Blossom Life With Dr. Rhea

Ignite, Serve, Grow, Thrive. Repeat.


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Responsible Service: A Love Bomb Guide

Dr. Rhea after a week of service in The Sacred Valley, Peru

Dr. Rhea after a week of service in The Sacred Valley, Peru

By Dr. Rhea Zimmerman Komarek

It was the middle of the night, I was exhausted, bent over the toilet bowl, sick, and wondering “did anything I just do make a difference?” After five days of working to provide free or low cost chiropractic care throughout the Sacred Valley, Peru I was finished, exhausted, and finally succumbing to the digestive visitor that had already taken down my entire team of volunteers.

It wasn’t the first time I wondered if my desire to be of difference in a developing country with my skill set was doing anything in the long run.

My first service trip was during the final months of my chiropractic education while I was still a clinic intern.  Student interns were paired with field doctors for an annual trip to provide care in El Salvador.  After graduation my innate drive to serve as a global citizen had led me to India to set up my own program.  India in her wisdom had humbled me and left me at the drawing board asking the questions:

What is the goal of the service?  If I can’t provide long term care is it ethical to do it in the short term?  Is my work empowering the people I am serving or disempowering them?  Do I really know enough clinically to be of service or should I go home and develop myself further?  

Dr. Rhea during her time setting up a short term service project in India

Dr. Rhea during her time setting up a short term service project in India

I have come to understand that this deep questioning really boils down to, “am I really giving anywhere near as much as I am receiving,” is a multi-faceted one.

After that first trip to Peru where our team left both emotionally transformed and physically drained, I had to ask myself whether or not I would return. I wanted to know that I was being more than just selfish by wanting to have the experience of serving.  It is so utterly transformational, such an avenue of fulfillment, and so amazing to lose one’s every day troubles into the surrender of service, that I had to know:  am I really doing anything?  Is offering chiropractic care one time a year going to truly help these people?

Before committing to trip number two, which ultimately is the commitment to taking steps towards committing to care long term for a community, I wrote to the clinic directors who hosted my group and posed the question:  given that we can only be there right now once a year, is our work really making an impact?  I trusted their perspective as people regularly engaged in the community and therefore those we would care for annually.  As Peace Corps veterans of 20+ years they knew what impact was as well as the issues that befall international service.  When they came back with the answer of “yes”, well, that was confirmation enough for me.

We returned, and, on year three, filmed the footage that would become the documentary film “Love Bomb.”  In filming follow up interviews I also learned of positively life changing, sustained physical healing results for some of the people we cared for, another testament for me to know that the effort is worth it.  For me the service results are definitely physical, and also, emotional.  It is the premise that when we all play our role of service to life, both at home and abroad, that together we create a positive shift in consciousness.  A helping hand is better than an oppressive hand, and is powerful when directed in well thought out ways.

Dr. Rhea with Paulina during the first Peru service trip.  Paulina returned several years later to share how much it had changed her life.

Dr. Rhea with Paulina during the first Peru service trip. Paulina returned several years later to share how much it had changed her life.

With the film I aim to inspire in people the transformational potential of service.  My hope is that people will walk out of the film and think to themselves:  how can I be of service in this moment, right here, right now?  The question of how can I serve, and how can I love, becoming synonymous.  I also know that there will be those who watch the film and think to themselves:  I want to go do something like that in another country!

For those people, I offer this Love Bomb guide to responsible service. Ultimately, service is an exchange built on a relationship of trust between the giver and the receiver.  These questions can help us to feel in to where we stand and what we will be offering. 

In the exchange of giving and receiving we will make an impact on the culture we are serving, and we need to ask ourselves what kind of an impact we want to make, as together we are building the model for what it looks like to become global citizens.  Together we can, responsibly, make a profound impact on humanity, at home and abroad.  The two are becoming inextricably one.

1.  What is my goal?

2.  Am I going to serve, or to practice?

3.  Will my actions create dependency?

4.  Am I going to be empowering the people I am serving?

5.  Am I respecting the cultural beliefs and customs I am stepping into, or trying to change them to my own beliefs?

6.  Am I hoping to be a savior instead of a server?

7.  Am I going as an equal or am I feeling superior to those I am serving?

8.  Am I doing something that the people have identified as a need, or am I putting my ideas of what they need on them?

If coordinating with an organization:

 1.  Do they have successful long-term projects that you will be making an impact with?

2.  Are they well respected in the community/communities where they serve?

3.  Are they motivated by service or by business profit?

4.  Will they provide for you contact information for past volunteers to speak with?

I personally feel that as global citizens we can create beautiful relationships built on responsible service, or, “voluntourism”, when we choose consciously.  We are building the future for humanity one responsible relationship at a time.  Lets do it together, with great care. 

Interesting Articles:

Does Voluntourism Do More Harm Than Good?, Dorinda Elliott

Seven Sins of Humanitarian Medicine, Welling, Ryan, Burris & Rich, World Journal of Surgery

 Does “Voluntourism” Do more harm than good?, Richard Stupart

 An Insider’s Thoughts On Voluntourism in Orphanages and Schools, Filipa Chatillon

Book:  Mountains Beyond Mountains, Dr. Paul Farmer

Resources for Choosing Organizations & Projects (I do not know these organizations personally, they were found through online research, please make sure to do your own work to verify that any of these are right for you, and that they fulfill the questions listed above):

http://www.volunteerinternational.org/

http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/

http://earthwatch.org/

http://www.globalvolunteers.org/

http://www.gviusa.com/

 


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Love Bomb Report: A Year In, Where Are We Now?

It has now been one year since unveiling Love Bomb massively with our first Indiegogo fundraising campaign and WOW.  We have come a long way!  I was dutifully documenting  the process via the blog up until the point where the actual workload of producing the film made it truly impossible to spare mental space to write an update.  However, here I am, somewhat emerged, and ready to share with you.

Since the last entry in the Spring things geared UP and it was all I could do to keep up with our rapid fire editing pace.

The film is essentially made up of Peru story scenes mixed with interview expert scenes that were mapped out using a storyboard method.   I love seeing how the storyboard started before it was honed way down in a very organic method of editing discovery.  (I can’t show you a close of up of how it is now,…no ruining the surprise!)

storyboard1

Every moment from morning until night that I was not in my chiropractic office working with clients you could find me heading straight to the in-house Love Bomb office to transcribe every interview and then edit them all into workable scenes.

Editing Interviews

To give you an example, after transcribing the interviews I’d print and read  through the 11-20 pages of transcripts in order to mark them  by potential scene numbers.

The next step was to create gigantic files of potential scene material by batching all of the selected interview paragraphs.  I would then read/meditate through these to find the flow of conversation between the various experts while honoring the integrity and intention of all of their words.  These were then laid out by Gregg on a video timeline.  Each scene started at roughly 20 minutes, which were then edited down until they were either cut entirely, or left tight at around 3-5 minutes.

The entire process has been one of great innate trust.  It is an amazing process to transition from the feeling of brilliant inspiration at the interviews to then selecting what makes it in the film, and, what will at some point be placed into dvd “extras” to still be able to share with the world.

From this point then it was Gregg’s great work to find the b-roll that best told the story in all of the dialogue in our scenes, both Peruvian and experts.  The b-roll is all of the great visuals that visually tell the story of what you are hearing being spoken.

Once our scenes were all roughly where I wanted them to be we went through the process of selecting music to start to see how they flowed together.  Did the story work?  Did the timeline work?

It is amazing how far along you have to get with the material before you can actually sit back, take a big brave breath, and see for yourself if the storyboard, and idea, works as whole!!

The great relief is that, yes, it does.  Amazingly.

So where are we now?

At this point in the life of Love Bomb a few things are happening at once (oh wait, small internal laugh, it’s a film with two people working on it- things are always happening at once!).

Where we are,…

We are in an exciting time!  The main things happening right now are:

1.  Selective expert feedback

The film is being watched by a variety of experts in the film industry who are reviewing it and offering their feedback for ways we could tighten up the cut.  This is following two test screens to a private invitation only audiences who gave tremendous feedback that allowed me to SEE where to trim from a 2 hour and 4 minute cut to a 1 hour and 38 minute cut.

It definitely takes a lot of trust to take those scenes out of the film and off of the storyboard but it is very rewarding to see it come together into a tight and beautiful film with a life of its own.

Now we are doing our final trimming of the film that will start back up in December when we plan to round up our work to have a completed cut by early January 2014.  It’s ambitious, and its close,…and we are pretty sure we can do it!

Meanwhile,…

2.  Festival applications

There are many festival applications that are happening right now for an early 2014 premier of the film from January through April.  So even though the film is in a “work in progress” format we are still applying for those that have deadlines right now since we know we are going for an early 2014 premier and the film is really close to complete.  We want the film to premier at major festivals in order to give it a great opportunity to reach a mainstream audience.  So all of your great prayers and images that we succeed are welcomed!

3.  Celebrating

In looking back over a year ago I have a memory of me, holding these Love Bomb postcards fresh out of the mailbox and going to some chiropractors at events and saying, “would you help me with this project that I am making?”  I might have sounded brave, but I was shaking.

I am in awe of how far we have come in a year, as the project truly has moved from an I to a We.  From the troops who have rallied around us in fundraising, to the people who have contributed their time for interviews and now feedback- this film is packed with love and impact- and I am excited to imagine what I will be saying and feeling about the journey one year from now when the magic unfolds as we watch it take its first steps as a vehicle for inspiration.

Thank you for being a part of the ride!

Oh, and yes, one more thing- I got married.  I had no idea when starting the filming of Love Bomb that it would end up being more than an unconditional love story- but it sure is!


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Love Bomb Report: Production Home Stretch

Gregg Marks on production of Love Bomb in New York City

Gregg Marks on production of Love Bomb in New York City

It has been two months since the last Love Bomb Report on the blog and the transformation has continued in full force.  I’m here to update you on what we have experienced, completed, and also where we are going!

We are feeling as deeply committed as ever to the imperative of positive, transformational, and uplifting media.  We are grateful to be deep in production on a film that is about contributing a positive impact to life.

First off, what we have completed:

1.  We have come very close to completing the editing down of all of our film scenes from the bulk of our story, the service in Peru.  This involved transcription completion, script writing, and editing.

2.  Interviews have been transcribed and are now being edited into scripts that will become scenes that contextualize the action in Peru and give the viewer a deeper experience and understanding as to what they are witnessing.

3.  Our next trailer is complete and ready to be released in the next few weeks with our next Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign (Our goal is launch date May 7th).

What we have experienced:

In March we headed back to New York City for an incredibly impactful series of interviews and footage.

Elena Brower Interview

Elena Brower & Dr. Rhea on the Love Bomb set at Virayoga, NYC

Elena Brower & Dr. Rhea on the Love Bomb set at Virayoga, NYC

I had the grace of participating in a yoga class that one of my original yoga teachers, Elena Brower was teaching.  We were there to capture her in her environment at her home yoga studio, Virayoga, as well as to interview her for the film.

The interview was filled with love.  She came prepared with journals and writings that she spread in front of her that she had already considered that she would love to share with the film.  The way that she showed up, fully IN the energy of what Love Bomb is, was deeply moving.

Love Bomb Shoot of Elena Brower in NYC

Love Bomb Shoot of Elena Brower in NYC

She adds her voice into what Love Bomb is as she shared how “we have got to watch how we explode.”

It is an honor to include this woman in the film, who is a heart friend and an inspirational leader to thousands of people.  She is also captivating in her commitment to total authenticity.  She truly is a gift.

Gabriel Bernstein Interview

I was excited to meet with Gabriel Bernstein as I was enjoying researching her expertise while reading “May Cause Miracles.”  She has a very wonderful way of explaining in easy to understand terms how to look at aspects of life and seeing where we are living from fear, and where from love.

Gabrielle Bernstein in an interview for Love Bomb

Gabrielle Bernstein in an interview for Love Bomb

Her sharing in the film adds a vibrant and loving energy with practical and clear explanations of concepts that we are exploring from a variety of voices.  It is an honor to include her voice in Love Bomb.

9/11 Memorial

Dr. Rhea visits the 9/11 Memorial in New York City for the first time.

Dr. Rhea visits the 9/11 Memorial in New York City for the first time.

The morning that we set out to for a segment of filming and witnessing, well, me, at the 9/11 memorial was frigid.  We bundled up and made our way down via taxi to the site.  A few blocks away we were stopped where there was police, fire, and emergency crews with lights flashing and a scene that was all to reminiscent of the actual day.  As we got closer I saw they were putting out a fire in a nearby building.  Already a bit on edge we continued down to the world trade center site.

I had intentionally not looked at any photographs of the new buildings, the freedom tower, nor the memorial.  I wanted to have an authentic, in the moment experience that I could offer to the film.

It is not an easy experience to go to the memorial site, but I did find it to be incredibly healing, which, I did not expect.  I had been down to ground zero several times yet being on the memorial grounds, walking in the area that once was the plaza at the trade center, and looking up to what used to be the familiar site of the towers opened my heart to the feeling of the experience all over again.

Taking in the fountains was incredible.  We captured much of this experience and were grateful to be given this opportunity to share this in the film.  Thank you 9/11 Memorial New York City!

John Welshons Interview

John Welshons & Dr. Rhea at a Love Bomb Interview

John Welshons & Dr. Rhea at a Love Bomb Interview

One of the gift surprises of the weekend was being connected to John Welshons.  This was a result of one of our great supporters on the project, Ken Harris, calling me with a feeling that he had that John would be perfect for our film.  What followed was me “googling” him, and him watching our teaser, and the two of us following that up with a phone call that had us in a perfect resonance.  He is a man that lives from his heart, and this was apparent from our first interactions.

It was such a gift to head over to interview John, as this interview was scheduled the afternoon after the visit to the memorial.

One of John’s gift is assisting people to open their hearts from the moments of grief in life and to allow those moments to connect us deeper with life itself, with love, with the reality of our mortality and in so doing to the blessing of our lives.

His interview, coordinated through Universal Intelligence, is an incredibly valuable contribution to the impact and healing of Love Bomb.  I am also grateful now to call him friend.

I can say that coming home from the New York shoot I came home a transformed being, cracked open, somewhat raw, and very present to why this film is going to be so impactful.  The Love Bomb continues to do its work in my own being and life, that is a certainty!

Now where are we?

Interviewing Dr. Jeanne Ohm for Love Bomb

Interviewing Dr. Jeanne Ohm for Love Bomb

Just yesterday we finished an interview with Dr. Jeanne Ohm, Editor of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine and prominent representative of the International Pediatric Association.

She gave us beautiful wisdom about why it is so beautiful, and impactful to provide chiropractic to babies and children (something you will see a lot of in the film).  Her wisdom will assist our viewers to understand the impact they are seeing.

As someone who has worked extensively with pregnant women offering chiropractic and education through pregnancy, she also brings the gift of this embodied wisdom of trusting in the intelligence of life, and our relationship to it, and as it.  It is as if she inspires a breath of ease in feeling that, yes, I am a part of an intelligent and connected universe, and my presence itself is a gift to life.

We are very happy to include her presence and contribution in Love Bomb.

What’s happening next?

This Friday we are interviewing chiropractor Lou Corletto- my inspiration for doing chiropractic service work internationally and founder of Adjustworld.  More to come on that!

We are also gearing up BIG.  Our service team is returning to serve in the Sacred Valley, Peru leaving on April 25th and returning on May 6th We are so excited to return and to serve and connect with the people.  We will also be doing some extended work for Love Bomb while we are there.  We will gather some impactful interviews from the clinic directors that we work with, Sandra and Guido DelPrado.  We will also be gathering footage that will assist the viewer in deepening their experience of “being” in the Sacred Valley and connecting with the people there.

We are THRILLED to be bringing a volunteer with us who is from Lima, Peru but lives right here in the Napa Valley.  She is going to join us to assist us in translations and in sharing more of the story with you the feeling of impact that we have made, and the connections that we have forged, through our service.  It is a joy to have this “full circle” feeling of a volunteer from Peru joining us.

We will be sharing photographs during our service time on our Facebook Page so please “like” us to stay tuned and join us!

And Then,…

When we return from Peru we are going to launch our next Indiegogo Campaign to raise our film finishing funds!  Our goal is to launch on May 7th.  This is when you will get to see our trailer which we feel shares with you the feeling of what it is we have been working on, and the impact that the film is going to have in uplifting life to live from love.

Please look for our launch and share it with your friends!  We will need “all hands on deck” to reach our goal of $26,000.

With these funds we will be in full post-production mode- refining and editing scenes, color and sound correcting, and adding the musical score.  This has us on a schedule to be reviewing our film with select audiences in August, and adding the finishing touches to a final in September.

Love Bomb Post Production Schedule 2013

Love Bomb Post Production Schedule 2013

Don’t want to wait?  You can contribute to the fund right now on our website!  http://www.lovebombthemovie.com

Thank you for your love and support and here is to making the biggest loving impact possible!


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Love Bomb Report: 40 Days of Production & Transformation

Weaving the Story

Weaving the Story

The beauty of the making of Love Bomb is that the production process is identical to the content of the film itself.  It is a transformational process of discovering who we really are at our core while working as a surrendered service to life, to love, which is simply a way of being the most amazing version of ourselves that we can allow ourselves to be.

Let me attempt to break it down for you into some tangible examples:

1.  Service.  We are creating this film out of a feeling of service to life knowing that what we are creating is going to assist in uplifting the viewer so that they will have a total being experience of the film.

2.  Love Bomb.  We are sharing about the the delivery of “Love Bombs” as a story of service, while the film itself is a Love Bomb for the viewer.  It is also acting as a Love Bomb in our lives through production!  We are transforming on deep levels as the entire experience of interviews, transcriptions, edits, and details lead us to ever deeper levels of the experience of who we are as Love itself and how we can bring this into our lives.

4.  Service as a Chiropractor.  For me personally my own practice of service at my local chiropractic studio is consistently growing in presence and depth.  During the making of this film I am also deeply engaged in loving and supporting my clients, who grow by the week, to their healing, transformation, and connection to who they are as beings of love in life.  I see this as a continual mirroring process to my own commitment to serving as a being of love.

5.  Healing & Marriage.  My own personal life has also been growing and deepening as through the process of this film I have been in the experience of loving a close family member through a healing process as well as embracing the love in my life as we have made the commitment to marriage and are planning our October wedding and feeling in to what a Love Bomb the journey to marriage is for both of us.

6.  Surrender beyond the “Educated.”  The story in Love Bomb shows how we surrender to life itself to serve in a way that is bigger than we could do using our own “educated” mind, to allow for life to unfold in ways that seem magical at times.  This is the production itself!  When I review what we have “done” in the past 40 days I see it in writing and think, wow!  Thank goodness we don’t think we are “doing” all of this personally.  And the moments when we do, well, its breakdown time to overwhelm and tired and then its back to connection, surrender, and realizing that we are simply conduits bringing this forward into life and that when we allow it to happen rather than thinking we are working on it or doing it, magic happens.

And magic is happening!  

Dr. Rhea Interviewing Kute Blackson at his LA Studio

Dr. Rhea Interviewing Kute Blackson at his LA Studio

We are fresh home from Los Angeles where we interviewed Kute Blackson.  This interview was full of love, and, magic.  It flowed beautifully as we sat in the, now familiar, field which is that of Love Bomb.  It has a magic to it, a feeling of deep love, discovery, presence, and truth.  And in this field Kute laid it out for us, the reality of who we are as Love, the presence of mystery within it, and the awesome experience of life as this dance when we allow it to emerge from the essence within us that is, the essence of the connection of all of life.

Gregg Marks as the Director of Photography on "set" in an Atlanta hotel room

Gregg Marks as the Director of Photography on “set” in an Atlanta hotel room

This occurred only two weeks following our presence at the Dynamic Essentials seminar in Atlanta, Georgia where we set up our “set” inside of a hotel room and interviewed five of the speakers bringing the depth of the living spirit of chiropractic art and service into the film itself.  These speakers were Sigafoose, Peter Amlinger, Paula Hedgelon, Pat Chelenyak, and Walter Sanchez.  These interviews can best be described as filling in the story of mastery in chiropractic as a martial art form, where the practitioner’s mastery comes in the development of self and skill on all levels:  physical, mental, and spiritual.

Dr. Rhea Interviewing Sigafoose for Love Bomb

Dr. Rhea Interviewing Sigafoose for Love Bomb

In the film we glimpse at how time and space have a quality to them of being very relative, especially when in surrender to allowing for the full flowing of Spirit to move through us in action.  When I look at our completed list of tasks within the past 40 days, I can only reflect that this has and continues to be an experience of surrender to this level of presence and service and flow.  It is the little I working for and dancing with the big I.  And the dance continues.

To see the teaser, video clips & to learn about how you can support the making of Love Bomb please go to:  http://www.lovebombthemovie.com

To be a part of our daily updates please “like” us on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/LoveBombTheMovie

To grow the impact of the Love Bomb please “share” our Facebook Page!  https://www.facebook.com/LoveBombTheMovie

Thank You & Big Love and Gratitude to you!

In inspiration from the interview with Kute Blackson I say,

Love Now, and Now,
Rhea

Here is our list of production actions since the close of our first cut fundraising campaign 40 days ago:

1. Sorted through nearly 90 hours (and growing) of footage and labeled all of the action along with transcribing all of the dialogue creating a very well organized pallet to edit from.
2. We have a working storyboard based on our vision & material with the scenes of the film laid out in detail so that we can start placing together the actual footage and dialogue into the script of the film to tell a powerful story.
3. We captured 5 more interviews of chiropractors: Sigafoose, Peter Amlinger, Paula Hedglon, Walter Sanchez, & Pat Chelenyak. These will bring to life what chiropractic is within the context of the film by helping the viewer to realize that chiropractic mastery & service is like a martial art form for love and freedom.
4. We filmed the amazing Kute Blackson in Los Angeles. If you haven’t heard of him (yet) give him a google and you will see how unique he is in the world of human transformation. He brings an awesome voice to the film around what it means to Love, to Be Love, and to live fully.
Now we are completing some more transcriptions while moving in to the editing of the film itself (the magic). We are on mission to be close to complete by the end of March with all we have gathered (with 4 more interviews scheduled for March- oh, so excited to reveal those once complete- it includes a trip to NYC and conversation with some incredible fresh voices in the field of human potential/transformation as well as a few more chiropractors who will break down the science of the adjustment so our audience can understand the why behind what we are doing in the name of love and service.)
April is a planned non-edit time so we can have fresh perspective (and use our funding wisely) before heading back to Peru where our team will be serving chiropractic while we will gather some follow up interviews.
May we will be back at it with go time that will place us at our goal for this campaign: our first cut by June.
(With a goal to have a final cut complete by September!)


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The Incredible Comprehensive but Incomplete Guide to Becoming a Fully Funded Success on Indiegogo: Love Bomb The Movie’s Fully Funded Success Story

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This Love Bomb Report is serving as a thank you to all who stepped in to become a part of our successful Indiegogo Campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/lovebomb).  On January 11th, 2013 we closed our just over 60 day campaign raising $26,000 of our $25,000 goal for the production to a first cut of Love Bomb.  The energy of the project, centered primarily through activities on Facebook and our campaign page, was an exciting thing to feel and participate in as we all felt this group support towards achieving the goal that truly became a strong “WE” by the close. 

We did it, and, because of all of the amazing support that landed us in our fully funded position- we are already deep into the production process.  Our goal is to be at a first cut by this May- and your funding is allowing us to do the work it takes to get there!  And, as we go so full steam ahead into production, I decided to take a few moments time to pause and focus on both acknowledging all of you who become a part of “WE” at Love Bomb, as well as to write down some of the things I know we did right to land us at this point.

How did “WE” emerge and get here?  That is what the rest of this post is about.

The intention is to declare some of what went in to this successful campaign in the hope that it can help and encourage those who come after me (and maybe even me again!) in creating a campaign that can successfully drive the creation of dreams into reality, and hopefully, dreams that contribute to the benefit of humanity.

First I will share that I love the creation and now popularization of crowdfunding.  It has created an avenue where you can go online, put yourself out there, and receive massive support to create things that otherwise might not have happened in traditional fundraising routes.  It also is an awesome way to demonstrate how hundreds of people coming together around one thing they believe in can make it happen, with relatively small efforts and contributions.  This is one of the things that Love Bomb is all about! (For more ideas about crowdfunding & crowdsourcing I recommend heading over to the blog of The Four Hour Workweek  by Tim Ferris and digging into the archives by searching those two terms.http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/)

It is also easy to think that it is, well, easy.  You put your awesome idea online and, BAM, it goes viral right?  Wrong.  It requires consistent effort, honest communication, a strategy, and did I mention, consistent effort?  If you go in knowing that you are going to be doing this, almost as a full time job, during the entire duration of the campaign (yes, that means, if like me you are doing “thank you photographs” to all donors you will be doing those late at night sometimes and posting them online when you are already finished from a potentially long day, or on a weekend, or even maybe, while on vacation and on the very same day you are also enjoying your engagement.) then you are ready to go for it!

Here is my top 10 list of why I feel we led a successful fundraising campaign online.  It is comprehensively incomplete, chock full of ideas yet by no means a full directive.  As people read and comment I will reply, and perhaps, together we can build something even more comprehensive that assists a maximum amount of dreamers to build awesome projects!  For a quick read- see the bolded sections and dig deeper from there as it suits you.

1.  Commitment to Transparency through Authenticity:

My goal at all times was, and is, to represent myself, my team, and the project exactly as is.  I did this through careful study into what the theme of the project is (accurate branding) and what I hope to accomplish with it without over-promising to any one group.  I even made a firm commitment to myself to be vulnerable, to be willing to be seen.  For anyone stepping out to become very public about a passion project know that this requires effort and a willingness to feel the pain of growth, exposure, and vulnerability.

A book that I studied through this process like a little companion is called “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown.  Her words became like an encouraging coach along the way saying, hay, you aren’t going to be perfect, nobody is, but you are trying so keep trying.  Even using the word “I” by writing this is a conscious act of vulnerability on my part.  Someone already noted that I used “we” most of the time, and it is because I felt that way, still feel that way, that it is a “WE” experience- yet to acknowledge the “I” part, well, that is part of it too, and I believe, a vulnerable part of the success.

Another aspect to the authenticity was a study of previous campaigns and tutorials around how to really represent and be yourself through the whole process so that people really relate to who you are, not who you think you should be for something or someone else.  This is everywhere from how the perks are named (I decided to have some fun with that) and how the project is described through written and visual media.

Another note on this is this:  midway through the campaign I had a family crisis.  Because I had so authentically represented myself and the project during the campaign process this did not throw me in my relationship to the donors I was building nor to the campaign itself.  This is an amazing place to be I feel- because life will always be full- and its best to build up any type of crowd support by being as honest and representative of who you really are at all times.  I believe this makes for a more sustainable relationship with the people you are building relationships with during the duration of your project.

The take home:  Represent yourself accurately, by being yourself.

2.  We applied for 501(c)3 Sponsorship before implementing the campaign.

This goes into planning:  the campaign was planned for roughly 3 months before execution.  It included the timeline to apply for sponsorship with Fractured Atlas.  I chose them because I heard and read about their reliability in donor relations (sending out tax receipts on time, being regular and steady and professional with all interactions, etc.).  They also have an incredible rate- research this for yourself since these things change.  They made it so that our “risk” was lower whether we reached fully funded or not- that is amazing.  If you are truly an arts project that is 501(c)3 eligible- this is a great option.

Being 501(c)3 sponsored I believe also gives people comfort in knowing that their donations can be tax-deductible and ALSO, that someone is out there making sure YOU are accountable with your money.  With a sponsor like this they are the ones who keep the money and you use it as you give them real invoices showing what it is going towards and proving it is indeed for the project.  I like this extra level of accountability.

3.  Follow The Formulas:

There is some formula and it helps to follow it.  I read and watched as many tutorials on this as I could.  Here is the online class I took from my arts organization sponsor:  http://courses.fracturedatlas.org/courses/35.

Studying campaigns similar to your’s are also great ways to get ideas to replicate.

A few keys I took to heart:

Break your fundraising into chewable parts (for a film means first cut, final cut, etc.)- people are more likely to support something they think will succeed, as well as something they feel is worthy and does not cost as much as their house.  This will also probably depend on who your “tribe” is!

That being said, I’ll say it again, be honest and,….be frugal!  That includes budgeting- a budget that screams inflated is less likely to garner grassroots connection and support than one that clearly says:  we are doing this because we believe in it and we feel it will bring depth to your life and the lives of others, not because we want to live off of your money for the next few years nor spend your $10 dollar donation lavishly.  (This goes back to building, and deeply caring about, those relationships).

It also has to be reasonable- so that people believe you know what you are talking about and can honestly accomplish it- too low might make people think you don’t know your stuff.  I believe that was in the tutorial I am recommending here- fractured U.

I should also mention here- I personally felt okay asking for money (help) to make the film because I was working my little tooshy off to spend as much as possible on it myself.  Knowing I remain the largest “donor” on the project makes me feel good about saying- I need help- because I know I am doing as much as I possibly can and it is going to require more!  Also- in my experience from the service trips I have run and done with both a pay for it myself version and a fundraise version I realize that this truly does give people excitement, to be a part of something they would not actually be doing on their own.  So I love the “crowdfund” feeling of all of this awesome energy coming together!  (It also says:  yes, your idea is good, and people relate to it,….so keep going!!)

Follow the categories recommended for a campaign and then name them what you relate to.  Let it all reflect your personality- from the way you address the camera in your pitch video (and campaigns with pitch videos have a higher rate of success) to the way you name your perks.  Get ideas about what you like by studying the successful/fully funded campaigns on the various crowdfunding sites and take what works for you.

A note on perks:  I chose to keep my perks mainly things that did not cost money- this is because the production is sponsored by a 501(c)3 and so any “item” would be deducted from their possible tax-exempt amount.  I wanted to keep the tax-exempt portion the highest I could for all of them.  This is all unique and I think a really fun part of the campaigns- mine were all named fun things like Love Angel and Love Ninja.  It should relate to the content and mission of your campaign.

Choose your platform- I chose Indiegogo because they partner with 501(c)3′s and I got the best rate, and, left out the risk of not getting your funding if you do not reach your goal (Kickstarter).  There are great blogs on how to make this choice based on your project, who your tribe is going to be, and what they think about these platforms.

4.  You are Creative, that is why you are Crowfunding, but you do not have to reinvent the wheel unless you have to reinvent the wheel!

Balancing the creative with the formulaic is quite the act for an artist or creator.  Knowing when to copy formulas rather than reinventing them is a great skill- and certainly a great area of growth for me :)I did this by modeling after successful campaigns, learning from people whose work I trusted, and asking specialist friends for help- and then implementing it.

My friends include successful filmmakers, PR people, social media marketing wizards, branders, arts organization leaders, etc.  You get the picture.  I went to these people and asked them for advice, and then, I respected their time and pro bono advice by implementing what they recommended, even when it was a potential hit to my ego.

When they said the brilliant things like “yeah but why would someone care about that?!” I gulped, and listened.  Now, even as I write this, I can hear a particular friend’s voice saying “yeah but why does someone care about that?” and it actually helps me to remember that my content is not for me- its for you!  (Duh, but amazing learning curve on that one for the indulgent expressive that I can be).  I took it as a blessing to say, thank you for being that person, let me figure that out.

Or when they looked at the teaser and said “oh, you might want to change that” I said, gulp, okay, I will trust you because I believe that will make it more powerful (which translates as:  okay I will take the time and money that will require and will trust you and go for it).

If you don’t have these “friends” I would say- follow advice I got from a chapter in The Four Hour Workweek about creating avenues of accessibility to people who are experts in these areas.  Most people love to talk about why they are successful!  Many often have blogs too with spelled out advice.

The final thought here is this:  know when to be intuitive and creative about something, and know when to follow another easy route:  guides, how to’s, and advice from those who have already pounded the pavement of trial and error.

5. Postcards-

I had our beautiful branding printed onto inexpensive postcards (designed by Folia Design of Napa).  People were able to share the postcards and help with creating that repetitive exposure that helps people to learn about it and connect to it before they decide they want to be a part of it.  The great thing is they also doubled as my personal thank you cards- which were sent to every single donor regardless of donation amount.  (It goes back to authentically building relationships, which includes, acknowledging people.)

6.  Thank You Pictures-   One of my “perks” was a photograph of me holding a sign with a personal thank you to my donors.  I took nearly 200 of these and am still at it as we continue with our rolling donations through our website/our 501(c)3 sponsor.  This was a fun way to personally connect with people and I heard from quite a few they were truly excited to get their “picture” when it was posted onto our Facebook page.  It also becomes a great way to keep interacting on social media without having to blast people over and over with the same content!  That brings me to the next point:

6.  Updates to the Campaign & Daily Social Media Interaction-

We had a website (that I built easily using wix.com- http://www.lovebombthemovie.com), our campaign on Indiegogo (http://www.indiegogo.com/lovebomb), our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/LoveBombTheMovie), and our own Facebook profiles to use.  I also developed pinterest and twitter identities but did not end up building them out much.

The goal with our social media interaction was to build the relationships, let people in on the process of the film as it is in production so they truly feel how they are a part of it (because in my view- when they are supporting you at any level, they are, and they become like clients of your “product”), and also to let them feel a part of the campaign itself.  To start on this we created and still maintain a very active Facebook Page (Love Bomb The Movie).  This meant a mix of content from regular updates about how the campaign was doing, to excerpts from the interviews that we were collecting during the process (I was paying every cent I could to be in “production” during the campaign so that when we went into full time production we could be as efficient as possible- that goes back to the frugal budget!).  The thank you pictures gave me some social media breathing room on days I felt less content creative. Its nice having a plan to put into motion to go along with regular life rhythm.

I continued to break up the campaign into chewable chunks on social media.  I put out various goals the entire way like “we are almost to 100 donors” or, “we are almost to 30% funded” etc.  This gave multiple opportunities for people to connect to the fact that they made a difference even if it was a small donation.  Because they do!  Sometimes manageable goals for people to relate to helps this- since $25,000 seems too large sometimes to relate to.  It actually followed whatever mini-goal felt good to me at the time- and it became fun- it created multiple opportunitities to celebrate success along the way.

I also stayed pretty moderate with my posting intensity until the last week and a half where I let myself get, well, obnoxious.  I figured, they will tire of this but then we’ll all take a breather.  I did the classic tag as many people as you can in your photo updates, and I photo updated every day with something unique that said where we were, how many days left, etc.  It builds a natural intensity that people respond to and does inspire action.  Also- we really needed that deadline- without the guaranteed funds there was going to be no guaranteed production starting!

For updates to the campaign on Indiegogo itself I kept this to a minimum while also making sure to give as much real content as I could to keep people in the loop on the campaign progress as well as the progress of the film itself.  I also tried to keep “upping” the rating that Indiegogo uses to determine if your campaign is gaining momentum and therefore they will promote it- to my knowledge we actually never got there. They call this their “gogo” factor.  I didn’t master that, but we did get fully funded, so don’t let that deter you from thinking you are still succeeding.  Do let it motivate you to say:  where could I be connecting more with people about what I am doing?

7. Every connection is a relationship, and be willing to take it “offline”:

I made another commitment which was a willingness to see every interaction as a relationship building versus the temptation on social media to use it as a way to distance from being really personal with people.  I made phone calls and talked to people directly.  I answered questions with transparency about my intentions in every way (and I was asked very in depth questions from how money was being used to where I intended the film to go to who was in it etc.).  I reached out to people with the magic words:  I need help, can we talk?

These conversations led to a combination of ideas of who I could reach out to share my project with as well as really wonderful loving support!  I also made an effort when connecting with people, to say who I am and what the project is, without a desire to please or make it what I thought someone wanted it to be.  For me at the end of the day I want to succeed in being funded by people who will truly LOVE the final product and feel great about being a part of it.  (And this is an ongoing process since I still have $25,000 to go for my May 1, 2013 deadline on our current “campaign” which is on our website at http://www.lovebombthemovie.com and has a much lower intensity level at the moment than an Indiegogo style campaign. To misquote that famous scene in The Notebook when it comes to funding a project like this:  “It’s not over, it was never over.”  It’s just doable chunks that allow us to, well, do it!)

8.  Finding our tribe- aligning with those who already have a feeling that they connect to the ideas of Love Bomb.  No selling, no convincing- simply connecting.  Once I knew what my idea was I began to narrow down who my “tribe” was that would love the film and want to support it. (This is ongoing).  I then went about the steps of authenticity & connection to build relationships with those who are leaders of the various tribes that include mine.  The recommendation I received was to find bloggers or media that will represent you.

My Campaign successes for this involved being on a radio show, an interview/conference call that was then sent out to someone’s mailing list, and there were also quite a few people who “blasted” about us on their twitter feeds & newsletter lists.  I also accepted invitations to present the teaser and myself at various “tribe” gatherings- workshops, study groups, seminars, etc.

It requires people A LOT of exposure these days to take action on something- so the more I could expose people to the idea the more they could recognize it, feel it, think about it, (nerd moment:  i.e. build neurological patterns of memory and association to actually literally connect to it over time) and then act on it the better.

Also, just like any other thing- you will have early adopters, and then you will have the late adopters.  I looked at it as roughly 30% funded is your early adopters and from there you will grow faster.  I saw the fastest growth once we were at 70% funded.  Roughly speaking the 30% will statistically be your inner circle of friends and family and then it will grow from there.  From the start for me it was a lot of people I had never met but that deeply related to the project right away.  This blew me away and continues too!  It goes back to being totally open to allowing this to build new and real relationships with people who are going to see your project and say “WOW, I wish that was mine, but since it’s not, I am going to support you!”  (That was a real conversation). It is also my hope that all of these offline relationships are going to help us to achieve our next fundraising goal without doing another Indiegogo Campaign, since we are set up to receive rolling donations through our website and our continued relationship with the 501(c)3 sponsor.

9.  Meditation/Faith that is is happening perfectly as it should be.  I did regular meditation to relax myself along the way and to be in the field of Love and Faith instead of Fear and Worry.  I have tools for this that I will share with you at the end of this paragraph.  I also continued to visualize the “Fully Funded” mark on our campaign and I trained myself to daily FEEL what success would feel like.  I spent time imagining it over the fully funded mark because a tip I received from a teacher on this awhile back is to always imaging a little more than what your real goal is,…somehow it keeps momentum going for growth.  It worked for us!  My own guides are available as free tutorials over here:  http://www.breathelovebelove.com.

10.  Trust in the overall picture of the project- I continue to be with this final recommendation.  There is a trust in the overall project and that it is all unfolding perfectly as it should, and that nothing should ever be forced because it is about aligning with what needs to come forward, and this alignment includes every step of the way.  I see myself, and my team, and now all of the donors involved on it, as playing our right roles in the production of this beautiful project that will change lives.  Ease is the name of the game along the way.  I read a beautiful book during the campaigned called  “A Return To Love” that helped me to stay in this trust, as did my own meditation CD’s “Breathe Love.”  Since we are magnets radiating our vibration at all times- the combination of me meditating on being here, along with my DP/Editor Gregg Marks being in faith at all times, and then those who joined in our field as they came forward as donors and major supporters,…the field of Faith continues to grow and this creates a magnetism to life itself saying:  YES, LETS DO THIS.  LETS MAKE A LOVE BOMB!

I hope that these help you to take the steps to creating a successful campaign to manifest your dreams,…and that these dreams are aligned with the benefit of humanity and life itself.

This list is long, but not complete, which means,…I might have forgotten a few things and I sincerely recommend you dig, dig, dig to put together the perfect plan for your unique you!  Also- if you have any more thoughts or questions on anything here please write it in the comments field for all to learn from and benefit from.  I will respond with my best answer, question, or referral recommendation.  Lets learn and succeed together!

If you’d like to learn more about our awesome project Love Bomb which is in Production (unless you are reading this in 2014 in which case most likely we are out there! whoop!) please take a look at our website:

http://www.lovebombthemovie.com

You might even gain some tips there as the ideas are still in go mode for success in gathering our tribe and making this impactful film!  You can still be a part of our success there too- $25,000 by May 1, 2013 keeps us in production to a final cut!


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Love Bomb Report: An Interview with Dean Radin, Phd (And Happy New Year!)

Happy New Year from Dr.Rhea, and Love Bomb!

Happy New Year from Dr.Rhea, and Love Bomb!

In “Love Bomb Report:  Interview With Marilyn Schlitz” I revealed the context around which I interviewed both Marilyn Schlitz & Dean Radin.  It was an incredibly heart breaking, which is also a heart opening, time.  Now I share with you some of the joy of that second interview of that day with Dean Radin.  I do this as I celebrate yet another aspect of the unfolding of the Love Bomb in my life- the engagement to my incredible partner Austin Komarek.

Love Bomb in my Life:  Engagement.

It is Day One of 2013.  A beautiful day and opportunity to look at the intentions for the year.  Here at Love Bomb there are some big goals.

They are:

1.  Achieve our goal of raising 25K (10 more days to go!) by January 10th.  We only have $8600 to go!

2.  Make the most incredible film possible to OPEN HEARTS to the feeling of Love in Service, the possibilities of living a life in CONNECTION to oneself and others, and the power of Love to transform our lives- while contextualizing why Chiropractic is a part of living this- when delivered by chiropractors who consciously train to serve at their highest level.

3.  Get this film accepted into Major Film Festivals by the end of 2013 in order to kick off maximum effect World Premiers in early 2014.

How does the interview with Dean fit in?  In our interview with him he shared the following:

“The right question asked at the right time, and the answer shows up, that’s pretty good.” -Dean Radin, Phd.

One of the greatest lessons I received from the inquiry with Dean was that science can explain to us some incredible phenomenon that can open us more to the ancient ideas of our interconnectivity, the wisdom that resides within, our capacity to heal, the potential for what we currently perceive as “miracles”, and, that science does not know everything.

Why is this profound?  (And perhaps obvious)

Many of us seek science to give us permission to open up to experiential aspects of our lives that are on the outskirts of what science can prove.  We have to rely on our experience, and on our cultivated inner sense of knowing, in order to live on these frontiers.

We can use the amazing science at our fingertips to show us what our mind/body connection is, how it affects our health and life expression, and that points us in the direction of our connection and the power that we have to affect ourselves and all of life with our thinking, our feeling, and our acting.

We also will have to realize that, perhaps it is the questions themselves that drive us, and that are a part of our universal intelligent design.  If there were no questions then how would our creative capacities continue?  If we did not want to know what would happen if we transformed, then what would impel us to do it?

This post, and this interview, was far more about the questions that we ask, than it was about the answers that we receive.

So I leave you with this, on this here day 1 of the rest of your life (or 2013 if you prefer to think in smaller chunks of “time”),…

What questions will be guiding you this year?

Here are a few of mine:

How does a person act who is connected to all of life, to all of intelligence?  What occurs when we realize our inborn intelligence, our inborn power?  How can we open more to living this?  How can we cultivate this relationship deeper?  Who are all of the awesome people who are going to contribute to the making of this phenomenal dream (Love Bomb) as a gift to LIFE?

What happens when the Love Bomb explodes in our hearts,…and in our communities?

We at Love Bomb are wishing YOU the most love filled  love permeating love transforming year of your life and thank you for being a part of this journey with us!

Take me to The Love Bomb Campaign, I want to Donate!


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Love Bomb Report: Interview with Marilyn Schlitz, PhD

Warning:  Very transparent vulnerability in this entry.

Dr. Rhea & Marilyn Schlitz

Photo of me and Marilyn Schlitz, thankfully the facial swelling had gone down, and the sun and the magical Canon Camera made my face look almost normal :)

The week leading up to the interviews I was honored to do of both Marilyn Schlitz and Dean Radin was nothing short of horrible.

By the time I walked in to sit with Marilyn I was actually almost comically challenged.  I had woken up that morning with my face swollen out so far that I wasn’t sure how I was going to drive to the interview, let alone meet these people face to face that I felt so touched by.  I had had some kind of mystery reaction to a new facial product.

I know however that there is no such thing as singular cause and effect, and the rawness of my face was also a perfect outer expression of the inner pain and turmoil that had started exactly one week earlier when our family had stepped in to that horrible, quick, destabilizing, and rocky terrain of “you have cancer.”  One of my dearest family members was back on the road that our family knew too well.

In the interest of privacy I won’t share publicly which family member we stood in heartbroken solidarity with, but I can say that the week centered on conversations of the terminal nature of all of us, living present now, and falling to one’s knees for Grace.  I was reading, and posting online, about my intake of Marianne Williamson’s book “A Return to Love” as if it were nutrition.  Because it was.

Four days into the trauma of diagnosis and the intense prayer for a healing miracle the family received a blessing of a phone call when we learned that there had been a misdiagnosis and that the cancer wasn’t the bad kind we thought it was.  We were released into “relief” of a change of cancer diagnosis and the improvement of prognosis.

Perspective, God’s humor, Prayers and the Miracle of Love in action?

So by the time I was sitting there ready to interview Marilyn, face red and raw and puffed out, wondering if she was noticing but kindly not saying anything, I was ready to be raw and real.

The gift of her interview is what followed.  It opened with me asking her about what she knew about the power of love, and she began by discussing studies that had been done about the effects of love and prayer on people with cancer.  I kid you not.  I sat there, even more raw, listening as she spoke directly to what had been going on.

Life certainly does provide the exact replica of what we need to see, feel, and hear doesn’t it?

The rest of the interview dove deeper in to the material at hand for Love Bomb, and as we got into the zone of the intense focus of a film interview, the attention on my own life scenario and raw face melted away as I was taken, we were taken, into the energy of love, forgiveness, and the journey of healing transformation into wholeness.

There is much I want to share from this interview and will be exposing in the film.  The essence I can give you is that life always provides us with what we need to transform, and transformation is always in the direction of greater wholeness, if we choose.

That wholeness means we are not alone.  We are one with life itself, with one another, with the earth we live on.

When we get into this place of wholeness we experience the core of healing, which is transformation of consciousness into this whole place of being.  This whole place is what I am learning to refer to as Love.  Service, the act of transformation to wholeness that we are featuring in the film, is a transformational practice in and of itself.

Marilyn shared with us about her research on transformation and the “destabilization” that occurs when a change happens in the statis of an environment, culture, or person.  This destabilization offers the opportunity to heal to a new state of being as it offers the opportunity for new perspective, new feeling, and new being.

We were speaking of my own healing experience from 9/11 and how that event became something that ultimately propelled me forward into service and a life lived as if we are one big human family.  We also spoke of the “destabilizing” we create in a community when we enter in and adjust thousands of people at one time.

She confirmed our feeling that with the intention of Love this destabilization can be a force that drives the community to a higher level of organization to wholeness.  We can also choose to experience traumatic destabilization in this same way.

The rawness of the week continued as when the interview ended and we said our goodbyes we turned on our phones, to learn that the shooting had just occurred in Connecticut.

We had moments of quiet at that time.  The moments for me were a reflection on the entire week, and the firm knowing that the film, the focus on Love, the commitment to sharing with the world about what we really are capable of as human beings when we connect to our Innate, our Wholeness, our Connection with Life, is as pertinent today as it was the day that the idea for the film was conceived.

We sat in the sun that day between our interview of Marilyn and our preparations to interview Dean.  I with a certain surrender that happens when you have been forced to ponder the terminal nature of life, the prayers that knock you to your knees, and the humble surrender of letting go of looks to simply say, I am here, raw, vulnerable, present.  I surrender to you Love.  Life.  I am your servant.  Lift me up and walk with me.

We sat in the sun and we drank it in.  We sat with gratitude.  For being alive, and for being given the opportunity to make a difference in life through our passion to touch lives, and for all of the opportunities that Love Bomb has already brought into our lives.  It is with a reverence, a humbleness, and a vulnerability that I post this Love Bomb “Report.”  The experience of the commitment I have made to be carved out by this project continues, to offer to life a reality of Love Bomb rather than a replica.

May we light a candle in our hearts of Love for all who have been affected by the wounds of life, both public and private, and allow them to open us to the courageous humbleness of Love, which is the road to our human greatness.

Check out this clip that we put together for you of Marilyn, speaking about creating an “epidemic of goodness.”  At this particular winter solstice this is a beautiful message, encouraging us to see this time, no matter the “why”, as the perfect time to open to our inherent unity, goodness, and love.

Marilyn is also working on a documentary of her own that I feel is going to be a transformational film called “Death Makes Life Possible.”  Here is a link to the home page where you can watch the trailer.   Death Makes Life Possible Trailer

Are you interested in learning more about how to participate in the making of Love Bomb?  Here is our Indiegogo Campaign page where we are currently raising the funds to go into full time production starting in January 2013.

Our film website lives here:  http://www.lovebombthemovie.com

You can find us and “Like” on Facebook here:  Love Bomb The Movie Facebook Page

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