As we kick off a new year we naturally seek ways to start anew. We want to release old, negative, stagnant energy and step into a space of renewed positive energy.  Starting a new year supports the feeling that we have another opportunity to start/complete the things we didn’t start/complete last year. This is an awesome time to do a few activities to help you usher in the new year. Here is one that was recently given to me. I will be doing this activity this week and will blog about my experience.

Energy release activity:

1. Write a letter to 3 people (living or dead) you want to say something to
2. Read each one out loud.
3. Burn the letters
4. Sit quietly and take 7 or more deep breaths. I suggest meditating but the 7 deep breaths will complete the release as well.

I have identified (in my head) who my 3 people will be but when I get ready to write someone else may come to mind. At least two of the people that come to mind are still alive. I admit that I feel a little weird writing this out, reading it aloud and not going straight to them to tell them what I want to say. I am a pretty direct person, however, if I was going to tell them these things I guess I would have already. There is something stopping me and holding me back from living as free as I want to. I no longer want old thoughts to creep into my psyche when my guard is down. So I am starting with dealing with me vs. dealing with the person.

Stay tuned for an update within the week.

Thank you for reading!

Let’s Open Mic TONIGHT!

Open Mic Poetry Night with Award-Winning Poet Shelly Bell

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2016

In celebration of National Poetry Month the Mobile Art Lab is hosting a Live Poetry Open Mic night at the Braddock Interim Park, 600 N. Henry St., on Friday, April 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Poet and advocate Shelly Bell will lead the evenings events with live poetry readings and music. Everyone is welcome to attend and recite his or her own poetry or his or her favorite poems and songs. Refreshments will be available.

Shelly Bell is among the nation’s most sought after writers, community organizers and performers. Excelling as a truly dynamic force in the local (Washington, DC), national and now international media, her work as a performance poet has led to an arts partnership with the Northern VA Fine Arts Association, an interview with NerdWallet, a performance with the world renowned Washington Metro Philharmonic Association, and serving as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Alexandria, VA.

She is the author of All Women are Stupid Sometimes – a contemporary tale of what women endure for love. Her poems have been published for academia in Critical Articulations of Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation which examines the relationship between race, gender and sexual orientation. Shelly has published articles on music, arts, and culture as a contributor for Brightest Young Things, Brooklyn Bodega, and the editor of The Dope Female Critics. She is also the founder of Women Writers Rock – an advocacy group for women readers and writers in the DC metro area and beyond.

She chases the new while maintaining a savvy consistent business flair as a writer, designer, and filmmaker. Shelly Bell is unquestionably an extraordinarily gifted artist mixing uncommon honesty with a populist style. Her unflinching desire to remain honest to herself and her aspiration makes her personal motto entirely true. “Regret Nothing Write Everything!”

Finding Your Flow: Day 1- Finding Security


Today’s meditation was about operating with secure energy vs insecure energy. About a year ago, during a Reiki session it was revealed that I was living in fear. The person who performed the session supplied me with a mantra – “the universe will protect me.” Since then, I repeat this mantra to myself anytime fear arises in my spirit. Today’s meditation was a reminder that feeling safe allows me to overcome the fear of not knowing what will happen next in my life.


1. Observe and be with my feelings. I don’t usually want to have any feelings, therefore I deny them often. Being pregnant doesn’t allow this. This is a great time to engage in my feelings.

2. Insecure Energy. When I feel insecure I feel anxious and I throw myself into planning mode. I try to calculate the move of every significant person in my life and every dollar in my bank account. Insecurity clouds my judgement of what to do and leaves me with lots of questions.

3. Secure Energy. When I feel secure I feel confident, unstoppable, immortal even. These are the most powerful moments in my life. These are the moments where I usually have the most random idea which ends up impacting the most people.

4. Meditation is powerful. Who knew that sitting down, hushing up, and breathing could result in better health!

5. Safety is real. Safe is something I can actually be.

6. I speak up, I stand up, I walk in what I feel because I feel safe doing so.

7. The world is more safe than we have been led to believe.

8. Feeling insecure will create a fear of things that are not real.

9. I am good at reminding myself that I am safe. I am now moving into a space of maintaining feelings of security for longer periods of time.

10. Fear and security are like switches in the brain. When fear is on, security is off. When security is on, fear is off.

National Poetry Month with Shelly Bell

What is Shelly Bell doing for National Poetry Month 2014?


Shelly’s official Spring hashtag is #SpringWithShelly follow the fun!

ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE: April 6th – Shelly Bell performs with the Washington Metro Philharmonic Association | 3pm | $20 for adults, 18 & under are free |

WHEN: Sunday, April 6th, 3pm
WHERE: The Church of Epiphany, 1317 G St, NW

RELEASING AN EP OF UNMASTERED WRITINGS: April 15th @ NOON – Shelly Bell releases “The Songwriter EP.” A collection of songs written by Shelly and performed by various talented artists. These unmastered pieces finally emerge from Shelly’s notebook just for fun.

WHEN: April 15th, Noon

RADIO SHOW: April 16th – 2pm-4pm – SoundBridge presents The Afternoon Crunch – A radio show hosted by Shelly Bell and Delonte Briggs | EVERY WEDNESDAY 2pm-4pm.

WHEN: Every Wednesday, 2pm-4pm
WHERE: listen in at

PRESENTING A NEW POETRY SPACE: April 26th – Salon Logos – FREE! 2pm – 4pm – An afternoon exhibition space where artists map their creative writing with images then present their journey to an egged, intimate group of curious art enthusiasts.

WHEN: Saturday, April 26th, 2-4pm
WHERE: The Athenaeum, 201 Prince St, Alexandria, VA



Believe the Hype: Indie Music at Adams Morgan Day

All Banner 9-1 Med.

Click the picture to view all stages and performances or visit

With over 70 performances on 6 stages, over 200 artists and an expected crowd of over 30,000 people Adams Morgan Day is making an amazing attempt at reviving itself as DC’s premiere family festival! Indie Adams Morgan is the machine behind getting a diverse line-up of amazing local talent to showcase at tomorrow’s festival. The organizers of Indie Adams Morgan have a founding organization called Songwriters and Poets wherein they hold a festival of their own every year. If you are anywhere near the DC Metro area or can get here you DO NOT WANT TO MISS ADAMS MORGAN DAY 2013! 

Hashtags to follow: #ColumbiaStage #BelmontArts #BBS #FloridaStage #AdmoDay2013 

Check out the mobile site at 

I will be hosting the #ColumbiaStage check out the line-up i’m rocking with and come rock with us! 

Feel free to copy the individual posts below and tweet/post along with me! 

11:30am #ColumbiaStage I will welcome the crowd and The Haiku Hitmen warm the stage. #admoday2013 

12pm #ColumbiaStage @gandersonmusic “I write songs to figure out my thoughts, play with ideas, and communicate.” -Garrett Anderson

12:20pm #ColumbiaStage @rillamusic Christine Havrilla “the quintessential pop-rock goddess.”-Dena Marchiony,Philadelphia Songwriters Project

12:50pm #ColumbiaStage @christielenee unique guitar fuses folky/funky playfulness w/ pop/rock inspired songs & virtuosic guitar compositions

1:30pm #ColumbiaStage @laurabaronmusic Song poet Laura powerfully performs and composes contemporary folk, blues and jazz. #admoday2013

1:50pm #ColumbiaStage Kitty Boy! Fans are asking…what is the ‘Kitty Boy’ way! #admoday2013 

2:20pm #ColumbiaStage @moonliscious Some funky helping of rock & jam intensity;shake on some soul and jazz. The flavor of Moonliscious.

2:50pm #ColumbiaStage @wiseeyestribe “we’re about franks tattoos,organic foods, oriental rugs,& a wood-burning stove for the ambience.”

3:20pm #ColumbiaStage @peprmnstr815 “I’m 23. Been writing since 2008. Bow ties are cool. I make faces. Have fun!” -Juels Bland

3:30pm #ColumbiaStage @uglypurpledc Ugly Purple Sweater is an acoustically-tinged indie rock band from Washington, DC. #admoday2013 

4:30pm #ColumbiaStage @lbpdc #LBP is a homegrown, Washington D.C. 4 man, hard-rock band with a penchant for kicking ass! #admoday2013

5:00pm #ColumbiaStage @crochetkingpin collaborates with @boomscat and does what bad muthaf*ckers do with Hip-Hop/Poetry/Soul Fusion!

5:10pm #ColumbiaStage @konshensthemc Konshens views life as change. “Without struggle, there is no progress.” -Frederick Douglass #HipHop

6pm THE HEADLINER #ColumbiaStage @paperhaus Paperhaus is a set of passionate songwriters believe in the transformative power of music.

Follow this blog!

Tweet the creator of this blog @iamshellybell 


How to get over “IT” in 3 Days


When life gives lemons you don’t always know the recipe for lemonade. Sometimes you’re at a lost for steps to take to get over the hump of “IT.” What is IT? IT is “intuitive truth.” The realization that you are facing something your inner self just can’t ignore. IT is real. IT hurts. IT makes you suffer. IT gives you bubbling butterfly guts. IT has you on edge while watching cartoons and comedies. IT is consuming you. I have decided that IT will not conquer me! I have developed my own 3 day process for getting over IT.

Day 1 – Day of Feeling: cry, breakdown, feel humiliated, find blame in you, the thing, or the other person; phone a friend and yell in their ear about how your intuition has to be truth; hang up on your friend (text and apologize); take a walk; don’t do anything to hurt yourself physically; call yourself names (you will correct these on day 2).

Day 2 – Day of Reckoning: Ask questions of yourself about what’s next. Answer your own questions. Have an epiphany. Communicate with the necessary parties. You made it through the most hurtful part of IT. Sage! Turn everything you said yesterday into something positive. Know that you’re human. Know that IT is the result of human action. Know that from today on every decision made is yours. Know that you can make a different decision than the last. Repeat to yourself “I have the power to create the reality I desire.”

Day 3 – Create the reality that you desire. Listen to music that only reflects the love you want. Speak words that reflect the person you are working to be. Wear clothes that show you as comfortable in the beautiful parts of you. Know that you’re the creator of the things you want to see in your world. Know that you can live with or without IT!

Relax. The thing that brought IT about will die in it’s own time. You may not be able to control life’s whirlwinds but you can be happy while staying afloat. Happiness is a choice. Find a joyful bathing suit and JUST KEEP SWIMMING!

Regret Nothing Write Everything!

Kane Mayfield on sparring, poetry, and a “beautiful drug”

I had the chance to catch up with Mania Music Group artist, Kane Mayfield outside of the Emergence Community Arts Collective after his feature at Washington DC’s longest running poetry open mic “Spit Dat.” A rapper featuring at a poetry venue means being heard with high lyrical expectations less the rowdy bar, dj, and crowd heckling. Kane surpassed all expectations by orchestrating an acapella performance with rhyming over a soul clap from the crowd, and flowing with a beat streaming live from his head to his lips. Kane is no stranger to poetry venues, but does not write poems. He owns his art as rap, however, developing the relationships between various arts diversify a rapper into an appeal stretching from the educated mind, to ratchet acts, to street life and back.

Explaining the difference between the experience of a rapper and the experience of a poet, he stated:

“rap is like sparring. You compete until you get to the top then people just want to be entertained. Poetry is the exact opposite. Being a poet is entertainment until you get to a certain level then it’s competition.” 

Rappers aren’t always welcomed into poetry spaces. Even though rap is a form of poetry, poetry is not a form of rap therefore, they are often considered to be two very different animals. When asked how does it feel to be a rapper performing at a poetry event. He replied:

“It’s like the story of The Golden Fleece, where a character on a journey reached a comfortable place. The comfortable place was a welcoming atmosphere but was not the golden fleece. Poetry venues are comfortable for rappers because you don’t have to be somebody to be a poet. You can just be you. In rap, you have to be somebody. Like I said, poetry is from hugs to gloves, rap is from gloves to hugs. This is why sometimes you will see rappers hiding out as poets in poetry venues. I’ve come to own who I am. I am a rapper.” 

Kane has an awesome story of being a rapper who decided maybe rap wouldn’t work out so he went on a traditional life path. This included becoming a financial advisor, working on Wall Street, and becoming engaged to be married. This was never his initial plan. Kane Mayfield is and always will be a rapper. With his slick talk, personable yet street life backed mentality and knowledge of finances I can imagine he gives industry execs a run for their own money!

My interpretation of the first video off of his latest project Rhymes by Kane: Thievery Corporation Edition called “Beautiful Drug” begins with the impeccable emotional story told between images of beauty, the struggle addiction, and savior complex nature of friendship. My honest initial thought was “WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?!” The story seemed typical; dead guy in opening scene coupled with the song title “beautiful drug” means guy must have been killed by drug dealer. The woman with pink hair and glass of wine represents a drunken out of mind beauty which is the result of gaining a certain level of high. The black and white images appear to be a back story related to the progression of the story. The images of Kane rapping in color appear to be the present day conversation between Kane and himself in the mirror about what happened to his friend. As the story forms toward how/who killed the guy previously shown dead in the opening scene I expected to see him avenge his friend by hunting down a potential killer. However, I was totally off! At the conclusion of the video it is actually Kane whose the drug dealer that killed his friend who was a drug dealing drug addict. I immediately wanted to know/see more. I watched the video two and three times over listening to the lyrics and watching the story unfold backwards and forwards in front of me. In an attempt to save his friend from being killed by the drugs they both dealed he took his life in a savior/hero fashion. The video and lyrics of “Beautiful Drug portray the realism behind the misery of addiction combined with the misery of those affected by the addicted.

After just meeting Kane and interviewing him about poetry I wanted to call him up and ask him “are you sure you’re not a poet!” If not a poet, I would say he is ultimately a creative mastermind and storyteller to which much attention deserves to be paid.

Read more:

Morning page

The morning page = writing an entire page of whatever comes to mind upon waking up. Putting the pen to page or fingers to keyboard and writing non-stop until you’ve reached a page. The writer does not go back and edit the “morning page” all spelling and grammatical errors are forgiven because this is a total freedom of expression.

Today’s morning page…

I read somewhere that as a healthy psychological practice you should wake up every morning and write a full page of whatever is on your mind before speaking. This actually works especially for a person like me who is always thinking even in my sleep. I am going to try to do this every day for at least a month. I am in a place of soul-searching. In order to soul search I actually have to start sifting through my soul a little. These morning writing exercises will help me do that. I have already failed at the task of not speaking before writing because I speak about 3 times when I wake up. I yell to my kids “good morning little children.” I speak to the scale “hmm so this great/bad, welp.” Then I speak to myself in the mirror most really quickly while washing my hands “these locs are so frizzy! I do/don’t feel slim today.”

When I yell to the kids they yell back “good morning mom!.” The scale just usually blinks blank after showing me I am obese and the mirror…well the mirror…hmm..Mirrors are an interesting concept. They reflect but they don’t echo. They just give me image and not sound. At least I don’t think so. I need to research this. Imagine that everything you say to your mirror is not only reflected in an image but in a sound. This would mean that you would actually be talking to your image or your image would be talking to you. Like me looking in the mirror saying “these locs are frizzy” and my reflection would still be saying “frizzy frizzy frizzy” two seconds after I’ve finished talking! That sounds like some weird sci-fi movie. BUT maybe this would help build self-confidence or at least identify where we are tearing ourselves down. If a woman said to this mirror “i am fat” the mirror would say “I I am am fat fat fat…” and she would be right there listening to her own voice. Maybe then she (I) would become more conscious of what she’s doing to herself. hmmm….that’s interesting. Maybe I should invent something like that.

I am always looking to invent something even if it’s reinventing myself. Well as this morning page comes to a close I plan to workout today, eat at least 1490 calories, read a book, write something new, and celebrate something.

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned!

Pura Vida,

Blue moon out tonight…


 Every BLUE MOON (5th Monday) I host…

4251 South Campbell Ave 

Arlington, 22206

APRIL 30, 2012



Busboys and Poets is a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted…a place to take a deliberate pause and feed your mind, body and soul…a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide…we believe that by creating such a space we can inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world.

Expect to be moved, expect a packed house, expect the unexpected, but above all come with an open mind and ear. List opens at 8:30 PM. 


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