my inspired blog back story

I wanted so much to just disappear; I did not want to talk to anyone, but most people need their goodbyes. I have had too many of them to need any more.

“What are you going to do?” she asked me, as I was rolling my last cart of personal belongings to my car.

Dammit, I almost made it. I almost made it to my car without having to explain myself. Feeling the need to explain anything wasn’t sitting well with me. Why was I so bothered by her friendly question? It was not an inquisition; we had been friendly to each other during the years we worked together, and she genuinely seemed interested in what my life would look after leaving my classroom. As a school counselor she had a master’s degree in caring about the situations and emotions of others.

So, why did I desperately want to pretend like I didn’t hear her, sprint to my car, toss my boxes into the trunk of my car, and get the hell out of there?

The truth is I did not have a clear response to her question. Clear and simple would be something like, “I am moving,” or “I accepted another job.” Even people who retire have plans to announce. I wasn’t ready to retire, and I did not have specific plans to discuss, let alone announce, to anyone. I did have a blurry idea in my head, and a pulling in my heart. Something pulling me beyond those four classroom walls, in a different life direction. Where, I wasn’t sure. I knew if I stayed there, I was going to die a sad premature death. Not necessarily in physical form, but in spirit, which might be worse.

I was sad about leaving, but every cell in my body and every spark in my intuition told me I needed to move on. Now. My excessive work hours and stress were taking a toll on my body and on my personal relationships. Irrevocable damage was sure to follow if I did not make a change. I hadn’t attended a dance class in over a year because when I wasn’t working, which included weekends (grading and lesson planning), I was spending time with my terminally ill father. I was physically spent and emotionally drained.   

I had seen my father take his last breath a few months prior which made me realize how fleeting life is. Witnessing my father’s death turned the quote, “Don’t die with your music still in you,” by Dr. Dyer, into my mantra. My father’s last breath breathed new life into mine.

I told the school counselor that I was going to spend some time writing. An English teacher actually having the time to write. What they want. Imagine that! She pressed, “What kind of writing?” Can I please leave now? I told her I like stories that inspire, not religious in nature, but that offer an alternative to a world of negative. I could not elaborate beyond that.

What followed: (if you’ve been reading me since the beginning of this blog, feel free to skip my timeline 😅 thank you for sticking around 😊 abundant gratitude for you)

  • made it to my car and drove away for the last time (May 2019)
  • enjoyed a quiet birthday with my family
  • planned my dad’s celebration of life
  • spent the summer stressing out and second-guessing my decision
  • read and completed the activities from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way
  • reconnected with dance and my long-lost love of photography
  • started writing (the dam burst-I haven’t stopped)
  • started meditating (every morning)
  • started a blog (worked through fear)
  • started (and eventually completed) a personal writing project, I titled, “Fifty Life Stories”
  • drove an hour one-way, for several weeks, to attend a writing workshop that I stumbled on (intuition screamed at me to be there – I listened)
  • started working with author/presenter of writing workshops, Sandra Marinella, a few months later (haven’t stopped)
  • pandemic started (writing workshops went online)
  • began a creative project with my daughter (three illustrated chapbooks followed)
  • was published by Arizona State University (other publications followed)
  • started writing a manuscript (multiple drafts and beta readers later, I am now researching and querying literary agents)

Other than knowing that I will be writing something in this blog and elsewhere, I have no idea what my writing future will look like. This type of uncertainty did not sit well with my prior married-to-structure self. I have learned to trust my intuition and my own pace on the purposeful creative path I am walking. I have also learned that teaching comes in many forms.

Like sparks of lightning in a dense cloud, dynamic surprises are bursting from the blurriness of my present.

Note: This post is for inspirational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to serve as quit-your-job advice. For that I suggest you consult a financial advisor. 😁 Reflecting is grounding and helpful for me; I hope you’ve learned something useful for your own life.

A special thank you to Kym Moore and Dawn Pisturino for reviewing my poetry collection, “My Inspired Life: A Poetic Journey.” A surprising and beautiful coincidence that these two incredible women chose to order my book and then write a review in the same week. I am grateful.

Their reviews are touching and generous. Sharing a highlight:

“Michele’s poetic epiphanies spill over into a fountain of cleansing resolve.” ~ Kym Moore

“She approaches the world with quiet dignity, joyful pride, and a sincere expression of faith in herself and the people around her. ” ~ Dawn Pisturino

Wow. I published this collection to recognize and celebrate my one-year blogging anniversary (over two years ago). Life is full of surprises!

Thank you for reading and listening. 🎶 Be well. 💗 Michele

Please take a five-minute dance break with this beautiful song. Your body and mind will thank you! Moving lyrics below:

I am by Satsang

Well, I no longer fear the unknown
‘Cause I know what I am here for
I keep on troddin’ on my own path
Keep on learnin’ from my present and past, yeah
Well, I no longer need validation
‘Cause my story is long and I’m patient
I know that I have lessons to learn
Keep my eyes open, each step I earn, yeah
No need for me to feel alone
‘Cause I got a place that I call home
Every single road traveled, every single new place
I come back home, they accept me with grace, yeah
Well, I know that I was meant to be here
And I know that I was born into fear
But I will stand tall in the lion’s den
‘Cause I know in my heart I am one of them
That there are lies in the facets of everything that we see
That are telling us to be scared, when all we ever are is free
I’m letting go of the things that don’t serve me no more
‘Cause I am holy, and sacred
And righteous, and true, and I deserve to be here
And so do you
……………
Songwriters: Sean Garrett, Enrique Martin, Taddrick Mingo, Julio Filomeno, Rufus Morgan Jr.

Click here to read full lyrics

Photos: my images

© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

130 thoughts on “my inspired blog back story

    1. A meaningful reflection for me. Something I had my students do. I don’t know where I am going, but I will keep writing my way there. Thank you very much, Dawn, for your comment and your thoughtful review. 💗 Very kind of you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. aparna12

      This is a very beautiful post. ♥️♥️♥️😊😊😊. Congratulations to you for your book of poetry ” My Inspired Life: A Poetic Journey.” I find this post very inspiring.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Can totally understand the desire not to talk to anyone as you left the school for the last time. Sometimes we know we need make a change and move on from something or someone. We just don’t have all the answers on what is next in store for us or the pathway to get there. Then folk feel compelled to ask us what are you doing or what are you going to do? As if you’ve to have everything figured out and be in a constant state of movement

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here, too predictable. 👍 And this is coming from a person who thrives off structure and routine. I’ve learned that you can’t be in control every time or have everything mapped out. It’s okay not to know sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh girlfriend, what a journey you are on and so glad to be a part of it. You are so very welcome and to your continued success, I salute you my dancing queen. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 You never know how the things you write about and share have lasting impressions on others. This is why it is our duty and responsibility to be responsible about what we throw out in the universe. 🪐🌍🌌🌞🌟

    Have an AWESOME weekend my Teacher! 🤩💖🥰🦋😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad for your presence, Kymbelina. Thank you. 😊 We’ve shared some wisdom, laughs, and dance steps. 💖 We’ll keep stepping and staying open to creativity and connection. Truth about responsibility. I will extend that thought by sharing what I’ve told my daughter, a few times… it is our responsibility to share our gifts. 💝 Whatever they are, in each of us, they showed up for a reason! This planet, and the over 7 billion people in it, needs healing. 💗🦋✌🏻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh Michele my Belle, you nailed your thoughts on the head girlfriend. 🔨 I can’t add any more to your wise words. But my dancing queen, I agree that we can inject society with more “good” to lead to that desperate healing you speak about and what we so desperately need. Thank you my dear sweet friend. You rock. So, make this one heck of a FANtabulous weekend! Somehow, I know you will. 💃🏼🎶💞✨💖🎵💃🏽

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Terveen, and thanks for acknowledging my “hard decision.” Incredibly hard, but necessary. I am grateful for my years in the classroom. I am also at peace with that hard decision and look forward to whatever awaits me. Life is a mystery for all of us. Some of us are choosing to live out loud. 😁 Wishing you the same good fortune and wonderful blessings! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Timothy Price

        I had to force one of my staff members to retire a few weeks ago. She should have retired over a year ago. She had become toxic. People ask me when I’m going to retire. II have no plans to retire at the moment. If I start getting where everyone at the office bugs me, then it will be time to retire.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was sad about leaving, but every cell in my body and every spark in my intuition told me I needed to move on. Now. My excessive work hours and stress were taking a toll on my body and on my personal relationships.

    Wow. I didn’t know about this, Michele – such a brave move!


    David

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a lovely post, Michele. Thank you for sharing more of your story with us. It’s so true, when we listen to our intuition, that feeling we know deep inside, even when difficult, life becomes something far grander than previously experienced. There is a trust and faith that blossoms in the visceral knowledge all is as it should be. You and your story are inspiring. Happy Saturday! 💖🌳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully stated. Thank you, Jeff, for reading and engaging! The creative path demands a lot of creatives, but the rewards and healing we (and the planet) receive make it worthwhile. 😊 Happy weekending and writing to you! And harvesting. 😁🌳💖

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First…. I am so glad I found your blog. It has inspired me on more than one day. But today! Today… reading your story has truly spoken to my spirit. While I know you are a woman like me, I am in awe of your courage and willingness to be vulnerable. Taking that giant step out of your comfort zone to write and become the person inside you knew was there, takes a lot of courage, and I admire that.
    I am on a journey. I have been on this journey for many years to find my authentic self. I’m certain I will always be on this path because that person grows and changes constantly. There isn’t a “Ta Da” moment where anyone should say “Look! I made it! I’m here!” and then stop, because we should always be growing and learning and if you think you have reached the perfect moment, you have stopped growing.
    Writing scares me. I think it is fear of judgment. I started my blog several years ago. I was diligent at first, then stopped, then started again, get motivated and write for a few days, then stop again. You get the picture. I’m working on starting again… I’m writing something, even if it isn’t very good or just a journal type entry. But I’m moving forward I hope.
    Thank you for writing and inspiring the rest of us! Rock on!~ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kimber, I am most appreciative and moved by your outpouring of authentic thoughts. Learning that my posts have inspired you “on more than one day,” affirms my purposeful path. Thank you very much. 😊 I know it may be easier said than done but try to remove judgment (from yourself and others) from your writing equation. Focus on your words and the messages and stories you want to bring into the world. The right people will read them, and most importantly, keep writing! Best wishes to you! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good luck with the manuscript. Perhaps your new ‘career’ as a writer is just beginning. I know you have written of moments when your teaching felt rewarding because you had encouraged others to write. Now it is your time. I hope that your family gives you their full support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, David! Quite the journey, from the first word to now and who knows the future of that writing project. Like me, it will keep moving forward. 😊 Insightful and encouraging comments by you; I do feel as though I am “just beginning.” I have done plenty of writing over the last three years, but most importantly, I have developed writing courage. My family is very busy doing their thing – more than anything they want me to be healthy and happy. I can say that my writing journey has brought me to that place. Not without challenges and pain along the way, but a rewarding blessing. 💖 Best to you!

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  7. Hello, Michele,

    I am so happy for you. As I read about some of the dramatic changes that occurred by your following your heart, tears actually began to well. It is vitally important that we give birth to our dreams. It’s our soul’s reason for (apparently) being here. Sending so much positive energy–maybe you better put on a hardhat (just for the next hour or so)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha I have plenty of hats, but no hardhats. I will survive! 🌞 While I don’t aim to make people cry, I value learning about your response to my post. That tells me that the energy and emotion I put into writing it can be felt. That is treasured information for me. Thank you very much, Art. I agree about your dream statement – I believe we have them for a reason and that we should listen to their nudges. Sometimes they scream at us! ✨

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      1. I am grateful to learn that. Thank you. Yes, then those dreams are heard loud and clear. Clear enough to give us just enough information to get us to the next point. Smart dreams… not overwhelming us with too much information, all at once!

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    1. Cheers, author Sandra, for a successful year of writing workshops! After finishing Thursday evening, I felt the need for a big exhale yesterday- time to reflect, which delivers learning and insight. I am grateful that I listened to my intuition that brought me to your class and brought you into my life. Thank you for reading me; I am glad you enjoyed this post. You are a blessing in my life. Enjoy the holiday break and happy writing to you! 🤗

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  8. So glad you shared this! Inspiring! Yes, we have to take care of ourselves, what is a paycheck, if you are dying inside? So glad your decision to quit is working out for you. So sorry about your Dad. ❤
    I feel I am in a similar spot as far as job goes. I am a caregiver and inbetween jobs, wondering if another one is going to come along or if I can pursue writing more. Working at querying agents and getting a little discouraged, but I know someone is out there, just have to find them. Keep living your dream and wishing you the best with finding an agent! Keep writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joy! I am pleased you found connection here. However we can support each other is a gift, not just as writers/creatives, but as fellow humans. 💗 Sometimes we have to trek through a lot of mud to find a nurturing spring. Best wishes to you! 😊

      Like

  9. This was such a beautiful and heartfelt read – all the different challenges you’ve overcome and every hurdle you’ve cleared to follow your inner passion. ❤ Thanks for sharing such a powerful story & hope your future writing plans bear plenty of fruit! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lovely comment. Thank you very much, Tom. I am glad you enjoyed my narrative. My challenges pale in comparison to what some people face, but I do appreciate you acknowledging my journey. Writing and creating are wonderful gifts (for all of us). It is a delightful bonus when others connect with our words and stories. I am sure you agree. 😊 Cheers to abundant writing blessings! 🥂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are too kind. I do thank you for affirming my journey. I am inspired every time I read your blog… adventure, learning, traveling, healthy living, supporting each other and precious creatures of the land and sea. Beautiful! Thank you for reading and sharing your uplifting thoughts. 🤗

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    1. Yes, you know too well. Thank you, Crystal, for your service in a most important profession. 💐 The grading is never ending! I taught dual enrollment and journalism too. I miss working with seniors, but it was time for me to make a change. Best to you and enjoy your holiday breaks! 😊 Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙏🏻

      Like

  10. You are an inspiration Michele. I stayed in the same work field for 37 years, never truly happy but for various reasons I stayed. I should have known you back then ! lol I am glad you are living your true life now, you always seem so happy and motivated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very kind and an inspiration for me. I love viewing your photos and learning about your travels. It appears you are enjoying life to the fullest now, so bravo to you two! 👏🏻 Bravo for a 37-year commitment. That is commendable! Life is never without challenges, for any of us, but I am truly enjoying this phase of my life. 😊 Many discoveries! 💖 Wishing you a wonderful week. Stay warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Very well written. 🙂
    We cannot sit in the back seat and control the “vehicle” many make exactly this attempt – and end up in the ditch. In our own journey (through life) we have to sit in the front seat, with our hands on the steering wheel. Maybe we’ll end up in the ditch anyway, but then we’ve done it ourselves. It may be hard to change our roles radically, but it will very likely be much worse to “drown” in a role that almost “separates the self into pieces” on sight. Tried it myself about twenty years ago, without drowning. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love your journey in your path as a writer and how you walk with what is happening next for you Michele. Such a gift to the the creative process and trusting the process of what life delivers.. perfect inspiring song to go with your words my friend. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful post my friend. Such a lovely share. I am so sorry about your loss.

    Sometimes it is hard to believe what can be accomplished. Congratulations on your book how wonderful. That is such an undertaking. Bless you.

    You have had a journey that anyone should feel such an overall feeling of success.

    Love and hugs, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tamara Kulish from https://tamarakulish.com/

    Wow! I love the trajectory your life took when you followed your intuition! Sounds like you have accomplished quite a lot during this time! Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every day is a lesson in learning to trust intuition… more and more. Many wonderful gifts along this path. It’s not easy, but it is rewarding. Thank you very much, Tamara, for acknowledging how important intuition is to living a meaningful and intentional life. One day at a time. ✨ Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday week. 💗

      Like

      1. Tamara Kulish from https://tamarakulish.com/

        Thanks so much Michele! To you and yours too! Yes, it seems to be one of those secret sauce kinds of things, not always noticeable when we do it, but very much so when we don’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Yours is a wonderful story of inspiration and triumph, following your heart in a new life direction to find creative success and loving what you do. Therein, so do your readers🙌❣️ Keep up the good work, my dear friend Michele, and I wish for you & yours a blessed Thanksgiving week 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That wasn’t my intent, Michele, and I apologize. Also, if in the past I said something that may have offended you – as would be my hunch – I hope you’ll forgive me. 🙂✌

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you like it. Thank you, Dwight. 😊 I am honored that you remember the highlights of my last three years. That means a lot to me. Wishing you and your family a wonderful week of delicious food and connection. 💗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. What a sweetheart you are. 💗 Thank you very much, Annabel. I am happy to see and read beautiful you! Life is a surprising and delightful dance. ✨ I read your last post… sorry to read about those misfortunate events. You certainly have a positive attitude. Hope you are enjoying your new location. Best to you. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Satsang: I Am – At Sunnyside – Where Truth and Beauty Meet

  17. I wasn’t familiar with the story behind your writing yet, so it was good to hear more about your experience. I can relate to the passing away of your father being a catalyst for change. I’ve had a similar experience. I feel a similar tug towards the positive, the inspiring. I’m so glad that I found you here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was inspired to write this piece yet hesitant to share, for a variety of reasons. Your comment affirms my decision to write and release. Thank you, Conny! I am sorry about your loss but like my experience, I am glad the loss created a positive catalyst in your life. I am equally excited about our connection. I love your work! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What a lovely post! I love the way you summed up the moments and emotions in your life that led to your rediscovery and love of the written word, dance, and photography. Sometimes those final pushes catapult us a passionate way of living that feels perfect. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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