the power of mantra in our practice

— November 24, 2020 —

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.)




IMAGE: Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash.

Allison Mondel
Allison Mondel is a musician, philosopher, advocate, and mentor. Her greatest delight is to understand how things work, and share her hard-won wisdom with others. She writes about the higher nature of music and the voice, alchemizing personal roadblocks, and the pursuit of one's creative vocation.

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