Ecstatic! is a six-part series that explores how authentically happy people have managed to find peace and balance by enjoying their life to the fullest.
In today’s western world, a lot of us tend to rely on external factors to feel happy or satisfied. We can only be happy if or when and so ANYTHING can block our path to inner peace ANYTIME. Our society is built on being successful or “winning the game of life.”
Ecstatic! shows us what happiness is and what can be done to bring us closer in life. Audiences will not only get the unique opportunity to discover how happy people do things differently to increase their levels of happiness such as: express gratitude, cultivate optimism, practice act of kindness, learn to forgive, practice spirituality but will experience what it is like to be around six different personalities who don’t try too hard to be happy. They are not reliant upon success, power or wealth. They derive joy out of the simplest things. Managing to stay compassionate and generous, they have found a way to truly live in the moment.
Ecstatic! explores how ten subjects, Canadians aged 45 and up, from diverse ethnicities and of different religious or spiritual beliefs, have managed to find peace and balance by enjoying their life to the fullest. These ten people are our guides on the Ecstatic! TV series’ journey. Throughout our series the audiences will explore one of five pillars of happiness: zest, gratitude, connection to others, forgiveness and optimism.
The goal is to stimulate and inspire viewers to find their own inner peace and willingness to live in the moment. The style will be upbeat and high paced with an emphasis on each person’s personal philosophy as we try to answer the question “ how do they manage to live so happy?”
Ecstatic! was created by Sonia Productions Inc.
Producer: Adelina Suvagau
Director: Sonia Suvagau
Writers: Adelina and Sonia Suvagau
Visit the official online home of Ecstatic!
EPISODE #1: HAPPINESS 101
As happiness experts John Helliwell and Mark D. Holder discuss their findings in the field of happiness research, the series’ cast is introduced. Marty Ahad, Marilyn Rushton, Judy Graves, Shahram Vahdany, June B. Wilde, Tom Cooper, Tina Swan, Gail Sparrow, Joe Foy and Leonora Gregory-Collura have all found happiness despite their various struggles.
EPISODE #2: ZEST
Zest is living with an awakened feeling in all of your senses and a profound appreciation for all you discover. Marty Ahad is a retired engineer who deals with serious subjects in a lighthearted way and appreciates the little joys of life. Marilyn Rushton is a happily married vision teacher who doesn’t let her blindness slow her down. Both Marty and Marilyn are prime examples of how joyfulness, energy and zest for life attribute to a kind of infectious happiness.
EPISODE #3: GRATITUDE
Judy Graves, also known as the Mother Teresa of Vancouver, is grateful to dedicate her life to helping thousands of homeless people. She fights for change in the delivery of social welfare in British Columbia. Shahram Vahdany is a Zen Buddhist journalist who spends his time writing for his alternative news site Media With Conscience. He lives moment to moment and remains grateful despite the tragic death of his son.
EPISODE #4: CONNECTION
June B. Wilde, an actress and acting coach, shares her spiritual philosophy to happiness. From her body to her craft, her husband to her students, June connects. How has June managed to stay active and self-confident despite constant rejections in the acting industry? Tom Cooper, a Christian minister who left working in the church to run City in Focus, derives joy from comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Since 1988, City in Focus has been taking care of and connecting the people of Vancouver. How does Tom perform his ministry work in an office environment and help the soul of the city?
EPISODE #5: FORGIVENESS
While Tina Swan comes from a life filled with abuse, neglect and depression, Gail Sparrow – a former Musqueam chief – deals with native rights and the injustices that go on. Both women have learned to forgive instead of being bitter victims of Society. As Gail reflects on her traumatic near-death experience, Tina teaches yoga to recovering addicts who are learning to forgive themselves.
EPISODE #6: OPTIMISM
Joe Foy, an environmental activist who works for the Wilderness Committee acts with integrity and courage to mobilize citizens to take lawful, democratic action in defending Canada’s wilderness and wildlife. Despite daily defeats and resistance, Joe remains optimistic. Meanwhile, autistic Leonora Gregory-Collura campaigns for the rights of autistic people through her non-profit ANCA Foundation. Although Leonora has been handed numerous challenges such as the loss of her daughter at birth and caring for her disabled autistic son, she remains happy and optimistic about the future. How do Joe and Leonora manage to see the silver lining?