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
"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)