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Follow Your Compass

One of my favorite sources of inspirational and thought provoking teachings is the nonprofit organization Institute of Noetic Sciences ( The educational offerings of the Institute have challenged my own paradigms of living and in doing so, have led me to expand my thinking and open up to life’s possibilities.

Recently I was listening to the Institute’s interview of the futurist leader Barbara Marx Hubbard as she discussed her own life journey and the concept of conscious evolution. While I was intrigued by her teaching, I was awed by her presence, and realized why when she said simply, I follow the “compass of joy.” It was evident: in her voice, her language and her reflection on life. Her declared compass, her way finder, leads her to joy. It attracts her to people and events that bring her joy, and provides the framework through which she experiences life.

imageFor thousands of years, we have used compasses to help us reach our destination. The compasses have helped us stay on course, and to get back on course when we have wandered off or been thrown off by acts of Mother Nature. In many cases, they have been a life saver.

As I applied Dr. Hubbard’s concept to my own life and my work with clients, I realized that we are all guided by our own compass, yet often that compass has been set by the subconscious versus conscious mind. The challenge is to consciously decide what compass we want to guide us.

The easy and most common way to go along in life is to allow our subconscious to determine the compass we will follow. For much of my adult life, I was following the compass of safety: attracting safe situations; always taking the safe, sure way or position; spending time with people I knew who made me feel safe, etc. Adopted by my subconscious, the compass of safety kept me in my comfort zone, and yes, kept me safe. It also filtered out a lot of opportunities that it deemed too risky.

In my first meeting with clients, as I listen attentively to their stories and reasons for wanting to work with a coach, it is often very clear to me which compass they have been following. Unbeknownst to them, their subconscious mind has honed in on a directional north, one that at this point in their life is limiting their life satisfaction and/or keeping them from reaching or simply identifying their goals.

The more challenging and fulfilling way to live is to declare which directional north we want our compass to follow: a compass of joy, happiness, harmony, peace, love, etc. It is ours to choose, and to recognize that at any time, we can change it. In declaring our compass and committing to using it as a guide, we are more likely to reach our chosen destination, and to enjoy the scenery along the way. We will continue to experience periods where we go off course; yet if we pull out our compass, our way finder, it will lead us back.

Extra Ordinary

What compass are you following?

What compass do you want to guide you?

How will doing so change your life?

What would be different in your life if you adopted a compass of joy?

About Extra Ordinary Living

Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.

As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.

Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.

With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.

 Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email,, or visit the website,


Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach

Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.

Sustainable Living Tip:

Back to School

A time when many stock up on pencils, pens, paper, folders and various school supplies. This year when stocking up recognize the benefit of buying refillable pencils, aka mechanical pencils, and pens. While doing so is good for the environment, most of those writing instruments are more ergonomical in their design.

Before heading out to buy new, clean out last year’s backpack. I know my tendency has been just to throw out the old and bring in the new, in hindsight creating a lot of unnecessary waste and expenditures.

Lastly, remember to recycle, particularly the electronic items: cell phones; computers; pda’s; batteries. Check out the website for sources.    


"You have brains in your head,
you have feet in your shoes
you can steer yourself
in any direction you choose."
– Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

"All joy emphasises our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings."
– C.S. Lewis


Institute of Noetic Sciences

Founded in the early 1970’s, the Institute was the brain child of the Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell who on his return trip to Earth, as he looked out of his small cabin window and saw our planet floating in the vastness of space was “engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness.” This self-proclaimed epiphany challenged his traditional scientific philosophy and led him to a new hypothesis questioning an expanded, more inclusive view of reality. For the past 30 years, the Institute of Noetic Sciences has applied scientific rigor in their exploration of human and universal consciousness.


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