Reclaiming your sacred nature

Reclaiming your sacred nature

Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day.

But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not misread this: I LOVE vocal technique. If I have one wish, it is for the most excellent, adept, fantastic, easeful vocal technique that ever was. 

However.

My pursuit of excellence in my craft is not at odds with my desire to pursue my sacred purpose. Nor should it be that way for you.

But I believe that we are at odds with the sacred purpose of our voice when we place the technical requirements and demands above the essence of our nature as singers: we are souls!

We have a voice to express our inner nature, and I believe that is of sacredness. 

I believe our voice knows how to function *perfectly* well when we tap into its sacred nature. That our technical approach is not an overlay of forced effort, but rather a removal of artificial tension. Thereby revealing the essence of the voice, and allowing the flow of the sacred through us. 

If you struggle with the expectation of Doing Things Right, then this is my wish for you:

Please do not fret about your technique. Do not diminish your pursuit of excellence, but consider pursuing a balanced application of technical skill with allowing your sacred self to flow through your voice.

How?

Reclaim the sacred nature of your voice. Your voice is one of the most sacred things about you. When you are ready to claim that once more, the most beautiful, exciting shifts will take place. Your experience of your voice is not about Doing It Right, but uncovering the purpose for your voice.

That’s right! Your voice has a sacred purpose. When you acknowledge this, it will be revealed to you.

Suddenly, plain ol’ vocal technique just isn’t quite as big a deal. You know?

Hugs,

allison

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

IMAGE: Photo by Octavian Rosca on Unsplash

further reading

Reclaiming your sacred nature
Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day. But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not...

read more
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more

great arises out of small things

great arises out of small things

great arises out of small things

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

This post could also be entitled: The most unhelpful advice your Ego could ask for.

Because let’s be honest: we all want Great Things right now. And according to Eckhart Tolle, a remarkable spiritual teacher, the great things are simply an illusion. 

I recall when I first heard about Eckhart’s second book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.” I thought to myself: I WANT TO AWAKEN MY LIFE’S PURPOSE! 

Doesn’t everyone?

So I bought the book, I listened to him speak with Oprah (who’s a big fan), I watched him on YouTube, and I was ready for  Eckhart to tell me What I Should Do to get a quick and clear answer to my burning question. And when he told me what that was, my first thought was: THIS IS THE BIGGEST LOAD OF B.S. I HAVE EVER HEARD.

Because he wouldn’t tell me what I was supposed to do. Rather he told me that I need to inhabit the present moment and… allow

This is a quieter, more spacious kind of inner work. It is a break from the concept of implementation, and instead we encounter (and accept the value of) discovery

So it goes in our creative work, as well.

Are you hungry for answers, too? For a method? A way to fix/adjust/develop your voice? Do you want to know the purpose for your creative voice? There are four very important things to know:

1) Your voice is capable of the things that you desire. It does not require fixing. It requires a quieter, more accepting Self who is able to mindfully curate the use and care of your voice.

2) You need to provide a safe inner space for your creative unfolding. Get the Ego in check and be wise to her/him: because the first thing she/he will do is tell you that THIS IS B.S. and do everything to sabotage you from that space of inner listening.

3) You need to accept the process of the unfolding of your voice, and trust every little speck of information that is revealed to you as valid, and that your progress is marked by small steps, not great leaps.

4) You need to show up for yourself. Meaning, if you really truly desire a shift in your experience of your voice, you need to let go of your grip on what you “should” be doing or that you are not where you “should” be. But support yourself, and accept where you are, and get out of your own way of resisting the process.

This is a quote from Eckhart’s book (p. 266), in which he responds to questions from his hungry audience. I resonate with this question particularly, and am going to assume that you do, too. 

QUESTION: I am afraid of never rising above mediocrity, never daring to achieve anything great, not fulfilling my potential.

RESPONSE: The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. Everybody’s life really consists of small things. Greatness is a mental abstraction and a favorite fantasy of the ego. The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness.

Our voice journey is brimming with small moments. Perhaps you have discovered some of those moments yourself. I hope you sense the power therein. Trust them. They are your stepping stones, your signposts, your way-showers.

The compass, however, is within your heart.

Our voice work is not to push or pull a few levers and expect answers to questions such as How Can I Not Embarrass Myself? Rather, listen and watch from a quieter place within. If those little things are the most important, then you need to be soft enough, quiet enough, spacious enough to catch them.

And accept that no matter where you are, you are on the way, and that the way is just right where you need to be.

Hugs,

allison

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

IMAGE: Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash

further reading

Reclaiming your sacred nature
Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day. But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not...

read more
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more
six ways to help you love your voice

six ways to help you love your voice

six ways to help you love your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

Do you love your voice?

I don’t mean, is your voice good enough/lovely enough/functional enough to love.

But do you love your voice inherently?

I recall one time, several years ago, when I cursed God for my voice. I was mad. How could I have ended up with such a faulty, ugly, no goodnik, untrustworthy emanation of sound that was so rejectable.

Nice.

Well, the silver lining of this experience is that it has taught me to truly love and value my voice. And its innate power.

I say this not to shock or rattle, but to be clear that the journey I have been on to reclaim my voice as lovable and worthy has been one of determination, emotional grit, and surrender to the process.

Not practice more, not be awesome at singing, and not toughen up to withstand rejection.

But rather, to say to myself:

“I love my voice. And I will not allow anyone else’s opinion to sway me from this Truth.”

Because not only it is possible to love your voice, I believe it is part of our healing process into living more deeply and fully as human beings.

Six Ways to Love Your Voice

You need not have everything figured out right now to love your voice. And there are some very clear stepping stones on this path that I want to share. 

1. Know and accept that your voice is sacred

Your voice is not broken or faulty. It emanates from a divine source and manifests via your human body. When you accept this, you learn to connect with this sacred source via your heart center. You loosen the grip of the ego voice and accept the sacred voice.

2. Commit to letting go of your Ego Voice

When you accept that your voice is divine in nature, you will recognize when there is some messaging that is, well, totally off. When you hear any self-talk that is pulling you off course (which it will), know what that is. It is your Ego Voice, and this voice is not loving. It is going to sabotage you, so just be on the lookout. Better yet: make a commitment to yourself to let go of operating with this voice, and commit to your sacred voice. Then practice coming back to your center every time you fall off the voice horse!

3. Know and accept that your voice is brilliant (even if you don’t know a lot about singing)

Singing and making sound is a miraculous process of your creative impulse meeting breath energy that creates vibration. It is all managed through a delicate and intrinsically brilliant operating system that is your human body and mind. Isn’t that amazing? It is. Your voice knows how to work already. Do not get caught up in how it may not be operating at maximum. But begin to watch and become aware of what may be inhibiting this innate connection.

4. Know and accept that your voice has a presence

If and when you are ready to accept the sacred nature of your voice, you discern that it actually has a presence of its own. I experience my sacred voice as an entity, or avatar of a sacred presence. It is one of the most powerful and beautiful experiences I can describe. We are typically so muddled up that it’s difficult to discern. I will sometimes coach my students to let your sacred voice sing that for you. See what happens, and be reminded of Point #1: Know and accept that your voice is sacred!

5. Listen to what your voice needs

Your voice, and your intuition, are in constant communication with you. When we manage to lower the volume on the ego voice (by centering our awareness), your inner voice is going to give you signals of what you need right now. Maybe not pushing yourself, or over-practicing, or obsessing over the notes, or avoiding singing altogether! But rather something like: pick up this song… try watching the breath here… allow more air… let go… this is the way the music goes… When we listen to our voice, we have a more harmonious experience with our voice. The relationship shifts and we feel more appreciative, adaptive, and yes, more loving.

6. Listen to your body

When you begin to quiet the ego voice, you will be more aware of your body. Your body is your instrument, and it will reflect your state of being. This includes where you may be limiting yourself, and where you need to grow, expand, and heal. Your only job is to listen and honor the direction it may be offering you. The more you listen to your instrument, the more you honor your voice. 

I hope that you will discover and taste the sweetness of living in harmony with your voice. After dwelling in the lowest place, I feel even more appreciative of the highest, most loving, and most connected place with my voice. And I, too, will continue to follow these steps so that I may continue to build a more trusting, loving, and valued relationship with my voice. 

So just a reminder: your voice is a manifestation of the divine within you. That is worth loving at all costs.

Hugs,

 

allison

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

further reading

the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more
great arises out of small things
great arises out of small things

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel This post could also be entitled: The most unhelpful advice your Ego could ask for. Because let's be honest: we all want Great Things right now. And according to Eckhart Tolle, a remarkable spiritual teacher, the great things are...

read more

the power of mantra in our practice

the power of mantra in our practice

the power of mantra in our practice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

For the past few weeks and months, I have been preparing and planning and executing a deeply personal artistic endeavor. I direct and perform with Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music, and this season we celebrate our tenth anniversary. 

This past weekend I had the intense pleasure of singing in a public space, after months of at-home practice, teaching, and performance. It was quite a lot of pressure, overseeing a live, virtual production with audio editing, video, lighting, and stressful last-minute changes and additions. I also had to sing (and play) a musically- and vocally-rigorous program while wearing a mask! 

There was a steady drumbeat throughout the week leading up to this experience. A mantra that I repeated to myself at any moment I needed to hear it:

I am capable, calm, and joyful.

When I worked on the program, I spoke it. When I stepped into the space, I spoke it. When I stepped into place, I spoke it. 

My experience was instantaneously reflected by the intention of my words reflecting my thoughts. When I pulled out of this precious calm center, I felt myself doubt and wobble. When I stayed present and clear, I succeeded. And when I say succeeded, I mean that I experienced ease, clarity, and joyfulness. And my singing was so much easier. I felt like my voice had wings! It could do whatever I wanted! I felt like a magus, waving my magic wand and weaving a spell, dancing with the words and the music on the page. I felt connected to Source.

The practice of mantra is well-known, and has myriad connotations. In this case, my mantra was also an affirmation. It has been an intense time, and I could have easily succumbed to the pressures all around me. But the project was much too important for my big ego to get in the way and sabotage the experience and the production.

The mantra came forth in my journaling. I wrote it down on a sticky note until I memorized it. It was a phrase that I needed to hear the most, and that would serve me best at that time. 

Your thoughts and words have incredible power. We take this for granted, and we are quite unaware at most times of how we fashion our thoughts. Your singing is the perfect example.

Do you wish to feel in control? Or out of control? Able? Or unable? Clear? Or confused? Connected? Or disconnected?

You drive the thought car. Find your words. Write them down. Repeat them. 

I am _____________, _____________, and _____________.

Watch yourself succeed. (I mean it.)

Hugs,

allison

 

IMAGE: Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash.

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

further reading

Reclaiming your sacred nature
Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day. But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not...

read more
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more
journey of sacred voice expression

journey of sacred voice expression

journey of sacred voice expression

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

The discovery and cultivation of my Sacred Voice has been an exquisite and beautiful journey that I could ever hope to take. It has morphed into an integral aspect of my vocation. As a coach, it is my privilege to lead others on their own, unique telling of this voice journey.

Recently I experienced what some would call a “download” (although I am not fond of this particular expression). I had and felt and knew, in a clear moment, an understanding of the continuum of our experience with our voice. It is called the Journey of Sacred Voice Expression, and it is the experience we have with our Sacred Voice throughout our lifetime.

For me, the Sacred Voice is that personal expression of the divine within: the actual source of your voice. It is the vehicle through which the metaphysical becomes physical, as we emit vibrations sourced from our intentions.

I have written a lot about the joys and potential of the Sacred Voice, as well as the limitations that hinder us from expressing it.

I believe that this paradigm of understanding our voice journey is so helpful, in that we can  know where we fall upon the continuum. By doing so, we have an understanding of where we are, where we are heading, and where we are held back.

Indeed, there are hindrances that we encounter along the journey. (Otherwise, what kind of journey would it be?)

Indeed, discovering and healing these tender places within us are integral to help us to discover the value and beauty of our voice. I believe every one of us has a voice that is deep and powerful, strong with purpose and potential, ready to be claimed.

I see and experience the joys struggles firsthand, walking the stepping stones of my own voice journey, as well as seeing them in the experiences of my students.

Signposts Along the Journey

Why do we desire to move forward on our journey? What do we seek? And why do we deny ourselves the very same?

It is partly unconscious. I believe that our vocal limitations are so normalized, and speaking about them feels taboo. It is not common practice to address the deeply-rooted fears we have in using our voice. 

But I believe it is utterly necessary to allow ourselves the release and freedom that comes from healing and letting go of our deepest fears and shame around our voice. Our fears are self-limitations. They are embedded in various ways throughout our lifetime and beyond. 

If we desire to move further along the journey to greater expression of our voice, to discover and manifest its deeper purpose, then we must heal and release our self-limitations.

Here are the signposts along the Journey of Sacred Voice Expression. Each step along the journey is the fulfillment of several key elements. When we accept and allow these aspects, we live into a deeper experience. We move forward along the journey.

1) Heed your Impulse

Our voice is a natural and authentic expression of our Self. You likely have felt that inner drive to sing and make sound. But we can only express ourselves when we feel safe to sing. When we do, we are primed to deepen our relationship with our voice. And further, when we accept and allow that our voice is:

  • Unique
  • Personal
  • Heartcentered

we are able to move into the next phase.

2) Embody your Instrument

Here we learn about the nature of our voice. Not just its physical properties, but its connection and integration with all parts of our self. When we accept and allow that our voice has:

  • Power
  • Vulnerability
  • Radiance

we move into the next phase.

3) Honor Your Sacredness

Your voice is sacred in nature. It is sourced from the divine, and is so much more than your human body and its physical parts. When we accept and allow:

  • Surrender
  • Freedom
  • Peace

we move into the next phase.

4) Express Your Purpose

What happens when we follow the initial impulse to use our voice, allow its authentic expression, marry it to spirit, and surrender our will to that sacredness within us? When we accept and allow our soul-led expression, we discover:

  • Transcendence
  • Union
  • Potential

Next Steps

The Journey is not fixed. Indeed, it is fluid. Our way is informed by our state of being, state of consciousness, mood, personality swings, and our emotional weather. We may be scared to death one day, and the next discover some ecstatic union with our highest self.

The purpose and goal of laying out this pathway is to better understand where we are on our own path. The journey of discovering our voice can sometimes feel confusing, overwhelming, and rudder-less. I hope that this outlay may help us to define our goals with greater clarity, as well as understand where we may be entangled, and how we can move forward.

If we seek to move forward, to taste and experience the sacredness of our voice, we can. This is one kind of roadmap. May it serve you, Dear One, on your journey of discovery.

Hugs,

allison

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

IMAGE: Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash.

further reading

Reclaiming your sacred nature
Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day. But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not...

read more
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more

“with heart and mouth”

“with heart and mouth”

“with heart and mouth”

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

For the past twenty years, I have been studying and singing the music of medieval visionary Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). Her music and spiritual legacy have been woven into the fabric of my professional life since it began. One of my mountaintop professional moments involved my singing one of Hildegard’s most wildly ecstatic chants on national television for President Obama’s second inaugural prayer service at Washington National Cathedral.

Her music is potent, tapped into a source that is both deep and high. Recently I came across a passage in one of her visions that I wanted to share with you. It struck me so clearly, and is clearly related to the act of singing. She says:

“Praises must be offered unceasingly to the Supernal Creator with heart and mouth…” 

– Hildegard von Bingen from Scivias, Book III, Vision 13

In her vision, Hildegard describes a symphony of heavenly beings that praise the Creator and creation. But I believe, in this quote, she is referrring to us. You and me. Human beings. Music was such a profoundly important aspect of Hildegard’s life, as much as it is for us. And as she channels her vision to us, it is clear that our role, as human music-makers, is to offer praises.

With heart and mouth.

This is elegant and soulful. It resonates with every fiber of my being. I see this as the purpose and function of the Sacred Voice, and its very personal manifestation within our lives. This looks different for each of us.

But let’s be frank. It is woefully easy to become side-tracked. We become so easily distracted!

How can we stay centered on the deeper purpose of our singing?

It is simple, but not easy: we learn how to focus our awareness in order to focus on our purpose. Awareness heightens the senses and calms the thinking mind. It connects us with our instrument, and keeps us focused. It supports our will, when we encounter our fragility.

As I teach in the Studio, we focus our awareness on our heart. The heart is the seat of the Sacred Voice. It is here that we are both connected to our divine source, and here that we experience that longing to praise the very same divinity.

The sacredness of our voice, as I observe and experience and speak of regularly, is easily eclipsed by 1) our distracted minds, and 2) the hurt places within us, covered over by protective emotional armor.

However, that sacredness can be accessed at any time, simply by an awareness practice that instantaneously connects you with your heart center. And your singular, magnificent, deeper purpose.

The heart and mouth are wedded. Your voice is powerful and sacred. I believe our work is not in finding out whether or not our voice is worthy and capable. But rather to allow its innate, divine nature to flourish and flower right here, right now.

Distractions abound. Stay focused, dear One, on your purpose.

Hugs,

allison

welcome to
The Studio!

I’m Allison Mondel, Transformational Voice Coach and big-hearted seeker on a mission to help others discover their innate, brilliant Sacred Voice, and transform their singing and their lives.

further reading

Reclaiming your sacred nature
Reclaiming your sacred nature

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I am trained as a classical musician, still working in the field and meeting the demands of the work in various ways every day. But I have long felt a disconnect from the overly technical approach to vocal training. Please do not...

read more
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)
the one thing to do to succeed (in singing)

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I used to pride myself on being able to manage a million things at once. I'm a MultiTasker! It's on my resume! And lemme tell you, my mind is quick and agile and bouncy, and while this may seem useful (it can be), it is also a major...

read more
clarify your vision for your voice
clarify your vision for your voice

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel  As we have safely landed on the shores of 2021, I have found myself wanting and hungry for the Next Steps. What in the heck should I do now?  However, I know now that I am getting ahead of myself. Because one of the most valuable...

read more