I’m so happy to feature an interview I did with Omakari Williams about her creative step-by-step guide to creating the life you want! Omakari is a kind and sensitive woman doing wonderful work in the world. She’s taken big leaps in her life, and chosen the less travelled path several times (something I can definitely relate to). Her passion for women’s stories and women’s lives comes through in all she does!
How did you come up with the idea to write The Playbook?
The Playbook came about from conversations with clients and some of my friends. One client, in particular, was interested in how to keep going with the progress she was making in our coaching sessions. That made me start to think about conversations I’d had with friends as well. We would talk about how we maintained and expanded our progress in life goals and I realized how much I got from writing and doodling around goals and dreams. So one thing led to another and I thought, let me just get some ideas on paper. A few ideas turned into The Playbook. So, thanks to both those who wanted a way to expand on coaching and those coaching themselves. It’s because of them that this book exists.
Can you tell me more about why you choose the categories you did?
When I think about the areas of life that are most important to me these 8 are at the top. If I had to build my life from scratch I feel that I could build an entire and very rich life from these categories. Relationships, Work, Home, Health, Money, Contribution, Fun & Recreation, and Spiritual Life if you put some attention on each of those areas you would have life pretty well covered. I wanted to give those reading and visioning their way through The Playbook a place to dream and plan for the life the truly want to be living.
I also wanted to have all these in The Playbook because together they represent a balanced life. I want to be clear about something here. I don’t believe our lives can, or even should, be in balance all the time. At different times in life we give more weight to different areas. In our 20’s it’s often our work that takes the focus. At some point we may shift to a mode where we are more about relationships as we focus on children and family. So, I don’t believe in “balance” as much as I believe in keeping an eye on the overall picture of the life we want, recognizing that the picture will change as we grow and change.
How has the book helped you in your own life and how often do you go back to it?
It’s one of those funny things, as I was writing the book I also was gaining clarity on my own goals and dreams. You kind of can’t write this kind of book without that happening. Then, honestly, I put it down for a while. I’d spent so much time and energy focused on it that I needed to walk away and just give my brain a rest. Once I had a couple of months away I found that I would go back to the book whenever I hit a snag in an area. I would go back and look at the specific section to remind myself of my big vision and the tiny steps I had put in place to get to there from here. Overall, I probably look at the whole thing twice a year to see where I am in the larger picture and make tweaks as necessary.
I love the title of the Playbook, and I’m wondering what you love to do to bring more fun and play into your life?
By nature I am a pretty low key person, you won’t find me on a roller coaster or out partying. My idea of fun and recreation is being on an empty beach with a book. I also really enjoy knitting, watching movies from the 1930’s – 1950’s, and travel. I love going to foreign countries and diving in as much as I can. My next trip is to Asia and I am so excited to explore a culture I’ve never experienced. I’ve got a long list of places that I want to visit, so that’s my idea of fun and play. Oh, that and a box of See’s Cashew Brittle which is my favorite candy in the world. Sit me on the sofa with a good book and a box of cashew brittle and I’m in heaven.
Your main area of interest is the stories of women. How does The Playbook fit into that passion?
Yes! Women’s stories are my passion. For me, The Playbook, is a space where women get to begin to write the next chapter of their stories. There are things in life that we have no control over but we often have more control than we assert. When we have a clear idea of what we want the next part of our story to be we can take actions that move us in that direction. Sure, life happens and we may get knocked a little off course from time to time. But if we aren’t on a course we are totally at the whim of fate. Even if we get knocked off course we can correct and get back on the right heading as long as we know where we want to go.
The Playbook, for me, is that place where women can begin, or continue, to create their powerful stories.
Tell me about the envisioning trees. How did they come about?
My first version of The Playbook just wasn’t enough fun. I knew it needed something and then I had the great good fortune to get connected with Kate Freer who did the illustrations. We hit it off right away and she understood what I wanted the book to be. We had a lot of fun choosing the trees so that they would best represent the ideas of each section. I’m very visual, being able to see a picture of what I want my life to look like is a huge help as I put a plan in place.
What I most love is that as soon as we added the trees the whole energy of the book changed because there was a place to color and doodle. Adding in the trees accomplished my goal of bringing both sides of the brain into play as women engage with the book. Plus, I love color and I love that the trees also encourage creativity. I’ve seen some very colorful books that women have worked through and it always puts a smile on my face to see them.
What do you want the main takeaway from working through The Playbook to be?
The main thing that I want those working through The Playbook to takeaway is that this is your life. You are not a passive witness to your life. You are as powerful as you choose to be.
Lastly, I want to say this, our stories are important, our stories need to be heard, our stories can heal the damaged places in our souls and in the world. Write your story, live your story, share your story.
Omkari Williams is a speaker, writer, and life/creativity coach. She began her professional life as an actor. Now, she speaks and writes about the importance of women’s stories. She works with her clients to use story as a tool to live their daily lives with focus, meaning, and passion.
Her writing has been featured online by Elephant Journal, My Empowered World, Women For One, and Tattooed Buddha and in print by Savannah Magazine and Paprika Southern.
Connect with her at her website