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Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice…

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (edition 1999)

by Parker J. Palmer

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1,213129,686 (4.06)7
Title:Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Authors:Parker J. Palmer
Info:Jossey-Bass (1999), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 128 pages
Collections:Your library

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Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A compassionate and compelling meditation on discovering your path in life.
  PendleHillLibrary | Mar 6, 2018 |
Reread this fall 2017 while going through a tough time with my own anxiety and depression. It's a helpful, friendly, reflective book, heavy on his own experiences and reflections. I found Chapter 3, "When Way Closes," to be an especially helpful, self-contained essay on a path forward out of despair, failure, frustration, ill-ness. ( )
  charliesierra | Nov 12, 2017 |
Astonishing. This is my field, I read a lot about vocation for work, and this is quiet simply the best book on the topic I have ever read. If the bad poetry were excised it would be perfect, but its as close as can be as is. For anyone who wants to think about their place the world, the essence of community and leadership this is a must read. ( )
  Narshkite | Nov 5, 2017 |
This is probably the first stage in my life when I have the patience for a book like this. Not only am I in the midst of a mid-life process of discerning whether to dust off one of the career paths I set aside to raise children or to try something totally new, I've also been hanging out with seminarians more this year than ever before. The seminarians I've been hanging out with love Parker Palmer. So, after hearing them talk him up for months, I decided to give one of his books a go.

In this little volume of essays, Palmer speaks familiar (to me) insights in a new voice---a calm, honest, voice neither self-aggrandizing nor falsely self-deprecating. Palmer addresses the feelings that result from a mismatch between our skills and gifts and those asked for by our chosen path, including the nature of burnout, which was pretty timely for me. I also appreciate the gentle, largely ego-free way he describes his experience with depression. The book didn't blow my mind, but I did dog-ear some pages (don't rat me out to my librarian), and I suspect that I will be thinking and looking back on Palmer's words in the days ahead.

I don't find this book overly full of very quotable quotes (it seems to be more of book of concepts than of quotes), but here's one that I like:

"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 what has been created needs to be returned to chaos from time to time so that it can be regenerated in a more vital form." ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 18, 2016 |
Palmer takes the question of "vocation" very broadly--which I appreciate. The book speaks from a what I would characterize as a liberal Quaker perspective, and does so in the language and mannerisms of that tradition. As off-putting as that can be to someone with as conservative a background as mine, once I got past that layer, I found the substance beneath to be very insightful. This is a book that I intend to re-read, and am considering passing along to a few friends as well.

(2014 Review #11)
  bohannon | Jun 13, 2014 |
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For Heather Marie Palmer, my granddaughter. May you always treasure true self . . .
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Ask me whether what I have done is my life.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0787947350, Hardcover)

The old Quaker adage, "Let your life speak," spoke to author Parker J. Palmer when he was in his early 30s. It summoned him to a higher purpose, so he decided that henceforth he would live a nobler life. "I lined up the most elevated ideals I could find and set out to achieve them," he writes. "The results were rarely admirable, often laughable, and sometimes grotesque.... I had simply found a 'noble' way of living a life that was not my own, a life spent imitating heroes instead of listening to my heart."

Thirty years later, Palmer now understands that learning to let his life speak means "living the life that wants to live in me." It involves creating the kind of quiet, trusting conditions that allow a soul to speak its truth. It also means tuning out the noisy preconceived ideas about what a vocation should and shouldn't be so that we can better hear the call of our wild souls. There are no how-to formulas in this extremely unpretentious and well-written book, just fireside wisdom from an elder who is willing to share his mistakes and stories as he learned to live a life worth speaking about. --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:19 -0400)

"With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives."… (more)

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