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 

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!

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.

Finding Your Flow: 21 Day Meditation with Deepak and Oprah


I was recently discharged from an abusive employer (happy about that), I am about four months pregnant with my third child at 33 years old, my children are happy, I am in a very loving relationship with the man of my dreams, I have progressed as an artists/writer, and life seems to be flowing perfectly. However, I am in a very transitional space. I still have no clue what I want to do with my life. I want to be a life coach, I want to travel, I want to be a stay at home mom, I want to write books, I want to turn my books into plays, I want to start social media management again, and I want to start a movement! I decided to partake in Oprah and Deepak’s newest 21 day meditation “Finding Your Flow.”

This is 21 Days of guided meditation geared toward shaping life energies toward a free-flowing space of productivity and peace. I plan to document the experience by engaging in the meditation each morning then blogging my vibe/reflections after the meditation. Each blog post will be labeled with the title of overall meditation, the day and title of the meditation focus for that day. I don’t want to go on this journey expecting an answer or trying to shape the end result. I am going to relax, stay open, and submit to the meditation practice.

What better place to blog this journey than REGRET NOTHING WRITE EVERYTHING!

Here we go! Let the journey begin!


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 www.adamsmorgandaymobile.com

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 adamsmorgandaymobile.com 

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 


K-Ci & Jo Jo at the Howard Theatre (Photostory)

The following is a photostory of my experience at the K-Ci & Jo Jo show at The Howard Theatre last weekend. Special thanks to Keith Estep Photography (who had no clue I was going to do this) for the pics!


Two baptist preachers walk on stage disguised as K-Ci & Jo Jo. Wait! Whaduya know?! It is K-Ci & Jo Jo. I wonder if they’re sober. You were thinking it too! We all are. What will they do? Will K-Ci strip down to bare chest and boxers? Will Jo Jo be able to carry a note? Who cares?! Just sing my song! My song = Tell Me It’s Real, Get On Up, All My Life, any Jodeci song, and their rendition of If You Think You’re Lonely Now.


Surprisingly K-Ci can still hold a note. He is not the sexy 90’s R&B brother from Jodeci anymore….wait! He was never that guy. It was Mr. Dalvin I was after. K-Ci was the voice of the group no one can deny that. The vest and tie are light years away from long black leather coats, shorts, and boots.


Jo Jo….can’t hold a note anymore. The sound folks kept placing annoying echo affect on the mics to help them carry the notes a little further. This didn’t help Jo Jo much. He sounded like a drunk uncle at Karaoke after bible study. He’s somewhat spiritual, somewhat hopeless, and you find yourself somewhat cheering for him to “sing it Jo Jo, SING IT!”


Please tell me that the above picture is does not look like Sunday night service at your local mega church just as they are about to ask for the offering. It sounded this way too. I swear that I was waiting for them to start talking about the building fund and how they were about to open a new church in the year 2017. Then claim it as God’s year because it ends with a 7.

To sum it all up the show was disastrous, but being the 80’s baby and 90’s R&B fan that I am I can’t help but love K-Ci & Jo Jo no matter what they do. The most realistic expectation of their shows is that you will be entertained and they will sing your favorite song of theirs. I am not sure if this song will sound like the song you call your favorite but it will be something like it.

Here’s a new joint from K-Ci & Jo Jo – Knock It Off

I did write a more serious review of this show. As soon as it’s up I will tweet the link @iamshellybell. Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more photostory coverage of your favorite artists!


Regret Nothing Write Everything

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!

Shelly Bell directs a play for SWAN DAY!

What’s Better Than a Day of FREE Art?
A Day of FREE Art Created by Women!
Join us Saturday, March 23, 2013
for the 6th Annual 


FREE Theatre, Poetry, Dance and Storytelling Performances!   

12noon – 3:00pm   Staged Reading Marathon

Thirteen 10-minute plays — culled from the best of the past five DC SWAN Days women playwrights from all over the USA, and directed by DC’s woman directors.

written by Katherine Burkman
Directed by SHELLY BELL

At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave., NW  (Although this event is free, there is a small admission charge for the Museum visit http://www.nmwa.org for more information)

CHECK OUT SHELLY’S UPCOMING SHOWS at http://www.iamshellybell.com

On conscious rap’s need to reconsider and improve standards of live performance excellence…

Photos by Diamond Dixon


In seeing Lupe Fiasco, Erykah Badu and Mos Def – three of the most influential conscious hip-hop artists to date – in one week, it created a personal awakening surrounding a desire to re-consider how/if we should analyze hip-hop as a performance art? Is Hip-Hop a performance art? Arguably, it is. The mainstream music industry is now pushing not just hip-hop artists, but all artists into relying heavily on concerts as their most stable source of immediate income. Therefore regardless of whether it is a performance art or not, artists to perform well in order to survive.

Historically, hip-hop culture centered around a party where the emcee just kept the party going. However, if the emcee is standing in place rapping the lyrics to his own song couldn’t you just do the same while a DJ spins at a local club? Prior to this I have attended many Hip-Hop shows and the usual routine is the show starts late, an opening local unknown rapper bores the crowd, then the mainstream artist finally comes out. Artist noted as old-school such as The Pharcyde, Smif-N-Wessun, or M.O.P usually have over ten people on stage along with weed smoke and alcohol. Watching a rapper on stage can be as grueling and enjoyable as karaoke. Sure you get to rap along, but the actual performance doesn’t matter much. As long as the crowd is familiar with the song the show is considered awesome.

This is exactly what I was thinking at the Lupe Fiasco concert at the Filmore (Silver Spring, MD). This was his first time back in the DC area after being kicked off the stage for repeating one verse of “Words I Never Said” at an inauguration event. The Filmore show did not sell out which is evidence that his poor performance at the inauguration could have possibly affected ticket sales in this area. Fans buy concert tickets to see their favorite artists perform. If your favorite artist is Lupe what you enjoy is a single rapper on stage with a DJ rapping his songs and moving no further than a square away from the mic. In between songs he made statements like “I don’t give a f*ck, but I give a f*ck” [paraphrased].  He also spoke against rappers who don’t stand for anything. This was similar to old school Hip-Hop artists. They too often have a moment in their show where they criticize the radio or the government. Arguably, this made yhe Lupe show was boring and uninspired. Fans were forced to enjoy his presence in the room (which is all they were going to get) vs. his presence and a moving performance. There was no light show, no LCD displays behind him, there was nothing to enhance his performance. Lupe’s music came off as self-centered, the artist projecting his thoughts on others during his performance.

One day later Erykah Badu performed at this same venue and it was a entirely different story. Beyond the Erykah Badu most noted for being a neo-soul singer is an emcee who started out freestyling on the radio as “MC Apples.” She is also a producer and member of the “Soulquarians” a neo-soul/hip-hop music collective which includes Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Questlove, D’Angelo, Q-Tip, James Poyser, Bilal, and late great Hip-Hop producer J Dilla. Erykah’s show was sold out with minimal promotion within moments of tickets going on sale. There was no opening act. Her DJ spun for roughly 30 minutes before her band members took their places. She walked out on stage and addressed the crowd with body language. She approached the mic and stood there for a second while the crowd went wild. Then she raised her arms toward the ceiling striking her warrior princess pose. The music started and she performed the entire Mama’s Gun album with minimal banter in between. Her performance was all about the music and the fans. Erykah Badu IS her music and during the show you become her music. There was a large screen speckled with stars burning bright then fading during various songs behind her. After each song the main show lights would dim to signify the end of the song. She had a drum pad and multiple instruments as usual. At the end of her set the crowd cheered for an encore. She came back out on stage and performed three more songs including “The Healer (Hip-Hop)” giving special tribute to J. Dilla. No matter where you see Erykah Badu it is a cosmic vibrating experience. She is also standing in place, but her energy is changes with the energy of the song therefore subliminally instructing your spirit on how to move.

Upon walking in to the Mos Def show I expected less Erykah vibration and more Lupe inanimate “i’m the rapper, your’e the crowd” stage presence. I was extremely off on this one! The 930 Club is one of DC’s most popular concert venues and The Mos Def show was by far one of the most awesome shows I’ve seen where a single rapper is on stage performing. The opening act was “Watch The Duck” which is an eccentric underground trap-step group from Atlanta. They were interesting to say the least, however to have such a unique group open for Mos Def is fitting being that they are at the forefront of their genre. Trap-step is a mix of trap music and dub-step. It is hype party rocking music! I predicted that their explosive energy would be wasted due to Mos Def just being a rapper with two sound engineers/djs accompanying him. However, I was sadly mistaken. Mos Def walked on stage, the crowd when wild and the next hour was full of charisma, echoing voice affects, dancing, and party rocking. Mos Def used the entire stage during his performance. Mos Def also took a break in his performance to show love for J. Dilla by playing several of his tracks. The crowd was unfamiliar but Mos Def was so consumed in the songs that everyone had to rock with it. He consulted his sound/engineers often and they were more of a team than just guys controlling tracks and sound for an artist. By the end of the show his entire shirt was soaked with sweat.

In conclusion, rap, as much as any other popular musical form is currently in a strange place. When live performance matters as much, or more than selling albums or being well-marketed, we must study the art of how the genre is presented live. There’s a market that is always fiending for an artist who tells the humanitarian story of being pissed at the government and standing up against the “system.” Clearly, presenting that live must evolve from Lupe’s conscious, yet lackadaisical performance. Erykah Badu and Mos Def have been in the game over ten years and are still selling out shows, and present a possible blueprint for the future. They are experienced and an experience within themselves. They are sure to say thank you to fans in between songs and you are sure to feel that they are thankful. Lupe gave me music. Erykah and Mos Def gave me a feeling. The difference between the two is easily describable while the actual experience is not. There was just something spiritual about their performance. They are real people that really mean their lyrics therefore there was no need to chastise the hip-hop they don’t like during their show. I was not a fan of Lupe or Mos Def prior to these shows. I walked into the Mos Def show a skeptic due to Lupe’s performance. As rap and all music evolves to understanding how to survive in an era where live performances have increased importance, presentation clearly is of the essence.


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