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!

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. 



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….



2012 My March Madness Challenge (2012 MMM Challenge)

Today is the first day of March. This month I am challenging everyone out there as well as myself to dedicate themselves to working on one or more aspects of their life for 31 days! This challenge was inspired by DJ Heat (…she is challenging herself, I am challenging myself, you should challenge yourself!

Here is what I am challenging myself to during the 2012 MMM Challenge:

  1. Workout everyday at least 30 minutes a day
  2. No fast food
  3. Write everyday
  4. Cook every Sunday
  5. Promote my Kickstarter campaign everyday (

Workout everyday at least 30 minutes a day

30 minutes of cardio a day keeps the doctor, the fat, and some of the fatigue away! Having narcolepsy makes it difficult for me to workout because most days I am lethargic. I often feel like I am moving in slow motion. I am going to fight this! I am going to try to take the “mind over matter” approach and push myself as hard as I can.

No fast food

This is about all I can commit to! I have 101 things going on. I eat fast food well, because it’s FAST! In the midst of living a very fast-paced lifestyle it is easy to pick up something unhealthy to eat.

Write everyday

Writing everyday includes my book, songs, and finishing Act I of my script.

Cook every Sunday

When the kids were younger and I was working 3 jobs I would cook for the week on Sundays. I would make about 3 meats and 2 sides then pick up can goods to pop open later in the week. This made life so much easier. We would have healthy food ready everyday.

Promote my Kickstarter campaign everyday (

The deadline for my Kickstarter project is April 7th. I have about 38 days to promo hard and raise the remaining funds for the project. I am kicking it into high gear, dropping all pride, and reaching out to as many people as I can.

Maybe I will blog everyday…#shrug….who knows! I don’t want to over commit myself because I would be setting myself up for failure! This challenge is about setting yourself up for success!

LEAVE A COMMENT……What will you do for the 2012 MMM Challenge?

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

Jumpstart Talk: 5 Ways to Live a WYSIWYG Lifestyle

What you see is what you Get (WYSIWYG)

In the world of web development the acronym “WYSIWYG” pronounced “wizzy-wig” stands for “what you see is what you get.” This means that the interface being used to develop a document or page allows you to see something very similar to the actual page you are developing. You don’t have to spend your time writing HTML code, the programming interface creates the code for you. Computers are programmed by people to be more “people-like” but we rarely visit exactly how these things could relate to our lives as people vs. our cyborg lives. How does the concept “WYSIWYG” apply to life? Living a WYSIWYG lifestyle means having a clear view of the things you perceive. It means you see things just as they are. Our reasoning gets in the way of that therefore leaving us with a clouded view of how and why our situations have less than favorable outcomes. Being able to check your perception for truth is the key to a sane reality.

5 Steps to living a WYSIWYG Lifestyle

1. Find a balance in asking questions and finding factual answers about yourself. There are things that others can see about us that we can’t see. This is not because it is impossible to see yourself, but because we question ourselves then leave the questions unanswered. Why is your favorite color red? Why don’t you eat certain foods? Why don’t you go to the doctor? Why do you cringe at the sound of bags crackling? What have you been silent about? Why have you been so silent about certain things? Make a list. Speak out loud to yourself and answer yourself. Call on friends and family to help. Getting to know the why of your intricate self will improve self-image and self-confidence.

2. Think twice about reasoning through things that don’t affect your life. If Susie wears mix match socks to work and you get annoyed by people with mix matched socks decide WYSIWYG! You see Susie, you get Susie. You don’t see Susie and get what you like or want Susie to be. The same applies to absent fathers, overbearing mothers, cheating boyfriends, lazy children, etc. Realize that you do not have to associate the reasons these people are who they are with your mental or emotional state. It would be ideal to have the storybook dad, however, once you are old enough to realize you have choice, consider your reasoning for interacting with everyone including family. Your separation or cling to an individual should not be based on malice, regret, or a need to punish. Ask the hard questions, get the harsh answers (even “I don’t know” can be a harsh answer), make peace and live with the truth you are able to find. Let the truth that you cannot find remain un-found, but not without first attempting to discover it.

“When someone shows you who they really are believe them THE FIRST TIME” -Maya Angelou

“After believing the person for who they are, address them accordingly which includes being at peace with not addressing certain pieces of them.” -Shelly Bell

3. Do you have S.M.A.R.T. goals….Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Time-Bound goals or D.U.M.B. goals…Daring, Unattainable, Motivating, Bold goals. Either could be best for you. You have to decide. S.M.A.R.T. goals are most likely to be achieved whereas D.U.M.B. goals are more likely to continue to be goals a little while longer. Sometimes goals become overwhelming. Sometimes goals become driven by a need to have them vs. a desire to achieve them. Whether SMART or DUMB you are the reflection of the goals you set. The goals are not a reflection of the you that you will be. Yes you will be different or may have think differently to achieve your goals, but don’t focus on the difference as much as you focus on the achievements.

4. Stop viewing your life as a matter of either faith or fate. Faith is your belief in things you hope will happen. Fate is your belief that what has happened or what will happen is what is supposed to happen. Goals are things you specifically takes steps toward making happen. Faith in yourself as the fate of your goals is the best step toward a WYSIWYG lifestyle. Faith and fate go hand in hand and can sometimes appear to be working against each other. The best thing to do is to believe in yourself and let fate be what fate will. That’s the definition of fate! Stop trying to define fate by the amount of faith you have. “Now” is all you have. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is what you imagine it can be simply because tomorrow hasn’t happened yet.

5. Take notes from rappers. Every rapper that bursts from some corner of an urban cocoon speaks about themselves and their art as if they are the best thing since sliced bread. However, closely observe the actions of those who never become what they think or say they are vs. the actions of those who become exactly what they think or say they are.

For example, take the quote “So you think, so you act, so you feel, so you are.”

“So you think” is the first phrase in the quote yet “so you act” is probably the most important. At the same time “so you feel” reflects in “so you act.”


What you see = so you think

is = so you feel

What you get = so you act

Result = so you are

Perception involves awareness and understanding. Seeing is not perceiving. Perceiving goes further than seeing. Some rappers see large audiences, half-naked women, alcohol promos and videos then perceive this as their actual life. In reality, they are in loads of debt to record companies and don’t own ANYTHING! What’s even more interesting is whoever controls perception controls the money they earn as well as the money they owe. Truth is your responsibility. Be responsible for seeing what you’re getting. Match what you see with what you perceive and you are sure to get what you see.

Any Questions?

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JUMPSTART TALK is a weekly Monday post to help inspire you and get your week off to a great start.

Thank you for reading!

Pura Vida,

Shelly Bell

Jumpstart Talk: Are you Goaltending?

Goaltending is a basketball violation wherein a defensive player interferes with a shot on its way into the basket. “On its way” is defined by the arc in which the basketball is just over the rim or basket itself. This is kinda tricky because it’s ok to block the shot inches away from the rim as long as it is not on its way into the basket. The distance between the basket and the ball define whether or not the defensive player is goaltending. Goaltending is not defined by the distance between the defensive hand and the basket nor the defensive hand and the ball.

Imagine that your goals are the ball and achieving them is the basket. Ask yourself are you goaltending? Are you violating your own right to be successful? If you answer questions about your art, brand, goals, or success with:

  • Yea, he/she did it, but I am just not that great.
  • I could never look at myself and go “I am the greatest of all time.”
  • Nobody will want to read this book or view my art it’s just my personal stuff.
  • I don’t have the money to do that.
  • I’m just human, my work is just “OK.”
  • I tried it, didn’t work, ah well, maybe it’s just not for me.

It is quite possible that you are the defensive hand blocking your own shot at achieving your goals. The only way to change a thing is to change it. The only way to achieve a goal is to never give up on it. A business owner said to me once “businesses don’t fail, the owners give up on them.” I thought “wow, that’s so true.” However, the safe phrase to explain all possibility of failure is “that’s easier said than done.” My response to that is “Doing has never been a matter of re-doing, but getting the next thing done.” Make every task whether new or old appear to be a new task by thinking of a new way to get it done. A common test taking strategy is to read all of the questions and answer the one’s you’re sure about first. Students who can grasp this don’t let the hard questions take up all of their time. Hard is that defensive hand. Achievement is not a matter of how closer your goals are to hard nor how close hard is to the achievement. Achievement is first a matter of whether or not you can see you violating you, call it what it is, and stop it.

In basketball you prevent goaltending by recognizing it’s a violation that can costs you points, then consciously preventing yourself from doing it. However, in the heat of the moment you may get so anxious or frustrated with losing, that your defensive hand goes up without control. In that moment you fall back to your feet, suffer the consequences and keep playing. It would be ridiculous for a basketball player to give up on playing the game because he/she lost a few points. You play until the end. There will be other games therefore even amongst the rankings and championships you keep looking forward to the next game. You get in the game, get determined to make baskets and eventually you find that goaltending is a rarity in your season. You find that you have less violations of self. You find that this has caused you to be a better player or to recognize that you were an awesome player the entire time. Goaltending is less serious in basketball than it is in life.

Jumpstart this week with a new outlook on vocabulary. Instead of committing “goaltending” the violation commit to “goal tending” the action of caring for the achievement of your goals. Get out-of-the-way of yourself. Think, plan, create.

Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

Pop Culture Mourning

As of the publicity of Whitney Houston’s death builds in a yearning for the who, what, when, and why of her death I have observed disagreements on mourning her or whether or not people can mourn those they don’t know. Traditionally speaking mourning has been the nature of expressing sadness via wearing black, ceremonies, moments of silence, etc. Mourning is usually an actual action reserved for showing that you are grieving someone. Throughout history women who lost their husbands wore all black for a certain number of days so that others would know that she is suffering from lost.

Mourning strangers…

People reserve the right to mourn anyone they want to mourn. Recently the death of Whitney Houston has been a trending topic in the question of mourning. People claim to be mourning her because they feel a deep sadness. I feel like there wasn’t this much talk surrounding whether or not to mourn Michael Jackson so why the big discussion around mourning Whitney. In any case of death there will be a range of emotions. Everyone should be allowed to feel the way they like whether the deceased is a stranger or not. I think my major issue with considering yourself mourning any celebrity is the question of what you’re mourning about them. If you will miss their music that’s one thing, but if you don’t have any relationship to them what can you mourn? How do you mourn? Is a simple sadness synonymous with mourning? Traditionally it hasn’t been.

Pop Culture…

The “pop” in pop culture is short for “popular.” When ones death becomes popular there is a thing that happens which I am coining “Pop Culture Mourning.” This means that there will be a few tributes on radio stations and TV shows. Every person relevant in Pop Culture at the time of their death will be considered knowledgeable enough to be asked “what do you think about the death of such and such…” Every fan of the person will spend moments posting their thoughts, videos and “R.I.P.’s” on their social media profile of choice. Bloggers everywhere will blog what TMZ reports about the death. Then BAM! in 24hours the person and their death will become a thing of the past. A minor whisper in the ear of a passerby. Deceased pop icons become no more than answers to the question “who inspires you?” I feel like this is such a dishonor to a real human being that has family, houses, fans, an actual life. Whitney’s life extended past her popularity in an ever-changing culture of inconsistency. So when I question why people consider themselves in mourning over the death of a celebrity it’s because I feel like one’s life should be cherished and one’s death should be taken more seriously. Send prayers to the family, post R.I.P.’s via social media, and take time to appreciate the tributes. However, mourning seems to be more synonymous with “actions stemming from grief over a period of time” not just a mere sad feeling.

Have you been checking for Whitney before now? Have your follows been all about the newest sighting of her misbehaving or dating Ray J or doing things that make news? Has your relationship to her only been about what’s shoved in your face by POP CULTURE? If so, I think the idea of mourning her is a bit drastic to consider yourself doing. As of today Whitney Houston is no longer a trending topic on twitter. Now the discussions are about the Grammy awards and Valentines day. Today’s report on Whitney is that she died from a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol. She did not drown in the bathtub. She was found by her aunt Mary Jones. Once this news becomes popular she will probably make the trending topic list once more before the funeral. Then probably never again, well unless her daughter does something ridiculous.

I just feel like families of celebs deserve privacy in their time of actual mourning. They don’t really need a bunch of people who know one side of a celeb acting as if they have more reason to mourn then they do. When I die, respect and honor me by saying nothing. Play my music in your ipod. Send cards to my family. Keep one of my CDs and support whatever my children decide to do with themselves. This is much more appreciated than the drama of peering into my life more than it already has been.

Thank you for reading!

Follow this blog by clicking the “follow this blog” button on the right of your screen.

Pura Vida (Pure Life),
Shelly Bell

Radio Show: Stereotypes of Black & White Women

I used to host my own radio show on blogtalk radio. I just came across the audio of a show about black women and white women wherein I had two black women and two white women in the discussion. This audio is from 2009, below is the description and the audio check it out!
Description: The Alien Invasion hosted by She7lly (pronounced She’s Heavenly) This week’s topic: Does it matter if you’re black or white? Stereotypes of black and white women. Essential Questions: 1. What are some stereotypes of black and white women? 2. Are there actual differences between black and white women? 3. What is white privilege? How does it affect relationships?

Here’s a link to the audio:


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Pura Vida,
Shelly Bell

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