Inspired Evolution


Tom Cronin on Stillness, Meditation & Meaningful Living

Our guest for this week is Tom Cronin, leadership and transformational coach, meditation teacher, author, speaker, film producer, and founder of ‘The Stillness Project’.

About Tom

Tom spent 26 years in finance markets as one of Sydney’s leading bond and swap brokers. He discovered meditation in the early stages of his career, when the anxiety and chaos he was experiencing had hit a crisis point, and it completely transformed his world, both personally and professionally.

In 2013, he founded ‘The Stillness Project’, a global movement to inspire one billion people to sit in stillness daily. Tom is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives. His ongoing work in transformational leadership and cultivating inner peace through meditation takes him around the world hosting retreats, mentoring, presenting keynote talks, and teaching. 

Tom also produced and co-wrote ‘The Portal’, a film/book experience about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift. This experiential documentary brings to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma. The movie was released in September 2019 as yet another testament to his commitment to the current planetary shift.

Connect with Tom:

In This Episode We Canvas:

  • The Distinction Between the Ego and Presence

Tom is renowned for his work with meditation and right from the start, we get into the question of presence, which is one of the fundamental components of his teachings. He explores the differences between the Ego and the Presence and already we can see the dynamics of how meditation helps us improve the quality of our life.

“In each moment there’s just Consciousness or Presence or Awareness, that is here, and then there’s also, depending on how engaged, involved or developed it is, is the Egoic Identity that’s in this experience as well… The Ego is consistently identified by the world around it… The Presence itself is completely unmoved. It’s just watchfulness. Complete, unjudged, unbiased… uninfluenced watchfulness of this experience.” - Tom Cronin

  • What Is Enlightenment?

Tom breaks down the beautiful game that we play when we try to “achieve” enlightenment and he does it in such a beautiful, almost poetic fashion. The fact is “reaching”, “achieving” or “attaining” is actually the aspect that leaving us misguided.

“It’s the nature of the universe to be everything and know everything at all times but to be able to forget that as well. And be curious about trying to find and remember that. It’s just a fascinating game that we play in the rediscovering of what we already are. The enlightenment isn’t something that we find, the enlightenment is the rediscovering of what we already, innately, are. - Tom Cronin

  • Seeking Fulfillment Vs. What We’re Actually Getting

Tom invites us to reflect on whether our actions are leading us to what we’re trying to achieve. He also makes an observation regarding the current state of the world that we’re living in and concludes that even though, materially, we’re better off than ever before, it still hasn’t done much to help us get what is really important, which is fulfillment.

“What we have to ask ourselves is, is our action giving us what we’re seeking, giving us fulfillment? Is it giving us the ultimate destination, what we’re actually trying to find?... There’s a distinct separation between what we’re seeking and what we’re getting.” - Tom Cronin

  • How Vibrations Tend to Sync and Align

We’ve mentioned vibrations a few times over the course of our conversation, but here Tom explains how a certain tendency towards synchronization between these vibrations can help people change their life for the better.

“There is a synchronization that happens on a vibrationary level… If your vibration starts to shift from fear, anger, rage, guilt, shame, all that sort of stuff, very low frequencies… And through meditation, you’re clearing out all of these low energies you’re moving your energy up into, sort of, more lovingness, more calmness, more joyfulness, a totally different frequency scale… Then you’re going to naturally, start to want to align your actions to something of similar vibration.” - Tom Cronin

  • The ‘Seeker, Finder, Sharer’ Sequence

Tom describes a sequence that depicts a journey of personal growth and transformation that most people go through.

“The first thing that you do when you walk into a dark room is you climb around looking for the light… Eventually, after seeking for a while, you find the light switch… You find some way of making your life lighter and more illuminated… And then the next stage in the sequence is once you find that it’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, other people might want this as well!’” - Tom Cronin

  • Why Meditation Should Be Interpreted as a Device

There are numerous practices that can help us improve our mental health and well-being. Still, Tom insists we should consider them to be devices that allow us to access the truly powerful stuff that’s already there, within us. He also warns about the potential negative effects that can appear if we create a dependent relationship with our practices.

“There’s so much spiritual superiority on certain practices, thinking that they’re the best and this is the only way… The practice is really just a device. It’s like a cast that is giving you the ability to experience you. It just stabilizes things. It stills things. It calms the mind so that you can experience what, inherently, is already there behind the noise of the mind.” - Tom Cronin

Tom’s Message of Inspired Evolution

This conversation with Tom has been such a deep and insightful experience about a bunch of things fundamental to the human experience with frequent expeditions into the meta. I love how Tom is so open-minded, how he welcomes other points of view and how he underlines the fact that the true power is not in the practice but in ourselves.

“One of the simplest things I think we can do is to start meditating... I don’t want to go out and try to have all the answers to solving the world’s problems, but if I could just inspire more people to meditate then I think we’ll probably start to find that a lot of those problems will start resolving themselves.” - Tom Cronin

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Tania De Jong on The Medicine of Creativity

Our guest for this week is Tania de Jong, Acclaimed Australian soprano, award-winning social entrepreneur, global speaker, spiritual journeywoman and creative innovation authority.About TaniaTania is one of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs and innovators. She has developed 5 businesses to this day and continues to be a marvelous agent of change. In 2009, she founded the ‘Creative Universe’, an organization with a goal to help develop creative leaders and build a culture of innovation.Around that same time, she created ‘Creative Innovation Global’ which offers conferences, master classes, deep conversations, performances, and other special events in an effort to promote new strategies and techniques for creative leadership and innovation.Aside from being a successful entrepreneur, Tania is renowned for her charity work and has founded 3 charity organizations so far. She co-founded her most recent organization with her husband back in 2018. It’s called ‘Mind Medicine Australia’ and it aims to create a new paradigm for mental health through the development of regulatory-approved and research-backed psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in Australia.Her singing career is also sensational. She has released 7 albums with her acclaimed singing group Pot-Pourri and released 3 solo albums. Throughout her career, she has sung in many different languages including Spanish, French, Latin, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Yiddish, and Hebrew. For this episode, Tania prepared a sweet surprise for the Inspired Evolution Tribe - 10% off of all her music albums! Visit her website here and use the promo code 'INSPIRED' to get your discount!On her impressive list of public recognitions, you can find awards such as Ernst and Young Australian Social Entrepreneur of the Year, the ‘Outstanding Individual Contribution to Australian Culture’, Churchill Fellowship, and The Melbourne Award. She was also inducted into the AGSE Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame at Swinburne University and named Brainlink Woman of Achievement.Today’s episode is a two-parter and it has a segment of the third and final interview from the ‘Get Hacked Get Hi’ conference held in November 2019! Enjoy!Connect with Tania:LinkedIn: This Episode We Canvas:Creativity and Problem-SolvingTania is an expert on creativity and she demonstrates that a lot of us have certain illusions when it comes to the question of being creative. She makes a really cute demonstration by bringing up a person from the audience and in doing so, raises the vibration of the entire room. What a way to get started!“One of the mistakes that I think people make is that creativity is about the arts. That it’s about painting or drawing or doing ballet… Creativity is also about solving problems. All of us are creative, solving problems.” - Tania de JongInnovation and Why We Desperately Need ItShe continues to explain what we can use our creativity for. Applied creativity is innovation and we can use it to make real contributions to our society. And we could definitely use a wave of those contributions right now.“Innovation is the next part of that stage. So creativity, coming up with a lot of different ideas, solving problems, and then innovation is turning those ideas into something of value. Which doesn’t have to be of commercial value it could be of social value. And social value is exactly what we need right now in a world of increasing social and economic problems.” - Tania de JongWhy It’s OK to F.A.I.L.Tania tells a story about her grandmother invented the first foldable umbrella, which is an incredible tale. You should definitely tune in to hear more about it. We touch on the notion of failing in this section and Tania offers a wonderful acronym that will help us maintain the right perspective.“I like to think of ‘F.A.I.L.’ as ‘First Attempt In Learning…’ That really is the secret of entrepreneurship and creativity. Is going through that fear of failure. ” - Tania de JongCreative Abrasion and Positive Human CollisionsThe true potential for learning from our social interactions is in our diversity. In this section, Tania talks about ‘positive human collisions’ and explains why they’re a necessity for efficient personal growth and transformation.“Our greatest gains as human beings are when we connect to people who are really different from us...You get that set of life experiences through connecting with people… who challenge you, who disagree with you… But it’s in that moment when you experience what’s called ‘creative abrasion’ and you feel that discomfort that really true creativity and innovation can spark. And I like to call that ‘positive human collision.’” - Tania de JongHow Does Singing Together Help Us Grow?At the end of our conversation at the ‘Get Hacked Get Hi’ conference, Tania shares some insights around the benefits of group singing and how it affects our brains. This section ends on a really high note and I can’t urge you enough to go and check it out!“The research shows that when we sing with other people we literally become smarter, healthier, happier, more creative. Our memory, language and concentration improve, our brains become neuroplastic, our neural pathways start to connect in new and different ways and it literally gets us high.” - Tania de JongThe Disconnection EpidemicThis is one of our frequent topics but it’s always lovely to hear different perspectives on it. We talk about the disconnection epidemic at length and Tania offers some really cool suggestions for what might be able to help us bridge that gap.“People are feeling more and more disconnected. They don’t feel part of anything anymore, they don’t feel a sense of meaning and purpose. And they’re playing out their lives on social media but it’s unreal, it’s not actually something that’s truly meaningful… We need to work out what bringing back community and family and a sense of connection is really about. And we can probably use ancient wisdom and ancient modalities to bring us back to ourselves and to really connect with others and the planet so that we can feel a sense of purpose and service.” - Tania de JongCreativity as a Form of Survival and ThrivingI don’t think that there’s a better way to top off this amazing conversation centered around creativity. Tania reflects on her grandmother’s journey once again and explains how creativity can lead us from the most difficult of times into a life of service.“Once you use creativity to survive the hard times, you can then use it to thrive, then you can use it to become generous and of service.”- Tania de JongTania’s Message of Inspired EvolutionIf you’re looking to learn more about creativity, look no further! Definitely check out this episode because Tania’s diverse experience that comes from entrepreneurship, social change projects, and art allows for some incredible insights into the power of the creative process. She is truly an inspiration and I’m so grateful we were able to create this episode together. The conversation is also themed around servitude and how we can achieve that stage. Creativity is absolutely one of the most amazing ways of stepping into a life of service. I hope Tania’s story encourages you to explore your creative self.“Once you’ve got through your hard obstacle… and you come out the other end, you feel a greater sense of light and purpose. And it’s from that place that you can give to others. - Tania de Jong

Rajesh Setty on The Art of Living

Our guest for this week is Rajesh Setty, entrepreneur, author, and teacher, based in Silicon Valley.About RajeshRajesh loves to bring ideas to life, whether it’s building startups, writing books or sharing his ideas on stage. He is the co-founder of multiple startups in both the United States and in India. For years, he’s been doing amazing work as a business coach and mentor while also being an award-winning teacher at The Founder Institute.One of his latest projects is called ThinkBook, a series of books created to help people cultivate the habit of possibility thinking. The company was founded in 2019 and its unique design contains thinking, networking and gratitude lists. You can learn more about the product here!Rajesh is also a renowned and incredibly productive author. He has written and published fifteen books so far with his first book being published when he was only 13 years old. Another testament to his love of writing is his blog which has nearly 2000 blog posts! His articles have been published in places such as Huffington Post and VentureBeat, to name a few.One of Rajesh’s passion projects is called Napkinsights and we’ve also discussed in our conversation. It’s a collection of wonderful insights that can fit on the back of a paper napkin. He’s published over 2000 Napkinsights and you can check some of them out here!Connect with Rajesh:Facebook: This Episode We CanvasWhen Is Failure Useful for Personal Growth?There is a lot of talk about how failure is good for us. Numerous quotes and stories from celebrities and top-level athletes are a testament to the fact that in order to succeed we have to fail first so that we would learn how not to. But Rajesh adds to the conversation by making a key distinction between the type of failure that is useful to us and the other one which is only hurting us. In order for failure to truly be beneficial for personal growth, it needs to come with the dedication and not from lack of concentration or diminished motivation. We really have to be willing to give it a go.“As long as you’re growing… failure is good. But if your failure is because you don’t want to try hard enough… it won’t help. The failure has to be on the edges of your comfort zone. Only then, it is growth.” - Rajesh SettyThe Greatest Competitive Advantage a Person Can HaveThis section is one of the most profound dissections of how to build a successful life. With this next quote, all the while explaining each and every component meticulously, Rajesh provides us with a perspective that will guide our professional development and give exponential boosts to our growth.“It is your ability to give meaningful gifts, at scale, at a very low incremental cost to you.” - Rajesh SettyHow Helping Others Can Increase Your Art of SucceedingBuilding on his previous statement, Rajesh continues to explain why his suggestion of the essential competitive advantage actually works. Once again the power of collaboration and teamwork comes to our attention, this time in the context of career development.“When you truly give a meaningful gift, the giver feels like reciprocating back. Now, if you’re doing this at scale… that means they all want to reciprocate back to you. What does that mean? You will have an oversupply of good help. That is how you increase the Art of Succeeding.” - Rajesh SettyBuilding Contextual Expertise for Conceptual KnowledgeRajesh shares his thoughts on why it’s important to practice your skills in different situations. His viewpoint is that this is the best way to take your expertise to the next level, by learning to apply conceptual knowledge in all kinds of contexts quickly and effectively.“As you build your contextual expertise for conceptual knowledge that you have, you become extremely powerful. Why? Because you become a ninja on patterns.” - Rajesh SettyWhat Are ‘Napkinsights’ and How They Came to Be?We briefly touch on one of Rajesh’s personal projects and he was kind enough to share a little bit about the behind-the-scenes stuff. He talks about how it all started, his goals and the feedback he got.“Any insight that can fit in a paper napkin is called a Napkin Insight... I try to put an ‘A-ha’ moment or something that will give an ‘A-ha’ moment in a random place.” - Rajesh Setty How to Persevere When Developing a SkillWhen learning a new skill whichever it may be, perseverance is essential because it is a process that requires periodical involvement, effort, and sacrifice. Giving up is always an option, one that we struggle with on our journey to train and improve ourselves. We usually give up because we lose motivation or we can’t deal with frustration but Rajesh proposes that there’s a mindset that can be attributed to lots of these scenarios. A mindset created from the fact we forgot how to be beginners.“Before you become a pro, you have to go through your phase as an amateur. If you don’t remember that - you’ll give up.” - Rajesh SettyAttaining the Optionality MindsetUsing examples from the ancient game of Go, Rajesh encourages us to attain the optionality mindset. It is an approach to life that tends to reduce opportunities for anger, disappointment, and anxiety we feel when something doesn’t go the way it was planned. This next quote about the optionality of water is yet another gem from Rajesh’s teachings.“Water is a good example of optionality… Once you create a mindset of optionality like water, you are never perturbed. Because when one door closes… If you keep focusing on the closed door, there’s no path forward. But if you say, ‘Ah, that door is closed, let me see what else is there… No doors are open, what about the window? What about the roof? What about the chimney?’” - Rajesh SettyThe Value of Being Vulnerable Towards the OutcomeFrom optionality, we dive deeper into the psychological aspect of the method. This is the emotional part of the equation that we need to learn in order to be able to understand there is always a path we can take.“Only when you can be vulnerable and say, ‘I don’t know if it will work, but I will try it!’, you’ll be comfortable with success and failure. And automatically things happen and you learn by experience, rather than the hunt.” - Rajesh SettyRajesh’s Message of Inspired EvolutionWhat an amazing experience. I’m in awe of Rajesh’s wisdom and this has been such a blessing -I could’ve talked to him for days! I hope this conversation inspires you as much as it inspired me. Rajesh shared some amazing stuff regarding personal and business growth, but it can all be best described by insightful snippets on the art of living. It would be impossible to sum up almost two hours of his wisdom in one sentence which is why we’ll leave you with this gem that came from the final sections of our episode:“Be conscious of who is renting your mental space.” - Rajesh Setty

Mira Kelley on How to Live Your Purpose

Our guest for this week is Mira Kelley, a consciousness architect, master healer, author, international speaker, and a past life regressionist.About MiraMira discovered her passion for past life regressions when she was only 13 years old. The peak experience that she felt that day really stuck with her. Years later, she found herself dealing with a chronic TMJ condition and a pain that she desperately needed to get rid of. The traditional medical approach to resolving this issue was incredibly invasive, so she decided to give past regression therapy a chance and in only two sessions - her pain was completely gone!Her personal experience of regression therapy led her to a path of becoming a master healer herself. She has worked with hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, individually and through her many programs, products, and workshops, to help them clear their emotional and physical problems, to let go of the past and to create their best lives now.Her work has been prominently featured in the New York Times best-selling books of Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Brian Weiss, Anita Moorjani and Cathy Byrd.Mira also has a prominent international speaking career that took her to stages all over the world and she also taught workshops that empower people to reach their goals and to live lives they are in love with.She is the author of the internationally best-selling and best-loved book ‘Beyond Past Lives’.In the book, Mira shares the life-changing lessons she learned from her clients in order to help you discover support and understanding while also empowering you in your own growth. ‘Beyond Past Lives’ has been translated into 18 languages!For this week’s episode, Mira prepared a special treat for the Inspired Evolution tribe - a free 20-minute meditation on self-love and trust. Click here to get your free gift!Connect with Mira:Facebook: This Episode We Canvas:Redesigning Your ConsciousnessMira started off her career as a healer solely doing regression therapy. But she quickly realized there was potential for taking things a step further and introduced her own expertise into the equation which allows her to “redesign people’s consciousness”. She shares her experiences and explains why this approach has a lot more to offer to her clients.“That’s really what liberates us. That’s really what allows the path to unfold and to move their life in a way they want it to be.” - Mira KelleyThe Human Tendency Towards Creating NarrativesIn this section, we discuss the origin and the benefits of our tendency to think about life in stories.“Stories are really a very beautiful way for us to connect with the understanding, with the lessons, release, emotions… We are truly story-based with everything. We explain our life away that way, we dream of the future in stories…” - Mira KelleyThe Question of PurposeWe’ve approached the question of purpose on our podcast so many times, but it seems like we’ll never run out of interesting and unique perspectives. Such is the case with Mira’s approach where she offers a two-layered answer to the conundrum.“When people say to me, ‘What is my purpose?’, I give thin this two-layered answer… The first layer of this answer is really - the purpose is to be you… With all your glory, with all your talents,... Truly - you! When it gets a little more specific that’s the second level of the answer. Our purpose is to be here for us to be ourselves so that we can, in the being of ourselves and the use of our gifts and talents, in the fulfillment of our value… to learn how to handle your thoughts and emotions. In other words, to learn how to handle this creative power within us.” - Mira KelleyHow to Discover Your PurposeFrom the question of “What is my purpose?” we continue to go deeper in order to provide an answer for “How can I discover my purpose?” and Mira reveals an insightful approach.“My suggestion is, very simply, go right where it’s easy. Because your purpose is you… The expression of you. So this is not about something that is hard, this is not something that you have to deserve. This is already in you! You already know what people appreciate you for. You already know what comes easy for you.” - Mira KelleyThe 3 Steps to Living Your PurposeWe’ve already set the stage in the previous section and now Mira drives the discussion home with her 3-step approach to living your purpose!1 - Discover What Excites You“It starts by saying what speaks to me, right here, in this moment… What feeds my soul, what do I have the opportunity to engage in that really is the highest excitement in this moment.” - Mira Kelley2 - Do It to the Best Of Your Ability“It’s very important to do what excites you without holding back. Without any expectations… Truly do it to the best of your ability.” - Mira Kelley3 - Do It Without Expectation“Don’t worry how - it’s going to get to it, wherever you want to go.” - Mira KelleyThe Purpose of SufferingWe also touch on the subject of suffering quite a bit and here you can see the positivity in Mira’s philosophy - in the notion that we do not need bad in order to create something good. Without denying the value of suffering, Mira believes that it is not the only way for us to become better souls.“We don’t really need to have a breakdown to have a breakthrough. Obviously, our biggest challenge becomes our greatest lesson but I don’t really subscribe to the theory that we are here to learn from suffering… I honestly believe that the purpose of suffering is to teach us how not to suffer.” - Mira KelleyMira’s Message of Inspired EvolutionThis has truly been a lovely masterclass on purpose! I love Mira’s positive energy and how she manages to bring us back always to the things that are the most simple and natural to us. It’s just one of those episodes you can listen to several times over. I’m grateful that she shared her wisdom so selflessly with us tonight and for this message of Inspired evolution, I’d like to once again underline her guiding principles for how to live your purpose. YEW!“Do what excites you, do it to the best of your abilities and do it without expectation.” - Mira Kelley