water is life

Grants, Music, and a Fine Draft


Yowza!  Onward, my friends, into the great unknown. We have reached a handful of milestones over the past couple of months, and I am delighted to finally share some of this exciting news with you! It is summer, life is full, days are long, and this remains a wild & wonderful time to be alive. I am grateful to share it with you.


Somehow, with editing superhero powers yet unknown to the universe, our magical and beloved Garrrrr (aka Garrett Russell) has turned a 500 hour Film Blob into a 100 minute Rough Draft of Ultimate Majesty. What a freaking honor to have this man onboard. Seriously, I am forever grateful. Gar - It has been a joy to work so closely on this project with you, friend. Thank you.

We just submitted a rough draft of the film to the Women In Film Finished Fund Grant, and will hear back about funding in November. In the meantime our rough draft is quickly becoming a fine draft. Our music library is growing every day and is full to the brim with super talented local musicians (I cannot wait to share our developing soundtrack with you, ohmyGawd).


Pepper Daniels interviewed me on KVEC about my journey and process making this film, and our conversation will weave throughout the final narrative of the documentary. It's a bit of time-traveling goodness. Check out that friggin' amazing film crew behind-the-scenes at our final big shoot for "Where There Once Was Water".

A big thank you to Pepper Daniels, my brother from another mother, and to KVEC and all my awesome radio family - so much love & gratitude for you all. And to my epic crew - Garrett Russell, Gabby Pajo, and Kaori Funahashi.... I love you so much. 

There is much afoot. Much on the way. Much to be excited about.

A "Where There Once Was Water" fundraiser party is in the works for August in SLO. There will be Live Music, Zoo to You animals, an Art Show, Silent Auction, and perhaps even an opportunity for you to give feedback on a rough-edit of the film. Details to come...

Some Kickstarter Rewards are starting to go out to my Kickstarter backers, so be sure to add my email addy to your address book so that you don't miss any updates.

And last but not least.... A "Where There Once Was Water" sister project is brewing. And I think it's going to be huge. (But that's all I'll say for now.) *wink


“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. 

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”  

― Bruce Lee


Standing Rock Stories

Being present in California while my heart is on the ground in North Dakota has been a challenge. The status of camp changes day by day, hour by hour, it seems. On December 4th, in the 11th hour, President Obama & The Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would NOT grant the easement for Energy Transfer Partners to bore under the Missouri River at Lake Oahu. This was a HUGE victory for Indigenous Sovereignty.

Since that announcement, with some uncertainty still on the horizon, and with severe winter storms battering the front line camps, the focus has begun to shift towards energizing a global movement. Take the energy & intentions of Standing Rock everywhere - to every pipeline - to every polluter - to every black snake. Continue to divest from all the corporate banks funding this project. Mass Bank Exit. People Power. And so it begins...

"The shortest distance between a human and the truth is a story." - Cynthia Brix

I felt heart-called to travel to Standing Rock - to help share the story of the Water Protectors - heart to heart - human to human. I am honored and grateful for those who spent time with me and who trusted me to share their story. 

I have many stories to share with you in the coming weeks, three of them today. The first is Donna & Curly - they are Rosebud Sioux, and the leaders of Rosebud "Sicangu Oyate" Camp at Standing Rock, North Dakota. They welcomed us in from the moment we arrived. They kept us safe, warm, fed, prayerful, and protected. Please, take a moment to listen...

And then there's John from Alabama. Along with being a jolly soul with a tremendous heart, he's a Vietnam Veteran, a talented (and wonderfully wiley) photographer, and the Hurricane Creekkeeper for the Waterkeeper Alliance. When I asked him about the behavior of law enforcement here at Standing Rock, he said "North Dakota is the most lawless state I have ever seen." This, coming from a man who lived in Alabama in the 1960s, and who witnessed the way the Freedom Riders were treated. Friends, meet John. 

This is Melaine Stoneman and her sister J.C. Begay. These women are Sicangu Lakota from Rosebud, South Dakota. I met Melaine at the Women's Meeting on my first day at camp. She and her sister J.C. speak to the importance of standing united as women all over the world. Please listen & learn from the wisdom these women have to share..

YOU can help defeat this Black Snake for GOOD.  Divest from the corporate banks who are funding this monster. Join me - put your money where your heart is. #DeFundDAPL Today. Every day. Everyone. Everywhere. Let's DO this! http://www.defunddapl.org

Standing Rock : Nov 22

Our first full day at Standing Rock was absolutely that - very full. We've been here for just over 24 hours, and time moves slowly out here. The community is beautiful, inspiring, full of love and prayer and beautiful intention. Your donations are being sorted, gifted, accepted, and appreciated. And with the cold months ahead, your donations may literally save a life. 

I'm all checked in, I officially have my media badge, and I look forward to documenting life here in camp, and sharing stories with you all as I am able. Cell service is spotty, so I will update as I can. And for those of you who are prone to worry, instead of worrying, please pray. However that looks for you. Please pray for the health and safety of the Peaceful Water Protectors.

And please - stay tuned-in to what is going on here at Standing Rock. Share all the news that you can. Speak up. Speak out. Federal laws are being broken, human rights are being violated, and people's lives are in danger. All to protect a PIPELINE. Let that sink in.

This is all very, very real. Indigenous Lives matter, and this moment, right NOW, is our opportunity to build a new legacy, to honor and respect our Native Americans, to acknowledge the suffering they have (and continue to) endure, and to stand up with them for what is right. 

We've been reminded here that "We are responsible for what we do, and what we do not do." I challenge you to hold that in your heart. Water is Life. Mni Wiconi. Much Love, y'all.

Water Protectors & A World Upside Down

Where There Once Was Water

Life feels heavy, my friends. There is much a-stir on our planet. Our Indigenous People, praying together as Peaceful Water Protectors, are being met with militarized police in North Dakota. Journalists there are being arrested for doing their job. The election approaches and continues to be an embarrassment. Undesirable predictions for our future are coming true. And Climate Change is no longer looming on the horizon - it is here now.

We need LOVE, now more than ever. We must work together, starting TODAY, to bring about a peaceful loving future for all life. Profits should never be more important than People. And this means that we likely need to look deep inside ourselves and ask some tough questions... What ingrained beliefs or behaviors must we change? What is standing in the way, in our own hearts & lives & habits, of moving us towards a just and equitable future? And what are we willing to live WITHOUT to arrive at that future?

So I challenge you... BE the love, my friends. Every day. To everyone you meet. Make decisions out of LOVE. Not greed. Not apathy. Just pure LOVE. Because the answer is simple... the answer is LOVE.

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Standing Rock : Photo by Dallas Goldtooth : #WaterIsLife #NoDAPL

Have you heard about Standing Rock? Do you know what is going on there, and why it is of the utmost importance? If not, please get informed immediately. America is currently being forced to take a hard look at what it is founded on, and it's not pretty, my friends. It is time to Stand Up with our Indigenous People - United - against hate, against greed & oppression, against Fossil Fuels. We must stand together, with LOVE, for each other, and for our Mother Earth. 

I recently had the honor of talking with Kandi Mossett, "Eagle Woman", an Indigenous leader on the ground at Standing Rock. This is her story in unedited form - and i think you'll understand why when you take a few minutes to truly listen.

Sign a petition urging President Obama to reject the pipeline HERE
Donate to the Water Protectors, they need ALL the help we can give HERE
GO to Standing Rock. Stand with them. Find info HERE

#NoDAPL #StandWithStandingRock #WaterisLife 

So much has happened since my last email - WOW - please forgive me for bombarding you with so much info this time around - I promise I'll get better at sending out monthly updates - haha! In September I attended the National Heirloom Seed Expo in Santa Rosa and talked with some heavy-hitters in the world of Permaculture - John JeavonsChristy WilhelmiMatt Thompson, and more. I filmed harvest at Tablas Creek Winery, a biodynamic winery near Paso Robles, CA. I attended the Greenbuild Expo in downtown Los Angeles to learn about radical advancements in net-zero architecture & urban one-site water reuse. I visited renowned Water Lawyer Eric Garner of BB&K for an informative conversation about CA water law. I attended the SAWPA Riverwalk and had an inspiring conversation with Celeste Cantu, GM of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority, about the importance of managing watersheds as a whole.  

It was an absolute treasure to spend a day with the deep souls of Walking Water as they finished a pilgrimage from Owen's Valley to Santa Clarita, walking along the path of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. I attended a free (yay!) rain-water harvesting workshop at the TreePeople headquarters in Bevery Hills. And to round out two great months with an overwhelming bang, I attended the Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, and talked with some of today's leading voices in the world of water, urban farming, and regenerative agriculture - Brock Dolman from O.A.E.C.Ariel GreenwoodRyan Camero,and Wanda Stewart. Wow, friends... this story, OUR story, the story of WATER, which is truly the story of LIFE, is enormous. I remain humbled and honored to be on this journey. xo

I feel called to end this update as I started it - with a call to action. Let's BE THE CHANGE.  Let's live in LOVE. Let's uplift and support one another. Let's ALL be Water Protectors, in every choice that we make, every day. Let's all learn to care, truly and deeply, for each other, and for our Mother Earth. Let's challenge our current paradigm, let's question our outdated belief systems, let's stretch, let's grow, and let's do all of this TOGETHER.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead