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Value of Contrasts

During this past month, one of the resounding themes has been the presence of continuous contrasts…..80° one day, 30° the next; the mountains’ foliage bright green at the bottom, fading to bare, brown branches at the top; while driving to work, going in and out of patches of bright blue skies and dense fog; my friend Shirley within days of burying her 107 year old mother will celebrate her granddaughter’s first birthday. And by far the most poignant, the violence on the Virginia Tech campus, and the ensuing peace and love immediately felt and embraced.

Contrasts were all around, all of various degrees. Certainly many were a result of the changing seasons, the transitional season of spring where nature transforms: one minute a dirty, ugly cocoon; the next, a beautiful butterfly. Yet, contrasts are present every day in our lives, regardless of season, and I now see how it is through them and in them that we find the opportunity to grow stronger and wiser; to broaden our perspectives and expand our opinions; to garner greater understanding; and to realize the synergistic value when we open our hearts and minds to simply see, hear, feel, smell and touch them.   


The last edition of my ezine was due the week of the VT tragedy. I found myself at lost for what to write about as anything other than the tragedy seemed unimportant. Perhaps you can relate, as I know many of you have direct or indirect connections to the school and community. With you, I grieve the loss of lives just beginning, and lives dedicated to educating our young. And I grieve the loss of innocence, for yes, this happened in our bucolic, scenic community in southwest Virginia. It is important to grieve.

As time has continued on, and the reverberations of the earthquake to our soul have diminished, I now find myself reflecting with others and within my own mind to discern what I can take away from this tragic experience to help me be a better person, and this world, a better place. I pray I will be able to do so.


During the course of our conversations, I often have clients say something along the lines of  “everybody does it”; or “just like everyone else”. They are simply saying that is just the way it is, period. No other way to do it, view it, manage it, etc. Sometimes these statements are said in judgment, but more often, they are simply said in the spirit of naivety as they had just never thought or experienced a difference. And other times, they are said because my clients think that is what I want to hear or that is what they should say. Either way, this thinking blocks their view of possibilities, of acceptance that value is in diverse sometimes contrasting perspectives.

As we identify and discuss some additional perspectives or zero in on their truth, amazing things happen. The blockage is released. They see a clearing in their mental fog; the clearing they need to freely identify their next step.

Extra Ordinary

What are the contrasts in your life today?

How are they enhancing your quality of life?

The lives of those around you?

What contrasts are you not owning and valuing that if you did, would catapult you forward?


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.


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
– Albert Einstein

"To make of human affairs a coherent, precise, predictable whole one must ignore or suppress man as he really is. It is by eliminating man from their equation that the makers of history can predict the future, and the writers of history can give a pattern to the past."
– Eric Haffer

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This is the first edition of our ezine under the new design. We hope you like what you see so far, and thank you for reading. As it continues to take shape, we welcome your opinions, comments and suggestions. Please contact me at



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