From Library Journal
Crum, a motivational speaker involved with corporate retreats, discusses "centering" as a practical tool for aligning the body, mind, and spirit toward an increased sense of vitality, purpose, mental calm, and physical alertness. Drawing on his experience as an instructor of the martial art aikido, Crum offers visualization and meditative exercises to help achieve a centered state. A well-written book geared for a wide audience, but of special interest to athletes, businesspeople, and anyone interested in a spiritual approach to peak performance.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Tom Crum has led, well, an interesting life. He taught mathematics, worked in business, established a Martial Arts school, co-founded the Windstar Foundation with singer John Denver, and founded Aiki Works, a company which provides motivational speaking, workshops, publications and other services to aid people in their becoming more effective, happier, more centered humans. Tom is also a successful author, having published The Magic of Conflict
several years ago. Tom's newest book, Journey to Center
, has just been released. Let me tell you, it's a gem.
In his second major book, Tom writes about centering. What, you may ask is centering? Tom says: "Centering is not an abstract term, but rather a practical tool available to all of us. We each have the ability to unify body, mind and spirit in a manner which will make us more relaxed, energized, and integrated than ever before. We can release stress rather than acquire it."
This book helps show the way to a more centered state. If Tom's first book was a how-to on centering and other concepts, this book is the user's manual. With great humor, self-deprecating and otherwise, Tom explains how life's pressures can cause us to become uncentered. More importantly, he teaches how to find center again. That doesn't mean we ignore life's problems, nor do we deny their importance. But it is truly up to us as to how we react, and how we can "turn a life of work into a work of art."
Even if you are always perfectly centered, and can easily handle the slowest checkout line or the rudest co-worker (or in Tom's case, the nearby wild elephant), you will enjoy this book. Tom teaches without seeming to teach. Journey to Center is filled with wonderful stories of uncentered moments, both his own and other folks'. We learn with Tom the lesson of attachment taught by a young Monk and an old (but well-toothed) monkey in Thailand. We see powerful lessons in centering taught by the Dalai Lama when he and Tom co-lead a workshop. Tom tells touching stories of friends who taught him powerful lessons by facing death with centered and calm temperaments. The book contains several stories of how Tom has dealt with some unusual problems by functioning from center, including the gentleman who rode his mules into Aspen in tribute to his certainty that John Denver was actually John the Baptist. We learn what really went on when Tom took his then 14-year-old son out of school for a year and traveled around the globe as a team. Jungles, beaches, mountains, and a whole heck of a lot of golf courses all played roles in teaching Tom, who now helps to teach us through this terrific book. -- Major Hal Bidlack, Windstar Journal, Fall 1997