Dawna Markova is the CEO of Professional Thinking Partners, Inc., co-founder of the Worldwide Women's Web, and author of No Enemies Within. The theme of this very ardent personal work is zeal or, as the author, defines it "the choice to be living fully awake and passionately alive." Markova is no stranger to suffering, pain, and loss; she makes references to her rape, five miscarriages, and twenty years of living with cancer.
Rage, denial, inertia, and loss can be seen as blockages to a life of purpose and passion. Markova reframes this when she writes: "Befriending myself seems to be about opening my heart as a homeless shelter for all the destituted and prostituted aspects of my being that I have been running from for years without even knowing that's what I have been doing."
This inspirational work begins with a poem she wrote that became an Internet phenomenon and inspired freedom fighters in South Africa. In it Markova says: "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." And the book ends on a high note with her motto LIVE: " 'L' stands for the question, 'What do I love?' 'I' represents 'What are my inner gifts and talents?' 'V' equals 'What do I value?' And 'E' means 'What are the environments that bring out the best in me?' " For Markova and for all seekers of meaning in the midst of life, questions are always stout-hearted companions for the journey.