It’s midway through our scenic, windy drive miles away from the bustling chaos of L.A.’s impossible traffic that I realize exactly why supermodel and mom Angela Lindvall escaped to the heart stirring hills of Topanga Canyon. You can really breathe up here. “I’ve been here for 12 years,” she explains as she peers across the seven-acre property that surrounds her two-story Spanish style home.
“I love that I can live in a small country town in the middle of Los Angeles. It’s a little vortex here. I love being in the middle of nature. I love that I know the locals. Everyone is pretty laid back here. It’s a very special place. I don’t plan on going anywhere soon. My roots are in the ground.” And who could blame her?
BALANCE IS EVERYTHING. WE ALL WANT TO FEEL LIKE WE HAVE PURPOSE.
As Lindvall walks us through the vibrant bohemian interior, we all feel the calming energy and peaceful spirit this house embodies. The model mom wanted it to “feel magical, whimsical, and very homey.” She definitely nailed the brief, but that’s also because Lindvall took her time. It’s taken 10 years for her to cultivate this space, slowly collecting pieces from around the world, renovating areas, and changing things around. “I like the idea of layers, of time and stories,” she explains. “Antiques along with modern pieces. Things that mimic nature as well as an artisan feel. It’s a space you want to live in, spend time in, explore, and really relax. It feels like a vacation home.”
This sentiment aligns perfectly with the Topanga vibe. It also laid the ideal foundation for a quiet family life. “[It’s important] that the energy feels really good,” she says. “One feels inspired and creative here. You want to put on a fire and read a book or play backgammon or do a creative project or cook an amazing meal and light candles versus putting on the TV.”
Hailing from Missouri originally, Lindvall is a sustainable-living advocate and was campaigning for a greener, cleaner world long before it was in fashion. Discovered at age 14 in a Kansas City fashion show, Lindvall has an impressive portfolio of glossy covers, runway shows, and enviable campaigns. A Vogue mainstay, she has worked with almost every famous fashion photographer in the business. But the glitz and glamour doesn’t impress Lindvall much. Her real passion is her eco work (she just collaborated on a jewelry line with Article 22, which uses melted shrapnel found in war zones); being a “present” mom to two now-teenage boys, Dakota, 15, and Sebastian,12; and, believe it or not, a “good day of hard work on the land.” She adds, “I love cleaning out the barn, moving things, clearing brush, using my saw, carrying wood, turning the compost. I like getting dirty a bit. It feels so good at the end of a day of hard work and to see the energy you moved.”
DON’T LIVE IN FEAR. WHEN WE TRUST, WE ARE ALWAYS TAKEN CARE OF.
At face value, it seems like a very charmed life, but don’t let the airbrushed pages fool you. Lindvall, 39, fell pregnant young. She gave birth to her first son in 2002. Balancing motherhood with a demanding career has definitely been challenging, but as Lindvall tells us, you really have to trust the process. “Follow your gut, always,” she says. “The beauty of becoming a mother is this new instinct you have. I always urge a new mother to trust. If you can, try and take off as much time in the first year as you possibly can. Or if you can change jobs, work part-time or from home, maybe budget heavily for a year. It goes by so fast, it’s such a big change, and you never get that time back. Don’t live in fear. When we trust, we are always taken care of.” And ain’t that the truth.
But that said, Lindvall admits the transition from working woman to working mom is “one of the toughest things for new moms,” she tells me. “For the first time in our lives, we love something so much that it becomes our biggest priority. However, we still feel compelled to provide for our family. For me, I felt very lucky that I could pick and choose what I did and give most of my time to being a mother, but I still enjoy my work. Ultimately, I discovered time is the most valuable thing we have, and we must use it wisely.”
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS HAVING HEALTHY COMMUNICATION AND TRUST. I WANT THEM TO KNOW THEY CAN TALK TO ME ABOUT ANYTHING
Some working moms who do take extended maternity leave find the return to work daunting. Self-doubt can rear its ugly head too. But Lindvall has some confidence-building advice: “Our choices become our world and experience. I find that when we are parents, healthy food, good sleep, limiting alcohol, and exercise give us the confidence and energy to take on work and be a present, patient mother.” But her sons have turned out to be her greatest teachers. “[They’ve taught me] value,” she says. “What do I truly value most deep down? It’s not prestige, money, or things. It’s my relationships, time, and health. When this is defined, it’s easier to make good choices for myself.”
Even when we know better, sometimes life gets the better of us, and the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction, throwing us way off course. But for Lindvall, “balance is everything,” and she makes a concerted effort to keep her life running on an even keel. “We all want to feel we have purpose,” she says. “I feel my biggest purpose is raising healthy kids with values and virtue. I choose to work less and be a mom more. It goes by so fast. Now that my boys are teenagers, I have much more time to invest into a career. It’s fun!” Another way she maintains a level head is through her daily spiritual practice. “It’s the only way I can cope,” she says. “Either prayer, walk in nature, or breathing meditation—all of these things connect me with my highest self and break the mold of the human self that usually gets in my way. If I skip this part of my morning, I will feel it. Especially if I skip more than one day. Then the crazy starts.”
WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THEY HAVE TO MAKE THEIR OWN MISTAKES. THIS IS HOW THEY GROW AND LEARN.
Taking quality time for herself is so crucial to Lindvall’s daily routine and sanity. “I run a hot bath and tell my kids unless someone is hurt, do not bother me. This is my time. Hot water, essential oils, and nice music can be so healing and peaceful. If you don’t take care of you, how can you take care of anyone else? Time management is also a must. I eliminate things that don’t align with my values like wasting time on too much social media, TV, and gossip. I make time for kids, friends, health, meditation, cooking.”
While it sounds like Lindvall has it all together, she isn’t immune to life’s ebb and flow of highs and lows. She’s made her fair share of mistakes along the way too. But the key is to learn from them. Her advice? “Be careful who you fall in love with,” she admits. “We can love a lot of people, but not everyone is a good partner for us. It’s best to find someone who aligns with similar morals and belief systems and has similar interests so that you can enjoy life together. I also learned perception is everything. What we choose to focus on becomes our experience. So now I am careful to direct my mind toward things I want to create, not the things I’m afraid of.”
We all know that being a parent to a baby or toddler is physically demanding (and exhausting), but perhaps one of the hardest things about being a mom is when your kids grow up. As Lindvall enters the teenage phase of her sons’ lives, she agrees that imagining them leaving the nest isn’t something that’s talked about often, and we may feel unprepared when it comes around. “It’s true,” she laments. “I watch old videos of when my boys were sweet little innocent beings. Now, sometimes, they get annoyed with me or don’t want my attention anymore. I also watched them change dramatically over a matter of a year or two.”
“The most important thing is having healthy communication and trust. I want them to know they can talk to me about anything, and they do. They tell me more than most kids do because we established healthy communication and trust early on.” She also says it pays to remind yourself often that you were 15 once too. “And it’s normal to be hormonal and figuring out who you are, so compassion and patience are key. We also have to remember that they have to make their own mistakes. We cannot protect them from everything. This is how they grow and learn. We can just hope we instill good discernment. I also love family meetings with a talking stick. We always seem to resolve issues this way, and everyone feels heard.”
One benefit of having older children is that she has more time to herself. Now she can dedicate that to projects she’s passionate about, such as the Article 22 collaboration we mentioned earlier. “I really liked what Article 22 was doing by taking melted-down shrapnel from war and turning it into jewelry,” she says. “I chose the mantra ‘I Am Love, I Am Light, I Am Peace’ to engrave onto the shrapnel to spread a message of peace. I like the concept of ‘Peace Begins in Me,’ so that’s what I named the collection.” The design incorporates sacred geometry in gold or silver, which is layered on top of the shrapnel. “It looks really pretty with the layered effect,” says Lindvall. “I also like the mantra facing toward the person wearing it, like a personal message or reminder. Sacred geometry is something I have always been interested in. It’s the Fibonacci sequence. It’s the perfection of man and nature. It’s what connects all of us. It’s mathematics and music. It’s everything. It’s creation. I figured, what better design to represent transformation and peace?” We couldn’t agree more
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