I think mostly the teacher who taught me Ho’oponopono is my son. He has an incredible level of resistance, in life. He carries anger, frustration, bitterness, though we are sweet and kind to him. His pain in his body, in his soul, has to have release. Probably most people who know him might have a hard time believing what a volcano he can be. Perhaps we are far different than others see on the outside.

So I recognized, this is me, how do I have this same principle active in myself? I started looking at this familial woundedness, where did it come from? What did it want? And though I have the ability to find the roots, see and re-experience the roots of past lives, of both myself and my son, I found this gave me information, but not answers.

I found these injuries felt wronged, unheard, belligerent from lifetimes of rejection and hurt. And I was taking a Ho’oponopono course at the time. I discovered the principle of Ho’oponopono  – that I can apologize for anything, any wrong, known or unknown, a lifetime ago or yesterday. I can offer the compassion of god to these pains. The prayer brings validation, recognition, and release to pains that could otherwise remain festering. 

Psychologists believe and offer that all our foibles are resulting from this lifetimes experiences. My work is about the previous lives, and the psychology of those experiences that linger in us, when we might not be able to understand who we are, without knowing those past selves. Ho’oponopono offers a solution above and beyond this endless rooting in the past, searching to unplug from pain by addressing it over and over.

Ho’oponopono offers that we can dissolve these memories, this data, that we have accumulated. It offers to access divine energies directly, to allow these past damages to fall away. Each time we use this method, we strengthen in our own ability to embody our responsibility for our equivalent stories, which again fall away with the prayer, with cleaning.

My son will be boiling with the indignity of bath night. from experience, I know well the futility of arguing the necessity, the normality, the argument that Dad takes a bath every day, that the Prinipal of the school takes a bath everyday.

If I sit and ask him, “Tell me everything wrong with this idea.” I listen. He bursts forth with vitriol unlike what you might imagine anyone could feel about bath time. I listen calmly. Sometimes I repeat it back. “It’s not like the pool. Yes. I see. It’s not like the pool. Can’t we take shampoo to the pool? I see. Don’t you think the swimmers might be a little grossed out? (smile!) Yah. ICK! “

I am so humbly grateful for the Ho’oponopono course and all the many epiphanies I have experienced. How liberating for myself, to see the rude, angry darkness inside myself, and find a path that leads both myself and my son, to ta brighter place.

Masking our blessings

Mask wearing has its challenges. I ask myself, does anyone know I’m smiling? Are they smiling? How do I connect with anyone?

My son and I went shopping and we did our best to enjoy all kinds of things we might have taken for granted or been grouchy about in the past.

Snack time? Let’s indulge! Buying shoes? Lets go to the store where someone will wait on you and bring out the shoes instead of a self-serve place.

What a joy to discover the shoe salesmen were respectful and treated my son like an adult. They helped him find everything he wanted in a shoe and then in socks too. This is a task which in the past my son has blatantly refused to participate in. Buying shoes became a wonder, to speak to someone who cared, who wanted to know his preference.

Every generosity seemed huge. Every moment we could find something special, we reveled in. Paintings in the mall became a stage for us to photograph each other.

A Muse

by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

You’ve probably heard about the mythological figures, the Greek muses.

Artists and poets and authors of all kinds invoke their assistance when whipping up a project. All creatives face similar challenges: the difficulty of living up to our potential. 

We wrestle with writers block, artists block, stage fright. There are blank canvases staring at us, cursors flashing patiently on an empty word processor, vacant stages with two hundred people in the seats, staring at the opening curtains. We have closets full of paintings unshared, we have binders full of stories no one has read. We may be able to produce and unable to reveal it.

The muses deliver the component we seek- the divine connection. 

The divine takes responsibility for the work out of our hands. When flooded with the divine inspiration, we can focus on the work. Suddenly this act of creation is not selfish, or a reflection of us and our worth. 

Some writers claim they only listen, and write what the divine whispers to them. Some creatives insist the frenzy burns if they cannot reach their materials, and only releasing the fire into a creation can they calm and live in their bodies. 

A muse might seem mythological. However the act of drawing down lighting from the divine can be painful, frightening, and overwhelming. Each creative has their time alone with the divine. Accepting this connection to something so great and powerful requires us to accept our worthiness to rub shoulders with God. We must even be Co creators, able to say, “Divine – I can improve this. Blue is better than green here.”

 When a person has this ability, and draws down more than their own inspiration, they might find their mission is to deliver that spark to others. Then there is inspiring confidence. How can each of us remember our divinity so powerfully as to accept the lightning when it comes? How can we accept our power so we can welcome the opportunity to co create with God?

A muse is someone who believes in us so powerfully that we can’t help but catch their belief. When we meet a muse, we might be afraid, their acceptance of who we are challenges our own limits. They see in us so much more than we have ever been. They see our glory before we have dreamed of it. They are eager to walk with us, thru both heaven and hell, to witness and celebrate our journey, for no more than the joy of being near us.

Suddenly time with the divine becomes our responsibility, in our partnership with our muse. We are no longer are alone on our journey. We have someone to share with and someone who needs our faith to remind them of their divinity as much as we need them. 

It is our nature to wallow in abundance, far beyond our imagining. In partnership with our muse, our cups run over, and we shall not want. Thru this gateway we are led to the divine, again and blessedly again.

Tree Healing

by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

Some faiths, I learned, have a tradition, called tree wounding. When a person is suffering from a great injury, like the death of their child, or some other catastrophic life event , they may be offered the idea of healing themselves with a tree wounding. So the individual goes and beats on a tree, hard as they can, with a knife, or hatchet. And the tree bleeds sap. 

The tree Suffers. 


The person returns as often as they can to see this tree and to witness the process of what the tree experiences in healing. 

At first, it is a hacked fresh injury. Then as weeks pass, the wound dries. The wound doesn’t appear to change for a long time. Eventually the tree begins to create a lining around the injuries, where the bark is growing to encapsulate the injury. Each visit reaffirms, “I shouldn’t be done yet. My injury is this fresh. My tree is still alive, it is still there, it is still hurt and still growing. Just like me.”

When I prune my beautiful bonsai tree that has been my friend for thirty years, I am cutting it to pieces. I think reverently, I am pruning it. It will be better. I put it back in its pot with fresh soil and hope my friend will recover. I am loving. Like a friend who is telling you the painful truth. It hurts, but it is meant with loving kindness, to help us to be better.

Beautifully, the tree accepts these injuries. Magically, the tree survives. It does not die. It pauses for a week or two, just maintaining. Then slowly new sprouts appear. And I witness again the joy of its rebirth, and see myself in this mirror. I can lose a huge amount of stuff. It can feel brutal, to shed so many pieces of myself as if they were meaningless. It can seem impossible for me to change so much of who I thought I was. 

I was pruning bushes outside, and I uncovered a flowerbed that the bushes had covered with their lanky thick branches.

As I cut these away, I thought I was doing the work. This is what I am cleaning, I am cleaning this flowerbed, and neatening up these bushes.

Then I found all my pruning had uncovered masses of deadwood and tangled growth. I had uncovered far more old material that was asking for clearing. 

And as I cut out the wood, I prayed. Thank you god for this opportunity, for this healing. I prayed for myself, for the tree, for my friends, all of us in our transformation. 

I recognized the healing that I object to and fight and rebel against. The healing opportunity is there waiting for me, and I reject it.  I can’t have that cut out of me, I can’t disentangle this wood I grew thick so long ago! These scars and deadwood, from my most painful experiences, these are the foundation of my whole personhood. Then to have my dearest friend hack into this place and prune until light and air are in this place instead of my certainty of who I am, all my efforts, my life’s meaning – how dare anyone go there, and expect this of me?

And this noble towering shrub taught me with its humble acceptance, yes I can shed this living part of myself. Yes I can shed this old deadwood at my core of myself.

It showed me joy, it felt the air deep in its core and felt the space for new growth after so many years of suffocating and smothering the neighboring plants. 

Soon it will be bursting with buds and new growth. In its awkward shape, so empty and lacking, it will be pushing to fill those spaces with gratitude and enthusiasm. The bush welcomes the emptiness and recreates itself in peace and joy. 

The Awakening

Imagine your physical experience, everything you see and hear and touch, the three dimensional world as you know it,  is a house.

You have lived your whole life in the house and it’s very straightforward. Sometimes things can be heard outside, but it’s not really an issue. If you’ve seen some shapes passing the windows, “There is something out there!” it might gives you chills, or a moment of joy and wonder. You might save up those experiences, treasure them, or you might dismiss them as coincidence. Still there is no tangible connection with the outside.

Then one day, there are knocks at the door. Lots. And they don’t go away. One day, there are voices at the windows and doors, asking to come in. And finally, someone walks into the front door. Even if it is a glorious light being, its a stranger walking into your space. You could be elated, inspired, or afraid. 

Somehow, there are people who can open your door, and it isn’t you. Even when the spirits visiting are kind, it’s disturbing. 

This experience is common. It’s called by many, the awakening. It’s exciting and a wonderful widening of our world, and it can be intimidating. 

This is when a class in meditation, particularly developing your abilities to open and close the door to the spirit world, is so helpful.

Now imagine that same house. And when someone knocks, they can’t come in unless you open the door. Imagine that all the messages arrive when you need them and not randomly, they are no longer invasive and overwhelming.

You have the ability to open the door and ask for assistance when you need. And now you’re free to go outside your house, travel, meet others, make friends, and explore the energetic landscape.

Did you see I have an upcoming class?

You’d be surprised, how good you are at it. Our culture is designed to devalue the abilities you already have. Brush that aside, and you are already naturally intuitive. 
Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

Grama Tortoise Healing Arts

New Classes starting Feb 6

  • When – 6:30pm on Thursdays – February 6 – February 27
  • Where – 1013 Harbor Walk Court, Fort Collins, Co 80525
  • Bring – yourself and dress comfortably
  • What? – Yes! You can! What if this class was exactly the thing you need, right now, right when things seem too tight to fit one more thing. What if this one thing made everything else seem less pressing?
  • How much? – 100$ for four nights of growth in you.

The Energetic River

How does it seem that we loose our energy? Where are we losing it and when can we refill ourselves, even in the midst of a workday? 

This series is designed to introduce you to your power. When are you the energy superhero in your life, putting out amazing power and energy to those around you? You might be doing it more than you think.  Where is your inlet to refill this reservoir to again, so you can again be the super hero you were born to be?

This class series is designed to set in place a change to this pattern. It could be the breath of fresh air I need today, now, for me. I can take a step toward replenishing myself, by allowing myself to receive. I can recognize when I am giving energy, and it is to everyone’s benefit, and also choose to see when it is less than beneficial, and I can change this pattern.

Each time I step into that moment of wonder, discovering a new space I never even dreamed of, it’s all worth it. Every step of the journey that got me here, is worth it.


Burnout – Exhaustion – Anxiety – Isolation – Low self worth – Over indulgence

What do these have in common? They all can stem from a lack of receptivity. 

One totally normal way to feel like I’m in control is when I block out or limit my inflow of energy. I might say no to someone trying to break into my schedule. I am thinking I need to value my own time and manage my energy wisely. But sometimes this control is actually preventing me from replenishing.

  • Maybe I’m allowed to have clothes, and so I collect more garments like what I already have, ignoring my need to call my friend or connect with people I value and who value me.
  • Maybe I ignore my need for the calm sit down meal, and allow only a handful of finger food instead of taking time for lunch.
  • Maybe I’m allowed to be creative, in solitude, but not to show it to anyone.

There are many examples of how we might restrict our inflow of energy, and sadly hamstring ourselves. It’s a perfectly normal thing to do. I wrote this list by looking at my own behaviors, and the meditation I’ve written and offer to share is how I work on them, as I notice each pop up. Which is why I enjoy energy work, and giving meditations, as I am healed with each offering.

The joy is, we float in a sea of abundance. We can access its riches, and draw to ourselves the replenishing energies we vitally need. When we open to a new source, it’s a stretch sometimes. Maybe we have an image of what we are allowed to have, and what we believe we are not allowed or not capable of.

This weeks meditation is designed to set in place a change to this pattern. I can take a step toward replenishing myself, by deciding to allow myself to receive.

Each time I step into that moment of wonder, that experience of the sea of abundance I have been starving for, it’s all worth it. Every step of the journey that got me here, is worth it.

Thank You for this Headache

This is a meditation I wrote for my first energy work event. It is about allowing ourselves to see our discomforts of life, whatever illnesses or frustrations, as opportunities to check in and find kindness for ourselves.

Thank goodness! I have a reason to stop my whirlwind. Thank you for this moment, when I can pause. I choose now to stop my rushing, I let go of my headlong push to do, to finish, to achieve. I am allowed to rest, in this moment.

As I sit with my headache, with my pain, I tell my body, I am on VACATION. I breathe in the softness and timelessness of vacation.

I may resent that I can’t stay home from work, and curl up in bed. I may be driving a child who is wailing to school. I may be staring down the maw of a day so filled, I can hardly breathe.

Regardless, my headache invites me to pause and see the trees and the sky out the window of my car. I am invited to hold my teacup and feel the warmth in my fingers. I still have time to breathe and exhale all my overwhelm. The discomfort brings me back to my body and I can shift into my lowest gear. I can sit in a blanket of my own understanding and concern. I know how frustrating it is, even if no one else does. I care.

I see my headache, my pain, whatever it is. I appreciate the opportunity to hit reset. Just look at my discomfort and notice it is asking me if I really want this day of appointments. Can I honestly say, yes, even in my lowest gear, walking as slow as I can go, I enjoy this? Is this where I belong and where I want to be?

Wherein is my contribution to this discomfort? What way can I care for myself to avoid this bump? Maybe this day truly has too many appointments, though I love my work. Maybe my work could shift in one direction, and give me greater joy. Maybe I have been led down a path I didn’t chose and am not comfortable with. Maybe I need to practice some gratitude and remember, oh yes, this is where I belong, this is my greatest joy, even worth trudging thru in pain.

And so I see my path anew. I hit the reset button. I check around me, from the perspective of the lowest gear I have. That gear is sometimes more true to myself than every other fast and achieving gear I have. Sometimes I wish I could stay in the lowest gear, be as connected to myself as I am when I have a headache.

Thank you Divine for this gift, seeing my truth, honoring my truth. Thank you Divine for this headache. 

How could I stumble over interactive art?

image of Compassion Speak Oracle card - Im here to tell ya, its just beautiful! You should see it! color! Vibrance!
one of the many
Compassion Speak Oracle cards
written by Sean Allison

I create artwork for the moment of sharing the piece. In my studio, I have a creative experience making lots of things. But when I share that finished piece with a friend, a stranger, or a customer, the artwork comes to life.

I am always confident of my abilities to evoke wonder, joy and connection with viewers. 

When invited to an Interactive art “experience” I have sometimes not laughed and jumped in. There have been sneers and doubts. Interactive art seemed to me to give the game away, it’s no longer mine. What am I creating if the participation of the spectator is half of the artwork?

Recently, I created my first deck of oracle cards, a delicious melt of mine and my friend’s writing, mine and my friend’s photography. I loved my cards, love reading them, flipping through them, feeling the smooth surface as I shuffle. I love this compilation of months of my personal insights, of treasured poetry and photos from Sean.

Soon after printing,  I stood in a holistic fair, with a deck of oracle cards fanned out for a passer-by to choose from. A person stops and pulls a card. And like a magician, the infinite has handed to them the card that describes exactly where they are in their life. They stare at the lavish photo, at the beautifully incised font and brief words. “What does it mean?” they ask.

And when I describe what led me to the place where I wrote this card, or the place my teachers words led me when I crafted this card, I watch their faces change. They look as if I have peered into their souls. They might put their hand over their heart or mouth, or eyes. “That’s exactly where I am, that’s exactly what I need,” they say.

When they hand me the card, I hand it back to them. “Its a gift,” I say. And they are the home of that artwork, the destination it was created to go and abide in. Only when I have shared every card of the deck, and none are left to offer, is the artwork complete. 

A family with four kids approaches me, and I fan out my cards and let them each take one. I am down to the bottom of my deck. This can’t work anymore, I doubt heavily. No worries, these are kids, they won’t notice. It’s just a pretty piece of paper and a fun freebie at the fair, I say to myself.

The grandmother watches, and as each child comes to me with a card, and I explain the source of each image and each word, the children seem uninterested. But the Grandmother says, “That’s exactly where you are, isn’t it honey?” And every child admits, yes. 

It is the interactive half of my artwork, incomplete until it has met its partner.

“This card held a mirror to my soul. I see again, gently the kind universe shows me what I am ignoring.”

So I keep a deck on my dresser and every morning turn up a card. And each morning it is true again, each artwork and phrase holds up a shining mirror. I see myself and smile. It is a gift, and I am so grateful to be a piece of the artwork. I am grateful again for my creative team.

My puppy broke his leg.

Perhaps you have had the good fortune to love an atomic dog, a dog that can’t be controlled, but that is happy to join you for your journey. I had a husky – akita mix. When he was only 6 months old, he broke his leg.

The vet put his leg in a big cast, that wrapped all the way up around his hip. The veterinarian told me, very seriously, to lock the dog in a crate and keep him still for the next three months.

When I would walk the dog, he was jumping, running, crazy wild, so happy. He was still on the leash, but nothing in the world could make him be still. He was like the wind, a force of nature. And his leg healed great.

The veterinarian told me severely that she had seen this dog out running, doing all the things he wasn’t supposed to do with the cast on, while she was out for a walk herself.

And I said, “Doing what makes us happy is what heals, not misery and imprisonment.”

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