Switch It Up – Poetic Brain Dump #soc

SOC = Steam of Consciousness 

  • Set the timer for 5 mins.
  • Get comfortable.
  • Type anything that comes to mind.
  • This is a way to clear the mind before starting the day or before going to bed.
  • This may not make sense to anyone but me (maybe, ha!)
  • The people mentioned are real people. The names may/may not be their real names.
  • This is unedited.


Switch it up. 

The bed has 4 aides and none of them are right or wrong. 

The bed doesn’t get you out of it.

The walls don’t talk.

The streets don’t watch.

The grapevine doesn’t echo.

Raisins don’t dance.

Lions don’t laugh…wait do they?

Our train of thought’s name isn’t Thomas or the little engine that could.

It is circus.

It is illusion.

It is zoo.

All of our thoughts are animals who used to be wild.

Used to risk takers.

Now caged. Taught to live as spectacles.

Taught that spectacle is safe.

A dog that will bring a bone will take one.

Because bones aren’t supposed to hurt anyone.

In fact, nothing is supposed to hurt anyone.

#theend #shellyism #soc 

What is “Living the Dream?”


During my morning peruse of Facebook posts I came across a very inspiring post from a fellow poet about landing the VP of Marketing position at a major American bank. Immediately, I was super happy for her! To see a woman, a black woman, rising in corporate America is always something I celebrate. I was going on a “liking spree” of all of the comments that congratulated her. One comment in particular made me pause. It read “congratulations on living your dream.”

I thought, “hmm, is this her dream? Like THE dream?” It is a mark of success for sure. It is a great accomplishment that deserves many praise, congratulations, and continued acknowledgement. But was it her dream or perceived as a dream come true from the person commenting? Whether it was her dream or not doesn’t affect how amazing it is. Even though I am mentioning this post and I’m overjoyed about her success, this blog post is NOT about the beautiful successful black woman. It is more about the idea of “living the dream” and what that may mean to people.


Living the dream begins with knowing what the dream is. In reference to actual dreams, there are many times you wake up and can’t remember what you dreamed. There are many times where your dreams are half scenes of abstract symbols. Life goals as dreams can be the same. Who are you? What are your dreams? Who makes the call on whether or not you are living your dream?

Living the dream vs. Dreaming the dream

An artist on Myspace (super long time ago) said to me “at some point everyone must wake up.” Dreaming the dream is pretty, it’s whimsical, it’s being lost in possibilities. Living the dream is work, it’s building, it’s starting, it’s risky, its focused, and it can be scary. Living the dream starts with actually living it. Living day one of it. Laying the first brick. Taking the first step. Living it and arriving at the ultimate goal of the dream are two different things. No matter what obstacles come your way if you are taking intentional steps inside of your dream, you are still living the dream. It’s the difference between walking under a cloud and into the fog. The difference between walking beside the river and swimming it. Which one are you doing?

Can unemployment be living the dream?

In part of said post the author mentioned  “…I hope y’all didn’t think I was going to stay unemployed?” I thought, “when was she unemployed?” She has been so fierce and confident in her posts that unemployment never even crossed my mind. In my initial response I wrote “a woman with a boss mentality is never unemployed!” Pay attention to where you are. Being unemployed means you’re not committed to building someone else’s dream. Working for someone else is not America’s wealth building model. However, there’s a layer of fear placed on people of a certain class and/or race/ethnicity to believe that the “American Dream” will always be just a dream to them. If you have the will to live your dream you will recognize unemployment from a traditional job as an opportunity to kick start your dream. If you have the will to live your dream you will find a way regardless of what traditional employment or conservative America says.

Marks of success

Immediate wealth was never a part of my dream. In fact, the idea of immediate wealth has held me back from my dream more times than not. Money is not the ONLY mark of success available. Assets, board membership, network growth, product growth, production, and brand establishment are all marks of success. Power is probably one of the largest unidentified marks of success. Many wealthy people have filed bankruptcy. Not because they are broke per se, but to maintain the power over their assets. Media prophesies to consumers that wealth is ONLY money in the bank. That’s not true. Wealth is credit, assets, and memberships.  Being able to afford something is all about how resourceful you are.

I am inspired

In August, I was laid off with over a month’s pay, insurance, and approval of unemployment (which is not automatic for everyone).  I have support for my townhouse. I have a support circle for my sanity. I have a vision for my next move. I am living the dream! My dream!


  • Founder and ED of Women Writers Rock which includes programming, housing, and products for self-identified women and their children.
  • No 9-5 to suffocate my goals under.
  • I am present with my children.
  • I am learning to operate a TV Studio.
  • I am networking with filmmakers and volunteering on their projects while working on my own.
  • I am applying for fellowships in Media and Arts.
  • I am writing plans for business acquisitions and rental properties.

What have I been sobbing about? Being unemployed? I’ve employed myself to build my dreams! I just needed to tweak my perception to see the path. This is one of the few days where a Facebook post and comment were awesome additions to my day!

Thank you for reading!

10 Steps to Getting Out of Your Feelings

let me help you out of your feelings








The phrase “in your feelings” is often used to describe the overwhelming feeling that something is bothering you and you can’t let it go. Some things are easy to brush off while others require some type of action that will help you move on with your life. There’s nothing wrong with being “in your feelings.” You are human and allowed to feel whatever whenever you like. However, being “in your feelings” is like swimming in quick sand. While the sinking feeling may feel like something you can swim through, you are surely sinking to a place of suffocation.

Here are 10 steps to getting OUT of your feelings: 

Step 1 – Ask yourself “Why am I in my feelings.”

Step 2 – Evaluate if being in your feelings is productive.

Step 3 – Evaluate how productive you want/should be.

Step 4 – If being “in your feelings” is affecting where you want/should be take a moment to recognize that.

Step 5– Sit in your feelings for no more than 7 minutes.

Step– 6 do 10 jumping jacks in your feelings while repeating “I am in my feelings.”

Step 7– Get water and repeat one last time “whew, I am in my feelings!”

Step 8– Evaluate how productive the jumping jacks were.

Step 9– If you’re life has not been made better in the hour that it took you to do steps 1 – 9 repeat “let it go [add your name] 10 times.

Step 10– Continue the rest of your day and if the urge to get back in your feelings happens do jumping jacks or simple repeat to yourself “let it go [add name].

If these steps don’t work there is no hope for you and you should just sit in your feelings then repeat “let it go [add name]” all day till you get over it.

How to Reinvent the Wheel in Four Steps

iStock_000000093770XSmall reinventing the wheelReinventing the wheel is not advice given by many. However, the “wheel” is usually referred to as a material item or a task where previously created versions allow you a shortcut to arriving at a final destination. When the wheel is you and the ability to roll on or over certain things is fading, a little reinventing could be in order.



How am I a wheel?

We are not circles, but cylinders. We have three axles that we revolve on…intellectual, spiritual, and emotional. Your intellectual axle is the way you naturally process things. Some people are quick thinkers while others need a moment to muddle over things before making decisions. Your spiritual axle is the natural intuitive ability given to every human being. It’s that push to grab and umbrella even though you can’t see rain in your immediate vision. You decide against this axle all the time. You will often get a few miles down the road and find yourself in the middle of a downpour. Your emotional axle is the natural draw toward feelings. This draw happens all day long whether you want it to or not. You are constantly in some state of feeling even when you don’t feel like you’re feeling anything. The common thread among the three axles is the word “natural.” Just as the wheel on a car, the construction is there. The axles are in place. In order to flow without interruption there has to be a periodic alignment.

How to reinvent yourself in four steps:

1. Study your past self to create your future self. Reinventing a thing is not related to deconstructing a thing. It is related to starting anew with a process that someone has already come up with.  Do not spend time ripping your past apart. Make observations, note your past, then begin drawing conclusions for the prototype of your new self. Break down each axle into daily functions and create goals for how they should operate.

2. Sit with your prototype for a day or so. There are not many inventors who settle on their inventions upon developing the very first draft. Allow yourself to erase and narrow down what your future self should be doing. Check off each axle as you address it. It is quite possible that your prototype will never be finished, however, it will be operable. Being operable is much better than sitting in a garage.

3. Test the prototype. Inventions go through several testing steps before being considered invented. Test yourself a bit. Play with the prototype you have created. Listen to feedback from people you interact with. If your prototype has several layers, take your time and try one layer at a time. Test each axle one at a time. Take notice of the response from each as you are being tested by your environment. Use your notes to orchestrate your own tests.

4. Be the invention. After the studying, drafting, and testing you are ready to rock and roll! All axles are aligned and in “go” mode. Your days will flow smoothly. Do not be afraid to realign your new wheel as often as necessary by revisiting your draft. After a few months you may notice a few upgrades to add. Add them!

5 Myths about Love

Myth 1: You complete me

If someone says this to you…RUN! OR make sure that you are an incomplete person who is looking for another incomplete person. When you read that out loud it sounds absolutely ridiculous. If you are looking to fall in love or find love and haven’t yet this is possibly your problem. Become whole and complement one another. Unless you are an incomplete person hearing the words “you complete me” will not be the moment you decide this person is the “ONE.” Complement me don’t complete me. I am already a whole person. This is a great transition into the next myth.

Myth 2: I am looking for the ONE

Being that you will be a part of at least two relationships where you feel completely satisfied with the someone and they won’t be so satisfied with you it is not realistic that there is a “ONE” out there. It could be the “first kiss” crush from elementary school to the high school sweetheart or even the college mate. The relationship could have lasted a short three days, but for that three days of agreement you felt like he/she was the ONE. You were perfectly correct! Even though you were considered too young to be kissing, or too old to be letting go of such a long relationship you still considered yourself lucky to have them! Once you noticed that he pees on the toilet seat or she does not cook you probably became less in like therefore less in love. Then determined that this person is not the ONE after all. This is not true. They were the ONE for that time period. That’s completely OK. Now on to the next ONE.

Myth 3: Love is all we need

BULLSHIT! Love is an emotion and just like all emotions, guess what…IT WILL PASS! It will come back, then go away, then pass, then go away. In the moments that love has passed you will find yourself actually trying to relate. “Relate” is the root word of “relationship” however people forget all about this when they have the overwhelming “love” bug. You know the one where all you can hear, eat, breath or think about is THEM…the ONE….then you sit in the pee he left on the toilet seat or get hungry and look for her to cook a meal and realize you don’t know if you like them so much. If something happens once or twice it’s considered an incident, but when habits become routine it should be considered a part of your personality. Evaluate each personality you feel overwhelmingly in love with for compatibility. Can you last 20 years sitting in pee or not having a hot meal from the one you love? Will your ideas of family fit into that space? Is this person a dirty person? Is this person forgetful? Do you want to clean up after them or always be the ONE cooking? The biggest question…”IS THIS RELATIONSHIP SUSTAINABLE.”

Myth 4: If you love me you would….

If you have to say this what you probably mean is “if you like what I want you to do or are able to like me enough to just do what I want then you would do it.” This is rooted in instant gratification. We all want it. We all need it. The momentary “I will do anything you want me to do because I love you so much.” Emotion is measured by action. If you’re sad I wouldn’t know you’re sad unless you say or act sad. We think the same of love. If you don’t do something like marry me, buy me gifts randomly, or create a romantic atmosphere of some sort you don’t love me. We have to ask ourselves questions about the relationship we seek/allow. We feel like we’re in love in a matter of weeks due to the way we are treated. Some people actually marry each other in a few weeks and it works for them. You may not be that exception. Stop trying to be. Love does not look like a particular action that takes place a few times a year. It’s actually a feeling. Feelings motivate you to be romantic, to spend time with a person, to hold them, to be there when they need you, and to just be a part of their lives holistically. The ideas of love in one person have to complement the ideas of love in another. The actions of love look very similar across relationships of all sorts. Think about it. What does the media tell us love looks like? We use these images as our definitions of love. The most widely known and marketed ways of love is what we determine is our own way of showing love and being in love.

Myth 5: I love you but I am not “in love” with you


love is to feet wet as “in love” is to underwater

love is to warm as “in love” is to fire

love leads to exclusive dating as “in love” leads to marriage

love is to like a lot as “in love” is to like a lot more than anybody

If you have ever defined love as something you are inside of, outside of, sitting around, on top of, or under you are delusional. In fact, if you refer to love as any type of locale whether relative or geographical you are delusional. I have also been this person. Love is  a feeling. It is triggered by experiences. Most of these experiences are not new. They come from childhood, previous romantic and/or platonic relationships. When people become conscious of the fact that a sustainable relationship is not possible with a person they are involved with they will consider themselves falling out of love. How much does this say about falling in love? Is love something we feel we can take our time with? Has the media put us on notice that everyone whether male or female has a love clock ticking? Maybe they are right! Maybe they are on to something, however it’s not the something shone so plainly in the happy ending of a movie. It is the portion of the movie that is too long and boring to show. The part where the person keeps a running checklist of the “likes” and “don’t likes” of the relationship they’ve chosen. It’s the part where he pees on the toilet and you clean it 100 times all the while head over heels in love, then the 101 time you decide you don’t want to make to the 1000th time. It’s the part where your “going out” budget is becoming overwhelmingly taxing on your lifestyle all because she can’t cook. You begin to realize that you can’t eat out forever. You realize that you’re getting older and fatter all because your woman can’t cook. These things sound so minute in the first two years of a relationship. They end up being the simple death of lots of relationships.

Of course your thing may not be peeing on the toilet or cooking, but there’s some quirk about you that makes you an unsustainable mate for someone. However that someone has to determine this before riding off into the sunset with you then wanting to ditch you by morning.


If you would like to be in a committed relationship that leads to marriage consider actually focusing on relating! By this I mean don’t start unsustainable actions to impress someone. Don’t begin a romantic routine you can’t keep up. Notice that this person does not have the lifestyle that best fits you early on in dating. Be conscious about what you really want. Use paper and pen to write down what you think you want then re-evaluate after each relationship. Meet, greet, relate, reflect, move!

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

Homo After Sex

If we replace the word “sex” with the word “gender” in the phrase “same sex” maybe the world could get over thinking of “sex as gender” and “sex as an act” as the SAME thing. Our society is so oversexed that even typing the word sex as many times as I have thus far feels nasty. When talking about relationships whether homo or hetero our dialogue is often incomplete. I feel that women spend more time profiling a man for the future than seeing him in a moment. The first few dates are equivalent to a sandbox where his end looks as fun as hers but is filled quicksand. The woman sits as a giddy kid with a new playmate figuring out whether or not she should throw him a life line of some sort. The men feel themselves sinking while hoping they’re swimming. At the same time the men want sex as a validation that they are not sinking. However, society presses a woman to have sex as long as it’s not too soon or too late. Too soon would make her a “whore” and too late would cause her to miss out on an opportunity to have sex with a “good man” in order to evaluate him as a “good husband.”


Well, it’s the same in “same sex” relationships.  Except with lesbians it’s two women sinking in quicksand on both sides of a sandbox and I imagine with gay men they both think they’re swimming while sex is just a part of the process. If people could get past the idea that two men or two women are only together to have sex then homosexuality would be just as any other relationship. People have said so many things about homosexual relationships and they are all related to having sexual intercourse. I’ve heard the argument that God meant for women to procreate and you can’t do that with same sex relationships. Who knows what God meant? The only book we have to figure it out was written by all men and we can’t possibly believe that God stop inspiring people to write centuries ago. Not only that the only people he inspired was men? Really? That’s a whole other story. The point is “sex” as in gender is not the same as “sex” as in sexual intercourse. If you’re homosexual you probably had these feelings before having sex and after having sex. Yet either way you still have to actually get to know a person another person regardless of gender in order for a relationship to work.

Could I marry a woman?

I said all of the above about sex and gender to say that in the course of getting to know a potential mate I begin to see patterns in the women just as I did in the men. I have to step back and ask myself who am I choosing and why. I believe that the potential mates you choose are a reflection of where you are in life. The one who succeeds as the actual mate should be one you see going into a new life with. Now after being homo and hetero in my lifetime I realize that after sex we still have to relate. It’s not that I didn’t know this before. I just think that I too was guilty of making homosexuality all about the “sexual preference” as in “sexual intercourse preference.” This is an ignorant thought. At the moment I can’t see myself marrying a woman because I haven’t found a woman that makes me feel the security I would want in a “forever mate” situation. This could change. Honestly, I don’t know if I see myself getting married to anyone of any gender. I will always like women and I will always like men. Until there’s individuals who can understand this about me I will be single. I like relating to men and women alike not just that I like having sexual intercourse with men and women.


Call to action…

1. STOP grossing yourself out over homosexual relationships because you view sex between the same sex as inappropriate or nasty. “Sexual preference” should refer to gender not sexual intercourse.

2. START considering that two people can get to know and love each other regardless of gender. You have friends right?

3. LIVE your life as you truly please, but realize it’s your life not mine, hers, or his. LIVE yours. Be slow to judge books by spines, at least look at the entire cover.

4. RESPECT your own choices by allowing someone else to have choice. Know the difference between your choice and the choice you want for all men or all women.

5. DON’T think that every lesbian or gay male likes you just because you think you’re sexy. Just because you are desired by the opposite sex does not mean you are desired by the same sex. Most times heteros are too big an obstacle to convert to homos therefore, no one would really care to take on that challenge.

Your perception is real to you. Ignorance disbands positive reality. Open your mind or stay closed minded. If closed minded people would stay closed mouthed everyone would be much happier.

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

Steps to vulnerability pt 2

What is this term that means so much yet feels so unsafe? Vulnerability. The ability to be “vulnerable.” One of the reasons I am unable to be emotional is because I have to define everything before engaging in it. Now that I actually google the definition for the word vulnerable I am not exactly sure I want to be vulnerable. The web definitions found explain that vulnerability is the state of being exposed to the possibility of being harmed or attacked. Well, I have now scared myself out of being vulnerable. Who wants to be exposed to the possibility of attack? Knowingly? Why? For love?


First, I visit the idea of something emotional, then I define the emotion, and finally I decide to not feel the emotion. As of this moment I am feeling like I don’t want to be vulnerable at all. Maybe this is just a fancy way of saying when we seek or find relationships we let our guards down. What if letting your guard down lets a terrorist in, ya know, the love gobbling mate that shoots down your heart? “Ah ha!” Trust is a part of vulnerability. What does this even mean? I have to trust that he/she is possibly ok to let into my safe space because I desperately want to rid myself of some emotion. Is this why people want to fall in love so much? Are we all walking bottles of water just waiting for the cap to be twisting or our sides to be pierced in relief? I want to fall into someone’s arms and feel safe there. However, these feelings come once a month or on during chick flicks. How real is this yearning for these special love arms?

Step 2: If I am ever going to allow myself the comfort of vulnerability I have to trust. I cannot use definitions as a barrier between the realization of emotion and the actual feeling of the emotion. At the same time I have to find a way to evaluate my feelings without the evaluation turning me so cold.

Steps to vulnerability…

Every now and then my human side kicks in and I get emotional. It usually happens when I watch a chick flick, ya know, a love movie. One of those movies where people actually like each other, try not to date, date, then try not to fall in love, fall in love, then have a tragic breakup, and finally run back to each other. Somewhere in the “we should be together forever” speech I start believing in happy endings again. Tonight I watched one of those movies. Tonight I had one of those moments. In the midst of getting teary eyed I realized that I haven’t cried in a while. I haven’t had any emotions related to love in a while. I want to get back to that. I want to get back to believing in fairytale endings. I want to find someone who I can be vulnerable enough with to cry and love. I can’t predict the gender, complexion, nor personality of that person. I just know that I want to be open to it when it presents itself.

Step 1: get back to finding vulnerability for myself by myself. I have to trust myself enough to be vulnerable with myself before I can consider what it means with someone else….

Stay tuned for more steps….




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