The One Life We're Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart

The One Life We're Given: Finding the Wisdom That Waits in Your Heart

by Mark Nepo


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“I would follow this man anywhere his words want to take us,” writes Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, in praise of Mark Nepo and The One Life We’re Given. “His voice helps us find pathways where we might have believed that no pathway could possibly exist.”

“Mark Nepo is a national treasure,” says Rev. Ed Bacon, author of Eight Habits of Love. Now, Nepo—popular spiritual teacher and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awakening—crafts a new road map for the soul’s journey. It is “a powerful guide to being in the world without being overwhelmed by it. Profound and poignant stories and insights help us survive what life brings us, and to thrive,” says Arianna Huffington. The One Life We’re Given "shares how to shape the life of the soul, and make sense of pain, fear, and loss, as well as surprise, beauty, and wonder” (Library Journal).

Exploring the craft of awakening, The One Life We’re Given affirms our purpose: we are here not just to stay alive but to stay in our aliveness. “The wisdom presented in the shining pages of this holy book is another luminous gift from a gallant, grateful, and imaginative spiritual master” (Spirituality & Practice).

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501116339
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 420,427
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mark Nepo is the author of twenty books, including Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, The Endless Practice, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Awakening. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark traveled the country with Oprah Winfrey on her sold-out 2014 “The Life You Want” tour and has appeared several times with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday program (OWN TV). He lives in southwest Michigan. Visit him online at and

Table of Contents

Shaped by Life xiii

Getting Closer to Life

When We Set Out 5

The Soul's Work 8

Legacy 13

Personal Mythology 15

Getting Closer to Life 18

Making Our Way 22

Love Your Window 25

The Secret Kingdom Is Everywhere 28

Knocked Off Our Horse 31

The Three Fears 34

The Three Dreams 38

Striving Just to Be 42

Wanting to Go Back 45

Creating Safety 49

Taking Off the Armor 53

Finding Solid Ground 56

The Path Is Wider Than We Think 59

What Talent Do I Have? 61

I Awake 65

Drawn to What We Need to Learn 68

Regret 70

Burning the Map 73

The Journey Before You 76

The One Life We're Given 79

Loving What You Do

Bring Up the Lights 87

The Story Behind the Story 91

What It Means to Be Awake 97

Heart and Path 101

The Covenant of Love 105

The Power of Holding 108

Swimming Through Pain and Sorrow 110

Blind and Sighted 116

The Trance 119

Our Authority of Being 121

The Great Threshold 125

Understanding Success 128

Walking Together 132

The Work of Intimacy 134

The Practice of Return 137

The Career of Awakening 142

The Siren of Insecurity 146

Remembering 149

Loving What You Do 152

A Song for Pilgrims 156

Strength from What We Know 160

Feeling Thorough 163

Finding What Can Last

Letting All Things In 171

Following Light 176

Fire in the Temple 179

The Sacred Grove 184

Our Spirit Path 188

Making Honey 191

The Serpent King 193

Reading the Cracks 196

Asking for Our Turn 200

Not Listening 203

Keeping Our Eyes Open 206

Working Our Way into Grace 209

Waiting for Our Souls 212

Finding What Can Last 215

At the Center of Every Feeling 218

Unbearable and Unbreakable 221

Being Kind and Useful

Cultivating Wonder 229

The Bones of Grace 232

The Effort to Keep Looking 236

In Doses We Can Bear 239

The Work of Self-Awareness 243

Going Off the Deep End 247

The Gifts of Effort 250

Admitting Who We Are 253

Just a Glimpse 256

In a Greater Arc 259

The Efforts That Never Go Away 262

Freeing Our Compassion 266

The Moment That Saves Us 269

Radiant and Broken 274

To Be of Use 278

Staying Tender and Resilient 284

Gratitudes 289

Notes 291

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