Joy in Practice


Dancing in the Rain: Leading with Compassion, Vitality, and Mindfulness in Education by Jerome T. Murphy
Harvard Education Press, October 11, 2016

Through honesty, humor and compassion, Dancing in the Rain encourages readers to mindfully live with joy and purpose in the face of life’s inescapable downpours. Though it addresses top educational leaders, this text is useful for almost anyone; a meaningful distillation of historical and recent research in Eastern philosophy and Western psychology, it also reviews the burgeoning theoretical discourse around, and practical applications of, well-being practices. Murphy’s eloquent collation is married with his extensive experiences in educational leadership, including as the Dean of Harvard University Graduate School of Education, providing illustrations of the power and wisdom of the techniques he describes. Murphy normalizes struggle; rather than resisting such discomfort, ruminating excessively about flaws and failures, and rebuking themselves for not measuring up, leaders should look to their values for guidance in both smooth and stressful times. Readers are encouraged to avoid a typical leadership tendency to fixate on fixing and to instead gain a better sense of clarity in mind and heart. A lyrical and practical book, offering a series of activities and exercises, it stands apart from other leadership texts as a uniquely reflective and joyful tool for personal and professional development.

Submitted By: Sarah Shepherd, Ed.M. Candidate, Klingenstein Center

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