I loooooove this! Especially as I’m always trying to channel my Inner Chingona to work it for me in all aspects of my life. I decided that I wanted to start writing when I couldn’t find my story in any book that I had read. One summer, I decided to read books by Latino authors from A to Z: A lot of the great Latina authors, and some of my favorites, were books I read first because their last names ended in A, B, C: books by Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, and Sandra Cisneros among many others. Some books were ok, some I didn’t like, most I totally LOVED.
The books I loved best were the ones by Chicana, Mexican-American authors like Ana Castillo, Denise Chavez, and Sandra Cisneros. In their stories, I began to hear snippets of “my” story, I began to see in writing, in black and white, English and Spanish written together as well as Spanglish — just like I talked all of the time! When I started to practice writing, I also started to notice that it was easy for me to write as I thought, that it came out ok, that people understood it, that they ‘got it’, that I lost none of the Latina flavor that I loved — and I felt like I was finally home.
While I have yet to read my exact story, probably because I have yet to write it LOL, I was highly influenced by these authors and especially empowered by Sandra Cisneros: straight-up Chicana, no holds barred, hilarious, insightful, and she wrote about experiences that I had gone thru like moving out of the house without being married…OMG, I was either the first or surely one of the first in my entire familia to do this so who could really understand what that was like? Sandra Cisneros put it out there and I so related to it.
One of the things that I try to do with my writing is to be myself, to be as authentic as possible, to embrace the fact that I am not perfect at all, to try to talk about my experiences in the hope that someone will relate to them, find that little pedacito that they can identify with and maybe we can all do great things by channeling our perspective Inner Chingona.
So when I saw the Ten Commandments of Chingonas written by none other than Sandra Cisneros — I just HAD to share it! Believe me, there are some of these commandments that I must work on more than others! But, finally, there is a road map LOL.
How to Be a Chingona in 10 Easy Steps
- Live for your own approval. Center yourself. Be alone. Create your own space.
- Discover your own powers. What floods you with joy?
- Find true humility and practice it.
- Keep your palabra, your word.
- What are you using to cover or mask your pain? Address it.
- Your only true possessions are your actions.
- Seek forgiveness.
- Live in the present moment.
- Depression has a purpose if you use it before it uses you. Transform it to light. Compost it through art. If you can’t do it by yourself, see a professional curandera (healer, therapist).
- Listen to your body.
– Sandra Cisneros