trust is a four-letter word
W R I T T E N B Y Allison Mondel
If I had a nickel for every time I hesitated before I sang, I would be a gajillionaire.
And sheesh, I even know why I do this, and I STILL do this! I am, truly, working on it. And I trust that I am meant to harvest the lessons from this innate hesitation. A balk, a questioning, a wait-a-second, a moment of… mistrust.
Will it come out ok? Will it be what I want? Will it be right? Will it be wrong?
I know that the mind is playing with me. I know that my body is responding to these moments with WAIT! I’M NOT SURE! I even know the solution, for goodness sake. But it’s still a challenge.
How do we cultivate trust in our voice? How can we be sure that what is about to come out is what we both desire and expect?
This is, I believe, one of the most challenging aspects of our singing. This, Dear One, is what we call a soft skill. It is not technical. It is mindful. I call it: Intentionality. It is the third and final pillar of the Sacred Voice framework, as I perceive it.
Trust is cultivated when we set up conditions within ourselves to succeed. Not flail and flounder and fear and feel out of control. But to feel great, to sing great, to feel free of those hand-waving thoughts that are constantly questioning what is coming out of your mouth.
For example, you might be a high soprano, singing some song and you come up to a high note and think, “oh no! this is too high, I can’t sing that” or “oh dear, i’m not sure this is going to work out” or “this is going to be awesome!”
Guess what? Your obedient mind will take the cue and deliver you exactly what you prescribe. So my prescription for you and for me is: get clear about what you desire for your successful outcome. Do you want to have a fearful experience? Or a confident experience?
Unfortunately, we are so conditioned to expect negative outcomes that it feels like quite a leap to expect desired outcomes.
I have been conditioned to expect that my voice is untrustworthy. I know why, and you can certainly read about it in this blog. But now I am partaking in the unfolding process of re-building my trust. It is rather uphill, if you care to know about it. I am confronted everyday with my own mind, and calling it out, and then re-wiring my brain to do something different than the same bloody thing it is used to.
But there is hope. Because the more deeply I trust myself, I draw closer to the sacred within me. My Sacred Voice is no longer just a theoretical/metaphysical construct, but a force and entity within me that is deep and wide and infinitely capable. My re-building trust goes hand in hand with… surrender to my Sacred Voice.
I must surrender my ego and my control and my fear to this beautiful, graceful, gentle presence within me, guiding me and my voice, like a hand at my back, whispering “let go… just let go.”
I am learning to step back. I am learning that by stepping back from control I gain trust. It is, frankly, frustrating. I also see this tendency played out in every aspect of my life, so there is a great deal of complexity and patterning that I am learning to unravel and re-wire in many areas.
Yet what is unfolding is completely marvelous. It is a bit slower than what I would choose, but it unfolds apace.
I am learning that my success depends upon two things:
1) letting go of control in order to build trust, and
2) define my successful outcome.
This comes from one who has known the opposite: lack of trust, over-control, unpredictable and flimsy results.
Well, I’m over it. Starting… now.
I now create an intention for singing with… trust.
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.
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