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The Power of Giving Up

Resilience | 2 comments

I used to regularly sell out my monthly drumming, singing and oracle card playtime gatherings in Toronto. Then I lost my venue and after that, no matter what the venue, it seemed like people just weren’t signing up or showing up. I kept having to cancel and eventually I just said you know what, forget it. Seriously! I stopped doing those gatherings altogether.

The great news is, giving up led to a brand new kind of spiritual event (2 or 3 actually), all kinds of inspiration and new energy into my business, and the most awesome new venue for my drumming circle gatherings. More on that soon (she said cryptically lol).

Here’s my process of giving up and how it turned into such amazing results:

1. Stop it! Give up. Now, I’m not talking about giving up on your dream, or on yourself. I’m talking about giving up on something that clearly is just not working, does not feel good, and is not giving you the results you are looking for. It’s a waste of your energy, time and money to do something you know isn’t working. So to back this up a little, my pre-step to all of this was repeating my spiritual drumming gatherings – delivering it the same way minus the venue perks – but using other venues. When that didn’t work (and I gave it 3 tries), I gave up (finally!).

2. Journal about it. I sat with myself and did what I call no holds barred journaling. That means curse words and all, no editing, just getting it out and off my shoulders. What worked? What did I love about my drumming workshops before, when they were working? What did I not love? What did the venue deliver that maybe I could replicate (delicious tea, for example)? What was I doing that I liked? What would I rather not have to do? I asked myself these and other questions to drill it down to the yays and nays about my drumming and singing workshops.

3. Put it into your next year’s Year Plan in your list of what is not working. You don’t want to repeat the lack of success, do you? Of course not! I have a running list year to year of what has worked for me and what has sucked, so that I can go back and use what works, as well as not falling into the hole of “oh but maybe it will work this time” (NO, it WON’T lol!).

4. Don’t repeat this one at home… but don’t beat yourself up if you do. So I kept looking for venues – using logic as my guide. First off, it is really hard to find awesome yet affordable venues in Toronto, and my gatherings are not money-makers. They are a way for me to have fun, meet new people and get myself and my work out there locally. I have quite the list of potential venues. As I said in step #1, my pre-step was using a couple of other venues and trying to get the same results as before. NO. So no to what exactly? No to just acting on logic without sitting and getting deep with yourself and Spirit first.

5. Instead of figuring it out with logic, go to Spirit, use your intuition, and get super clear on your desires. Yes, the journaling and having all the information I could about what was working and what wasn’t – that was important. But the thing I didn’t know and couldn’t find out through using logic was that in my own process of rebuilding my identity after the loss of my son, my desires have shifted, new energies have come in, and new projects are bursting to be born. The drumming circles were fun, but the way I was delivering them couldn’t possibly give me the level of Joy and soul-satisfaction the new spiritual gatherings will at this point in my life. When something doesn’t seem to be working for you, ask yourself: What is it that might be missing for you on a spiritual, even visceral level? What new energy or experience might be begging to be expressed or created? Check in with Spirit.

6. In case you didn’t get #4 completely, STOP DOING THE THING that isn’t working. Stop it. In my case, that meant stop looking for venues and stop doing the thing in the venues I had. The venue seemed to be the problem but really, the problem was that I needed to let my spiritual gatherings evolve into what feeds me even more. So for a good 4 months or so, I didn’t do any of those little workshop circles. I stopped looking for venues. I just stopped. I trusted that the perfect venue would show up once I knew what I wanted the NEW drumming gathering to look like.

7. Special Delivery from the Universe. The venue arrived on a silver platter with zero effort on my part. It’s super easy for me to get to, I love the community that already gathers there, their business ethics are amazing, and I want to support them just as much as they want to support me. Not only that, but oh wow, what a beautiful, special environment to share with you. Very soon, I can start up my spiritual events in Toronto again. I’m so excited!

Wishing you so much fun, relief and success with giving up in this powerful way.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman




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  1. Rosa

    I really enjoyed your post.
    I believe a lot in the power of Giving Up and Surrender.
    We live in a Society that defends winning and thus, not giving up despite the resistance of insisting in something that is actually detrimental for us and yet, not opening ourselves up to better possibilities.
    Thank you and best wishes to you and your work!

    • Brenda MacIntyre

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, exactly! This society values winning, which also suggests that if we are not winning, we’re losing. The truth is, we’re winning already, by making it here into this current body and lifetime on this planet. There is no real winning or losing. It’s all just experiences and expression. For sure the more we allow ourselves to express who we are and really immerse ourselves as much as we can in what life has for us, the more we get out of life. So with things like grief and loss, it’s not like we want to immerse ourselves in it. However, as we allow the painful experiences, like grief, loss, trauma or chronic pain to unfold in ways that are best for us at any moment, we regain stability and increase our sense of self-trust, and we can begin to come back/forward (or spiral up) to who we are becoming.


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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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