The Spiritual Gift of Motherhood -- Shamell Bell on Self-Care, Activism, Spirituality, and Motherhood
“I am a mother, "street dance activist", "radical joy advisor" and soon to be Phd in Culture and Performance from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance department. On the morning of my son's 8th birthday I am reminded that my own self care practices are vital to his flourishing life. As they instruct on the airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first before your child.
Raising a critically and spiritually conscious child strengthened my journey towards self-discovery to remember who I really am and to focus on self-love first in order to achieve unconditional for others. Instead of traditional disciplinary methods, I began meditation at the age of 5 and our lives shifted drastically. At 6 years old my son spontaneously expressed innate knowledge of the "Third eye" and his favorite crystal Amethyst. Shortly after he explained, "We were spirits before we came into these bodies Mommy, I chose you, you chose me too, we have a contract."
I immediately began to homeschool him and we both dug deeper into connecting to our spiritual gifts. We are now both hired as "radical joy advisors" focused on healing justice which began with Afro-Latin social justice dance company and Contra Tiempo (@contra_tiempo). We also consult for healing and social justice impact in the community but also for tv, film, and music industry with our most recents credit as "Community Engagement and Healing Justice consultant" for George Tillman Jr.’s film adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best selling book, “The Hate U Give”. We also starred in a self-care promotional video for the super group August Greene's single, "Be Optimistic feat Brandy" which was prompted after my son walked into actor, activist, and rapper Common's (@common) home asserting, "Before we start this meeting, we have to meditate".
Seijani is now known for practicing meditation and mindfulness at my events as well as talks, workshops, and residencies at cultural institutions and universities all over the world.
I was prompted to live daily in a manner of self care not only as a parenting tool, but because I was diagnosed with several autoimmune disorders, most recently Rheumatoid Arthritis. As a dancer this last diagnosis could have been devastating, but I am finding strength in my healing modalities which include prayer, breathing exercises, transcendental meditation, mindfulness, crystal therapy, reiki, acupuncture, cupping, massage, bi-weekly spa visits, V steams and body scrubs with setting intentions to release what no longer serves me, and dancing as healing justice. However, it is healing alongside others that is my greatest self care method, last week I traveled to Tijuana to spread love and creative healing methods in order to connect and heal with those seeking political asylum at border. “ — @shamellbell
Shamell is the founder of Black Lives Matter LA, a street dance activist, choreographer, and currently pursuing her phd at UCLA. Check out @shamellbell for more info.