to err is human

— April 21, 2021 —

I have mastered the art of “Don’t let ’em see you sweat.” That’s easy. That’s what you learn in professional training: the art of illusion.

What I have not mastered is the art of Not Sweating.

Have you? What do you sweat about?

I sweat about, oh God, the same thing I always do: sounding nice.

Seriously. After allllll this time and work and care and thought and healing and tears and journaling and practice and blog posts and coachings.

Do I sound… nice?

At present I find myself on the opposite end of a recent production in which I masterminded every artistic element with intentionality and purpose. Except my own performance. That was left utterly to chance, to improv, to trust that my decades of skill-building and half-decent form would lead the way, and I could breeze through without a drop of sweat.

My friend, that did not happen.

No one can see me sweating, that is my magic trick. But if my thoughts were any indication, I was swimming in anxiety, trying to settle my nerves, get back into my body (which had left the building, maybe I wore the wrong shoes?), and get present enough to draw on my very abundant inner resources for having a beautiful experience.

But the mind hijacked the situation: do I sound nice?

What would your mind say?


The mind is compensating.

This lesson is so big that it is difficult to contain.

There is so much power running through our vocal circuits, that we do not know how to hold space, so we short out. We are overwhelmed. The mind shorts our circuits. It is protecting us from the “discomfort” of our own power.

I guarantee you that is exactly what happened in my own situation. I felt like a lightning rod of creativity and vitality and adrenaline and sacredness. But the best I could come up with was… does this sound nice?

How banal!

But it worked. I faltered and stumbled. I was left with that feeling of “If only I… (practiced more. learned my lesson. didn’t have that stupid f&%^ing mask. wasn’t singing in a pandemic. wore a different dress. thought this through. wasn’t so lazy.)”

And not only do I have to wince as I listen to the results, but I have to share this on the internet for Planet Earth to hear me sweat.

It takes a huge heaping dose of Inner Grace to understand what really occurs in these moments of absolute humanness: we must falter in order to grow. We must accept the  seemingly intolerable discomfort of the learning process, because there is only one way to go. We must walk through the fire of our ego’s matrix of self-protections.

Because on the other side we meet our divine purpose.

I, too, am learning how to inhabit a vessel of immense sacred power, as I learn how to use my voice. It is an educational cycle: we learn and re-learn the same lessons as we continue to up-level, evolve, and live into that elusive purpose that is right under our noses.

The lesson is always kinder, deeper, and broader than it seems.

So the next time you start sweating, recognize the mind’s banter. Then ask yourself:
What is my soul trying to bring forth through my voice?

My follow-up question to you is: are you willing to let some of that out here on Planet Earth?



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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