A few of my buddies and I are forming a small book club, and they let me choose the first book. We'll meet in a couple of weeks to discuss Let Your Life Speak (which is a book I've been wanting to read for quite a while).
It's a fairly short work but very full. Here are some takeaways:
Vocation comes from listening to my own life: its strengths, gifts, limits and liabilities all churned up together. Our inclinations, bodily states, actions, intuitions etc. all speak authentically, and we have to read our responses to experiences to understand who we really are.
Lofty ideals yield distortion of my true self. We must live from the inside out rather than the reverse.
Vocation is often what we CAN'T NOT do (otherwise we conspire in our own diminishing, Palmer says).
Much of our culture is completely counter to really identifying who we are since it serves to fit us into certain places instead. Also, what doesn't work is as instructive (or more) than what does work for us.
Instead of asking "what do I want to do with my life?" maybe I could ask "what is my true nature? who am I?"
In the West, we often base our strongest metaphors on industry. We MAKE everything: our way, babies, love, it through etc. In the East, it's more like an agricultural take: things grow. It's a functional atheism thinking we have to be the ones to make the good things happen. What if our lives could be part of an ecosystem where we honor the growth needs?
If I'm somewhere unfaithfully, I cause damage and take from others. Dreams actually turn into nightmares.
He says a lot about depression--wonderful explanations of healing there. He gets back to being so lofty and looking to the ground of his being (God, hitting rock bottom etc.).