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Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (A Jossey Bass title) Hardcover – 10 Sep 1999


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Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (A Jossey Bass title) + The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity and Caring (Religion) + To Know as We are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (10 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787947350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787947354
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Parker Palmer′s writing is like a high country stream–clear, vital, honest. If your life seems to be passing you by, or you cannot see the way ahead, immerse yourself in the wisdom of these pages and allow it to carry you toward a more attentive relationship with your deeper, truer self." (John S. Mogabgab, editor, Weavings Journal)

"An exuberant and passionate book. I was deeply moved and I cannot, nor do I want to, shake off the haunting questions that it raises for me. This book penetrates the soul, and it will definitely stir you to explore more of your own inner territory. What an extraordinary achievement." (Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart; chairman, Tom Peters Group/Learning Systems)

"At a time when our culture is seeking a new language for expressing the spirit in everyday life, Parker Palmer is our leading voice of clarity and wisdom. In Let Your Life Speak, Palmer continues to deepen our ways of understanding the relationships between the inner life of spirit and the outer life of action." (Rob Lehman, president, The Fetzer Institute)

"In our search for authentic vocation, this book should be the starting point and deserves a prominent place in every home, school, and college. It is vintage Parker Palmer, providing his unique insight to the interconnectedness of selfhood and vocation with eloquence and personal experience." (Doug Orr, president, Warren Wilson College)

From the Inside Flap

"Is the life I am living the same as the life that wants to live in me?" 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 intAnd to do with it," he writes, "listen for what it intAnds 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.As we live more deeply into the selfhood that is our birthright gift, we find not only personal fulfillment. We find communion with others and ways of serving the world′s deepest needs.A Compassionate and Compelling Meditation on Discovering Your Path in LifeWith 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."Parker Palmer′s writing is like a high country stream–clear, vital, honest. If your life seems to be passing you by, or you cannot see the way ahead, immerse yourself in the wisdom of these pages and allow it

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 27 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
One thing that our world does not encourage very well is stopping and listening -- stopping and listening to each other, stopping and listening to life around us, or stopping and listening even to ourselves. This is a skill that, given our cultural conditioning, must be cultivated. That is one of the things that this book by Parker Palmer, `Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation', strives to do -- to help the reader, the seeker, to be more attentive to life.
Palmer is a well-known author in the area of vocational care and consideration. I first encountered Palmer's writing in another book, The Courage to Teach, as various of us explored the meanings of our vocations as educators in the fields of theology and ministry.
Palmer states at the outset in his Gratitudes (a wonderful substitution from the typical words Preface or Introduction) that these chapters have in various guises appeared before. However, they have been re-written to fit together as a complete and unified whole for the purpose of exploring vocation.
Chapter 1: Listening to Life, starts as an exploration through poetry and Palmer's own experience in vocation. What is one called to do? What is the source of vocation? Palmer states: `Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about -- quite apart from what I would like it to be about -- or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.'
The very word vocation implies both voice and calling. Crucial to this understanding is that one must be present and attentive to hear that voice, that call.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 Aug. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly refreshing book. By sharing his personal story and the lessons he has learned along the way, the author points a way to discovering who we truly are i.e. who we were before we started trying to fit in.
It is an enjoyable read and very thought-provoking. He has a lot of wisdom and an unusual perspective. I'm sure I will be digesting the wisdom in it for some time to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Flanagan on 5 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am so grateful to the wonderful f/Friend who lent me her copy. It came at a particularly horrible time in my life when I felt that much that I held dear had been snatched away. reading this book helped me to see that my life was unfolding as it should - I just had some lessons to learn about letting go, and building trust again.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Wallis on 12 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I took this book on retreat with four friends in widely various forms of Christian ministry. Over the course of the next few days, the book was passed, like a peace-pipe, from retreatant to retreatant and we each devoured it, transfixed from cover to cover. We returned each to buy several copies for family, friends and colleagues.

For anyone with an appetite to find meaning in life; for anyone who has ever struggled with ambition, self-doubt, pressure, burnout, hyper-activity and all the pressing corporate imperatives of church-life, this book is a MUST-READ.

Educator, Parker J Palemer writes insightfully and powerfully with an openness and vulnerability that totally disarm and denude the reader. So much of the well-intentioned falsity to which our ideas of 'spirituality' push us gets evaporated by the honesty and reality of this little volume - yet all is done gently and with a light and refreshing touch.

To anyone to whom 'vocation' is an important idea I would recommend this book without hesitation. Thought-provoking and potentially life-changing, this is a warm, human, gentle and acessible read. Don't miss out on Parker J Palmer's avuncular and friendly advice. You'll be glad you read it. 'Let your life speak" changed the course of my ministry. Perhaps it will do the same for yours!

Paul Wallis - author of "BE THOU MY BREASTPLATE - 40 days of giving your life to God the Celtic way." "This serene, superb...book is...a rich gift to the Church." (Phyllis Tickle)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sumguy on 7 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is truly a life-changing book. The last book that inspired and affected me this deeply and compelled me to finish it in a day or two, and which was simultaneously the last book I read in a matter of 2-3 days rather than re-visited throughout weeks, was the novel called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and that was more than 10 years ago, putting in mind that I am an avid reader. Again, this is truly an exceptional book with such a profound message.

The author is obviously Christian, and I am not, yet I am a monotheist believer in God. I was not the least bit alienated by the author's message; his message is universal and very respectful. He covers topics like leadership, depression, and death, and for each of those subjects, he teaches you things about the topic that most of us never imagined, let alone knew or thought about. His chapter on depression, which had him describing his own experiences with such admirable frankness, made my eyes water; he describe things that you may be able to relate to, but you never imagined them the way he describes, and when he hits you with that image or that conversation with the self...that moment of anger or realization, he can make you feel emotional. His words about death are comforting and inspiring, given that you believe in a hereafter or after-life. But, of course, not to miss the point...the main message of listening to our life, with its events, listening to that mysterious wise voice within, which tries to guide us every day of our life. You may wonder what leadership or death have to do with that, but there is a relationship if you think and contemplate deep enough, and he gives you hints about the relationships; for example, when saying that we are all leaders one way or another.
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