Fall 2017 Latinx Writing Retreat Reflections – Self-Care

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This last weekend I attended a writing retreat centered around Latinx self-identified female writers. The retreat was titled, “Reflections on Getting Out of Our Own Way as Writers.” It was led by ire’ne lara silva who is an incredible soul.

Understanding what we need as writers as far as self-care was a major takeaway for me. I don’t often practice self-care because I make everything a job. I can learn how to do anything. It’s one of my greatest strengths. Yet, instead of treasuring something for myself (such as knitting, embroidery, hand lettering), I turn my new-found adventures into jobs. I mask work with self-care.

I always feel I have to prove something to myself. If I don’t hustle, who will?

I’m grateful for the space we created for each other as women of color. Our healing was contingent upon story. This weekend, few women shared their personal stories and we each began to heal in a new way. What we each believed of God, we stood open to receive that.

It all began with what we believed about ourselves and of writing.

Here are the questions posed and their answers. We were required to write only one sentence. I will post this, as requested, near my work space and at work where I can refer to it often. I hope you do the same.

Why do you write?

I write because I don’t know how not to.

Why is your current project important to you?

My current project is important to me because I need to emerge.

What does your writing do for you?

My writing challenges me to not stay comfortable in my faith.

What is your overall project as a writer?

My overall project as a writer is to identify.

Another question asked of us was, “What would you wish for each other at this retreat?”

My wish/prayer

I wish you wholeness. I wish you life. I wish you the gift of daybreak where the sun kisses the horizon and never asks for anything in return. I wish you embers that burn tiny holes on your soul to let the light out. I wish you understanding in this body and in the next. I wish you a transformed life, a freedom uncaged, disruptive of the system oppression visible in the folds of your skin, on the lapel of your marginalized body. I wish you light on the trail under your bare feet. I wish you breath where you have been suffocated ahogada, callada, excavada. I wish you vida abundande – medicina para tu corzaón fiel. I wish loyalty to your hands as you navigate words and carry down history in the stream of your back, bone of my bone. I wish you ease when you masticate the gristle of family and faith.

Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros
November 12, 2017
Loma Linda – Maxwell, Texas

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Cover photo credit: Photo by João Silas on Unsplash