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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.

Blue King Brown back with fresh new jams & hitting the road! #BornFree

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Blue King Bring - Pyramid Rock Festival. Image credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Wow… lovin’ this wicked new reggae jam by the crew at Blue King Brown… Can’t wait to catch-up with Carlo and Nat tomorrow night for the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ podcast!

Fresh from a couple of concerts with UB40 last weekend, this week sees Nattali Rize performing several rare acoustic shows in both Melbourne (Thursday 11th December – The Espy) and Sydney (Friday 12th December – The Factory), hitting the stage with Jamaican reggae revival star, Chronixx

Then in mid-January the band hit the road to launch their third studio album Born Free and I for one, like many of the Blue King Brown fans around the globe no doubt, can’t wait to see them live again!

“It’s been an upful year of creative exploration in the studio, and with the new album now out there in the world, we are pumped to return to the stage with the full force live show.” lead singer, Nattali Rize states, with BKB co founder Carlo adding The world system is pushing us harder, and harder, driving it’s oppressive boot deeper and deeper onto the people, we must holdfast, be the light in what has become a dark reality for many. Do not forget the downtrodden! Reclaim your mind, mental slavery, debt slavery is alive and kicking, we sing and speak against these things, bringing a positive vibration, being the balance, that is what our shows and music is about.”

My heart & mind hold many special memories of seeing Blue King Brown live including rockin’ shows at Big Day Out, shooting them live for triple j at Pyramid Rock and many many more. Pretty damn excited!

BLUE KING BROWN – BORN FREE ALBUM LAUNCH
GIG/TIX DETAILS
THU 15 Jan, 2015 – Melbourne
Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC
125 Swanston St, Melbourne
FRI 16 Jan,  2015 – Sydney
The Metro, Sydney NSW
624 George Street, Sydney
All ages welcome
SAT 17 Jan, 2015 – RAdelaide
The Gov, Adelaide SA
59 Port Road, Hindmarsh

Blue King Bring – Pyramid Rock Festival. Image credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hit us up on social media here:

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

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

Aussie comedian Wil Anderson stops by Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet

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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet - castle in the sky
Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet – castle in the sky

‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ podcast series

Interview #10 – Wil Anderson (comedian)

This is fuckin’ epic! The irony of me working in social media for a living and building a career in the digital world is that nowadays I’m not a believer of idolizing celebrities – gushing ’cause you got a photo with this person or shook the hand of that person… I actually don’t give a shit who anyone is or what they’re famous for, for me it’s all about experiences and creating a connection with people.

Having said that, I’m sitting here in my castle in the sky on a beautiful sunny Melbourne day having just completed a 1.5 hour podcast chat with Australian stand-up comedian, TV presenter, podcaster and international jet-setter, Wil Anderson, and I can honestly say I’m a little bit fuckin’ stoked. 

I’ve been enjoying Wil Anderson’s comedy and worldly insights since the early 2000s when he was the host of the hilarious Australian TV show on the ABC called The Glasshouse and presenter on Australia’s national youth radio station triple j.

Wil Anderson‘s live stand-up shows at Melbourne International Comedy Festival are one of the first that shows that I lock in to see every year ’cause like myself he has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that he weaves in with current events and these worldly insights to make him a wonderful story-teller and an interesting person to hang out with.

Now Wil and I have been chatting via Twitter/email for about 4-5 years and I originally hit him up a few years back about getting involved in a series of federally and state government backed international music showcases called The Aussie BBQ, which are designed to export Australian music to the USA, UK and other global markets and I love it that someone who’s career I’ve enjoyed watching evolve has also made an impact on my own now too. Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen’s podcast ‘TOFOP’ was one of the first podcasts that I ever listened to and that podcast, along with Greg Behrendt & Dave Anthony‘s ‘Walking The Room’ (RIP 😦 ), Dave Anthony and Gary Reynolds The Dollop’ (ha ha… sorry Gareth, I had to buddy! :D), Jay Mohr’s ‘Mohr Stories’ and Kevin Smith‘s Smodcast world were the fuel for my imagination that helped bring the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ podcast to life. This podcast series is also now a key element of my ultimate goal of being able to work from anywhere around the world with a laptop and WiFi connection – hence the name Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet – tying in my photography, music & entertainment industry contacts, the podcast, blog and experience guiding global brands in how and where to play in social media,

What both first time listeners and regular subscribers won’t know is that the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet project was originally inspired by Yahoo’s first ever journalist, Kevin Sites, a American TV war correspondent who left the likes of ABC/CNN/NBC to travel around the globe covering 20 different war zones over the space of 365 days with a mixture of video, still photography and writing in a project called “In The Hot Zone”. Great read. You should check it out.

Anyway, this was a super chilled chat and we barely even touched the list of questions that I usually use as the framework for the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ podcast. Like all good conversations it flows and it’s all about the tangents. ‘Cause that’s where the gold comes in…

Enjoy! 

DW

Listen here: Wil Anderson on’Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Follow myself, Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious) and Wil on Twitter or check out his podcast TOFOP and upcoming Australian and USA tour dates via wilanderson.com.au

Image courtesy of Wil Anderson

Hit us up on social media here:

Instagram @hotndelicious

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

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

Kickin’ it with LFRESH THE LION… Australia’s latest hip hop sensation

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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #9 – L-Fresh The Lion (Hiop Hop artist)

L Fresh The Lion has some sweet, sweet jams that have sparked the imagination of a nation getting some serious airplay of late and this is a guy who’s toured nationally with a whole swag of hip hop legends including the likes Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Nas, Dead Prez and many more. Catching up and hanging out with him at my West Melbourne sound cave in the sky was an experience. Just beautiful.

A few of the things that I’ve spent some time thinking about in the lead-up to this interview and since, is that I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have traveled to 6 out of 7 of our planet’s continents, I’ve lived in 4 different countries thus far, studied 5 different languages, worked with and managed people from over a 100 different nationalities and a range of  cultures, but I, like all of us, still feel like I have so much to learn about my fellow man which is one of the big reasons why I created this podcast.

This interview with L Fresh The Lion was amazing and reaffirming… he’s beautifully humble, chilled, strong within himself…. and afterwards I just felt relaxed and that the world made more sense. Here’s a guy that many in our global community would say from external appearances is quite different to me. He’s a Sikh, I don’t believe in god, I love the beers something chronic, he doesn’t drink, we both meditate, we both love, we both hurt, we’re both working hard to live a life doing what we love, ambitious and yet still living in the moment. Which to me actually makes us more the same 🙂

What I see almost every day and what many of us fail to stop, recognize and appreciate is that essentially as a species we’re all the same in so many ways. Our fear of those different to us and of the unknown is where prejudice is born, but once we take the time to look beyond colour, race, creed and actually get to know our fellow man the world is a different place, so I decided to share with you an excerpt from L Fresh The Lion’s YouTube blurb for the song he dropped earlier this year ‘Survive’.

This short passage taught me something new this week about L Fresh, his cultural background and a proportion of the Indian people living in our Australian community called Sikhs, a people and belief system that I can honestly say in my 38 years thus far I haven’t taken the time to learn more about until now.

“The Sikhs constitute about 14% of all people of Indian origin who have migrated to Australia (this figure is remarkable when it is considered that Sikhs only constitute about 2.5% of the total population in India)

Sikhs originated in the land of Punjab (which means the Land of Five Rivers). This land (Punjab) has been devided numerous times and currently is in the form of a number of states – Punjab (India), Punjab (Pakistan), Haryana (India), Himachal Pardesh (India) and Chandigarh (India).

These divisions of Punjab, caused due to socio-poliltical uncetainities and injustices to the Sikhs, forced them to move out of their home land, first to other parts of India and then to the neighbouring countries as well as across the continents.”

L Fresh and I both recognize and embrace our differences. And that for me that’s what it’s all about, ‘cause despite a few differences, before meeting him in person, during and afterwards I feel & felt connected to this dude – a kindred spirit if you will.

In the course of this ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ podcast interview, we chat we about life-changing trips to the northern India, the land of his forefathers, where the name L Fresh The Lion was born, his inspiration, influencers, the most unexpected experiences in hidden temples in Punjab and much, much more.

Hope you enjoy our little chat as much as I did 🙂 

Free Download: L Fresh The Lion on’Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’

Follow myself, Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious) and L Fresh on Twitter or check out his tunes and upcoming tour dates via l-fresh.com

Failed video selfies :p
Failed video selfies :p

 

Hit us up on social media here:

Instagram @hotndelicious

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

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.

Stand-up comedian Jimmy James Eaton – Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet

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Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #7 – Jimmy James Eaton – stand-up comedian

Heya! Welcome back to the weekly Hot & Delicious:Rocks The Planet podcast where we interview inspiring individuals from around the world in music, film/tv, fashion, comedy and lots lots more.

Today we catch-up with Australian stand-up comedian and improvisor, Jimmy James Eaton. 

Jimmy & I talk about growing up in Western Australia, the weirdness of watching porn with your mates, burlesque versus the strippers(I still don’t get the point of strippers), being inspired by Eddie Izzard, whether all flight attendants are gay and the selfless, amazing work Jimmy does as a superhero for charity outside of his comedy career… blows my mind.

Listen to our interview with Jimmy James Eaton & subscribe to Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast here

Enjoy!

Jimmy James Eaton

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram @hotndelicious
Twitter @hotndelicious 
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet 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. 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.