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Am I Having a Spiritual Upgrade?

Spiritual Connection | 11 comments

A while back I wrote an article about spiritual downloads, what they are, how they feel and how you get them. But what about spiritual upgrades? Have you ever experienced one? How can you tell? What can you do with a spiritual upgrade when you have one?

I’d love to hear your take on this as well, so feel free to comment after reading.

What is a Spiritual Upgrade?

Isn’t a spiritual upgrade the same as a spiritual download or a spiritual awakening?

Short answer: No but all 3 tend to hang out together, so if you’re having an upgrade, you’ve probably also had a spiritual download or two, and you’ve probably had a spiritual awakening or you’re having one alongside the upgrade.

Yeah, I know, but the deepest of spiritual experiences can’t easily be described in words. When I google spiritual upgrade, I see a lot of links there. I haven’t checked there because I don’t know if it’s because I’m indigenous or what, but if I haven’t learned it and lived it, I’m not going to teach it. So what you get from me here is my actual lived experiences.

If you think of download and upgrade in terms of technology, it’s similar with us human beings. A download comes down into a human energy system, kind of like a pdf or a song. An upgrade changes that energy system somehow, so that it can work better. Well, we always hope so but the good thing is, I’ve never had a spiritual upgrade with bugs, although I have had to update my human system with new practices, beliefs and behaviours, in order to fully integrate the upgrade and benefit from it.

A spiritual awakening tends to come after a Dark Night of the Soul, some kind of painful, often inexplicable experience, like losing someone or losing everything, an accident/injury or an illness. Not every difficult experience is a DNOTS but if it is, you’ll get the spiritual awakening sometime afterwards. You know that saying, there’s the breakdown and then the breakthrough.

I just had a spiritual upgrade a few days ago, so the feeling of it is still with me and very fresh in my mind and body.

When I’m talking about a spiritual upgrade, there is usually some kind of catalyst. It could be that you’ve had a spiritual awakening, and that often stems from a Dark Night of the Soul. We usually have had to go through something pretty tough, and then out of nowhere, you have this seemingly bizarre (like, is this really happening to me right now?!) mysterious experience that you feel on all levels: emotional, physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual or on an energy level.

Oh by the way, spiritual upgrades can come from doing something, or just seemingly random when you’re relaxing or sleeping, but every time for me, there has been some kind of catalyst, whether minutes or years before.


The spiritual upgrade I just had and am still in… I was giving a Medicine Song Healing & Reading session to a client, who was receiving the same upgrade (different for each of us but happening simultaneously to both of us). I saw a very detailed golden/pink/yellow bubble, a grid of light, surrounding both of us. I can’t even remember all the details because when I’m fully in channelling mode bringing in healing songs and information and connecting to the client, I don’t remember much afterwards. But what I do remember is how amazing I suddenly felt. It was like a burst of high frequency energy and light that filled me up and coated my energy field. And ever since, people are noticing the shift in me, though they have no idea why. So pay attention when your people suddenly wonder what’s different about you. Since this upgrade, I’ve been seeing new-to-me forms of energy in the air… I’ve seen energy all my life but this kind is new.

One of my first spiritual upgrades was the completion of an initiation into an indigenous women singing healers society, that got cut short in a past life when we had to run away from the colonizers. I had had a dream about this past life experience before, but then one day in my living room, BOOM. A vision came through. ALL of the women who were with me singing into the fire came through in that vision, and they completed the ceremony with me. I remember feeling more confident, having tears, and really KNOWING that the cycle was complete.

My favourite spiritual upgrade was in preparation for my Picking Up the Pieces CD launch party, when I was practicing my song Grieve. I reached this incredible emotional and spiritual depth in my singing where instead of crying it out, my voice opened wide, deepened, got richer and more vibrant, and emanated way more medicine than ever before, and this has not stopped. That’s the thing about an upgrade as opposed to a download. An upgrade stays with you until you’re ready for the next one. The people at the party said they’d never heard me like that before, and that that song when I sang with my band on stage that night felt like a dream, and I felt it too.

Perhaps my most mind-blowing spiritual upgrade was in preparation for 08/08/08, for an event I was doing. It happened during a healing session I was being given. I literally received light crystals into my body, from who I know now are my Star elders. The whole experience was so freaky but I saw and felt the light crystals go in, and I’ve learned enough over the years to trust my inner, higher and outer vision and guidance. My elders were getting me ready for the guided journey event I was doing for 08/08/08.

Signs That You’re Having a Spiritual Upgrade:

*Not that you need to have all these signs, and yours might be completely different, but here are some I’ve experienced.

You suddenly feel a surge of energy for no apparent reason.

You have a vision, one you’ve never had before.

Your senses seem heightened.

You have a vision and continue having it (this happened to me when I was 7, twice every schoolday all the way through grade 3).

You have a super realistic (because it’s real!) dream, lucid or not, where you’re receiving a healing, or some kind of blessing or gift, from an ancestor or spiritual guide.

You feel a little weird or sort of off balance after you’ve had a healing or spiritual awakening, or you’ve done some kind of spiritual/energy activity like meditation or walking in nature.

You feel different but it’s hard to explain how you’re different. A lot of times spiritual upgrades are incredibly subtle, like our little tiny intuitive voice, so pay close attention. Get to know your body, and you’ll know when these happen. These are the times people are like “did you cut your hair? Are you seeing someone? What’s up with you? You seem so… (and they can’t find the words lol!).

You have some kind of unfamiliar energy sensations.

You suddenly seem to have new gifts, or the gifts you have seem stronger.

If you have physical pain, you might notice it go away momentarily, or even permanently. I’ve had both at different times.

You feel like you have a deeper well of knowledge accessible to you.

Synchronicities suddenly increase in your life (running into an old friend, opportunities landing in your lap).

People seem more attracted to you (they’re feeling your energy!). This is happening to me with this recent spiritual upgrade I’m still in and it’s happened before.

You feel literally brighter, like more intelligent (more access to higher information), sharper and physically brighter, because you ARE.

Your ego-mind freaks out. It doesn’t like that it can’t understand what’s happening, so it might just freeze and short circuit until the upgrade is complete, OR it might take you into fear. BREATHE and stay with the experience. Your brain will often kind of short circuit with spiritual upgrades until either the rest of you gets on board with the shift, or shuts it down out of fear. I think I know which option you prefer.

What else? What have YOU experienced? Please comment on the blog to help others understand what they’re going through.

We all have different experiences, but there is a sort of common thread through it all: an energetic shift that you notice, others notice, and that feels very good, although perhaps a little disorienting. Know this: Spiritual upgrades are real and they are a gift to you. If you’re receiving them, then you’re open enough to integrate and incorporate them into your life, whether you know it or not.

Catalysts For a Spiritual Upgrade:

Ceremony/Ritual: I tell people who leave my circles to ground themselves before they leave and not to worry if people are staring at them like they have mustard on their shirt. The reason? When ceremony or ritual is done by someone well-practiced who can really hold space, AND you allow yourself to receive, release and flow whatever energy is meant for you, you are getting some level of a spiritual upgrade automatically!

Healing Sessions or Readings: If you’re giving a session, you’re also receiving, especially if you ASK your guides to give you some healing too. If you’re receiving a session, you’re probably getting some level of upgrade, so pay attention after those sessions and let it integrate into your system. Do your best not to forget the new “settings” in your body, mind, heart, spirit and field. If you want a Medicine Song Healing & Reading with me, you can book one here.

Being in High Frequency Emotions: You can literally gratitude yourself into a spiritual upgrade. Try it! Out of that recurring vision I had when I was 7 came a whole course packed with information on how to live a life you love (someday I’ll put out an upgraded version of that course!). I taught about Extreme Gratitude, which basically means you say what you’re grateful for out loud to yourself until you reach tears. Then keep on going, even through the tears, until you reach laughter. This is the highest frequency emotional state I’ve ever experienced. The tears are often a mix of happy tears and sad tears, from releasing to make way for all that gratitude. But really, doing anything at all that brings you into laughter, joy, love, gratitude or bliss in a grounded way puts you in the right frequency to receive and implement higher information, guidance, and spiritual upgrades.

A Word of Caution: No need to seek out spiritual upgrades, ESPECIALLY if you’re already having one, or you just did recently. Upgrades are not for the faint of heart and you need to let yourself integrate it into your human and spiritual/energetic self. That can take time, so be patient with yourself. It can take a lot of work to stop the ego-mind from clouding over your experience. One of my upgrades from probably 8 years ago or so is still work for me to maintain sometimes. I was given the ability to make all my decisions without intellect getting involved at all. Purely heart and soul based decision-making. It’s amazing when I remember that it’s built into my system now to do that, but I do still fall into the academic pattern of “figuring things out.” You can receive the upgrade and then not even use it, or fool yourself into not believing it’s real, you see.

What to do if you think you’ve had a Spiritual Upgrade:

Most of us just go back to our comfort zone because having a spiritual upgrade can feel a little overwhelming, kind of like having a spiritual awakening, except usually with an upgrade, you’ve already dealt with a Dark Night of the Soul, so now you can just relax and enjoy the upgrade. Soooo… don’t fall back into the comfort zone of who you WERE before the upgrade. In other words, relax, but not into your comfort zone. Let yourself relax into the upgrade.

Give yourself some time with your new sensations and experiences from your spiritual upgrade. You don’t have to tell anyone and for some of you, that might be best, so that you can let it settle into your body and mind and let it integrate. Take at least a little time to FEEL and FLOW the energy through your system and to integrate the experience and sensations.

Act as if. One healer after he gave me an upgrade told me to walk out of there normally, as if I never had the foot problem in the first place, instead of being cautious and careful with the foot. I was also told by another healer that you can hear the words or have the feeling or whatever but if you don’t take it into your daily living, it will just go away or bury itself until you’re ready. For example, I wasn’t fully ready for the power and gift of the recurring vision I had when I was 7, so my spiritual upgrade from that came in my early 30’s instead.

SOAK IT UP!!! ENJOY IT!!!! Feel what it feels like in your body, mind, emotions, everywhere. Really feel it so you can anchor in that feeling, because it’s ALWAYS HIGH FREQUENCY, so it’s always going to give you easier, more powerful access to higher frequency feelings, thoughts, answers, ideas, experiences and your gifts.

Do some manifesting work! When you’re in this place of high frequency, the Universe is like “Oh Hi there! What would you like? Let me give that to you!”

Share the feeling! When you’re complete enough with your upgrade (and don’t feel like hiding or processing or integrating it still), talk to your friends, give a talk, sing, paint, cook, do whatever your gifts lead you to do, hug someone, laugh with people… being with people when you’re in this space helps them to also open up to more of who they are.

NEWSFLASH: Some people really probably will be weirded out. You can choose to share your experience with them or not, but if they’re open to receive a little of this energy you’re emanating, they will, just by being in your presence after your upgrade.

Hold space for yourself. I have found these experiences to be highly personal when I’m in the midst of it. I like to get grounded and sit with the sensations, feelings and energy for a little while, and then share it after I feel complete with integration. But also hold space for yourself AFTER integration. Like I said, sometimes you might fall out of it and have to remind yourself to connect back to the upgrade. We’re all learning. There is no perfect with spiritual upgrades. There’s just you, your upgrade and how you respond to it.

Drink lots of water! I can’t recommend this highly enough, because water will help you to clear out old habits, beliefs and behaviours and reset your system to what’s flowing in it NOW with the upgrade.

Get lots of sleep. Do your best because you might receive more information or just help with the upgrade, while you’re in REM sleep, but also your body is processing a major shift, so it might need some extra zzz’s.

Don’t just go about business as usual. Whatever you use as reminders for important events, use those reminders to bring yourself back to this new state of awareness and energy. Do still do the things you need to do but also be open to sudden changes in direction or intuitive hits to do things you wouldn’t normally do.

SELF-CARE: I can’t stress the importance and sacredness of self-care enough, but especially in the midst of a spiritual upgrade. You’re receiving something special, so let yourself receive. Get out of doing mode to just BE, as much as you can.

Be curious, but don’t go overboard with having to know what to do. You won’t know what to do. The brain will be baffled. The ego might freak out a little. Let that all happen, and be there for all of you. Getting a spiritual upgrade really is like getting rewired or sometimes it can feel like your whole energy system is replaced.

Trust yourself and follow your guidance. You may be given steps along the way to implement. Take action on the direction you’re given, right away or as soon as possible. Trust your body and soul. Trust your intuition and your higher guidance. Trust your KNOWINGS.

Stay grounded and in your body. Sometimes people can get caught up in ego when they receive upgrades. Spiritual bypassing can happen when you’re in super high frequency energy and you don’t ground yourself in Truth and connect to your body and the Earth. We can get “high” on these sensations and spiritual bypassing can become an addiction. BE IN YOUR BODY. Make sure You (as in the real You) are the one at the wheel, not your ego.

Sometimes a spiritual upgrade brings in new gifts or heightens gifts you already have. Then you do know on that level what to do – share your gifts! But sometimes it’s so super subtle that you’ll hardly notice it at all, and sometimes there is nothing more for you to do except just be with it. Sometimes not a lot will change and other times you’ll have momentous transformation. It’s all good. We’re all unique expressions of Source Energy.

Anything I’ve missed? Comments are welcome at the blog and I will respond to any questions you might have. Yeah, this is a HUGE topic and a lot of us are receiving spiritual upgrades at this time. It’s good to come together and share with each other, so we can all begin to allow more good into our lives, and shift right along with Mother Earth as her frequency rises.

Now, I know this is a lot of information and you probably have even more questions now, but consider this a hot bowl of delicious soup. You’re not going to inhale it and burn your throat and mouth. Let the soup cool, smell the aroma, and enjoy the flavours while sipping your soup. Then after you’re finished your soup, savour the flavour in your memory and the feeling of fullness in your body, and the energy (or sleepiness) the soup gives you.


Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman

Enjoy this article? Please share with your friends, clients or colleagues.


  1. Tanya


    I have been experiencing many new heightened feelings. This past July 2021 I had a series of things take place. I heard a knock at my door around 3am and no one was there. It was 5 soft knocks. A week later I saw the brightest white flash in the corner of my bedroom. Like a flash from a large camera. It was so bright it looked animated. It than burst into other flashes of light which than took a completely diff.erent form. I stood at the edge of my bed in awe. I couldn’t move. There was a transparent haze about 3 or 4 feet like a rectangle floating over my bed. In the haze their were geometric figures floating and dancing. 2 white orbs one bigger than the other were bouncing up and down next to each other. While the other shapes were floating. It looked like a childs mobile over a crib with transparent shapes of light. There was one shape in particular that I was fixated on it was moving back and forth like pendulum. It was a trapezoidal shape. Like it was waving hello. I wasn’t afraid. I was mesmerized. It lasted about 45 seconds or so and then all the shapes came together into the larger white orb as one. As this happened the orb grew larger and burst into the animated bright white light back into the corner of the room. It was from the floor to ceiling sparkles of beautiful white light like angel wings. It looked like a rainfall of sparkling light and then it was gone. I looked at the clock it was 3:15 am. Also my building address. A few days later also around the same time my body was vibrating so intensely ( I have been feeling a higher vibration in my body for a long while but July was INTENSE and OVERWHELMING. I couldn’t sleep. The room felt full of energy. Then I heard a sound. It was several deep tones almost like OHM. It was kinda scary, As this was happening I felt like I was in the center of a tornado. All around my head I saw visions of everything it was spinning so fast. As if i was going through time. I saw Gods, ancient places, faces, things, events. But all so fast. I also hear some screams and voices. I also heard a voice speak my name. I wish I can say I wasn’t afraid but I was. I didn’t understand what was happening. It felt like the room was lit with so much energy but I was too scared to look. I have also experienced walking into a scent of a woodsy sweet smell which enveloped me and then disappeared. And a feeling of an angel wrapping me in its wings. This was all in July. Since then its been quiet. This experience has changed me. I will never see the world the same again. I have a knowing now. I would like to understand more.

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      What a powerful series of experiences you’ve had! I can only imagine how intense that would’ve felt. You’re human, and it’s natural for us humans to be afraid of what we’ve never experienced before. I’ve had some experiences that really freaked me out over the years, and some that are just super intense but I had no fear during them. It might be helpful for you to get further guidance around this – and it sounds like some kind of activation going on there for you, which could take a while and then out of the blue you have an understanding of what it was all about and what to do with it. You might even try journaling or drawing or painting about it and get some insights that way.
      Thank you for sharing,

    • Chelsea

      Hello Brenda,
      I just finished reading your article here and am thankful for your insights. I have experienced phenomenon since a child that some would call “gifts,” though I see it as our basic settings and human birthright. Anyway, I ignored and suppressed them because they were not compatible with my social-cultural environment, to say the least. Between 2018 and 2020 I began having spontaneous Samadhi/mystical experiences. I then plunged into a profound dark night of the soul, which culminated in a variety of rebirths, all of the Clair-senses coming on, and a kundalini awakening. I have only since gained these terms in my vocabulary and can speak about my experiences now that I have the terms to match them. I continue to experience what seems like upgrades, downloads, and changes in my body successively. My entire physical reality shifted- and pretty much everything and everyone I knew is no longer in my reality. For two and a half months I’ve lived in South East Alaska on Revillagigedo island now, since recieving a call in my heart to contribute my energy here. I am now focusing on grounding and remaining attuned to Soul in every moment of the day, as much as possible. I get the sense everything is about to change for me again. There is only one pathway through, which is surrender.

      • Brenda MacIntyre

        Chelsea, you’ve got it. Exactly. “There is only one pathway through, which is surrender.” I’m glad to hear you’ve been able to have these experiences and reconcile and understand them a lot more. Not everyone has the privilege to be able to make big moves like you or focus all day on spiritual attunement and growth, so it’s really great you have allowed yourself this gift in order to help where your heart has called you. Those Dark Nights of the Soul are rough but now you see what comes at the end of them and through experiencing them. Not that every awakening has to begin with awful, difficult experiences, but it often does. The more we can see them through and open up to the possibilities, the more we can grow into who we are meant to become and allow ourselves to live the lives we are meant to lead.

  2. Rhonda B

    Hi Brenda! I think I just had something weird happen to me which I know was spiritual.
    I’m just sitting on my couch and out of no where felt a surge of energy coming from another direction of my house. It was almost like I could visualize the energy winds which were like grey and black. I visualized the energy surrounding me and taking up space within my entire home. I’ve never experienced this ever before but for some reason my instincts told me too push the away with my energy. And I could visualize my energy, a ball of gold and white light surrounding only me, suddenly get bigger and pushed the energy away somewhere. Immediately after I felt very foggy, like I just used an immense amount of my energy.
    Literally the night before this, I had experienced sleep paralysis so all day I felt like my senses were heightened all the way up til my connection was severed after using my energy.

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Oh wow Rhonda, that sounds like some sort of visitation. If it were a spiritual download, you would’ve received it. I get sleep paralysis too. So sorry you have to deal with that. I have found that if I try my best to relax and stop resisting, it goes away as do all the things I’m seeing/feeling/knowing are there with me in that state. Feels like an eternity before that happens but it usually works. If not, I also learned you can attempt to move a finger or toe. Harder to move our bodies but that seems to work for some people. In terms of your visit, you might want to clear your space. Lots of ways to do that, including sound and literally telling them to leave. Hope that helps.

  3. Emily

    I’m SO glad I found this article, Brenda! Thank you so much for explaining all of this, especially the integration & ego reactions. This information is invaluable and so so so so appreciated, thank you! I’ve been going through an upgrade, and it has been wild for me, to say the least. But reading this is helping with grounding into my physical self and understanding the process as it relates to my experience. Thank you again so much!

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Emily, I’m so glad you found the article. Thank you for your kind words. Sorry it took me a while to respond.

  4. Nadia

    Thank you so very very much for this post, Brenda. I’ve just had an upgrade. My heightened spiritual journey since August 2019 has been ‘singular’, that is my guides apparently want me to learn on my own. They don’t let me seek out a guru anymore, but they do kindly send the information for me to know what the experiences are. Your detailed explanation calmed my mind (yes, my ego freaked out and actually walked away from what I was being shown in meditation :D). I am from India, and though I was born in a particular faith, it is Lord Ganesha who has been my guiding spirit whenever my world has changed or, as in the case of the present, is changing. So, as I sat in meditation this morning, grounded, with my chakras open (the upgrade has been underway since last night’s meditation and I did have a long, deep sleep) Lord Ganesha was in front of me, standing, golden-yellow bright, eyes piercing into me. I was shown lights permeating my being and then i was in a vortex of energy that left my being and filled an ascetic, in seated meditation, in front of me — that’s when my ego left, because of a fear from my ‘dark night of the soul’ experience. When I allowed myself to let it go and came back to the visuals, that ascetic was turned and brought to sit in me and with him were a whole array of more ascetics — the Saptarishis of the Vedas. I’ve had many such instances of gods, goddesses, coming into my being, and i have seen the knowledge of the universe being given to me once by a being from the Mongolian cultural realm. But this is the first time I have received an upgrade. I was specifically told it’s an upgrade. So that’s why I searched online and yours is the first site on the list and it held all i needed to know.
    Thank you for taking the effort to explain 🙂
    I am grateful 🙂

  5. Davetta


    I found your information because I have recently experienced something I can’t explain. I have not been to sleep since 5/31/23. I tried going to bed last night and couldn’t go. I just received what I can only describe as an overwhelming feeling of energy joy. I remember laying down listening to my meditation music like I don’t every night. However, last night I could not go to sleep. I was so full of enery and feelings of happiness, I was actually laughing out loud, but low. I didn’t want to wake my fiance. I was scare. However, I was curious as to what was happening to me. I’ve never heard of spiritual downloads or upgrades. So, I was very confused but, I was ok with the feeling. I do remember my heart beating super fast, almost like an anxiety. When I saw that the feeling wasn’t coming down, I started deep breathing to calm and ground myself. As I type this message I feel the energy about to power up again. However, I’m also sleep. I did notice today at work everyone was very accommodating towards me. I received compliments on how good I was at my job. This is all new to me. Right now I just want to sleep. Because I’m feeling exhausted

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Hi Davetta. I hope you’ve finally gotten some sleep! But I’m so happy for you about that feeling of “energy joy!” I know the feeling. I can’t remember if I ever wrote about this in my blog but when my daughter was about 2 I experienced what you’re describing (except I had no problem sleeping). I was out walking her in her stroller and that feeling suddenly came over me. I stopped in my tracks and soaked it up. No idea how long I even stood there but I felt so amazing I didn’t want the moment to end. If you still have sleep problems I might be able to help. For me, it was my first experience of true Joy after a life up to that point of undiagnosed depression (I had lost both my parents one after the other as a teenager). I’m happy to say I’ve been able to have many more of those experiences, both in and out of ceremony. In case you don’t see this, I’ll send you a quick email.



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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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