The short version is that we were kicked off of our farm by our landlord after asking for repairs to be made. Instead of making the repairs, he sold the house.
Our last day of filming for Sovereign Living was the day we moved out of the farm in January of 2014. Our family ended up in an apartment while we figured out what to do, our home office was moved to an actual office, and our farm was originally moved to Cedar Creek, where we thought we were going to rebuild what we had started and stay there several nights a week.
The long version is that 2014 was not a good year for our family. We did not want to leave the property, we simply wanted the issues fixed. We left ourselves vulnerable with a month to month lease. Lesson learned. A very painful lesson. The farm was very special to us. Our children were born right there in the home, our dogs are buried there, we raised hundreds of chickens from egg to adult, and planted thousands of plants in the soil. We loved that property, every square inch. It hurt worse than anything I have every gone through. It was honestly the hardest experience of my life to date.
We needed our friends desperately, but those closest to us lashed out. They belittled us for grieving, they expressed anger that we were not there for them during their overlapping hardships, they told us they took issue with our parenting style, they expressed issues with our public lifestyle and the fact that we are “public figures”. They even said we live Sovereign Living “too much”.
Basically our inner cadre imploded. This triggered us to move out of the second farm just 5 months after relocating all of nonprofit and personal farm items there. I bring up the interpersonal stuff so you understand the weight of what we experienced last year – I’m sure you can imagine at this point we were completely exhausted on every level (emotional, physical, spiritual, financial).
Once all the moves were over we were finally able to settle into our new apartment and focus on rebuilding. We have survived as full time entrepreneurs for the past six months. It has required laser focus and full time dedication to keep our heads above water, but I think a solid foundation has been laid that will allow us to give Sovereign Living the time and energy it needs to be finished in 2015.
Sovereign Living in 2014
Throughout the year I produced several podcasts and wrote several blogs for the website. We were able to host screenings of Sovereign Living at the following locations as we traveled the country for work:
PorcFest and Liberty Forum in New Hampshire, Texas Bitcoin Conference at Circuit of the Americas, 512Bitcoin Mini Conference at Brave New Books in Austin, TX, Freedom Summit in Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City Bitcoin Club, Bitcoin in the Beltway in Washington D.C, NYC Bitcoin Center on Wall Street, Blue Ridge Liberty Project in Asheville, Rethinking Everything in Littlerock, Liberty on the Rocks in Denver, CO, a permaculture event in San Antonio, TX, and at Libertopia in San Diego, CA.
We also gave several Sovereign Living speeches at various events.
We produced and premiered a rough cut of episode five and a sneak preview of episode six.
The Sovereign Living team did apply for two grants to help us finish the show, but we did not receive either. The first nonprofit said they really wanted to be involved, but with a production as big as ours they would want to dedicate a staff member to see it through with marketing, etc… and they simply didn’t have the man power at that time. The other grant application was through the Bitcoin Foundation and was a long shot 😀
In 2014 we began the process of applying to film festivals. In December we submitted the Sovereign Living title credits into the SXSW 2015 Film Festival. We will know in the coming weeks if we will be allowed to screen it at the March event. We hope to screen an entire episode at SXSW in 2016.
Moving Forward: 2015
So what about Sovereign Living? As of right now we have Episode 1-4 complete, episode 5 is a rough cut that needs final edits, and episode 6 has been taped, but needs transitions, interviews, music, and editing. We are working with Karmakaze Productions on streamlining the production and want to wrap up the editing of episodes 5 and 6 by the end of March. We will then release the first season to the world. At this time we will send the remaining perks to our fans who donated to our IndieGogo Campaign. We wanted 12 episodes, but there is just no financial way to make this happen, not to mention there has been a full calendar year since we last taped, so wrapping it up seems more fitting at this time.
I will continue to submit the show to film festivals as the year progresses, including the LA Film Festival with a deadline just around the corner. I have looked into the option of distributing the show through outlets such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc…. And it looks like this method will cost over a thousand dollars due to the need to submit independent films/shows to these companies in “bundles”. We are weighing the pros and cons of how to release the film, and are seeking any advice or connections our community may have.
With that, our family has big goals in 2015. We plan to still work toward our Sovereign Living milestones – 50% food self sufficient, reduce our energy consumption by 50% and find creative ways to get off all centralized systems so we can truly thrive.
We plan to move into an RV or some other form of mobile living home and park it on a farm by June when our lease here is over. This will allow us to do both Sovereign Living and Uncoinventional Living (bitcoin travel, something we started in 2014). We have been offered a very cool solution in this regard, but we are not ready to announce it. Stay tuned, though! This will allow us to reduce our living expenses enough to overcome our financial hardships and clear the way for us to build a house. It will also allow us to reduce our energy consumption and to pick back up with our food production. We will have the world as our backyard. I simply cannot wait.
I am really trying to recreate myself in 2015, so if you have any feedback for me and my family I would love to hear it. How can we communicate better? How can we support you better? How can we become better people? How can we improve your Sovereign Living experience?
If you would like to contribute to the final production or distribution of Sovereign Living, please follow this URL for the various ways you can support this project of the Center for Natural Living: http://sovereignliving.tv/donatetosovereignliving . Bitcoin is, of course, a donation option!