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Zetta Elliott: Nice Is Not Enough
Traci Sorell: Why Do You Speak Out?
Justina Ireland: There is A Minefield and You Will Become a Demolitions Expert
Ambelin Kwaymullina: On Being Loud and Hopeful
Cheryl Willis Hudson: Women Lead the Independent Publishing Movement
Laura Jiménez: Static Bodies in Motion: Representations of Girls in Graphic Novels
Sujei Lugo: When Women Speak
Neesha Meminger: I Want to Talk About Power
TRUE POWER RISES
“Because this has been so valuable for very real life survival, I have to share it. It is the nature of the creative force to share.”
When we engage with our creative force as a healing practice and surrender to it as a teacher, it changes everything within and without. That’s because creativity is a place where we can clean up our relationship with power, come into our own truth and watch our truth and true power grow and flourish naturally from within. This kind of awareness and focus progressively repels falsehood and realigns power dynamics from within one’s self.
This is the power of art and the power of the artist. And it belongs to everyone. Each of us can go to a place that only we can access and through our own healing transform reality from that place. This changes our life and our work so that through our living and our creating we share a new way of being with our communities. It’s an exponential system with the essence of true power rising from within at its root.
This has been my personal practice for over 30 years as a femme queer, xicanx creative. At a crucial point in my life I chose to focus on my intimate relationship with the creative force and how to free it at all times. What I’ve found is that this realigns us with nature, awakens our sense of true power, and the desire to be in right relationship with all things. In other words, it brings back our sense of belonging and heals us from some of the trauma of Western colonization, specifically because it steps into territories purposefully repressed by that culture.
Creativity takes us to another place, a place that was once ours and can be again from within.
Because this has been so valuable for very real life survival, I have to share it. It is the nature of the creative force to share.
Since my recovery from my long brush with death everything in my life has guided me to pursue children’s books further. They are truly one of the most radical things we can create for numerous reasons. At the heart of this guidance is the fact that when we engage our creative force this deeply when creating children’s books, we create something wholly different within and wihout. We create something that heals not only us but through our books we can extend that healing out to our children and impact the next generations as well. We can pass on the healing instead of perpetuating unconscious colonized narratives and those insidious ways of thinking and being.
That’s why I created Reflection Press and School of the Free Mind, to seed all of this OUT in as many ways as possible! I share everything I know about children’s books as well as the primary elements that have led to healing because I personally know that we can change the world. I believe in us.
Thank you so much for asking Edi. Large blessings on your good work and the many beautiful spirits you gather here. xomaya
Maya Gonzalez is an artist, progressive educator and award-winning children’s book illustrator and author. Her work focuses on art and story as powerful tools of reclamation and transformation both personally and culturally. Her primary tool of activism is creating and publishing radical children’s books that tell the truth of who we are and what we can be. And she invites grown-ups and kids alike to do the same through her online school and free kids program that teach a holistic approach to creating and publishing children’s books. http://www.mayagonzalez.com