Gong Meditation


(l-r, Diva Tina, Diva Wendy, Diva Lisa Gonster, Diva Diane)

Lisa Gongster has an incredible story.

She was a corporate pilot flying jets. Big jets. An incredible story in itself being a woman in a male dominated field.

That all ended when she came down with vertigo.

So bad, it ended her career.

She tried everything to try and cure it. Doctors, tests, more doctors, more tests.

Someone suggested something, she did it.

Nothing helped.

All of a sudden life as she knew it, was over.

She heard about sound therapy and the gongs.

And that, my friends is what helped her heal.

Now she goes around the country holding classes, workshops and helping other people heal too.

Pretty amazing isn’t it?

My friend Wendy introduced me to Gong Meditation after she tried it an absolutely loved it.  She saw colors, her body tingled, it was amazing.

I had to try it too.

Hearing the word “Gong” conjured up an image of Mathew McConnaughey playing the bongos naked. Don’t ask me why.  I just wondered if this was going to be really weird.

I have been struggling with meditation.  Trying to keep focused, trying not to fall asleep, trying not to think about stuff, trying to calm the mind….the struggle ensues.

I thought this would be a good way to help me meditate.

They have everything there.  But I brought my own blanket, pillows, bolsters. I mean, I really looked like I was moving in.

I wanted it to be as comfortable as possible.

So my first time….I brought everything, got as comfy as possible, Lisa started on the gons and the other instruments and I started to drift off….

I fell asleep.

Damn.  No colors. No tingling.

I felt like I was missing out.  Especially after everyone around the room described their experiences with colors and light and tingling.

I will tell you though, it is unbelievably relaxing.  And I felt incredibly relaxed after but also reinvigorated. Like I had been sleeping for hours. Who doesn’t need that?

To learn more about sound healing and the gongs and the effect sounds and vibrations has on your health just go on Lisa’s website  www.gongster.com

I’m completely copying it here to give you an explanation.

“Sound meditation is a mental practice engaging your attention to sound. Sound acts as an auditory stimulus that overrides the activity in the brain and synchronizes the brain’s activity to the frequencies and rhythmic patterning being heard.

•When used with live sound, the experience is not just with the ears, it is a full body sensory experience in which the body comes into direct contact with vibrations.

•It is sound that makes this type of meditation practice unique. The sound waves travel as energy from the sound source to the listener, who may then experience a shift in awareness, increased alertness, an ease in mental activity and reduced discursive thinking patterns.

•Sound meditation has a biochemical effect, reducing stress hormones and creates a feeling of contentment and relaxation.

Immerse yourself in the Sacred Journey of Vibrational Healing. The Mixture of Sound, and frequency will Cleanse, Uplift and Heal; Restore your Inner harmony to RE create PEACE with-IN your BEing. Each participant will Reach a Higher state of Calm, Deep Relaxation and Complete Serenity when surrounded by the harmonic tones of the pure vibrations. Once emerged into the natural rhythm, a higher state of Truth, Purification and Restoration occurs.”

Sounds pretty amazing, huh?

I’ve taken several classes and enjoy them immensely.

To find a class near you, check out Lisa’s website Gongster.com

I’m not giving up on the color and tingling though!

Here’s a sample of what it sounds like….


Cavalia – Odysseo


As I soaked in these amazing creatures and performers, I realized just how important the arts are during times like these.  With news story after news story telling us about people harming people, seeing something so beautifully created and executed really brings your faith back into humanity.

I sat in awe watching Cavalia’s Odyseeo.

Then the guy behind me started kicking the back of  my chair.

To the beat of the incredible music.

And we’re back.

That faith restored may have been brief.

Well this post is not about educating people about proper etiquette in public situations, but believe me, I could make the case of how people that wonder how world wars occur are the same ones that can’t even say hello when they pass you on a hiking trail. (See how not be an a$$%#@* while hiking in the Valley.)

But this post is to focus on this incredible production of Cavalia’s Odysseo that puts your faith back into people at least for a little while and makes you forget for a few hours about the turmoil going in in the world.


(No special filter was used taking this photo of Gayle Bass and her co workers at :Right This Minute.” It was a dirty lense.)

You just wonder how someone could even imagine such performances let alone actually create it.

Odysseo is the current production of Cavalia – which is an entertainment company out of Quebec, Canada that specializes in equestrian and acrobatic techniques. It was founded ion 2003 by Normand Latourelle in Montreal, Quebec. Wikipedia informs me that this performance is often compared to Cirque de Soleil  and that Latourelle was one of the original founders of Cirque.  Odysseo has been touring since 2011 and is an entirely separate entity.

I googled more information on Cavalia is a fabricated word, inspired by the Spanish and French words for horse (caballo and cheval) and the French and English word cavalier.

It’s nothing short of amazing, inspiring and moved me to tears.

And with my faith restored, I drove home and didn’t mind as much when someone cut me off on the way out of the parking lot.

And we’re back.

It’s progress.

Thank you Gayle Bass for bringing me.  Louis loved it as well.  Below is a photo of Louis, Gayle and her co-workers from Right This Minute.



Here is some of the artwork you see as you’re walking to your seats.

I was thisclose to pulling out my credit card to buy either of these gorgeous pieces, but I had to remind myself that I’m going to Sicily, Italy.

The show runs in Scottsdale from February 21, 2018 for two weeks.

You can get your tickets here.

For those of you in the rest of the country, check for a show coming near you.


Phoenix Police Citizen Academy

If you ever want an incredible experience full of adventure, we encourage you to enroll in the Phoenix Police Citizen Academy.  Not only do you learn all about the police department which is nothing short of fascinating, but you go through part of their training.  Diva Diane and Diva Lisa took part in media today and got to experience the tactical village.

Contact Phoenix Police Sergeant Joel Leavitt for upcoming classes and to get an application. They are holding at least six academies a year. It’s one night a week for six weeks.



Aerial Yoga – an 80 year old made me do it!

Guess who tried aerial yoga ?

My gym, The Village at DC Ranch, is offering free classes to introduce people to it.

They had me at free.

I tell you, what a fun, challenging an rewarding experience.

My Pilates teacher Dawn taught this class and she really does an excellent job.  She explains everything clearly, makes sure you’re safe and tells you exactly what you’re working.

You start off with a lot of slow stretching which warms the muscles up.  The silk is used to assist you in the stretching and really helps get you into a deeper stretch.

Lord knows I don’t stretch enough.  I love lifting weights, hiking, but stretching…not so much.

So this was exactly what I need.

I’m not gonna lie….I was scared. You are doing some crazy stuff on a piece of silk hanging a few feet in the air. One wrong move and you are definitely doing some damage.

I was starting to think I should sit some of these things out …then my teacher Dawn pointed out Ivan in the class.

Then she said “He’s 80.”

“How old?” I said, because I don’t think I heard her correctly.

She confirmed, 80!!

Here he is, isn’t he cute?


(Ivan who’s 80!!!)

I look over and here’s Ivan flipping on the silk, doing inversions, hanging upside down…..
Well I wasn’t going to let Ivan show me up.😉 How kickass is he?

Thanks for your inspiration today Ivan! I wouldn’t have done it without you!


Here is my favorite part!  Laying in the silk and rocking.  My favorite part of yoga has always been Savasana ( the part where you close your eyes and relax and not move) but this takes the cake!

I also requested we just do an hour of this.

 It’s really a fun, challenging and rewarding experience. I definitely am proud of myself for the things I accomplished in this class and I hope you try this soon.


6 Things To Keep You From Being An A$$H&^% Hiking In The Valley



I try to react like Ghandi when people break the hiking rules posted at every trailhead in the Phoenix metro area. I really do.

“Let it go….”

“Be the bigger person.”

“Don’t let it bother you.”

I mean, I’m a rule breaker myself on certain things. But I’ve learned I break rules on things that don’t affect other people. I guess I don’t sound flexible.

I am!  I let stuff slide.

I say nothing when people go off the trail, trampling over all the fragile desert fauna to get that great picture when the sign specifically says “stay on the trail. I bite my tongue. People bring dogs on the trail when they’re not allowed and let them poop and leave it.

Not a peep.

I used to let that stuff go.

It only took one more runner to knock into me and then smear her sweaty shoulder across my face while trying to squeeze by.

“F%$% that.”

Because you know what? Sometimes  “turning the other cheek” is really “enabling” the behavior.

So I’ve started speaking up.

“Really embarrasing.” as my one friend described.

One said “Maybe they don’t know.”

I say they’re jerks.  She says they’re “unaware.”

To me, being “unaware” isn’t an excuse for jerkish behavior. Both selfish as far as I’m concerned. And if you’re unaware, how about I make you aware? Win-Win right?

First a bit about hiking in the Valley.

I love it!!  A lot of people love it. It’s unwind, mediation, me time.  The  quiet time to think, the breath taking  scenery, the breath taking exercise….it’s my happy place. No matter what problems I have when I go up that mountain,  they are not as bad when I come down.  I really wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you try it.  Hiking trails are peppered throughout the Phoenix metro area.  The best part ….it’s FREE.  Free!!!!  In other states, people drive for miles to go for a hike and pay to get into the park.  Other places it’s snowing and freezing and they’d kill to be able to go for a hike at any time of the day and drive less than 30 minutes to get to a trail. Are you kidding me???  Why aren’t we out there right now?!

Here are some things  to be “aware” of


The Rules:

  1. PLEASE WEAR EARBUDS –   People are now starting to wear backpacks with speakers in them playing their music.  Here’s what I need to tell you. We don’t like your music.  Even if we did, we like the quiet, serene, picturesque, peaceful experience we drove here for. These are the same people who pull up to a stop light with the windows rolled down and the music blaring or the base so loud the whole block reverberates. Hey I know you feel cool, but you look like an idiot. Trust me.
  2. HIKERS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY –  Runners, I’m talking to you.  There’s nothing more irritating to be in your place of zen and a runner runs up behind you and screams “On your Left.”  I hear “left” and so I step left. (This is not how the girl runner ended up smearing her sweat across my face). Yes, it’s proper etiquette to say “On Your Left.” Not scream it. How about a nice “Hi” or quiet “Excuse me?”   There’s this one guy, who wants you to stop, move over and let him run by so it doesn’t break his tempo.  So he bellows “ON YOUR LEFT” from 100 yards away. Bellows. Screw you! I say!!! Quietly….with my inside voice…okay just in my mind.  I haven’t stopped enabling him yet because he’s a little scary.  Runners yield to hikers, so if the trail gets tight, it’s not about your run anymore.  Slow down or stop and don’t expect anyone to move out of your way.
  3. STAY TO THE RIGHT –  It’s just like driving a car.  Let me clarify.  It’s just like driving a car in North America.
  4. UPHILL HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY – Always. If you’re coming down hill in a narrow trail, you let them go first.
  5. STAY SINGLE FILE IF IT’S CROWDED – Love hiking with my friends. When I do, if someone is coming, I move to walk behind my friend, in single file, so there’s enough room for people on each side of the trail. Then when it’s clear, feel free to move back up beside your friend.
  6. ACKNOWLEDGE THE PERSON YOU WALK BY – People wonder why the world can’t get along and it’s the same people that don’t say anything when they pass another hiker.  Let me paint the picture….a person is behind you, they walk up beside you , they are beside you for a good 10-20 seconds (that’s a looooong time) and then walk ahead of you.  They say nothing. Not a peep. HELLO, you’re walking past a fellow human being. Were you born in a barn?! We are the friendly Southwest, dammit. Okay, Okay…I got it….maybe they didn’t know.

Well now you know about this little effort to help improve everyone’s hiking experience.

While I continue to struggle with walking the fine line between reaching for my inner Mother Theresa and not being an enabler, I hope you get a chance to get out there and experience these incredible trails we are so lucky to have here.








We adventure, adventure, adventure.  This is the place we’re going to tell you about them and even invite you along with us.

Check back for great deals on Valley experiences for Bucket List Divas.