For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to actress LIV TYLER.
Liv Tyler tells HuffPostUK: “My parents lived wild lives, so I didn’t have to” - which is a fair enough comment, considering she is the child of Aerosmith frontman Steve Tyler and model Bebe Buell.
Breaking through as a model from the age of 14, Liv later turned her focus to acting, and has starred in ‘Stealing Beauty’, ‘That Thing You Do!’ and the stunning Elf maiden Arwen Undomiel in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.
She now balances her career with family life, bringing up three children, including her 13-year-old son Milo, and two young children Sailor and Lula, with her partner, sports agent Dave Gardner.
Liv sat down with HuffPostUK to share some of the lessons she has learnt along the way so far…
What do you do to switch off?
I’m doing a terrible job of it. I woke up this morning exhausted. In an ideal world, I definitely have an evening ritual, which at the moment I’m not doing, and that is to get the kids to bed, get off the phone, be with David, watch some TV, do some homework… hang on, I’ve just realised, that doesn’t sound like off-time.
The thing is, I’ve had two babies back to back, and they’re very sweet, but it’s a huge trial on your body. Okay, I’m going to go to a little place and recover and rest. That’s my new promise.
How do you deal with negativity when it comes your way?
I don’t read Twitter, so that doesn’t affect me. I’m a very positive person, so if a person comes at me with negative energy, I don’t take it on at all. I try to reason with them. If I were responsible, I’d want to fix it, and work through it, but otherwise… I’d have to really respect a critic to worry about it.
When and where are you at your happiest?
In my pyjamas, on a Sunday, with my children. I like to cook. And I really like travelling on adventures, or flying off somewhere. I like nice things, but they can be very simple ones.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I’ve had such a lot of responsibility from a young age, working since I was a tiny teenager, and my best girlfriend has always told me, ‘Live a little.’ Otherwise, you become a prisoner of your own duties. And you can never catch up, so you always feel as though you’re failing. Now, with the children, nothing is more important than this moment with them. In the modern world, with the huge amount of email, texts, everything else coming at you, it helps keep things in perspective.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
Every day and every week, there’s something new, so I can’t honestly say there’s been one. So many.
What would you say to your 13-year-old self?
When I was 13, I was having a great time. I know that’s pretty unusual, but I had such a balance in my life, with school, work and fun. I’d just started modelling and this whole new world was opening up to me. As well as being exciting, it took me away from a lot of the petty stuff that can happen to a 13-year-old girl around that time. So I’d just say, ‘Enjoy it all.’
What three things are at the top of your to-do list?
I would love to take the time to learn to play the guitar with the children; also the piano; and every single year I say I want to go to Italy.
What do you think happens when we die?
I think there is definitely a soul, and I believe in reincarnation, and that we’ve met before and we may meet again. I’m not committed to one set of beliefs, I enjoy the ongoing study and the act of continuing to learn.
When have you felt in the presence of something larger than ourselves?Childbirth. Times three. Meeting the new little persons.
What quality do you most prize in your relationships?
An awareness. I like people that see you and allow you to see them. And an interest in the world and in the others around you. I’m impatient with people who have no interest in the world.
What keeps you grounded?
I grew up in Maine. It’s very beautiful, and I feel most comfortable when I’m in nature. Sitting under a tree. Whenever I’m overwhelmed, I close my eyes and listen out for the universe. It puts everything in perspective.
What was the most recent act of kindness you received?
My children give me something everyday. How are they with each other moves me beyond words. We were all together yesterday and I was amazed by how helpful they all were, carrying bags, getting stuff done. They’re getting older and their awareness is inspiring.
Liv Tyler co-directs and stars in Gap’s ‘Mama Said’, showcasing the Gap Kids and babyGap collections.