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.

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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.

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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. 

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.

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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at the Creative Underground, in downtown Fort Collins -deep healing and exploration of your chakra’s subtle energy

Chakra Class invites you to explore and heal the subtle energy of your own body, one chakra at a time.

Chakras are energy vortexes in the body. They can be damaged by many common negative influences. It is exciting to repair them and watch how our lives grow and shift in response. As we learn to see and alter the energy in our own bodies, so too do we learn to heal others.

Sign up now for seven nights of peace and wonder 

 This is for you. You can stretch this far, its just a short distance. You are ready to begin this voyage. Let it roll into your life!

  • Chakra Class, 7 nights of guided meditations.
  • at The Creative Underground, downtown FoCo.
  • 1636 S College Ave, parking in the rear 
  • Coming soon on Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 
  • 175$ for the full session of seven classes

contact us today to reserve your spot! email Cleo at

To learn more, go to

So every day I pick a deck of cards on my dresser, angel cards, or affirmation cards, or oracle cards, goddess cards. I flip up a new card and figure its a little divine message for me to carry thru the day.

Bizarrely, it is unfailingly accurate as to what is going on in my life at the time, and the angels or goddesses or witty phrases point unerringly to my current weak-spot. Im grateful for these little creative cards, the artwork, the inspiration they offer daily.

Recently I began writing my own inspirational messages for myself. When I sit on my meditation cushion, I scribble a note about the lesson that has visited me in my quiet time. These become more and more helpful as I keep up the practice. I can look back at the black scrawl in my notebook, I trace my journey, and remember the truths I have forgotten already. There they are for me to celebrate all over again, like new.

I began pairing my own messages with my photos or my artwork. The exercise is inspiring, and the resulting pieces I share with friends. Finally I stopped turning cards on my dresser. I look at my own cards.

I asked Sean Allison, my creative teammate, if he would allow me to put his writing in my cards. He and I collaborate on a blog site called Compassion Speak. When Sean saw the cards, his creative spark ignited, and he began producing all kinds of quotes and photos for this new collaboration.

Now I have one deck of cards on my dresser. And they are created by Compassion Speak’s creative team. And I love to turn one over each day, and see my own divine inspiration reflected back to me.

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Its so close!

These pieces are made from powder loaded in plaster molds. How perfect the detail! How perfectly the kiln ran, no alarms! The kiln company, Paragon, (thank you kiln guru!) gave me advice on my kiln schedule and it was actually the source of all my grief with the controller. 

Of course theres still a distance to go – these have not fused together. Next time – higher temperature, longer hold time. The little marks poking out of the horses jaw are tool marks caused by me picking the wax out of the mold. So that technique needs to change.

Progress! Soon, amazing and super incredible glass casting! 

Its coming!

OMG!! Look at that detail in the Bison!!

Sometimes I open the kiln and there is a little miracle. Something worked. I am utterly dancing. I can’t believe how beautiful the detail came out, how lovely the colors in the bison tile I just fired.

Yeah, OK, I know its cracked. Its really cracked. Its split and sundered and quite messed up. But thats just an annealing schedule failure – no problem! I know exactly what to do – lengthen the time the annealing takes. Excellent.

Its tantalizing me! The promise of a glowing glass piece is just dangling and Im reaching and it will happen.

These are the lovelies that evolved after the long process of casting from the clay originals in my previous post.

Three of these are my best pieces, and for each of them is another version of the same in a box somewhere, with damage from some part of the process.

If you look closely at the yellow figure on the upper right, you’ll see the mold split and glass poured thru during the casting. And while I have ground it off, the mold shifted so much that the forehead sits about a half inch out from where it should be. Much of the hair got broken in removing the mold. And there was a never more than one casting from that original, so sadly, that broken piece is all I have for all that work.

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