August 18, 2010 | 02:36 PM
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
I love seeing people fulfill their potential (and subsequently discovering that they can go even further), and I get disappointed when they slack off in exploring its boundaries. There's no need to be so incredibly driven and motivated that you never stop to enjoy the delicious fruits of your successes. However, passing up opportunities to evolve and expand because of sheer laziness is something I can't accept. This week, discover the balance between pure unhurried enjoyment of life and being motivated enough to take steps to maximize your growth and potential, and, therefore, that enjoyment.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
You've been taxiing down the runway for ages, but something's always prevented you from building up enough speed to become airborne. Now, just ahead of you, is a long, straight expanse of smooth concrete. Here's your chance to get aloft. Increase your momentum, immediately. If you hit full speed right away, you'll be in the air long before the runway terminates, but the thing's not endless. If you wait at all to achieve take-off velocity, you'll probably miss this window of opportunity. I can't tell you exactly when you'll have your next chance to soar but I can tell you this: it's not soon.
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Don't allow self-doubt to overwhelm you regarding a few questionable decisions you've made. Checking in with yourself is a good habit I hope you never give up; however, taking it obsessive extremes isn't healthy. Fortunately, you have a guardian angel or two hanging around this week, who'll be happy to help you with this stuff, either by reassuring you that you've made the right choice, or helping you get back on a better path if you screwed up. All you need to do is notice these helpful companions, welcome their aid, and listen to their advice.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Because you've played the martyr before, your ability to tolerate (and even thrive in) difficult situations is remarkably advanced. That's why you sometimes don't properly notice it when something has moved out of the realm of the reasonable (a friend going through a rough patch who needs extra TLC, for example) and into the land of the batshit insane. I've seen Scorpios tirelessly wasting themselves trying to carve out solutions to scenarios that simply have none, because they just don't know better. There's only so much you ought to put up with. Draw a line that no one should cross. Then stick to it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
You're a confused bee, trapped indoors. You're buzzing against the glass, frustratingly uncomprehending why you can't get to that gorgeous expanse of blue sky right in front of you. Meanwhile, as if that weren't enough, you have to dodge potentially deadly slaps with a rolled-up magazine. What you don't know is that someone's opened the window right next to the one you're trapped behind, and their attempts to shoo you towards it are meant to help you, not compound your misery. Let yourself be swatted in the right direction, so you can zip out into the open and finally escape the trap that could otherwise be your doom.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Studies have demonstrated that women who suffer chronic anxiety or fear may be more susceptible to breast cancer, and that other emotional forces could influence our bodies in other ways, both good and bad. This is yet another reason why we should place our personal pursuits for happiness higher than those for financial security or other considerations. Sometimes, being happy is just a matter of deciding to be, to stop focusing on the little shit in your life that's not perfect, and to celebrate the many elements that are really great. This week, try that. Decide to just be happy. I'm betting it'll work.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
Spontaneity is hard for you right now. It's not that you're inflexible or overly ruffled by the unexpected. It's that your schedule has become so jam-packed. Being spontaneous at the moment means blowing off some important task or pre-arranged meeting; that, in turn, has a domino effect on the rest of your carefully-calibrated life. But what if you built a bit of slack-time into your schedule, to accommodate the unexpected? You can never know when they'll occur, but allowing for the (very strong) possibility of surprises this week would definitely be a good idea.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Don't disdain safety measures. Seatbelts, bike helmets, and condoms are necessary hassles. I know you like living life with nothing between you and the world (and its inherent risks), but don't be stupid. Shit can and does happen. I don't believe in letting fear rule or limit you. But being the victim of foolhardiness or stupidity is hardly the way to go, either. You can't protect yourself from pain. Suffering is intrinsic to life. But you can prevent much pointless misery, if you'd just swallow your pride and folly for a while. If you can keep yourself—and, by extension, those who love you—safer, you probably should.
Aries (March 21-April 19)
What I love about you are all the foolhardy choices you make. You're a leap-before-you-looker; that's part of what makes your life so exciting. But every once in a while the aftermath of your lack of foresight catches up with you, and you have to deal with the consequences of your impulsive decisions. At these times, you'll find your allies are thin on the ground, because many of your friends warned you against exactly the thing that's gotten you into trouble. They're understandably reluctant to help dig you out of the hole you dug yourself despite their advice. Occasionally, however, you get the chance to heed their guidance before it's too late. This week you can avert disaster. That means ignoring your own whims in favor of your friends' well-established wisdom.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Sometimes even your thick skull gets tired of slamming into a stone wall. Eventually, you must release your stubbornness and accept that this particular barrier is not going to break down any time soon, and consider adopting another strategy. Do not give up on your dreams, of course—just let go of this specific path to them. Step away from the wall. Shake your head and clear it of the shocks and blows of the last little while, then start searching for other approaches, which shouldn't take you too long to find. Don't berate yourself for missing them before, even though they're obvious now. You were busy.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Absolute freedom is somewhat over-hyped. You actually thrive best when you have structures to subvert, rules to bend or break, or boundaries to test. Given total liberty, your life quickly devolves into a chaotic, restless, disagreeable limbo. A few weeks free from the strictures of your existence can be a lovely vacation, but don't try too hard to shake them off for good. You're at your best when you are resisting those very constraints (and ultimately using them to exploit your intensity). Be grateful for the things that (try to) keep you in line—they're actually what will ultimately bring out the best in you.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Drama? You? Never! Sorry for the sarcasm, but it's time you finally come clean about your latest bit of emotional theater. Seeing yourself reflected in that unflattering mirror may be a shock, but don't let it plunge you into depression or self-destructive patterns. That would just be more drama. Shrug it off. Everyone's had those moments. Freaking out about it is exactly the opposite of outgrowing it. Breathe deep, and laugh. Learning from your mistakes with grace and (most of all) humor will be the first sign that you are unlikely to make them again.
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