Book Review

Three Deep Breaths

by Thomas Crum, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco, Calif., 2006, 98 pp., $19.95 hardcover

How can administrators effectively reduce pressure brought on by No Child Left Behind and changing demographics? What tool will give school leaders the ability to increase achievement for themselves and their staff while maintaining their physical, mental and spiritual well-being?

Three Deep Breaths: Finding Power and Purpose in a Stressed-Out World is no less than a personal and professional life saver for those in school leadership positions. Written by corporate speaker Thomas Crum, this book embodies Crum’s teachings on how to reduce conflict, relieve stress and achieve peak performance.

Crum’s parable of Angus exemplifies the life of one who is trying to balance family and work in a chaotic, accountability-focused, get-ahead lifestyle. On a day when balance has definitely been lost, Angus encounters teachers of the mind and body who show him that his choices and his intent bear huge significance to his well-being.

The three breaths so important to a healthy mind and body are the Centering Breath, the Possibility Breath and the Discovery Breath.

As a tool for self-improvement, this book offers techniques for consciously reducing stress without spending time or money. Through proper breathing, a change of personal perspective and purposefully choosing to let go of judgment, school leaders will find Crum’s shared lessons as a wellness expert beneficial to their job performance, contributing to a more relaxed and healthier manner.

Reviewed by Lylia King, principal, Cleburne Intermediate School, Cleburne, Texas