Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us

LONG POST ALERT – update at the end from 6/22/18



June 25, 2017

I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing but today I am finding the need to write the raw truth that is weighing on my heart and my mind.  I have been so deeply touched by by love and spirit in the last 24 hours that I am near drained of energy yet fully awake in my soul.

Yesterday afternoon, Saturday, I was sitting at my home office desk working.  Why was a I working on a Saturday you ask…because my angles placed me here, at my desk in view of the caller ID on the home phone line that I never answer.  I saw the call come in from my special squeak cousin Chris and was so excited to see her name that I was able to grab the phone on the first ring, before the answering machine picked up on the second ring.   My excitement of the call was short lived when her voice broke in telling me that she has been better.  I knew in that instant that things were about to change, I just had no idea how, why or in what direction.

Squeaks brother Tom, my near in age cousin, has two young boys.  I can say young because I am middle aged and 19 seems really young to me.  The two boys were involved in a terrible accident up north very near to the place we all know and love “Proffers Paradise”.  They were air lifting Jake to the hospital in my town.  Everyone would be hours away, I would be within 15 minutes.  This is a no brainer situation…no one has to ask, no priorities are questioned, you go….and you go fast.

With adrenaline coursing through my veins I weaved through traffic, swearing at people who dared drive the speed limit and cursing the road construction that is “summer in Michigan”.  Panic and fear reared against the compassion and love within me as my mind raced to every possible scenario that could play out.  I thought of my cousin being so far away from his son, I thought of his son being alone at the hospital, I thought of my own children and how this whole thing is beyond my comprehension.  I could not get there fast enough.

As I raced on the highway through downtown towards the hospital in East Grand Rapids, I saw out the passenger window the most beautiful, small, delicate, nearly translucent angel fly off to my right.  I knew instantly that it was my Aunt Nan, whom I just wrote about in my last post, who is Grandma to this young boy.  The Angel flew off the exit ramp and into the distance as I raced on.  My mind fought for meaning behind why this angle didn’t stay with  me but veered off and panic  set in as I thought maybe this angel, my sweet Aunt Nan, came to take Jake home.  My heart clenched at the thought of having to tell my family this horrific news and bear witness to the overwhelming grief.

As tears flowed from my eyes, I drove on to the hospital only to learn I was at the wrong one.  Panic has now turned to terror as I run through parking lots, swerve through side streets and bang my hands on the steering wheel.  I say a prayer as I beg for the light to turn green.  I just need to get there, he can’t be alone.  No child should ever be alone.

I finally arrived at the downtown Grand Rapids hospital, was escorted upstairs and prepared for what I would see.  He was there, he was breathing and oh my….there is our Proffer boy, look at those eye brows!  I tried to absorb everything they were telling me so I could update his dad but in all honesty I am not even sure what streets I drove to get there, who brought me to the room or even what floor we were on.  I found my spot on his right side, took his hand under the covers and just told him I was there.  I explained who I was as we have only met a few time in recent years and let him know I would not leave him until his dad arrived.

I sat next to Jake for what seemed at times like minutes and others like days, holding his hand, wiping his face, taking to him, telling him stories of his dad, his grandpa, anything I could think of that would bring comfort to him.  I spent time washing the dirt and blood from his hands so maybe he wouldn’t look as roughed up when is mom and dad arrived.  I tried to always be touching him so he knew he was not alone and as I closed my eyes and let the silent tears fall onto the bed, I prayed that all the love of his family and friends could be channeled through me and into him.  I prayed in my head, I prayed out loud and I prayed into his ear in hopes he could hear and believe every word.

As I sat in the dark of the room late into the evening, as his parents and family raced from all different directions, as my adrenaline rush started to ease, I realized that he was my child too.  They are all our children and we do whatever we need to do to support them and love them and care for them.  It didn’t matter to me for even a nano second that this was my cousins child, that night, he was my child too.  This realization expanded my heart to depths I had not known before and as that happened things shifted.  The room although dark, felt lighter, it felt sweeter and full of grace as if grace were something you could physically feel.  I knew my angel had returned and she stayed with us in that room and wrapped us both in her love.

It was during these late night hours of quite, when Jake had stabilized (as much as possible at that point) that I understood why I saw my angel on the highway earlier.  She wasn’t coming to take Jake home, she was leading me to him.  The exit ramp where I saw her was the exact exit I needed to take to go to the correct hospital…as I saw her drift into the distance, she was heading straight towards Butterworth hospital as I raced on to another hospital.  She was just trying to lead me to him so I could share her love, her healing, her strength and make sure Jake knew he was not alone.


6/22/18 – I have not been able to even re-read this post until today.  It has taken me nearly a year to shake the intensity of that night and the days that followed.  Jake is doing great now.  I haven’t seen him recently as he is a busy college student but from what I can tell, he has recovered 100%, for which I am thankful for each day.

Over the week that he stayed in the hospital in Grand Rapids, I was able to spend time with Jakes family, my family.  Tears began to be replaced by laughter as each day his condition improved.  Early morning coffee and late night chats kept us all going on so little sleep.

As I look back now I realize that my angels, not just Aunt Nan but also Big Lar and so many others were at work in my life in the days leading up to this event.  I now understand why I bought a bulk supply of little to-go boxes at Costco the week prior.  I now understand why Bob and I prepped so much extra food for dinner the night before.  I now understand why I was sitting at my home office desk looking at the caller ID that Saturday afternoon when my cousins call came in.   My angles were setting me up to be prepared for exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing.

Angels are everywhere among us, you just have to look and believe.

Sparkle on,


In the Midst of Millions

In the Midst of Millions

Who are all these people in the middle of a Monday at the park?  Some stroll with children at their side, some with cigarettes in hand.  Some stop to take photos and others stride through as if on a mission. Who are they and how are there so many?

How is it possible that so many of us can be here together but know absolutely nothing of one another, possibly not even recognizing our shared space?

How is it that just an hour ago I was inside a time warp bubble with someone I have not known for 20 years but have known more than anyone around me now?

How do we traverse from a place of historic commonality to a swarm of indifferent strangers in a matter of city blocks, of silent minutes?

There are so many people in this world… how is it determined with whom you will connect?  Who will cross your path, make a mark and then move on?  Who will impact you forever from afar and who will stand with you in all the unseen moments of time?

I am in awe of the millions of people around me right now but I am feeling grateful for the people to whom I am connected.

Sparkle on…



Trust is a Tricky Wicket

Trust is a Tricky Wicket
11/20/16 – Trust

Trust is a tricky wicket. It comes into play in everything we do and think. Trust is even the tennis set that separates the wars inside my own head. Which voice on the court do I or rather should I trust? I realize I have a deep path to wander down inside myself related to trust but today the trust that is lodging itself within my gut is related to Todd.

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Emerging from Worry

Emerging from Worry

I am wasting energy right now. I know I am doing it and I don’t know how to stop. I am away from home, in a hotel room being distracted from my binge TV watching by the sound of rain and ice pellets hitting the window. The louder it gets the more I worry. The later it gets the more I worry.

Will I wake up on time? Will my Uber show up? Did I leave enough time to get to the airport? Will there really be snow in the morning? Will my bags be over 50lbs now that I went shopping and bought books? Will I remember all the people I met and the ideas that were shared?

I have been in a bubble of profound vibration for the past 4 days and I know when the morning comes it will all be over. Maybe that is why I am worrying so much, because I know the feeling of deflation that will come when I open the door to room 1111 tomorrow morning with my bags in hand and the lights flicked out.

Reality will hit hard when the plane touches down. Some parts will be warm and forgiving and some will be jagged blades scratching the softness in which I have wrapped myself. I will openly welcome the love and hugs from my family but I will dread the pieces of my life that are in place solely for the point of carrying on.

That is really sad and that might just be the point. I have to take the little nuggets of wisdom that I scribbled in my notebook this weekend and sit with them each day. Take a pause, connect to the greater good, and feel with my body and not my mind. I have seen the path that lies before me without those things and I need to make a new choice for myself…I need to emerge from the static of the should and blossom into the rays of what could.

Sparkle On…



My Easy Button

My Easy Button

So, unlike many of my posts, this one is coming in real time.  No editing, no sitting on it for 6 months, just raw, vulnerable, and honest to the bone.

I am sitting in my hotel room at this AWESOME conference, Emerging Women 2017.  I went last year and it too was amazing, hence I am here again.  The problem is….I have a headache!  I had one yesterday too.  For those that are just joining “my souls circus” you need the speed read of…I have an inoperable brain tumor that will not kill me but will give me crazy ass headaches that suck!

So, having a headache is not the story line here….the story line is what am I going to do about it?

Yesterday, I was in a breakout session on “How To Not Die From Your Emotions: Finding Clarity and Courage Through Your Crazies” with LiYana Silver.  I did an exercise where I had to bring forward my emotion and feel it through my whole body for 90 seconds.  I choose to feel the fear I have of the headaches.  The panic that the pain will strike me at a time and place where I will have little control (aka – a conference in Denver, where I am alone and I don’t want to miss anything).  In the course of the exercise I was asked to hold my emotion as if it were a young baby…my mind said…in BIG ASS BOLD LETTERS running across the screen of my brain….”I AM PART OF YOU and THAT IS OKAY”.  It felt like a huge breakthrough.  There was a sense of relief, of acceptance and a bit of freedom all wrapped into one.  But the story doesn’t end there….

I woke up this morning (yes, it is still morning in this time zone) and I have a headache.  What the hell, I thought I addressed this yesterday.  As I sit having coffee, putting my hair in rollers and figuring out my plan for the day….which could involve missing more conference because of my fucking headache it hits me…..THIS IS NOT EASY!

Having a part of you that you cannot control, a part to which you have to share control is not easy.  I am being forced to listen to my body and not just my mind.

<<I have to interject a thank you to Suzy Batiz for reminding me that listening to your body is many times way more useful than listening to you head.>>

So how did I not have this problem at last years conference?  Was it at a lower elevation…yes but what the hell difference does that make?  Where the people difference…yes, but they are all awesome so no difference there.  The difference is….last year I had my EASY BUTTON.  Last year anytime I started to feel something I took a Norco.  When a speaker said something that struck me…I didn’t really feel it, how could I?  I was pumping in the Norco like it was oxygen.  I sailed through last year on a wave of high energy, inspiration and some very potent chemicals.

I don’t have the chemicals anymore.  I stopped taking any/all medications (drugs, whatever you want to call them) that fit into the Narcotic category in 2016.  I don’t have an easy button anymore. When I feel something, I feel it.  When my left eye starts to twitch from pain or tear from fear of the pain, it just has to happen and I just have to let it happen.  It all feels a bit shitty right now because I am missing out on what I know are great speakers so I can take a nap or a rest or just deep breath in a corner so I don’t loose my shit but I have to believe…I HAVE TO, that this no easy button is the route for me and that if I miss some really cool stuff then maybe it just wasn’t my time to experience it.  Yes, I am going to have to repeat that last part over and over in my head because even this morning I have missed a few speakers already.

The good news at this very moment is that I feel safe.  I feel safe that I could tell these women, Power Circle 15, and others I am meeting each day, that this is my story and this is my struggle and I would receive nothing but support.  Thank you for giving me a safe spot to from which to detach from my easy button.


Sparkle On beauties….all is okay.




I Am Not Them

I have been in a paralyzed state of no function lately.  I received some news that made my soul feel a bit “kicked to the curb” and I haven’t wanted to expose myself to it any further than required…which really is not far.  So here is the deal…Last year I went to this AWESOME conference called Emerging Women.  I met and experienced so much positive energy during this time and for a time afterward that I was elated to begin my work as a blogger, truth teller, public speaker, and whatever it is that I end up creating out of “My Souls Circus” that I might have jumped in with both feet before even checking the water temperature.  I knew that I wanted to be on the stage at a future Emerging Women conference so not only did I mention that to my power circle at the 2016 event, I pounced on the opportunity extended by Emerging Women to apply to be a speaker on a sister stage at Emerging Women 2017.  The day I opened that email it was like my insides exploded with excitement and all the stars that would have been singing if it were night were perfectly aligned into the words – “Dare Greatly Cherisse” (see picture below of the bracelet I wear every day).

I grabbed my shapie colored markers/pens and my pretty pink paper and just let the idea for a speech flow from my mind through my fingers, spelling errors and all, onto the sheet.  It is not pretty but it is pretty awesome!  REFRAME TO RESILIENCE

I hesitated only slightly before typing up the email, answering all the required questions and attaching that photo just to show my unabashed, over the moon giddiness, about the possibility of speaking at this conference, about resilience, and being a real live truth teller like some of my best friends (these women have no idea that I am their best friend so please, lets not bother them with the details) Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, Anne Lamont, Tara Mohr, Elle Luna, just to name a few.  I guess I am very popular in my head!!

Well, my truth telling starts here kids…..I am not one of my best friends!  I do not have a best selling book, I do not own or run a successful business, I do not have a degree in anything other than plain old nerdy mathematics!  The only big speeches I have given (so far….notice how I am NOT giving up) are funerals (Granny Mae and Aunt Josie) and a few fundraising events for our local United Way.  Those were big deals to me so I am still counting them on my public speaking resume even if no one else gives a damn.  So, I am not yet the material for a big time conference and thus my rejection letter hit a bit hard.  Hard enough that I left a trail of nasty used tissue from the bedroom to the sunroom where I attempted to hide my broken from my sleeping family.  Guess I should have trashed the evidence because Husband was all confused in the morning.

So there it is…my first big time rejection.  But guess what….I AM resilient and I am going to “Reframe to Resilience” just like my speech title said!!

I am going to Emerging Women 2018 next month in Denver and I am going to light up like a golden glow stick as I meet and mingle with these awesome women and I learn from them all the bits and pieces that I need to let my sparkle fly even further.

In the wise words of my friend A.B., maybe I just need a little glitter!

Sparkle on…


Harnessing Strength

So I was looking for something else today and came across this GEM from January 11, 2016.  It is written on the little slips of paper that they give you at a hotel next to the phone…I guess I was traveling for work on this night.  So here you have it…my great insights regarding Strength straight  from my sloppy midnight handwriting to you!  Enjoy!!

Fuck Compliancy – Harnessing Strength

The first step in harnessing your strength is NOT to admit you have a  problem – it is to admit you have a KICK ASS character trait, and that is the only clear step in the process!

There is not a 12 step program (as much as we would love a step by step set of instructions) to becoming or embracing our strength.

For me, 99.9% of the time I don’t even recognize the parts of my own life as needing strength until after the fact, when I look back and can say – HOLY SHIT that took bass to conquer.  I often wonder if that is because fear may stop me from forward progress if I knew the strength needed ahead of time.  It makes wonder if all black diamond ski slopes should be labeled bunny hills just to get my ass on them.  Pretty sure I would make it to the bottom of both….why let fear rule my strength?

I want to share and show that being strong is not a liability to you, your family, friends, employer or employees.  Being strong is an asset that you can use to drive out the good in yourself, in others, in your community, work, etc…  The labels (oh yes, the labels) BOSSY, BITCHY, AGGRESSIVE, KNOW IT ALL, are just that….LABELS!  If we use our straight for good <<insert superhero here>>

we can move past the labels and find new lenses that reflect leadership, drive, compassion and integrity.

This is not just something for us to learn but for us to TEACH as well.  I have held my strength high out of sheer blind faith mixed with a bit of naivety and some great parenting (#ProfferTough) until some point where I have let Corporate America and _____big blank spot_____ (I suspect that big blank spot might be filled with a ton of shitty experiences) beat me down.  For my daughter (and myself) I have to reconnect with my strength as I know it is part of the true me.  I want to teach “E” how to harness her strength and hold onto it ALWAYS!  How to do that is TBD!!!

Additional commentary from today, Wednesday, August 2, 2017….

I can look back over the last few years and see that I have wavered in my ability to recognize, accept and “re-harness” my strength.  I am a work in progress but I can feel it coming back.

Interesting snip it I had in this book on the prior page…this will make you think!

in case you can read that small print it says…

Stay in balanced harmony with the field of intention to help stabilize and harmonize the forces of the universe that can get out of balance when you live from a place of excessive ego.

Sparkle On…




F The Should

March 2017
There are so many things running around in my head.

Is it really true that pouring yourself into something you don’t like is stress but pouring yourself into something you love is passion?
If that is the case I need to not work in Corporate American anymore.
But what then do I need to do?
Help people? What people? What am I passionate about?

I know there is something about DIPG (a type of brain cancer that impacts mostly children) that gets to my heart but I don’t understand the connection or what I could possibly do in that space to help people, to make a living or to make any kind of difference.

I like playing in jewelry making but what I generate is nothing special, nothing that would/could support my family. I wouldn’t know how to make a living doing something that I love rather than something I am just good at…I have always lived by the rules of “you are supposed to do X, Y, Z”.
I really would love to say “Fuck Suppose To” but I have no idea how to proceed in any other way… but boy would I love to figure it out.

The idea of putting into my day only those things that were associated with my desires is so enticing that it almost seems forbidden. I really think there would be days when I would want to clean up after Eva and do her laundry and take care of her because I have passion about her. There would be days were I would just want to devour a good book and I want that to be okay too. There will be days where I want to work in the garden and grow beautiful flowers and healthy foods. There will be days where I want to engage with the world and share golden light. How the hell do you put all those things together into something that supports a family?

I think that might be at the core of my current issue…how do I live the life I am craving inside and still be able to support my family financially? Do I have to support my family financially? Is it possible that we could survive if I didn’t work doing what I do now? How could we change our lives so that I/we could live rather than exist (work, chores, sleep)?

Would I be happier with five outfits that make me feel wonderful versus having 5 closets full of clothes that most don’t fit? Would my daughter be happy with 90% less material things? Would we all be happier without all the excess?

I think I would like to sell off 80% of what we own and just go VERY simple. Keep the things that we can use to make other things, grow other things, and keep ourselves and those in our lives healthy and inspired. I don’t need 10 purses to do any of that.

I would like to move my job into just that…a job category. I login/go to work, do a good job and leave it at the end of the day. I don’t want to put in 150% anymore. I want to give it the basic 100% until I can walk away from it into something that I have passion about. I am tired of pretending to have passion about something that pays well and I “should” have passion about. I am not an IT person. I am nothing that should be labeled like that…I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and good/inspiring person. Those are the only labels I want. The AVP, overachiever, banker, etc… can bite it – the walls of those boxes are too small for my soul.

As of today (July 2017) I think I have found some balance in that I started My Soul’s Circus and I work on it in my time while I still give Corporate America their time in trade for my paycheck. At this point it seems like a reasonable arrangement until the Universe leads me down my next path.

Sparkle On…


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…


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!