What happens when you lose sight of who you are? Is it sudden or progressive? Is it like traveling and having your sight set on an object or place, only to watch it fade into the distance, farther and farther away? Or is it like having parts of you go numb as if they no longer exist anymore in their living, breathing form? For me, it has felt like all of the above. I have been to heights so sweet you wish you could freeze them, bottle them, place them in the forefront of your memory to experience again and again. I’ve also been to despairing lows where I’ve struggled to awaken the parts of myself that had become lifeless and unresponsive, parts once alive with energy and vigor.
One of my powerful places and electric feelings has been on stage. I started writing at about age 12 and performed the first official time at 13. I was so young my brothers had to accompany me to the club, just to ensure I got in as an act. This relationship with the mic and music and how it moved me ignited a new flame inside me, one that became so alive and so transformative that it would take me to new heights and places of expansion. I’ve performed both Nationally and Internationally, sharing my voice and words with different people and locations as a way to communicate my craft, express myself and assert who I am.
During this experience, I found her, my Wild Woman; the part of me that knew how to express herself freely. There was defiance within me but resistance from those around me. They tested me and in many cases felt I didn’t deserve to be a part of this circle, this world of words where men dominated. This only made my inner Wild Woman stronger, more hungry, more determined to fight for her place, and more convicted than ever to state who she was.
I’ve battled many men on this playing field, women, too. My skill showed and proved I belonged there. But the battle soon became a battle with myself, trying to figure out how to stay on top and navigate in the ever-changing climate of music and Hip Hop while mothering and working a 9 to 5 job that monopolized most of my time and energy. Consequently, the Wild Woman began to fade. She faded more with every new layer of responsibility and expectation. She faded by forgetting who she was underneath it all. She faded from feeling too far behind in the fight… only to realize one of the strongest weapons she has to protect herself in battle is always there. Her voice.
Her voice. I can hear her echo inside me as I write these words. I am on this journey to reclaim that unbridled part of me I’ve lost somewhere deep inside. I’m thawing out, slowly moving muscles and toes, ready to heat them up into prophetic prose. I’m ready to use every fiber of who I am to reclaim her rightful status and place on the Earth we share. Time is precious. Each moment is a choice to forget her or praise her, comfort her, indulge her, make her feel safe, feel loved, feel heard, feel wild, feel expressed, feel free! Come with me on this journey to reclaim your own wild soul.
I am honored to facilitate the upcoming Reclaim The Wild Woman online workshop as a part of Sacred Warrior and the Sacred Warrior mission created by my true friend and authentic Wild Woman, Vanessa Chakour. We have been excited about this collaboration for years and now the time is right and it has finally materialized into one we can share with you. The course is in development and will be posted soon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Queen Herawinis a Hip-Hop artist, poet, visual artist, curator, film documenter, and college professor. She is a member of the family-based group, The Juggaknots. As a group, they have produced projects such as The Re-Release, Use Your Confusion, The Love Movement, and WKRP in NYC. Metamorphosis, her solo album released in 2015, gave an expanded view into her creative expression and individual voice. However, projects such as the Lyricist Lounge Vol. 1 set a tone in the early ’90s with the song “Weight” showing her lyrical position as an Indelible MC. She would later follow up with another strong feature alongside brother Breeze Brewin on Prince Paul’s Hip-Hop-like-Opera, A Prince Among Thieves. There is also a solid track record of artist collaborations from Apani B Fly to Mr. Len of Company Flow to Wordsworth, Masta Ace, Tiye Phoenix, and Stahhr that illustrates what she does on the mic. She has toured and taught within the U.S. and Internationally, sharing her passion for the arts worldwide.