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

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  47 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
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  445 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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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 M.
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.
Nov 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Elyse by: My mother; my sister
Shelves: 2011, inspiration
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
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, kobo, reviewed
"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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It was very powerful and very spiritual. It taught me how you let go in order to move on. It taught me how to allow myself to go through all the emotions I have and to understand what they mean and how to move on with life.

It's a great book about finding spirituality
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book to use while reflecting on your own life's path. The stage of the author's life, as she tells it, will make you realize how fast time goes by and why the passion in your life needs to remain in the forefront at all times.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of the best self-help books I've read. So many nuggets of truth and wisdom that come through in the stories she tells. I am reading it again now with my partner. So thankful to Joan Borysenko for suggesting it.
Leti Hawthorn
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Leti by: Alison Gean-Davis
This is a remarkable book gifted to me by my best friend and soul-sister Alison back at the beginning of 2010. I read it and re-read it and the title often comes to mind, particularly at times of challenge.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites that I'm rereading in conjunction with the "Developing Wisdom in the 2nd Half of Life" Workshop I'm co-presenting with Kathleen Hofer this fall. Full of insightful questions for introspection, which is where I am currently.
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.
Suzanne Treash
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It was like talking to a good friend over coffee. I feel refreshed an renewed.
Ron Bronson
Dec 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Accidentally ran into this at the library and read it in the stacks. Um...yeah.
Kate Gal
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grow
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I REALLY want to like this book, and marry its philosophy. But I just can't. :(
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
This did not help me reclaim purpose or passion, and I read it three times. But there were a few really "ahah" moments in there for me.
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
They say that the book finds you and so it was with this little tome- right book- right time.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: health
Just too overdramatic for my tastes.
Jan 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone wishing to listen to their inner teachers
It is like Dawna Markova is talking to me as she writes. I love how she invites me into her way of living, dying and living again in her life.
Julia Smith easley
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book. Lots of highlighting and dog-ear pages
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This is the single most depressing book I have ever read. Excruciating personal tales of hardship and loss. Could not get past the woe to get the goodies.
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Reclaiming Purpose 1 3 Oct 26, 2008 06:08PM  
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“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.” 7 likes
More quotes…