Monday, December 7, 2015

What Do the Root Cause of Gun Violence and its Solution Have in Common? One Word: ENOUGH

Banner design a collaboration of Laurie McCammon, Ann Smith and her grandson Sacha

It’s on everyone’s lips these days: Why do such horrible mass shootings keep happening? What can we do about it?  

We assume that fixing the world has to be overwhelmingly complex, otherwise we would have fixed it by now.  Too much damage has been done.  We don’t have enough time, money, will, or genius to change the mega trends destroying our world. Humans aren’t capable of changing or rallying together fast enough.  But what if these are only true because we insist on focusing on symptoms rather than on root cause?  

Through three years of research for my book, Enough!  I discovered that humanity’s skewed orientation toward the word “enough” was responsible at a hidden root cause level for most of what we do not want, including scarcity itself.  Here’s what I learned:

                 1.       Even when we use the word “enough” we are more likely to actually
                experience feelings of deficit associated with “never enough.”  

Enough is such a commonly used word that it has an effect on every aspect our lives, whether our self-concept (Am I enough?), relationships (Does he love me enough?), career (There are never enough jobs.), money (How do I get enough, have enough or keep enough?), business, education, politics, and so on.  Our current global culture reinforces the idea that there is not enough and we are not enough – ever.  If we were perceiving “enough” evenly, the word would just as likely generate feelings and actions associated with satisfaction and abundance as fear and lack.  What we tend to see culturally, however, is that scarcity mentality has become an overarching lens of lack through which we interpret the entire world, including ourselves.   We perceive a world in which we are under constant threat of either not having enough or of losing what little we do have.  If we chase to its root each social ill whether terrorism, gun violence, economic insecurity, addiction, climate change, disease, corruption or debt, I believe we find an underlying core belief that we are not enough and do not have enough  - and never will.

2.        Never Enough physiologically distorts our ability to perceive accurately, selecting for the least sophisticated behaviors available to us.  

Never Enough has a cascade effect on our emotions and behaviors: anger that breeds violence; fear and stress that disempower us; deep insecurity and paranoia that lead to greed, aggression, revenge and tribalism.  It is not a far leap to see how any of these paths could lead to gun violence. 
Brain science tells us that when we feel we are under imminent threat, we tend to revert to the most primitive, "reptilian"parts of the brain, the brain stem and cerebellum which are responsible for quick, and usually polarized decision-making and actions known as “fight or flight.”   We become susceptible to leaders who offer simplistic answers and either-or arguments to further polarize people and issues.  When in scarcity mode, we are less likely to access the more sophisticated reasoning capabilities of the neocortex.  We are fooled into thinking that fast and decisive action are better at ensuring our safety than careful consideration, negotiation, fact-finding, collaboration and listening.   
But the neocortex is what distinguishes us as human.  It is responsible for language, abstract thought, imagination, and consciousness.  We should be highly suspicious of any cultural norm  which causes us to be less than we truly are – less curious, less conscious, less imaginative, less in control of our destinies.  Anything that halts consciousness cannot be part of a viable future.  

3.       Enough is the cure to eliminating every social ill.

What surprised me most while researching for the book was that the shift from Never Enough to Enough is already abundantly evidenced in our world,  in the sharing economy, green solutions, technological advances, new sciences, and in spiritual and storytelling wisdom traditions from all over the world.  You start to notice how a belief in Enough leads to better outcomes: innovation, healing, connection, peace, understanding, compassion, creativity, engagement, genius, resilience and yes, even joy.  Whereas the idea of Never Enough causes us to feel fearful, we become more open, trusting, alive and daring when we believe we are enough.  We ask more questions and seek to understand complexity and nuance. We grow in compassion and wisdom.  We feel compelled to speak up for truth and justice. We occupy our more of our brains and hearts, and by doing so, become bigger and more powerful than we have ever been.

4.        Humanity is the last to know the universe is telling an “Enough” Story.

What does the nature of Earth and the universe have to tell us about Enough and Never Enough?  No creature, no living being or system has ever prevailed by adopting a Never Enough strategy.  Every ecosystem we know of is instead an intimately interdependent delivery system of Enough for all, forever.  I take this to mean that humans, as part of nature, are actually Enough creatures by design. Our DNA contains instructions for how to co-create an Enough world.  We’ve simply forgotten.  We’ve spent too many generations locked in the reptilian brain, too used to the norms, rules and structures that have kept us tightly focused on scarcity, devoid of heart and connection. In such a culture, the anguish which would allow a human being to commit mass murder indicates alienation from one’s own divine enoughness.  

The symbol of the anti-gun movement is the hashtag  #ENOUGH.  Let’s make sure we consciously shift the rage, blame and indignation inherent in the old version of  “Enough is enough!” into the more empowering  “We are enough!” and “We have enough!” of today.  Enough attracts and creates enough while a “war against” always engages us in more war.    I vote for a world in which we and future generations know we are enough, where we feel seen and know we are precious and essential, where we no longer need to hurt others in order to assuage our own deep hurt.  

How about you? Do you see the connections between enough as a root cause and a solution? Share your stories on my Facebook or Twitter

To learn more about Laurie McCammon's upcoming book (April, 2016), Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, go to

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word ( in 5 simple steps)

We've internalized a "Never enough" culture:
Never good enough
Never smart enough
Never attractive enough
Never successful enough
Never rich enough
Never powerful enough
Never safe enough

Notice the fear, shame, hurt and longing contained within these seven common beliefs. Now multiply that by thousands and think about what that does to your spirit on a nearly constant basis.

We're constantly told there isn't enough to go around:
Never enough jobs
Never enough food
Never enough security
Never enough natural resources
Never enough oil

Now imagine what kinds of actions "seem" justified when it "appears" that our need for enough is either under threat or not being met. Imagine the violence, the jealously, the separation, resentment, anger and fear. Imagine the war, exploitation, hoarding and mistrust generated by a single belief of not having enough. Think about the ways we have been lured into horrible deals and trade-offs because of these beliefs - bank bailouts, GMO's, pesticides, fracking, strip mining, wars, dirty energy.

But if we apply a broader, truer lens to reality, we see that "never enough" is not inevitable in nature at all. It is a story we believe and therefore perpetuate on the planet with our choices. But it doesn't have to be this way at all. Enough has always been in our reach. In fact, it is written into our DNA and is present in the patterns and systems that have sustained the entire universe for billions of years. Enough ways of thinking and doing are organically being reclaimed as humanity's consciousness expands past learned ideas and habits that have kept us from seeing the whole or balanced picture and aligning with it. Enough is showing up as permaculture, the sharing economy, unity consciousness, new science and new technology, indigenous wisdom and feminine empowerment. As we embrace these truer versions of who we are and what the world is, old power structures based on Never Enough myths naturally lose their power to contain or control us. The expansion of consciousness cannot be stopped. The hard truths and abuses behind the never Enough facade can no longer be hidden from view. Our hearts are remembering we are and have always been enough to generate Enough. Enough is not a feel good fantasy or hopeful vision. We are not hopeless optimists, but we, who are reclaiming the Enough truth, are humanity's best hope. Enough is the most practical path to human survival and resiliency.

What is naturally emerging is an Enough future where we realize our inherent enoughness and joyfully participate in ensuring enough for ourselves, enough for our community and enough for Earth.
We step into our collective adulthood as co-creators of Enough for all.
The greatest thing? Shifting your life and the world at the same time is simple. It is the very same instruction for everyone on earth: shifting the way you orient yourself toward one single word: Enough.

Here is the Enough Shift in Five Easy Steps:

1. Each time you encounter the word "enough," ask yourself if you are assuming Enough is the truth or "never enough" is the truth. Notice: are you feeling sufficiency or scarcity?

2. Bring consciousness to the effect this one word (enough) has on what you have chosen to do or not do, to believe or not believe in this present context. Has a belief in scarcity made certain responses more likely, routine or habitual?

3. Ask yourself, "What if Enough is the actual truth and scarcity is a myth?"

4. Ask yourself, "What would I do or choose if I believed there was and I was Enough?"

5. Take action aligned with a belief in Enough and see how different your life and the world becomes, one decision at a time. 
When you truly embrace the Enough shift within you, here are examples of the types of results you can expect:

You will start to notice the word Enough more, giving you more opportunities to challenge scarcity myths in everyday life.  

You will notice how the belief in lack feels like fear in your body and holds you back from making decisions that are actually in your best interest.

You will experience more freedom and spontaneity as you move out of "fight or flight" mentality and into a more reasoned, mature and expansive lens.

You will feel more optimistic, happy and lighter. By the law of attraction, the amount of time you spend believing in Enough rather than Never Enough will determine your ability to generate enough for you and your family.

You will find codependent patterns and other disempowering relationship patterns less attractive. As a result of not playing old, stuck scripts, you will experience more peace and alignment with your purpose and passion. You will model healthy relating for others.

Your inner critic will become less powerful. As a result, you become more resilient to criticism and pessimism from others.

Knowledge is power. From an Enough perspective, you start to notice patterns that are in place that are designed to disempower people. You become much more aware of the scarcity myths all around you and will have more strength and awareness to avoid them.

You will feel less anxiety, fear and worry, freeing up energy and aliveness for what you do want.

You will feel more tender and compassionate towards Earth and all living creatures, and the illusion of separation and loneliness will fade. Your ability to feel oneness will accelerate.

You will trust yourself more and therefore will project more self-confidence in the world. You will take more risks and speak out more. You will be taken more seriously by others.

You will not fear vulnerability because you will naturally trust your own resilience and your own ability to magnetize enough.

It will be easier to identify and connect with others who are moving into Enough Consciousness, and together you will naturally build new Enough structures, organizations and communities.

You will become a systems thinker, noticing how science, spirituality, indigenous wisdom and new technologies contain the same core messages for what is true and where we are heading as a more conscious and mature species. Seeing these patterns, you can move with confidence into alignment with the most abundant throughline of evolution.

Try it out! Then share your stories on my Facebook or Twitter
To learn more about Laurie McCammon's upcoming book (April, 2016), Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, go to