Annapurna Woman: Hillary Rain

Portrait of the Annapurna Woman is an ongoing series featuring divine women who embody the nurturing spirit of the Annapurna life. Today, please enjoy our conversation with creative alchemist, Hillary Rain.

How do you start your day? 

I start my day with fire and love—love because I make my man his breakfast and pack his lunch for work, and then I light a candle or incense before settling in with my coffee and my words. This sacred ritual is my version of clocking in for the day. I also like to ease in with music—usually with my Lisa Gerrard station on Pandora, and twinkle lights. I love the holy hush of gentle mornings!

What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?

When I’m overwhelmed or stressed it means I’ve said Yes too many times or neglected a good meal or some form of play. I evaluate what I can let go of (or put on hold) and then I tune in—do I need skin-to-skin time with a friend, or do I need to be alone? Do I want to schedule a massage or wander the hallowed halls of an old bookstore? Do I need to curl up with lots of blankets and pillows and immerse myself into another world via a great movie on my laptop? What nutrients does my body need? Am I sleeping? Have I connected to nature? I live in the city and often crave earth and forests and lush greenery. Finding ways to meet this need can be a challenge.

What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?

I feel true bliss when I write something that makes me cry or when I’m moved by beauty so pure and full that words stop making sense at all. When I witness others living out their deepest dreams or when I embody my spirit through dance and love. When I can offer true relief and comfort to others. When I have clarity for my path and the satisfaction of crossing something off a list. When I take and edit a really great photo. When I can embody myself, transcend myself, and flow with the wild grace of the Spirit.

What are you currently reading?

I am surrounded by luscious piles of books right now! I’m reading all kinds … Reveal by Meggan Watterson, Wild Mind by Bill Plotkin, Wild Money by Luna Jaffe, Wild Feminine by Tami Lynn Kent, Zealot by Reza Aslan, Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther, Coming Home to Myself by Marion Woodman, Immortal Diamond by Richard Rohr, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet, and several others. I’m very mood-oriented/interest-driven with books and often approach them with a highlighter, pen, and notebook. I love books I can curl up with … my husband does not understand why I won’t use a Kindle because I love technology, but I’ve got to have my nose in between pages.

What are you listening to right now?

Tibetan singing bowls … Tibet Nada Himalaya 2 by Deuter. And in the words of Herman Hesse, “I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”

What is your go-to simple recipe?

Charred kale with garlic and a tray of roasted root veggies. I like to buy the organic kale on the salad bar at Whole Foods because it is already washed, chopped, and ready to go … honestly, I’m more likely to use it when I buy it this way (and it’s great to add to smoothies, too). While I’m there I’ll scoop up some roasted garlic to go with it and use throughout the week. And then I’ll toss olive oil, salt, and freshly-cracked black pepper into a pan of roughly chopped onions, whole baby carrots, diced potatoes (sweet or white), squash, and whatever else I have on hand. 

What are some simple things you do for self-care?

I am mindful of my energy because I get really depleted from lots of extroversion or even a day spent running errands and mingling with crowds. I try not to over-commit myself (a learning process!) and to walk in grace. I use good skin-care for my face and body. I wear clothes that feel soft and allow me to move and breathe freely. I wear adornments that reflect my creativity or mood. 

What does nourishment look like to you? 

Nourishment is a holistic need and means allowing myself to receive the love and support of those dearest to me—which is harder than it sounds! It means watering my soul with magic and expressing myself creatively. It means permission to wander freely, being wholly enchanted with life, and making new discoveries about the world and myself. I ask my body (and my heart) what she is hungry for and fill myself up with rich experiences. It means touching and being touched. It means setting aside a day each week to curl up in a stream of shimmery light and write love-letters. It means moving beyond basics needs for survival and allowing myself what I need to thrive. It means cultivating a world where others are nourished through what I bring to the table where we gather in ceremony, communion, and grace. It means adornment of my body and my home. It means sacred spaces and twinkle lights and sultry incense. It means telling a stranger she’s beautiful. It means remembering to breathe. It means losing myself in music. It means reinvention, re-evaluation, and allowing the questions. 

How do you make space for play?

“Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.”—Abraham Maslow

I’m learning to schedule it in. It doesn’t always happen, but I’m more likely to be mindful of my energy when I know a break is ahead or that I’ll get out on a certain day this week. Whether this is lunch with a friend, a visit to a crystal shop, or trip to a bookstore, when I know that I have adventure waiting for me my creativity flows more smoothly and I accomplish more.

What are some favorite mantras you cling to?

Honor your rhythms. Trust your heart. Follow joy. And most recently, all things new.

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

I am loved. I am enough. I am home. These are simple truths but getting here has been a vast, wild, and intricate journey that feels like it starts all over sometimes. So I just hold on. And I say it, as often as I can, to anyone in need, to anyone who hears … You are loved. You are enough. You are home. 

You are loved. You are enough. You are home.

About Hillary—

Hillary Rain believes that the deepest hungers of humanity are among the desires to express the self & the soul, and to live rooted, full-bodied, and meaningful lives. She believes you don't have to wait until you lose that twenty pounds—or fifty—or one hundred—before you embrace yourself with tenderness. You don't have to wait until you're out of debt, or in a better house, or finished with school before you allow yourself to look up, look around, and revel in your life. She offers Soul Doula Sessions: intuitive holistic + spiritual mentorship for women guided by the wisdom of the body, heart, and spirit through sacred, creative arts.

Hillary is passionate about making her life (and yours) a luscious work of art. To learn more, visit her at and sign up to receive her FREE New Moon Letters along with other lush love notes sent twice a month. Connect on Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter.