Aries (March 21-April 19): Your home should be a refuge, and yet you spend an awful lot of time tiptoeing around people and circumstances relating to the domestic lately. That’s not peaceful! Make a move to improve this before it spoils your well-being. Taurus (April 20-May 20): Don’t hold on to secrets or shame out of fear of being judged. Half the time people are so into their own dramas that they could care less about yours. Tell, don’t tell — that doesn’t matter. But in your own mind, let it go and be free. Gemini (May 21-June 21): What’s in the stars for you now is a love as pure and all-consuming as a mother’s love for a child, only not from your mother and not for the childish part of you. This is a full-grown affection. Cancer (June 22-July 22): To join another person’s world requires you to leave your own for a little while. Do you find this scary or adventurous? Probably both today, though you might be calmed by your accompaniment. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): When you’re in that bubbly, break-the-ice kind of mood you’re liable to say the things that bring people together, make them giggle and also possibly ruffle feathers. If that happens, it’s par for the course. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Celebrities lend their endorsements to products for financial gain, but you have something much more integral at stake. You only make recommendations for what you absolutely believe in, a habit you’ll repeat today. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Since you’re in such a hurry this week, here’s a timesaver: Learn as much as you can about where you’re going before you take the first step. See your desired result in action. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): Whatever you want to accomplish today, it will happen through networks. Bonus: You’ll see where you could add a few people — people with different skills who are thrilled to be aligned with your specialness. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your friends might falter. Now it’s up to you to uphold the values of kindness and decency, which, paradoxically, you’ll do in the most humorous and irreverent manner. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your whole being leans toward one primary aim — to raise the energy around you wherever you go. It’s a secret intention, perhaps an unconscious one, and a noble purpose for sure. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): How do you get better? The answer is really simple. Live. Live consciously. Pay attention. Attention is love. If you seek improvement, you’ll tend to it, which is the same as loving it, which is eventually becoming it. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Do you know someone who already has what you want? This will be most helpful. You need to analyze the qualities and know all there is to know about them.
To write to Holiday Mathis, visit www.creators.com/author/ holiday-mathis and click “Contact.” DEAR ABBY >> I’m 19, and for the past year I have been out of my parents’ house (at last!). I’m realizing now that the years I spent with Mom and Dad were different than other people’s. My parents weren’t physically abusive, but they were mentally and emotionally abusive, and it has scarred me in some ways. Because I was never allowed to speak my mind, I shut down if anybody raises his or her voice to me.
When I was growing up, they used exercise as a punishment. If my brothers or I were late, it was 10 pushups. They also forced us to go through exercise programs. Naturally, as soon as I was free from them, I stopped exercising altogether.
I now realize I need to exercise again as I am technically obese, and I need to lose the weight while I’m still young. My problem is, I’m not motivated. I tell myself I’ll go out and run, signed up for a gym — even got a running buddy. But I find myself making excuses and tricking myself out of going. What are some ways I can help myself mentally so I can get going on this evergrowing problem?
— Chubby in California
DEAR CHUBBY >> Your parents may have meant well when they insisted that you and your siblings get involved in exercise programs, but they were wrong to use exercise as a punishment.
While I can see why you now view exercise that way, its benefits are more far-reaching than weight loss. Being physically active benefits your heart and brain, and in addition, can be an effective stress reducer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be running. Perhaps tennis, bowling or dancing would be more enjoyable for you.
“Tricking” yourself can work two ways, but while I don’t advise tricking yourself to make yourself get off the couch, I think the adage “the way to get out of a jam is not to get into one in the first place” applies here. Some suggestions:
When you get out of bed in the morning, have your exercise clothes already laid out. Instead of reading or listening to the news, put them on IMMEDIATELY. Then eat some protein to boost your energy, and go out and do what you need to do.
Don’t expect to run a marathon immediately. Start slowly and remember that stamina isn’t built overnight. Eventually, you will establish a routine — like brushing your teeth.
I won’t lie to you. It takes discipline. But now that you have “escaped” from your parents, YOU have to be your OWN parent, so it’s up to you not to let yourself be lazy.
P.S. When you’re on your way out the door, thank your higher power that you are able to do exercise because many people are not so fortunate. And if you catch yourself slacking off after trying what I have suggested, then consider consulting a licensed mental health professional to overcome your aversion to exercise.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 610540447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)