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Dealing with life’s punches

Humble Rising Transcript Arivee with Joy June 28 2023

[00:00:00] Arivee: We all deserve to have fulfilling careers and lives. We deserve to experience joy and peace, and freedom and all of those things that make us feel truly alive.


[00:00:20] Arivee: It takes a lot of courage. For us to take the reins in our lives and take action that honors the deepest parts of ourselves in this current season of life, it takes a lot of courage to lean into growing and to lean into learning, and to know when it's time to make a change. I'm Arivee Vargas.. I'm a first generation Latina mama free, and life and high-performance coach to women just like you.


[00:00:50] Arivee: And this podcast is for all of us looking to grow and learn a, explore what a joyful and fulfilling life and [00:01:00] career can look like. And how to start living into that life right now. We're going to go deep and we're going to honor our truth in this podcast, and the best thing is we're gonna do it together.


[00:01:13] Arivee: So welcome to the Humble Rising Podcast.


[00:01:26] Arivee: In this episode, the script gets flipped on me. Because I am being interviewed by my friend and therapist. Joy Langley, you have purged her on this podcast before and I actually have the privilege and honor of being interviewed by her via LinkedIn audio recently, and we had a powerful conversation about everything from my upbringing to the weight of expectations of your community and your [00:02:00] culture and society.


[00:02:02] Arivee: We talked about. My real introduction to the legal profession and what the real reason was that I wanted to be a lawyer, and that transition into law school and the battle that came with trying to build my self-esteem and my confidence. Throughout the years and even into becoming an entry level through midyear profession in terms of my career, we also talked about emotional intelligence, which is joy's bread and butter, and we did talk through emotional balance, managing relationships, and how we navigate motherhood, our careers.


[00:02:44] Arivee: Taking care of ourselves, the importance of taking care of yourselves and making it a priority and what that actually means. We have a very deep and rich conversation, and so I'm really excited to be able to share it with you on this podcast. So you can [00:03:00] have a listen. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Joy.


[00:03:04] Joy: So my guest today is Arvi Vargas and I've got her down as a former lawyer. She'll put me straight, I'm sure, but she's an A woman's don't laugh, arvi. That make me laugh. Women's a female empowerment coach. And that's what she's been doing. She's almost reinvented herself, and that's what I love about vy and working in the legal profession is not an easy thing.


[00:03:25] Joy: I've been speaking to a couple of people from that profession, and VY is also a person of very deep self-reflection and introspection. One of the things that I love about her is that I always feel this strength like a mother lioness. In the quiet just behind me when I speak to her. She's laughing. She's falling about laughing.


[00:03:46] Joy: It's true. I really do feel that, and that's because I think Avie carries a lot of responsibility around being the front person for her family, but also carrying the flag for being Doan, being a [00:04:00] Latina. The pressure is there and hitting blood ceilings, all that kind of stuff. Jumping over, professional hurdles, imposter syndrome.


[00:04:08] Joy: I won't go on any further cuz you've had enough of me. Okay. Enough of me onto today's guest. So vie, would you like to just tell me a little bit about what happened, Noah? I won't say that. I won't even rub the technical stuff. I'll give in, but why not? It's live. What? So you've got three children. I know


[00:04:28] Arivee: that's hard.


[00:04:28] Arivee: So let me be, no, let me be honest. So I'm actually in DC visiting my sister and her family and we came back and we were fine on time. Came back from li visiting the Library of Congress and which was amazing, and I came back and. My computer is a bit old in that it defaults to Safari Explorer and the restream requires the platform we're on Joy right now requires something else other than what I [00:05:00] had.


[00:05:00] Arivee: And so I had to make sure that I could, that was the other browser was updated. I kept getting an error message. Okay? So I had to make sure the browser was updated, the browser, and then got in. And when you get in to Restream, you have to do, there are these prompts. To get really in. And so I was like, okay, what's my password?


[00:05:20] Joy: It can be scary, I think. I think we're just going to absolve you of that. Any guilt? Thank you. Let's take the guilt. Let's take any of that away from you, Vy, because again, it's testament to you and the strength and your persistence and your determination, which is why you are where you are. Yeah. But when I read through your biography and I do know a little bit about you, cuz as I said, You've interviewed me, so that's great.


[00:05:41] Joy: Yes. But I didn't go into the detail about you, and the thing that struck me over and over again was this heavy responsibility that you carry for being the role model in your family's life. Your parents, your mom, your dad, your sister. Just tell me a little bit more about that if you could.


[00:05:59] Arivee: Yeah, [00:06:00] so for me personally growing up as the daughter of two Dominican immigrants, and I obviously have my sister, there is this unspoken, sometimes spoken, but mostly unspoken expectation that you will make good on the sacrifices made for you, especially for your education to keep you safe.


[00:06:19] Arivee: My parents growing up are, their priority was we're going to make sure they get an education. We're going to keep them safe, so free from violence and drugs and all of that, and we're gonna make sure they're fed, they're clothed, and they have a lot of loves, and when you grow up in. You see their work ethic, which was insane.


[00:06:38] Arivee: And you see the people around you and their work ethic is so strong, and yet they can advance the way that they wanted to at that time because of they were trying to get their education. And you realize the power of education and the power of the opportunity you have in this country. And I had that perspective because of my


[00:06:56] Joy: parents, quite a burden to carry a reason.


[00:06:58] Joy: Yeah. I [00:07:00] think I can safely say you, you've passed through that and you've come out the other side. Yes.


[00:07:04] Arivee: Oh yes, because one, because I think the story you tell yourself, or what could be true for you as a child, even through adolescence, into adulthood, into your twenties, I think that story sometimes is no longer true, and you have to stop telling yourself it's true.


[00:07:24] Arivee: So, That was true for me for a lot of my life. And then slowly I started coming out of that saying, wait, no, but they would want me to do what I wanted to do and to be happy. And I've done all the quote unquote things that you do. I've quote unquote checked all the boxes, right? And. There's freedom in knowing that you don't need to believe those stories that are holding you back in that way because it was becoming something that was so unhelpful and it was making me question myself, and it was making me feel like I didn't have the bravery to do the things I really wanted to do when that's not true.


[00:07:58] Arivee: I did have that. Courage says that I have to, [00:08:00] this story I was telling myself was no longer true for me, although it was before right? Joy, like your mindset can change so much that something that you thought was true before for you is no longer true and you really


[00:08:10] Joy: believe it. And I think it's important for people to know that you can change your mind.


[00:08:16] Joy: That's the whole point. You can change your mind, and we're getting some lovely comments as well. I'm going to put one up here from, let's get Harvey Castro says the Great Talk, and he's also said it's really good to see. Oh, hello? Hispanic. Yes. Come on. Yeah, I know. I can do a little bit of Spanish myself.


[00:08:38] Joy: Just a tiny, so don't you two start talking between yourself. Cause I, I would be able to suss that one out. So ave this whole thing then about becoming a lawyer. I would like to think it's because you wanted to be, that's where you wanted to be, but it was an idea that was planted in your head around the age of 11.


[00:08:56] Joy: Just tell me a little bit more about that.


[00:08:58] Arivee: Yeah, so I [00:09:00] was the quintessential person who would watch Law and Order as a young child. I don't think I would let even my 11 year old watch Law and Order, but when they are 11. But I did watch Law and Order and. Our generation was a generation of like tv, real tv, cable tv.


[00:09:17] Arivee: Okay. So this is, it's so different now, but I'd watch Law and Order and then my father as I was getting older, he worked in a courthouse. And so I would see like a courthouse. It's like a lower court, right? A a district court, but at a city or town level. And I remember I had met like judges he worked with and I was exposed to that at a young age.


[00:09:39] Arivee: What I really was drawn to was like the law and order type of lawyering, like the litigation in the courtroom. And I can't tell you why I thought I liked it. I honestly, looking back, I thought it just seemed exciting. Like something about it seemed exciting to me and I was like, oh, that's good enough. And so I would tell people I wanted to be a lawyer.


[00:09:57] Arivee: That's literally how it went.


[00:09:58] Joy: So that was the big mistake. [00:10:00] That was the big, yeah. Mistake. Arve and 11 telling people an 11 year old saying to adults, by the way, when I grow up, I want to be a ballerina. They say, great joy is going to be a ballerina. How


[00:10:11] Arivee: do I get out that? Yeah. But I eventually, when I went to college, I was like, okay, I'm gonna be a lawyer.


[00:10:17] Arivee: I didn't think of anything else but the way I was proceeding in my studies, it really was focused on the Latino community and education and equity in the Latino community and all of. My major was sociology. I was a Latin American studies minor. My whole experience was all about social justice, like in my college experience, what I did inside the classroom and outside.


[00:10:40] Arivee: So I was, I said to myself, okay, I'm gonna be a lawyer and do education policy that will align with my interests and my passion for my community. And uplifting my community. But then what really happened, joy, was I went to law school and I did an externship. It was an education policy organization, tiny organization that [00:11:00] focused on the Latino community.


[00:11:01] Arivee: And what I found was that I didn't know this before, education policy is more about politics. That's what I was seeing. It's more about politics than it is about to me, like helping the community on the ground help them advance, help them achieve the equity that they need. That was just my personal experience in that externship.


[00:11:21] Arivee: Yes, and I didn't find it exciting. I was like, this is not what I wanna be be doing. I wanna help my community in a totally different way Then. As


[00:11:27] Joy: I read your biography as well, Ravi, this passion for helping your community and finding the time to continue to help your community. I know you do a lot of community work despite the fact you have three children.


[00:11:40] Joy: I dunno how you manage to do that, but yeah, community matters to you. Yes. Tell me some more. Cause I don't actually even know what you do in the community. I just know it's a big thing. And you do say that you are out there doing things. So tell me, just between me and you, no one else is listening. What do you do in the community?


[00:11:58] Arivee: So I spent a lot of [00:12:00] time mentoring younger Latinas. A lot of time doing that. I would say I spent more time before I had three children, like I had, the more children I had, the less I did it. But I still do it. I make it a priority. I also am involved in a host of boards, um, on different organizations and one of the ones that I.


[00:12:24] Arivee: I as close to my heart is a charter school with a predominantly black and Latino population, and I've been on that board for almost nine years. I've also been on boards that just serve the people of color and obviously I bring a certain voice to that table, and community has always been something that I don't remember ever.


[00:12:45] Arivee: Not caring about that honestly. I don't know, like I didn't quote unquote get into it. It was just part of me. I think part of Latino culture is this emphasis on family, and that's how I grew up. Like very Dominican, but then American, it was very [00:13:00] strange to grow up that way, but I remember it always being like, this is your family and they're gonna be here for you, and it's our job to be there for each other.


[00:13:09] Arivee: And I always extended that to others. Especially those who were like me, but I wanted to say, here, I've created some paths and I wanna help you along because I feel like growing up I didn't see anyone who looked like me doing what I may have wanted to do. So I said, I'm not gonna let people go out in the dark.


[00:13:30] Arivee: Like I wanna help them so that if they wanna do this thing or if they wanna do anything, I wanna just be there as like a sounding board for them.


[00:13:38] Joy: Ave. That is so big and so great, and I'm glad you just kept that as almost. The lighthouse in your life. It's just there. I think being a role model for other people.


[00:13:48] Joy: I love the way you say people just like me because perhaps other people may know that difference exists in all kinds of forms. There's all kinds of discrimination and [00:14:00] prejudice, all kinds of stuff. But I know I'm a female, I'm a black woman. I'm of a certain age old, and. Lots of other labels that you could attach to me, which would make me very different to someone else.


[00:14:13] Joy: And it would perhaps alter some of the opportunities that are open to me without me really going out there and fighting for it. So you have kept that going and I love the fact that you are providing that for young women in your community. They so they can see that actually you didn't have the role model that this is what a lawyer looks like.


[00:14:32] Joy: A lawyer can look like me. So you have gone out there and you have been there. It made me think actually Ave. Cause I follow a lot of your posts. You don't know that, do you? I'm stalking you. Yes, I do. Soy, I stalk stalking you privately. And I'm just gonna bring this up completely out of the blue because it was about this whole thing around representation and discrimination and when it comes to the world of, I dunno, children and toys and what they're absorbing.


[00:14:58] Joy: I think it was about a doll that had been [00:15:00] put out, which had the tag Latina. Above it that she was dressed in rather unsavory ways. That's all we can say. And I saw your post and I thought I was cheering. Yay. She's so right. Like how dare they represent a group in a certain way so that it just continues to promote that stereotype.


[00:15:18] Joy: But just tell me, cuz you thought you are very forward about putting your stuff out on LinkedIn. Tell me more about that. This toy


[00:15:24] Arivee: company decides that. They're making this grand announcement that they finally are tapping into the Latino market and they're releasing these dolls that are the Latino collection.


[00:15:36] Arivee: And there are four dolls who have no clothing on and who have short skirts and have long, straight hair, long straight, dark hair and brown hair. And I was so upset because, and I'm gonna call them out right here, Hispanic Executive Magazine, who. I typically love their content and I love who they highlight.


[00:15:55] Arivee: I've been highlighted in their magazine, so this is No Shade, and for [00:16:00] that arm of the Hispanic executive, but they basically reposted what the company posted and said, this is great Latino representation. They came up with these dolls and I post, I posted back, commented on the Hispanic executive post and I said, this is not acceptable.


[00:16:14] Arivee: Like you should not be promoting. This representation of our community because it's not an accurate representation. In fact, it's exactly what mainstream America believes of our community, that Latinas are highly sexualized. You know that they all have this like long hair and that we dress this way, and that we show up this way.


[00:16:33] Arivee: And that's inaccurate. And that's why a lot of people will say, oh, they're Latina, they're sassy, they're sexy. They're. They have these adjectives that don't describe us as a community, and it's only because of that perception. Perpetuating upset a myth. Yeah. I was upset. I


[00:16:49] Joy: was like, yeah, yeah, you were upset.


[00:16:51] Joy: And I just want to warn everyone that Avie is not backwards about coming forwards. If she sees injustice out there, she's gonna kick [00:17:00] your, I've got to do the exclusives there. I wish I had one of those things. I could put the exclusives in there. But yeah, she will do that. And she's also qualified to do that.


[00:17:07] Joy: So let's go back to the law as well, because the legal profession is portrayed in a very glamorous way. I've gotta be honest with you.


[00:17:15] Arivee: I'm so, it is,


[00:17:16] Joy: it is. I'm gonna confess here. Avie, I love Illegally Blonde with Oh, me too. I do too. Yes. I love, I love Legally Blonde. And I was going to say her name and I've forgotten her names.


[00:17:28] Joy: Just left my head. Cause you have to remind me now. Reese Withers. I love that repo. Reese Witherspoon. Yeah. That's the one of my favorite films, and I can watch that over and over again. I'm not quite sure why, but I think every time I watch it, there are some other levels happening underneath. Okay. It's not just about this blonde bimbo who wants to join.


[00:17:46] Joy: Legal company and she used to just only think about her dog and her nails and anything else. There's a couple of layers that happen throughout. Yes, a couple layers that happen through that film. That really makes me sit up and think, and I think that's why I like watching [00:18:00] it. But you are familiar with that show, which is nice.


[00:18:04] Joy: Is that a fair representation of the legal world?


[00:18:07] Arivee: No. Okay, joy, it's, we need to have another, we should have another episode or another like meeting on that movie and we can break down sections of it. Okay? Now it's true that when you are in the classroom, It's a Socratic method. It's very true that the professor is asking questions and you learn by the answers students are giving, right?


[00:18:33] Arivee: They're not. They're not gonna give you a lecture. It's not a lecture. It's Socratic method. So that is accurate and professors are not forgiving. Mostly accurate, yes. But when you get them one-on-one, they're much better. But that is accurate. And the competition in law school, like the competition to be number one.


[00:18:54] Arivee: Is accurate because there are only a certain amount of people that can get ass and A minuses and bs. So you're [00:19:00] competing directly with your classmates. So the competition can, we can, can


[00:19:03] Joy: we just repeat that? Yes. Okay. Yes. Because I'm a high achiever, I love studying. Yes. And I like getting my ass. Now you're saying literally that there are only so many ass Yes.


[00:19:13] Joy: Can be dished out joy. And I'm afraid if I've given out three A's, and I think your work might be an A or an A star, you can't have it. I'm gonna have to give you b. I can't be fair. That's how it


[00:19:24] Arivee: is. Yeah. But you need your classmates, like you do need people around you to support you through this time. Law school is very difficult, especially that first year.


[00:19:32] Arivee: You've never been taught this way. So it's a little bit of a mind boggling situation. You have to adapt, so you need support, but you're directly competing against the very people that you study with. And what I learned is I have my crew of people, they're my people, and we're gonna help each other.


[00:19:48] Arivee: Whatever happens on that exam happens on that exam because the exams are, you get one shot four to three to four hours exam for the entire course. That's your one shot, and [00:20:00] however you perform is however you perform. And so you learn to accept that. It's like that and you learn to accept that you may have been a straight A student joy your whole life.


[00:20:07] Arivee: You're about to get a B. You're about to get a B.


[00:20:10] Joy: Don't make me cry in public. Don't do that to me. You're bringing nightmares of school now. Sure I've got nightmares about getting the wrong grade, so. It's competitive and in a way, if I were designing a system to make people even more competitive and to make them get really good grades, I suppose in my cruelest joy moment, I would do the same.


[00:20:32] Joy: Yes.


[00:20:33] Arivee: Yeah. As long as, I'll be honest.


[00:20:34] Joy: What's interesting because it's like there's only one way, G one, one way through guys and three people can get through that door. You better make sure you are it. Yeah,


[00:20:41] Arivee: I'm gonna work. Right. And then, and you're, and you realize you're not always gonna win. And that sometimes you may think that you are the best, but you're not.


[00:20:49] Arivee: And I, I came from college. I did really well in college, and you had complete control. You felt like you had pre control of your grade. And then to relinquish some control and [00:21:00] to be accepting of imperfection was a journey for me in law school. That was a journey. But you feel constantly disappointed, right?


[00:21:07] Arivee: And then at a certain point you accept, you know what, I'm not gonna be great at every subject. And you know what? That's


[00:21:12] Joy: okay. You know what? If that's what they call therapy, then go. I've got therapy trainings. I could hear the therapy in there. Exposure therapy to the thing that you're afraid of. Do it often enough to the person, their anxiety level begins to go down.


[00:21:29] Joy: Yes. I can hear a little bit of therapy in there. Yeah, it's a bit cruel. It's a little bit cruel. Ve And also, I'm all about emotional intelligence, so I'm going to really look at your journey through all this legal work and you becoming a practitioner. You going out? I dunno if you've actually done any huge cases where you've like where it's been like on television.


[00:21:48] Joy: I've got television stuck in my head for eBay, but I don't know, perhaps I'm just making it all up. But emotional intelligence is something which is about becoming aware of yourself. Obviously the bigger thing is becoming aware [00:22:00] about, aware of other people's feelings too, and things come together. So emotion intelligence happens if you're developing the social skills.


[00:22:07] Joy: What's the role of emotional intelligence, do you think, for your success in getting through law school and even getting to where you are right, right now? Oh, the number


[00:22:16] Arivee: one thing for me has been awareness, so, Of how I feel and how I am showing up to others. So I find myself to be very introspective and at every turn, even at throughout law school.


[00:22:31] Arivee: But after, in every job I had, in every role that I've shifted into or morphed into, it's always come from a place of intention. I didn't ever truly fall into anything, even if an opportunity came my way, I had a check-in moment of. Okay, where am I at? Really? How am I feeling about this? Where am I in my life?


[00:22:52] Arivee: What season of life I'm in? I didn't call it that at the time though, joy, I didn't say what season am I in? But now I look back and I can say that's the [00:23:00] framework,


[00:23:00] Joy: right? So intention, that intentionality is what I'm hearing. Not only being driven. Once you had something to pursue, but intentional, you know, what's happening here now, analyzing this, analyzing that.


[00:23:13] Joy: If I do this differently, will it work differently? Yes. A lot of analysis, which people tell me off for being in my head. They used to tell me off. You're so in your head, joy. But it can be a very logical space. Yes. But it, I think you've been merging it with the emotional part of you too. That's what I'm hearing as well.


[00:23:29] Joy: Yeah.


[00:23:30] Arivee: Because to me, And even I can share that for me, getting into coaching and the podcast and that whole part of my life was from a deep pull inside to do that. It was this deep feeling of you need to take this work you love to do to another level and you know you can do it and you know that you are not.


[00:23:51] Arivee: Serving as much as you could if you don't do it. And so it's just, that was a feeling, joy that was less logical and more, I feel this intense energy towards [00:24:00] something and I love what I'm doing and I wanna do


[00:24:03] Joy: more of that. And I think, I think people need to be told that too. AFI people need to be told that.


[00:24:07] Joy: Well, we spend a lot of time ignoring a lot of great messages. Call it your inner teacher. Call it your intuition, call it your gut feeling, whatever you wanna call it. I don't mind, but it keeps on coming back and it keeps saying that there is more to you than this. Life has got more to offer you than this.


[00:24:25] Joy: There's a spiritual thing going on. Some people may not believe that there's something outside of us, which is doing this calling, which is saying, joy, you're doing this right now, but actually I think you should be pivoting and doing this. And I'd be kicking and screaming, saying, oh no, I don't want. I, I love interviewing people on LinkedIn.


[00:24:42] Joy: I don't wanna, I don't wanna interview Oprah. Do. Yeah. I'm only joking Oprah, wherever you are. I call her out now. I'll call her out now. Okay. So it's a bigger calling some way and you don't always listen to it, but you've always felt there was something else. And something else. Yes. And something, and [00:25:00] even where you are right now, you still feel there's something more.


[00:25:03] Joy: Yeah. Yeah. And it's


[00:25:04] Arivee: a, for me, it comes from a sense of wanting to contribute more, to make more. Of an impact, like a positive impact, and I have to pull myself back because I have three kids. I have a lot of things that I'm doing. I have to learn to wait one step at a time. Does you have to do it right now?


[00:25:20] Arivee: What can you do right now that's gonna have the most impact? One thing, what can you change? What can you shift so that you can still do that thing and do everything else you're doing? For example, I'm taking up singing and piano with my daughter. She is gonna be six, and so we're gonna take lessons together at starting the fall.


[00:25:38] Arivee: That means I have to give up something else. This is how. My life is about trade-offs and many people can relate to this. And again, that requires you to assess where am I at? What are my priorities right now? How do I feel about the things I'm doing right? Am I feeling friction and tension? Then that's gonna be something I need to pay attention to.


[00:25:57] Arivee: So joy, to your point of paying attention to that, [00:26:00] pull towards something greater. And that calling, we also have to pay attention to the friction we feel when we're doing something. If I'm in a job and I'm always failing friction and their attention with my job, I have to pay attention to it and get curious


[00:26:11] Joy: about that.


[00:26:12] Joy: Absolutely. Because even though life can have ups and downs as me and you both know within reason, if you're doing something that you do like it, it's difficult, but you don't find it difficult. You just keep on finding ways through. Even let's say for me and you at the beginning of this whole interview and you having technical difficulties, me not knowing that me trying to contact you, me not being able get hold of you.


[00:26:35] Joy: My intention is to come on and to deliver a good show for anyone who tunes in. And my intention is also to be polite and respectful. So even if I came on and just said, hi guys, I'm not doing this today, but I'm gonna come on and just talk to you for five minutes about something so you feel a little bit satisfied, then you can go off and have your day.


[00:26:54] Joy: And I wasn't expecting to see you in the chat. Box. Oh, that was the [00:27:00] last place I was expecting to see you. Cause I got


[00:27:03] Arivee: you on my phone. Joy. I was like, I gotta join to tell her and I'm gonna just do it through chat.


[00:27:07] Joy: So I was so shocked to see you in the box, I thought. But this is about, I suppose our, my intention was to come on here all along.


[00:27:15] Joy: I've got me and you. So when I saw you in the box, I thought, great. That's exactly what I wanted. That's exactly how I planned it. Carry on woman. So, It was a bit like that. So your intentionality around what you do has always been there. Now, if we can switch the subject a little bit. And go on to the role of motherhood.


[00:27:38] Joy: Now, I've only had one child and un unfortunately, he's no longer here, which is a sad story, but that's for another time. But you have three beautiful children and yeah, motherhood is yours. You can be a full-time mother. I, if I were a fairy godmother, I could grant you that wish right now vie. Would you want it?


[00:27:59] Joy: She's hesitating. [00:28:00] Guys, look,


[00:28:00] Arivee: I come on confess true confessions. I ha No, I will say that when I talk to mothers who say that three or four children is no problem, I'm like, what? I, this is a struggle sometimes. And when I say I struggle, sometimes I'll be, and I always talk about it being hard struggle. I, I use those adjectives, but this is what I mean.


[00:28:20] Arivee: When you are home with your kids, you're always needed by someone. You're always needed by someone, especially young children. Cuz remember, and I wanna be really clear. So your experience might be different if you have older children, right? If you have teenagers, that skills are different challenges, different needs.


[00:28:34] Arivee: But when they're very young, they need you for everything. And they're constantly tapping you on the shoulder. Mommy, mommy, mommy. And I'm telling you. And you have three of them doing that at the same time. I'm like, my husband's name is Trevor. I'm like, Trevor, hello. Where are you? I'm not the only one that needs to answer to these tappings on my shoulder, but that's what happens is a lot of times kids default to their mother, like a lot of, especially when they're younger, and that makes sense [00:29:00] in many ways, but it's a constant pull of your needs being their needs.


[00:29:05] Arivee: That's your immediate priority when you're home with them. I dunno about anybody else, but when Monday comes. I'm excited to get back to work because I don't have three kids on top of me and I love my kids, but I also love my life apart from them. I love them to death, but I love my life apart from them.


[00:29:21] Joy: Exactly. Avie and you can be everything and anything. And this whole talk about life to work, balance, whichever way you want to put it. Lifestyle that we have to find, whether you're a father or a mother. Children on the scene means that we have to take on board the responsibility. Absolutely. We've created, created them.


[00:29:40] Joy: It's our job to look after them. But your life doesn't end. There is life after motherhood. There is life after fatherhood and you wanting to, I, I would say hold onto to everything that you've built up to this point. There's been a real light crescendo of you working hard, getting your studies done, getting a job you have put a lot into, [00:30:00] you're not just about to throw it away.


[00:30:01] Joy: No.


[00:30:02] Arivee: There are women who, they grow up and they're, they say, all I wanna do is be a mother and that will fulfill me. And I'm like, that's amazing. And there are people who are in between and people like me who say, I have my identity, my sense of purpose, my sense of meaning before I had children. And for me, when I had children, that sense of purpose and meaning and identity, it amplified my sense of purpose and my identity.


[00:30:27] Arivee: There was a shift there, right? I felt like I lost a little bit of myself and. Quote, unquote, all I was doing was taking care of my infant. When with my first child, I lost a little bit of my like professional and that identity that was apart from home. But then I found my way back over time, and then when I had my second child, I knew I had the strategy to, okay, when you're on leave, you're gonna keep doing these other things to keep you.


[00:30:51] Arivee: On your purpose, so you're not solely mothering, which for me is not for me, like only mothering for a long period of time is not, [00:31:00] is not who I am by being a mother. It's a part of who you're


[00:31:03] Joy: Yeah, exactly. It's a part of who you're, it's a part. And the, the one thing I also picked up on that as entering as a woman, having her first child, there's a sudden shift in how we perceive ourselves, how we see ourselves.


[00:31:16] Joy: And I remember that whole thing. Of remembering that joy, you're no longer joy, joy Langley. You're just a mummy because right, every single child is saying, mommy, it doesn't make to go down to the school playground. Whatever. Mommy, mommy thing. Oh my goodness. Me. Is that all I am this? Yeah. Monolithic one thing.


[00:31:36] Joy: Yes Mommy. And I'm thinking, no, I am more than that. I was Joy Langley way before you came along, not blaming you, cause it's my job to look after you, but I have to find my way back to being me. And that loss of identity was really, it struck me. I felt quite lost. I remember feeling quite confused by that whole period of time.


[00:31:56] Arivee: Same here. And I will say joy, that a lot of other women feel that way


[00:31:59] Joy: too. [00:32:00] How do you find your way back? Because you've had to reinvent your world, reinvent your restructure, let's say the things in your life and your career, as you said, let go of some things, have other things come into place, learn to say no, lots of things.


[00:32:14] Joy: But how do you restructure your life? How have you managed to do that


[00:32:19] Arivee: at that time? After I had my first child, the way that I, well, one, I had like a breakdown. Let's be honest, I had a breakdown and I'm pretty sure that had postpartum, although I totally would lie on those questionnaires that my OB would give me when I would go for my checkups, I would lie.


[00:32:35] Arivee: Have you ever have you feel sadness? No, but like I, cuz I didn't wanna have that conversation. I wasn't ready for that and so I would lie and was really sad and just didn't feel like myself and I started, honestly, joy. I'm not kidding. I read Brene Brown's gifts of imperfection. Then I read Marian Williamson's Return to Love.


[00:32:55] Arivee: I started getting into this like personal development space of [00:33:00] reading about feelings and why do I feel this way about myself and why do I get all of my validation from work, and why am I having such a visceral reaction to being quote unquote a mother, like just a mother. What is that about? Like I started getting really curious about that.


[00:33:14] Arivee: I also got a coach, joy, right? So all these things started happening for me where I was reading, I was listening to podcasts, trying to understand my feelings and trying to figure out like, how do I feel about this? And that was a journey in and of itself. But that's what really helped me was seeing that.


[00:33:31] Arivee: Oh, I think what I've been doing is putting too much of the source of validation on external things, which is why when I wasn't working anymore, cuz remember Joy for me being a lawyer, like it was my life. Like it was everything I did honestly like it was most of my time. And so when that's taken away and that's how.


[00:33:49] Arivee: You. That's how you get your validation because you're performing and you're productive. That's taken away. You're like, wait, how am I getting my, my shots of adrenaline, my shots of dopamine? You're like, I'm not [00:34:00] getting that. And I had to take a hard look at that, and that really was the pivotal moment where when I had my next child, I didn't have those feelings because I was like, work has this place.


[00:34:11] Arivee: My personal life has this place. The work I do outside in the community has this place. Like I had everything figured out. In the sense of, at that time in my life, work fits this purpose, and that's where it stays. I'm not gonna let it be. Uh, every source of


[00:34:26] Joy: validation for me. Absolutely. And it sounds to me there's no manual, there's no book, there's no pre-training to having children to tell us what's to do with children for starters.


[00:34:37] Joy: But also do I wish there was, how we gonna wish there was, you wish there was. I don't think there've been lots of books written about child psychology and child development. Yeah. You can learn a little bit of sitting on the naughty step disciplining children and let, letting them cry. Because otherwise they become needy.


[00:34:53] Joy: You can take onboard the things that you want to take on board, but some of the suggestions, they just don't feel right. So you [00:35:00] have to go with what feels right. Yeah. Plus, listen to the other people in your family, in your network who've had children or even dads telling you how. Cuz dads bring up children too.


[00:35:10] Joy: It's not just moms. So it's listening to the people around you getting some advice, knowing who to take the advice from. Yes. And so there is no manual. So the first one, we'll just call that putting the L plates on the car. Yeah. Yeah. Learn a driver. Learner parent. Okay. Second child round. We can rip that off.


[00:35:30] Joy: Yay, you arrived. Literally. That's so different. A has arrived. See the name fits in perfectly there, doesn't it? And you went for baby number three. That's girl or a boy? That's a girl. Yeah. She little girl.


[00:35:41] Arivee: Beautiful. It's two. She's two now. So she's a full on toddler. But I will say this, there are some women that say two is like three.


[00:35:48] Arivee: Three is like four. I don't believe that. I believe that two and three are very different because we're now outnumbered. You're very much outnumbered and someone is always gonna be not getting the attention they would like, and [00:36:00] so I'm like, oh, that's good. They. They'll figure out how to play with themselves.


[00:36:02] Arivee: And they do and they figure it out and they play with each other and it's sweet. But it's a lot of responsibility. And for me, I wanna make sure each of my child has, that we have a connection and that they feel like I am there present, that if anything were to happen, they can talk to me. Absolutely. So that's so important to me.


[00:36:21] Arivee: I'm glad that you feel that when spend that time there, I have to spend that energy and that time there with each


[00:36:25] Joy: of them. People forget that if you have a child, it's not. I had these warped ideas. Actually, when I was younger, I'd had a child and I'd send them off to boarding school, which is crazy, isn't it?


[00:36:36] Joy: Like having a dog. I'll just send it off to the kennels. I'm like, really? Joyce? So what part of you. You have your child because you have to have a child, don't you? Then you send them off to boarding school that's like, so you don't wanna look after them. Then you know you're gonna let other people mother, your child.


[00:36:50] Joy: So that was one of my warped ideas. Of course, reality, it wasn't like that. You want them near you, you can't let go of them. They're like your little shadow. Anyway, yeah, that, that went out the window. So [00:37:00] it's about responsibility, isn't it? And it always brings to mind, whenever I talk about the word responsibility, I always get this really like heavy saying from Spiderman's uncle, a very important person.


[00:37:11] Joy: He said, with great power comes great responsibility. Yeah. Yeah. So true. So true. Yes. So tell me, then you reinvented yourself and you don't ever see anything as being the definitive you, there is no finishing line. No. Ravi Vargas has no finishing line.


[00:37:32] Arivee: No. When I think, I know people talk a lot about this word surrender, and when I think of that word, Part of the definition I use is surrendering to the fact that there is no box.


[00:37:43] Arivee: You're gonna check at the end. This journey of continuing to evolve yourself and to grow all of that. There's no real endpoint like, um, until you die. And maybe if you believe in the afterlife, it's a little different up there. But for me, I wanna make sure that [00:38:00] when it's my time to go, which could be any minute.


[00:38:02] Arivee: Of any day that I was the best I could be at that time, and the best, quote unquote, isn't some kind of external marker. It was just like I was growing at that time and evolving, and I was intentional about that. That's all it is. I used to think, joy used to say 10 years ago, I used to say, I need to make sure that when I die, I have fulfilled all of my potential.


[00:38:25] Arivee: I no longer say that. I no longer say that. I say that. I wanna make sure that I've loved hard, that I've let love into my life, that I've contributed to making a positive impact in people's lives, and that I was on my way to doing all the things that would help me do that. Like I was on the way and yes.


[00:38:46] Joy: That's a full life in my books. That's, yeah. And another thing around leading a Full Life, which I think I read about, must have been someone who was a millionaire, could be just a story, but it's a good story that he had so much, he [00:39:00] decided that he wanted to die. Empty. And that means that every penny, every pound, every dollar, every dime that he has would have been spent on something.


[00:39:10] Joy: And I thought, what a beautiful thing to say that all this stuff that we accumulate and we disappear, who gets the benefit of it? So for him, it was his money and it was about, my money will be properly, um, applied for other people's lives and it'll be of value to other people's lives. So I just thought we got, we got a few sayings between us.


[00:39:28] Joy: Haven't we? Yeah, yeah, but that's a good one.


[00:39:31] Arivee: One thing I also wanted to add was if anyone who's left thing hasn't read The Regrets of The Dying by Bonnie Ware, it's a really great book. You can also Google it and see the regrets on the website, but I. The top regret, like the top regret was I regret living a life expected of me and not the one that I chose.


[00:39:53] Arivee: Like that they wish they had the courage to live the life that they wanted to live. And I find that [00:40:00] really powerful because. So often to your point about children, joy and marriage, and so often I think there are many people who get married because that's what they quote unquote are supposed to do when they don't really wanna do that or they have children because they're quote unquote supposed to.


[00:40:17] Arivee: That's what you do when you get married or that's what you do as a woman is you have children. And I also think we could talk about that in terms of careers, like women who are in roles or even men or anyone in roles where it's not really doing anything for them. Meaning maybe your job serves the purpose of providing for your family.


[00:40:34] Arivee: That's a purpose. If you're clear about that and you wanna do that, you do that. But what about people who, money's never gonna be enough, right? What about people who are doing a role where they could do something else but they're scared to try? Because what will people say? Like when I left the law, that was a big deal.


[00:40:50] Arivee: Because. I was leaving a trajectory, I was leaving a potential path that others had really helped pay for me. If I'm honest, I was [00:41:00] saying no to that, which is fine because I'm, I'm close with them and it's fine. But to this day, they're like, we had so many hopes for you. Like you could have been like a federal judge and you could have, and I'm like, yeah, but you don't know those things.


[00:41:11] Arivee: Like you think that's what, but I didn't wanna do that because I had these experiences and I'm, I,


[00:41:16] Joy: at some point, we all have to grow up and start living our own lives. And I think it's really hard as a parent, you are parenting now and I think you'll probably have that same sense with your children. I wanted you to be this and I wanted you to be that, but the real thing, best thing, the most beautiful thing you can do for any human being is allow them to be yes, what they're meant to be.


[00:41:39] Joy: So meeting that potential that that's the hardest thing to do. My, my son, when he was here, he wanted to. Be a car technician, A car mechanic. I remember thinking at the age of 17 when he said, I said, you are not gonna do that. You have to go off to university and you have to study this. And I'm thinking, hang on.


[00:41:55] Joy: Whose dream is that? Joy? So I had to let that one go. Yeah. And I said, you are [00:42:00] happy doing it. Okay. If you are happy doing it, then you will take it wherever it needs to go. Absolutely. Cause I can't begin to predict where your life is gonna go. And when you read so many autobiographies from businessmen and business women, you.


[00:42:15] Joy: Realize that there is no one way. There is no right way. No. So why are we holding


[00:42:20] Arivee: onto it? I think it's because of people crave certainty, and it's okay if I go to law school, then I can be a lawyer at a law firm, and then I can make partner and then I'll be okay. They just have this idea of I want the path of certainty.


[00:42:35] Arivee: So even though joy, we know as your professional life is happening, your life is happening, you can't predict. The balls are gonna be thrown at your core. You can't predict the punches that are gonna come to your face in life. Like you can't predict all of that. But there's this need to be certain of all the things.


[00:42:51] Arivee: And if I let go of that and try to explore something that's uncertain, I dunno if I'm gonna like that. My brain does not like that. And it's really letting yourself [00:43:00] go through that. Even for me, going through it many times, I'm so used to it that I'm like, I'll just do it again because I've done it. Many times and because I've gotten used to this, the discomfort of it, cuz it could feel really uncomfortable.


[00:43:12] Joy: Exactly. Hard. I was gonna say that there's a book called, which is quite famous, but Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. So this book was written a long time ago, but a good book is one that everybody keeps on talking about no matter how far on in time that you go. But even if you didn't read the book and you just took on board the idea that, guess what I'm doing this really scary thing right now.


[00:43:35] Joy: What's this sensation that I'm having in my stomach? Ooh, butterflies. Ooh, why do I feel a bit nauseous? It's knowing that's what the body does when it encounters something new. And you're right, you've managed to feel that fear and say, Ooh, that happened the last time, but it didn't stop me from doing it, did it.


[00:43:50] Joy: Right? So now you're becoming familiar. So what I said at the very beginning about. Perhaps the legal community only allowing you to have a certain number of As or Bs [00:44:00] or whatever. Oh yeah. And I said that was a really like interesting form of therapy. I call it exposure therapy for them really. But it works.


[00:44:08] Joy: So really and truly, we just have to stay in a space where we just accept that we don't know, and we have to accept that our biology. Makes us feel those sensations and that we're not going to die from them. That's the main thing. I got through that the last time and the time before that, and the time before that.


[00:44:28] Joy: So we call it again, you become accustomed to something, become used to something. There's a proper to proper technique that a therapist would take somebody through. They take her through it, but human beings are not stupid. We're very smart and we have our own form of saying to someone, just get accustomed to it.


[00:44:47] Joy: Just get accustomed to it. Just get accustomed to it. So you recognize those feelings. They no longer scare you to death. You just say, oh yes. That feeling in my stomach. Yeah. So, Areva, we've got seven minutes left. I want you to tell me what's happening for the [00:45:00] next six months in your life. I know you've got some Oh, special.


[00:45:03] Joy: Promotions that are coming up. So let's talk about that.


[00:45:06] Arivee: Yes. So I have created a, an Empowered Woman mastermind, that's what it's called, empowered Women Mastermind, and essentially for a group, a small group of women to go through 12 weeks of a time together and coaching from me. On really the framework I use to coach 1 0 1 clients and more.


[00:45:26] Arivee: So we spend a lot of time on what season are you in? How are you feeling about your life? What's most important in your life, your values, your strengths, what gives you the sense of meaning and purpose that will drive you forward? What do you want for your life? What do you really wanting? Where are the main friction points that are preventing you from getting to that feeling or what you're looking for?


[00:45:46] Arivee: And to really. Joy. People always say, I want peace. I want calmness. I want happiness. Okay, what does that mean really? Like realistically, in this season of your life, not in 10 years, but like right now, especially for moms too, what does it look [00:46:00] like for you? Because you may not be able to live by the beach.


[00:46:03] Arivee: You may not be able to have your mornings to yourselves. If you're getting up with the children and not two hours before, like we're just talking about what could work for you in your life, but using a framework that's worked for one-on-one clients that I have. That's brilliant.


[00:46:17] Joy: And you can't have this, you can't have whatever I always like to say in brackets.


[00:46:22] Joy: Not yet. Correct. And that's, that would make me feel so happy inside. Like, correct. Not yet. Yeah. You may not. It's, I can have it like, like the child in me is not yet. I can have it. Yes, you can have it some, yes. It's the way we talk to our children. Yes. We can't have all those things yet. Yes, yes. But


[00:46:38] Arivee: we'll see.


[00:46:39] Arivee: Yes, yes. And maybe when my children are not in the house, maybe I will be able to have a morning where when it hits seven o'clock, a child is not asking me, mommy, can you help me? Maybe not, but then I'm gonna, I may miss that too. So again, there are these trade offs of what you can do now, what may wait, and that's okay as long as you're, you feel good about what you [00:47:00] can do


[00:47:00] Joy: now.


[00:47:01] Joy: Exactly. And when you said that as well, vie, it made me think we, we forget about what things we should be grateful for. So this whole gratitude thing, which seems like a really big thing to do, but gratitude is small. Actually, I'm really grateful for my children. In 10 years time when they've all grown up, I'll be sitting here thinking, wouldn't it be nice to have the sound of little feet around the house?


[00:47:23] Joy: Wouldn't it be nice to have someone who makes me feel needed? So we don't always know that we shouldn't be wishing our lives away, and we should be Finding the gratitude in every moment is something. Which I truly believe and just living in that space of this is what it is and being present. I think that word being present is a very big thing.


[00:47:43] Joy: Just making sure that you stay present, you're not living in the past, thinking about the memories and the bad things that happen. You're not thinking about the future, which is me and you are now thinking, what are we gonna have to eat in the minute once we get off this chat? We're in the present moment.


[00:47:57] Joy: Me staring at you. That's you staring at me. That's right. That [00:48:00] is called the present. Moment. Yeah. And we have to practice, really practice spending more time in the present moment. Yeah. The future's not necessarily guaranteed past you. Can's can't change. You can't change the past. So live in the present, joy.


[00:48:16] Arivee: There's this phrase called mortality motivation, right? Where at some point you're going to die and we don't talk about it enough, but at some point you're gonna die and you don't get to decide when. And so how do you wanna live your life right now so that when you die and you have questions, you're gonna ask yourself, you like the answers to those questions and presence.


[00:48:33] Arivee: For me, that's one of the main reasons why I love podcasting joy is because I get to be like locked in with someone and their energy, and I love that. There's nothing to me like that. And for me, connection and opening up to someone in that kind of setting can be really powerful just for me as a person to feel alive.


[00:48:55] Arivee: Like it makes me feel alive and that's why like I wouldn't, would never give


[00:48:59] Joy: it up. [00:49:00] Oh, are you your, that's music to my ears and it's such a lovely love, lovely ending as well, because your podcasts are brilliant. I can't believe you've got, I think it, is it 38? I think I looked at the number of podcasts that you've done and I


[00:49:15] Arivee: thought 80.


[00:49:15] Arivee: 86. 86? Yeah.


[00:49:19] Joy: Okay. I must have needed my glasses to see the three. I'm like, joy, don't embarrass me. It, I'm sure it was, it looked like a three, but I'm, I can know. It was an eight. I should have put my glasses on. Okay. I get it. 83 podcast. I must have started in nine in the 1920s or something. When did you start doing these


[00:49:36] Arivee: podcasts?


[00:49:37] Arivee: Two years ago. I do it ev. I try to do it every week and I took a break during the time. I had a rough summer last summer. I took a break. I didn't, I didn't do any new episodes at that


[00:49:46] Joy: time. But the consistency that's been there up till this point, and even the solo ones that you do, are definitely worth listening.


[00:49:54] Joy: And I want everyone to know, as I wind up today's show, is that Rivi is such an honest person. And when I [00:50:00] say to you that she's an unusual woman for me, I, I, I feel energy with people. And when I speak to Rivi, there's this, I can see this fierce lioness. I'm always like hiding behind my couch. She's so fierce.


[00:50:12] Joy: But it's a nice energy. It's a beautiful energy. It's a strong energy. So when I hear you saying that, there's more to you than meets the eye, I'm saying. Yeah, there sure is. Mm, there sure is. So you can have the last word and close the show, I think. But yeah. What would you want people to do in terms of contacting you?


[00:50:29] Joy: Oh, you can feel


[00:50:30] Arivee: free to contact me through my website, A R I V V as in Victor, A R G A S. Com, so it's eddie de vargas.com, or you can reach out to me on LinkedIn. You can always message me and


[00:50:42] Joy: connect with me there. Absolutely. And you can always come to me and ask me, who is that woman that you spoke to?


[00:50:47] Joy: Joy? I'll answer the question for you, but it's an absolute pleasure having you vie and to see your pathway through life and to hear the honesty about where you started, where you are now, and where you are heading. I think everyone needs [00:51:00] to understand it's a journey. Yes. And I always love the heroes.


[00:51:02] Joy: Journey cuz there's a heroin's journey happening here for you. You're not done yet. Yes. There's a lot more to go and it's exciting to watch. Its exciting.


[00:51:11] Arivee: You too Joy. You watch joy. You too joy.


[00:51:13] Joy: You too. True admiration society


[00:51:15] Arivee: here. But uh, yes, you too. I love watching you and I love, I love talking to you.


[00:51:22] Arivee: You have no idea, okay. Uh, the same way you feel about me in terms of energy. I feel that way about


[00:51:26] Joy: you. Oh dear. So before everyone gets their sick bucket and say, oh, those two, they're so loved up, those two. There'd be more interviews with Rivy in the future and you know how to get hold of it. Rivy vargas.com is the place to go or come and talk to me how to find things.


[00:51:42] Joy: And just, for me, it's about having fun while sharing information, talking about some heavy things sometimes, but life is serious. But I think it's also. It's our responsibility to fill it with the fun, and I call it balancing the scales. Yes. When the scales aren't balanced, then you're in trouble. Yes. Yes. I [00:52:00] couldn't agree more.


[00:52:01] Joy: Rivi will catch up again. I'm gonna say bye to everyone. Please connect with my special guest, Ravi Vargas. Connect with me Joy Langley and we'll catch up soon. Okay. See you. Stay. Thank you. Thank you. Bye-Bye.


[00:52:25] Arivee: If you are a woman warrior or a woman working in other fast-paced corporate environments, and you're looking heal less overwhelmed and unsure and more empowered and fulfilled in your career and your personal life, Join my Women Empowering Women email community by going to avie vargas.com to sign up, or you can click the link in the note of this episode.


[00:52:53] Arivee: Don't forget to also grab my five-step guide on how to get clarity on what needs to change to feel [00:53:00] good about your life in this season, and how to make that change happen. You can get it@vievargas.com or. Scroll down in the notes to this episode and click on the link. Finally, if you're loving these episodes, spread that love by reviewing and rating this podcast so we can get more women feeling heard, feeling seen, inspired, and, and empowered.


[00:53:26] Arivee: Until then, remember that you have way more power than you can imagine to create the change you want and deserve in your life to live. A life you feel good about. You're powerful now. So harness it now is your time.[00:54:00]




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