Blueprint for the BLUES

On the winter solstice 2018, my beloved Auntie Teri died. Her 6 year cancer journey came to an end after two slow months of decline. These are the practices I have been using to make this journey of grief easier and more friendly. 

Life goes on. Everyone dies. Can the loss of a loved one be friendly and, daresay, easy? By using these practices, I have been able to ride the waves of GRIEF with grace and ease. I am enjoying the creativity that rests below, between and amidst the feelings of grief.


1. Breathe 


Feel your belly rise and fall with each in and out breath. Breathe deeper. Fill yourself up and empty yourself out. Receive your breath for the gift that it is. Give your breath away with each exhale.

2. Locate Yourself

Where is your attention? Are you in or out? 

Where are your thoughts? 

Place your hands on and bring your attention to your body. 

Notice your body sensations. 

3. Feelings Are Flow 

Scribble anger. Cry. Pout. Whine. Grumble. Growl.

Don’t stop the Feelings.

Let the tears Come.


4. Follow Creative Impulses 


Follow Inner Timing. 

Reach inside and draw out what wants to be born out of your grief. 

Would it feel satisfying to write, draw, color, make collages, create photo or video montages of your loved one?


5. Connecting 


Connect with yourself. 

Be with yourself.

Connect with loved ones and share meals.


6. Silence 


Create alone time. 

Be with yourself in an intimately gentle way. 

Rest in quiet, without outside stimulus. 


7. Be in Nature


Go for a walk. Go for a hike. 

Swim in natural waters like an ocean, lake or river.   


8. Self Care


Be gentle and patient with yourself.

Laugh at yourself.

Get a massage. 

Go to yoga. 

Lay with your belly on the earth. (Katie Hendricks)

Take a long bath with Epsom Salts.

Listen to music. Move. Dance.


9. Create Ceremony


Create dedications. 

Do something in honor of your loved one. 

Create altars with photos and items that belonged to your love one. 

Light a candle. 

Light incense, sage or palo santo. (Ani-La)


10. ASK 


Ask for what you want and need.

Ask for attention.

Ask those who have experienced grief for ideas on how to ride the waves of big feelings. (

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© 2018 by Crystal Dawn Rios