What Does Fulfillment Actually Feel Like? with Julie Schoen

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ABOUT THE EPISODE

We often think success and fulfillment go hand-in-hand. The general narrative seems to be if you have success you’ll experience fulfillment. But as many of us have learned, that isn’t always the case. 

Julie Schoen joins me for a deep dive into what fulfillment actually feels like. 

We discuss how to access more joy, what presence and fulfillment have to do with each other, a tip for delegating better, and by the end we end up stumbling upon a new way to start thinking about fulfillment that blew both our minds. 

ABOUT JULIE


Julie is a numerologist, copywriter, teacher + homeschool mama of 4. She believes in the power of energy + being able to control your experience here on the planet. 

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Alyssa Patmos 0:04
This is Make It Mentionable. I’m Alyssa Patmos and this is the show about being human in a world that encourages us to be robots. I invite you to join me as we journey through the mess, the magic and the mania in between. Because what we can talk about, we can manage. This honest conversation extravaganza includes free flowing conversations and high doses of vulnerability to remind you that you aren’t alone. No topic is off limits, and episodes are designed to leave you smarter, aka more self aware than when you came. I am so glad you’re here.

Hello, Hello. And welcome back to another episode of naked mentionable. I’m your host, Alyssa Patmos and today I am here with Julie Schoen. And we’re talking about fulfillment, which is we talk about versions of success. And I think people paint different pictures of success in every episode of the show. But we haven’t really dove into the topic of fulfillment and what makes us feel fulfilled in this human existence. And Julie and I are going to dive into it today. So Julie, thank you so much for being here.

Julie Schoen 1:23
Oh, my goodness, I’m so excited. Thank you, Alyssa.

Alyssa Patmos 1:27
So, as you know, if you’ve listened to the show before, I love to have our guests explain a little bit about themselves to kick us off, so that we have some orientation as to who you’re listening to. So Julie, what is live for you in life right now tell us a little bit about yourself.

Julie Schoen 1:45
Sure. So professionally, I am a copywriter and a numerologist. So I found ways to combine the art of writing with the science of numbers. And that is what I’m doing professionally. Right now. I have a huge long, you know, other lifetimes of of work that I did before I came to this and some of which was I started off as a middle school teacher, which was actually a dream job for me, which I know a lot of people are like really middle school, but I loved teaching middle school. I owned a publishing company, and I was a yoga teacher. And then I worked at Gaia as a like production assistant and publisher and writer at Gaia. And yeah, and now I’m doing copywriting and numerology. And so that’s amazing. And personally, I’m a mom of four, my husband and I homeschool our four kids, which is wonderful. We both work from home. So it gets crazy, but we love it. We grew up in New Mexico, and now we’re living in Texas. And yeah, things are just we’re happy happy people here.

Alyssa Patmos 2:53
What part of Texas are you in?

Julie Schoen 2:56
We’re in the Dallas area. So Fort Worth.

Alyssa Patmos 2:58
Okay. Our paths would’ve crossed when I was in, when I was in Texas, I, but I’ve been in Denver for two years now.

Julie Schoen 3:06
Oh, awesome. When we, when we lived in Boulder, you know, we were right there for when I worked at guys right there. Yeah.

Alyssa Patmos 3:13
Oh, oh oh oh, yeah, that makes sense. So, okay, so you have these range of experiences in different careers. Which monetarily, you know, like teacher versus copywriter, there are some differences there. And so, and now being able to work from home, and then being a mom to four kids. So I think we need to start this conversation around. I’m sure your definition of success has evolved, right? And your definition of fulfillment has evolved from the days of being a teacher to to now. And so I’m curious what’s similar? And what’s different?

Julie Schoen 3:53
It’s a good question. So similar, I feel like success for me has always been more of a feeling than anything else. So it’s like this feeling of at the end of the day, do I feel fulfilled? Do I feel happy? And that’s something that I’ve chased since you know, high school, even of just, I don’t really care what anyone else says, But how am i How am I feeling about this? As a teacher, it was really difficult to be able to hit that expectation of what I wanted to feel like because there were so many other pressures, which I didn’t realize when I went into the career, you know, pressures from other parents pressures from the state saying, This is what you have to teach and how you have to perform pressures of, you know, showing up and doing extracurricular activities with students who want, you know, a club and they don’t have anybody who will, you know, be the host of it. And so I’m the sucker that’s like, Okay, I’ll, I’ll do that. And so that was really hard and I retired my long three year teaching when I got pregnant with my son, my oldest son Because I just it was so much energetic output to maintain kind of the level that I wanted to maintain to feel good about what I was doing. And so it shifted. And for me now success is still very much chasing this, just feeling at the end of the day that I have created something I’m a big believer in like creating more than we consume. So, you know, what am I putting out into the world? And it’s not about balance for me, because that’s just unattainable. So I can’t ever balance work and family life. So it’s just how did it feel today? Did it feel good? Did it not? And yeah, that’s kind of what success is. For me. Of course, it’s it’s financial to I mean, I want to be able to, to have food on the table and a comfortable place to live. And I set goals, because I think it’s good to push yourself, you know, to like the point of can I achieve this? So sometimes I set random monetary goals and just see if I can, if I can do it, but that’s like a lesser hold that lightly, you know, versus like, the overall feeling of it.

Alyssa Patmos 6:04
Yeah, I think sometimes, or I think many times success and wealth get conflated. When really, I think we feel most successful when we feel fulfilled. Would you agree?

Julie Schoen 6:17
Absolutely. Yes. I mean, I think, yeah, you can’t be successful without feeling fulfilled. And the people that try to, you know, make it just with this, like monetary success, or some sort of measurable success, that’s where burnout happens. I always feel like because they’re not getting anything back from the work they’re doing. So there’s, they’re just gonna run on empty real fast.

Alyssa Patmos 6:41
Yeah, there’s something so huge in that because burnout is obviously something you know, that many people have experienced. And we’ve talked about it in the episode. I can’t remember, it was an episode on travel. Oh, it was with Irina, we talked about burnout. And, um, and I think part of what you said, nailed it on the head is we’re not designed to function in isolation. And when we aren’t doing something bigger than ourselves, which doesn’t necessarily mean, you know, we have to be the most altruistic person on the planet. But when we’re not doing when we’re only doing something for ourselves, is that almost can lead to burnout. Because because we’re not doing something bigger than us. We’re not using it to serve in a bigger way where where we do get something back. So I love I love how you talk about it like that. And that, that leads me to also wondering, okay, how, how people end up with this question then of like, well, how the heck do I know that I’m fulfilled. And success for me has always been a feeling to like, I think, I don’t know if I’ve shared this before. I know, I’ve written about it. But when I, when I was young, if someone had asked me what I wanted to do, it was never teacher doctor or lawyer, nurse. Stereotypical, you know, like, I want to be one of these things. It was it was a feeling it was like I would answer like, eight year old me walking around answering I want to wear high heels and carry a portfolio. And I envisioned myself like, in black walking fast, like just like, on a mission and and it was a feeling and an essence. And that was me as a kid. And and there were years where I lost that there were years where I got distracted and lost from it and have had to make my way back. And so how, what are your thoughts on like, in this crazy world of distraction? How do we actually, you know, start to recognize when we actually feel fulfilled?

Julie Schoen 8:55
See, yeah, so good, so many good things. I think I think first of all, get rid of a lot of the distractions right, and I can, we can, we can totally mute out a lot of, you know, things that are leaving us feeling like that pert like we’re not being able to be that person that we envisioned being the high heels walking down with a briefcase, you know, who are those people in our life, whether it real like physical 3d life or online, that are getting in our way mentally from being like I can be this I think the other thing for me is, you know, there’s no, there’s nothing when you tie success and fulfillment to this feeling. You’re in charge of how you feel. So it’s like the most liberating thing and so anytime I’m not feeling this success, I learned like I can’t blame my husband. I can’t blame my kids. I can’t blame a client. I can’t blame the guy at the grocery store. Like that all comes on me deciding how do I want to respond and who like who? How would the person that I want to be? How would They respond, you know, and so just like coming back to that, and the more I get into that flow, I feel like the more I feel fulfilled, because I’m meeting the expectations that I’ve set for myself, and I feel like that’s where a lot of fulfillment comes in. And so it’s being reasonable enough that at the end of the day, you feel like, Hey, I did what I set out to do, but also being unreasonable enough that you, you know, have something to look forward to, to to get better.

Alyssa Patmos 10:27
I think for me, one of the key things that you said is around, it’s like, we can’t put the blame on anyone else. And and you said, you know, how do I want to respond. And anytime, where we’re taking enough of a pause, to be able to respond, instead of just reacting, like our lives are going to be better, because we’re not just operating from the past or the future, but we’re like, actually, in the moment, allowing ourselves to experience and yet so often the pressure is to not do that. So the responding piece is critical for me. And then I think the other pieces is in taking that responsibility. Because, to me fulfillment, I think we experience fulfillment, when we’re able to be ourselves. But that’s one of the hardest things to do, when there are all these other messages of how you should be how you should act like what you should be wearing, what you should want, like, and if we absorb all of those messages constantly, then our perception of who that heck am I can get very distorted, or at least that that is definitely a lesson that that I had to learn.

Julie Schoen 11:43
No, you’re so right, I mean, the distortion that comes from feeling like you have to synthesize everything that the world is telling you to be and to do, it does lead you feeling like you either have a million different personas that you have to live up to, or it leaves you feeling like you’re never enough, and both of those aren’t good. So I feel like personally, I’ve found that I really I have cut out, like, we don’t really watch TV in our house, we don’t, you know, social media is I’m going to post something, and I am going to very much curate the people whose content I see on there, that that doesn’t trigger me, you know, and helps me with that. And it’s practices to, I think that there’s a lot of work that we can do around clearing out because all of us have been programmed in some way or another, you know, we can’t help but growing up in the world, you’re going to be a product of the society and the culture that you’re around and your family and everything you inherited from them. So it’s like doing the meditations, it’s doing the work. It’s it’s facing what you have, you know, taken in, and knowing that it is it is a computer program, you know, like you can unprogrammed it, but you have to recognize that that’s a program first. In order to be successful.

Alyssa Patmos 13:00
Yes, we have to recognize that literally everything we consume is shaping a thought. And subsequently, then it’s shaping what we’re going to do next. If we think we’re amazing at filtering stuff and not letting it affect us. But that is not not true whatsoever. Like I used to watch the show the Americans because I love spy shows like, seven year old version of me that’s been a constant I used to ask for like spy motion detectors and spy pen when I was younger.

Julie Schoen 13:35
That’s so funny.

Alyssa Patmos 13:37
So I was watching the Americans. And it’s kind of like a, I don’t know, it’s darker. And I just realized I feel gross every time I watch this same thing. I loved this show shameless for a long time. And then I realized, like, I feel disgusting. Like, I just feel nasty after watching this. And why do I want to spend my energy to build it back up if I could just not do that thing, and it wouldn’t go so low in the first place.

Julie Schoen 14:07
So what what made you like flip to realize like something that you enjoy, like, was there something in your life like a practice or something that you started doing that made you like, recognize, like, Ooh, this is an icky vibe I’m getting.

Alyssa Patmos 14:19
I think I intellectualize as most of us do. I intellectualize the concept first that the things we consume are shaping our thoughts. And then I was able to start paying attention to how did I feel after watching? You know, something like Ted lasso, which wasn’t out at the time, but it’s good for the comparison. So how would I feel watching something like Ted lasso versus watching shameless and for me, it’s abundantly clear I feel totally great after watching TED lasso, and to in and I learned things and it’s positive and happy. And then I don’t Feel anything like that, after watching shameless. So I think it was, you know, the intellect in the trusting the intellect first, which I tend to do over all the time, and then paying attention to my body.

Julie Schoen 15:15
Yeah, I love that is it is I think it is like, it’s a recognizing of it and it’s paying attention and being intentional. And note, like everything you consume, not just, you know, I mean, I, we don’t drink too much alcohol in this in this house because we noticed that that you know it was a drain on us it left us feeling negative and it makes you irritable, and it makes you a worst parent, in my opinion when your kids are needing you. But it’s being intentional and recognizing, like, there’s a lot of people around you that that are going to do this, that’s going to be tempting to want to like hop on that treadmill with them and do it. But knowing like, I don’t have to do this, and what happens if I step off? And, you know, and like you said, then being aware of the, you know, taking into account well, how did my day go? And how, how it is everyone around me and what’s my environment like? And the same thing goes for like what you consume mentally, you know, to, and energetically you know, the people that you’re around, same thing.

Alyssa Patmos 16:14
Exactly. And, and I and I, I struggle with this some because you mentioned earlier, I’m not following people on social who trigger you and I completely agree like if someone is going to catapult me into me comparing myself in a way that isn’t beneficial, or if I’m gonna, like all of a sudden have a self judger pop up, and that that drains my energy. So why follow those people and like maybe at some point in the future, it won’t bother me anymore, I will have worked on something, and it won’t be an issue because it’s certainly not those people, it’s definitely something in me. So, so I reserve the right to then one day follow them again. Um, but for me, I think it’s also I’ve had to allow in more opinions, and especially things that like I don’t agree with, like, part of this is also being able to flex our Critical Thinking muscle, which to me means we need to have more on both sides, not just more that we agree with, but also looking at things we don’t agree with to really cultivate this sense of where do I stand? And what does it mean to me?

Julie Schoen 17:27
Absolutely. And when I say like, you know, filter out things on social media, I feel like that that is you know, I’m not trying to be, like selective to be like, I only want people who think like me that look like me that act like me, because that makes me like a comfortable happy person. You know, it’s just like that tool. Why not. But I think it’s super important that we do you know, and it does take energy. So you have to have enough but to have enough energy that you can bring people into your life and people into your world that don’t think like you, but recognize, that’s, you know, that’s okay. And if we can all like step up to this level of I think you know what, we’re as humans like this kind, caring, loving, compassionate, I see you and me you see yourself in me, you know, kind of thing, then we can have these wonderful conversations and these wonderful, you know, it’s kind of like the sharpening of the sword like the people that you have a little friction with, they’re gonna make you a better person. So you absolutely want them in your life, as long as they’re being intentional with their, you know, communication with you, too. So you’re not just like getting dumped on.

Alyssa Patmos 18:33
Right? Oh, yes, boundary, boundaries. Critical to fulfillment. Another lesson that I deeply had to learn and it’s and it sounds like even the stuff that you are articulating, you know, not watching a ton of TV not drinking a ton of alcohol, like those are solid boundaries. Think about God boundaries. Were such a game changer. I wrote a post one time like screw diamonds boundaries are a girl’s best friend because they change the game every single time.

Julie Schoen 19:05
They do, and it’s hard to know, uh, you know, I think for a while, I think a lot of people can relate with this, but you feel like setting boundaries is being mean, you know, and you don’t want to because you feel like, like, can’t you know, like, tell a person no, like, what, how are they going to feel? And now, you know, I feel like as I’ve gotten older, and as I, you know, have experienced more, you realize, well, if I say yes to something I don’t want to do like they’re not going to want me there anyway. Because I guess mentally I’m saying No, still. So like the boundaries are healthy for everybody.

Alyssa Patmos 19:38
Yeah, is a big piece of fulfillment for sure. Yeah. And I think we have to have boundaries around our senses. I think that’s the biggest thing for like the alcohol conversation TV and the TV thing. I don’t watch too much TV either. And I if I drink it’s going to be an Espresso Martini and that’s pretty much But for me, there is nothing worse than someone experiencing trapped creativity. And what I mean by that is like this desire, like this burning desire for something to come out of you, but it being trapped, or like avoiding it from distraction. I think a lot of people live in this space and don’t even realize it. And so our senses get overstimulated. And we we, we prioritize, we prioritize our eyeballs so much, we prioritize seeing things, and we taking all of these images. And I think we deprioritize some of our other senses, and just the sense of being still and then not being stimulated. And I think, by nature, not being intentional about that hinders our ability to know what fulfills us too.

Julie Schoen 21:02
Absolutely, I think so many people feel like they aren’t enough or that they’re trapped, because they aren’t able to really sense what it is they’re supposed to do. And just like we were saying, Before, they’ve had so many messages, like input into their, you know, being that they just feel confused, then they don’t feel like they have enough energy to make a change. You know, in yoga, we talk about these, like ruts, some scars that you create. And so they’re like these grooves that you get, you know, stuck in, and it takes a whole lot of effort to like lift a wagon wheel out of that rut. And so if you’re not doing things that give you energy, you’re gonna feel like you’re stuck in this spot, even though you know that you’re meant for something bigger, and that you’re supposed to go do something that will leave you feeling better, you just can’t. And so it’s just like Groundhog Day, over and over, you know,

Alyssa Patmos 21:55
Mhmm [affirmative], and and you feel that and it just leads to more and more energy depletion. Because while we may not always be able to recognize how to get out, most of us recognize when we are stuck deep in that groove, and in that rut, and so managing our energy becomes a critical piece of fulfillment, then, and absolutely. I think one of the things that is that is has been hard for me to answer at certain times in my life is where am I finding enjoyment? And like, what is actually enjoyable? To me right now there have been times where for some reason or another that has been difficult to answer, have you experienced the same?

Julie Schoen 22:41
I have? And I have absolutely felt like, what’s enjoyable? How am I being nurtured? How am I being taken care of that’s all kind of along the same line. And then I feel like there’s also the piece of this programming that has come into play where you’re told that you’re not supposed to enjoy something, or you’re told that something is supposed to be difficult. So then you think, you know, like, I feel like for a long time, marriage is supposed to be really difficult. Being a parent is supposed to be really difficult, like, it’s all of this, like down negative energy around it. And when I finally cleared that out and let that go, it’s like it’s not being a parent is joyful. And being in a marriage is wonderful. And I get so much from it. And it’s not hard, it’s easy. Like it’s a lot of fun. And if you can, like just bring that and then then you start to recognize, like, everything around us, I feel like is meant to be enjoyed. And for whatever reason we have all of these things that limit us, you know, from thinking like doing the dishes could be like a sacred thing or folding the laundry could be a very meditative, beautiful experience. Because we’re told like, you’re not supposed to do that. You’re not supposed to enjoy that. Yeah,

Alyssa Patmos 23:56
Yeah, I almost think of the word. It’s like bringing this up for me right now. It’s not a fully formed thought, because I don’t think it’s come up before. But what if enjoyment is like being enjoy. And for that to happen, we have to be in the present moment, we have to be open to experiencing presence, which can be challenging for for us to do with how we’ve been brought up. Most of us identify with the past or identify with the future at any given moment. That’s why couples get into conflict. Like conflict happens when two people are choosing to identify with something from the past or with their emotions. And conflict is way easier when only one person is triggered. Then the other person can see enough to like help you work through it show some compassion. As soon as two people are doing that it’s way more difficult. But I I agree with you Like, life is meant to be enjoyed. Like, if not, what the heck are we doing? So we’ve created all these systems though that say, you can’t live in the present and you can’t enjoy your life. Right? How do we be enjoy them? So for you, what did it take to start clearing out some of those beliefs?

Julie Schoen 25:22
Knowing that I am the one that is feeling this experiencing this thinking this living this life? How can I step up to the plate and say, Okay, if I’ve asked for all of this, and I want this big, beautiful life, how can I you know, actually embody the person that can handle this and start doing those things? It was it would meditations cold water therapy has been like really big for me, like huge, I feel just like zaps like all of it like negativity, you can’t be sad when you come out of cold water. Like, that’s been amazing. And yeah, just kind of this, this belief, like, I am meant to handle what I have been given. And so like, step up to the plate and do it.

Alyssa Patmos 26:09
Yes, I and it’s such a, it’s such an interesting path, because like part of the human experience is, is we forget that at times, like sometimes, I know, I’m really great at it, like I’m doing the cold water therapy. Like I start super grounded in the day. For me, my posture is huge. That’s been a new one for me that I’ve learned, like, my genius does not come through if I’m stooped in, in this crap posture, like my spine is critical for me feeling aligned, and like I’m doing what I need to be doing. And, and that’s, that’s semi what I love about there being so many modalities. There’s no one right answer, like so many people want there to be just one thing, tell me what to do. And I will do it and then it’ll be over. But but that is the same thing is not taking responsibility, either. Because putting our power outside of ourselves to seek like this one right way, or this one shortcut that’s just going to like loosen everything is also not taking responsibility. For Wait, no, I gotta find the thing. That’s right. For me, I got to and I and I need to take responsibility for the times, even when I forget to show up as my best because it’s so easy to talk about it. And yet I’m sure I know I do. And I’m curious if you do like sometimes we falter sometimes it’s not easy to remember to do the things we know to do.

Julie Schoen 27:34
Absolutely. And I think the the goal of all of the work that you do energetically and personally is that you can pull yourself out of that faster. It’s not like you should never get angry. It’s not that you’re not going to be sad, or you’re not going to feel great. It’s just how long am I going to be in that state? And my goal is, you know, Can I shift out of this faster and faster. And some days, it’s, you know, days and I give myself like a time limit. I say, Okay, you’re feeling sad and moody. Like let’s give yourself two days. But, you know, like Friday morning, you’re, you’re done. And you’re gonna get back to work and you kind of just like set some, some ground rules with yourself. And yeah, but I think you know, you don’t ever want to flatline like I think like a lot of people when they think about like meditation or like becoming Zen or whatever that it’s like, they’re you know, they you’re just supposed to be like this like neutral monk all the time. And like, that’s not it. Like I want to be like so ecstatic. And I’m gonna hit lower lows. But yeah, it’s just how long do I stay in those lows? And I think just the faster you can course correct? Yeah, that’s the goal. For sure.

Alyssa Patmos 28:39
The bounce back yes, I’m totally with you. That is similar, a similar goal for me like the resilience and being able to come back up. And again, the only person who’s responsible for that is me. Now at times, we need co regulation, like sometimes we need help seeing the blind spots, getting out of it. But at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility, even if someone’s helping me co regulate helping me see things. You know, if Jeff’s holding me while I’m crying or something at the end of the day, it’s still not his responsibility. It’s mine. But that bounced back holds so much weight in relationships, too. And it makes it easier to have the view of marriage and relationships can be easy they can be or they can be simple. They can be simple, and they can be joyful, and it’s in like conflict. You don’t want to not have conflict in a relationship that’s inevitable, like having a view of oh my gosh, we never fight this is so good. No, that means something is going unsaid or unspoken like conflict shows where the needs are, but being able to bounce back and repair the conflict quicker is always the goal like that allows your relationship to flourish because it instills more seeds. De that, okay, we can have tension, but we come back together and can feel more connected and it’s not lasting, you know, days on days, on days, I love that you brought up the bounce back.

Julie Schoen 30:13
It reminds me of this quote, that’s, it’s how you do anything is how you do everything, right. And I feel like like, if you can start doing this in your personal life, then business wise, it’s the same, you know, I’m gonna have a client tell me I suck, and ditch me. And you know, in the past, it would have been, I can’t do this work anymore. So I better just stop what I’m doing. And now it’s like, Okay, I’m going to get mad, maybe for five minutes. And then I’m going to bounce back. And I’m gonna get two new clients to replace that one. And you know, it’s so it’s like, everything, whatever you’re working on is going to impact every single thing you do. So like, show up to all of it with so much intention, and so much gratitude, and try to find enjoyment in all of it. Because then you can find enjoyment in you know, your personal life and your professional life.

Alyssa Patmos 31:01
Right. It’s a ripple effect, like so much of how I orient my work, you’ll, you’ll appreciate this, because you’re a copywriter. One of my favorite lines of copy right now that I wrote is you’re not grain, you’re not meant to live in a silo.

Julie Schoen 31:16
I love that. Yes. It’s so good.

Alyssa Patmos 31:20
Because to me, like the holistic approach, if we just lock off our mindset somewhere, or we just lock off our relationship somewhere, we’re not looking at how those are intertwining and causing issues, you know, many times our relationship issues get projected out into our business, or vice versa. And if we’re not looking at it holistically, or we don’t understand that, like, all of these things play together, then it makes the bounce back harder, because we’re just trying to compartmentalize and be like, Okay, I’m going to be a robot in this area, and I’m going to be a robot in this area, and then somehow ignore the fact that I’m human.

Julie Schoen 31:59
Right, right. I mean, I’m what you said earlier, you said like, with your spine that you feel like you’re like in more of an alignment. I mean, that makes total sense. Like, physically, you have to be in alignment, in order to feel in alignment with the work that you’re creating. And same thing like physically, you need to feel really healthy and good. In order for the work you create, to feel really healthy and good. And so it’s like, it all ties in. And so that, you know, just comes back to that idea of like fulfilment really is a feeling it’s, you know, it’s all of these things. It’s not a bank account number, it’s not a job title, it could include some of those things. But it has to be this big, holistic, like snapshot of everything that’s going on in your life, in order to, for me to feel really, really fulfilled at the end of every day.

Alyssa Patmos 32:46
So I want to talk about it. So. So coming back to fulfillment. There are also periods of time, though, where things just feel off for longer, or, you know, maybe someone is going through a health thing for longer. And the thing that I’m always, you know, waffling between contemplating on is, yes, I believe in us taking full responsibility for our lives, in many ways, I love the message of the book, The Body Keeps the Score, I think our body and our mind are intimately interconnected in a way that, you know, even mainstream health doesn’t talk about entirely. And so, but with that, it can be very easy to fall into a place of feeling then like you’re responsible for every single thing that happens to you. And I think there’s a difference between taking responsibility for how you respond and what you’re going to do with challenges versus placing this entire burden of everything that happens to me, is my fault. Those are two different things. And, and because I think the the struggle is when we talk about things like this, then what happens if someone is going through a harder health time? And how I’m we’re talking about bouncing back, like what some of these cycles take longer. So what wisdom have you cultivated through your own experience about this?

Julie Schoen 34:15
Yeah, I mean, that is that’s so important to talk about, because you know, right now, everything in my life is good. And so it’s really easy to be able to be like, and then you bounce back and you take a cold shower, and you’re and you’re fine, but it hasn’t always been you know, we you have your ebbs and flows. I remember, when, right after I had my first son, and financially, my late my husband and I were both self employed, and we’re just trying to figure things out. I mean, we had, you know, most of the time, we had like 50 bucks in our bank account, you know, and it was just like, try to, you know, get enough money to pay rent tried to get enough money to, like, we’d go to this little Chinese restaurant and it was like, you know, like, $12 like, I felt like a little kid like trying to like pay cash and be like, I think we have enough. And I remember just crying On the floor of our apartment, so because we were working so hard, and it felt like, I’m missing out on these opportunities with my son, he’s a newborn, he’s crying, I’m trying to write, you know, books and do all of these things. And, and it just didn’t feel like it was paying off. And I feel like, for me, it’s, it’s just keep going that that to me like it your might, it might not always feel great. And it might not be what fulfills you, like, you know, looking back like that work didn’t fulfill me, but we just had to do something to get by. And so feeling like, I think as long as you can remember, for me, it was remember that this is a season, my grandma used to always say that it’s just a season. So this isn’t gonna last forever. Try to remember that. And then remember that you’re here with a purpose, you know, like, you’re not you weren’t put, I don’t believe that you were put on this planet. And that you are here just to, you know, be like a bag of cells like we are like divinely created, I believe, and that we have very much a reason that we chose to come to this planet at this time. And so knowing that and just feeling like, Okay, today might not be perfect, but I’m going to keep going. That’s a win, you know, no matter what you’re struggling with, I feel like just one foot in front of the other. Keep going.

Alyssa Patmos 36:20
Yeah, I think that’s I love that because I think it’s making the choice to, to just continue living to continue going. And there’s so much pressure in our culture for everything to be faster and more efficient and done more. And then I look at my orchid, I talked about my orchid on the show so much, but it gets to name all my plants. So Olivia one of my orchids. Like I just see her out my office window, and I’m like, she grows so slow. Like I have another plant Ella, who I also talked about she goes super fast, she’s thirsty as all get out, like grows very quickly. But my orchid Olivia does not she she grows slow, and she blooms slow. And I have to remember that, you know, we each have different paces in different seasons too. And comparing ourselves to someone else’s pace is not going to help us get there any faster. We have to fall in love with our own with our own journey, like with our own story. And I think once we start doing that our purpose starts to sneak out a little bit more and a little bit more.

Julie Schoen 37:37
I have two plants, Harry and Sally, by the way to that night. Those are the only two I have named Matt, Harry and Sally are our best friends. They live in my entryway. Yes, I totally resonate with that, I think, you know, it’s it’s also being able to hold the belief that things will get better too. And knowing that, you know, like, what where I am today and how my life is today doesn’t have to be how my life is tomorrow. And so even if this is all I can manage today, you know, whether I’m sick or in pain, or dealing with something that’s really difficult. Tomorrow doesn’t have to be like this. And in fact, the the next breath doesn’t have to be like this if I don’t want it to be you know, and so it’s just always holding on to this optimistic idea that you know, we can we can constantly be we’re co creators in our universe, right? So we get to help shape and we’re not like you said, we’re not fully responsible for everything that happens to us, but we can definitely shape you know, the reality that exists once those things happen. Right. Yeah, right. Orchids bloom longer, too, which is, you know, cuz some flowers, it’s like they’re fast. But it’ll be only like two days. But orchids are amazing. Because they’ll those little blooms stay there for like weeks and weeks.

Alyssa Patmos 38:53
Yes, yes, weeks, and then all of a sudden, it’ll be like they’re growing, growing, growing. And then like, four will present themselves. And I and Olivia right now is about to have 20 flowers. And I’m just like, amazing. So I think, you know, we we getting back to nature two and just comparing ourselves, you know, to nature, not just to other humans at times, I think can really help us as well. But I want to talk about purpose, because purpose and fulfillment, I think so hand in hand, the way I view the world, it’s similar to you like I don’t think we’re put on this planet to live in isolation and just serve ourselves and do nothing and just exist for the sake of existing that makes no sense to me. And so I believe that we first have to fall in love with ourselves and accept the pieces of ourselves that we want to reject. And I say first because it I think we need the awareness around that like as a starting point. But then it Definitely not a linear path like we can fall in love while we’re still working on ourselves, because otherwise none of us would ever be in relationships. But I do believe that it starts with us. And then it moves out to relationships. And once we have like our needs met, then like, We naturally want to show love to other people and want to share things with other people. And then once we kind of feel grounded in relationships, whether that’s with kids, or with parents, or a close friend, or a lover, husband, partner, then it also goes out into the world. And I think like when we’re missing one of those, in some way it can, we can feel not as fulfilled, because I think our purpose is meant to send a ripple effect. So with all that being said, I think we get obsessed with our purpose being in work. And I want to know what your thought is around this.

Julie Schoen 41:01
Oh, my gosh, I was just going to like, be like, this is the problem. Yeah, it is. I feel like so many times people think that they have to make money with their purpose, which absolutely doesn’t need to be the case. I also think too many times people think their purpose is needs to be this big, giant thing. I every time I get caught up in that thought I think of my grandma, who was she was a one she’s so she was a school teacher and like a one room schoolhouse up in Minnesota for you know, a couple years before she got married. And then you become a housewife that was you know, kind of the typical trajectory. So she spent the rest of her life she passed away a few years ago, like 90, you know, 9394, but she spent the rest of her life, cooking meals, keeping a home raising children, she helped raise all of I have four brothers and sisters. So she helped raise us. And that was an amazing purpose. You know, she had a small little she wasn’t on social media, she didn’t have a million followers, she you know, but that her ability to transform my life and my sister’s life and my brother’s lives. And my mom and my dad, you know, like, that is purpose enough. And so whatever she, you know, she does in her spare time, and her other hobbies she did for enjoyment. But her purpose was just to take care of her little, you know, her little worlds, which was my whole worlds and her whole world. And I think that that’s, that needs to be remembered right now. Because I think we get so caught up in thinking, you know, social media, the amount of money that we’re making, our job title or whatever, it’s like, those can all be great. But if you’re looking for fulfillment from those, and if you’re looking from for purpose from those, I think you’re gonna really have some regrets in life. Yes, it can be a lot smaller. Yes. Especially if you’re working because it’s smaller.

Alyssa Patmos 43:08
Yes, yes yes yes. Like, especially if you’re looking at it solely from those like, I think a lot of people can find fulfillment in their work, when it’s in alignment with who they are. That comes more easy when you’ve done the work to have emotional clarity around who you are, and sorted through some of that. But so I so I think it can be a piece of it. It’s just if it’s the sole piece of it, or it’s only driven by money, I don’t think that it leads you to the same feeling of like, true fulfillment. So I’m with I’m with you there. And the thing about your grandma is so beautiful. And the thing I love is that there’s always more numerous ways to tell a story. So you can say that, Oh, yeah. Like Julie’s grandma was a housewife in Minnesota after being a teacher, and she lived out her days being a housewife and cooking meals for her husband and her kids and, and potentially her grandkids. Yeah, that’s one way of telling a story. Like completely diminishing her role in it. Another way of telling the story is more like in line with what you did, and by saying, Yeah, my grandma stops teaching. And she spent the rest of her life nourishing the people around her by investing in them and feeding them healthy food and like making sure they had meals in front of them. And those are two different ways of explaining the same scenario. And one is so much richer and honors purpose in an entirely different way.

Julie Schoen 44:47
Yeah, and I you know, the ripple effects, like you said, or instrument like, you know, like, because I had a great childhood, my mom, my grandma, my dad, my grandpa, you know, now I can go and be a better mom to my kids and be a better wife to my husband. And now the interactions I have, you know, it’s like out in the world are better because of that. So it’s like my grandma choosing to, to really step into that role is influencing generations from now. And we I think we forget that because we think it is about these more superficial types of things sometimes. But I will say to you, no, you can’t, if you don’t enjoy the work that you’re doing, I feel like that does block your purpose. You know, like, if you hated your job, and then you come home to maybe your purpose as a parent or a wife, or you know, you’re a caretaker in another way, you’re not going to be able to do that at the same level. So you do have to find, you know, alignment with, with every aspect of what you’re doing.

Alyssa Patmos 45:51
Yes. So one of the other things that that you and I have talked about around fulfillment is this picture of what we do and what we don’t do, because so much of fulfillment is also like energy management. And there’s this picture of, if you’re successful, like, Why the hell are you cleaning your own toilet? Or like, why are you doing your own yard work like it elevates the image in traditional versions of success, where when it’s tied to wealth, where you then all of a sudden spend more money once you make more money on to have other people do things you don’t want to do, which is like so as backwards to me. So you have talked about this? And and I’m interested to hear your viewpoint because at one point, you were delegating out more things. And so what was your process with understanding delegation, and what we outsource? And what might not actually be as good to outsource?

Julie Schoen 46:53
Yeah, oh, my gosh, I love this question. I want to start with, I think, if what you delegate you have to love, and I think if you don’t love what you’re delegating, you’re going to end up with so many problems, this was my personal experience, if I just tried to get rid of work I didn’t want to do whether it was personally or professionally. And I was just like, whatever I hate doing, I hate checking my emails, or I hate cleaning my house, or I hate doing these things. If I use that energy, and then try to find somebody to fill that role, that is not going to be the right person to fill that role, what I’ve learned is you really do if you are going to delegate something, you need to understand all of the nuances that go along with that task that you are delegating, you need to have respect and reverence for that thing. And you need to understand how important it is so that when you find the right person, you can attract somebody who is bringing, not just the ability to like provide a service, but someone who energetically can step into that, that position. And, and you know, hold that space for everything you’re doing. Whether it’s you know, for your family, or for your business, you have to have somebody that if you like I said, if you are going to delegate, you need to have somebody that is able to energetically like, you know, be respectful of the work that you’re doing, which you can only attract if you’re being respectful. But then I think the other piece of it is that you have to also check in and what didn’t say am I avoiding doing something? You know, is this? Is this me really needing the help because I because I just simply don’t have the capacity to be able to do all these things? Or is it me avoiding doing something and I don’t want to do the work, you know, the internal work to figure out why I’m avoiding it. So I’m just going to have somebody cook all my kids meals, because, you know, and I think that that’s a big question. So anytime before my husband and I, you know, either outsource a part of our work, which we definitely do, or we outsource different things for art, my husband actually owns a cleaning business. So like we have people clean homes all the time. And, but it’s like, you know, understanding like, why are we having someone else do these things? Because if you Yeah, if you just continually try to have other people do something for you that you know needs to be done. I think you end up missing a lot of opportunities for growth.

Alyssa Patmos 49:23
Hmm, I love that. I love that because so often they people, you know, the common narrative is that self care or like luxury is doing less. And I know you have a different point on this. You have a different viewpoint on this. So to you What is What does self care actually mean?

Julie Schoen 49:47
To me, taking care of yourself really means finding. Yeah, it’s finding ways to get the care that you need from the things that need to be done. And it’s not avoiding And it’s not just you know, sitting in a bathtub or drinking a glass of wine, it’s how can I care for myself while I’m doing the things that I need to do. And that has been a game changer in my life is, you know, if I need to make money for my family, well, how can I do it in such a way that I am being cared for and nurtured while I am doing this task? Or if I need to make dinner tonight for my family? How can I do so in a way that I am being cared for in the process of making dinner, and that shift, I think, is so important, and I think it could really help a lot of people because right now, everywhere I look, it seems like self care tends to be, you know, you need this reprieve from your daily life, it’s like you need you know, it’s like that old adage of, you need to take it, if you need a vacation from your work, you know, then you’re not doing the right work. It’s kind of the same thing. Like if you’re constantly searching for self care, because you’re not enjoying your life, or you’re feeling so drained and depleted from your life. Well, and then, you know, why is that because I really do believe that you should be getting energized by almost everything. If not everything that you do, like there should be good energy coming from it, it should leave you feeling really good.

Alyssa Patmos 51:15
Yeah, and it’s the difference between choosing situations that enrich us versus deplete us. And so much of that is wrapped up in our attitude, because our attitude helps us determine where and how we’re focusing our attention. So I love that perspective. A lot it, it leads me to thinking about even the show, you know, there are plenty of podcasts that operate on a very interview style, where the host is just asking a question, or, you know, it’s an entire season of solo episodes. And for me, the interaction, like I live for it, I live for the interaction. And so for me, it makes way more sense. Like, I want to dabble possibly, we’ll see, and some version of a solo episode at some point, but the interaction piece and the the conversation is like, I love it. And so for me doing it in this way, I’m caring for myself, because I’m getting so much out of it by doing it this way. And I think that’s kind of what you’re highlighting. Yeah, absolutely,

Julie Schoen 52:26
I think is, especially in business, there’s so many people offering, you know, the advice, like, this is the funnel you should use to sell this product. And this is, you know, the the mail, like the email tool that you should use and all these things, but at the end of the day, it’s like, do those actually make you feel good using them, there’s a million ways to be successful, you know, if you don’t want to make a YouTube channel, don’t make a YouTube channel, you know, even though Marie Forleo is really successful with her YouTube channel, like that doesn’t have to be your path forward. And so yeah, there’s always thinking, you know, am I doing this? Because someone told me I should or because I have this vision that it’s, you know, important, or am I doing it in a way that, you know, maybe the growth will be a little slower, or maybe it’s a little bit unconventional, but this is how I feel good doing this work. And that’s how you know, it’s going to be sustainable than chew, because you can keep doing it. Because you’re not just getting drained every single time you know, that you’d come to do a podcast, if you hated it, you’d be like, I don’t want to do this again.

Right? And the, and the, so, for example, because you said that, you know, you think most things should give you energy. And so for example, I batch record podcast episodes, I like change my shirt in between, and I’m like, Okay, next month, but I have so much energy on the days that I do this, like I get off and I’m like, Yes, energy, like, what are we gonna go do? Like, can I run a marathon? I hate running. So that’s not gonna happen, but level of energy that comes from it. And so in many, many ways, when we give it we, we get energy, as long as we’re doing it in a way, like you said that that cares for ourselves, which takes intention.

It does. It takes intention. And I think that yeah, that is absolutely the biggest thing, the more intentional you can be. Well, I mean, that forces you to be in the present, right? Like we are talking about so much conflict, and struggle happens when you’re living in the future. You’re living in the past, if you’re intentional, you have to be present. And so the more that you can be in that state, then the more you’re able to, I think really find your purpose and then simultaneously be fulfilled.

Alyssa Patmos 54:45
And I think it’s really hard at times, just with traditional narratives to to stick in intention. Like it doesn’t have to be hard, but I think it can, it can be hard because I firmly believe that like living unintentional life is a radical act, because it’s massively convenient for many other systems. And you know, for people, it’s massively convenient for people who have known us to be one way for us to go with the flow and not be intentional and not curate things in that way.

Julie Schoen 55:23
I mean, you piss, you piss a lot of people off when you when you’re unconventional. And my husband and I have learned this, you know, because everyone wants to put you in a box, because it helps understand it, like they understand the world that way, or they want you to affirm their life choices for them. And so if you’re doing something different, they like, immediately see it as an attack on that. And it’s, it can be really challenging, which is, again, why you really do have to be careful with the people that you spend time with. Because, you know, you shouldn’t feel like you’re making these big decisions. Like for us right now homeschooling our kids, we get a lot of people, you know, really disliking that we’re doing that. And they want to know, you know, why why aren’t Why are kids in public schools? Why aren’t they in a private school? You know, and they ask all these questions. But at the end of the day, it’s like I don’t, I don’t have to defend my choices of what I think is right for myself and our children, to you. And if you’re going to keep pressuring me to defend this or change, then I’m going to have to let you go for a bit, you know, until until, like you said, I can either handle this better, or until this is like no longer a talking point.

Alyssa Patmos 56:37
Right. And I think, you know, a lot of times we focus on building confidence, even building confidence in in kids, that seems we we end up choosing competence, okay, let’s build up your competence. Let’s build up your skills. And then like, Let’s build up your confidence. Competence is something like that can be learned, and it’s great to cultivate. There’s an underlying shift, though, that I had to make. I was like, I’m fairly confident, like I I’m confident I can walk into a room and feel fine, like feel at ease, relaxed. But there was this underlying like crippling doubt at times. And so I realized that the shift needed to be cultivating self assuredness. And that is that and when you do that, it makes it so much easier to take responsibility for your life because you know that you’re okay. Even when things around you appear not to be. And so for me, it’s been like a it was multi year journey, because sometimes things take longer. And it’s still something I have to go back and remember, but for me now, every day I try and cultivate self assuredness where it’s like no, like, I, I can trust my experience. And my experience is mine doesn’t need to be argued with and I can share it how I want. And I’m always going to take into, I trust in myself that I’m always gonna take in other opinions and change my mind and grow from them and whatnot. But at the end of the day, like I’m human, and I need to have this assuredness in myself, and I think that place opened up a whole new levels of fulfillment.

Julie Schoen 58:19
Yeah, yes. And that being, you know, confident, and like you said, having the self assurance of things that comes from I feel like surrounding yourself with people who are supporting you, you know, because I think if you are constantly having to defend yourself that chips away at your confidence, and so it is finding, you know, your group of people who can’t who understand the work you’re doing, or that have been there, you know, and are proof that what you’re doing works, you know, like, we always say, you know, you don’t take advice from someone who doesn’t have the results that you want. And so, I think that’s a big piece of being becoming more confident is knowing, okay, maybe this person and this person, this person, don’t understand what I’m doing, or they don’t believe it works. But there’s 10 people over here that have followed this path that have been super successful that have the lifestyle I want, so I’m gonna, you know, hang out with them and get advice from them.

Alyssa Patmos 59:21
Yes, absolutely. And I think like, it can be, it can be a challenge to remember our purpose at at times and in the moments when you’re like in the lane, and it’s like you’re driving down the highway, there’s no traffic. Great. And then there are other times when it’s like, okay, there are a bunch of stop signs, and here are some pedestrians and there’s a lot of traffic, it can gunk things up and we we have these like fleeting moments then where we temporarily forget and and I think it’s in those moments where it’s extra important to have the people around you who have Seeing the higher version even if you can’t remember it right at that moment. Yeah,

Julie Schoen 1:00:06
Absolutely. This is why I love journaling, too, because it’s like, I might be that person for myself, like two days ago, I was that confident person. And so I just go back two days ago. I’m like, oh, no, I have this belief. Let’s hold on.

Alyssa Patmos 1:00:19
Yes, yes. And as someone who I talked about having been journal averse, like most of my life, I’m not as much anymore. But yes, like, the ability to do it for yourself, instead of putting on someone else is hugely important too. Like, there are things we need more support from other people on and then it’s, it’s always this balance of, how can I get my needs met? That’s what we’re doing. And like, more often than not, we are actually capable of meeting them ourselves, which we also tend to forget. Yeah, absolutely. So in talking about fulfillment, we went a bunch of different places. So I’m thinking that, you know, we, we arrived at some conclusions around fulfillment being a feeling and like, an essence that we evoke, and also that, like, we internalize, and I think to an extent, when you’re in a community of people who are living out their fulfillment, it it brings everyone up together. And then also a huge piece of fulfillment is looking at and defining success in your own way. And understanding taking time to understand and and continually evaluate, what do you feel like your purpose is, and that definitely doesn’t always have to be tied to work. That’s what I got. What did you get out?

Julie Schoen 1:01:45
Yeah, I love that. It’s something that just came out to me, you were you did it with a word enjoy and said that, you know, you have to be “in joy” to enjoy, and fulfillment, I was just, this just came to me. But you have to be “full” first, right? So you have to know that you have everything you need already, so you have to come being full, but then you have to also be receptive enough to be filled. And so, right. That’s good.

Alyssa Patmos 1:02:16
Yes! Oh, my gosh, yes.

Julie Schoen 1:02:20
And so I think that that’s, yeah, it’s like you have everything, you need to take responsibility, you’ve got this. But then also, like, do the work and do the things that allow you to continue to be filled up. And if you can, I think bring those two together. That is a really nice definition of fulfillment.

Alyssa Patmos 1:02:37
Oh, my goodness, I am so using that. And we will reference this podcast because it’s so that’s so good. I love that. And it’s good. I love it, too. I don’t know where it came from. It’s good. This is the power of conversation. This is why I love conversational shows because it’s co creating some sort of meaning. And that’s the essence of communication in the first place is coming to shared meaning and it’s moments like this that I live for, and that just like, bring that energy to me. So thank you.

Julie Schoen 1:03:13
Oh, absolutely. I live for conversations too. I like always go to the grocery store because I just want to get in a conversation with somebody you know, my husband’s like, You’re so weird. I’m like, Why No, it took me five hours but I talked to this nice woman and then I met this person and you know, I live for this too.

Alyssa Patmos 1:03:31
So if someone wants to continue the conversation with you, where can they find you?

Julie Schoen 1:03:37
Yes, so I have a website a great place to get in touch with me. It’s just my first and last name. So JulieSchoen.com, where I do a lot of work around numerology and copywriting specifically around emails, I love love emails and think they’re a really powerful way to connect with people to when you can’t have a one on one conversation. And then they can follow me on Instagram. And yeah, those are my my best spots to find me.

Alyssa Patmos 1:04:04
Beautiful. Beautiful, is your Instagram your name as well?

Julie Schoen 1:04:09
So it’s my name and then someone already had it of course. And so I put “danke” in the middle like Julie Danke Schoen, because Ferris Bueller’s one of my all time favorite movies and when he sings “Danke Schoen” in the parade, It like makes my heart so warm and fuzzy. So I’m @juliedankeschoen on Instagram.

Alyssa Patmos 1:04:29
Glad I asked. That is great. Love it, love it. And we will link it as well. So Julie, thank you so so much for being here. I deeply appreciate you coming on and chatting with me about all things fulfillment.

Julie Schoen 1:04:44
Thank you so much for having me, Alyssa. It was so much fun.

Alyssa Patmos 1:04:48
And thank you for tuning in, and we’ll be back next week with another episode of Make It Mentionable.

You’ve just finished listening to another episode of Make It Mentionable with me, your host, Alyssa Patmos. If you’re looking for more in between episodes, then sign up for The Peel. It’s my free newsletter that gives tips for how to navigate whatever life dishes and it’s also the place where I share the juiciest of stories. To check it out, head on over to Alyssapatmos.com/thepeel. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I’ll see you next time.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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