My Story, and How it Can be Yours
How I got unstuck, retired early, lost weight and started my heart project
On July 2, 2020, I celebrated a huge moment for me — taking early retirement. 🎉
My husband Lobsang and I took a luxurious all-day hike in one of my favorite places — Pt. Reyes National Park.
That evening we had a treat dinner of our favorite pizza from the Cheeseboard in Berkeley, and toasted the retirement with a glass of apple cider.
The next morning, I was thrilled to be able to put ALL my time and energy into what matters most to me — two passion projects close to my heart.
I was in my late 50s and for at least a decade, I had been feeling stuck and unseen in my job and my life.
It was a good job and I had a good life in many ways, but for years I had felt like a hamster on a wheel, working hard but not feeling valued.
I knew I needed to get unstuck but I had no freaking idea how to do it.
In the summer of 2018, I discovered manifesting. It sounded kind of weird to me and maybe too woo woo, but I was intrigued and gave it a shot.
I dove in and started studying everything I could. Over the summer and into the fall I began creating what I came to call my “ manifesting practices” and I started doing them every morning.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I got unstuck.
So many things have changed for the good since then. I’ve:
- lost an additional 10 pounds
- stopped the exhausting habit of working nights and weekends
- reconnected with a few loved ones, and
- reduced my fear and anxiety
- went half time at my job, then fully retired
- started full time on my two heart projects: helping women reconnect to their joy and purpose, and serving the Tibetan people. (My husband Lobsang is Tibetan.)
All of these things are works in progress but when I look back over the last two years, I’m honestly amazed.
What was the #1 problem that had kept me stuck?
It’s crystal clear now that when I was stuck all those years, I was missing daily emotional hygiene.
My problem was that I was failing to give my mind a positive direction at the start of the day.
If I don’t purposefully give my mind anything good to chew on, it tends to go negative — and to being stuck in worry and fear and resentment.
You’ve heard of the “monkey mind?”
Mine is a monkey, and without some direction and guidance, goes wild, and not in a fun way!
The solution, for me, is not rocket science, and is surprisingly easy.
I just start every day with some simple thought practices, and these help me:
- Allow and calm down my negative thoughts and emotions
- Feel calmer and happier
- Begin to see myself for who I really am
- Discover my path of joy
- Take inspired actions toward my goals and dreams
- Create meaning and purpose in my life
I would love to share some of those practices with you now.
You can learn them in under ten minutes a day, in four days.
After that you can do them every day and watch your mind and your life begin to shift.
Click here to get my list of 10 of the kind of self-care tips I used to get to that blessed July day.
Fun Facts about Yolanda
Things I love
Lobsang Wangdu, travel, Tibet, the Himalayas, watermelon, hiking, photography, fried chicken
Things I hate
Squash, shopping of any kind, running.
Transformative moments in my life
- Buying a one-way ticket to magical Kathmandu when I graduated from grad school at UC Berkeley
- Stepping off the night bus from Delhi to Dharamsala, falling in love with the mountains and Tibetan culture, and deciding at that moment that I was going to stay.
- Meeting Lobsang Wangdu in Dharamsala
- On arriving in California for grad school, getting off the Airporter on Durant Street when the driver announced “Berzerkley,” and feeling my soul smile.
- Attending a ten-day Lamrim teaching by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Mungod, India
I’m proud of
- Supporting both travelers and Tibetans inside Tibet through the online travel business that I run with my husband (YoWangdu Experience Tibet: yowangdu.com)
- Interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- Volunteer English teaching for Tibetan refugees for a year in Dharamsala, India
- Reading my This I Believe radio piece — Living What You Do Every Day — to 11 million people on NPR one morning and having my piece chosen for the book series
- Getting a black belt in Aikido after 5 years in Japan
- Serving as President of the Berkeley Student Cooperative (Known then as the USCA)
- My work, before I retired early, for Dr. Bruce Alberts and Ron Vale (iBiology.org). Even though science is not my personal passion, both of these great science leaders lit my path by totally living in their path of joy, and being good people doing good work for the world.
My greatest teacher
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
My purpose on this earth
- Serving the Tibetan people
- Helping women reconnect to their joy and purpose by seeing and appreciating their true self, even when the true self seems weird or uncool.
Enough about Me
I’d love to help you make a transformation in your life!
To get started, click here to get my list of 10 of the kind of self-care tips and receive emails from me helping you take the first steps on your own path.