Friday, September 13, 2013

"Admissions" Short Film Review

"Admissions" is one of the most powerful short films I have ever seen. It received standing ovations when it was screened publically and it evokes emotion, thought, healing, and a well-spring of love.

When I first saw this film at the Zeitgeist Media Film Festival I was deeply touched and moved. I knew I had to help share it and meet the inspiring filmmakers. So I began my journey of  befriending and working with the film's writer, John Viscount and producer Gavin Behrman.  They are two of the best men in Hollywood.

"Admissions" stars Academy Award nominee James Cromwell and tells a transformational tale about
what it takes to find lasting peace. Featuring an Israeli couple and a Palestinian, this modern parable is set in the admissions room for the afterlife. Its purpose is to start a conversation that heals.

The themes include peace, forgiveness, compassion, oneness, and women's ability to help heal our world. As the Dalai Lama said, "the world will be saved by the Western woman" and this is beautifully demonstrated in this film. I talk daily with powerful women who are working for positive change in their role as healer, coach, speaker, author, or non-profit founder and I trust that our Planet is in good hands.

Here Are 7 Life Changing Beliefs Presented in "Admissions":
- God (however you define this) is always with you
- Mistakes are okay, but we need to learn from them
- Everyone should be treated equal
- Focus on the present moment, the here and now
- Only the truth is important
- Ending a cycle of hatred and violence is possible with forgiveness and compassion
- Without forgiveness there can be no heaven

Upon viewing, I thought about my beliefs and I encourage you to review yours and see what awareness comes forward. I believe that peace begins within. I believe that when we heal one issue, all of humanity moves forward because we are inter-connected. I believe that there is no hell except for the one we create with fear-based thinking. I believe that we can find heaven on earth. I believe in the power of self-forgiveness and seeing the other side of an issue. I believe that women can and will save the world, and not just women, but the embracing of the feminine virtues such as compassion, nurturing, understanding, and gentle kindness. I believe it is time for a film like this to spread to the billions and for people to wake up, put down our weapons (real or imagined) and start to care for each other once again.

This film showcases a miracle: the simple, yet profound and often difficult shift from fear to love. May this film invoke a miracle in your life. We have the power to change our world. What would Heaven on Earth look like to you?

Entertain - Enlighten - Inspire,
Kate Neligan - Founder of Synergy TV

P.S.  Here is a special gift for you: a wisdom-filled and conscious conversation with the filmmaker John Viscount and our friend Matt Welsh at Spiritual Media Blog.
Also, if you want to watch "Admissions" you can rent it for yourself or gift it to a loved one on GiftPlayLove for only $2 and a portion of proceeds goes to charity.

Friday, August 30, 2013


By guest blogger, Matthew Welsh from Spiritual Media Blog

Jeff Brown is a former lawyer turned author (Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation) and filmmaker. His debut film, KARMAGEDDON, is a personal examination of the spiritual journey featuring 1960s counter-culture icon and chanter Bhagavan Das. Bhagavan Das came to fame in the best-selling book "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass, the Harvard professor fired with Timothy Leary for their LSD experiments in the 1960s.

Karmageddon traverses all manner of interactive terrain: shadow and light, heart and soul, psychological and spiritual, the sacred and the profane.

For example, during the film Jeff is very critical of Bhagavan Das's ethical and sexual decisions and even asks Ram Dass:

"Does how he (Bhagavan Das) behave in his personal life really matter?"

Ram Dass answers emphatically:

"Yes it have to be able to justify your actions on every plane."

During the film, Jeff does not shy away from expressing his own anger at Bhagavan's behavior, especially in regards to women and even how Bhagavan Das treats Jeff's girlfriend. This film really is a refreshing look at how to respond to a guru, teacher or any person we have trusted who has wronged us. It also shows us how to integrate spiritual and psychological teachings into our daily lives in a practical way that can help us deal with childhood traumas, unexpressed emotions and our pain.

For example, this film helped me realize that is okay for me to feel angry, upset and hurt at times; and that by expressing those emotions in a healthy manner, I can work through them and grow from them. It also reminded me of the importance of creating congruence, authenticity and integrity in all parts of my life including my psychological and personal life...

I recently had a chance to interview Jeff about Karmageddon. I asked Jeff why he asked Ram Dass about whether the way Bhagavan Das behaves in his personal life matters; and how Jeff would answer the question if someone asked him. The rest of our interview covers much more psychological, spiritual, and personal questions. For instance, during our conversation Jeff answered many questions that most spiritual and self-improvement authors avoid talking about such as:

1. Must there be congruity between the teachings and the teacher's personal life?

2. How can we bridge the quest for essence and unity consciousness fundamental to certain eastern traditions, with the quest for a healthy self-concept intrinsic to the western psychotherapeutic revolution?

3. How can we honor and express justified anger, without doing more damage?

4. What is the relationship between emotional and spiritual health?

Jeff's answer to each question reveal an honesty about himself that show *us* it is okay to feel and be human while we pursue our path and callings in life.

You can download an MP3 of our interview and listen to our entire 33 minute conversation for f.r.e.e. by visiting

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"The Law of Divine Compensation" Book Review

Marianne Williamson is back with another gift to her readers in "The Law of Divine Compensation". There are moments so profound in this book that I started to tear-up as I remembered who I am and why I am here.

Williamson's work feels deeply channeled and is full of spiritual truths. In many chapters, I actually highlighted most of the sentences as the messages were all meaningful. If you saw my copy of the book you would see many "!" and heart drawings as well because the material really resonated.

If you are ready and willing to shift your perception around work and money this is a must-read. My favorite new belief brought forward from this book is: "what is lacking shall become abundant". It is a divine law that the Universe compensates for a loss, rights itself, and balances out. Early in Marianne's career she had to absorb a loss and she learned a lot from this experience. Her story serves as an inspiration to me as I continue to put forward heart-centered work without full compensation for my time (yet!).

Another beautiful lesson from the book is that our true work in the world is really our "calling" and our true boss is really God (aka Love). We are here to co-create with the greater intelligence from where we originated. We can either continue to serve fear and live an egoic lifestyle or we can choose love, step into our true gifts, and share from our heart. I have taken both paths and can honestly say, the latter choice is not easy but it provides much fulfillment and happiness. The reward of committing to your soul is that you continually receive access to a greater creative source that feels purely magical as it moves through you and allows you to be of service. You are here to make a positive difference and loyalty to your soul is what fills your cup and feels like real wealth. Even if the green bills don't flow right to you right away, the intangibles of Spirit will. Inspiration and joy are the new currency.

In many ways this is a book about love and the main principle from "A Course in Miracles" which is to shift our thoughts from fear to love. I felt so reassured by Marianne's comment that "what I had done for love came back to me a thousandfold and more." While I haven't yet seen any big outer rewards in terms of revenue for my business, I know I am serving the greater good on a daily basis and working to spread love and inspiration. I know this is my calling and I am just asked to trust that there will be a beautiful return on my investment. God/Love is my Source and the lesson is to continue to trust.

It's comforting to know that wealth and prosperity are an inner experience and that they can never be taken away. The path, as Marianne outlines, is in faith, love, miracles, meditation, prayer, purity of heart and embracing abundance while also releasing negative beliefs, anger, guilt and prejudice.

My other favorite book on money is Geneen Roth's "Lost & Found" which profoundly shifted my thinking about money and its true meaning. I hope you pick up a copy of both and enjoy these treasures as much as I did.

Entertain, Enlighten, Inspire,

Kate Neligan - CEO/Founder of Synergy TV

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Ever heard of the musician, Rodriguez?  Well I hadn’t either, but he is bigger than Elvis in South Africa! The movie SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN follows the journey of two musicologist detectives (who even knew those existed ?!) as they look for the lost rock icon known as Rodriguez.

This music documentary plays like an unsolved mystery and it’s captivating. The film starts with the myth that a talented musician killed himself in a gruesome suicide. The truth is sought by two detectives who feel passionately about his life and pursue clues left in Rodriguez’s music. Their karma collides as the search ensues and their lives are changed for good.

I was shocked that I was so pulled into this story about a musician I had never heard of and impressed that his music is so beautiful and moving. I believe the reason this documentary has become so popular is because it’s a mindful movie with a meaningful story and some deep spiritual lessons.
We learn a lot, although not all, about the mysterious Rodriguez as the details of his life unfold.  We learn that he was not only a talented songwriter and singer but that his calling was to represent those who didn’t have a voice, first with the apartheid movement and then with the poor and working class in Detroit.  We learn that he was an amazing father and taught his daughters culture in an environment where it was not readily available. We learn that he was a very hard worker, modest, and lived in the same home for forty years.

Rodriguez was first told that his music wasn’t selling and that no one wanted it.  He was considered a failure in the United States although he is clearly talented when you listen to his deep, philosophical lyrics that sound like sung poetry.  Yet South Africa was obsessed with Rodriguez and he never knew it because the news of his massive fame, and also of his supposed death, never traveled to him in Detroit.

(Spoiler Alert!) I was totally blown away when the detectives found out that Rodriguez was alive and well in Detroit but no one knew him as talented musician in his home town and yet was considered a rock god and legend in another country thousands of miles away. It made me think a lot about how we can be two people at the same time – an “average Joe” and a “superstar”. Rodriguez was poor, but he was also rich. He transformed pain into beauty in his songs and exemplified the dual nature of our reality here as divine beings having a human experience.

The biggest lesson for me in the film is that how people receive you does not define you.  This means that what people think of me is actually none of my business. Rodriguez literally didn’t know that he was famous and that millions adored him! It keeps one humble to just show up and do the best you can, as he did with his records.  He didn’t know why they weren’t a hit.  It seemed that Rodriguez just shared his voice, his love, his gifts, and wasn’t attached to the outcome.  Even when he did learn of his fame and received more money, he didn’t change.  He remained modest and authentic. You can tell he just loved to sing and share his music and that was enough for him.

His message and the message in this film touched me deeply as I sometimes struggle with my own attachments to the outcome with my business.  Rodriguez reminded me to just do the best I can and show up in the love and joy for it.  He reminded me that we may never know the impact of sharing our gifts or the lives we touch.  He certainly didn’t know for decades. He didn’t need the recognition, money, and fame because he knew that wasn’t why he was here.  He just wanted to do the best he could for the people around him and his music had a huge impact on a tribe that resonated with it and understood his messages. He is a true example that we can trust that sharing our gifts will have an impact and even if we don’t see the recognition to continue to give and love anyway.
Rodriguez seems to understand a fundamental truth that Mother Teresa first shared with us: “Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never been you and them anyway.”

Our egos don’t like to hear this because we search for approval, love, and recognition outside of ourselves.  Yet that will never fill us or ever be enough. Rodriguez got it and he just showed up as an instrument for the divine to channel through him and shared his gifts whether it was in music, fatherhood, politics, or demolition work in poor communities. What we do never ends up mattering, but who we are while we do our work does. Share from a space of love and let the miracle of who you are move the world in the way it’s meant to. Stay humble, remember your roots, do the best you can and let go of attachments to the outcome.  Thank you for all the “sugar man” lessons, Rodriguez and for being what I like to call a “Conscious Rockstar”!

Entertain, Enlighten, Inspire,

Kate Neligan – CEO/Founder of Synergy TV

Friday, August 2, 2013

Review of Awareness Film Festival 2013

This past weekend the Awareness Film Festival was held in Santa Monica, CA at various screening rooms. Their mission is to “bring awareness to some of our world's pressing issues: Ecological, Political, Health/Well Being and the Spirit.” Most of the films they screened were socially conscious shorts and feature documentaries.

I was grateful to receive a press pass for myself and a colleague who attended THIS DEWDROP WORLD, Shorts Block 1 & 2, PAW PROJECT, G-DOG and CONSPIRACY RISING. Some of the films I wished I saw were FEMME, WINGS OF LIFE, and CONSCIOUS LOVE. Some of the films I had seen before that they also screened were PAD YATRA: A GREEN ODYSSEY, SACRED JOURNEY OF THE HEART, and AWAKENING WORLD. 

What I love about this film festival is that its main purpose is to open our eyes and provide information about many societal issues while also being a fundraiser for a charity. The non-profit it benefits, Heal One World, provides preventive health care (especially through alternative/natural methods) to those in need. The Founder of both, Skye Kelly, is a yoga instructor/natural health practitioner/activist and inspiring leader passionate about healing and making a difference. I admire her work and what she has accomplished with this festival and its growth.

I had a big realization during this festival after screening some of the shorts that made me feel anxious, depressed and frustrated with our world. I made an important decision that I only want to distribute and promote films that provide solutions and leave the viewers’ feeling inspired. While some may say this is a “Pollyanna approach”, I feel that sometimes we don’t act or create change when we see problems as so big and complex that we feel that one person can’t make an impact. The weekend before, the Topanga Film Festival also showcased some darker/intense films and even had a block on tragedy. Their theme for the year was “change” but tragedy is not the change I wish to see in the world!  Sometimes I wonder if our default programming for fear or conflict overrides our soul’s yearning for the light. The only way our media will change is if we start to demand more love-based films that demonstrate that transformation is possible.

On closing night, the Awareness FF delivered two of their best films that showcase the power of love. The short documentary, “See Me”, is a beautiful, powerful, and positive tale of transformation in South Africa. Filmmakers provided cameras to orphans and allowed them to tell their story which provided joy and priceless value to the children and spread awareness on the effects of HIV/AIDS.
G-DOG, the feature documentary shown, follows the lives of Father Greg Boyle (known as G-Dog), Founder of Homeboy Industries, and those he has touched. I had known about Homeboy for a while but I never knew the story behind this non-profit. I was literally blown away, crying through most of the film because second chance stories touch my heart so deeply. This film is a must-see. It raises consciousness about gangs and provides multiple solutions for rehabilitation. G-Dog is a real-life Saint who is changing lives, ending violence, creating community and kinship, and constantly telling a story of hope, transformation, and inspiration. He is now one of the top people on the Planet I wish to learn from and emulate and this film moved me to donate to the cause, to plan a visit to their cafĂ© and offices, purchase his book, and to work towards distributing and promoting the film. I want people to see with the eyes of their heart as G-Dog does. He knows the truth that at our core we are all the same and worthy of unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and a second chance.

I fully support film festivals like this that are doing their best to screen films that raise consciousness and bring together creative idealists that are hungry to change our world for the better. Kudos to the Awareness Film Festival and please make sure this is on your calendar for next year!

Entertain, Enlighten, Inspire,

Kate Neligan – Founder/CEO of Synergy TV


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Topanga Film Festival 2013 Review

by guest blogger Chris Gray

At the last minute I decided to attend the festival this year and these are my thoughts about my experience.

The festival itself still has that small totally cool hippie town feel. You walk into a festival put on by people who share vegetables from their gardens with each other. There is a definite Topanga vibe and if that is the experience you are looking for, this festival has it. If you want convenient parking, comfortable theater seating with great audio and video projection, this is not for you.  

After looking forward to the Faith Street Corner Tavern film I was disappointed. It had lots of beautiful images, interesting characters and music but the story didn’t flow. The entire film was packed with seemingly self-indulgent rants of dialog and random shots of the main character dancing around. There is a deep touching story behind the film, but you have to exercise tremendous patience to get all the pieces. It appeared the filmmaker was so attached to all the footage and the many many songs in the film that he was unable to cut it down into a form suitable for an audience unfamiliar with the story and the main characters. The film is a passion piece showing what the artist likes. It is not a film for everyday entertainment. One audience member commented “This would be better on some good bud”. Another said she would like to use it in her work with cancer patients and hospice. Some will love it and some will hate it, I would have enjoyed the story better if it had been presented differently.

LargeThe Source Family film Undoubtedly influenced by mainstream media messages about “hippie” communes and cults, I expected a creepy film about real depravity. This movie was made primarily from film collected by a member of the Source Family and insight from actual members. It shows a full reality from within the Source Family, rather than sensationalizing only seedy aspects. It allows an intimate understanding of cults and of these particular people. Yes there was danger, pain and human damage. There was also tremendous growth, enlightenment, health and miracles. This film takes you on a trip into an extreme alternative lifestyle and it is an entertaining and interesting journey.  After the film there was a question and answer session with the filmmaker and a couple members of the Source Family. This led to the entire audience standing up and participating in the Source Family’s morning star exercise. Had this been at another festival I doubt everyone would have participated, in fact it probably wouldn’t have even happened. It was another authentic Topanga experience and it was really enjoyable.

The SEA Change Panel discussion delivered everything it promised and the panelists freely offered insight and encouragement to participants regarding their individual projects afterward. It was a place of synergy for those working on creating a better world through film.

I also hung out on the patio of the Rosewood, which is an experience in itself, but to top it off, at twilight one evening a small buck sprung by on the hillside just a few feet from me. I had many intense discussions with others as passionate as I am about creating positive change in the world. Unfortunately, because of other things in my life I wasn’t able to completely tune into the Topanga Vibe.  Now I know what to expect. Next year I plan to come better prepared to engage more fully in the experience of the Topanga Film Festival. Hope to see you there.
- Chris Gray

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

NOW IS GOOD Movie Review

I was first lured into the film NOW IS GOOD by the clever trailer which looked fascinating, spiritual, and unique. This dramatic film about a 17 year old girl fighting leukemia seemed like it would be a big tear-jerker and, while it certainly has its moments of tenderness and emotion, it is a beautiful and healing film at its core. The cinematography is stunning and creative, and the deep themes and messages showcase lessons of the human spirit.

Dakota Fanning does a brilliant job as the heroine Tessa, and her boyfriend Adam (played by Jeremy Irvine) is also an extremely lovable character. Their relationship is one of the best examples of unconditional love that I’ve seen on the silver screen. It left me yearning so deeply for more love and romance in my life.

I think on some level all of us want to care for another and feel deeply taken care of while we bring out the best in each other, and this is what Tessa and Adam have together. While they are just teenagers, they teach us about the commitment, kindness, and courage it takes to love, even when they know they will get hurt. This film helped me to see how I had been protecting myself from being hurt again in a relationship by staying small and invisible, and in turn not giving and receiving all the love that is available to me. NOW IS GOOD inspired me to risk opening my heart again.

This film essentially has three main messages. The first, and most obvious, is the message from the title NOW IS GOOD which is all about living in the present moment. The best line in the film is about life being a series of moments. While watching Tessa’s story unfold, the viewer can tell which are the moments that take her breath away, that mean something, and that are to be remembered. Tessa has a “list” of things she wants to experience like sex, drugs, fame, shoplifting, and while many are pretty ego-based experiences, we somehow can relate to all of them. I feel like if I had months left to live, I too would choose some unusual and intense experiences for my list (i.e. #1 horseback riding on a beach, #5 skydiving!). It’s apparent that the intention behind each item on the list is to feel alive, courageous, and fully present. I can imagine this is how anyone must want to feel when they know their days are numbered. And yet, we can always live this way because the only true joy is in the present moment and our lives are about the journey and not the destination. Hay House author Robert Holden says the word “now” is a synonym for the word life.

Another message in the film is about how we impact the lives of others. I have a belief system that we are all both students and teachers of life and we have a ripple effect on each other. Tessa changes the course of her loved ones by calling forward her mother’s parenting and courage, to her Dad’s purpose, to her best friend’s difficult choice, to her brother’s joy and wisdom. You also see how she directly impacts her boyfriend’s life by giving him new direction and the desire to live fully again. The moment when she realizes her impact is one of the most profound moments in the movie and one of the best scenes I’ve witnessed in a while. It’s a reminder to us why we are really here. I believe that Tessa came to teach these lessons and what I like to call “spiritual curriculum” to those in her “soul family” (i.e. those closest to her that she loved the most) and also to those who watch this film.

Her story made me question something… it more painful to die and leave behind all that you could still do/be/have or is it more painful to lose someone?  I feel blessed that I have never had to be in this position and yet I know death and loss are unavoidable in life. The only real control we have is to treat each moment and each human encounter and relationship as precious. How different would our lives be if we lived as though each day was our last?  What would we say to each other?  What would we do? How deeply would we love? The late Steve Jobs said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

I recently had a conversation with a good friend about not wanting to die with our music still in us. I suggested to him that he vision the end of his life and sit in his deathbed and see what it is that he regrets and then to start to DO or BE those things NOW. I told him that the only thing I would regret is not having told people I loved them or knowing that they loved me. My sense is that all we keep when we transition is the love and that part of us never ever dies. And to participate in life with “no regrets” is deeply transformational.

Tessa is an example to all of us that “now” is most definitely good because it is all that we have. We need to spend our “nows” wisely. We can’t waste a minute in regret, in anger, in judgment or in frustration that something is not happening our way. The only thing that is limited in our lives is time. We don’t know how much we get, but we do know one day it will end. So I encourage you to look at how you are spending yours, with whom, and why.

The last lesson I was left with was about hope. NOW IS GOOD helped me heal because I cried afterwards from all the sad memories stored in my heart. I felt so vulnerable, so fragile, and I could feel so much compassion for what we go through as humans. I thought about all the losses I’ve experienced, and those my friends and family have as well. And yet I heard the wise voice of my intuition and she talked to me about hope. She gave me the beautiful example of my best friend who broke up with her boyfriend at 23 and was so devastated at the time and she told me I would have smiled and laughed then if I had known that 10 years later I would be the one to marry the two of them in a beautiful wedding ceremony. She reminded me to not lose hope because it’s in that focus that helps us to get by in this sad, beautiful, mad, inspiring, and perfectly imperfect world.  She reminded me, as did Tessa, that love will prevail.
Entertain, Enlighten, Inspire,
Kate Neligan - CEO/Founder of Synergy TV
P.S. A recent, real-life "Now is Good" story recently came out thanks to our friends at Soul Pancake.  Here is the inspiring, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming story of a recent teenager who left behind a message and legacy of LOVE. Over 8 million people have watched this in just a matter of days.... this is the content Synergy TV will create, distribute, and promote.  We love to share and tell these stories.  Grab a box of tissues and enjoy!