4 Ways to Fill Your Empty Cup to Overflowing: Let me show you how to truly unplug and fill your sacred cup to overflowing, so that you can hold space for the people you care about, and even for the healing of the planet and humanity, without losing yourself or your energy.

How to Create Light in Difficult Times

Spiritual Connection | 3 comments

Chronic pain, grief, loss, heartbreak and stress affect a lot of us in different ways. On top of that, winter can be challenging to get through, especially here in eastern Canada where we experience all 4 seasons (and sometimes all 4 in the same day lol!). With Winter Solstice coming up, the Sun will soon bring us more light each day, but even then, we have a lot of cloudy days, and difficulties can sometimes seem to take over our lives.

Because I have chronic pain and am living with major grief, heartbreak and stress after losing my son to murder, there are days when I have zero motivation, very little energy and find it hard to concentrate. What I do for my self-care is get really resourceful and find and create ways to help me no matter what state I’m in.

Since I wanted to create a list for myself, I’m sharing it with you and I hope it helps you to find that spark within you on tough days when you’re hurting, frustrated, angry, sad or in physical pain. Remember, everything is temporary and there is always, always a way to more light.


High Vibe Music. This is my TOP go-to when I’m in my darkest moments, like when I lost my son. It’s not always pleasurable and it doesn’t always give instant results, but when you listen, move, dance, sing, play or hum to high vibration music, it WILL shift your frequency. Most times it can shift me right out of a dark place and into relief and even laughter. If you want some of my music, consider joining the Hawk level of the Portal to Your Power, Purpose and Passion. You’ll get a growing collection of Soundscapes & Journeys for Anxiety, Confidence and Being Seen and Heard, with 2 new mp3’s every month (and livestreamed channelled healing songs and journeys come spring 2019).

Himalayan Salt Lamp. I’m not an affiliate anywhere, so no link, but get to your nearest crystal or new age shop or search online. These are great for allergies and cleansing the air (and a ton of other benefits) but they are also literally lit up. Some have a candle as the light source and others like mine have a lightbulb and switch. My son had bought me one before he died and we found it in his car. It’s lit up as I write this.

Crystals (Hint: Go to a crystal shop or a gemstone show. The energy is off the charts and will lift you right up). Maybe one day I’ll create a little course on crystals. I’ll probably do at least a few livestreams on it at some point in the Portal. I could go on for days about them and my home and office are filled with them. Hint: Melody’s Love Is In the Earth by Melody is my go-to crystal book. You can also do a quick online search. A few not to be without:

  • Rose Quartz (love, self-love, calm, peace).
  • Clear Quartz (you can program this for any kind of support you need).
  • Tiger Eye (protection).
  • Amber or any other fossil (grounding).
  • Obsidian (protection, absorbs negative energy).
  • Citrine (abundance)
  • Lapis Lazuli (speaking the truth, finding your voice, throat centre)

Creative Expression! Bring your creativity to anything you do. There will be times this one is too much effort or you just can’t get yourself there. That’s when you go to high vibe music or something else that’s easier for you. But the more you express yourself creatively, the more access you will have to Spirit/Source/Life Force.

Laugh! You might need a catalyst here. Or not. But if you do, watch some funny videos on YouTube, watch your children, grandchildren or pets play (even better, play with them). My daughter and I make each other laugh all the time and all my friends have a healthy sense of humour. Find ways to laugh every single day. Even shortly after my son was murdered, I somehow found ways to laugh every now and then. It may sound weird, but I did. I needed to, to get me out of the shock and trauma and have momentary glimpses of life again. You can do it too.

Exercise, even for just a few minutes. I know, I know. You don’t have to go to the gym. You don’t have lift weights or go to a class. You can do it whatever way works for you. I have to innovative because of chronic pain. Most of my exercise is actually walking or freestyle ecstatic dance (just moving how my body wants to move, to my favourite dance music). While I’m doing dishes, brushing my teeth or folding laundry, I step in place. When I take the subway and the train isn’t there, I walk up and down the platform until it arrives. All these little things have contributed to my body getting stronger, lighter and healthier.

Dance. This, by far, is my favourite form of exercise. Dancing is embedded into our cellular memory as human beings. It’s natural to move to music. I have a few playlists for different kinds of dance and depending on how gentle or intense of a workout I can handle. You don’t even have to go anywhere to dance. Not only is it great exercise but you’re getting the benefits of the music you’re listening to as well (so choose high vibe music or your favourite songs that bring you good memories).

Help someone. Who could use some support in your life? It feels so good to help others.

Do something you enjoy. Don’t get me started! Most of us are cramping our own style and suppressing instead of expressing when it comes to what we truly love to do. What do you enjoy? Go do it! No excuses either. It could be as simple as opening the window and feeling the breeze on your face, or having a shower where you ask the water for healing, or lighting a scented candle, or slowing down your eating and having an intentional multi-sensory food experience. Let your creativity lead you here.

Talk to or spend time with someone whose energy always makes you feel good. We were made to lift each other up. We can also do the opposite, so when you need lifting up, don’t hang out with people who bring you down. Hang out with and talk to people you always seem to feel happy around.

Give in ways you enjoy. Give of your time, money, energy, or buy a surprise gift for someone you appreciate. Tis the season of gifting. Who would just never expect a gift from you? Get them something and surprise them with it. Don’t let all that commercialism get you down. All you need to buy into is your heart, your desire to feel good, and how good it will feel to give to someone you care about. Don’t forget to NOT take the other person’s response personally either way. Just enjoy the act of giving.

Create beauty in your environment. Ever since my son died, it’s been hard for me to create beauty in my home. I have to work at it. Every little creation counts, like cleaning up the house, redecorating your living room, creating altars that not only are beautiful but hold space for your intentions and desires, throwing a splash of colour where there hasn’t been any for a while. Put a new painting on the wall. Print out a family photo. There are lots of ways to bring more beauty into your environment and it really is important.

Create light literally! If you’re reading this when it really is winter, or we’re coming into winter solstice, how can you create physical light in your home? Christmas lights? Candles? My daughter loves fairy lights, so we have a few of those going year-round. I already mentioned above my Himalayan Salt Lamp. Brighten up the place and it will go a long way toward brightening YOU up.

Tell yourself in the mirror how much you love yourself. For some of you, this won’t be easy. When I first did it years ago, I couldn’t say the words, so I just stared at myself and tried to think of ways I appreciated myself. It took time but because I did that for myself, it’s been easier to do in the midst of all the feelings that go with heavy grief. The more you love yourself, the more love you will feel and receive from Source and from other people and animals.

Treat yourself. Do something decadent or extra special for yourself that you normally wouldn’t do. Take yourself on a date. Go buy that gorgeous top you’ve been wanting. Get rose petals to put in the tub with you. One of my favourite ways to treat myself every now and then is to get a new crystal or essential oil blend. If you feel like being with people, look on meetup.com or Facebook and see what events are happening that you could attend.

Celebrate yourself. We forget to celebrate ourselves. When it’s your birthday or an anniversary, it’s a habit for most of us to celebrate, but what about the rest of the year? Find some ways to treat yourself (see above) and celebrate YOU. Or create a special ritual or ceremony filled with experiences for the senses. Let the love flow. You’re worth it.

Essential Oils. I find rose (the pure stuff), rose/geranium, peppermint, lime, lemon, grapefruit and frankincense lift the spirits and frequency. Test some out and see what works best for you. Get high quality 100% essential oils. I get mine from Anarres Apocethary in Toronto at Bloor West just east of Dufferin. There are multiple places to get yours.

Sit in the dark. I know, who wants to do that, right? I’m not talking about “Dark Energy” or clinical depression, by the way. Get support for those. I’m talking about those back-of-mind thoughts and feelings that tend to run the show when you’re not aware of them. They can take you into a downward spiral. You don’t want to sit in the downward spiral or marinate in painful thoughts and feelings – just notice and be with them. Not constantly but enough to feel what’s there in your darkness and get some awareness about it. We so often want to run away from the pain we carry (believe me, I sure want to) but with difficult thought patterns and feelings, the only way through it is to sit with it, acknowledge it, sometimes feel it (you might need support and don’t be afraid to get it) and only after that, BE the light. Your cells are filled with light and high frequency energy. Tune into that but not until you’ve given your full attention and been fully present to whatever shadow or darkness is trying to get your attention, at least for a short time. The idea is not to live there, but to visit, acknowledge and be present. You might even set a timer. You will find some shadows dissipate and others will show you the way to more of yourself. Remember to get support if this is too intense to do on your own.

Create and do your own sacred self-care ritual or ceremony. Maybe it’s just a quick smudging ceremony with sage. Maybe it’s an Epsom salt bath with rose petals and lavender essential oil. Maybe it’s that you take any of the above and turn it into a ceremony or ritual. You can make up the rules here. The basics:

  • Begin it by creating sacred space, with maybe an altar of sacred items or a virtual circle around you. Call in your Higher Realms Support Team (God/dess, Universe, your guides, angels, archangels etc., higher self – whatever it is for you). Set your intentions.
  • Your special activity (bath, dance, smudge, sing, whatever you choose)
  • End it with gratitude and let your Higher Realms Support Team know you’re completing.

Spend time in nature. Even if you’re in the city like I am, you can spend time walking outside and really soak up every birdsong, every falling leaf, the sound of a sudden breeze or wind gust, the feeling of your feet landing on the ground… If you can find a water source, sit or stand by the water and listen to it. Even if you are in a situation where you just can’t go anywhere, you can put YouTube on and search for nature videos, like waterfalls, rain, forest, whales or whatever you feel called to enjoy. Nature is very healing for us, because we are part of it. We just forget that sometimes.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman



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  1. Joanne Bean

    Excellent and practical article, thank you for sharing. Blessings on your continued healing journey. Love and light surround you as you navigate the challenges. May they be met with grace and ease.

  2. Brenda MacIntyre

    Joanne, you’re welcome. I appreciate your good wishes. Blessings to you as well.

  3. Ons انس

    Thank you for your generosity in sharing those practices. Sending you love and support in your journey!



  1. Empaths, Energy & Exhaustion: Why Am I So Drained? - […] Create Light. In the darkness, you can create your own Light. We are made of it! […]

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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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