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Ep. 155 - Living The Dream - Summer Series Replay

Ever notice that the things that cause you the most stress are sometimes the exact thing you most wanted? Once upon a time we only dreamed of getting to know and understand our husbands better, have children, or land that exact job. And once we have them, it's so easy to forget and to allow those same things to overwhelm us and stress us out.

It's such a simple re-frame, but it can feel life changing when you need it. Make sure to listen this week to hear how to apply this in your life. Can't wait to hear from you about what dream you are living!

Resources from this week's episode:

Project Honeymoon: (Please share!)

How to Glow: (Opens for registration the 28th)


<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Episode 155 Living The Dream - Summer Series Replay.

<00:00:18> Kayla Levin: Welcome to How To Glow, where we get real about building the marriage of your dreams. I'm certified coach, Kayla Levin, and I help married Jewish women go from surviving and overwhelmed to thriving and connected through practical tips, real life inspiration, and more than a little self-awareness along the way.

<00:00:39> Kayla Levin: Hi ladies. Okay. The next stint of our summer series replay is the best of, of the podcast "Living The Dream" is one that my clients tell me a lot has helped them. For so many of us for so many of us, so much of what goes on in our life and even the things that create the most stress for us are actually the things that we wanted, the most, the things we prayed for that we davened for, that we hoped for, that we dreamed of.

<00:01:04> Kayla Levin: And sometimes all we need is just that reframe that this thing that I'm struggling for is exactly what I wanna be involved in. Exactly what I wanna be working towards. So again, whether this is a refresh or you have never heard this episode before, I hope you enjoy, and I'll see you back here next.

<00:01:21> Kayla Levin: Hello, my friends. I am so excited to be back here. Recording an episode for you again, lockdown number three here in Israel has been pretty nuts over at the Levin house. And, I'm, I'm just excited to be able to do this. So. I've got a lot to talk to you about today. I've got this concept, Living The Dream. I talked about a little bit in my interview with my husband in a recent episode.

<00:01:46> Kayla Levin: I wanna talk for a minute about COVID and I wanna talk about two of the main reasons that we sometimes don't really see how awesome what we have is what we feel like is standing between us and the marriage that we want. First of all, I just wanna give one really quick thought that I've been using a lot lately.

<00:02:05> Kayla Levin: To help myself out with different realities with COVID. So, you know, right now here, our schools are shut down. Lots of things are shut down. I just saw that they're thinking of extending this lockdown again, because really the numbers are not going down. Like they expected despite the number of people who are vaccinating, this seems to do with the new strain, whatever.

<00:02:23> Kayla Levin: I'm definitely not an expert in the area. here's what I do know. I do know that they might extend the lockdown. right. And I am an expert in what that means when my kids are not in school during the day, the thing I keep trying to remind myself of, and I've actually found so much evidence of during all of this is that we so often worry about things, not going the way that we need them to go, but we actually don't really know which way we need them to.

<00:02:52> Kayla Levin: meaning, let's say, I think the best thing is for my kids to be back in school. But I don't actually know that, like I don't actually have in front of me the scenario of them in school next week and the scenario of them not in school next week. And I'm not able to make a comparison because neither thing has happened yet.

<00:03:11> Kayla Levin: Right. So I've got the example of what I think it would look like if they were in school next week. And the example of what I. Think it would look like if they're home next week and I'm comparing those two things, but they're both imaginary. Right. And even though I might have a lot of evidence and a lot of like, well, this didn't work and this didn't work and this didn't work.

<00:03:28> Kayla Levin: That's a little bit more of a creating a reality versus observing your reality. Right. Because I'm just gonna sort of. Fixate on all the things that wasn't, that weren't working. So it isn't to say that it's not hard it's for a lot of us that were feeling tired. We're, we're, we're wanting some quiet. some time to ourselves, not just locking ourselves in the bathroom every once in a while.

<00:03:47> Kayla Levin: And for those of you who are newly married, the pressures, I've been speaking about that a lot on the podcast though. I, I won't speak to that as directly here, but definitely be listening to those. so it's understandable. It's okay. I don't mean to ever invalidate what you're experiencing. I think it's fine.

<00:04:04> Kayla Levin: But at the same time, don't fool yourself into thinking that you know, which future scenario is better and then get upset when you don't get it, because how's that gonna help? I don't see how that's gonna help. Right. And so I just keep trying to remind myself, I share this with my mastermind group. I don't remember if I shared this in the email also, but my, both of my girls one morning missed, their one-on-one tutoring is still allowed for new immigrants, right.

<00:04:28> Kayla Levin: For working on their Hebrew, they both missed it. One day. Just completely missed it. I just was focusing on them. I was like feeling really great. Look how focused I am. Look what a great mom I'm being. And then all of a sudden I went, oh my gosh, you both missed your class. Like you were supposed to be in school.

<00:04:43> Kayla Levin: When I started playing with this idea of like, I don't actually know, my brain was able to open itself up to this possibility of what if, what they needed this morning was to be home now. Obviously it's not what I would've chosen. I would've sent them if I had remembered to. Right. But given that I didn't, I don't know that it was better for them to have gone.

<00:05:04> Kayla Levin: I just know that I would prefer to be the mom that remembered to send them right. But for them, I don't know. What's better. Maybe they needed that morning off. Right? Maybe they would've gone and it wouldn't have been such a nice experience that time. Their teacher's amazing. It wouldn't have been the teacher.

<00:05:18> Kayla Levin: It would've been something else. Right. So I love this idea. I don't actually know which way it should go, which way it's gonna be better, which way is gonna be easier. And I just wanted to offer that to you guys. Okay. So the cutest thing happened today. I've been planning this podcast topic for a while and, I just melted when this happened and had to share this with you because.

<00:05:40> Kayla Levin: Leads so perfectly into. What I wanted to talk about today. So basically , I'm not gonna give the whole story, but let's just sum it up. As chicken was not defrosted on time. Are you guys getting a good picture of how it's going in the 11 house here? Like it's not making it to school things. Chicken, not defrosted for dinner.

<00:05:57> Kayla Levin: Okay. So dinner was delayed. And so my kids are literally like wandering around the house, a little plastic cups, eating, you know, defrosted, like, I mean, cooked frozen peas, like just with a spoon. Okay. I guess they're wondering around doing this. And I know one of my kids is probably gonna fall asleep before the chicken's ready.

<00:06:13> Kayla Levin: So I'm like trying to make sure she's got enough. And I come back over to her and there's more peas and she's already had like two cups of them and she's loving it. And I'm standing there with my big, big, full spoonful of peas trying to pour it into her cup, but I can't pour it into her cup because she's tipped it to the side and she's digging with her spoon because there's one pea in the very bottom.

<00:06:34> Kayla Levin: Of the cup that she can't quite get. Right. And so she's blocked the entry to the cup. For me, who's standing there with a whole Tupperware, right. Full of peas trying to just pour as much as she could possibly want. But she's so fixated on that one pea at the bottom of the cup. I can't do anything. I can't give her more peas Right. And I was like, oh my gosh, that's all of us. Right. That is me. That is all of us sometimes. We're so busy fixating on the one thing that we just wish that thing would be better, that we just close ourselves off to everything that is great. Everything that is happening that is working. Right. And we'll talk about that more today.

<00:07:16> Kayla Levin: I think it's also an, obviously like an amazing metaphor for God. For those of you who. Or of a similar faith or any faith where you believe in God and you believe in blessing, right. Of how we're like, we're so focused on this one problem and the way that we think it should go and the way we think it needs to be solved.

<00:07:32> Kayla Levin: And meanwhile, there's like this abundance of blessing, just trying to fit into your little plastic cup. And we're like tipping the thing, trying to get the one pee. Right. I wish I had a picture of it for you guys. It was so delicious. So, so what do I wanna talk about today? So we're talking today about this idea of living the dream.

<00:07:50> Kayla Levin: Okay. And what I mean by that is noticing when you are living the dream. Because much of the time we already are, I had a wake up call when I found this piece of paper that I had been keeping in my office. I don't know when we wrote it. Exactly, but my husband and I, I love this exercise for all of you guys to do with your husband.

<00:08:09> Kayla Levin: We wrote down, this might have been maybe when we were 30. What goals we would love to see, like, we actually just drew sort of a picture of what our life would look like at 35. So we're about to turn 35, like in me and whatever, in like a couple months. So we find this piece of paper, right. I found it in my office.

<00:08:28> Kayla Levin: I think I was like, sort of resorting the desk or something like that. Here. As we're looking at this paper, we realize that this was like this dream life for us. Right. This was like, oh my gosh, how could we, like, maybe we could make this happen one day. One of them was like that we've been back to Israel for at least two weeks.

<00:08:44> Kayla Levin: We ended up moving here. I put on there that I would get quarterly sessions with my coach, meaning I literally just wanted to talk to my coach four times a year. Okay. I'm right now in a weekly six month one-on-one coaching program, I meet with my coach for an hour every week. Yeah. On top of other coaching programs that I'm in.

<00:09:04> Kayla Levin: I mean, it's just, it's ridiculous. Not even a comparison. We put on there that, you know, I have started praying in a meaningful way on a daily basis. And my husband has daily learning. These things felt so out of reach for us. When we wrote this list, it felt like life was just always gonna be too hectic.

<00:09:19> Kayla Levin: We were never gonna be able to do it. And then one of the things I wrote down here was that I sit down to a calendar of clients two or three times a week, and I see three coaching clients scheduled. I didn't even write down if they were paying me. like, it wasn't even, wasn't even part of the dream at that point.

<00:09:42> Kayla Levin: Like I just wanted people to want me to coach them. It's amazing to me, first of all, how quickly we can move to another place. But second of all, that you'd think if you were to go back and tell Kayla who wrote this list, guess what, two months before you turn 35, you're gonna have accomplished all of it.

<00:10:00> Kayla Levin: And more that you could even like give her the facts of my life today. what would she think she would think that life was amazing. She would think that I'm never upset. she would think that nothing's ever wrong. Right. That I'm just floating on a cloud of happiness and joint sparkles all day long. Yeah.

<00:10:20> Kayla Levin: So. What's the reality. The reality is that we're stuck in our day to day rut. We're stuck with the pee on the bottom of the cup. We're stuck with the problem that we just can't get past. We're stuck in little, very narrow, like, like horse blinders, right. Of what's not working right. What we need to tackle next.

<00:10:39> Kayla Levin: And when we step back and we ask ourselves, wait a second. At what time was my life today? Something I only dreamed of. I mean for a lot of you, most of you are married, right? You can probably remember when you dreamed of being married, he was still fuzzy. what he looked like, what you needed, whatever, but being married, that was a dream, right?

<00:11:06> Kayla Levin: Starting a family for some of you, right. Maybe where you live, maybe the kind of work you do, maybe just having a big, grown up job. at some point that was a dream. Right. And. Also in terms of the kind of relationship and marriage you are setting up intentionally with your spouse. We focus again on the little pee on the bottom of the cup.

<00:11:27> Kayla Levin: We focus on, I think he needs to just do more of this. I need more of this. I need more help here, but if you step back and you're like, wait, what was, what was on the list? When I started looking who I wanted to marry for most of you, for many of you, you got most of that. In fact, it could be the, the things that you actually wanted are the things that are now the problem you're trying to fix.

<00:11:53> Kayla Levin: Right? You wanted a leader and now you're like, how come he's never home. right. Or you wanted somebody who is, you know, pretty serious about his commitments and praying with the minion three times a day. Now you'd like a little bit more of that support, right. Or vice versa. You wanted somebody really laid back.

<00:12:11> Kayla Levin: And now you're like, I don't know. I think he could kick it up a notch, but if you step back. To before. And you go back into the big picture. I want you to start just asking yourself, how am I already living the dream? Cause guess what? If you're doing it anyway, you might as well enjoy it. I, I really love this example of like wishing that there would be three people on my coaching schedule a couple times a week.

<00:12:34> Kayla Levin: because I remember the drama of that. I remember how impossible it felt. to build a practice, to build a business, to have people actually come and say, Hey, I wanna work with you. And today I spent like 30 minutes looking at my wait list and like having a little bit of a mini meltdown thinking like, what do I do about these women?

<00:12:58> Kayla Levin: Right. Like, I don't like having a wait list. I need to be serving them. I need to be helping them now. Which is ridiculous because I literally have mastermind groups forming for this exact reason. Right. The solution has already been built. right. And like, so here's my brain focusing on this quote unquote problem, which is of course not a problem, which is just an major blessing.

<00:13:19> Kayla Levin: And if I can go back and tell her, no, no, no, no, no. Don't worry about the two or three people on your schedule. You're gonna be stressing out instead about how to take care of all the people on your wait list. right. It's a joke. And really this is the value of coaching at the end of the day is just, you know, your brain's gonna keep having meltdowns, you just have them on higher levels as you go.

<00:13:38> Kayla Levin: And so I said, I, I wanted to talk about these two problems that I think are getting in the way for a lot of people. Problem, number one, and we're gonna do kind of mini and I might flesh this out into a bigger podcast episode going forward, because this is kind of like a, more of an overview problem.

<00:13:54> Kayla Levin: Number one is I think the dream is supposed to look different. Okay. Meaning I want to have a, a loving, connected relationship. And then when I notice myself get really frustrated at my husband, I think that means I don't have a loving, connected relationship. Right. We get into a disagreement. Maybe we even get into an argument.

<00:14:17> Kayla Levin: And I think that means that I don't have the peaceful home that I wanted. Okay. so problem, number one is that we paint this really rosy picture of what it's supposed to look like. And then when it doesn't look like that, we're like, oh, well then I'm not allowed to call this, that this isn't a great relationship.

<00:14:34> Kayla Levin: Cuz look like we, we disagreed about this thing and I got kind of annoyed with him about that thing. And like we had this miscommunication and I got really frustrated. Right. so, like I said, in the beginning, I feel like there are two main problems that keep us from really living the dream, other than just not noticing it.

<00:14:53> Kayla Levin: just, we we're already living the dream and we just didn't notice cuz we were busy trying to solve some other problem that felt more urgent, you know, and more, more of an issue. So problem number one is that I've got this sort of rosy picture of what the dream is supposed to look like. I hear this a lot and this is how it sounds when I hear.

<00:15:11> Kayla Levin: and it'll be like, I really wanna have a really connected relationship, but my husband and I don't really have like long conversations or, you know, I wanted us to have like a really peaceful, connected, loving, supportive marriage, but like sometimes we disagree or sometimes they get really annoyed at him.

<00:15:28> Kayla Levin: And this is where I wanna just give you permission to question that entire foundation of your thinking about your marriage, because here's the thing. I get annoyed at my husband a lot. I get frustrated with him. We disagree about things. All of it. He's always telling me, like, could you share with them like what I did?

<00:15:49> Kayla Levin: like, no, I don't need to share with them, but they need to know that I get annoyed with you. Right. But it's not a problem. I'm still convinced we have the best marriage on the planet. I am. And so my experience of the marriage, and it's not because I'm diluting myself or because I am just like thinking happy thoughts.

<00:16:06> Kayla Levin: No, it's because I know that I have his back. I know he has my back and I cultivate that. I work on that and that actually creates the amazing marriage, but also because I don't make any of it a problem, it doesn't have to be an issue. If one of us is cranky. When one of us is cranky. The other one, I kind of see us as being like, I've got your back.

<00:16:26> Kayla Levin: You go there today. I'm gonna cover I'll cover. I'll cover the field for you. You be cranky, right? We get it. We have space to be human. I love that I'm in a marriage where there's space to be human. And I never make it mean that somehow our marriage is lacking or there's something wrong with it. So I want you to know you can have an unbelievable marriage and you can fight sometimes.

<00:16:50> Kayla Levin: You can disagree. It's okay. Right. And I know that's harder to see in the beginning. I know that in the beginning, really what we know the concept of a new marriage, you are building the foundation, you are building that security. You're building that trust. It's okay. That, that takes time. It's supposed to take time, give it time, allow it time.

<00:17:07> Kayla Levin: Just like if you've got a new puppy, you wouldn't suddenly like, go take a job where you were, you know, like gone three weeks out of the month, you know, you'd know that you need to invest in making sure the puppy gets, you know, I don't know, whatever. trained. right. The same thing with your marriage, your marriage is new.

<00:17:24> Kayla Levin: Your marriage is a baby. We wanna take care of that marriage. We wanna make sure it grows and it's strong and it has a foundation. And as it has that foundation, I want you to catch your brain when it starts looking at things like that. Like, oh, I had a bad thought about him. Ooh. I, I felt frustrated. Must mean what are you making it mean?

<00:17:41> Kayla Levin: Are you making it mean something about your relationship? And I want you to know that that's something you can question. Problem. Number two sounds sort of like, I, this isn't the dream because of him. right. Like, I, I don't know that I can be happy in this relationship because look at how I'm feeling. I'm feeling all this resentment, I'm feeling all this frustration.

<00:18:03> Kayla Levin: Now this is really tricky, right? Because we have this whole conversation now about, you know, mental load and equal division of labor and depending on what things you're following and what you're listening to and what news outlets you listen to, you know, the conversation might be more or less amplified for you, but it's happening right?

<00:18:22> Kayla Levin: Where a lot of women. Are feeling very frustrated that they're not necessarily getting the same amount of help. And there are studies that come out that say, well, women will take on this much of the housework, even if they are equal financial earners and all these things. And it's sort of becoming this like group collective level of resentment.

<00:18:42> Kayla Levin: right. The, the, the poor guys just can't win against that. That's for sure. Right. And. and I, I want you to know that you can want a situation to change and you can work to change it. And you actually never have to feel resent resentment at all, or even negativity at all. And in fact, most of the time, when you want partnership with somebody, anybody in your life, resentment and frustration and negativity, never has you showing up as your best self, never has you showing up in partnership, right?

<00:19:17> Kayla Levin: and often is the last thing that's gonna actually get you what you so desperately want and what I want for you. If you need more help, I want you to get more help. Right. And I think the lie that a lot of us have bought into, I know I had is that I have to like, be really mad to get what I need. I, it has to be a really big problem for me to complain.

<00:19:38> Kayla Levin: Right. And I want you to question that. I want you to question that maybe like he would love to help you. Or if not, he loved to help you troubleshoot getting the help that you need and you don't even have to need it. You don't even have to be falling apart. You could just want it. Yeah. And don't try and find, this is such a rant today.

<00:19:59> Kayla Levin: You guys, but don't okay. I'm just gonna go there. Don't try and find the solution before you even ask him the question, right? Like I'm already like hearing the responses. Okay. Well, we don't have the money. Okay, fine. But go tell him. Say here I am. I'm stuck. I think I need this. I think I need a little bit more help here.

<00:20:15> Kayla Levin: We don't have the money. I don't have a solution yet. I'm not asking you for anything. I'm just stuck. Let him be the partners in the relationship. Let him have some input to bring in. Yeah, but that's not even what problem. Number two is, this is just a rant. This is . I dunno. What's going on with his episode this week.

<00:20:35> Kayla Levin: Problem number two is that, so I guess that was kind of my side, right? That I wanted to say, because when I'm gonna talk about emotional responsibility and, and owning your own emotions and seeing how you created your emotional life in your relationship, I want you to understand that that is not a contradiction to getting more of what you might need or want in the relationship.

<00:20:55> Kayla Levin: In fact, these two things go together beautifully. Okay. When you look at your feelings in the relationship to judge the quality of the relationship or the ability of your husband to make you happy. I want you to know that your feelings are actually not an indicator of anything's going on outside of you.

<00:21:11> Kayla Levin: I like to think of my feelings as a great indicator of where my thoughts have been. Okay. So if I'm feeling really low and I'm feeling really stressed out, then I just know that my brain has been running around kind of unsupervised in that T. and that's okay. It doesn't mean that I have to go like suddenly get into thought perfectionism and throw away all that thinking and only get my new thinking and only have good thinking and only have positive thinking.

<00:21:34> Kayla Levin: Like my God, we're not Mary Poppins here. Right. Like it's okay. It's okay. If there's a negative thought, it's okay. If there's a negative feeling because you know what, none of that makes you do anything. If there's space for it in your. if you're willing to just feel a little discomfort. I think about this with, you know, I have a lot of clients who have, or are making or thinking about making Aliah like a lot.

<00:21:57> Kayla Levin: And that's when, like, don't, we don't really go into Aliah thinking like, let me Aliah meaning immigrating to Israel. We don't go into that thinking like, well, I'm, I'm only gonna do it once it's comfortable. What else we don't go into? Giving birth thinking like, I'm just gonna wait until everything's comfortable and then I'll be willing to conceive.

<00:22:15> Kayla Levin: No, like, there's certain things where we're like, yep, it's worth it. It might be worth it to live in a new country because I have a dream of living in Israel. It might be, or wherever you wanna go live, it might be worth it to experience labor pain, because I want to have a baby at the other side. Yeah.

<00:22:32> Kayla Levin: That is how I want you to think about some of your feelings. Like it might just be worth it for me to feel a little frustration. I don't need to go fix it right now. So problem, number two, really being that I think I can't be happy in this relationship because look at my feelings so far, right? Look at how I've been feeling.

<00:22:51> Kayla Levin: It must be there's something wrong with this relationship. And what I want you to remember is that your feelings are not an indicator of how the relationship is going. Your feelings are always an indication of where your brain has been, which does not mean you need to get into thought perfectionism. It does not mean you need to think only positive, happy thoughts all of the time.

<00:23:10> Kayla Levin: Right. It doesn't even mean you need to just get rid of all those negative feelings and clean it up right away. Any of you who are on my email list, you know, you've got a video from me just this last week about what to do with negative feelings. Watch that. If you're not sure about how to do that, maybe I'll address that in a future podcast episode, but your feelings are not an indicator of whether he's giving you what you need, whether you're compatible or whether this is working.

<00:23:31> Kayla Levin: This is just an indication of where your brain has been. And it's really hard to see that. You feel like you really just need him to change a little bit. You just need him to be a little bit more responsible or you just need him to be a little bit more open. You just need him to be a little bit more affectionate or to use your love language.

<00:23:48> Kayla Levin: And I totally get it, but here's what I want you to know.

<00:23:54> Kayla Levin: Every time someone says something like that to me and I see to her, why, why do you need him to do more of your love language? The why is because she wants a connection with her husband. guess what a connection with your husband is, it's connecting to him and he might not be the kind of guy who speaks that love language.

<00:24:16> Kayla Levin: So as long as you're fixed on, like, I need this, right. Which I think is sort of how sometimes people handicap themselves with the idea of love languages. I need this cuz it's my love language. I found that out about myself. Right? And then we don't get it from our husband and we make that a really big problem instead saying like that's his love language.

<00:24:33> Kayla Levin: That's how he's expressing love to me. and now your feeling of love is always gonna come from your thought about it. So you can see him do something and you can think, oh my gosh, he loves me so much. And love language does not have to enter into the picture. Right. When a woman says to me, I, my husband doesn't really communicate with me.

<00:24:53> Kayla Levin: I know he just doesn't communicate with you the way you communicate. How does, how does he communicate with you? Cause you want him to communicate for you to understand him, right? So how's he communicating. Understand that that's what you're going for. Right? A relationship with him, a better version of him that would make it all easier.

<00:25:11> Kayla Levin: What we want every time that I ask you, every time I ask you what you really want, it's something along the lines of a connected, deep, authentic relationship where we accept each other for who we are, cuz that feels amazing. Right. And that can happen from you decid. to allow him to be his authentic self, to accept him as he really is.

<00:25:38> Kayla Levin: And, and we'll take care of your needs. don't worry. That can happen too. But missing this piece is why so many women aren't feeling that need that he needs to change so I can feel better, right? This is actually better. I always say like, I, I hope he doesn't start communicating the way you want him to I'd so much rather you learn how to get all the feelings that you want from this relationship from exactly how he is.

<00:26:00> Kayla Levin: Right. without him needing to change or manipulate himself or quote, unquote grow, which just means be more like the way that I think you should be. Right. We don't want that for him. We want him, okay. You guys this one all over the place, but that's the beauty is COVID life. Just remember we catch yourself when you're trying to dig that last pea outta the bottom of the cup, right.

<00:26:26> Kayla Levin: That there is blessing and there is connection and there is the dream just trying to pour right. We just need to take our heads out for a second and look around just a bit. All right. My friend, I'll see you soon. Bye bye.

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