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Episode # 344   Tom Cronin

About The Episode:

Today on The Inspiration Show, Natalie Ledwell speaks with founder of ‘The Stillness Project’, Tom Cronin. Tom joins Natalie to discuss his amazing journey from being a wealthy (but suicidal) ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ banker, to fulfilling his mission in life, which is to spread calm and stillness across the globe as a meditation coach. During the show, Tom explains the importance of practicing meditation, even for a few minutes a day, and its powerful and restorative benefits. He shares that many people think of meditation as a way to awaken their minds, but they sometimes don’t realize that meditation can have as much of an impact within our bodies, as this is where we hold stress, pain and fatigue, impeding our ability to feel love, joy and bliss. He also reveals the details of his upcoming film, in which he aims to inspire people to join him in a global meditation.

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Episode # 344 Tom Cronin

Natalie: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today, my guest is coming to us all the way from Australia and has a really interesting story, very inspiring story of how he went through such a really high profile and very well paying career to create this new movement and encouraging over a billion people around the world to meditate. So, to share more about his story and his journey, please welcome, Tom Cronin. How are you, Tom?

Tom: Yeah, it’s great to be. Thanks, Natalie. I’m very well, thanks.

N: Awesome. Great to be tuning to you and seeing you again. Tom was actually on the show quite a while ago, actually. So for those who haven’t seen the show and not familiar with your story and your journey, can you us how you got from such an amazing and very high profile career to what you’re doing now?

T: Yes, but it could have been a shift over time, I mean I started out when I was 19, I was the young punk in the streets in a money-breaking industry, then we started joining (1:04). We actually started joining John (1:07) from Wall Street on the very same year in 1997. We started our job. He was 22 and I was 19. My life was very similar to his back then. It was pretty crazy times, you know, so young made a lot of money in (1:20) industry. What happened at that time was things got out of balanced for me. I managed to get really quite stressed. I had what you probably call a nervous breakdown, a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, depression and so I thought if this is just not working for me and I don’t to go to all these therapy and take all these drugs and that was the problem. So I decided to look into meditation and it was really a transformational experience for me. I did research on the different techniques but there was one particular style meditation that really worked for my transformation and from there I was half fly right out the rabbit hole. I explored further and further down from that space and into consciousness, spirituality and (2:05). I studied in (2:07) and eventually became a teacher and I was teaching part-time while I was a broker, actually went back to my career and had a 26-year career in finance and end up just so drawn to changing people’s lives. What I was seeing with my life and other people’s lives that I was teaching I end up saying this is something that I had to do full time and that’s when I decided to walk away from a half a million dance in finance and teaching people how to meditate full time, across the world through the stillness project.

N: So you are obviously incorporating your meditative process through, while you were still working in finance, so how did that change the way that you viewed your job and how did your health changed because of that?

T: Yeah. It was really interesting. I went from an industry that was back then in the 80s and the 90s, so I was really built on partying and going hard and I was really challenged with how I was going to merge this two worlds. Here I am a non-drinking, non-drug taking, meditating broker that was like someone that was alien to the rest of the industry. But what I found is a whole new paradigm to the industry, a whole new model that was rather than taking clients to all crazy sort of bars, we are not going to too much detail but rather than doing that why not take them and their wives to the opera or go to yoga (3:33) retreat and then go surfing. I just had a very different approach to how we related to clients. I think that led to my great deal of success was that I brought a new model to the industry and it was all about sustainability and representing something that was inspirational.

N: Yeah. In the 90s it was when Glen and I had a night club in Sydney, so (overlaps with guest) ended up there as well.

T: Yeah, I should have put my credit card behind the bar.

N: Exactly. (laughs) I just want to ask you a bit of a personal question, did you feel like there was a disconnect or a bit of a conflict between your career and what you were teaching on the side?

T: Yeah, a lot of people ask me about that because I sort of (4:24) two worlds making money and spirituality (4:28) and in actual fact is what I teach is a very integrated, holistic and, you don’t (4:34) and when I say (4:36) we immediately kind of think of sex. It is a tantric meditation course that I teach and that’s one that is all inclusive. So, (4:44) itself is an all-inclusive understanding about reality but nothing is good or bad, everything’s just cause and effect. Money itself isn’t bad. Making money isn’t bad, it’s what we do, how we go about making it. It’s really about reaching maximum potential. What I teach with meditation is that this is not about renouncing the world so you can find inner peace, this is about reaching your maximum potential through having creative expression, doing great things and using the money that you make to build water wells in Africa or build schools in Kenya. That was really about changing that model of spirituality and meditation and that’s what I bring. It’s a very integrated worldly view about meditation and what you can experience through the other meditation practices.

N: Great! Okay, so what is your meditation practice and what do you recommend to people?

T: Yeah, there are so many different ways to meditate. It could be walking. It could be swimming. It could be singing in a cave. Meditating for 10 hours a day, so what I’ve been practicing for 20 years and what I really found transformation for me was a transcending style of meditation where you use a particular mantra and there are different mantras but the mantras we use for this meditation are specific mantras that, they’re called (6:03) mantras. They quiet their mind down into a place where the (6:07) mind will transcend that goes beyond thinking where we let go of the mantra and let go thinking altogether because it found something more charming and that sweet blissful nectar that applies when it immerses in fully pure consciousness where the mind become still. So different from contemplation, meditations where you are contemplating an idea or intention setting or having affirmations, that’s still thinking and they are still very powerful but it is still in that realm of thought. Concentrations meditation is about using force to still the mind and they can take quite a long time because in our lifestyle our mind is conditioned to be very, very active and for reasons we need it to be. With the transcending style of meditation I found that I could get into quite deeply, quite quickly. So 20 minutes morning, 20 minutes afternoon I sit on my chair, close my eyes, repeat my mantra (7:03) or I just need to experience that very nice gentle restfulness. Sometimes I would go into what we call the delta brainwave state which is a (7:11) transcendence where the mind becomes still. Very simple but very accessible, you know, I do it on buses, I do it in parked cars, I do it in borders, I do it in churches. I’ve done it in public toilets. Wherever I can close my eyes 20 minutes, 15, 20 minutes, this morning I was down the beach took one there. So you know, it’s just a very easy and accessible practice.

N: Cool. So I know that you’ve been working quite a few people, you do classes and workshops and things, share some of the stories of some people that you’ve worked with that you’ve seen really amazing changes.

T: Yeah, it just never ceases to amaze me from moms and dads and school kids and high-profile CEOs. I’ve worked with some top CEOs in Australia in major insurance companies and (8:02) and radio stations. It’s constant how many beautiful stories come out. I would like to share one lovely story of a lovely German lady that came on our retreat. We’re running a retreat in Hawaii for a couple of weeks and take two or three trips a year, one in Bali and one in Hawaii, and this German lady she was the mother in law of one of the people coming on the trip she thought of just coming to read books and sit on the pool. She had no idea about meditating. She was 75 years old (8:28) Germany and she just came down and I said, this is the program that I’m going to put you on, just a little bit of yoga when you do some meditation and she was like, oh, I don’t know about this, this is not for me. The first night, she did the program and then the next morning she came in her eyes were (8:44) red and she looked a wreck, I must admit but like, how did it go and how are you feeling? She goes, I did not sleep all night. I had not slept. I cried the whole night. Wow, that was pretty intense, see how you go the next day, just keep doing the program, we’ll get through this. Next morning, she goes, I did not sleep again. I’ve just been crying the whole night. Well, keep going with the program because we’re releasing all our sadness here. There’s a lot of sadness that you’re holding to your body that needs to come out. And by the third morning she came in and she was beaming. Her eyes were clear and she was (9:18) and it was amazing. It’s incredible to see this woman go through just a few days of transformation and by the end of it she can see in our retreat a video announcing the stillness project and she said, you know, for the first time in my life, I live without depression and I feel like a butterfly, you set me free and I say that time and time again where we just transform people’s lives within days and I’ve seen that with (9:46). I had a German running a hotel chain in Africa and to learn this meditation within days he completely turned his life around and make an incredible change. It was just wonderful to see how much it does really affect people’s lives.

N: Yeah. So what do you think is the catalyst as to why this happens, so like you sit down for 20 minutes to meditate and you change your life? Why does that transformation happen?

T: Yeah, that’s a really good question because if we think of meditation it’s like you’re becoming spiritually awaken. What I teach is this is more of your physiology more than anything else. This is much in fact your body because your body is the thing that’s holding on to all the stresses and it’s impeding your ability to feel the bliss, to feel the joy and the love. Your ability to feel love, joy and bliss it’s always there in your physiology. It’s just that our bodies are so distorted from fatigue and stored stresses that it (10:46) some scars. (10:50) scar is a stress or imprint from the previous experience that’s held within the body and this creates some distortions and in meditation what happens is the willing mind becomes quiet metabolically as your body is a printout of your mind, physiology drops into the state of rest that’s about four times deeper than sleeping and some meditation practices that’s in gamma or beta brainwave frequency. When the mind is that still, your body being awake and conscious yet not having thoughts is metabolically in such a state of rest that that’s where it activates the healing process. We have this wonderful intelligence down in our body down to the cellular level wherein it knows how to heal, it knows how to operate at the highest level, it knows how to reorganize itself given the proper environment and meditation is the one space that can get deep enough in that metabolic state of rest that activates that healing process. So, for me personally, classic story, I had, clinically-diagnosed depression, panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia and eventually I developed agrophobia – I couldn’t leave the house. So they wanted me to go to the top therapists and take anti-depressants and all sorts of things and I decided not to do that. I thought that there was another way and I started doing meditation technique just 20 minutes morning, 20 minutes afternoon, that’s all I did, nothing else, no therapy, no drugs and literally within weeks all that anxiety, all that depression, all that insomnia it just simply dissolved away and my body regained itself back to its natural state and then it actually went further, it went a whole lot further. So not only did I normalize depression and anxiety, insomnia which is the extreme imbalances and distortions, what it did was it got back to the middle once it removed those, and then it took the leap forward into having extreme levels of joy and bliss and love and creativity. That’s something that we don’t want to just get back to, hey, I’m here I’m back to average, I’m feeling okay because you can go and have it all. You can get to the ultimate and that’s what we call the ultimate purpose in life (12:54)

N: Awesome. I know it’s such an amazing movement that you started and I know that you’ve also been working on a film as well. Tell us a little bit about that.

T: Yes, (13:05) the stillness project and that’s really about inspiring a billion people to meditate. We don’t only inspire to meditate, we want to get the tourists to actually learn how to do that. So, e-meditation courses will be a part of that program. We’re hoping a different number of meditation styles and techniques that people can access and having the tools to access meditation is a really big part of the stillness project, (13:27) inspiration alone. We had an email from someone (13:31) Finland the other day that said, you changed my life when you told me to meditate which is wonderful to hear. And then a part of that is also a film that we’re making at the moment, we’re working with (13:42), the director of The Secret and we’ve got a wonderful production crew that we’re putting together something truly magnificent. So, can’t tell you too much about that but it will be all about incredible (13:54) potential and that’s going to come out soon. (13:57) how that’s starting to shape.

N: I know. I’m very excited about it as well. I always love it when (overlaps with guest) Aussies get up here and do it you know. (laughs)

T: Yeah, totally. (laughs)

N: Well Tom we’ve run out of time. It was awesome having you in the show today.

T: (overlaps with Natalie) to be here.

N: They want to find out about you, connect with you, find out about you, your programs and everything where can we send them?

T: I think we just send them to the link over here that’s on the page and they can learn how to access this meditation programs and really not just remove the anomalies in their lives, and actually experience truly the magnificence and the rapturous beauty that they truly are by tapping into the exquisiteness and that stillness that they can get through meditation. So I think the best thing to be is just to go to the link that’s on the page now and it will take you straight from there.

N: Awesome. And guys, you can click on the banner you’ll go straight through to Tom’s website from there. So thanks again, Tom, it’s been awesome chatting with you today.

T: (14:53) Great to be here. Thanks, Natalie.

N: Awesome. Now guys I encourage you to share this video and the information and you can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. Also, make sure you download the app so that you can watch the shows on the go and leave your email on the box in this page because I would love to send you the manifesting with the masters video e-course. It is actually valued at $87 and I would love to send it to you for free. So until next time remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon.

Tom Cronin