Parker Palmer, writer, teacher, dedicated Quaker, and activist, shares his philosophy of life to people in many walks of life. In Let Your Life Speak Palmer invites us to listen to our inner teacher to learn a sense of meaning and purpose.
The author shares his own search for finding his vocation. For years he attempted to force with grim determination what he thought should be his life’s work. Eventually, he learned that in order to remain true to himself, he needed to listen within to find a meaningful and lasting vocation.
Forcing ourselves into a vocation based on “shoulds” often results in burnout, trying to give what we do not possess.
Palmer shares a dark period of depression in his life. He describes depression as an ultimate state of disconnection: between mind and heart, between people, and between one’s self-image and reality. I found his painful journey one of the most enlightening of the book.
A section of the book, a look at self through seasonal metaphorical lenses, held profound meaning for me: Autumn, a time of seeding for ultimate growth. Winter, an opportunity to face harsh reality. Spring, though sometimes ugly with mud is also a time of rebirth. Summer, a time of abundance.
In just six chapters, 114 pages, Palmer has written a little volume of gentle wisdom and insight. I highly recommend Let your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation especially to a young person just beginning to search for meaningful work.