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How to Go from Burnout to Breakthrough: Changing Your Life With Self-Compassion

Mental Health | 0 comments

Ever experience burnout? I think many of us are there right now, myself included. We’re burned out from Zoom meetings. Burned out from isolation. Burned out from loneliness, divisiveness, political gaslighting and just trying to find our way in this mess. We are experiencing burnout on a global scale.

Burnout is a call to slowwwwww down. Burnout is a call to back away from all the tasks and distractions and hold space for You… that beautiful soul that lives within your body. Your soul signed up to experience this amazing planetary shift. I don’t believe that our souls knew exactly how it would all unfold – they just knew that we needed to be alive on Mother Earth at this time for this shift.

And now Spirit jumps in with a vision and message. You were encoded with exactly what you need to not only get through this crazy situation but to actually co-create new ways of being with each other and all our relations – all life on our planet. By the way, that includes microbes.

The vision as I’m writing reminds me of another vision I had that I painted. It carried the essence of Universal Love. Layers of Light dancing and flowing together gave me perhaps the highest frequency experience I’ve ever had. But this time it’s like we are all in this huge river of flowing Light together and we need to shake ourselves awake and remember how connected we truly are to each other and to all of life.

Please take a 2 minute breathing break right here, right now. Breathe slowly and gently into your lungs and draw the breath down into your belly and through your whole being before exhaling. Now imagine there’s a tap in front of you that turns down the volume on other people’s energies and emotions. Go ahead and turn down the tap. It might feel strange especially if you’re an empath to fully turn off your connection to everything, so just turn it down for now. After 2 minutes of breathing and holding space ONLY for YOU, feel free to turn it back up to whatever degree of connection you want.

We can’t erase our connection to each other but we can turn down the volume on how much we FEEL from that connection. We can also create and uphold personal and energetic boundaries.

To make positive change, we first must acknowledge and accept what’s in our experience right now. But honestly to do that, we have to come back to centre, and that’s not always easy when you’re soaking up everyone else’s energies. Come back home to YOU first.

By the way, acceptance and acknowledgement are not the same as resigning yourself to circumstances that suck. This concept used to confuse me. I wondered how you’re supposed to accept “what is” when that’s what you want to change.

The secret is: You don’t have to like your present situation. Just accept that here it is and here you are, and here is your desire to change it.

Rather than resigning to your circumstances, let them co-exist with you, get to know them, thank them, and tap into your desire and vision for the blessings that are always on their way to you.

Remember, you are not your circumstances. You are a divine being experiencing your own unique version of life.

In my last article, I talked about planning for the unplannable – making a year plan when you have no possible way of having a clue of what will happen with these strange times.

After that, when I was chatting with Colette Baron-Reid, she said this Mercury retrograde right now is all about expecting the unexpected. Yep. It sure is.

When you open your mind to expect the unexpected, you end up feeling kind of prepared for whatever shows up. That’s because you’re activating, growing and using your resilience.

I’m in the middle of a HUGE life-changing move right now because I made my peace with my circumstances, tapped into my desire and vision, and am now creating a new life experience, even while knowing we are still living through crazy times.

You might have heard the expression “burn the boats.”

I have never ascribed to the full-on version of “burning the boats” that I have heard from many a business coach, which talks about burning the boat that would have been able to take you back to whatever you are leaving behind in a big leap.

As a person who has lived with depression and trauma all my life, I can’t “burn the boats” without a backup plan. I need to know that if something messes up or oh I don’t know, a global pandemic happens, I’ve got a backup plan or two in my back pocket. However, those backup plans are NOT to take me back to what I’m leaving or to dial down any big dreams I have. They are alternate plans to get me to where my desire is leading me, just in another way. That’s the key.

I have definitely burned the boats in 3 big ways:

1. I gave my 2 months notice to my landlord on December 31st, 2021, so I had no choice but to move out of my apartment which had become toxic for my health and well-being.

2. I took the steps to cancel the provincial disability assistance I had to help me financially get through losing my son. It prevented me from expanding my business because it’s set up to be a trap, so leaving it behind allows me to expand financially.

3. By moving, I also let go of subsidized (rent geared to income) housing which had allowed me to raise a family after escaping abuse back in the 90’s. I also moved to a city where regular rent is much more affordable.

My backup plan? I could’ve moved in with my daughter and her boyfriend until I found a place.

When you live with something like C-PTSD, it helps a LOT to find healthy self-soothing practices and have tools, resources, supports and plans for major life transitions like moving. Not having a backup plan can derail a person with trauma and keep them repeating the same cycles over and over. Creating a workable backup plan or two relaxes the nervous system and allows you to expand while still feeling a sense of safety. Again, a backup plan is not your way to go backwards or stay in a bad situation. It’s to help you flow towards something better, to keep the energy moving in the direction of your desire.

At this point in the pandemic, most of us are experiencing some level of trauma. I’ve talked before about how these times are incredibly similar to my whole journey of losing my son to murder. Shock, depression, anxiety, fear, grief, confusion, anger, denial, re-traumatization and even chronic pain all came from my son being murdered (and court is still going on this year) – and this is what many people – especially highly sensitive, marginalized and racialized people – have been going through to some degree. Then when you go to expand and make big life transitions like moving, getting a new job, or worse, losing someone, you can get triggered into one of those states and your ego-mind will do its job and put you right back into the familiar (comfort zones).

So how do you say YES to your soul’s desires and deal with the trauma that gets triggered by just even thoughts about making big changes during this tumultuous time in our history?


● Accept and acknowledge your experience.
● Tap into your desire and your inner visionary (we all have one).
● Let your higher guidance show you your next steps and your bigger vision.
● Make a plan.
● Make at least one backup plan.
● Expect the unexpected.
● Keep letting Spirit lead you.

Troubled times like these can facilitate incredible creativity and bring people together.

You were born for this or you wouldn’t be here. It might not feel like that sometimes but the Universe has your back, and the life force within you will give you energy, ideas, inspiration and whatever else is required to go where your soul is leading you.

Love & Blessings,


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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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