On being improbable

I’ve always loved tales of the improbable, especially of the human kind.  The underdog, the comeback kid, the hero surmounting daunting odds:  I think most people are drawn to these lionhearted tales.   A lot of their magic is wrapped up in the notion of possibility.

Witnessing someone else’s expansion of the limits of possibility inspires us and our imaginations.  If he/she/they can do that, what else is possible?  For them, but also for me?

While my own stories of being and doing the improbable fall far short of many, I realize that a number of my choices have been fueled at least partly as a vote of confidence for possibility. If I head out to the more distant reaches of convention, of the norm, I hope to contribute to the treasure chest that is possibility.

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Not to suggest that I have done things solely or even primarily because they are unlikely to succeed, or that I am.  But rather that when I have been deeply drawn to experience something that many would consider odd, unusual, crazy, I have often forged ahead–admittedly with knees shaking–in the hopes that my actions might inspire others, might fire their imaginations.

Walking away from a career as a lawyer to pursue my lifelong passion for dancing when I was nearing 40, and now dancing more than ever in my late 50s; legally changing my first name; painting our house lavender; wearing my Santa Hat out and about every year; dancing solo in public spaces–they are pretty small potatoes compared to the daily tales of human grandeur we hear about.

Photo credit: Jane Shauck

Photo credit: Jane Shauck

Yet, I like to think that in the balance of the universe’s energy, my actions have supported albeit in a wee way, the side for an expansive sense of possibility.  I hope my choices can illustrate that when we are passionate about something, even though things may seem unlikely, uncertain, risky, if they are only improbable, then what we seek may still be possible.

And with those odds? I say, GO.FOR.IT.

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I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.

I want to be light and frolicsome.

I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.”~Mary Oliver

*Thanks to my friend hitandrun for turning me on to this fabulous quote from the brilliant Mary Oliver

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17 Responses to On being improbable

  1. ST, thank you for shining your light on the possibility that abounds. It’s this other side of the improbable that nudges us forward, and hopefully into a fuller expression of ourselves. You’re doing it,my friend. You are an inspiration for making it all come alive.. x x

  2. Lorien says:

    Just beautiful! And all I have to say is, I would love to dance with you randomly in public spaces…especially where people have forgotten that they have bodies that can move. To give someone the gift of even a thought of freedom, let alone the possibility of actually experiencing freedom…WOW. I thank you for the inspiration you have been in my life, and for the reminders that the possibilities are endless.

    • SirenaTales says:

      “….To give someone the gift of even a thought of freedom, let alone the possibility of actually experiencing freedom…WOW….” WOW to you, Lorien, for honoring me with those words. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of you. xox p.s. LET’S DANCE!

  3. fictionfitz says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Out Loud and commented:
    I love stories of the improbable, especially when they become possible. Happy New Year Sirena of Sirena, Sirena, and Sirena!

  4. Luggage Lady says:

    The timing of your inspiring post is serendipitous, Dear Chloe! At a dinner party last evening, a very successful businessman in his early sixties lamented that he’d never felt comfortable enough to “be himself” out in the “real world” for fear of what “others” might think. I empathized, thinking of the years I’d wasted fretting over the exact same thing. Fortunately, about the time I hit forty, I woke up and realized everyone was so focused on their own challenges that they had little time to be analyzing my actions. How liberating was that?! Better late than never! And…if my oft-times goofy demeanor happens to galvanize another to break free from his or her proverbial shell, then it is a win-win for authentic living! So, cheers to you and every other who steps outside the “safe zone” and “dances like no one is watching!!” Love and Happy 2015 to you and your beautiful family! 😘

    • SirenaTales says:

      Well, Sunshine, you always light up this space and my heart with your beautiful soul. Thank you so much for sharing your tale–it makes me feel even better about publishing this post, and making a number of those choices I allude to. May 2015 provide you and yours with unforgettable adventures, inspiration, joy and love, my wondrous friend. And thank you for everything. love, love, love….

  5. Rachael Charmley says:

    A magician in the kitchen and a mistress of dance… you are also a gardener. You plant seeds in our minds to remind us we can grow. Thank you, dear Chloe ❤

    • SirenaTales says:

      Your lovely words both humble and inspire me, Rachael. Thank you so much for all of your support. Love the idea that I might be a gardener! love to you and Happy 2015

  6. Blessing to you in 2015! (✿◠‿◠✿)MichelleMarie. Thank you for liking my post!

  7. roweeee says:

    Congratulations, Sirena. Giving up a career as a lawyer for the uncertainty of dancing especially in your 40s is a very couragious move!
    I totally agree with the serendipitous timing of this post.I have been grappling with the serenity prayer for a couple of years challenging what I can change and what I can’t change about myself and my life. I have a neurological condition called hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain, which was picked up and treated through brain surgery in my mid 20s. Back then, the general view was that I’d get improvements but to some extent we were all stuck in stone. We are who we are. However, the discovery of brain plasticity changed all of that and gave me fresh hope. After recovering from the hydroceph, I developed an auto-immune disease where my muscles attack themselves, my skin and lungs. It is similar to muscular dystrophy but there’s treatment which had worked but not perfectly for me. I join Muscular Dystrophy NSW and their motto is to find a way to do something you want to achieve. Don’t give up..especially before you try and try all avenues. Kids who coulldn’t swim were put in life rings so they could go down a water slide on the boat. It was very liberating and motivated me to slowly but steadily learn the violin and even go skiing. Not because I’m exceptional but because I started small without any great expectations and just kept going. The challenge is to persevere and keep going no matter what crosses your path and to keep the faith. That’s not as easy as it sounds.
    Keep dancing and blogging
    xx Rowena

    • SirenaTales says:

      Well, roweeee, what a magnificent soul you are! Thank you again for all of your generous support and for sharing your strong spirit. Here’s to perseverance no matter what. Shine on, my friend. xoxo

  8. diahannreyes says:

    I believe all this makes you a risk taker. I am curious about why the changes happened near 40- I have often wondered if what society calls a “mid-life” crisis is really people just finally deepening into the person they are becoming and daring to let that shine through. Sometimes, with so much already preset that definitely an create havoc. And also, in many cases, joyful fulness and expansion. Here is to you and your juicy, rich embodiment, Chloe.

    • SirenaTales says:

      Yes, I totally agree with your theory about some people, near 40,”….just finally deepening into the person they are becoming and daring to let that shine through….” Sadly, there are other scenarios, as you know, when folks can’t seem to get to that–the world is the poorer, although I wholly understand how scary it can be to live more fully who we are. Here’s to you and your juicy, rich embodiment, Diahann, and to your abundant courage. xoxo

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