On Laughter and What To Do Next

Someone asked me if I could share any information about balancing physical, emotional and spiritual care in the context of a busy life. Here's my answer:


Note: this video clip is part of a live Q&A session from Carrie-Anne's monthly membership program, the Annapurna Living Inner Circle. The Inner Circle is a community of women where Carrie-Anne posts monthly audio messages, monthly moon messages, and monthly mediations. Click here to learn more. 

Annapurna Woman Kristina Wingeier

Our Portrait of the Annapurna Woman is an ongoing series featuring divine women who embody the nurturing spirit of Annapurna Living. Today we are excited to welcome astrologer and educator Kristina Wingeier.

How do you start your day?

I like to wake up slowly, contemplating any dreams from the night before and considering the day ahead. Once I’m up, the first thing is to drink about a quart of water before I make tea or coffee. The cat will want food and the dog will want a quick walk. In fact, it is at their insistence that I get out of bed in the first place! I usually practice meditation and movement in the morning but if I don’t make time, I don’t sweat it. Lately I’ve been experimenting with taking cold showers before my practice, slathering my body with ayurvdic oil before getting into the water. My mind always resists but my body is secretly craving them.

What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?

The best tool I have for [feeling overwhelmed] is working with my breath, consciously slowing and deepening it. This helps to bring me back into my body and gives me some space from the thoughts that are causing me distress.

What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?

Gazing at the ever changing sky - sunrise, sunset, clouds, the moon, stars & planets all bring me such a feeling of bliss. Tuning into the sky and cosmos brings me to a more expansive experience of my own being and a deeper connection with all that is.


What are you currently reading?

There are piles of books everywhere in my home. Here are the contents of one stack: The Light of Venus by Adam Gainsburg; The Stars by H.A. Rey; Mythology by Edith Hamilton; Soul Path Way by Kay Taylor; Cycles of Becoming by Alexander Ruperti; Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton; Yoga of the Subtle Body by Tias Little; The Planets by Deva Sobel.

What are you listening to right now?

More often than not I listen to the silence and ambient noise of my life. As far as albums, these have been getting fairly heavy air play lately - White Sun II by White Sun; Piano Works by Claude Debussy; The Milk-Eyed Mender by Joanna Newsom; Kali Yuga: The Age of Chaos by Gamelan Sekar Jaya; All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend by Aurora; Wyatt at the Coyote Palace by Kristin Hersh; Meditation of the Soul by Snatam Kaur. I also love learning so will listen to podcasts while doing housework or driving; astrology podcasts are my latest obsession.

What does nourishment look like to you?

A big pot of yogi tea on the stovetop. Long baths with epsom salts and essential oils. Soul connection with kindreds. A meal made with love. Listening to birdsong. Laughing so hard my ribs hurt.

How do you make space for play?

I just play. I can be very, very silly. Play is a foundational part of how I move through the world.

What are some favorite mantras you cling to?

I am Sacred Space.
Vibrate the Cosmos and the Cosmos Shall Clear the Path.
The love you take is equal to the love you make.

Please share some words of wisdom you've learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.

1. The only constant is change. The more I remember this, the more liberated I am.

2. I am responsible for the energy I bring into any situation.

3. The less I cling to how I think my life should look, the more room there is for magic to happen.



Kristina Wingeier is an Astrologer, Educator & Intuitive Guide whose healing roots are anchored in the Blood Mysteries - women's cycles of empowerment - and the natural rhythms of lunar & seasonal living. She lives in the SF Bay Area and works with women around the globe. Visit her on her website or on Instagram.

Householder begins on March 20th! Join Carrie-Anne Moss and her husband Steven Roy for this 5-day online intensive course. A primary focus will be connecting with the breath and learning about how breath awareness can be life-changing—through creating or ending subtle habits. Men and women are both invited.

How do we move through the world with our hearts open?

In a recent Q&A with my Inner Circle women, I  answered a question about what happens when we leave the heart chakra too open, leaving a feeling of being drained after offering empathy to another person or situation. I know so many women in the world who can relate to this feeling and this experience ... watch the video below to see this snippet of my Q&A.

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:: Sat Nam ::

Householder begins on March 20th! Join Carrie-Anne Moss and her husband Steven Roy for this 5-day online intensive course. A primary focus will be connecting with the breath and learning about how breath awareness can be life-changing—through creating or ending subtle habits. Men and women are both invited.

Glorious Moments, Golden Lessons + Letting Go

Who would I be if I let go of the fear, or the worry? Who would I be if I stood in the magic of this moment, with all its uncertainty and angst?

This is a question I ask myself a lot as I'm rushing out of the door in the morning; or as I'm looking at my calendar and crossing my fingers and toes that I won't miss my son’s school play while I'm away on location working. I could spend so much time thinking it through and trying to figure it out ... or I could be with that same son NOW  as we move through the everyday of life.

Of course the play is important and you know I'll be on a red eye in a flash if I am needed, but life lives in the mundane moments, not so much the big scheduled ones. Life lives in the brushing of teeth, the moving past each other on the way to the next thing. It lives In the car while driving here and there, in eating dinner together, in those glorious moments when the whole family flops at the end of the day into the living room to watch a movie or show together, with small feet tangled on laps and dogs curled on couches. It lives simply, as we strive to do.

As an actress I have had to master the golden lesson of surrender. The reality is that I never know when I’ll be working or what time, even day to day. I see the look of confusion on the faces of others when I explain I don't know what time I work tomorrow. In fact I might not know tomorrow. I call this a golden lesson because my nature can be to control; this has made me stretch into comfort in a place that originally was uncomfortable to me: unstructured, always moving, never knowing.

I'm gearing up to head to New York for work, and I can feel the gypsy in me excited for the adventure. At the same time, I'm a creature of ritual and habit and—out of necessity for my soul—I will try to bring as many of them as possible with me as I set up a home away from home. I will bow in gratitude that my husband has the home grounded in his love and presence. I'll let go of my fear around the extra screen time that my kids may have and instead I will beam love from the deepest place of respect for this family that I have grown.

As spring approaches and I see the possibility and feel what intentional, seasonal, awake living can bring, I'm in awe. In many ways, it’s really just a mind set. It's noticing, paying attention. As I head into this season of my life, I'm grateful to others who inspire me::

  • Paramatma’s space weather for deep kundalini and cosmic wisdom
  • Malin :: for  activism and fashion
  • Soulemama who connects me to the seasons and to  the simplicity of this beautiful hand grown life
  • Danielle Laporte for inspiring so many women entrepreneurs to show up all in and authentic ::
  • Elena Brower and her gracious giving heart ❤️
  • Natalie for her infinite parenting wisdom and coaching

Make a wish, my friends. In these times of uncertainty and intensity, we can put the wishes of our hearts into action through discipline, self love, and grit and grace; in this way we can shift it all, and we can create it all.

With so much love,

Householder begins on March 20th! Join Carrie-Anne Moss and her husband Steven Roy for this 5-day online intensive course. A primary focus will be connecting with the breath and learning about how breath awareness can be life-changing—through creating or ending subtle habits. Men and women are both invited.

The Truth About Running Away

I used to think my life would be simpler, easier, calmer, without the noise. Without the traffic and the appliances and the bills. The truth is, paring those things away revealed how much of that stress wasn’t down to modern life at all. It was down to me.
— Madeleine Forbes

Have you ever fantasized about leaving it all behind? Moving to a cabin in the hills, waving goodbye to traffic and streetlights, stepping into that simpler way of being? I have. And then, one day, I did.

It’s been almost three years ago now since I ran away from what I knew. It started like it always does, I guess. I was ready for somewhere beyond the concrete. Somewhere to finally stop my endless train of thoughts, tap into the stillness I felt sure ran beneath them somewhere, like the hidden current of a stream. I thought about where I wanted to run to constantly—obsessively even: a little village I knew about tucked into the side of a range of hills in Portugal, across oceans from my British home that I never thought I'd leave.

The place I yearned for was not the most spectacular place in the rock-strewn landscape of the central hills. In many ways it was indistinguishable from numerous other villages in that region, yet I was drawn back to it again and again. Friends of mine found the place by chance and bought a tumbledown farm there; I’d spent a glorious summer visiting them, and on my increasingly frequent return visits I felt something invisible lift off my shoulders as the road unwound and the mountains came into view.

My heart expanded and my soul exhaled as we descended into the valley. Being by the river and under the dappled shade of the ancient cork oaks and olives felt unmistakably, undeniably like home. How could it be home, in a country where I didn’t speak the language, with jobs few and far between even for those who did, oceans away from my family? It felt like falling in love with an unattainable flame. I daydreamed, I doodled, I told myself it could never happen and then I dreamed some more. I came up with logical and insurmountable reasons why I couldn’t leave the safety of my job, my home, the town where I lived. Despite this, I took steps towards it.

The biggest question was how I would earn a living, out in the hills. I dared myself to try, taking on my first freelance client in the summer of 2013 in the hours left after my part time office job. Barely six months later, my husband and I were packing up our belongings.

A mixture of fortune and hard work set wheels into motion that felt almost out of our control. Friends who lived in the valley needed house-sitters to mind their off-grid, earth bag dwelling. We found a Land Rover almost as old as me that would allow us to negotiate the unpaved tracks, and we used wedding gifts to pay for it. Little by little the impossible obstacles to following my heart were dismantled, and all I was left with was the fear. I told myself I would be fearful anyway. For once, the anxiety that always hobbled me felt like an advantage. I may as well give it something to get its teeth into, I decided.

So we jumped. Solar electricity; woodfire; well water; a mile-long dirt road to the house. A veggie garden, chickens scrabbling in the dirt, sound of birds and river. It’s idyllic, and you know what else I’ve found?

It’s hard.

It's hard to schlep out in the rain to get more logs for the fire, with cold fingers and damp socks, cursing the day I ever decided to live without central heating. It's hard to eke out the power in the batteries when it’s winter solstice and clouds are gathering and I just need to make one more Skype call before I can pack up for the day. It's hard to reverse the 4x4 down the narrow mud track when it’s getting dark and I’m tired and if I don’t pay attention we might roll right off the edge and then I’ll really be in trouble. It's hard to build relationships with a community whose language I barely speak and who have lived here all their lives, for whom this land is in their bones—when I’ve landed like a butterfly, waving my arms, wanting to drink it all in now, NOW, in that city mode of instant gratification.

I used to think my life would be simpler, easier, calmer, without the noise. Without the traffic and the appliances and the bills. The truth is, paring those things away revealed how much of that stress wasn’t down to modern life at all. It was down to me: down to my noisy monkey-brain that kicks in with worries and criticisms and tells me I’m not good enough whether I’m working in an office or tending the garden—the one that craves approval from a boss in suit or the old folk working the farms around me. That voice is not picky, it turns out.

This land didn’t release me from my stuff. It showed it to me more vividly and clearly than I ever expected. The beautiful thing is, it holds the balm, too. It’s taken me almost three years to begin to describe precisely what it is that’s calmed and soothed me from the woman I was when I first arrived here. It’s the swelling and shrinking moon. The soft new leaves of the oak leaves crumpled from their buds. The rotting of the forest floor from lush green ferns to rich thick mulch, year on year.

Seasonal cycles have taught me what it is to grow and let go. In tall trees toppled by high winds and tiny fragile flowers blooming irrepressibly for short weeks, I keep learning, keep returning to myself, season by season. That’s the thing with cycles, they repeat and repeat, and maybe we don’t need to run to the hills to find them. Only to open up and pay attention.

They were right here beside me, all along.

Madeleine Forbes is a writer living off-grid in the hills of central Portugal. She started The Seasoned Year as a space to share her journey into the landscape, and help others deepen their connection to seasonal cycles. Find out more about Madeline at her website; or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Are you looking for a simpler way of being? Join our Householder course with Carrie-Anne Moss and her husband Steven Roy. Class begins on March 20th, 2017.