Are You Living In The Culture Of Not Enoughness?

The words are rampant in the Western world.

Maybe you’ve even said them yourself. Surely you’ve thought them.

There is not enough.

I don’t have enough.

And the real kicker, I am not enough.

In societies that have more abundance and riches than in any other time in history, how is it possible that these words are so often, if not uttered, then at least thought or felt, several times a day?

Although men suffer from this syndrome as well, I’m going to focus the attention on women here because these words are the cultural battle cry underlying the majority of messages that come our way.

YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH => YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.

not enoughness

You can fill in your own personal blank.

You are not ______ enough.

Most of us have a self-image that is not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough, not attractive enough.

We overwork to compensate for being not enough especially when we want both career and kids. We’re underpaid in most areas of the work world. We spend billions of dollars on products and cosmetic surgery to help us feel enough.

So what’s new? We have a pretty good picture of all this already, when we stop to think about it.

What I’m curious about is how much you think this personally affects your life?

When you do stop to think about it, how often does this insidious mantra pulse through your thoughts and your actions?

Do you overcompensate and over-give so that people will like you even though you feel like it’s never working?

Do you opt for the opposite, can’t be bothered putting in effort because it’ll never be good enough, but then don’t achieve the goals you have for yourself?

Do you strive to be perfect, often falling into overwhelm and exhaustion?

In my years of coaching and as an artist, I’ve noticed this primary belief lying at the base of some of the most talented, intelligent women I know. Whether it is unconsciously there or right up front in your face, these four words are the cause of more than their fair share of unhappiness and misery.

To give you an idea of how pervasive and deep this feeling of not-enoughness goes, I’ll share some thoughts from a must-read book for our times The Chrysalis Effect: The Metamorphosis of Global Culture.

chrysalis effect

Philip Slater describes two opposing systems that are currently engaged in an epic struggle. In his words:

The old system I call Control Culture. Its concern with mastery led to the creation of rigid mental and physical compartments, a static vision of the universe, a deep dependence on authoritarian rule, a conviction that order was something that had to be imposed, and a preoccupation with combat.

The new system I call Integrative Culture, because its guiding impulse is to dissolve mental walls and permeate artificial boundaries—to celebrate interdependence. It has a dynamic vision of the universe, a democratic ethos, and sees order as something that evolves, as it does in Nature, from spontaneous interaction.

Written well before the current presidential race in the U.S., this is another quote from the book:

Control Culture is obsessed with building walls.

Does that ring any bells?

More interestingly, do you know what the foundation of the entire Control Culture is based on?

The demotion of women.

You cannot have an authoritarian, war-like society unless women are devalued and oppressed.

Whaattttt????

I don’t know about you but the Control Culture is NOT a world I want to continue to live in. If you take a big picture, visionary look at the world right now, you can see how this control/integrator dynamic is playing out in many different areas of life.

The conflict is within every nation, every political party, every religious tradition, every institution, every individual.

My question to you is simple: which culture would you rather live in?

On a personal level, where are you fighting for control and where are you letting life evolve?

Visionary journaling fits exactly into the Integrative Culture.

In the creative process, knowing when to step in and when to let go is essential. This is what makes having a creative practice worthwhile. The focus is not on the product but on the experience; being present in the moment, flowing with the materials in a dance that is happening just for you.

Your journal is a safe place to practice this dance with absolutely no risk, no consequences, no judging from the outside world. There is only you and your page.

Willingness all you need.

And a few simple materials.

Through this process you will find self-kindness and self-love. This self-knowledge culminates in a woman who knows herself to be enough, who knows what she is doing and why, and is satisfied with the life she is creating.

I invite you to step through the portal of enoughness and take the journey of a lifetime. Through private 1-1 sessions with me, you will use visionary journaling to learn how to let go and trust, how to find enoughness, how to interpret what emerges from the page and apply it directly to your life. This is intimate creative work at its best.

If you feel the desire to finally get free from the culture of not-enoughness, click here for more details.

portal of enoughness

Could This Be Your Answer?

Looking for a document on my computer the other day, I came across a PowerPoint presentation for a talk I gave 3 years ago. Suddenly, all the thoughts and feelings I had about being center stage erupted in my memory.

The talk didn’t go well. To say the least.

It was an out-of-body experience that had me walking stiffly across the stage and forgetting a main point here and there. It was an unpleasant memory that I’d rather leave alone.

Panel One1st Panel ~ Visual Journal Pages ~ Linda Hough 2016

I quickly brought my thoughts back to the present and wondered whether I’d ever voluntarily decide to be on stage again.

What really got my attention though was looking over the content of the presentation entitled Live Your Biggest Vision.

As I scrolled the panels of the PowerPoint I found myself smiling.

Visions and visionaries have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. It occurred to me that occasionally life has a funny way of pulling all the scattered pieces together and showing you the big picture.

Reflecting back on my one and only speaking experience, I have learned that sharing my message is best done through the visual assemblage of images and words, and certainly not from the stage.

vision PosterPoster ~ Linda Hough 2016

What I see now is that everything I’ve spent my life learning is coming into play.

Coaching amplifies the importance of living true to ourselves and honoring our gifts and challenges.

Creating my own art, experiencing the freedom of self-expression, the deep healing and joy I’ve received from following this path.

And now visual journaling, a tool that is beyond measure for self-inquiry, creative practice and working out pretty much any difficulty.

Most importantly, I’ve learned to embrace life as a creative path traveling through beauty and bumps but always a journey of meaning and fulfillment.

At the end of last year, I came full circle back around to my origins.

Thinking my exhibition days were behind me, I was surprised and delighted when offered dates in December to exhibit some of my work in a local bio café.

Along with paintings, for the first time ever I displayed the three panels of visual journaling pages that you see here.

Panel Two2nd Panel ~ Visual Journal Pages ~ Linda Hough 2016

One of the most valuable experiences I’ve had with visual journaling is the practice of becoming comfortable with not-knowing.

For many people, maybe even you, not-knowing can be extremely uncomfortable.

Not knowing what you are doing next. Not knowing where you’re headed or with whom or how you are going to get there. Not knowing your big picture. Not knowing when you’ll know.

Extremely. Uncomfortable.

Yet, it is in this place of not-knowing that all answers exist.

Being comfortable not-knowing is the key to knowing.

But how do you become comfortable in this ever-so-uncomfortable place?

Like anything else you learn to do, you practice.

You practice entering into the unknown. And you practice being comfortable there.

Believe me, it does take practice.

It’s completely possible.

And the answers come.

Panel Three3rd Panel ~ Visual Journal Pages ~ Linda Hough 2016

What if all the elements of YOUR life are forming your own big picture, you just don’t know what it is yet?

Imagine gaining clarity where you most need it.

Imagine at the same time developing your creative abilities.

Then imagine being able to see into your future.

This is the process I’ve developed.

Click here if you’d like to know more.

Oh Say Can You See?

I recently read something that really pissed me off.

Harvard Business Review published an article called Women and the Vision Thing.
The subtitle got me going right away.

Basically, the claim was that women are judged to be less visionary than men.

Okay, this article was talking about business, women and leadership.

But it got me thinking about women in general and our visions.

Is it true that women are less visionary then men?

OR is it true that women have plenty of vision, but what has been lacking is the ability to empower those visions enough so that they get out into the world? To initiate enough forward motion that would usher in the help, resources, and perseverance that it usually takes to realize a vision in real life.

Perhaps we are too exhausted from banging our heads against walls that simply aren’t moving because, generally speaking, we tend to be the ones who provide the support, not the ones whose visions get supported.

This can be as true on a personal level as it is in business.

BoredWe Hold Too Much Sadness and Resignation

A vision is an image that appears in the mind or the imagination, sometimes as a flash of insight, sometimes created as a fully formed, detailed version of the end product.

In this case, the end product is your life.

A vision needs a creator. First to see the vision, then to recognize it as worthy of creation, and if she is the one to do it, finally to create it.

Conditioning and social structures have laid some very deep tracks in our DNA for women to support others rather than create our own visions. Or have our visions supported.

What gets sacrificed most often is a woman’s creative voice, her creative expression. We make everything and everyone more important than our own creative work.

No matter how many times we’ve heard it, we do not put our oxygen mask on first. This has always been the way. For most of us.

The thing is, we are all naturally creative beings.

To not create or express what we see inside, our visions and our dreams. To squash the creative desires that come naturally to us. To not know and love our unique creative voice. This is what leads to so much unhappiness and sadness in the world.

If you are squirming in your seat right now…good!

You are hearing the discontent of the still, small voice within that is yearning to receive your attention, your time, any time to see the vision that is lying dormant inside you.

Linda at 5I Had It Early On But I Forgot…[Visual Journal Page]

Personally, I am very familiar with this struggle.

I came into the world curious and creative only to realize these qualities were not particularly appreciated. I diverted my attention to various paths that all ended with lack of interest.

Until I recognized and reclaimed my own creative voice and valued my passions and desires, I was restless, frustrated and dissatisfied.

I understand how difficult it is to put your creative voice in a position of primary importance, how easy it is to discount it.

I also know that acknowledging your own dreams and desires as valid is what will make the difference between a lackluster life and a divine life filled with glorious moments of extended bliss.

Yes, that is really possible.

With a vision.

Finding your own personal vision for your life is like having your own personal guidance system. You are clear on where you want to go and the process of getting there unfolds before you like the red carpet on Oscar night.

Your creative voice is given the place of honor in your life that it deserves.

Young woman with visionWhat Does Your Divine Life Look Like?

No, women do not lack vision.

We have all the vision in our hearts the world can sustain.

What we need is the clarity and confidence to see our visions as valid and possible. To give them importance and priority.

Only then will we gather the help, resources and support we need to make our visions real.

If you are currently unsatisfied with where your life is headed,

If you are in a transition and don’t know which way to go,

If you are sick and tired of sacrificing your own creative voice to answer the call of duty,

I have an invitation waiting for you…click here to see it

What Do Recent Events in Paris Have to Do With YOU?

An estimated 3,000,000 people marched in Paris on Sunday.

Why? Because some guys with pens drew some pictures that some people didn’t like.

That’s the simple version. Granted, it is a complex issue with many factors competing for attention.

What we can say is that, for hundreds of thousands of people, coming out of the house on a Sunday afternoon is an effort worth taking to support freedom of expression.

As well, a massive outpouring of grief, sadness, and solidarity.

marianneLinda Hough ‘In Honor of Liberty, Fraternity, Equality` [Visual Journal Page] 2015

But what does this have to do with you directly?

How many times have you held back what you wanted to say or do because you were afraid someone’s opinion or reaction?

How many times have you not expressed yourself out of fear?

In one of the groups I belong to, there was a long discussion about how often this happens. Especially for women.

Remember the witch trials? Many of us have ancestral memories of having been killed for our healing abilities, our creative expression, claiming our independence etc. History is rife with such examples.

You may not know exactly where your fear comes from but you know it is stopping you.

The primary reason I created the Shine Your Light Tele-Summit several years ago now was to empower women’s expression. I invited 13 successful women and 1 man to share tools that we could use to come out of the shadows and shine our lights according to the Marianne Williamson quote*.

How has your life changed since then?

I admit that much of my own journey has been about walking the line between safety and putting my creative expression out into the world.

So far, I’ve been siding more towards safety.

But after this week, I can no longer hide behind any fear I may feel.

It’s time to fully embrace my purpose. 

NoTurning BackLinda Hough [Visual Journal Page] 2015

Since I was little, I’ve been captivated by beauty and inspiration. The visual journaling that I’m now doing has enabled me to rediscover this passion as I shared with you last week.

I’m only now grasping what a powerful tool it is.

I’ve uncovered many aspects of myself that were hiding out, in fear of showing up in real life.

But through my journal pages, I’m seeing how much this has cost me. I’m no longer willing to pay the price of sadness, frustration, or even anger at unconsciously keeping the whole of myself at bay.

Now you don’t have to either. 

remember72Linda Hough [Visual Journal Page] 2015

If you’ve been feeling not at all satisfied with your life as it is right now,

If you’ve been holding back your passion or purpose, or aren’t even sure what they are,

If you’ve been missing your creative voice or want to find it in the first place,

I invite you to join me for your very own private workshop: Creating Your Life Through Visual Journaling

Click here or on the WORKSHOP tab in the Menu bar for all the glorious details.

 

~ ~ ~ ~
“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 most frightens us. 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. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

– Marianne Williamson

Wow, Life Can Be Amazing When You Get Out of The Way!

I am writing to you again from the south of France where I have returned to live. A short catch up story and then on to what’s next.

In the last chapter of my newsletter (seems like eons ago), you might recall that I was trudging along trying to figure out how to get painting back into my life while working too many hours at the small B&B.

I finally had to admit to myself that painting wasn’t going to happen. I gave up on any further attempts as well as my newsletter and blog.

The DecisionThe Decision (detail) ~ Oil on Canvas on Panel 13” x 20” ~ ©Linda Hough

Somewhat despondent, feeling like I had failed at my quest, I continued the daily routine, happy to have something productive to do.

All the while, I kept my deepest desire alive: to combine some form of creativity with the coaching tools I know to be effective.

I was also repairing the relationship that had brought me to, and then back from France.

Without a doubt, coaching became the valuable tool that brought us back together. Through an excellent relationship coach, and with massive work on both our parts, we healed the past hurts and closed the gap that kept us apart.

In one fell swoop, it was time to say good-bye to the desert again, and return to the place I now call home.

SPdV-6View from a hike to St. Paul de Vence, France

Ah….french cheese, wine and chocolate divine. Oh how i missed you.

But I digress.

Just as I arrived back in France, another key piece in my life puzzle fell into place. I discovered visual journaling.

In lieu of painting, I had been working with collage. But that wasn’t quite the process I was looking for. I felt good about the work but something was definitely missing.

This missing piece was…drum roll please… PAINT!

And randomness. And messiness. And freedom.

Oh, the freedom! Yes, undeniably I was on fire with visual journaling.

Fast forward a couple of months. I’m all settled back in and happy, rather ecstatic, to announce the culmination of my creative and coaching work, my perfect combination of expression and exploration: Creating Life Through Visual Journaling workshop.

Saying Yes Saying No

If you’re in a place of transition, of not knowing what you want to do, where you want to go, or who you even are, if you find life dissatisfying and KNOW there is something more.

It’s fun. It creates results. And you’ll never look at life the same way again. You’ll find more information is under WORKSHOP tab.

My great appreciation to you for continuing this journey with me. I look forward to sharing the brightest and best bits of visual journaling with you.