With this searching question, Parker Palmer begins an insightful and moving meditation on finding one's true calling.
Let Your Life Speak is an openhearted gift to anyone who seeks to live authentically. The book's title is a time-honored Quaker admonition, usually taken to mean “Let the highest truths and values guide everything you do.” But Palmer reinterprets those words, drawing on his own search for selfhood. “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it,” he writes, “listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.”
Vocation does not come from willfulness, no matter how noble one’s intentions. It comes from listening to and accepting “true self” with its limits as well as its potentials. Sharing stories of frailty and strength, of darkness and light, Palmer shows that vocation is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received.
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“The insight we receive on the inner journey is that chaos is the precondition to creativity: as every creation myth has it, life itself emerged from the void. Even that which has been created needs to be returned to chaos from time to time so it can be regenerated in more vital form.”
— Parker J. Palmer, author of Let Your Life Speak and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal.