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A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last Paperback – April 14, 1998
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In his new book, Stephen Levine, author of the perennial best-seller Who Dies?, teaches us how to live each moment, each hour, each day mindfully--as if it were all that was left. On his deathbed, Socrates exhorted his followers to practice dying as the highest form of wisdom. Levine decided to live this way himself for a whole year, and now he shares with us how such immediacy radically changes our view of the world and forces us to examine our priorities. Most of us go to extraordinary lengths to ignore, laugh off, or deny the fact that we are going to die, but preparing for death is one of the most rational and rewarding acts of a lifetime. It is an exercise that gives us the opportunity to deal with unfinished business and enter into a new and vibrant relationship with life. Levine provides us with a year-long program of intensely practical strategies and powerful guided meditations to help with this work, so that whenever the ultimate moment does arrive for each of us, we will not feel that it has come
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But the book is not for the physically dying. He and others have written books to help people facing that tragic fate. Instead, "A Year to Live" is for those of us who do not want to reach the end of our lives with regrets. The book helps you find joy, gratitude, peace, and forgiveness while we still have plenty of time to enjoy them. The best exercise for accomplishing these states is to imagine what you would do with your life if told you have a year to live. Like the old saying, "No one on their deathbed ever says, 'I should have spent more time at the office.'"
"A Year to Live" is the book to read if you don't want to reach the end of your life with feelings of regret, failure, shame, or loneliness.
I read this book many years ago, and have recommended it many times. Now my husband is going through a crisis of the soul so I just ordered it for him (having loaned my copy out at some point). He is as far from new-agey as they come, yet is finding enormous value in reading it. The key is a willingness to look for the unseen powers of love, forgiveness (etc) and the spirituality inherent in everything.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is brave enough to look upon death as being an integral part of life.