Love, have you ever caught yourself dreaming about a life where you’re only doing things that you feel you are made for? A life where each day you wake up with the enthusiasm of a 3-year-old keen on experiencing something new and wonderful?
Most of us have thought about this, and many of us have even come up with ideas, plans, and even charts designed to help us finally break free. But the majority of us never truly convert that thought or idea into action. And that’s where we get stuck in a rut.
No one wants a life of stress or unproductivity, but you must be willing to make the first move towards your dream life. Today’s guest is someone who has built his life around things that he loves, all by converting his brilliant thoughts into action.
Jeff Krasno is the co-founder of Wanderlust, a global series of wellness events he created with his wife and friends. His goal: One life where the distinction between work and play, or colleagues and friends, or daily life and passion, is negligible. His focus: Mindful living that aligns perfectly with his own personal mission.
I hope you find great value from this episode where Jeff and I talk about his life and mission, and how he continually lives a life of purpose and meaning. But before that, introducing the one and only, Jeff Krasno:
Who is Jeff Krasno?
Chosen as one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100 entrepreneurs, Jeff Krasno is the founder and Co-CEO of Commune Media. His mission is to bring well-being to a billion people globally. Dubbed as the “Masterclass of Wellness,” Commune is a media production company creating content that inspires action. Apart from offering wellness courses, the Commune platform hosts Jeff’s podcast by the same name, which features interviews from wellbeing leaders like Deepak Chopra, Russel Brand, Marianne Williamson, and Brendon Burchard.
Jeff is also the author of three books, including his latest called Communion, which is a collection of essays that provides a view of the critical issues impacting Americans today. He delves into topics such as the emotional repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, relationship grief, and the country’s deep political divide.
Jeff’s writing has appeared in HuffPost and Fast Company. He is also a board member of Pure Edge, a non-profit organization whose mission is to integrate yoga and mindfulness sessions into the public school curriculum.
With so many fascinating achievements in his life, Jeff is here to impart knowledge and wisdom and to guide us on a path to fulfillment. Let’s dive right into the topic of today’s Get Loved Up episode.
The Wanderlust Festival: Its Origin and the Inspiration Behind it
For people unaware of the Wanderlust Festival, it’s where thousands of people gather together to enjoy yoga, music, and food. And Jeff, along with his team, have conceptualized it in a way that it’s nothing less than a celebration of wellness and life.
“Well, boy, it was a journey. The name Wanderlust itself reflects that journey, that innate desire to travel. I’ve always seen it metaphorically as a journey inwards towards self-examination and self-exploration. But the genesis for the idea came from my wife, [Schuyler Grant], which is also a consistent theme in our [33-34 year] relationship.” – Jeff Krasno
Back when 9/11 happened, there was tremendous grief all around, but New York was truly magical and unique because everyone was emerging out of that grief collectively. This was not only good-natured but also gave us a glimpse of the beautiful spirit that really brought the people together and also inspired many people to do things that they wouldn’t have otherwise done. And one of those people was Schuyler Grant.
“[Schuyler] decided that she was going to build a yoga studio at ground zero. … That community enterprise opened in … February 2002, and I got the front row seats to witness the … [combined] power of … yoga, meditation, … and community. I got to see how that transformational power healed people. … People would just really have these deep, profound engagements, … heal [from] their grief through community, and rediscover their creative spark. … And we conjured this idea, this notion of wanderlust. Over the next few years, Schuyler started leading retreats … 30-40 people just kind of in their prime of creativity, waking up with the sun, meditating, doing yoga, eating food that was growing [around]. … It was really fun and joyous and not monastic.” – Jeff Krasno
After finding this middle path somewhere between asceticism and central pleasure, Jeff wanted this to be the biggest yoga retreat in the world. He started to rope in resorts in North America that were abundant with natural beauty, and with plenty of nature activities around. In 2009, the Wanderlust Festival was officially launched, and it turned out to be the most amazing ride of Jeff’s life.
Examining Your Mind and Attracting Abundance
As Jeff was growing and evolving spiritually, he found a mentor in Wayne Dyer. He talked about one of Wayne’s quotes that had a profound effect on Jeff: “The angels you wish to attract into your life will appear when they recognize themselves in you.”
“Because I evolved as a human, I became less concerned with the ego … and what other people thought of me or basing my identity in my societal position, or what my resume was or what I didn’t have. I became more concerned with staying close to work. … If you stay close to the work, are dedicated to the inner work of self-examination or self-criticism [through] meditation or whatever your practice happens to be. … And the more time you spend cultivating that space, the more others in your orbit will recognize your effort.” – Jeff Krasno
Oftentimes the inner work revolves around a rigorous examination of your own mind such that you have a greater realization of your non-self. And the angels will show up one day, and then every day, and until they remain with you as you keep at it and evolve further. There’s one more thing that has had a role in teaching Jeff about humility and selfless love, and that is parenthood.
“Parenthood has some utility of forcing yourself out of the nucleus of your own life. … When you [are willing to] die unconditionally for someone, you truly realize your non-self, and children sort of propel you into that realization. So that, too, has been a phenomenon in my life that has helped me realize my better angels.” – Jeff Krasno
While parenthood is a good way of understanding the value of selflessness, it can also easily be understood when one decides to serve others. There isn’t much difference between personal well-being and societal well-being. And as a reflection of the inner work that we do, true gratitude will come from the external good work and action that we do to recognize the gifts that we have. This will lead you to a path of abundance without you even trying.
The Transformational Power of a Simple Practice
Meditation has been a powerful resource for many, be it to improve focus, resolve our inner issues, or find peace; it can transform your life in more ways than one. Jeff talks about meditation, the practice that has been relatively convergent with his regular day-to-day life.
“Unless you’re quite close to the practice, there’s confusion around its nature. You don’t have to be wearing a robe and sitting in a lotus position to be meditating. All it is is an examination of the workings of your mind, such that greater insight is revealed. … In our kind of media and political landscape, we tend to have emotional reactions based on the judgment of something [leading] up to an event, instead of the actual event itself. … [While all] we really should be committed to, [is] eradicating bad ideas and not dehumanizing people all the time.” – Jeff Krasno
Jeff’s observance of the current state of the world is spot on. The exponential growth of the ad-driven model of social media has contributed to a lot of tribalism. Jeff has explored this phenomenon in his writing many times.
“A lot of meditation is really just noticing. … I can notice thoughts and emotions and sensations arise in consciousness and witness them as a transitory phenomenon and [am] able to name it. … Like, why am I feeling outraged right now? What just happened? What just triggered that response? Oh, that was a reaction to my judgment of that particular piece of editorial that I just saw on my phone. … I think this is the first step in [recognizing] when you are being hijacked by your amygdala. … To some degree [fear], grief, anger can be very useful in a whole variety of situations.” – Jeff Krasno
Anger and fear can sometimes be channeled into positive action. But to live in a place of constant fight or flight mode is not a profitable, long-term way to live. We need tools to bring us back into our parasympathetic nervous system, where we can employ reason and discernment and a rational examination of the scenario.
One way of achieving this is through meditation, by sitting down every morning, getting comfortable, and observing your breath.. Noticing the sound your breath makes. Consider how your breath is similar to your emotions — they come into your consciousness, and then back out again. This practice is incredibly important, but it’s not enough on its own. You must try to punctuate your day with this practice in such a way that it becomes a natural part of your living. In doing so, you can heal and find fulfillment in every aspect of your life.
Get Loved Up with Jeff Krasno
This interview with Jeff Krasno has been simply phenomenal and packed with loads of wisdom based on Jeff’s own experiences. Unfortunately, I could not fit everything in this post. You can access the rest of the podcast here and learn more about Jeff’s inspirational life.
To get a closer look into Jeff’s work and his various initiatives, do check out his website. You can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you truly loved this episode and found it helpful, then it would be awesome if you tag Jeff, @jeffkrasno, and me, @koyawebb, on Instagram, with a screenshot of your greatest takeaways from this episode.
And until next time, love, love yourself, love others, and love the world one day at a time, one breath at a time.
- The Origin of the Wanderlust Festival (2:00)
- Three Biggest Lessons Learned Through Large Scale Event Production (12:30)
- Empowering the People Around You (20:30)
- Jeff’s Spiritual Mentors (23:00)
- Examining Your Own Mind (27:00)
- Meditating & Maintaining in Our Current Climate (33:00)
- Don’t Get Hijacked by Your Amygdala (36:30)
- Reducing Suffering by Focusing Your Attention (42:00)
- From Wanderlust to Commune (44:05)
- Meeting Oprah, and the Super Soul 100 (46:55)
- Jeff’s Favorite Books, Podcasts, & More (53:00)
- Learning and Growing As a White Male in This Time (55:00)
- Consciousness is Only One Subjective Experience (1:01:00)
- Acknowledging Our Interconnectedness (1:08:00)
Links mentioned in this episode:
- OneCommune Website
- Jeff Krasno’s Website
- Order Koya’s book Let Your Fears Make You Fierce
- Learn more about Koya’s Yoga Teacher Training Programs
- Join the Wellness Entrepreneur Mastermind