Mentor Yourself: Interview With Invisible Mentor Julie Daniluk
Interviewee Name: Julie Daniluk, Nutritionist, Motivational Speaker, Writer, TV Host
Company Name: Daniluk Consulting
To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Interview with Julie Daniluk, while you are reading it, answer the following questions:
- Are their similarities between the Julie Daniluk and yourself?
- In what ways can you use the information?
- In what ways would you respond differently from the interviewee?
- What are your five takeaways from the interview?
- After reading the interview, what is one concrete action you can take?
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Julie Daniluk: I’m a real foodie so I’m passionate about helping people have a connection to their food because it’s beyond food, it becomes every cell in your body, and it’s the building block that we use to recreate ourselves, and that’s why I’m so passionate about food. I’m a nutritionist, author about food, and TV host of the Healthy Gourmet for the Oprah Winfrey Network. I love food, and giving that information to the world. I define myself as a food advocate.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Julie Daniluk: I married my work with my passion so that there is no separation. There is no beginning of my workday and I have enrolled my husband in these awesome healthy ways that I have that team of contributions that he’s onboard that some days I have to work a 14-hour day. But instead of him becoming resentful of that he is right with me. On television days I used to have a personal assistant and instead of having a personal assistant, Allan has chosen to be with me on set. By removing the I’m on and I’m off stage, now I’m just in my flow and I have so much fun in both worlds that I’m able to be where I am and more present. Before, when I was at work I was texting family, and when I was with my family I was always working, so I’m trying to have more of an integrated life.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Julie Daniluk: I travel because I have to get out of my regular workflow. When I travel it’s a great opportunity to say the phone’s off, the email is off and really take time to be outside the regular life. I love to travel and I love photography and I love the ocean so I do a lot of scuba diving.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- To breathe: I breathe every morning and every minute of the day. I breathe in the morning with incredible awareness, that’s my meditative practice. I breathe in for five seconds and I breathe out for 10 seconds. By counting my breath I become aware of my aliveness.
- How you do anything is how you do everything: That’s a huge one for me because how I answer the phone, to how I was committed to being on the call with you right at 10 O’clock this morning, to how I respond when a waiter has come to the table with the wrong order, how I respond to that person and treat them with love and respect plays out into every area of my life. I realize that we are in one big sandbox.
- Connect and be the cause in the matter: If you have a complaint, get underneath the complaint and decide what you are committed to, and be the cause in the matter to shift that so that you’re never feeling like a victim in any circumstance.
- The love you make is equal to the love you receive: The love you make is equal to the love you take is a quote taken from the Beatles song The End.
- Be authentic: If you can be with someone, and let go of looking good, and let go of trying to do it right, then often you can stand in present with them. And in that presence is life. It’s really what you came for.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Julie Daniluk: They come to me at really funny times. I actually get most of my great ideas in the shower. I try to capture them on my phone or in my day timer the second I get out of the shower. I have a master board in my office which is a large piece of paper. I used to work with a white board but I really like the paper because I like scratching off when I have fulfilled my goal. On that master board I write down any project I want to be doing and then the action points within that project and that means that I don’t have any major thing fall out of existence. So the second you generate that idea how do you bring it into existence because people have brilliant ideas every day.
I also got this idea from Joni Mitchell. I was sitting in a restaurant and two tables over she was celebrating her birthday with her daughter, and she wanted to smoke a cigarette, and she turned to me and said, “Do you have a problem with cigarettes?” And of course the answer is, “Yes, I have a problem with cigarettes,” but I’m not going to have a problem with Joni Mitchell, so I said, “Go ahead.” And she was so happy that I allowed her to smoke in a restaurant which is highly illegal in Toronto so she invites me over to her table and I had an opportunity to ask her a few questions, and the biggest one I asked her was, “How do you generate great ideas?” She is the most prolific artist I have ever thought of, and she said, “I don’t care if it happens while I’m sitting having the most important conversation with the president, I excuse myself, and I jot it down in my personal journal, while going to the washroom. I always excuse myself.” She writes down her idea in her journal, and that’s what helps to put it into existence.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Julie Daniluk: My favourite quotation is from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech. It from Marianne Williamson, and it’s “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I’ve had this quote in my day timer, on a poster in my office. I constantly go over it so that I can help myself get out my own way because this is the most powerful thing you can remember, is that we are powerful beyond measure.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success? And in your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Julie Daniluk: My definition for success is being free to choose your life. A lot of people think of success as the amount of money they have. But money is just the grease of life. The grease is the wheels so that you’re able to choose faster. My formula for success is to build a team, to commit to your world and to have compassion for other people. That team has built my success and I realize that I’m successful because of the incredible affinity I have for the people around me that I love.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Julie Daniluk: This comes from Malcolm Gladwell. One of my favourite books in the world is Outliers: The Story of Success and it speaks to what it takes to be the most successful person in your field, and it takes 10,000 hours. So once you become relaxed in your understanding that it takes 10,000 hours to become brilliant at anything, then you just clock the hours. So I’ve been working in the nutrition field for 16 years so I’ve gone past my 10,000 hours, and just putting one hour after another, is like one foot after another – just clock the hours, just clock the hours. And you will make a breakthrough because the winner is often the last person standing in the field. It’s not often the person who is naturally, brilliantly gifted at something. It’s the person who is willing to stay on the field long enough to win the game.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Julie Daniluk: Immerse yourself in the one area that you want to become highly successful at because we are a generation of wanting to do everything instead of mastering one thing. To get 10,000 hours you have to choose a focus. My focus is food so whatever your area is that you want to focus on, immerse yourself in that completely.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
- I would love to speak to Gandhi, and I’d love to ask him how he was able to deal with nonviolent communication. I’m still working on being a master of compassion, and to sit with him would be a great honor.
- I would love to meet Malcolm Gladwell. I feel he is one of the most amazing storytellers. Let’s face it, our lineage of understanding is through storytelling from the dawn of time, and I want to become of the world’s best storyteller. I think he is absolutely brilliant.
- Michael Pollan is one of my favourite food authors and he is such an incredible investigator. I would love to ask him about nutrition in a deeper way because in his book, In Defense of Food, he actually doesn’t like nutritionists that calculate the calories, fat and the nutrition of the food. He wants people to focus on a more simplistic model. So I would love to be able to ask him how I can be a holistic nutritionist who can do my job, but to bring that beautiful context that he really adds to the table which is to let go of the numbers and just commit to real food for a change.
- I would love to meet Oprah Winfrey. She is one of my greatest mentors. She stands for so many things that I believe in. If I had a chance to really talk with her, I would say, “How do you handle the rigors of your schedule and always appear to be grateful for every conversation you’re having.” When you go into the public eye, now that I’m a public figure, there are days when people ask you questions that pull energy, and you want to remember at every moment that to give is to get. I could use some words from Oprah to really handle that.
- I would love to speak to Nelson Mandela because I want to know how he was able to be trapped in a cell for all those years and come out building alliances with people who put him in jail.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Julie Daniluk: The deepest book I have ever had the chance to read is by my yoga master, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, and it’s A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. That book has given me hours of peace, connection and serenity because there is a whole system of a 5000 year old tradition that allows you a way to connect with the higher power. I’m not a religious person, but I’m a person who believes in something beyond myself. This has been an incredible way to tap into that higher source of joy and love that has fueled my whole life. I have been reading this book for about eight years. It’s a massive textbook so you keep on referring to it. Those sorts of books fill me up because they feel like a huge labyrinth of information so you take yourself down different sections because you are ready for them.
Avil Beckford: You are one of the 10 finalists on the reality show, So, How Would You Spend Your Time? Each finalist is placed on separate deserted islands for two years. You have a basic hut on the island and all the tools for survival; you just have to be imaginative and inventive when using them. You are allowed to take five books, one movie and one music CD, and whatever else you take has to fit in one suitcase and a travel on case. What would you take with you and how would you spend the two years? T he prize is worth your while and at this stage in the game there really aren’t any losers among the 10 finalists, since each are guaranteed at least $2 million?
I would use the time to get into the best shape of my life and to have an incredible connection to the island life. I would allow myself time to slow down, for me to completely let go of my schedule and my expectations around what I need to accomplish in a day and be with nature. That’s something that presently on the track I am I don’t have, so it would be an absolute gift to have two years on an island.
- A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya
- An Atlas because I would love to be able to study the world and understand the different pieces of the world and get related to the world as a whole.
- I would take a book on anatomy because I would love to study the anatomy in incredible depth.
- I would take an incredible survival book that allows you to survive outside, and it has 7,845 useful skills and step-by-step instructions. Everything you need to exist in the wilderness, and it’s called Survival Wisdom & Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Thrive in the Wilderness from the editors of Stackpole Books, and it’s a complete practical volume. It’s everything you have ever wanted to know about survival.
- The last one would be a book of cooking terms and there are some really great ones. One of the best ones is Larousse Gastronomique: The World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated and it’s the world’s greatest culinary encyclopedia.
One Movie, One Music CD
The movie that I would take with me is Forrest Gump (Sapphire Series) [Blu-ray] because I can watch it over and over again where most movies you get exhausted so I wouldn’t want to take a heavy or depressing movie. I would love to take a movie that I could memorize and there are certain sections of Forest Gump that I would actually like to memorize because the wisdom that he has is just so authentic and fun and connected that I find it hilarious and uplifting. My favourite music CD of all time is Sting, Nothing Like the Sun album. Ever since I was 12 years old I have loved Sting so he is the one person I can listen to over and over again.
Forrest Gump Trailer (Movie release: July 6, 1994)
Sting – Be Still My Beating Heart
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Julie Daniluk: Connecting to people. That’s the most exciting thing for me.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Julie Daniluk: I nurture by soul by getting very still because the rest of the day I’m moving very quickly. When I can be exceptionally still, I can get in touch with something so much greater, and I start to lose the actual boundaries of my body and feel connected to everything in the world.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Julie Daniluk: I would wish that every person would know that they are actually everyone else in the world. I would remove that mental boundary of people feeling isolated and have everyone relate to everyone else as themselves because if we could have everyone understand that I am You and You are Me, then we would have no war, we would have no greed, and we would have no poverty. I feel that all of the world’s problems would be solved if we could truly lift that selfish ego that thinks that we are just ourselves – that we’re one body moving through space with needs.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Julie Daniluk: I’m happy when connected.
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