Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)
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,
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.
The poem is a candle that my soul holds out to me, requesting I find a way to remember what it is to live a life with passion, on purpose. There is only enough light to take the journey step by step, but that is all any of us really needs. [...]
When you have the courage to shape your life from the essence of who you are, you ignite, becoming truly alive. This requires letting go of everything that is inauthentic. But how can you even know your truth unless you slow down, in your own quiet company? When the inner walls to your soul are graffitied with advertisements, commercials, and the opinions of everyone who has every known and labeled you, turning inwards requires nothing less than a major clean-up.
Traveling from the known to the unknown requires crossing an abyss of emptiness. We first experience disorientation and confusion. Then if we are willing to cross the abyss in curious and playful wonder, we enter an expansive and untamed country that has its own rhythm. Time melts and thoughts become stories, music, poems, images, ideas. This is the intelligence of the heart, but by that I don't mean just the seat of our emotions. I mean a vast range of receptive and connective abilities, intuition, innovation, wisdom, creativity, sensitivity, the aesthetic, qualitative and meaning making. It is here that we uncover our purpose and passion.
--Dawna Markova, From "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life"