“I’m not sure we should go up now,” I said cautiously, glancing up at Caltabellotta’s hill fort.
By day the craggy peak had been softened with long grasses and poppies. Its ruined castle had looked romantic. Now it looked spooky. Menacing. The wind whistled and howled. “We might get blown off the top,” I added pathetically.
“No we won’t!” Andrew shouted back, his voice ripped off course by another gale-force blast. “Come on. We’ll go this way.”
Gingerly I followed him up the steps, glancing across at the caves that peppered the mount. The whole of this area contained a honey-comb of caves; dark tunnels where mythical dragons were reputed to have demanded human sacrifices on a daily basis. I found myself imagining what might be down there in the caverns beneath the steps we were climbing and did my best not to think about the article I’d translated in the apartment … (Amongst various other shady characters,it told of how in the 1920s Alister Crowley had come to this very hill where he hung around trying to summon the “Beast of the Apocalypse”.)
By the time we passed through the gatehouse it was darker and the wind had dropped a little. Still we kept going, up the stairway as it meandered along the ledges, until eventually we reached the top of the mountain peak. The plateau was tiny; the size of a small kitchen. I could hardly believe it.
“It’s so small. I thought this was where the castle would be,” I said, gazing out at the Sicilian landscape, towns twinkling in the darkness like jewelled constellations.
Andrew, who was looking down at the cathedral cupped between it’s two peaks said, “The hill is the castle. If you think about it, this whole town has been built around this one point. From here people could see for miles. They could check out exactly who was coming.”
“Mmm, good positioning and built entirely on fear.”
I wandered across to where Andrew was looking out. Something was flapping on the safety rail; a white sheet stained with bright red paint or ink. It was a Templar flag.
Imagine you are that mountain peak.
How much of what you say, do, create in your life is built on fear … fear of not being enough, having enough, doing enough?
Are your actions motivated by fear, the need to combat a sense of inadequacy … or are you motivated by self worth, self respect and gorgeousness?
Deep within (most) people are caves – little pockets of darkness – where old emotions dwell. Left unrecognised, these feelings continue to lurk, cutting us off from our essential self, our natural power and heart connection.
As children many people endure some form of invasion into their personal space, whether physically or emotionally. This leaves them feeling defenseless and terrorized. People who experience this often grow up into adults who journey through life feeling vulnerable and painfully affected by other people’s opinions of them. Some people may turn to over-eating, drugs and alcohol to create barriers of safety. Others may become people-pleasers, desperate for approval from “out there”.
How safe do you feel inside your Self?
If you have suffered from some sort of invasion, physically or emotionally, it isn’t to late to create a haven of safety within your Self. This haven is not a fort built on fear of invasion or hurt, but a Sanctuary protected by clear boundaries.
Drawing up boundaries goes hand in hand with learning to be assertive and developing your secret weapon (the “NO” word!) When you create an inner sanctuary by choosing appropriate limits and saying “no” for yourself, then you will no longer need to insulate yourself with objects, food or relationships. Being able to draw boundaries of what you will allow in your life is an act of true self-love.
Three Steps To Help Your Create A Safe Haven of Gorgeousness
1. In your journal draw a circle. Inside the circle draw a person or symbol that represents you. Now imagine that you truly believed in your gorgeousness. If you were 100% confident, connected to your power, precious energy, what sort of boundaries would you place in your life? Around that person – inside the circle – draw other pictures and symbols that illustrate the ways of being, qualities and actions that you will allow into your life. On the outside of the circle write all of the things that you would never allow to pass into your life (if you truky loved yourself), i.e. Abuse, disrespect etc. How does your life reflect your drawing? Do you need to make any changes?
2. Go to one of those lovely potteries where you can buy an unglazed piece and paint it with your own design. Choose a bowl – preferably a large one. This bowl is going to represent you being open, allowing your inner colors and gorgeousness to shine through. Consider your design. Will you choose bright colours in a crazy fiery mix? Or will you choose gentle, relaxed colours? What sort of person are you? Let your intuition, the colours and the paint guide you. When you are finished have you bowl glazed. Display your bowl somewhere visible. Each time you need the power to say “no” and set boundaries, think of that bowl – open, solid and round. Honour it, set your boundaries and just see what happens.
3. Copy out this piece by Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love and read it as often as you can (the italics are mine!)
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God (Gorgeousness). Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you … We were born to make manifest the glory of God (Gorgeousness) that is within us. It’s not just some of us … it’s in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated fro our own fears, our presence (true Gorgeousness) automatically liberates others …
(Gorgeous vibrant bowl image above is from Shabby Cow – Handmade in Cornwall)