes and their core needs, made kick-starter-like pages for each tribe on her website. She is getting real needs funded and increasing the quality of life for the original inhabitants of this land. Big thanks to Yalor Mewn, LSA member, my buddy, and co-founder of Metacamp, a non-profit DAO, for helping get the funding over the finish line for the Ngöbe Cultural Ranch. 



Resources: Regenerative Design & The RPS (LINK

I've had the massive privilege of working with Bill Reed from Regenesis (​LINK​) who is the God Father of Regeneration for me but he would likely cringe if he heard me say any of that. Bill reminded me of the importance this week of my service not just to my clients at Live the Possibility and at work, but to the larger ecosystem around me, including all of the local stakeholders and mother nature herself. These reminders are needed to keep me on track!

“The Regenerative Practitioner provides a deep dive into the fundamental shifts in how we think and how we work that underlie a regenerative approach to development of all kinds. The series introduces and explores proprietary regenerative development concepts and frameworks that have been developed and extensively field tested by Regenesis over the last 25 years. Participants work together deeply over a five-month period to engage with the course curriculum, Regenesis instructors, and one another."

Who We Are Celebrating This Week: 

Yalor Mewn & Metacamp

This week I'm celebrating my buddy Yalor Mewn at Metacartel! Yalor and I have had the pleasure of working together on building his community's campus in Costa Rica, a place for deep connection and collective work on internal and external challenges we are all facing. Yes they're a group of technologists, but they're also humans who care deeply about the state of the planet, and have taken consistent actions to demonstrate that to me. From non-profit events that nourished their community and had measurable impact, to donating to local Costa Rican causes like the Indigenous impact initiative Futuro Nativo that I mentioned above. We build trust, through consistent actions over time, and Yalor has literally put his money, time, and energy where his mouth is! Excited to co-create with you my friend - it's going to be a fun ride, and so far has been a blast! 

Memorable Quote:

Much Love Amigos!