Book: Let Your Life Speak

I did Digital Sabbath #4 yesterday. I spent the day on Coronado with my dad at Lindzonpalooza, the annual retreat put on by Howard Lindzon. We had a nice time hanging out Friday night as people arrived and then spent Saturday morning hearing short pitches from many of the companies Howard has invested in. I went for a two hour run in the early afternoon and then read Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer while my dad took a nap and practiced his snoring.

I haven’t been reading much the past six months. Usually I’m a voracious reader – 50 to 100 books a year is not unusual for me. But for some reason I haven’t felt like reading lately. I know some of it is my general mood and some has been the mental exhaustion from writing two books, but I’ve decided to start reading again as part of Digital Sabbath.

My good friend Jerry Colonna recommended Parker Palmer’s book to me. Jerry and Parker are doing a seminar in Boulder on 4/19 called Surviving the Startup Life: The Toll of Merging Identity and Work and, while I’ve heard of Parker numerous times, I’d never read anything by him.

Let Your Life Speak was really good. I read it at a good time for me as I continue to struggle with a depressive episode. Parker covers a lot of stuff but goes deep in one chapter about his own struggles with depression. It’s powerful – and very helpful to me – to read the first person stories about other people who sort through a real clinical depressive episode. Parker covered it bravely – and openly.

I had an excellent talk on Friday afternoon with my dad about what I’ve been struggling with since October. My dad is one of my heroes and closest friends. It’s hard to really connect deeply about this stuff over the phone so we sat for two hours in the sun outside a gelato store, ate our chocolate gelatos together, and talked. I’ve been processing a lot of the root cause of what’s going on and feel like I’m getting underneath some of it, and our conversation helped me get deeper into some of the issues. Parker’s book was a good reinforcement of several of the things I was struggling with.

We finished last night with a nice dinner with everyone overlooking the water and a very lit up San Diego. I just got back from a short run on the beach and am heading out for breakfast with my dad. Then, I’m off to the airport to spend a week in New York.

  • I know there is no one right answer to a depressive episode, but it sounds like you are doing so many things right – self compassion, connecting with friends, anything with Jerry, chocolate, family, exercise. . . There are many of us pulling for you, Brad.

    Keep going, you’re going to come out the other side.

    • Thx Kevin. Appreciate it.

  • Half my stone age saturday is usually a tech hangover. Sometimes moody, irritable, thinking about things I need to do next week that didn’t get done last week – doesn’t sleep off really well either – would rather have an alcohol induced one to be honest.

  • Thanks for sharing so openly, I’m really glad you’re able to work through this and its impressive to see someone being so pro-active about depression. I’ve had periods of depression in my life, and sometimes it was hard to even recognize it for what it was – and such a huge struggle to be pro-active about it even once I did recognize it.

  • Brad, I just read “How will you measure your life?” by Clay Christensen.

    Thought it was really good if you haven’t read it yet…?

    • Excellent book. I blogged about it a few weeks ago and reviewed on amazon.

  • Priceless. Thanks for sharing re: your Dad.

  • A great quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti…”In this solitude you will begin to understand the necessity of living with yourself as you are, not as you think you should be or as you have been. See if you can look at yourself without any tremor, any false modesty, any fear, any justification or condemnation -just live with what you actually are.”…hope you will get around to reading ‘Reflections on the Self’ soonish….

  • Brad the world needs more people like you that will talk openly about going through a period of depression. You’ve done such amazing things in your life and have been my hero for years! I’m sending positive thoughts your way.

  • jerrycolonna

    That chapter where Parker shares his story about depression was what released me from my own fear about being public about my struggles. So glad the book, the talks with dad, and the gelato helped.

  • Brad, that book changed my life and was actually the impetus for my new project, The Greatest Gifts of All-

  • That book changed my life and was the impetus for my latest project “The Greatest Gits of All”-