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

Parker J. Palmer, author of highly acclaimed books such as The Courage to Teach and A Hidden Wholeness, is highly regarded as one of the most influential senior leaders in higher education. In his book, Let Your Life Speak, he compassionately challenges and cajoles the reader to “live more deeply into the selfhood that is our birthright gift.” As he illustrates through his personal life-journey of darkness and light, a more attentive relationship with our deeper, truer self, leads to greater personal fulfillment, “communion with others, and ways of serving the world’s deepest needs.”

Parker seeks to answer this question for himself (and is successful) and encourages his readers to do the same. “Is the life I am living the same as the life that wants to live in me?” Part of the answer is found in how we each can experience and be transformed by overcoming a “bestiary of five shadow-casting monsters.”

  • Insecurity about identity and worth
  • A belief that the universe is a battleground hostile to human interests
  • “Functional atheism,” the belief that ultimate responsibility for everything rests with us
  • Fear, especially of the natural chaos of life
  • The denial of death itself

For boomer-generation men and women who are moving from a values revolution to a values resolution in their personal lives and professional careers, the ability to recognize and deal with these “monsters” can bring both great joy and sorrow. To acknowledge their presence may well be the most important step to help each person realize the true calling of their lives and the true meaning of their legacy.

> I highly encourage you to find some quiet time and space and read this book. Find it on