Water Is Life II
Moving to the West Coast in 2008, looking out for the business I co-founded while keeping healthy boundaries in place, simultaneously looking out for myself, I landed in Venice, CA. As mentioned in the first installment of "Water is Life", I loved it. I still love it and return for work and play as much as possible.
OK, so sure, tap water is generally clean-er and safe-er with the exact quality being location-dependent as we all know. And yes, in this first world country, we are immensely lucky to be provided with clean-er, easily accessible drinking water. Something we totally take for granted.
But have you investigated the tap water in major cities such as Los Angeles? I did while living there. My friends in my wellness and yoga communities, most being pretty affluent and able, were borderline obsessed. And for good reasons. Anti-Depressants among other lovely ingredients are apparently on tap.
(Yeah, yeah - like with anything these days, we can find both sides to any argument with Google.)
But who is paying attention to how long term usage of what we perceive to be clean tap water, the tap water of 2018, will affect us? Around the world, coming from now chemical-laden lands, old pipes, and “treatment” to make it “consumable”, how much are we considering the true outcome of today's tap water?
How many people in this great first world country of the United States are aware of the pH levels in our tap water? The pH levels in our own bodies? The pH levels in the seemingly healthiest of humans? And the relationship between the two?
Let me tell you, I worked in the upper echelons of food and wine, serving those in the wealthiest and most well-educated counties of the nation, and I can assure you they would proudly state, night after night, that they preferred tap water from the local reservoir. Which to some degree is great as most bottled water is proven to be no better - especially when bottled in plastic. But given their responses and reasoning, if this wealthy educated population is not informed, then how can those working so hard to get ahead be informed? No matter whether you run a million miles every day or come from some pedigree'd background, your pH levels are not necessarily balanced. And neither are the pH levels of your tap water.
For shits and giggles, pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs are regulated, too, and um hello, how have they affected the well-being of the United States of America?
I’m no water pro, but as a holistic health coach, the first thing we put an eye on is food and water consumption - the quality and quantity of both. I’ve spent my fair share of time educating myself and others on these topics in supporting clients toward healthier lifestyles and how shifting our minds and bodies for the better ripples out toward our family, friends and teams on multiples levels.
I will never forget the color of my grandmother’s tap water in New Orleans. YELLOW. Seriously. When we drew a bath, it was yellow.
I don't know for sure the correlation between the diseases in my immediate family plus grandparents - Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s & A.L.S. - and the food/water consumed layered with variables such as breast fed vs bottle fed, vaccinations, or copious amounts of antibiotics consumed as kids. But I can certainly take a well-educated guess based on what scientists now offer today.
Yellow tap water. How is this any different from a Third World? Because its coming out of a tap instead of the ground? Because it’s been treated - with what?! Yes, of course there are differences, between New Orleans and the Congo, but with population alone moving at an ever-increasing rate, where are we headed? I find it to be a bit of a concern given decades gone by. Populations exploding, over-consumption of everything, doctors doling out anti-depressants like candy... we are still asking… where are we heading?
Too Close To Home
As previously mentioned, transition met tragedy, and I found myself back in Louisiana due to unfortunate circumstances. In speaking with my childhood babysitters, they anxiously shared information about not only the well-known increase of cancer cases in Cancer Alley, but even two cases of A.L.S., also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, within blocks of one another occurring in unrelated neighbors. Hearing this at the services of an immediate family member lost to A.L.S. was too much. It led me into a tailspin again eventually leading to this writing. Again, I dove into research, trying to pin down how to create awareness around such outrageous happenings. Overwhelmed, I again set it aside. Yet today, I've reopened this vault and remain open to ideas, opinions, and teamwork as strength in numbers is everything.
This article, Cancer Alley: Big Industry, Big Problems highlights: “Clusters of poverty and sickness shadow America’s industrial South”.
Shouldn’t we have heard a lot more about this by now?
Admittedly, I haven't lived in Louisiana since 1993. Perhaps it is a hot topic, but from what I can tell, it is swept under the rug much like the patriarchal tendencies. If you know differently, by all means reach out.
Had you heard of the depth of the poverty akin to a Third World country in the greater New Orleans area prior to Hurricane Katrina?
Yeah - maybe that's why we have heard so little...
The bottom image of the split image at the top of this article is a vivid reminder of what I grew up breathing. Striking compared to the top image where I picked up and moved myself to in 1993, and where I reside part-time today. Clean air so sharp it shocked my lungs when I arrived. On the contrary… Chemicals. In the air. In the ground. In the water. Water that waters everything we ate. Water we swam in during hot humid summers. No escape. But hey - best sunsets in the world.
No matter whether your family comes from Uptown New Orleans or out in the 9th Ward, gritty Venice Beach of yesteryear or Beverly Hills, we are all consuming chemicals in immense quantities. The map below represents the realities of chemical plant emissions along the river from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Whoa.
Given what we are all facing, growing exponentially in the last two years with our oh-so-great, so-called leader of the free world straight up attacking our environment, what can we do?
Small, local steps are awesome. But is it enough?
Will change happen quick enough? For your kids? For your nieces and nephews? For any of us?
The time is now. It is up to us.
Everything is up to us.
It is actually past time we took matters into our own hands.
Yes. Creating change is a lot of commitment.
Not only for oneself, but for the impact that ripples out from ONE person deciding to commit to change.
What do you want to CHANGE?
For yourself? Your family? Your team?
If you don’t change, what will it COST you?
What will it cost them?
NO-BRAINER pro-environment baby steps dating back a few decades…
Bring your own coffee mug to the coffee shop.
Bring your own grocery bags to the grocery.
Say no to plastics of all kinds.
Say no to styrofoam. (The South loves styrofoam - WHY?!)
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Pick up trash you see on the freaking ground!
Vote with your purchasing power. Every penny counts.
Move your investments to banks that invest in solely what you believe in. Exciting times as many more with focus on Human Investment are becoming available.
Such a charged topic perhaps for another time.
But money is one way to MAKE GOOD HAPPEN.
Let me ask you this - if time and money were no issue, what would you do?
What would you change?
This movement, The Freedom Movement, addresses all of the issues touched on in this series within one brilliant combination of an opportunity. It is furthering my ability to create massive impact in multiple directions VERY quickly.
If time and money were not an issue, what would you change?
While self-employed, we work together, and our community is slaying it.
Health is wealth.
Wealth is health.
Big Bucks. Big Change.
Money is Power.
Just like the suits in office taking zillions of golf vacations...
Joni Travels Well - The Freedom Movement: With focus on inner and outer health, we are making change happen FAST. We are invested in humanity. We are invested in one another. Human health, holistic health, health technology, income toward massive impact, personal and professional development, traveling WELL. Commit to yourself and to your loved ones TODAY. No one is looking out for us, but US. We truly are the ones we’ve been waiting for… We’ve got you: Joni Travels Well - The Freedom Movement
Top Image: Top by Lance Koudele Photography; Bottom by Julie Dermansky