I am working through a couple of self help books. I've talked about THE ARTIST'S WAY before, but I've picked up Barbara Sher's LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE. One of the things I'm being asked to do in that book is make a list of imaginary allies. To a large extent, especially with historical figures or people who you know about but don't actually know, they are the people you look up to. Your heroes. I've discovered I don't actually have any. So I'm spending time trying to figure out who I really do look up to. Who I'd want on my side if I needed help, or encouragement.
She says you should include favorite pets, so I've added Willie. He was my dog, 20+ years ago. The only one I ever had. When I was sick or needed comfort he would know and come to be with me. He was there when I was trying to fight a regular nightmare that had me waking up screaming. He tried to protect me from all kinds of real or imaginary problems.
I've also added Leonardo da Vinci to my list. He was a great artist and a polymath. Someone I could really look up to. He had an interesting life as well, and there was nothing I know about that turns me off in that life.
And Hatshepsut, a "king" of Egypt. A woman who made her own way at a time when women could not do that. Who became a king because the idea of a reigning queen was something no one could even imagine in her culture. And not a bad king either. She built up the country internally, and began diplomatic journeys internationally. She successfully brought up the step-son who was too young to be king at the time when she took over as his regent and then as the senior co-reigning king, so when he did take over he was placed to successfully become the warrior king that his country needed at that point. He was not beaten down so he would not be able to take her place, and that is pretty impressive all on its own. He was able to build on what she had done in Egypt internally, and he invented empire.
I'm not sure who else I will add to the list, but I am working on it.