Let your life speak

This is a quick, but hopefully thoughtful, note.  As I am swimming (no – make that drowning) in the midst of beginning of semester preparation, teaching, taking courses, getting manuscripts out the door, and preparing for my qualifying exam/doctoral prospectus defense, I am overwhelmed.  It is this time of year in which the phrase “Just keep swimming” rings in my ears (thank you Finding Nemo for your infinite wisdom).  But I had a brief moment of silence and reflection in my day today that reminded me it’s all worth it.  Strangely, or perhaps perfectly, I was prepping for a class I teach.

True self, when violated, will always resist us, sometimes at great cost, holding our lives in check until we honor its truth. Vocation does not come from willfulness.

– Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

It is amongst my need to get everything done and be the best at what I do that these words are often forgotten.  I neglect that quiet inner voice within me that says “this is the way – walk in it.”  I am convinced more and more that our lives are meant to be a peaceful coexistence with our beings.  What does that mean?  Simply that I am created to be a certain someone, and I cannot force myself into any other mold.  Vocation is calling me, and I must enjoy the journey and process of letting that unfold naturally.  And in this quiet moment of stillness today, I remembered this forgotten pearl of wisdom.  Here’s to a great semester of still moments amongst the busyness of life.


About Megan Johnson Shen

I am a social psychologist graduating with my Ph.D. from Baylor University this May and moving to NYC this summer to start a new job as a postdoctoral researcher at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in the Cancer Prevention and Control Department. I love the brain, human behavior, and anything to do with understanding them better. I love research and a good dinner party. Fine wine and cheese - I'm there. Interesting experimental data? I'll probably show for that too. View all posts by Megan Johnson Shen

2 responses to “Let your life speak

  • Patrick

    Here’s to remembering who we really are amongst the storms of life. 🙂

  • Gardner

    One of my former staff at the University of Richmond gave me this book (along with The Courage To Teach) at the end of the term in the fall of 2006. It resonated with me very deeply, and continues to affect me in ways I can’t quite articulate. I’m moved to see that it connects with you as well.

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