Saturday, 18 December 2010


Becoming a happier person is in large part dependent on having a sense of being in reasonable control of your life.  Feeling out of control has been proven time and again to be associated with stress hormones zinging around your body, causing harm on both physical and emotional levels.

So often we give away our power to others.  Sometimes we feel we have to; for example, at work with a boss who can fire us, or at home with a family member or partner who hits or sulks if we don't give in to them.  Other times we blame fate, genes, hormones.

Of course, there are things that we can't change, situations that we are thrown into, as Heidegger put it.  Nevertheless, we can choose to take power where possible.  And there are real benefits to doing so.  Not just a sense of being an effective person who can make choices and influence their own life, but also a better metabolism.  Seriously, studies showed alpha monkeys have lower cholesterol on a high fat diet than lower down monkeys!

So, what does empowerment mean to you?  One really nice exercise is to think of who represents this idea to you.  Martin Luther King, or Ghandi, for instance.  Though it doesn't have to be someone real, just go with your imagination.  For example, Fiona from Shrek, or Dumbledore from Harry Potter.  It could, of course, be someone else entirely for you.

Now, how could you behave more like that person?  What is it about them that you admire?  How do they express their control over what life throws at them?  In what ways are they strong?

For today, I'm going for this angel with attitude, the lady with the Dress of Alchemy.  She has a golden halo around her head, indicating her state of enlightenment, eyes on her wings to show that her clarity of vision lifts her above the mundane, giving her a different perspective on life.  She holds a bottle with a double-headed eagle, alchemical symbol of combining masculine and feminine characteristics into a greater whole, and wears a dress covered in alchemical signs, representing her ability to transform herself.

Image: Dress of Alchemy from the Oracle of Shadows and Light.

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