Acceptance: My life is not perfect. Thank you for asking.

Acceptance: My life is not perfect. Thank you for asking.

Yes, my life is not perfect.  It is what it is.

My yard – both front and back – is a mess.  My house is a mess.

I am current unemployed again. My car needs a ton of repairs right now. I am in therapy for my past traumas.

Other than throwing a lot of money at all of my current problems, I am unable to change and solve every problem overnight. I am okay with it.  I accept my current challenges.

We live in a culture of shame whether we like it or not. It is the boogie man of our times. It is a gremlin that we feed even after midnight. It is the big monster under our bed, in our cars, in our schools, in our offices, and visible out in our big world.

Shame is also the little robot that attempts to control our lives whether we are aware of it or not. It takes away the little pleasure in our lives.  It sniffs the happiness out of our lives in a moment’s notice.

Shame tells us that we are ugly when we are not. It tells us that we are not the right sex, religion, class, race, sexual orientation, or live in the right country.

Shame feeds on our self-esteem on a daily basis.  It tells us lies and false truths that we tend to believe them when we shouldn’t.   It changes our attitude from positive to negative.

I have one question.  How are we going to change this?

How are WE going to change shame to acceptance?  Or love? Or compassion?

We need to change our world into a world of less bullying and more accepting others for their differences.  We need a kinder world where it is okay to be different. We also need a safer world where people feel safe for not following the straight path to success and need to make an occasional hiccup or mistake in their lives.

It is okay to be different.  It is okay to be original. It is okay to be one of a kind.

You are awesome because you are different.  You are amazing because you are appreciated.  It is okay to be yourself.

Not everyone has a model’s body.  Not everyone has a 4.0 GPA or can obtain a perfect SAT or ACT score in their lifetime. Not everyone has a house that looks like it came out of a catalogue.

Give yourself some slack.  Give yourself some self-compassion. Give yourself some self-love that you deserve.  Connect with someone who appreciates you for who you are.

It is time to celebrate everything about YOU because you are you – not someone else. There is no shame in that.

Just love!

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    Greetings, Chicago Suburbanites! Welcome to Active Suburbia! My name is Denise, but I am known as Firefly, Red, and "Hey there". I will be your tour guide to everything active within the Chicago suburbs. In this blog, I will be your guide to places within the Chicagoland Suburbs that will help lead a more active lifestyle and a lot of fun too. In fact, studies have shown that reading this blog will bring a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and burn those last nasty 5 lbs that you can't get off. (Ok, everything's true except for the last one that hasn't been proved.....YET, but I am determined to make it true.) Here's a short introduction about myself: I am a very active person. You can say that I have endurance, determination, grit, and hard work in my bones. I enjoy running and cycling. I have completed a couple of marathons, half-marathons, 5K's, etc in my running career. I also enjoy trying most things active and willing to explore if I have to. I enjoy checking out the trails near me and doing a lot of running. I also enjoy teaching Pilates and yoga. I am also a suburbanite living in the awesome suburb of Berwyn. I am a suburban girl at heart and love every minute of it. I originally grew up in the frozen tundra of the Twin Cities. I am also a die-hard sports fan and enjoy the competitive nature of it. I love baseball, college and professional football, and even hockey. I am always interested in finding more fun places within the Chicago suburbs. If you know of a gem, shoot me an e-mail at You can also follow me on Twitter too.

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