Welcome to Yellow Glitter! Mindfulness through the eyes & soul of a queer Asian. Every episode, I share with you what’s on my mind, things I’m be struggling with and how I’m working through it to live a more mindful, fabulous life!
Steven Wakabayashi: Okay, here we go. Hi everyone. My name is Steven Wakabayashi and you’re listening to Yellow Glitter Mindfulness through the eyes and soul of me, you’re queer Asian. So every episode I’m going to share with you what’s on my mind, things I’m struggling with, and how I’m working through it to live a more mindful, fabulous life.
And because this is the first episode, I wanted to share a little bit about how I got here. So let’s rewind. It is the end of 2017 and I ended up getting really, really sick. I was in the hospital for about three months, unable to digest food properly, and after transforming. My diet, my lifestyle, I started seeing a tremendous shift in my health.
And so I spent the entirety of 2018 to focus on my body after having hit rock bottom, something in May. Just set Steven focus on yourself, and while I was healing, I. Started picking up a more regular meditation practice. My healthcare practitioner at the time, uh, she was the eastern doctor over in San Francisco.
I was working with her at the time and she prescribed me meditation. She must have seen how. Anxious I was, how much stress I was going through in my day to day. And so she said, try it. Try to do it every single day and see what happens. And so I did. I actually had been meditating long before that, but it wasn’t regular at all.
I was doing yoga, I was trying the meditation apps. But after having done it for almost a year of. Sitting on a yoga block every single morning for 15 minutes to an hour. I saw my health dramatically transform. And I just wanna note that for anyone listening, I did more on top of meditation, including sleeping more, adjusting my diet, cooking every single meal.
But I think most of the traumatic shift in my lifestyle did come from meditating every single day. And so with that, I was also working in advertising in San Francisco, creating some of the biggest apps and websites for the biggest companies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. And so with that, I was working 10 to 16 hour days and I.
Needed to reevaluate my relationship with work. I figured I had to depart if I wanted to really, truly prioritize my health first. And so as I was applying jobs and getting a couple offered, something just didn’t feel right and I went with it, went with my gut instinct. And so instead of going to another job, I focused on diving into meditation because of how much of an impact it had on my health. And so I said, you know what? Let’s do something even crazier. And so I did. I picked six meditation destinations around the world, United States, Japan, Thailand, France, uk. I think that was six. Let’s see, United States, Thailand, Japan, France, India in the uk and I set off to do this earlier this year.
And some interesting things, and so I’m getting back to why I started this podcast. A long-winded answer, but while I was traveling and studying meditation around the world, the demographic of people, Was really interesting to observe. So my first meditation retreat in Massachusetts, believe it or not, Massachusetts is the center of mindfulness in the United States.
But out of 200 people, I was the only Asian male, surprisingly, and as I traveled even to India, Thailand. Uh, about 80 to 90% of the people at these retreats were white and let alone. Thinking about queer representation. I was the only gay male at some of these retreats. Crazy. Right? And to rewind a little bit, I had picked retreats all around the world that I thought were the most progressive and had a lot of people attending.
I had. You know, hundreds of people with me. And out of two out of the six, they hosted sessions where LGBT people could gather and meditate or discuss meditation and mindfulness. And in my retreat in Thailand, actually, it was very, very close-minded, let know acknowledged that gay people existed more on that later, but, Uh, fast forward to today.
I am making videos. I’m writing about mindfulness and meditation, but it never occurred to me until recently. I was skimming through my favorite mindfulness life. Coaches, speakers, authors, and I saw the demographic of people I was looking at for inspiration. Majority of these people are straight and white.
And it’s not to say that these people haven’t made a huge impact and they have, but I was interested to understand more about the Asian perspective or even deeper the gay Asian perspective and how it applies to mindfulness lifestyle, and. When you think about topics like the impact of an Asian immigrant family on a Western lifestyle, or even the absence of Asians in the Western mindfulness movement, I don’t think it’s in the wheelhouse of the speakers to talk about these issues. And so I dug, dug, dug and really couldn’t find anyone. So then I reached out to my Instagram to ask people if they knew of any people in the Asian or gay realm that has an impact on mindfulness, especially in the United States. And so a few friends mentioned Jim Quick, Maria Kondo, and when you look at the content they produce, it is pretty generic and it can be applied to anyone and everyone, if you swap out Jim Quick or Marie Kondo’s head or Tony Robbins or Tim Ferris or anyone of that sort, the message is still the same. And as for Gabe, I’ve been following this podcast called Inquire Within by Darren Maine who hosts San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral Yoga. Which is pretty amazing.
If you haven’t gone and you’re in San Francisco, it’s this gigantic church that hosts a weekly free yoga session and you are surrounded by hundreds of people and oh my God, it’s just an amazing site. I highly recommend it, but his podcast also really. Rarely touches on queer matters. He might have gay co-hosts here and there, but the topics are pretty broad on mindfulness.
Again, if you switch his head for Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, most of the podcasts episodes would still be received in the same way. And so here I am. I couldn’t find something that dug deeper in both. So I’m creating this podcast, and as for the name, I want it to be representative of both the Asian and queer nature of the podcast.
Yellow glitter, taking back the term yellow, most often used to colorize the Asian skin tone and glitter. Because it’s freaking fabulous. And so yellow glitter will cover Asian and gay culture. And how to be mindful in this space. Things that come across or inspired by my eat, pray, love journey from earlier this year, and talking about things that are going on in my life, things that I’m struggling with, things that maybe even inspire me.
Through my queer and Asian lens. So in a nutshell, that’s where I am. That’s where my head is, and I haven’t really made a podcast before, but I am very familiar with the space. If you don’t know me, I am. Such an avid consumer of podcasts. I listen to a handful every single day and I subscribe to so, so many.
The Tim Ferris show, Christine Haslers podcast, um, investments, business, finance, the whole gamut, you name it. But I haven’t really seen anything that covers this. And so here I am and. I wanna do right? I wanna do right by my community from two different perspectives, and hopefully this will help you. If you identify as queer, you identify as Asian, or if you want to understand these two cultures a lot more.
So, yeah, that’s it. Very first episode. And so if you want more stuff from me, you can check out my YouTube youtube.com/stevenwakabayashi. Though I warn you, a lot of my content hasn’t really been this specific key yet. It maybe shift. Uh, you are warned, and of course follow me on my Instagram at instagram.com/stevenwakabayashi, and if that’s not enough, I also publish a weekly mindfulness newsletter and you can go and subscribe.
It’s totally free at mindful moments dot sub stack.com, and you can get your toast of yellow glitter related content and things I’m loving or inspired in your inbox every single week. Super excited to do this show. Super excited to. Uh, talk about some of the content I’ve lined up for you. I hope you will enjoy it.
I know I’m having a lot of fun writing, creating it right now as we speak. And yeah, so with that, so much love for you and hope your day can be a little bit more mindful by now.