Omkari Williams

Interviews & Case Studies

This interview is the first in a mix of interviews and case studies that I did with three women (and one young woman) who are using The Playbook: Creating the Life You Want to consciously design various areas of their lives. 

Here's our interview: meet Raye

This is Part 1 of my interview with Raye Carr.

Raye is a hypnotherapist in practice in Savannah, GA.

O: Hi Raye, I’m so happy to be having this conversation with you.

R: Thank you, I’m happy to be talking to you too. 

O: Let’s dive right in. I love that you chose the Money section of The Playbook to work on. Money is a big subject, was there anything in particular that you noticed that you hadn’t been aware of before? Any thought pattern or habit, any way of being, that you hadn’t paid attention to?

Raye Carr, Hypnotherapist Savannah, GA

Raye Carr, Hypnotherapist Savannah, GA

R: Yes, I realize I have very conflicting thoughts about the exact same topic. I really dove in and finished out the entire section. My original motivation is that I have started a new business so money was in my face. One thing I realize is that I have conflicting ideas and thoughts in just about every section but especially money. I would think, “Oh, I know this, or I think this and then there’s the side of me that thinks the exact opposite.” That conflict can stunt your progress. It will be time to take action but that conflict keeps me from taking the actions I need to take.

O: That is such a cool realization. If we have an idea about money in one area of life but hold a conflicting idea about money in another area, those two ideas won’t happily co-exist. What happened when you realized that you hold these conflicting beliefs?

R: I’m a bit ahead of the curve because of my work. I can see that the subconscious conflict stopped my action. That allowed me to do was take my focus and put it on what I do want, ideally. What is it I want in my relationship to money? Knowing, as I do, that when you set your goals with clarity you can absolutely achieve them allowed me to set specific goals without the underlying conflict. I acknowledged the conflict and got to then recognize the optimal situation for myself in relation to money.

Coming to that realization allowed me to say, “Okay, this is what I do think, and this is what I do want and finding ways to get those understandings to mirror each other.”

O: That’s perfect, you as a hypnotherapist, know this. We want what we’re thinking and what we’re doing to match rather than being in conflict with each other. 

Part of the reason that I wrote the book is that I know that there is a difference when we get ideas out of our heads and onto paper. We’ll have a thought and it’ll go around in our head like a hamster on a wheel. But then, if we write it down, something shifts and we have an easier time moving into action mode. I don’t know why that is, I just know that it is. Seeing things on the page, there’s that moment of, “Oh!”. Then you have power in your life to make change because then you have clarity. 

R: Doing the Money section has inspired me to take that same time and focus and put it on the other areas of the book. Put that same amount of energy into all these different areas. Another realization was that the time I take to prepare for clients, I don’t often take that time for myself. So now I intend on making my book more colorful, more me. Really throw myself into it. Take time to get clear on things in my own life.

This is Part 2 of my interview with Raye Carr, a hypnotherapist in practice in Savannah, GA. 

                                                  The Money Tree

                                                  The Money Tree

O: You’ve totally tapped into that thing that so many of us women do. So many of us will get anxious about doing something for ourselves because there is so much that others need and want from us and we forget to fill the well of our own needs first.

One of the things that’s particularly true about money is that there are patterns we have from our parents and our grandparents. Our family dynamic around money can dramatically influence how we experience money. Did you notice anything like that when you were working through this section?

R: Yes, absolutely. My family came from Guyana, South America. It’s a totally different culture about money and how you spend money at least when I was growing up. There wasn’t the emphasis on credit and acquiring. When my mom moved us here she was a single parent with three kids. She came knowing no one here. My mom worked hard and she struggled. There was always that feeling that there wasn’t enough and there wasn’t going to be enough. 

I realized going through this section that I’ve had that feeling my entire life that there’s not enough, there’s never going to be enough, there’s no one I can ask, there’s no one that can help me. So there’s been that pattern, there’s also been the pattern of anxiety about what I need. But there’s also a pattern of needs being met through hard work. 

O: I think that is a far more common story than we often realize. Especially for women who, through death or divorce or any other reason, become the sole providers for their kids.That struggle not only impacts the mom but also impacts the kids and creates a pattern of feeling that sufficient money is slightly out of reach. Then even when sufficient money does show up there is that disconnect between having enough and feeling that you have enough.

R: Exactly!

O: One of the things that I encourage in The Playbook is to look at what’s real now as opposed to what was real. You get to say, “That was the story but the story has now changed because I’ve educated myself and I’m smart about my money.” Then you get to appreciate the progress you’ve made as well as the sacrifice your mom made in a different way.

R: Absolutely.

O: I especially wanted people to realize that money is a tool. It’s there to serve your needs. Did you give thought to what your money is supposed to be doing for you?

R: Absolutely. It takes the focus off of what money isn’t doing for you. I tell clients to not focus on what they don’t want but to focus on what they do want. It opened my eyes to what do I want money to be doing for me. What do I want money for? It’s also important to model a healthy relationship to money for my children. It put money into perspective. Instead of being a source of stress let it be a tool, as you say.

Now that I’m in business for myself I have to manage my money very consciously. Coming from Guyana I had one perspective on money and then came here and the perspective is very different. Resolving those conflicts is really important.

O: How do you plan to translate the work you’ve done in The Playbook to your life? How will you make those changes?

R: For one, like I said, I feel like I’m ahead of the curve because I’m a hypnotherapist, so when I sat down and answered the question “What does my ideal relationship with money look like?” I got to number eight and thought, “These look like great hypnotic suggestions”. So I wrote them down and got as detailed as I could because having a goal that’s very detailed that you can picture absolutely means that your mind will move towards accomplishing that. 

I’m going to make myself a recording. To change my own subconscious beliefs about money because now they’re identified. And also, work on a plan. I feel that once you acquire that knowledge about yourself, once you acquire the knowledge of something not being the way that you want it to be your next step is to put action to it. First change my thinking, next step to develop a plan for creating a good financial future for myself. I’m going to use the envisioning tree to help me make it even more detailed and complete.

O: I love that. Using the trees engages our creative right brain and that is so helpful in building a strong vision for the future. 

Raye, I want to thank you so much for this conversation. It’s been so much fun to talk with you about this deeply important subject. I can’t wait to talk with you in a few months to see where you are in achieving your money goals. 

R: Thank you! Yes, I’m looking forward to the peaceful place. I know that worrying about money stifles creativity so I am looking forward to a more peaceful and creative future. 

Here's our first case study: meet Jenn

Jenn A., Savannah, GA 

Jenn A., Savannah, GA 

Here is a case study from a reader/user of The Playbook: Creating the Life You Want. Jenn A. lives in Savannah, GA and provides customized employment services to people with disabilities.  

Jenn and I talked about Relationships. I was thrilled that she chose this section because no matter what else we are doing we are immersed in the world of relationship. Navigating relationships can be so tricky, we’re not only dealing with our own questions, struggles, and dreams but with those of others who may want very different things. In Jenn’s case though, the main issue was a bit different.

Jenn is a relatively new transplant to Savannah, GA with her husband of 2 1/2 years. She’s originally from the West coast where her family and closest friends still live, and she misses them. Add to that the fact that she and her husband work together but he’s often on the road for their business and she finds herself missing people, her husband, her parents, her brother and sister, and her closest friends more than she anticipated. Also, Savannah can be a bit transient so making friends here can be challenging.

I asked her what diving into the relationship section was like and she said, “Working with the relationship section made me cry a little bit. Doing it you have time to center yourself, you get to take a hard look at what’s going well in your life. How are you affecting others? How are you affecting your relationships? What are you leaving on the back burner to take care of later. What relationships are you kind of not taking good care of?”

She continued, “I don’t know, in my heart I realize that I’ve neglected a lot of the friends I had back in California. I haven’t talked to them very often, I expect them to be there when I need them, but I haven’t been good at reaching out. It makes me sad because I miss those girls in my life. My family as well, I miss them all the time. I do keep in good contact with them. It was a really good experience to delve into those hard hitting points that I didn’t want to take a look at before.”

                                  The Relationship Tree

                                  The Relationship Tree

Working through this section was emotional for her. In speaking about her brother, sister, and closest cousin she said, “When I’m with them we’re all goofy. It’s like I’m entirely myself, 100% who I am and comfortable in my own skin. I haven’t found that kind of relationship here yet.”

Looking at Jenn’s Playbook delighted me, she’d done it in color, different colors for the different sections. Like me, Jenn is very visual and having the different colors really helped her. When I was creating The Playbook it was important to me to have it not be a one side of the brain experience. I wanted the women engaging with it to be able to use both the analytical side of themselves and the creative side so that the whole woman was creating what’s next.

Working through the prompts Jenn created a plan for herself. With her friends she’s going to have virtual cocktail hours. Well, cocktails for her, more like late lunches for them. They’ll set a time and get on the phone and catch up on a regular basis. With her family her plan is to increase the number of times she gets home each year. Right now she’s at two but she feels that adding in one trip will make a big difference. 

In her relationship with her husband Jenn said that because they work together they have to pay special attention to who they are with and to each other. It can be easy to get into an “all work, all the time” mode. We talked about remembering what it is that we love about ourselves when we are with our partner. The, “This is what I love about me when I’m with you” experience. 

Now she has a game plan; each person got their own branch of her tree where she describes in detail what kind of outcome she wants to see in the relationship. From here she's moving on to the Work section because while she’s doing work she loves there are a lot of other things she’d like to explore.

That’s Jenn, Creating the Life She Wants!

 

Here's our second case study: meet natalie

                             The Fun and Recreation Tree

                             The Fun and Recreation Tree

This third and last installment in the interview series was a lot of fun for me. I interviewed my old roommate Beth and her 16 year old daughter Natalie. I hadn’t planned on interviewing Natalie but when I asked Beth to participate in The Playbook Virtual Book Tour Natalie got wind and wanted to join in. Natalie, appropriately, chose to work on the Fun and Recreation section while Beth chose the Health section. 

It was interesting having Natalie as part of the group of women. Talking with a teenager reminded me of what most of us have at that age, an optimistic outlook on the future and a willingness to play. Too often, both those qualities dissipate as we get older and the responsibilities of adulthood take hold.

Natalie and I talked about how, even though she is quite young, there are pressures that she faces and responsibilities that she has. Besides being in high school Natalie is a gifted dancer. We spoke in July and Natalie was already spending a significant amount of time learning the lead role of Clara in the ballet The Nutcracker Suite. So, in addition to her schoolwork she has five months of demanding rehearsals ahead of her. 

The two of us spoke about how, even at her age, remembering to just take time out of her normal life to relax is important. With the pressures of ballet and keeping up her high grade point average, as college looms, Natalie said that it is easy to forget that she needs downtime. Time where she just gets to sit on the couch and watch Netflix or simply hangs out with her friends. 

Natalie G. student and ballet dancer, CT

Natalie G. student and ballet dancer, CT

When we spoke Natalie had just come back from a dream trip to Costa Rica. She said having that time away had given her a different perspective on the whole subject of fun and recreation. Traveling to a new place and seeing how Costa Rican kids her own age lived was eye-opening. Seeing that other people live differently than we do made her think about how bringing more deliberate times of recreation into her own life might benefit her. 

As she goes back to school and a busier rehearsal schedule Natalie is committed to paying attention to bringing a bit of balance to her life by building in time to just kick back and enjoy being a kid. Natalie’s Fun and Recreation tree is as creative as she is. Her goal is to create a plan that grows and changes as she does. 

 

Here's our third case study: meet beth

Natalie’s mom, Beth, and I have known each other since we were in our 20’s. Because we know each other so well I was really curious as to what section of The Playbook Beth would choose to work on. Beth is a licensed massage therapist, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that she chose the Health section but I was. 

Beth expressed that she was starting to feel some of the effects of hitting middle age and that she was interested in addressing those as best she could. She told me, “I have aches and pains that I didn’t have 10 years ago and I want to see what I can do to keep myself fit.”

Because she works with the human body Beth has clarity about her health goals that most of us would envy. She’s set herself goals in both her general physical fitness and also in her diet. She decided that she would use the framework of the Health section of The Playbook to support her as she does a pretty aggressive cleanse. 

She described what it entailed and I said that I didn’t see myself taking on something like that anytime soon. We both laughed because Beth has always been more disciplined about food than I have. We talked about how putting her goals in writing in The Playbook would make it easier for her to keep the big picture in mind if the cleanse got challenging. 

Beth G. licensed massage therapist, CT

Beth G. licensed massage therapist, CT

For Beth, creating a specific way of approaching her health goals is essential. She thrives on having specific, measurable goals and can make her Health Tree in The Playbook a way to keep to each specific aspect of the cleanse that she is doing. Beth’s tree is more detailed than her daughter’s and reflective of who and where she is at this time in her life. 

Plotting in her workout times, her dietary needs, and meal plans while she does her cleanse will help Beth stay on track. She describes The Playbook as her "bridge to effective action". Having her plan in place will help her make the changes that will keep her fit and healthy now, and years into the future.

As Beth and Natalie discovered, The Playbook meets you where you are and gives you a map to chart your path to where you want to be.

                                            The Health Tree

                                            The Health Tree