Undergoing Significant Life Changes

Naoko Tomita recounts her journey of personal transformation, transitioning from an office worker to passionately pursuing her dreams and establishing her own company, Willwind.

Pursuing something you love to do

Nick: This involves actually a personal transformation, I think. From your previous life of office worker, to establishing whirlwind. So what was the catalyst for this change in your life?

Naoko: Well, I think it is going to be a bit of my life story. I was born and raised in Tokyo, spent my childhood from one to seven years old in New York. Because there was not much nature around me. I always sought nature and learned from nature.

And my teacher were the trees, the flowers, and the waves that came and went. And I always got answer to my life problems from such nature and natural phenomena. But usually, the answers were like, well, just be yourself, you're okay as you are the just like the waves.

Another good thing will come again, or the sunrises, or your life, something like that. But anyway, it really ease me a lot.

Nick: Great teachers, wonderful teachers. What wonderful interpretation you have of nature being a teacher.

Naoko: So I still talk to nature a lot. So I'm quite an introvert. And for some reason, ever since I was a small child, I have always loved to think about the future of mankind, because I loved nature. And I was aware that I was part of this nature.

And my interest was whether we could survive as one of the species which formed this ecosystem. So I would sometimes think that it is amazing and inspiring that we humans have evolved so far with various inventions.

On the other hand, I also worry that we as humans, we cannot stop wars, and destruction of nature will perish, if we do not do something about it. In other hand, I also believe that the reason why human beings, who are biologically so weak, have been able to build a society on such a large scale and increase in number is because of our tremendous ability.

And I also believe that the potential of using this ability for better purposes other than destruction is immeasurable. As a member of the human race, I would like to have hope and confidence in this. And that makes me waku waku.

Still, having these questions in my mind, yet, I didn't know what to do. So I started my career in 1993, as a consultant and a project manager in Tokyo, working for several American and European companies.

The reason I became consultant was, it's not like I wanted to be a consultant, but I wanted to have a broader perspective of the world. And I thought, if I become a consultant, I can see many companies and what they do, and understand the system of this world.

Behind that, I was always looking for something I really wanted to do. And in December 2004, I remember I traveled alone to Australia, I wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef, and New Zealand, the southern island.

And through the dialogue with mother nature, I was able to break free from the endless loop of my vague questions, believing that there is no right answer to how human race should live. And if there is no right answer, then all that remains is to create the future we want to live in.

And it came to my mind that maybe I can create and provide an opportunity where we can all continue to ask ourselves about the ideal world that we want to live in. And we are a human being blessed to live in such a transformative era. It's so exciting. I couldn't stop being really excited when I talk about this idea of spending my lifetime facing this open question with others.

So I thought that maybe I can do, like a facilitator, become a facilitator for those workshops. And these feelings overflowed me, and I decided to turn around from my life as an office worker, and started my small family business company, Willwind, in 2005. And now I'm a workshop designer, and do workshops to people and share this waku waku.

Nick: I love it. What an amazing transformation and journey.