RACHEL HUNTER B THE EMPATHETIC BEAUTY OF. COVERSTORY/November 2015

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1 COVERSTORY/November 2015 THE EMPATHETIC BEAUTY OF RACHEL HUNTER STORY BY DIANA ADDISON LYLE B PHOTOGRAPHY BY CURTIS DAHL orn in Auckland, New Zealand, Rachel Hunter exploded onto the international modeling scene in 1986 at age 17. Her rise to prominence was accelerated after she posed as Sports Illustrated model in 1989 and from thereon she became one of the most photographed international cover models in the world. Her transition to an acting career was seamless: After taking acting lessons and building up her acting résumé, Rachel began with several television appearances on The Drew Carey Show and Suddenly Susan. From there she went on to feature films and recently completed her seventh independent film. Her film credits include A Walk in the Park, Two Shades of Blue and Just a Little Harmless Sex.. She has appeared in numerous music videos, including the chart-topping, Stacey s Mom by Fountains of Wayne. Reality television has also been on her list of accomplishments: Rachel appeared on Dancing with the Stars, and The Real Gilligan s Island as well as the BBC s Strictly Come Dancing. She was a judge on Are you Hot? and the host on Britain s Make Me a Supermodel and WE s Style Me with Rachel Hunter. Rachel is an ambassador to the Born Free Foundation an organization that helps to prevent animal suffering, protect threatened species, and keep wild animals in the wild where they belong. She established the Rachel Hunter Gorilla Fund. She currently juggles modeling and acting and is the proud mom of two grownup children, son Liam and daughter Renee, whom she shares with Rod Stewart. 46 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER 2015

2 In the months that we worked on the cover story, we found Rachel s authenticity and natural disposition such a refreshing attribute. She s a sensual, sensitive woman who s focused on understanding people and developing empathy and compassion. She s stretched out a hand to women worldwide in an effort to break down barriers across regions and cultures. She s vitally interested in the components about our humanity that help to make the world a more tolerant and a more peaceful place. As soon as I arrived in New York, I was working with the magazines. The travel was incredible at the time. Being that young and being able to see the world was a privilege. 48 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER 2015

3 Q: You ve had an illustrious modeling career. What are some of the standout highlights of that experience that you will cherish forever? RACHEL: I was very fortunate. As soon as I arrived in New York, I was working with the magazines. The travel was incredible at the time. Being that young and being able to see the world was a privilege. I met so many diverse and interesting people. One of my favorite moments was working for my Italian Vogue cover with Steven Meisel. Having a career in modeling at that time, and being part of an era that was great for beauty, and hearing the voices of the strong women in my decade as well as ones before impacted me greatly and in such a positive way. These outspoken women were courageous and they paved the way for all other women particularly when it came to health issues and general wellbeing. These women expressed viewpoints that needed to be heard and they did so much for our generation of women. Q: What about the model fraternity? Who were some of your contemporaries with whom you became good friends? Were those relationships nurturing and healthy or did they become destructively competitive at times? 50 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER RACHEL: I traveled so extensively and I only experienced very healthy relationships with exceptionally interesting people with whom I d come to share my life. We worked and laughed together and experienced all the emotions you go through in a short amount of time when you are connected with someone. I m more connected to women now than when I was working intensely. That s thanks to social media and Facebook. But also, I was so young at the time; only 17. I was hopping onto airplanes all the time and traveling vast distances to exotic places for I traveled so extensively and I only experienced very healthy relationships with exceptionally interesting people with whom I d come to share my life. We worked and laughed together and experienced all the emotions you go through in a short amount of time when you are connected with someone. NOVEMBER Westlake Malibu Lifestyle 51

4 shoots. As I moved from place to place, I d spend, sometimes, lengthy times on some jobs and other times only a short period. As I moved from city to city and from country to country, I never viewed modeling as a competitive business. I simply enjoyed the experience and what it gave me. Q: Marriage to Rod Stewart: What was it like to be married to him? RACHEL: It was so long ago. I was 21 when I married Rod. We had a great marriage and produced great kids whom we re so proud of. The reality is that Rod is a human being just like anybody else. Our marriage was like any other couple s marriage. Q: Looking back at the last 15 years, what were some of the defining milestones that launched you into a space and place where you became fulfilled and contented? RACHEL: Becoming a mother was the most defining milestone. The unconditional love, the patience and the communication you learn when you become a mother is something so special and nobody could have explained it to me. I had to experience it. I have relished learning from my children. It s an act of selflessness that is so rewarding was a watershed year in my life for sure. My engagement had just broken off and I had two major health scares: One was inflammation of the heart. The other was back surgery. Work Becoming a mother was the most defining milestone. The unconditional love, the patience and the communication you learn when you become a mother is something so special and nobody could have explained it to me. I had to experience it. I have relished learning from my children. It s an act of selflessness that is so rewarding. Westlake Malibu Lifestyle 53

5 had subsided during that period. My kids were venturing off into their careers; Renee, who is now 23, went off to London for Dance; Liam went off to Spokane after signing a deal in the WHL for ice hockey. Never before had my emotions and my physical wellbeing being tested so much as in that year. I kept reminding myself when I was really down that there were people far worse off than me and that this too would pass. There was a lot of reflecting of emotional patterns in my life. I turned to writing, meditating and yoga. I really reconnected to who I was. I had to rediscover that part of me that was not the mother mode portion. I had to really sit down and think about what it was that I really wanted from life from thereon. I had to re-evaluate my purpose. After slowing down, reflecting and learning to live in the moment, I then figured out the different choices I was going to make. I was coming home to 4 dogs and no children. I came to terms with that new reality. From thereon, life started to blossom again. I developed a new outlook and a different type of life. Most of all, I wanted to live in my truth as far as work was concerned and the choices that I made. I no longer wanted to say what I thought people wanted to hear.but rather what Rachel really thought and felt. I knew I wanted to be socially responsible. As practical and sensible as I am, this was a challenging time with a deep valley that I had never experienced before. I came through it and life is great now. My advice to others is to take time out for yourself to figure out what it is you really want and keep away from fear. Q: Your natural demeanor is something that comes across very strongly. What do you attribute that to? RACHEL: New Zealanders in general are natural. Upbringing-wise, my mum was very organic. She always gave us natural foods. My life has always been that way so it s been easy to continue what I started being. Q: Your thoughts on women today? RACHEL: I believe that women have incredibly powerful feminine energy. As much as I agree with equal rights etc., in my travels this past year, what I ve particularly noticed is that some of the most beautiful women I have met have this uniquely feminine energy which is gentle and soft but at the same time it has enormous strength and power built in. I like to tap into something that s true to our being. I particularly love the maternal energy that women have and there are so many facets of it. I love to honor all women on Mother s Day, whether they have children or not. There is such a supportive comfort that is evoked from the spirit of women. Men have their ways too, of course. Q: You recently shot a film across the world and you visited India, Brazil and China. Tell us about that. RACHEL: I ve just finished up shooting Tour of Beauty. We went to 13 different countries looking at people s wellbeing, longevity and beauty. It has been an epic insight into a world that has so many dimensions. We explored the traditional idea of beauty but more specifically, we really wanted to analyze inner beauty, super foods, products, color and emotions. Our goal was to show our audience as much as possible the ideas that are rooted in science. We looked at farms in India; longevity in China. We spent a lot of time looking at the perception of beauty in different countries and cultures. For instance, in Dubai, women wear burkas. We wanted to know much more about that; how they felt in particular. What s so interesting is that when I put on a burka, what I didn t realize until then, was that all that shows from a burka are the eyes. For the first time, I felt more vulnerable than I had ever felt before because the intensity of having people stare right into my eyes was exceptionally penetrating and intimately personal. When I wear western clothes, people look everywhere else but my eyes. This was a new, vastly more penetrating experience. Our eyes show our life. Everything about us shows in our eyes. Our other important objective in making this film was to highlight diversity and the importance of our differences. We are all individuals in beauty. Beauty to me is looking at the 5 pillars of life; feeling all of them and living in the moment coupled with taking up the responsibilities of normal everyday life. Q: What do you most hope for the world as far as empathy and human understanding are concerned? RACHEL: I am so grateful that empathy is a word that more people are hearing and understanding every day. Empathy is an integral part of humanity. I believe that women have incredibly powerful feminine energy. As much as I agree with equal rights etc., in my travels this past year, what I ve particularly noticed is that some of the most beautiful women I have met have this uniquely feminine energy which is gentle and soft but at the same time it has enormous strength and power built in. 54 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER NOVEMBER Westlake Malibu Lifestyle 55

6 COVERSTORY/Paige Hemmis Life without empathy puts the entire world and its core at risk. Our compassion and empathy for all things on this planet are important. We are responsible for ourselves and our own beings. It s vital to lock into our own energy, our own rhythms and who we really are. All of us should be striving to be the best people we are capable of being. I don t mean this in an overachieving sort of way. It s a waste of time trying to be someone else. Be true to who you really are. Q: What does life look like for you currently? there I started to make different choices. What s been wonderful is that travel fits in with my work. Being grounded for me entails exploring as much as I can on this planet. Q: Life in Los Angeles? COVERSTORY/Rachel Hunter Rachel: Los Angeles is an amazing city for me to connect with my family and friends. It s the other key aspect of my grounding. Q: Your native land, New Zealand: Do you visit it often? Could you ever live there again or is California definitely your home? am able to reprogram myself to look at things differently. Whether it s prayer or exercise, those tools have become essential. A builder cannot build a house without tools. Sadghguru s philosophies have helped me hugely in my views on life. They re so simple. Q: Favorite decadence? RACHEL: Cheese. I love an incredible cheese board with salami and grapes! Q: Favorite food? RACHEL: Indian and Italian. RACHEL: I live in Los Angeles. I m single and I have 3 dogs. Nothing riveting about my life! Q: What does traveling do for you? RACHEL: Traveling is incredibly important to me. New Zealanders tend to have a traveling trait in them. We are curious and love to explore. This journey around the world filming for the TV series we just did has been so rewarding. Meeting people and their families in the farmlands of India, Mexico, China and Morocco to name a few was fascinating. Whilst exploring, what really struck me was how similar we are as human beings. I loved witnessing some of the ancient traditions that still exist. My daughter, 23-year-old Renee is in London with her dancing career, and my son Liam plays ice hockey for the Missouri Mavericks. After I sorted through that empty-nester phase of my life, I concluded that traveling is a vital component of who I am. I only came to that conclusion after lots of writing, thinking, yoga and meditation. From RACHEL: I love going back home to New Zealand. It s an extremely important part of my life as I age keeping that connection. My birth roots remind me to continually respect nature, to enjoy food and to always have a sense of humor. Home will always be home, but I do love living in California as this is where I raised my kids and it s been home for over 25 years. Q: What has life taught you? RACHEL: At 45 I guess I have come to a place where I have more understanding of who I am. I am more settled in what I like about myself. I am a seeker. As much as this has to do with spirituality, seeking is trying to find tools to help settle my mind away from fears and hurts. Different emotions can pop into my head and ruin my day. Finding tools like yoga, prayer and meditation or finding someone or something that I can relate to to move out of my head and gain a healthier perspective is something that I ve learned is necessary. It helps me to understand why I feel that way and I Q: Favorite season in the year? RACHEL: Spring. The smell of the earth; I find that so stimulating. Everything is new and fresh. Love the flowers. Q: Favorite movie of all time? RACHEL: Avatar Q: Characteristics you most admire in others? RACHEL: Empathy. Compassion Q: A cherished type of relaxation day? RACHEL: This day would look like this: I d be being cocooned in my home with my kids, dogs and friends. I love to cook, lounge around; talk. It s a treat to really reconnect to my little house of energy. Sometimes I think of it as the scene in Avatar..where they find your dragon and plug in. It s a bit rough at first but once you connect, the ride is amazing. That is my plug. Life without empathy puts the entire world and its core at risk. Our compassion and empathy for all things on this planet are important. We are responsible for ourselves and our own beings. It s vital to lock into our own energy, our own rhythms and who we really are. 56 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER NOVEMBER Westlake Malibu Lifestyle 57

7 At 45 I guess I have come to a place where I have more understanding of who I am. I am more settled in what I like about myself. I am a seeker. Q: Favorite places in the world? RACHEL: India because of the ancient remedies such as Ayurvedic. It also induces the thoughts and emotions in me that make me dig deeper into my own spiritual path and overcome fears. I also love the colors and the people of India. Morocco is also a favorite destination. I love the melting pot and diversity of different cultures, races and being able to see that all in a country. I also love the colors, the food, the textiles. Such amazing beauty. Nepal and Tibet are next on my list of travels. I really want to visit those places that are steeped in such vast history and depth. Q: If you could effect one change in the world what would that change be? RACHEL: End poverty and homelessness. No person should be without love, shelter and food. I d also like to see the end of hunting for exotic, endangered animals. It s cowardly period! Q: How will you be spending this upcoming Holiday season? Any Christmas traditions in your family? RACHEL: Usually we are all together. It s a last-minute rush as the kids are in different parts of the world. We always wait to decorate the tree whether it s 5 days before Christmas day or 2. We go to dinner Christmas Eve. Then, we have a late Christmas Day dinner with loads of food. We play charades; the basement gets used to play pool. It always ends up going till 2 am. We always invite friends who are stranded or who are away from their families. I want nobody to feel alone on Christmas day - so we are always meeting new people and making new friends on Christmas day. 58 Westlake Malibu Lifestyle NOVEMBER NOVEMBER Westlake Malibu Lifestyle 59

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