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How to decondition bad habits ūüėĖ

How to decondition bad habits ūüėĖ

How to decondition bad habits ūüėĖ

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

For a very long time, habits have been my nemesis. I have read many books on the topic, chasing the “good” ones and disdaining the “bad” ones…

When we are young, we have no capacity to discern between them. And so they settle in, for better or for worse. We follow them unconsciously for a while, until one say we say…

“If only I could be better at establishing good habits!”

It applies to:
vocalizing
(things that happen *while* vocalizing)
dish-doing
meditation
cat medication
journaling

But then there are those more toxic habits. They are like unconscious snakes in the grass, waiting to snap at your ankles when you least expect them.

This used to happen to me while singing. They were Thought Habits: conditioned responses to any situation in which I was to share my voice.

My thought habits were pretty insidious. They had settled into my practice for a long time, and I had no idea how full of snakes my untidy lawn had become.

It is typical that in order to finally change our ways, we hit a breaking point. (Or something actually breaks.) I was so done with the thought landscape of my voice that I swore off my bad habits and, well, everything in my life did a 180¬į.

I believe the reason why identifying, setting, and establishing “good” habits is so freaking difficult:

You¬†don’t know who you will be on the other side of the habit.

And at the core of this fear surrounding the dissolution of (crappy, unhelpful, potentially self-destructive) habits is that we are too afraid to claim our own divine potential and true worthiness.

Who ARE you when you are prepared, timely, well-rested, creative, calm, and happy? And your cat is thriving, too?

Who are you when you become a grounded, integrated, focused, divine messenger of love, rather than an overthinking, unhappy, spiky, self-doubting soprano?

Changing your thoughts and actions requires a shift in consciousness. And you have to re-learn what to think and do.

But it only takes a small, simple moment to recognize that you are in a habit rut.

Any habit will begin to shift with recognition. Know when you are engaged in an unhelpful habit. Your understanding will begin to crack the veneer of whatever safety mechanism that habit was engaging for you.

Next comes the will to change. The will to embrace not only higher consciousness, but frankly, a better way. Whether in your singing, or art, or just life in general. 

It all begins with what I call a Sacred YES.

It is your call to action, your divine vow, your stepping through the threshold of fire that says, “I am willing to step into my greater potential (even though I am scared and I don’t know what I’m doing).”

Habits are mutable. They are changing, just as we are. Unconscious thoughts and actions based in fear and ignorance need not run the show. 

When you realize that this is no longer working for you, then make the first change: say YES to a better way.

And from one friend to another: I know that you are worthy and capable of amazing things.

Are you willing to claim that for yourself? 

Prompts for Embracing a Better Way

Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

Is there a pattern in your life, art, or work that you would like to change? 

Why is this holding you back?

What is the source of this habit, pattern, or behavior? Why does it continue?

Are you willing to change? Yes or no?

If no, what is holding you back?

If yes, are you willing to make that Sacred YES right now? 

A Prayer for Personal Growth

Dear God,
Help me to choose a better life.
Help me to rise into my personal greatness.
Help me to loosen the binds of fear that keep me trapped in the spinning wheel of false safety.
I pray that I may be strengthened in mind and will to make sacred change in my life. 
I pray that I may taste the beauty of my precious life when I embrace my true gifts.
I pray that I may embrace my sacred worth and know my infinite potential when I am aligned with You.
Steady my hand and stand at my back as I walk through the sacred portal to claim the potential of my life, and in doing so become more alive.
And so it is. Amen.

Love,

Allison

 

About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker

I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression. 

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Are you a Sacred Rebel?

Are you a Sacred Rebel?

Are you a Sacred Rebel?

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

As a young girl, then a teenager (oy), then a young adult, I would never in one million years have considered myself a “rebel.”

I have excellent manners, listen to instructions, pay my bills on time, do my chores, and do all the Right Things you are meant to do as a well-functioning member of society (and a peaceful household). 

I listened to my parents and my teachers. I followed their advice. And then I listened to my bosses and conductors. I did what was required in order to satisfy (and exceed) the duties of my job.

It wasn’t until I met some kind of externally-imposed restrictions on my creative self-expression that I began to notice there were cracks in this system.

Because don’t ever –¬†ever¬†– tell me what I can and can’t do with my life and art.

This is what I define as a Sacred Rebel: a person who values their authentic personal expression enough to, well, stake their life on it. 

I remember well the moments in my life when I made creative choices based on well-meaning (or outright unhelpful) advice from others. There were two results: total failure and personal misery.

You are a Sacred Rebel if you have ever experienced a rift between A Situation and your personal creative values, and chose to honor yourself rather than compromise those values.

You made a choice to honor your own divinity.

But being a Sacred Rebel can be totally uncomfortable. It doesn’t come with life rules! Your choices will test you. And you run the risk of bumping up against the fear of what “other people might think” all the goddamn time.

If you think about it, this makes total sense. You have been conditioned to be a good listener, make sensible choices, and not stick your neck out so your head won’t get chopped off!

Thus, when we make choices to honor our own pathway, there is an inherent friction between our personal will and societal norms. Let’s acknowledge that.

But here is the deal, my Sacred Rebel friend… your unique, personal, divine makeup is the most important thing about you.

You were created as a sacred being with a most interesting set of defining characteristics, plopped on this planet in order to co-create an awesome life, add sacred value, and help others.

The lessons we learn to differentiate ourselves, to define our values, and to claim our creative and personal freedoms are not easy. Nay, we will bump into ancient structures that remind us that we should be ashamed of ourselves for wanting and (God forbid!) asking for something else.

But you always have a choice: to follow society’s old-school rules about your life, what you are capable of, and are permitted to create… or to honor your voice and spirit, step into your magical Self, and create something worth living for.

I honor all Sacred Rebels. I know the choices you have made are beyond hard. But seriously, how could it be any other way?

Prompts for Honoring Your Values

Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

Can you recall a Situation in which you encountered a compromise to your creative values?

How did you respond? What transpired from that situation?

What would you have done differently?

What do you choose now as a response to honor your own values?

What act of forgiveness can you make in order to set yourself free from any emotional burden of this situation?

A Prayer for Sacred Rebels

Dear God,
Help me to believe in myself.
Help me to stand behind myself, as I know You stand behind me at all times, and in all things.
Help me step courageously into my true nature, shining with the inner light of Your love.
Help me burn up my fears and worries of what others may think, so that I may turn my attention to the divine work of co-creation with You and the Muses.
I honor my choices, they guide my pathway.
I honor my mistakes, they offer enlightenment.
I honor my pathway, for it leads to the fulfillment my highest calling.
Shore up my faith.
Stoke my inner fire.
Secure my courage.
Lead me through the sacred threshold of life to honor You as I honor myself, created by You, and co-creating with You.
And so it is. Amen.

Love,

Allison

 

 

About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker

I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression. 

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Transitions can be hard.

Transitions can be hard.

Transitions can be hard.

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

One of the most exciting moments I experience as a voice coach comes when a student encounters what I call “The Wobble.”

It’s when their voice goes all wonky as they learn something new. The Wobble¬†happens when an old habit meets a new habit.

Alas for any student who has to forebear this kind of transition. This kind of learning can be wildly uncomfortable, especially if you are holding on tightly to your Old habit.

Because when you transition into something New, you are going to meet resistance. You inherently tighten your grip onto the Old because that is familiar and predictable.

Even if it is flagrantly wrong, dissatisfying, or unhelpful! Super fun.

I will admit, Wobbles are pretty straightforward in music-making, yet slightly harder to identify in real life! (Oy.) 

Yet, if you are willing to have the grace, patience, and tolerance to accept what is happening, you will better understand your tendencies, and your Self. And there will be less frustration, suffering, and intolerance of the unfolding that is your natural growth and evolution. 

And when you are ready to move ahead and claim more freedom, beauty, and abundance (in your creative life, or otherwise), you will need to let go of the Old, and allow the New.

It’s the transition process, a natural part of any creative unfolding. But I gotta tell you, it’s not easy. And we are not taught how to be graceful Transitioners.¬†

But when you gain greater awareness of the transition situation you are in, when you understand what is happening, you have the option to practice radical acceptance of what is really unfolding…

You are disrupting the Old so the New may enter in. That is sometimes scary and hard. But utterly necessary for evolution.

The key to transitions?

Watch, rather than push.
Feel, rather than know.
Allow, rather than resist.

Do pay attention to The Wobble. It’s an indication that something amazing is on the way…

 

 

Guided Prompts for Transition

Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

What are you ready to let go of, whether that is with your voice, your creativity, or in your life?

What do you choose to embrace?

What resistance do you feel or sense as you move from the Old to the New?

Why is this resistance coming up for you?

What do you need to let go of in order to move into this new phase?

 

 

A Prayer for Transitions

Dear Creator,
Please support and guide me as I make a change in my life.
May my pathway be clear, may my heart be full, and my footsteps be light.
May I see clearly what is to come.
Please grant me the grace, patience, and tolerance to accept what is, so that I may allow this new phase of personal and creative growth enter in with greater ease.
May I remain grounded and sure-footed as I step into the New.
May I have faith and trust in the good that is coming to me, as I dissolve the controlling binds to what has already come.
May I embrace the future, the magic it will hold, and the greater love that will be expressed.
Thank you for my life, and for the opportunity to live awakened and with a whole heart.
May I celebrate you through my gifts.
May I celebrate this current transition as I up-level my capacity to serve You, and the world, in love.
And so it is. Amen.

Love,

Allison

About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker

I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression. 

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Navigating the Messy Middle.

Navigating the Messy Middle.

Navigating the Messy Middle.

W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel

There is a place between your desire and its culmination. I call it the Middle.

Otherwise known as in progress, in process, undergoing, unfolding, happening, rolling out, you get the idea.

Years ago when I was a student, I was impatient for my voice to hurry up and get better. I had a big recital to sing! I had a career to get going! I had to figure this out, and quick!

My dear, wise friend Robert saw my struggle, looked at me, and said, “Alls, it’s a process.

Well, process-schmocess was my response at the time. No one has the time to just sit around and WAIT for mastery. (Ah, the folly of youth!)

Of course, what I know now (and sometimes still don’t accept!) is that the Middle is a place that we live in all the time. Here how it works.

You have a desire. You dare to state that to the Universe.
{ MIDDLE STARTS }
You remain open to the process.
You receive guidance on how to proceed.
You respond by taking the actions necessary to see your desire fulfilled.
{ MIDDLE ENDS }
Your desire is fulfilled.
Repeat.

It’s a process. Like something else I know really well, the creative process.

Your life is a creation. 

However, what gets really sticky is the in-between bits. The waiting. The unfolding. The crafting. The pivoting. The excitement. The mistrust. The crazy thoughts. The revelations. The frustration. The fear. The guilt. 

Depending on your personality or the context, that Middle part might be deeply rewarding, or positively excruciating.

But let me cut to the chase: the Middle becomes Messy when we meet the places in which we are challenged to outgrow.

I’m not gonna lie: meeting your fears, de-conditioning your fear-based programming, and living into a new life usually falls into the Messy category.

It’s new. It’s hard. it’s strange. It’s real. It’s life.

But here is the medicine: the process of actualizing your desires does not have to be some form of torture. When you understand that the pathway to seeing your desire manifest in your life is, in fact, a spiritual creative process, you know that all is actually unfolding perfectly.

I don’t mean that it is easy all the time. We are constantly invited to grow. Which means we are going to meet an edge if you ask for something new in your life.

But we spend most of our time in the Middle.¬†It’s the creative unfolding of your amazing life, work, and art. We are invited and called to trust the process.

 

Guided Prompts for Acceptance of the Creative Journey

Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness.  Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.

What is the most urgent desire you have in your life right now?

How are you currently responding to that desire? 

Take a moment to step back and ask: am I responding with my ego, or my spirit?

What are you resisting in this process of unfolding?

Can you radically accept where you are at this very moment?

Prayer for Being in the Process

Dear Creator,
I pray for support in the unfolding process of my life. 
May I be open to guidance.
May I be clearly guided.
May my response to life be wholehearted and courageous.
May I grow in trust, courage, and steadfastness as I walk the pathway of my desire.
Help me to accept the place that I am in at this moment, with the knowledge that all will change, grow, and evolve according to divine plan.
Help me to move through the places in which I am most bound by fear, so that I may be more alive with every passing day.
May my work and life be in honor to you, and in honor of my own miraculous life. 
Thank you for all that I have, and all that I have learned. 
Help me create the life of my dreams, so that the world may be blessed by my works which flow from love.
And so it is. Amen.

Love,

Allison

About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker

I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression. 

You may be interested in…
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read more
How to define your voice.
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W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel Think back to the last time you were about to start singing something. What was the first thought that came to your mind?I hope this comes out ok.Don't do it wrong.What will they think of my voice?Is there enough ________?Am I doing...

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A solution to transcend worry.
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W R I T T E N  B Y  Allison Mondel I'm sitting in a room full of unopened packing boxes in my new home.It's been a time of rapid upheaval and change in my family's life. My back aches from lifting and my mind is cluttered (just like my new dining room).Yesterday I...

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