Let Your Life Speak by Parker J Palmer
Listening to life...
  • Ask me what I have done is my life
  • The life that I am living is not the same as the life that wants to be in me
  • But if the self seeks not pathology (vocation) but wholeness, as I believe it does, then the wilful pursuit of vocation is an act of violence towards ourselves - violence in the name of a vision that, however Liffey, is forced on the self from without rather than within.
  • Honor our true selves
  • I must listen to my life try to knderstand what it is truly about, it is different from what i would like it to be about.
  • Vocation, rooted from Latin = voice.  It is not a goal, it's a calling that we hear.
  • I must listen to my life about who I am
  • I must listen to truth and values in my own heart
  • I must create my own standards
  • Ego and true selves have a battle!
  • From our first days at school we are taught to listen to everything and everyone but ourselves, to take all our clues about living from people and powers around us.
  • We listen for guidance everywhere except from within.
  • How are we to listen to our lives?
Now I become myself...
  • Vocation is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received
  • Vocation does not call from a voice out there, it comes from a voice within, to fulfill original selfhood
  • As young people we are surrounded by expectations held by others who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots
  • We are often dragged away from our birth right gifts
  • We find ourselves by claiming our authentic selfhood
  • Who am I? What is my nature?
  • We all have limits and potential
  • Journeys in the dark. Elders are doing a disservice when we withhold the shadowy parts of our lives.  Pretending that success is all we/they have ever known.
  • Darkness is a journey and it is ok.
  • Self care is never a selfish act, it is simply good stewardship of our gifts that we have.  This is not just for ourselves, but also for the lives we touch around us.
  • The system threatens punishment for many of us if we do not mask the truth
  • The punishment imposed on us for claiming self can never be worse than the punishment we impose on ourselves by failing to make that claim. And the converse is true as well: no reward anyone might give us could possibly be greater than the reward that comes from living from living by our own best selves
When way closes
  • Weaknesses are inevitable trade-offs of strengths, we will become better teachers avoiding by avoiding pot holes rather than filling them
  • There is much guidance in way that loses behind us as there is in way that opens ahead of us. Openings reveal our potentials, closings may reveal our limits
All the way down
  • True self is true friend.  Ignore or reject such friendship at ones peril
  • You need only claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done...you are fierce with reality. - Florida Scott Maxwell
Leading from within
  • Leadership is a concept so often resist. It seems immodest, even self-aggrandising, to think of ourselves as leaders.  But if it is true that we are made for community, the. Leadership is everyone's vocation, and it can be an evasion to insist that it is not.  When we live in a close knit ecosystem called community, everyone follows and everyone leads.
  • Cynicism about our most visible leaders is another reason we resist leadership
  • I lead by word and deed simply because I am here doing what I do
  • Authentic leaders in every setting - from families to nation states - aim at liberating the heart, their own and others, so that the powers can liberate the world.
  • We are not victims of that society, we are the co-creators
  • Consciousness can form, reform, deform our world
  • A leader is someone with the power to project shadow or light onto a part of our world
  • Leadership is hard work often criticised and rarely rewarded
  • Good leadership comes from people who have penetrated their own darkness
  • "If you can't get out of it, get into it"
  • Shadow casting monsters 1: insecurity about identity and worth.  Identity does not depend on the role we play or the power it gives us. We are who we are.
  • Shadow casting monsters 2: a belief that the universe is a battle ground. Notice how we speak of warfare in our work - tactics, strategies, wins, losses, do or die.  We end up living like we are at war.  We can create a different reality through being consensual, cooperative and communal.  We should learn to live gracefully with cycles.
  • Shadow casting monsters 3: functional atheism - the belief that ultimate responsibility for everything rests with us.  Need to learn to not carry the whole load.
  • Shadow casting monsters 4: fear.  We try to hide the mess, perhaps we shouldn't! Chaos is precondition to creativity.  Leaders often fear chaos and try to eliminate it.
  • Shadow casting monsters 5: death, comes to everything.  A good scientist does not fear the death of a hypothesis. The death of an iniative is the source of learning.  Allow things to die will allow for new life to grow.
  • Move toward others from a place of promise rather than anxiety
There is a season...
  • Living is hidden within dying, as things die, new seeds and opportunities arise to plant / give way to new life
  • There is beauty in death
  • There is hidden wholeness
  • We can't demand light all the time, darkness must be balanced otherwise the light becomes artificial
  • In the human world abundance does not happen automatically. It is created when we have the sense to choose community, to come together to celebrate and share.
  • Abundance is a communal act, the joint creation of an incredibly complex ecology in which each part functions on behalf of the whole and, in return, is sustained by the whole. Community doesn't just create abundance, community is abundance. If we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human would be transformed.
I must not live a lie, I must express myself, my journey, the boulder I feel trapped under, my inner darkness, it is easier to deal with the external world rather than our souls