Growth By Example?

Why does looking at the damn memory photos on Facebook make me want to cry nearly every freaking time? Sister posted photos from a Texas trip 7 years ago this afternoon and I nearly floated my contacts while trying to be productive at my day job…let’s not talk about how I saw the post while being productive, lets just call it multi-tasking!

So there in all her 6 year old glory is my daughter. She is a cowgirl, she is a ranch hand, she is barefoot and bareback on a horse with some little girl whose name escapes me.

She is cleaning stalls, pushingbarrels, riding and overalljust carousing around the 3 Queens Equestrian Center during our spring break stay.

 

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? I barley got one photo of the back of her during our trip there last week. When did she decide that going barefoot anywhere outside the house is not for her? When did she decide that working with the big kids is overrated? When did she decide that the horses would not be elated with all her loving? The even bigger question is WHY? Why did she decide all these things? As any good mother would do, I look for things that I may have done to lead her away from this primal and intuitive young girl. Let’s stop for a minute so I can fully disclose that I love with no limit, the teenager that my daughter has become so don’t even question me on that!

Did she follow my lead when I would “dress for the day”? Making sure to have proper footwear on to match my outfit and the occasion of the day. Yes, yes, I gag as I write this because I would much rather go barefoot now with a t-shirt and ripped jeans but just mere months ago I was a walking Talbots ad (and still can be if the need arises). Did she pull back from feeding the horses because I didn’t jump up each morning and evening to feed them but rather choose to spend my time sipping coffee or wine out by the pool visiting with a cousin who stopped by for a visit? Did she stop getting dirty in the barn and the arena because I was walking around with clean hands? I really am troubled by this because for all those moments she may have been watching me for queues on who she wanted to be…I was not being my true authentic self. I was being the Cherisse I knew how to be, the one I thought I should be, the one I had made up.

That all brings me to a very deep pit in the dead center of a cross in the road. Road X says, wow, you need to get in front of her now, talk to her about all these changes in your soul, in your life, in your core. Road Y says, you were doing the best you could at the time and there are no strikes for trying. Neither road is right for me right now and neither road is wrong. I am pretty sure I am going to spin on this little nugget of a cross road for a while.

Guess What…..I am still spinning.

The only conclusion I have made since writing this in April was that I have to be my true self for me and for her. She needs to know that some days I like to go barefoot and some days I like to wear heels and that both are okay. She can see now that I proudly wear a grey streak through my dark hair and my hair is sometimes a wild mess when we stroll through Target looking at everything we don’t need in life. Every day, just be the true you, every single day!

Sparkle on…

C

Who Made The Rule?

Who made the rule anyway?

Why the hell do I feel like a total looser any day that I don’t get dressed, hair & make up EVEN though I am working from my home office? Not just “working from home” but actually working at the office that I have created inside of my home. I have been working from home for the majority of my days over the last 7 years. Pretty much since my daughter started pre-school and I had to take her at some weird late morning time and pick her up 3 hours later to take her to daycare. It has been a blessing beyond believe for me in multiple ways but there are also some hard rules that I did not intentionally put into place that are causing me grief now that I am working towards my soul shift.

Like wearing makeup!

I have some kind of mental block that says, “you are not really prepared and ready to face the day unless you have on your make up”. Really, what the hell is that about? Lately I have been putting on my makeup sometime around 2pm just to make it seem like I have been a fresh little worker bee all day when really I was wearing my PJ’s and working since I rolled out of bed the second time just before 9am. That has to change. If I show up….ME, just me, that is all that matters…RIGHT?

This is where I twist in the wind a bit.

I know it is okay to do things that make me feel better about myself. Dressing, hair and make up have been true markers of this for me in the past. Do I have to kick them to the curb to be true to myself? OR, can I make the call from one day to the next about what fits into my world THAT DAY? Will I abuse this revised policy by always wearing my PJ’s all day and then actually become a slug like I mentally label myself OR to I practice some self love and remind myself that it really does not freaking matter what I look like while I sit in front of the computer and do work or talk on a conference line.

Also, what kind of example am I setting for my daughter? Do I want her to know that it is only HER that matters and not all the exterior stuff or do I want her to know that it is okay to do things that make you feel more whole…but why would she not feel whole just as she is?

Do you see the war here, the teeter-totter, the pendulum swinging?

HOLY HELL, it is no wonder my head hurts all the time!

So here is another “this or that” situation. Love yourself as you are at this moment BUT be healthy/active etc. Well, I am over weight, not healthy or active and I am finding it really difficult to love myself the way I am. Yes, I am doing something about it but this battle will always be there because I will breathe, eat and live. How do I reconcile it in my head and make peace with my stance?

Since writing this nearly 6 months ago, I really feel like I am closer to owning the job of making my own rules.  Granted I have to remind myself nearly every day that I am the maker and breaker of these rules but it is progress.  I wear my hair in these silly little pebbles pony tails on the top of my head most days and I really like it.  It is rare to find me in a business suit anymore because now I put a flowing Kimono over my sheath dress rather than a tailored jacket.  Sometimes, I even leave the house now with no make up.  AND, I am feeling pretty good about my new rule…JUST BE ME, what ever that is on that day.  So if you see me out in the world, don’t make a stink about my crazy hair or my multi color toenail polish, because you just never know what I found more important to spend my time on that day than my appearance!

 

Sparkle on…even when your sparkle is a mixed bag of crazy!

C

Still Here

It has been rather quite over here on the Souls Circus blog but not quite in the reality of my world. Some pretty major things have been happening here and although I have been writing about them, I haven’t been able to post them because they are just plan raw AND it is not all about me…I know right, who knew!! HA

Out of respect to my family I had to lay low for a bit to let the dust settle on some really deep emotions and yeah, I work full time so….I am human and I don’t get to do everything I want all the time.

Here are a few things you can plan to hear about in the near future…
-Medication labels are kind of important.
-Giving up booze probably won’t make you thin, DAMN IT!
-Seeing the Angels in action….#ProfferTough
-A little thing I like to call “RUSH RESILIENCE” and how it can be used to make us better people.
-I have lost my validation….guess where I found it?
-When all the crazy shit in life lines up to create something really profound.
-The answer is not in my hammock although I wish it was!

Just writing the line up has me excited all over again. I like being excited, it beats the hell out of feeling used up and spent over something you don’t really even have passion about!

Grab a coffee, adult beverage or a tea and plop on the couch so we can catch up soon.

Sparkle on…
C

P.S.  Here is a picture of Stella! Who doesn’t love a pretty pug?

Aunt Nan, I miss you!

Aunt Nan, I miss you!

I lost my Aunt Nancy Proffer just over one year ago.  I have been seeing all the loving posts from her friends and family on Facebook and I felt compelled to share what I wrote last year as I struggled with my own grief.

Written Friday, June 24, 2016

As I close my eyes to rest each day I find my mind filled with images of a dark haired lady with a smile that lights the room. I think my mind is trying to tell me I need to start moving from my sorrow and grief over the death of my sweet Aunt Nan and begin to celebrate the new life she now has in Heaven and the special book of memories I have in my heart.

I am sad because I won’t be able to stop by Proffers Paradise on my way up North or my way home to see her sweet face and have a visit over diet coke. I won’t get to hear her say “I need a hug, Recey” in that happy voice that rang out to us over the years.

But I know I can celebrate the fact that she is once again united with the love of her life, Big Larry or as I knew him, Uncle Larry. I can see his big hands wrapped gently around her petite frame, providing an unseen but felt protection against anything that might sway her. Their laughter is once again entwined together creating a music for their love to live on within.

I also know I can cherish 43 years of wonderful memories.

  • The grace she shared with me in allowing me to not only try on her high heeled fancy shoes but to wear them to the bowling alley for family fun day…when she had all us kids for a week in the summer. I think I was maybe 7 years old but man did she let me feel like a grown up princess that day.
  • The patience and endurance she showed in teaching me to water ski. Time after time she held me while I put those skis back on my feet, encouraged me as she held me in the water and shouted what to do next as I flailed up out of the water and crashed back in. She cheered like I was the best skier ever when I actually made it up for more than one minute. Creating a champion out of an awkward teenager was a special skill she had for many of us.
  • Time with her at the makeup vanity was time of unparralled life lessons. How to tease your hair, why you use a lash curler and why teenage boys can be so stupid and of course the advice about girls can do anything.
  • Spending time with her at Proffers Paradise was like going into a safe haven where the problems of the world could not get to you. She always gave me the space I needed to work through whatever had brought me to the her door and yet was always sitting at the table ready to talk it though when I had questions.
  • I was so proud that I was there to wrap her in my suit coat to comfort her and keep her warm as her heart broke to pieces when she lost her love after only 47 years. She said to me it just wasn’t enough time. From that moment I knew when I found my love, I would cherish every year and pray I could have at least 47 years of that kind of love.
  • If Aunt Nan was this special to me and my heart aches this much, I know the hearts of her children, grand children and great grand children must be utterly shattered. I hurt for each of them as they figure out a way to continue forward with their lives, finding a new normal in a world where a bright shining star is now missing from earth but shines from heaven.
  • Thanks for showing me how to sparkle Aunt Nan, I love you always…C

Faith over Fear

I told myself  that when I got to TEN posts I would publish my site to friends and family.  So, I have been sitting at NINE posts for nearly a month simply because of FEAR!

Fear is my constant companion but the one I never intentionally invited along for the ride in life.  I think one of the big aspects of this journey I am on is redefining the relationship I have with my fear…lets call her Ida…already she seems less scary when I just call her Ida.

So, what has Ida been up to the last few weeks as she so diligently kept me from sharing my thoughts with the world.

Ida says:

People will not care what I have to say.
People will judge harshly the secrets that I have kept.
People will not want to be my friends anymore.

That I am not good enough to write a blog.
That I am not good enough to write a book.
That I am not good enough to be a public speaker.

Audiences will not resinate with what I speak.
Audiences will not feel the impact that I feel in my thoughts and words.
Audiences will not accept my experiences are relevant.

Well guess what…I think Ida is a loud mouth bitch that doesn’t want me to spread my sparkle all over the world. So, here is my letter to Ida.

Dear Ida,

I realize that you are with me for the long hall but guess what bitchy one…you are not in charge, I AM!
I AM…Strong….Smart…Sensitive…Sassy…Sexy… and sometimes Silly but most of all,

I AM WORTHY!

I AM worthy of all that I dream of doing and becoming.

I am worthy of writing my stories and telling my tales.

I AM also resilient!

So Ida, when I tell tough stories about love/loss, rape/recovery, demons/angels, I will survive the critics and I will rise above the shame and I will go on to free my soul, live my dreams and maybe, just maybe impact one other person in a positive way so that they too can see they are worthy and resilient and all the other things they knew deep inside that they could be.
I suggest Ida, that you cool your chops, hop in the back seat for the ride and focus on keeping me on the rails rather than always seeking to throw me off the rails.

Sincerely,
Me

HERE I AM WORLD. Welcome to my Souls Circus….Let the sparkle fall where it may!
Cherisse

Dear Little Debbie

Dear Little Debbie,

Come over here and have a seat, we need to talk!

We have been together nearly 40 years.  That is a long time, and a lot of history.  Remember when I used to carry you in my scooby-do lunch box to Kindergarten at Clayton Elementary?  I remember when you moved with me to St. Louis in the 4th grade, that was huge.  You were there for me when we moved back to Michigan too.  You would wait for me to get home from school nearly every day.  I love you Little Debbie, I really do.

I know you love me too.  I know you love the way I can gently pull back your perforated side.  How I can quickly pull you from your cellophane type wrapper.  I can stare at you adoringly from across the room.  I get Little Debbie, I really do.

But, the time has come.  Your smooth chocolate goodness and your inner cream filing are just too much for me.  You give me the greatest (sugar) highs but also the lowest (guilty) lows.  It is just too much for me to take anymore.  You need to go.  Take your fudge rounds, your nutty bars and your oatmeal cream pies and find yourself a new girl to love.

Please go quietly Little Debbie.  Please don’t call to me from the kitchen while I lay in bed at night.  Please don’t scream to me from behind the glass wall in the lunch room at work.  Please don’t throw yourself at me as I rush by you on my way to the produce at Meijer.

Today was our last fling Little Debbie, we are done! GTFO!

Your Ex Lova

C

Sparkle On!

P.S.  Don’t try to knock on Katrina’s door either, she threw you out already and I know damn well she does not want you back!

 

P.P.S  – Don’t even think about ganging up with those Keebler Elves to get back in here.  I’ll stomp their asses and throw them to the pugs!

My intentions with me!

That is a big question to ask of yourself…what are my intentions with me?  But from all that I have been reading lately (and I have been guzzling the books), it seems that I need to set some very clear intentions with myself.  So here is my start.  I say start because I suspect this will be an every growing and evolving thing, or at least I hope that is the case.

-I fully intend to grow my hair long enough to wear in a cute pony tail, sophisticated french twist, bohemian braid, regal chignon and the very frequent messy bun.

-I fully intend to loose the weight that has been settling on my bones like an emotional straight jacket over the past 4 years.  I intend to do this with  moderation in both food and exercise and large quantities of distraction.

-I fully intend to keep working on myself.

-I fully intend to earn my highest potential as a public speaker.

-I fully intend to charge what I am worth to be a coach.

-I fully intend to live out my inner gypsy by opening a store, “The Souls Circus” that will house my coaching business plus several comfy couches, a working area for jewelry/craft making ladies nights and TONS of fun clothing and accessory items so that my badassary can be shared with the world.  And sometimes, I will even have baked goods…because this newly thin girls loves to bake, and who the hell doesn’t love home made ‘no bake cookies’?

There it is…WORLD.  Here I come!

Sparkle on!

C

 

Hi, My Name is….

Hi, My name is Cherisse and I have a brain tumor!  My husband hates when I say that but the dark side of my humor finds it funny sometimes.  I do really have a brain tumor but not the horrible kind that will kill you, I have the nice kind that just haunts me everyday!

Seriously, Don’t get pissed that I made joke about, just roll with it.

I have what is called micro adenoma.  It is a small tumor on my pituitary gland.  Does it cause my headaches, no clue!  They tell me it is not a good idea to remove it because they would have to blow away my pituitary gland to get it and it seems my pituitary gland is the mother board of hormones so, we are not going there.

I also get cluster headaches a few times a month.  I have talked briefly about those in another post.

I also get what I call monster headaches, which most people call migraines or chronic daily migraines.  I just call them hell.  They live with me nearly every day (let us call that 29 of 30 days).  Most days they hover around a 4 on a 1-10 scale but somedays they get to a 6/7 and then about 3 times a month they get to a 8/9.  10 is strictly reserved for the Spinal Headache which happens when you have a spinal tap go bad.  Anyone who has had that will realize a  10 is a special level of hell.

I survive this every day, for the past 17 years.  I work full time, I am a mom, a wife, a friend, sister and daughter.  I would like to think I am a valued member of my community but that might be pushing it a bit.  I don’t really LOVE my community and most times I am too tired and pain distracted to do much more than attend my daughters school related events.  Cleaning the side of the street for adopt a road is just too much for my plan.

I think I have tried nearly every medication out there to help.  I have even found myself in the vortex of opiate dependence THREE times (you would think I would learn)!  I am now to the point of researching meds that are not yet approved by the FDA and cannabis.  Desperate times call for desperate measures because I am NOT willing to give up on life because my head is going to explode (although it is REALLY tempting at times).

I think I have some experience to share so maybe others suffering can avoid some of the pitfalls that have wounded me or maybe they or their family can just feel a little glimmer of hope for tomorrow because I KNOW that the slightest glimmer can be what gets you up and going to find the next possible solution. I GET IT!

I also think this is all part of my plan (GOD, I really hope this is part of my plan otherwise, this is just cruel).  I need to share, offer hope, encouragement and in the process grow my soul to what it was meant to be.

Sparkle on!

C

 

 

Yesterday was…Yesterday

Yesterday was a good, no headache day.  But it was also yesterday!

I actually twirled though the house saying it is great to be alive.  My daughter looked at me like I was a bit crazy but she seemed to enjoy the fact that I was giggly and silly.  This does not happen much for someone who suffers from chronic headaches.  There are two key things that make yesterday such a wonderful experience….

  1. It reminds me that it is possible to feel like a human being.  Someone who wants to participate, and can participate in activities of life.  What a concept right!  But for me this is HUGE.  Days like this come around about once every 90-120 days so they are CHERISHED!
  2. It reminds me that I am not CRAZY!  All the other days, where I feel like some level of crap, I start to think that I am doing this to myself.  My thoughts get away from me and begin to spiral around me like toxic waste.  Thoughts like “you are fine, just suck it up” and “you are a whimp, you can’t handle pain” or “you head doesn’t really hurt, this is just normal life”…THEY CAN BRAIN WASH YOU…and it can be done fairly easy when you are in pain every fucking day.  Having a good day reminds you that those thoughts are just that, thoughts, they are NOT REAL.  It is normal to expect to feel good, EVERY DAY and let the pain be the exception!

So, I wrote in big letters in my gratitude journal last night how grateful I am for headache free days.  Today, I could write that but my list will probably be a bit more simple.  Like grateful I didn’t throw up, grateful I was able to get my daughter off to school and grateful I was able to get a least a few hours of work at my corporate job done from my home office (although while wearing PJ’s and napping a lunch).  Those things are worth being grateful too.  If they weren’t, I think I may have given up by now.  This is a hard path to travel day in and day out and sometimes  the simple things are what keep me going.

My plan yesterday was to write that next story in the headache series…what happens after that first trip to the doctor nearly 17 years ago but, that didn’t happen.  Instead I enjoyed the sunshine (although cold) by going for a walk with my husband and our two pug dogs.  I baked yummy apple treats with my daughter.  We played outside on the trampoline and we enjoyed a great dinner all together.  I am sure there was more but I was pretty pumped to be able to remember it all!  Maybe tomorrow I can continue the story as today, with even its small victories has left me exhausted and a bit bitter and cranky.

Tomorrow is another day…maybe, just maybe it can be another yesterday!

Even in the midst of the darkness, spread your sparkle EVERYWHERE!

Sparkle On!

C

 

 

It is NOT Food!

When I procrastinate….I eat!

When I am frustrated…I eat!

When I am stressed…I eat!

When I don’t feel well…I eat!

It is so NOT about the food for me, this is about my mind!  When my mind is unsettled for ANY reason, I have been finding comfort in food.  So my ass (and boobs and belly) have all grown and my unsettled remains.  Guess this plan is not working!  I have tired several things, other than food over the years (more on that later) but today’s beast that must be tamed is my mind and how I use food try and find comfort.  I need to find a better way but I suspect I might be buried in my grumpy pants for the new few days as I start the process of breaking up with Little Debbie, telling the Keebler Elves they are evicted from the pantry and give my “I will be seeing you so much less” speech to my lovely boys, Jack, Jim and Captain (Daniels, Beam and Morgan)!

Welcome to the circus!