Friday, October 3, 2008

Let Your Life Speak (Part 1)

One of my favorite books is Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer. Like me, Palmer's career has evolved over time and he has suffered from some painfully long depressive episodes. Like me, Palmer has found a career he finds satisfying. He writes:

"Most of us arrive at a sense of self and vocation only after a long journey through alien lands. But this journey bears no resemblance to the trouble-free 'travel packages' sold by the tourism industry. It is more akin to the ancient tradition of pilgrimage--'a transformative journey to a sacred center' full of hardships, darkness, and peril.

"In the tradition of pilgrimage, those hardships are seen not as accidental but as integral to the journey itself. Treacherous terrain, bad weather, taking a fall, getting lost--challenges of that sort, largely beyond our control, can strip the ego of the illusion that it is in charge and make space for true self to emerge. If that happens, the pilgrim has a better chance to find the sacred center he or she seeks. Disabused of our illusions by much travel and travail, we awaken one day to find that the sacred center is here and now--in every moment of the journey, everywhere in our world around us, and deep within our own hearts."

(to be continued)

8 comments:

Bradley said...

Beautiful quote. Sounds like a book I should get. I may even push it ahead of the 20 books I've bought but haven't gotten around to reading yet. :-) I'm terrible that way.

Wellness Writer said...

Bradley,
I know what that's like to buy books I never read, but this is just a very small book with 128 pages. And I find that every time I read it, I learn something new that is so very satisfying.

Susan

Merelyme said...

I will definitely have to find this book. I do agree with the quote you have given. I would have never discoverd my writing had I not been through hell and back. I have something to write about.

Speaking of writing...was wondering if you might like to add your ideas and suggestions to answer this question:

What can we do as individuals to fight for the right of all people suffering from mental illness to be deemed as worthy of good and adequate care?

I would love your input. Here is where you can find my article on this topic:

http://www.healthcentral.com/depression/c/84292/39974/mentally-worthy

Wellness Writer said...

Merelyme,
Yes, it's truly one of my favorite books. And I will comment on your article later this afternoon or tonight when I have a minute to read it.

In terms of my writing, the pain and suffering I've experience has allowed me to write with an honesty and candor that I couldn't express before.

Susan

Annie said...

Susan, It is good to be back and read your thoughtful posts. This one touched me and I pondered the tender feelings I have of being away from my life as a therapist. I will look forward to the next entry. Thanks Annie

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Annie,
So glad to hear that you're back. I was concerned about you.

I find Parker Palmer to have the most thoughtful outlook on his life, his depressive episodes, and the path of his vocation.

Susan

Mariposa said...

I just love the last line of your post!

Wellness Writer said...

Mariposa,
I love it as well!

Susan