Transforming Your Relationship with Self

by Mariah Hicks. photography by Deun Ivory.

Lately, I’ve felt it. Knees bending, hands hitting the ground, dirt accumulating within the grooves of my palms, and I’m sure many have sung the same tune before. The tune of a woman; overwhelmed, weary and emotionally distressed. The tune of a woman whose dance has fallen behind its rhythm, whose tiptoes have become heavy-weighted and whose sun has lowered in its horizon. Lately, I’ve held it. And I know that there are many women whose wrists are growing violet, whose bodies carry bruises in hopes that their daughters will burden no such weight. The same weight that many mothers before us have carried and tried so hard to rid themselves of.

I have carried that weight in the soles of my feet and as these days continue to stretch, I’ve recognized the need to unravel the webs created by the idea that as a woman, I must reside in a world of emotional strain. I’ve recognized the need to find harmony within my journey, the need to slow down and take in every intricate detail. As a woman paving the way for future women, I sometimes easily lose myself in the swing of things. I sometimes forget the need to nurture my soul and take time to do stuff that rekindles the fire within me, especially when my spirit is growing full of burning embers and ash.

In these moments, it is necessary to engage in things you love, in things that feed your energy and builds ground towards a higher degree of existing. At the core of alignment is making time for the things that connect you with love. It’s making time to simply be in spaces or with people where your soul smiles. It’s creating balance within yourself.

In times of conversation with God, I’ve realized that in order to bear the fruit I’ve so desperately been praying for, I need to shift the way I sow my seeds. That means slowing down and catering love to the very bone of my creations.

It means being present.

It means being.

I’ve realized that it is necessary to be one with myself in order to be in union with all I am producing. And it gives me a joyful tune to sing instead of the dreary hymn I so often find my lips parting way for.

This month, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to break away from my usual routine and do some traveling. Being on the road always refreshes my eyes of the beauty this world has to offer and makes me realize the need to exist in such lovely winks and pockets of experience. There’s beauty in the pauses, when you slow down your journey and allow yourself to take in everything.

When you acknowledge and appreciate yourself for the ways you’ve shown up and shown out in the world around you. When you learn to create an experience in every moment you exist in. When you harmonize with all the things you love and admire, the weight becomes softer. You regain your cadence. Your emotions learn to coexist instead of spending their time being at war.

These days, I’m rewriting the tune I have carried. I’m being intentional about establishing unity. I’m dancing on weightless soles and enjoying every movement of my body. When times get tough and I feel my back bending under the strenuous pressure of life, I revisit a piece I wrote to remind myself to simply breathe, exist, be:

Under moonlight and midnight breeze, love harder, sing louder, but slow your dance and take in every moment, every breath, every soft hum of the journey. Feel the earth beneath your toes, but never stop chasing fireflies. Never stop dancing. Never stop singing. Never stop loving. Because the sun will always rise on the edge of the horizon, and I promise, you’ll want to see the glory unfold right before your eyes.

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Mariah Hicks is a recent graduate of Kent State University where she earned her Bachelors in journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is recently a self-published author of “To Wilt and Bloom: A Collection of Poetry and Prose on Growth.” Mariah enjoys using the power of language to inspire women around the world and to cultivate space and positive energy between women of color. Her greatest creations come from the desire to be in constant dialogue with the world. As an avid poet, photographer and overall creative, Mariah uses her free time threading art into the seams of this world. You can find her on Instagram, check out her personal blog and explore some of her personal projects.