by Yoga Digest | June 17, 2019 2:17 am
Tom Cronin is the creator of THE PORTAL  and founder of The Stillness Project a global movement to inspire 1 billion people to sit in stillness, daily. He is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives. Tom’s ongoing work in tranformational leadership and cultivating inner peace through meditation takes him around the world presenting keynote talks in such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico and the USA. He spends his time hosting retreats, mentoring clients across the globe, teaching in schools, writing books and hosting corporate mindfulness courses. His work in creating THE PORTAL film-book experience is part of his commitment to the current planetary shift.
The Portal, an immersive, cinematic experience that answers the question: How can we really change the world? This documentary takes an inside out approach exploring how everyday people overcome challenge obstacles. Cronin asks, “As the doomsday clock tick tocks, what would happen if 7 billion people meditated?”
YD: How did you get into your business?
Tom Cronin: For many years I was a very stressed out broker trading swap and bonds on global investment markets. I was experiencing anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, agoraphobia and eventually a full blown nervous breakdown. I turned to meditation as a tool to help me get through that chaos. The meditation was powerful and transformational. Although I continued on as a broker a great deal had changed in my life due to meditation. I felt an incredibly strong compulsion to share the power of meditation with the world so I did my meditation teacher training and founded The Stillness Project with a vision to inspire 1 billion people to meditate daily. As part of that vision I decided to use the mediums of film and books as platforms to share this powerful message. This was what gave birth to The Portal film and book.
YD: How do you stay motivated and inspired to be the best you?
TC: Making this film and writing the book has been a very challenging process, much more challenging than I ever expected! Meditating every day has kept me grounded and as calm as possible during these challenging times. (Not all days!) But what also motivates me and inspires me is the constant awareness of the emergency that is facing humanity and the planet as a whole. We need to change our state of mind collectively and individually and we need to do it fast. We were always taught as students to chop wood, meditate and chop wood. It’s the inaction in meditation that is just as important as the action that we take outside of meditation. So supporting others to move through the challenges of life has been a great motivation for me in creating this film and book.
YD: Why is it important to have a message, mission and intention?
TC: For so many people just having their basic needs met is their number one priority. Having the basics of food, clothing, shelter, access to education and hospitals has to come first. Until those needs are met it’s almost impossible to have a message, mission and intention. This is one of Maslow’s principles in his hierarchy of needs. But as we do have those things stabilised, an develop a sense of self-esteem and identity, then the natural progression from that will definitely unfold from seeker to finder and then to sharer. Many people come to me confused and perplexed about what their life purpose is, and I liberate them from that burden by suggesting to start first and foremost with their journey to enlightened experience. Make your own personal development, your connection to the heart, you’re awareness about spirit, and a dissolving of the ego (which is always an on going process) your number one priority. This may seem selfish and indulgent, but it becomes the foundation for leveraging your capacity to create change in the world and in others. In time you’ll naturally feel more compelled to support an uplifting those around you as you experienced an overflow of wisdom light and love.
YD: What do you like least about your industry?
TC: This is an interesting question that I’ve never been asked. I guess we tend to not want to put our attention on the negatives yet there many benefits in doing that. I think it’s less about what I like least about the industry and more about the challenges that I face personally as a teacher in this space, which probably is the same challenges with the industry. And that is my own conditioning, my fears, my ego, my narcissistic tendencies, and that balance of trying to be financially successful to sustain a living in it, and humble enough to not have to make that our only priority. I think these are my challenges, and probably the challenges in the spiritual industry itself, and navigating our way through this is complex and something that we have to find balance with every day.
YD: Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
TC: It’s depends who you’re asking… whether it’s Tom, the personality, who often sees himself living on a quiet farm on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, with my family and Cavoodle, running some retreats, coaching and presenting some talks amid surfing, farming and doing yoga and meditation. That’s a personal desire of mine. However I’m also open as a conduit for Source to use me in a way that it sees fit to support an awakening that will help eliminate suffering for humans make things a whole lot better for the planet as a whole, and how that looks, who knows!
YD: What is your life motto?
TC: I often reference a beautiful Vedic phrase with my students which is Yogastah Kuru Karmani- Established in Being, Perform action. Trying to create positive change in our life and other people’s lives while we are disconnected from the calm inner world and in the state of anxiety, sadness and anger will be very hard. So through the stillness of meditation each day, this enables me to be more effective, creative, adaptable and generous which I believe is a great place to start living our life from.
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