Mentors, Inspiration Holders, and Ways to Love Our Teens

When I was just starting out as an actress, I read everything I could on actresses I respected.

Demystifying the seemingly untouchable Hollywood was part of what I needed to do in order to own that I could indeed be successful in this business.

I  have mentors in many areas of my life. Women and men that I look up to and that show me—sometimes just in a glance—how I could expand in different areas.

I have texted my friend Elena Brower and asked for a picture of her latest altar for inspiration. Seeing her latest  creation ignites my creative essence when I can't seem to reach my inner wisdom.

I have leaned on my steady friend Heike for inspirational quotes each morning to support me through a hard phase.

I look to my husband Steven as an example of high functioning systems. My youngest daughter reminds me of joy as she sings to the Mama Mia soundtrack with the wind blowing in her hair as we drive for hours. My middle son shows me what true empathy looks like, and my eldest son reminds me that there is infinite possibility in every single moment.

When I created Annapurna Living, I started the Annapurna Woman section because I wanted to know how women were spending their lives and their days. We are literally creating lives from thin air sometimes, and with very few real examples of what modern women are doing. We have so many false examples on social media, examples that are staged and polished and filtered. I crave to know what’s going on for real women behind the scenes.

Women are working, creating, and mothering and wanting to feel purposeful. In fact, we are demanding that we feel purposeful. And that others recognize us as so. It is powerful to share ourselves with each other as a shining light in this sometimes dark and dismal world.

It is powerful to share our true selves with each other. I know that social media gives us the power to transform any moment into a perfect one. By cropping, editing, and captioning, we can project any life we want. But what I am interested in is how women really cope. How women really cope with grief, with struggle, with getting dinner on the table every single day. I want to know about mistakes and what women learned from them. I want to know what happens when they lose it and pull back together again.

We all want to know this.

Because we all want to know that we are not alone.

I want to know if, like me, you lie in bed at night gripped with worry—will my child be alright? Am I making the right decisions? How much is too much? When do I let go, when do I hold on?

Being a mother has been my greatest joy. I am a natural mother to littles and I could truly spend the rest of my life with a sleeping baby on my chest.

Teenage stuff is not so much my forté, so I did what I have always done and found women and men who have stellar relationships with their grown kids and asked them to tell me their best advice on parenting teens. I watch my dear friend Annie with her 3 children and marvel at the kindness and ease I feel in her family.

I was cleaning up my office the other day and found a yellow legal pad with these notes from a late night talk over tea and chocolate with my dear friend Malin.

When I re-read what she shared, I felt that others may benefit from this wisdom from one of my mentors. These notes to me are gold.

Notes from Malin on Parenting Teens

  1. Be delighted with your teen just the way he or she is, even with patterns of withdrawal, isolation, and addiction to electronics.

  2. Regularly work any grief/anger/sadness related to your child out on your own on so that you are not prone to leak any of it onto your teen. It isn't good to leak these on your teens, and it doesn't make him or her feel good.

  3. Remember all is well and your connection is not gone. You have not lost him/her.

  4. Make yourself available to him/her and wait.

  5. Go to your teen. Don't expect your teen to come to you.

  6. Show no judgement.

  7. Don't fake enthusiasm. Be real.

  8. Remember that your teen loves you.

Look to your mentors and your inspiration holders. Ask people you see that embody something you appreciate and ask them about it. Be curious.

I find people love to share and it makes them feel good to be seen.

I see you women
Thank you for seeing me.

xoox car

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