The Not Bad for a Girl Crew
The Director’s spiral awakening: And in the winter, a fire was born. She survived San Marino with music, her animals, sprinting for the varsity track team and riding her horse, Razz. Dr. Lisa (A classic Sag w Scorpio rising) followed her father’s alma mater and pursued a 13 year commitment to the University of Southern California (USC) earning a double B.S. in Psychology (1983) and in Critical Gender Studies(1983), a M.S.(1986) and a Ph.D.(1991) in existential-humanistic, intersubjective and depth psychologies. Her groundbreaking qualitative doctoral dissertation(1991) was theoretical, phenomenological and defined and explored rock music subgenres as well as the meanings and functions of solitary rock music engagement for adolescents with eight case studies.
From 1986-1995, she worked; first as a registered intern, then as a licensed psychologist (1993-2004) for Advanced Behavioral Medical Group and Life Fitness Center in Glendale with supervisor, Dr Daniel Asimus, MD. She studied with intersubjectivist, Dr. Robert Stolorow, Ph.D. (Founding Faculty Member and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis (ICP), Los Angeles; Founding Faculty Member at the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, New York City; and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine ) in his peer supervision group for two and a half years as well as with Dr. Monahor Shinde , MD (Eating Disorder Institute, from India.
At ABMG/LFC, Dr. Lisa specialized in work with individuals struggling with eating “disorders”, addictions, chronic and acute psychosis, borderline and narcissistic personality, multiple personality, PTSD, OCD, anxiety and Bi-polar “disorders”. She co-directed with Asimus MD, an inpatient cocaine treatment center for adolescents/parents at Mountain View Lodge Hospital, as well working with him at Glendale Memorial, Edgemont, Charter Oak hospitals. She transitioned into private practice (1993-2000) serving Silverlake/Los Feliz, Hollywood, Burbank, and Glendale, rock musicians and the entertainment industry. There, she was an ally, advocate and specialist for recovering physicians, Middle Eastern women, troubled teens, and over-diagnosed ADHD children.
Inspired by rock dissertation and a wave of female bands and along with financial assistance and support from Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, executive rock producer Tina Silvey Co, and drummer Kyle C Kyle, Dr. Lisa wrote, directed, produced and toured internationally with her award winning documentary film, Not Bad for a Girl (1995). She toured and spoke at over 70 universities, art houses, museums, psychological conferences and radio and TV stations about madness and creativity, music, sexuality and gender performance and deconstruction.
A member of the International Documentary Association (IDA), she offered psychological consulting/acting coaching to Renee Humphrey, Alicia Witt, and Leslie Hope in Rafael Zelinskys Sundance Festival winner and psychological thriller film, “Fun”. She co-produced Stories about Breast Cancer with performance artist Sheila Moorland and planted 1300 upper torso mastectomy casts on posts on the lawn of the Griffith Park grass symbolizing breast cancer gravestone casualties staged during National Breast Cancer Awareness week. She raised $26k for breast cancer research co-producing an auction of famous undergarments at the Playboy Club.
After a frantic pace, she shelved Not Bad for a Girl, for 12 years. Exhausted and seeking balance, light and spiritual inspiration, she created a vision quest to Montana, navigated by her red tail hawk allies and medicine womyn allies Lyn Andrews, Lynn Crow and Brook Medicine Eagle. Upon her return, she joined a Taoist improvisational healing meditation group in Santa Monica, and in 1997, relocated from her home in Los Feliz/Silverlake to San Diego where she planted a healing garden and founded Sacred Sanctuary, and gave health interviews about rediscovering silence and stillness. Creating her first phoenix fyre, she walked away from all that she was in LA, shelved her film and closed a thriving private practice to start anew. Twelve years later, she redigitized the film and put Not Bad for a Girl onto DVD as a feature along with 99 chapters so you can view it by artist. You can finally find and buy Not Bad for a Girl vol 1!!! Meanwhile vol 2 is finishing as a book sequel including all the female bands that we could not fit into vol 1.
She continued her education by taking Holistic Health Practitioner classes at the Expressive Arts Institute (EAI), University of California San Diego’s (UCSD)Expressive Arts program, and the Natural Healing Institute (NHI)studying spa, massage, energy medicine and acupuncture. Dr Lisa studied a variety of dance forms and worked with a variety of teachers including Odissi: Guru Yudhisthir Nayak, Butoh: Charlene Penner & Diego Pinon, Flamenco: Adrianna de Cillo, belly dance: Elle, Heather Stance, Urban Tribal Dance Co, and guru yogi Rakizitina and the entire BonaDea collection. She began performing dance, meditation, and healing ceremonies for private groups and communities and with Technomania Circus, Mystic Family Circus, LA Underground Circus, Circanalia & Moontribe. She choreographed rituals and with various talent including Brian Frette for her Tantra Theatre and Pranic Dance Co at Burning Man (1999-current). She performed healing shamanic rituals with Anahata, VisnuPria, Stardust, BlueGirl, Adrienne, Fantuzzi, Karl (Zor) Fyre God, MJ and Hamsa Lila, Vickie Morgan, Elissa Kisselburg at Sacred Sanctuary (SD, NYC), and for: the Love Temple, Francoise’s, M. Samko Ph.D., Divine Ranch, Shangri-La, the Sedona Temple, Earthdance, SD’s annual 11/11 celebration and Burning Man (1998-2003) and countless clubs in Nevada, LA, NY and Miami (1999-current).
In 2000, Dr. Lisa opened Sacred Sanctuary to those who shared the vision of cultivating conscious awakenings. Sacred Sanctuary hosted classes, seminars and workshops on nutrition and conscious eating, sound healing, permaculture/conservation, world dance and drumming, meditation, mindfulness satsung, energy medicine, yoga, white and red tantra and shamanism by Dr. Lisa and guests. Dr Lisa has been a guest speaker on radio and TV regarding health, mindfulness, compassion and creativity.
Christiaan Sun joined Dr. Lisa and the two studied with the Boutenkos, Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Daivd Wolfe and many raw food chefs on the use of raw food for cleansing, healing and awakening. From 2000-2003, the two offered health talks and raw food preparation classes and cleansing retreats at Sacred Sanctuary for those suffering with hepatitis, HIV, cancer, food and drug addiction and assisting clients to overcome obstacles to conscious eating and living. Dr. Lisa has continued this tradition and blends conscious eating and raw food into all her programs. She still has nutrition interns today.
Dr. Lisa/Sacred Sanctuary hosted various monks on pilgrimage and raised monies for their temples in Tibet and India, including Dawa and his wife who nourish Tibetan children orphaned by the Chinese invasions as well as the many visiting monks and rimpaches from theGaden Shartse Monastery, who stay with her at Sacred Sanctuary and named Dr Lisa, DeviLisa.
In 2002, with her heart chakra wide open, Dr. Lisa accepted an offer to work in the California state prisons as a contract psychologist. It was here she earned a second and this time “street Ph.D” in criminology at the higher institution of predatorial relations and sociopathic survival. Already in alignment with the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Dr. Lisa interviewed with ex-convict, John Sherman, who became self realized after meeting Gangaji in prison. Dr. Lisa conferred with staff at San Quentin Prison and created Satsung in the Holeat both RJ Donovan State Prison in the hole and New Folsom State Prison’s SHU. For 7 years, she studied prisons. She became an advocate for disenfranchised prisoners, helping with political campaign writing and multiple successful $$$ litigations for institutionalized prisoners with SHU syndrome and against, misguided wardens and correctional officers practicing prison abuse. Dr Lisa surrendered her license in (2004) in a heroic attempt to minister and help prisoners and protect her family. Amazing miracles were witnessed; such as Lenden, who aspired to live and die in prison, as an Aztecan warrior. When Lenden met Lisa, he began to deconstruct. Eventually, 5 years later, Len removed his gang tattoos and slowly rediscoverd a new self possibility.. Zen Len. He trusted Dr LIsa and her vision for Len to offer gang awareness to at risk youths and did so with TFK and at juvenile hall. It was through Dr/Devi Lisa’s blind allegiances to Sureno Lenden that Dr Lisa learned the high arts of detachment, releasing her own prisons and saving herself. She has been assembling a massive memoir of her courageous odyssey midwifing prisoners, parolees and ultimately herself. By fathoming criminology, she can recognize her own and all our primitive predatorial relationships and help facilitate spiritual liberation. She is looking for ethical souls to help her produce and direct her story.
In 2003-4, she called in the “Visionary Midwives” and together they produced Womyn’s Weaves and birthed Spiral Awakening and The Spiral Arts Institute. In 2004, she spread Sacred Sanctuaries to NYC, the Hamptons, DC, Boston and Florida for a the next 5 years facilitated Enlightened Sexuality in private sessions, workshops, Shamanic Theatre. Alchemy documented a raw, sometimes brutal phenomenological odyssey while cultivating her own signature Tantra methodology. She returned to San Diego and launched herEnlightened Sexuality Survey for womyn and the Yoniverse Summit to raise awareness and funds and offer secret societies alternatives to female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa and the Middle East and addressing sex trafficking in Indonesia. Alchemy is currently cooking up some “gri gri” with Rugiatu (AIM) in West Africa and Dr. Nancy Peddle and Hadi (in Indonesia and Malysia). She is raising money for her teen Enlightened Sexuality education program here and abroad. In 2011, she is seeking finishing funds to show her film Enlightened Sexuality.
From 1999-2004 studied and offered Tantric yoga puja, dance, meditation, energy medicine and sexual healing and ascension with partner Robert Frye. She witnessed “Tantric” facilitators Bodhi Avinasha, Mantak Chia, Mare Simone, Cynthia Taylor, Shell, Francoise, Osi, Baba Dez, Shawn Roop, Viraja Ma, Kamalla Allen, Ph.D. and medicine guides, Rakizitina and the BonaDea collection. Dr Lisa renamed (Alchemy Devi) by the monks of the Gaden Shartse Monastary, has remained celibate for 10 years in the traditional sense yet awakened through the pursuit of her energy teachings of pranic sexuality.
Dr. Lisa dedicated years rescuing and rehabilitating pitbulls (her stars: Passion, Rosie, Otis/Odabear, and Carmen) and used them for herdog bite prevention program in elementary schools (1997-2004), after school programs and elder care facilities. Otis and Jenny (her Rhodesian Ridgeback) have been awarded by the US Humane Society five years in a row with Dr. Lisa for their dedication to children and elders. Odabear has been covered by local news and papers. Alchemy Devi has been devoted to consciously housing and maintaining a large exotic collection of serpent guides. This began from a snake vision in Montana and was encouraged by medicine woman Lyn Crow and culminated in the development of Naga Yoga and Naga Qi Dance. Alchemy has awakened ancient rituals women used to heal through snakes. She offers snake medicine, in various formats to all ages from elementary schools, churches, to private parties and shamanic pranic intentional gatherings. She is excited readying to share her Snake Medicine with larger audiences. She has been covered by Alan Swayer’s documentary film “Meditation: East Meets West 2006)” and was invited on the Jon Stewart show following Snakes on a Plane( 2006), to discuss snakes and serpent “medicine”. She was recently covered by National Geographic for a show hosted by Henry Rollins, “Snakes Underground” (2010). Dr Lisa was handed the torch by the soul of her recently transitioned Italian cousin, Ana Vitta (actress, sculptor, artist, jewelry designer) to celebrate the art of Snake Medicine. Dr Lisa is releasing: The BonaDea Collection in the fall of 2011.
Dr. Lisa sits on the board of directors of the Association of Holistic Health and is a member and sex educator with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Two years in a row, she has presented at AASECT (2009 and 2010) on White Tantra with teens and a myriad of universities on sexuality and gender. She is also a public speaker and has presented and over a hundred universities, conferences, museums about Spiral Awakening through meditation, energy medicine/prana, dance, nutrition, presence, consciousness, quantum psychology, shamanism tantra, conservation, communication and conservation.
Her specialties include intersubjective humanistic and depth psychologies, phenomenology, singing, playing and co-creating sound healing, hearts awakening, expansion, pranic art and choreography, gender play and ego deconstruction, enlightened sexuality, energy medicine, meditation, shamanism, cosmology, interactive theatre, conscious eating, consciousness, nature and conservation/sustainability, community and animal medicine.
A lifelong devotee to the ocean, marine life, waves and body surfing since she was a child and inspired by the waves breaking on 56th street at her summer home (Newport Beach), Dr. Lisa offers Goddess Wave ® clothing, energy dance meditations and art, qi dancing rituals at sunset and del mar cliffs, “Wahine Wave” bodysurfing sessions/retreats in San Diego, Mexico, and Costa Rica and her bodysurfing series in progress “Forever Dropping In”.
Dr Lisa, Ph.D. (Alchemy Devi) is single, the older of 2 siblings and an only daughter. She is energy in motion. A woman who embodies compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness. She speaks about recovery and spiritual liberation and a host of other inspiring topics. She is a victorious trauma survivor from a violent marriage to a Sureno and violent Armenian family lost in fear/poverty/greed/revenge consciousness. If you are inspired by her journeys and want her to speak, dance, manifest and evoke or cocreate with you/your group, please contact the institute.
Blessings as we all grace the paths~
Leiana Naholowaa is from Guam and has been involved with the Guam activist network and Pacific Island culture. She is a graduate from Cal State San Marcos in Literature and Writing Studies with a Women’s Studies minor. She handles administration, publication, media communication, graphics design, and layout for NB4AG and the Spiral Arts Institute. Leiana is the contributing editor for FlawLes magazine, on the board for the Foundation for Change working with the gay and lesbian communities, immigrant rights, and media justice, and she is passionate about women’s issues.
Emily Wurgler recently graduated from UC San Diego where she double majored in Critical Gender Studies and Political Theory. Emily has been doing research for Not Bad For a Girl, the book, and is examining the ways in which the bands and individual performers challenged and subverted traditional gender identities and rigid notions of sexuality through their music, stage performance, and public image. Emily is also interested in the sociology of religion and the epistemology of far-right religious communities.
Stephanie Bourke is currently studying to earn her MA in Gender Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is a classical music teacher as well as a rock musician and rock music teacher. She was the founder and director of Rock n Roll High School. Stephanie is serving as our journalistic researcher, public relations, music producer, and historian for our NB4AG project.