Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion” as Want to Read:
I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  534 ratings  ·  61 reviews
When Dawn Markova was diagnosed with cancer, instead of lying down to die she delved into a search for meaning and a higher purpose for her life. "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life is a collection of stories of Markova's own journey to uncover her purpose and make her life matter, and it has been inspiring readers to do the same for more than 14 years.

"I'm not sure I know exa
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Conari Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Will Not Die an Unlived Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  534 ratings  ·  61 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Elyse by: My mother; my sister
Shelves: inspiration, 2011
A nice range of insights and nuggets of wisdom related to finding personal balance and reclaiming your passion/purpose.

I read the book during a period of personal inertia and apathy, when I have been struggling to find energy and meaning. I found it very helpful to reconceptualize this period as passion's rest, for example. Not a malfunction or dis-ease, but a healthy function for a living organism.

Markova's discussion of constellations ~ as a metaphor for how we navigate through discerning our
Claire Brear
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The kind of book I want to buy a hard copy of, write notes in and buy for everyone I know.
Taylor S.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A "workbook" so to speak about finding the purpose at whatever point you are at in your life. Inspiring! Great book to read at the point of turning 30. Gave me a perspective on where to direct my life moving forward. ...more
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, reviewed, kobo
"It is not the events in our lives that determine who we become, but the meaning we choose to place on those events." - Victor Frankl

I have read this book three times, and I always walk away both centered and inspired. One woman's simple exploration of what her life means, Markova experiences it all; trials, joys, the bitter with the sweet, and shares her journey to living a life of passion and purpose. I found it inspiring and, in a weird way, calming. It was a reminder that I can have exactly
Laurie Dittmar
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't agree with all of her choices; but, with that said, this book came along at a much-needed time of my life. This book brought me some new perspectives. I have to say, this was very much a part of my stepping out of the past and into the future...
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Understanding and seeing our life as nature's natural cycle of spring, summer, fall, winter. How do I live in a way that brings out the best of who I am? ...more
John Everard Griffith
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a re-read. I read this book many years ago and it has become part of my permanent collection. The title reminds me of my desire to live a full life, even in retirement. Our purpose as human beings is to live our life from the inside out, a process she calls constantly being "in-formed" of who we are and who we can become. Another quote that has been important and comes to mind time and time again in my life is: "We are not broken, we are just unfinished." She quotes from another woman bu ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
A beautiful journey of reflection with questions that ask the reader to think more deeply about their lives. I read it a while ago, then picked it up again forgetting I had read it -- the reread must have come at exactly the right time.

It is a gentle exploration into how you would like to truly, deeply live your life. A much softer way opposed to the stereotypical inspirational books, I love how gentle Dawna is on the reader.

Full of nuggets like:

"Fear is just passion without breath. What would
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
The first 2/3 of the book gave the calm and serenity, but stopped doing so near the ending, which made it not so memorable. Tho near the ending, the tone also changed. The author started focusing on herself more and how she helped the world, and I feel like she topped up too many things for a self-help book. I mean yes, she did care about the reader in each chapter, but that consisted of 10-20% only in each chapter, or atleast that’s how I felt.

I get lost at the end, either because 1) I got bor
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me think and search deep down inside of myself to find what I want to change within myself. I enjoyed the many quotes, poems and references planted like flowers for the soul throughout the book. I feel uplifted, enlightened and ready for a quest..."what am I more curious about than afraid of?"

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen
Vijita verma
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purpos is where my love meets the needs of the world.

A book to savour and relish. A book to read and reread at each season of self discovery. A book so well written and deeper thoughts so well articulated. There are concepts and questions we all know which are important for us to answer but how do we find those questions and answers is what this book guides us through...a book which gives you a calming influence after your read...feels like a soothing breeze to a tormented or unsettled
Morninglight Mama
I struggle with inspirational nonfiction. I did at times with this one, while at other times I felt moved by the author's words. I kept going back and forth, sometimes nodding along, and other times shaking my head at the tone and generalizations. I was put off by a couple instances of what felt like "othering" of people with whom the author interacted at pivotal moments in her life-- some "magical negro" type characterizations and language. I got some encouragement from this, but I mostly wante ...more
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Based on the title, I hoped for more than autobiographical reflections interspersed with quotes and some relevant advice. The bulk of the story is centered around the author's 6 month sabbatical in a Utah cabin doing some soul searching and meditating. This book recounts that experience as well as other pivotal and defining stories from the author's life. I stopped reading 3/4 through as I was looking for more universal principles. ...more
Cat Rayne
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dawn Markova takes the reader along on her own path of rediscovery and finding meaning in life. In “ I Will Not Die an Unlived Life” it is often as if we are eavesdropping her thoughts.

Markova’s questioning nature is not new or groundbreaking, but her search for meaning and answers is unique to her, and consequently spur directions and ponder in the reader.

Lovely writing style with ethereal metaphors and homage to Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Good read to start afresh in 2021.
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memoir
There was one shocking example of victim blaming that ruined the whole book for me. Understandably, the book is 20 years old and the language dated, but she references traumatic events in her own life with a casualness that is, in itself, triggering. Especially when there is no prior indication that is the direction the book is going. Would not recommend.
Any time I need a reset in my life, I love to revisit this book. Stay focused on what is important. Follow your passions. And find your purpose. We only get 1 go-round in this life, so make the most of it.
Pablo Marote
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful journey with the author that goes through a deep existential crisis, where you get to see how she recovers her will to live a plentiful life as her memories and purpose arise from her deeper understanding of herself. Full of moments where the will to live flourish.
Connie Marrett
Oct 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
The introductory poem is beautiful and insightful. The rest of the book is mediocre.
Patricia Rodriguez
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy read for those who seek more. Great insights in each chapter. Self reflective driven.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I loved about the book is that she shared the questions in her journey and I was able to explore them and design my own journey.
Karen Trench
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeous, poetic book that teaches one how to live in and on purpose especially when the going get tough.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Suzanne Chavarría
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
It has a good message but I found it boring...
Donna Jones
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring book about uncovering the purpose and meaning in my life and exploring how I can use that in community to help leave the world a better place.
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
When I first read this book 10 years ago, I was just starting to explore the possibilities of living a meaningful life as an adult. I found the book good, but I don't think I was yet in a place where I needed to take the kind of space for myself that Dawna Markova writes about. I now find myself in exactly such a place, needing space and waiting to discover what's next for me, and this book resonated incredibly deeply for me. Even just the title, "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life," gives me a deep ...more
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mindfulness, 1st12m
This book belonged to an ex and I started it years ago from her place and it ended up on my shelf and I decided to finish. It's not my favorite book of this sort, but it wasn't bad. It’s full of personal material - in vignettes, so there’s little arc - and with its poetic metaphors it's excessively "feely". But the author is a bright, brimming spirit and she imparts lots of mindfulness wisdom that re-grounds the reader with presence and the importance of soul-nourishment. ...more
Sep 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the self-help contingent
I'm not as impressed with this book as I was with Wayne Muller's "How, Then, Shall I Live?" Like Muller's, it's quite autobiographical, but that's basically where it stops. There are just a few questions at the end of every chapter that jar readers into engagement, rather than suggestions and exercises throughout. ...more
Dec 20, 2010 rated it liked it
She writes in a circular kind of way, weaving in stories that for her signify the point she is trying to make. It's hard to get accustomed to if you like linear reading, but her metaphors are beautiful. The gems are the questions she asks the reader at the end of every chapter. Taking these questions alone and meditating, writing on them was worth the read. ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
OMYGOODNESS.. OMYGOODNESS. so many earmarks and underlines and double/triple earmarks in this book, too many to count, so many truths,astonishing heart wrenching aha moments! I love, did I say, I LOVE this book. Thank you Dawna Markova for your beauty for showing your realness so that we can feel with you.. been there. love you xo xo
May 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: female readers
I enjoy light-reading "devotional"-type books like this once in a while. This read encourages personal renewal in the crazy technological age in which we live and offers some basic insights and some unconventional wisdom also. ...more
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reclaiming Purpose 1 3 Oct 26, 2008 06:08PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Upstream: Selected Essays
  • Soulbbatical: A Corporate Rebel's Guide to Finding Your Best Life
  • Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life
  • Leading Lady; Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker
  • The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die
  • Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
  • It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond
  • Ten Poems to Change Your Life
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
  • Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family
  • Biohack Your Brain: How to Boost Cognitive Health, Performance  Power
  • Composing a Life
  • Not Doing: The Art of Turning Struggle into Ease
  • Something Like Happy
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
  • How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials, #5)
  • From the Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way
See similar books…
Dawna Markova’s passion awakens through storytelling and finding open questions to help people discover how to love the life they have been given.

News & Interviews

At Goodreads, we love reading (shocker, I know). There's just nothing like curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee or tea and burying...
12 likes · 0 comments
“I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible;
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.”
“My journal has become a paper mirror, a topographic map to my mind. It is where I go to sort out confusion and decipher the invisible.” 8 likes
More quotes…