Parker Palmer on Creativity and Granddaughters


Parker Palmer

In yesterday’s post, Parker Palmer shared his story of a spiritual epiphany, which I included in my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. In the same interview, however, he told me two other insightful stories he told me that you won’t find in the book. I’m happy I can share them here.

My second story of feeling connected to spirit is a recurring one that has to do with my life as a writer. I usually find writing very difficult and demanding, an ordeal of slogging through mud and fog, trying to bring clarity to complicated matters. But every now and then I am caught up in a creative flow of powerful ideas and images in which writing becomes effortless and totally engaging. I had an experience like that a few weeks ago when I found myself writing fifteen hours a day for ten straight days. I was getting less sleep than usual, yet I was feeling more alive, more energized, and more rested than I normally do. In stretches like that, you know you’re connected with something larger than yourself. You’re no longer reaching for it. Now it is reaching for you—holding you and propelling you in the way the ocean supports a swimmer. It’s a remarkable experience—and then it’s back to slogging through the mud! I find evidence of spirit even when I am slogging, if in nothing more than the will to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But those oceanic breakthroughs are overwhelming evidence that—although I have to show up and swim—creativity is not something I do all by myself.

My third story involves being fully present to my granddaughter, Heather, now fourteen, with whom I’ve been very close since the earliest days of her life. Being a grandparent is an extraordinary experience, and the spiritual dimensions of it seem pretty clear to me. For one thing, there is the beauty you see in a young child, so self-evident and beyond doubt. You get to see a human being as we are meant to be—whole, undivided, and without guile. It’s gorgeous and it’s thrilling and it’s enlivening—and it makes you want to reclaim those qualities in yourself. As a grandparent, you also become more aware of your own mortality. At sixty-six, I’m aware of the brevity of life in ways that I never have been before. But for me, that’s not a morbid awareness at all. It’s about appreciating the miracle of life and connecting with the younger generation in this great circle dance we’re all doing. Being with my granddaughter makes that dance come alive for me time and time again. Being with her is simply one of the best things I do.

All three of these stories have equal standing in my experience of spirit. Each of them involves a turn of the prism, refracting the light in a different way. But it’s the same light, seen from different angles.


Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.

Click here to order your copy of Through God’s Eyes from
For an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!

Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.

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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Like to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 44-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.

Order it at

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.

Click here to order Sixty Seconds.

Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.

Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.

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