New Years

Mindfulness. Relaxed & Happy = Success+. Bring on 2015!

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St Kilda pier. Christmas Eve. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). www.hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Christmas Eve 2014. Kickin’ it here on St Kilda Beach pier with this view. Amazing start to the day and pretty spectacular!

While I am exhausted and still winding down from 6 months of 60-80 hour weeks (between agency work and my own biz), I am at peace.

Agency life has been insane having gone from overseeing the social media for 2 global brands to 6 brands with more on the way in the new year.

In the 2nd half of 2014, my first love and passion project Hot & Delicious Group, has also taken several significant steps with the launch of my “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photography travel series and the “Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet” podcast series, which captures 1-on-1 audio interviews with inspiring people and entrepreneurs across a range of industries that fuel the fire of my own inspiration, personal business ambitions and the desire to inspire up & coming dreamers who aspire to their own success.

I am quite excited for the year ahead and while I’m not a New Years resolution kind-of-guy, I already have a swag of plans for the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ project including ramping up the profile of podcast & guests, kicking back into my own music, holding a “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photo exhibition, creating a new ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ website to start tapping into other revenue streams and sounding out global business opportunities.

Now to the outsider and friends who know me a little, this probably sounds like the standard year of unwavering ambition, but in reality, despite being exhausted right now I am at peace and energized all at the same time.

I’m at peace because if there’s one area of self that I’ve developed this year it is this… My ambition for the future is only strengthened by soaking up & living each moment. And what is the one key thing that’s helped me achieve this? Meditation. I shit you not.

In my very first post for 2014, “2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..”  the final paragraph finished as follows:

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Meditation started for me when I got to a point in my year and my life when exercise alone wasn’t enough to keep me fresh and clear-headed – I realized that despite living a wicked existence and working on many amazing projects over the past 20 years of my life, that I wasn’t happy, craved some quiet in my mind and inner peace in my heart.

Being time-poor and not a true-believer of meditation at the time, I began setting aside 10 minutes every morning after my daily workout and tried out free meditation app Smiling Mind, which was recommended to me by a friend of mine. This meant that the skeptic in me could trial meditation without giving up too much of my time.

After a period of meditating regularly using Smiling Mind, I began to get bored of just using the app all the time; in my life I crave variety and so I brought other styles of meditation in to combine with Smiling Mind so that I could mix it up and keep my meditation sessions fresh. I evolved to trying different forms of meditation including listening to a 10 minute track of waves washing gently upon a beach that I downloaded from iTunes, taking time out on my lunch-break to sit in the sunshine listening to relaxing songs I love and focusing on the music/lyrics whilst breathing steadily or quite simply even meditating in silence with my iPhone on timer.

Almost immediately I noticed the difference and over the coming weeks and months I found myself unplugging from music and podcasts whilst traveling to work or from place to place, varying my route to our South Melbourne office in search of visual inspiration and the peace of a few deep breaths whilst enjoying another Melbourne sunset. Come Christmas and I’ve spent the past 4 days pretty much hanging out by myself doing something new and different every day – chilling by the beach reading books, a long cafe breakfast and the morning paper while everyone else is at work, photography down by the water at St Kilda, lunchtime beers in the sunshine at Ponyfish Island, shopping down at the markets for fresh deli treats, summer fruits and veggies… so many simple everyday pleasures that make me happy.

Thence what started as daily 10 minute meditation sessions grew to me enjoying and being mindful of the peace and joy in everyday moments that can occur multiple times every single day. It’s even got to the stage where I’m conscious of when I haven’t had enough meditation or these moments and know exactly what I need to even myself out.

This sense of mindfulness and almost perpetual state of peace (with multiple daily sense-checks of course), has lead to one of my most productive years of late despite supposedly having less time to cram it in.

I can honestly say for the first time in my life that instead of spending my days wishing for my future successful self that we all envision and crave, that I am happy and thrive on the pure joy of the here & now, whilst still fuelled with my ambition for the future. And that’s made me a better, more efficient and more successful as a person, colleague, family member and friend.

I am truly excited for 2015 and have many goals that I wish to achieve including a serious increase in travel, personal business growth and a swag of others as stated above, but if I can keep on this path of mindfulness, appreciating and living everyday moments, whilst fuelling ambition for the future, I have no doubt this will be a very, very exciting year indeed 🙂

Thank you one and all for listening and reading, especially those who’ve supported myself, the blog and the podcast this year.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

DW

P.S. I will be taking the opportunity to recoup from the madness of 2014 from Xmas to New Years Day by switching off all social media technology and taking the opportunity for catch-ups with friends and little day trips to the beach and countryside to clear my head and get back a little bit of sanity. And yes, if you found this article via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, I scheduled this shit so feel free to message me but you won’t get a reply until January 😉

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

 

Scrap Xmas/New Year schedules. Go your own way. Me-time ftw!

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Ponyfish Island. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Christmas time.. grumpy shoppers abound, horns tooting, long queues, very few smiles… everyone rushing around like chooks with their heads cut-off, stressed-out with last-minute shopping and here I am chillin’ at Melbourne’s Ponyfish and soaking up a cheeky Christmas Eve beer in peace. Day 4 of “me-time”… 

Don’t get me wrong, 2014 has been a mad, busy year, but I’ve used a balanced diet of meditation, exercise, healthy food and me-time to get me through the ridiculous hours worked over the past 6 months of agency life + business pursuits in my “spare” time.

How do we define “me-time” and why should we take it?

The answer to the ideal “me-time” is entirely down to each individual. For myself, it means stepping away from the rat-race, eschewing social media, technology, schedules, alarms and tasks that are obligation-based and going with the flow – taking each day, each hour, each minute and soaking it up as it comes.

4 days ’til Christmas – I feel like escaping to the country on a road-trip. Do it. 
3 days ’til Santa comes down the chimney
– snoozing solo on St Kilda Beach and reading a book? Why not? (p.s. I did this and towards the end of the afternoon a pod of dolphins rocked-up playing and splashing not 20m from shore).
2 days to go
– wandering Melbourne’s backstreets with a camera without a destination or plan except retail therapy (buying shit for myself!), delicious food, coffee, a cheeky beer and getting off the beaten track. Yep, sounds good.
Christmas Eve
– early morning beach walk, long breakfast & the sports section and lunchtime beers at Ponyfish on the Yarra River which has some of the finest views in Melbourne. I’m sold!

Mental-health days when every other mofo’s exhausted from rushing to this party and that, book-ended by wrapping up work for the year and last-minute gift-excursions to 24-hour shopping centres… Screw that! Time for a sense-check.

Honestly, it’s not that revolutionary. You don’t have to give-up Xmas drinks friends or precious time with family, but just imagine… an extra 4-5 days off work b4 Christmas to recharge for Christmas… seriously… #heaven

Just one day out from St Nic and as hectic+++ as my year has been, I am so relaxed… I’d usually reserve the crucial period between Boxing Day – NYE for sleeping and recovery, but instead I’m not nearly half as exhausted as usual, quite looking forward to Christmas Day celebrations with the family and actually doing a bunch of fun shit from the 26th onwards including road-trips and more (there will still be plenty of snooze, cricket and couch-time 😉 ).

I haven’t booked in Xmas/New Years holidays for 2015, but I can tell you this… for me Xmas is all about having the time to feel grateful for what I have and soaking-up moments of joy with those that I treasure most, so I know what I’ll be doing with this time comes around again.

Love every single minute, lose the Christmas Day family arguments, Fuck the stress… go on… Try it!

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Podcast Interview: ‘Chris & Josh’ webseries creator, writer & director – Matt Smolen.

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1047989_902075706476059_8986914825152976789_oHot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #8 – Matt Smolen – Writer, Director and Creator (Chris & Josh webseries)

Matt Smolen is fuckin’ awesome! 

Met this inspiring dude 3 years at Pyramid Rock Festival when Matt was behind the lens shooting video content for Australian music video blog Speaker TV and my biz was driving Pyramid’s social media.

Since Pyramid Rock, Matt’s career has gone from strength to strength with his video production company Balloon Tree Productions shooting content for a bunch of different Australian brands and creating, writing and directing of international award-winning comedy webseries ’Chris and Josh’ featuring Shane Savage and ex-Neighbours actor Matt Werkmeister.

We chat about losing your virginity, quitting KFC after 1 shift, awful taste in music, having a 1000 views on the first day of releasing previously unheard of and unreleased comedy webseries and flying by the seat of your pants to create a webseries which has go on to win international acclaim and awards at LA Webfest and the 2014 Open Channel Australian Online Video Awards for Best Comedy Series and . Epic!

I seriously lost my shit when he told me what his first ever CD was… fuckin’ hilarious! 

Get into it!

Listen to our podcast with Matt Smolen & subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet here.

Follow Matt Smolen on Twitter or contact via Balloon Tree Productions for video production enquiries.

Hit us up on social media here:

Instagram @hotndelicious

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

All images courtesy of Matt Smolen and http://www.maguri.net.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Hot & Delicious Group. Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Zac Abroms (Viceroyalty) – Travel the world & work in the music industry

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Zac Abroms and Ryan Manu - Pyramid Rock Festoval 2012/13
Zac Abroms (Viceroyalty, S.T.E.P.) and Ryan Manu (Icah) – Pyramid Rock Festoval 2012/13

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #5 – Zac Abroms (Viceroyalty, S.T.E.P.) – Music Industry

Good morning! Zac Abroms is a buddy of mine that I met a few years back when my business was running social media for Pyramid Rock Festival – an Australian music festival on Phillip Island just an hour or so out of Melbourne.

Beautiful little spot and magic memories of Tame Impala bringing in the New Year, chatting backstage with the humble and lovely Xavier Rudd and getting to know a bunch of amazing people including the boys from Kingswood, Zac Abroms, Ash Sambrooks of Higher Plains and Zac’s sister, Charlotte, of Large Noises. Zac and Ash’s respective businesses were looking after all the festival’s PR & Publicity and that festivals remains one of my happiest and proudest personal achievements as I basically got paid to hang out at a music festival, meet a shitload of cool people and share those memories with the world… or at least the work of Pyramid Rock fans & music-lovers.

Zac runs a music business called Viceroyalty providing online music publicity for a bunch of amazing Australian and international artists including Kimbra, Jessie Ware, Regina Spektor, Active Child, Bertie Blackman and many many more. He also has a music management business managing a few Aussie acts that I love including Manor, Danvers and the beautiful Kate Martin.

This year Zac and Ash Sambrooks also set-up The Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People (yes, it’s very tongue-in-cheek :D) also known as STEP which is a series of music industry events with live panel discussions and interesting live musical performances designed to connect people – match-matching video directors and photographers to bands and artists to mixers and producers.. mixing promoters with record labels and artists, but the beauty of it all is that absolutely anyone can come down and when I attended their first event a few months back, the bar was rammed with everyone from grassroots artists to seasoned music industry professionals and even newbies to the scene who don’t care what they do but just really want to work in music. It was awesome!

So as most of you know by now and to our 1st time listeners, welcome, this podcast is designed to tap into the lives and experiences of people who inspire me, help them tell their story and hopefully inspire a few of you along the way to chase what it is you love in life… ‘cause I tell you there is no better felling!

Enjoy!

Listen to our interview with Zac Abroms (Viceroyalty) & subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast here

Photos from Pyramid Rock Festival by Hot & Delicious Group (Elijah Mina, Jordan Marshall and Dan Wilkinson)

Instagram @hotndelicious
Twitter @hotndelicious 
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious Group. Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet.

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

#PyramidRock Playing Times Announced – Tame Impala Bring in the New Year!

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Download the Pyramid Rock 2012 Set Times Here

Tame Impala bring in the New Year at Pyramid Rock!

With NYE just around the corner, Pyramid Rock Festival has announced its playing times. With this year’s bill boasting the long-awaited return to Australia for The Cribs, a first time visit by Blood Red Shoes, a headline performance by Perth heroes Tame Impala, a swag of early morning bass by Shockone and Beni and mountains of rock throughout the day lead by Stonefield and Children Collide, there’s a lot to look forward to.

DOWNLOAD / SAVE PLAYING TIMES HERE

Tickets are still available at http://www.thepyramidrockfestival.com

DEC 30TH  MAIN STAGE – BIG TOP
10:50 – 11:25am DANGEROUS!
11:45 – 12:20pm HOME BREW
12:40 – 1:20pm DREAM ON DREAMER
1:40 – 2:20pm STONEFIELD
2:40 – 3:20pm CHILDREN COLLIDE
3:40 – 4:20pm THE AMITY AFFLICTION
4:40 – 5:20pm URTHBOY
5:40 – 6:20pm VAN SHE
6:40 – 7:25pm XAVIER RUDD
7:40 – 8:20pm KARNIVOOL
8:35 – 9:35pm DJ YODA
9:50 – 10:30pm UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA
10:45 – 11:25pm 360
11:45 – 12:30am PNAU
12:50 – 1:35am FRIENDLY FIRES DJ SET
1:35 – 2:35am PHETSTA
2:35 – 3:30am DCUP
3:30 – 4:20am THE ONLY

DEC 30TH – PHARAOH’S STAGE
2:20 – 2:50pm WINTER PEOPLE
3:20 – 3:50pm KINGSWOOD
4:20 – 4:50pm CLOSURE IN MOSCOW
5:20 – 5:50pm GOSSLING
6:20 – 7:45pm LUKE MILLION

DEC 31ST MAIN STAGE – BIG TOP
10:50 – 11:25am DYLAN JOEL (UNEARTHED WINNER)
11:45 – 12:20pm HANDS LIKE HOUSES
12:40 – 1:20pm SASKWATCH
1:40 – 2:20pm REDCOATS
2:40 – 3:20pm PEZ
3:40 – 4:20pm HOUSE V’S HURRICANE
4:40 – 5:20pm ILLY
5:40 – 6:20pm KATE MILLER-HEIDKE
6:40 – 7:20pm BLOOD RED SHOES
7:40-  8:20pm DEAD LETTER CIRCUS
8:40 – 9:20pm MAT. MCHUGH
9:40 – 10:20pm ANTI-FLAG
10:40 – 11:25pm THE CRIBS
11:45 – 12:30am TAME IMPALA
12:50 – 1:50am SHOCKONE
1:50 – 2:50am BENI
2:50 – 4:00am DR WEREWOLF

DEC 31ST – PHARAOH’S STAGE
2.20 – 2.50pm MY SECRET CIRCUS
3.20 – 3.50pm THE SMITH STREET BAND
4.20 – 4.50pm THE BROW HORN ORCHESTRA
5.20 – 5.50pm ALL THE COLOURS
6.20 – 6.50pm LOS CORONAS
7.20 – 7.50pm ASTA
8.20 – 9.00pm SLOW MAGIC