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The Journey of Fulfillment

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The Nurtured Mommy

By: Denise E. Bailey   |   December 2, 2022

I’ve got a quick disclaimer that might not be so popular…you will never be able to find meaning outside of yourself. I know, it is a hard concept to digest and one that I still haven’t fully accepted myself. My sister-in-law calls this the Armoire Theory. It is “I’ll be happy when” and/or “I’ll be happy if.” It’s the fill in the blank kind of statement where you think if I just had ____, or lived in ____, or drove a ____, or weighed _____ then I’d be happy. My SIL was newly married at the time living in her renovated home and kept thinking that the thing that was stopping her from being happy was that she just needed a new armoire. She ended up getting the armoire and weeks later forgot that it was supposed to fulfill her. It turns out as soon as we fill in the blank, we just create a new desire to work towards achieving. Sometimes we don’t even take a moment to sit with gratitude for what we just manifested. Be honest with yourself, how many times have you said or dreamed about how fulfilled you’d be when you became a new mother, got the promotion you wanted, and/or found your life partner. It doesn't matter how big or little the milestone or achievement is, if we don’t find fulfillment internally then we spend our life chasing it externally. 


We have been led to believe that fulfillment comes through the possessions we own and the milestones we reach, but I feel like that is a lie. Often we judge ourselves when we fail to realize that the milestones, like getting married, come with a lifetime commitment to grow and evolve with another person through all the ups and downs of our humanness. Or that becoming a mother isn’t the end all be all of forever being fulfilled. Instead, at least to me, it was the beginning of committing to consistently address my childhood traumas (yes, we all have them no matter how hard our parents tried) and blindspots when I see them mirrored back to me by my children. I have to choose, while being triggered, to do things differently. And I often mess up. I think my suffering comes from thinking that I should be better or that I should be fulfilled. Truth is, parenting, marriage, careers, and entrepreneurship are hard. 


Just to clarify, there isn’t a destination to fulfillment. It is a continuous journey and one that you have to consciously pursue. During this crazy time of year and while heading into the new year make sure to sit down with yourself and think about and feel what matters most to you. Give yourself permission to get off of the hamster wheel. Lean into the fears that are holding you back. Tap into your soul and listen. How are you choosing to show up differently in 2023 for yourself? What does true internal fulfillment mean to you? And release the rest. Here are some things I am doing to reconnect with my essence. I’d love for you to join me. And don’t ever hesitate to reach out to chat and/or discuss this more. I am not trying to be your coach, I promise. I just want you to know that I am on the same journey with you. We teach (or write about) what we need to learn. So ask yourself, what matters most to me?


Ways that I am reconnecting with myself in 2023:

  1. Focusing on Fulfillment: I signed up for this journaling/planner system by @silkandsonder that guides me with a daily affirmation and daily meditation/journaling ritual. It has been profound and life changing. The focus is not only on goal setting and planning, but instead on finding fulfillment.
  2. Pausing and Being Present: I have and will continue to regularly attend events/mini retreats hosted by @theoptimistcollective. I also heal and connect with my body through monthly acupuncture sessions with Katherine @purejoyacupuncture. I find that when I take time to pause and be present alone without being a friend, mama, wife, coworker, etc… I learn more about myself. 
  3. Fostering High-Energy Friendships: I am spending time with a few amazing high-energy friends and letting go of those that no longer serve me (which is hard for a loyal Leo).
  4. Working with an Impartial Judge/Coach: I started working with my Life/Business Coach again (yep, sorry but it’s true we bring our personal lives to work and our work lives home). I’ve been working with her since 2012. She is an amazing impartial judge who inspires me to be the best version of myself while holding me accountable at the same time. 
  5. Saying “No” More Often: Our lives are extremely busy with three kids, writing, and running an impact fund. I am finding ways to let go of the shoulds while setting kind and healthy boundaries around my time commitments. I am learning that my time is precious.

Denise Bailey is a coffee lover, over-sharer, and truth seeker who is dedicated to vulnerably discussing the not so pretty parts of this amazing role. She is inspired by her three daughters to help women manage their expectations, let go of perfectionism, and lean into their enoughness. Denise is working on becoming a published author while simultaneously helping her husband launch his Impact Fund. 
Read more on her Instagram @thenurturedmommy
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All Rise for the Mug of Glory! Read >>

Interviewing Santas Read >>

Joinable Brings People Together Read >>

Keeping it Together While Traveling Together Read >>

Matrix Parent Network for Children Special Needs Read >>

RSV vs. Flu vs. COVID-19 Read >>

The Architecture of Healing Read >>

The Journey of Fulfillment Read >>

What is the Meaning of Life? Read >>