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Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally
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Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,741 ratings  ·  152 reviews
In October 2003, Patti Digh's stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died 37 days later. The timeframe made an impression on her. What emerged was a commitment to ask herself every morning: What would I be doing today if I had only 37 days left to live? The answers changed her life and led to this new kind of book. Part meditation, part how-to guide, part memoir, Li ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by skirt!
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I'm not a big reader of non-fiction books. And I'm definitely not a reader of self-help books. Yet Life is a Verb is both of these things and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The secret to my enjoyment? After each chapter there are two boxes, one called Action, the other, Movement. I was happily reading along, enjoying Patti Digh's voice and storytelling when I got to the first action box. As I recall, that box told me to set the timer and dance for five minutes. Ummm, no. Not going to happen. I stopped ...more
Candice Hayden
Okay, the title sounds like one of those silly, self-help, self-indulgent works that abound in the marketplace. But Patti Digh is different. She moves in. She hangs out on your sofa. She lets her life hang out, warts and all. She makes you feel "normal" because she is so real. She dares to share the messiness of her own life, her own "imperfect, red-headed freckled-ness" that you want her to permanently move into your guest room with her two kids and "Mr. Brilliant", her sweet, innocuous, bookst ...more
I love Patti Digh, and appreciate the changes she's brought to my life.

I take this book to my own private luncheon at Golden Corral on Tuesdays, and leave feeling nourished on so many levels.
I needed a kick in the proverbial pants and this book landed in my hands - perhaps the book angels pushed it out, but sometimes a trip to the bookstore reveals just what you need. Realigning self and life are daunting tasks and often we forget where we have landed on the game board. I needed this book to remind me that I was responsible for my own life, my own joy, my own intentions. Patti Digh is good medicine and her sassy questions, suggestions, and methods for awakening art as life/life as a ...more
On the one hand, the author did seem very sheltered, viewing life from quite a privileged position, and her attempts to be open minded and not judge 'different' people seemed a bit patronising sometimes. But on the other hand, the author is incredibly open and honest about her journey, admitting her judgementalism, her struggles. She is also full of enthusiasm. She is who she is, and doesn't pretend to be anyone different.

The book wasn't really what I expected - it was more a sort of set of mem
Rare is the read that leaves me feeling as though I need to write a THANK YOU note to its author. By the time I was reading the last page, I so wanted to consider the author and I good friends. This book will never stray far from my side. It is everything we ALL need to be reminded of if we truly desire living an intentional life. And its author...Ms. a storyteller extraordinaire. Her fluidity, her prose, her sheer understanding of being mindful...beyond impressive. Every chapter held ...more
I have to say I like the idea of this book better than the actual book. Not to be petty but I didn't feel like it was that reflective, etc. I didn't feel like it took you deep enough if that makes any sense. I guess I am already "awake" and try to "live intentionally" so it did not give me any "A-has".
John Bails
I read this book in 2009. I found it at the library. I pretty much read from beginning to end. It's probably intended more for women than men, but when it doesn't necessarily seem applicable, I just move on. I like her lively, personal, quirky style. She tries to give the reader applications. I bought this book as I thought it was one I should own and that I could mark up. I also bought Creative is a Verb because I like her bouncy writing. My daughter would like to write and I want her to read t ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Digh worries that we are not living our lives. This book is her attempt to share six ways of living intentionally: (1) With intensity by saying yes (2) with inclusion by being generous (3) with integrity by speaking up (4) with intimacy by loving more (5) with intuition by trusting yourself and (6) with intention by slowing down. Brilliant.
Michael Rusk
If I get any more motivated I'll just have to leave the planet! Who needs shrinks, why waste money on hocus-pocus? Get Patti's book, curl up and read it like you mean it. You cannot help but be a different person when you are finished...
a good book for those who like journaling and want to keep their "childlike wonder" about them. kinda like SARK but with more guts to it.
This book was ok. For me personally, it didn't live up to the promise of the introductory remarks, but there are good lessons to be gleaned from the author's experiences. In Digh's own words, "As I wrote these stories for my daughters, patterns and through-lines started appearing, one after another. Finally I stepped back to see the whole: Six practices for living more intentionally emerged from my three-year exploration. This 'guidebook for living' outlines those six practices - intensity, incl ...more
"Life is A Verb" was inspired by Patti Digh's blog, "37 days" at I love her metaphors and her detailed, delicious insights on life. She really digs into the essence of what makes life worth living.

Her suggestions to inspire you to live intentionally have affected my life. So far she has inspired me to:

-write haiku
-give more hugs
-reach out and be generous

There are so many suggestions she has for wonderful free writes and important ideas that I have not acted on yet and I hope no
I'm one of those people who likes the idea of self-help or inspirational books about living intentionally/with purpose, but I find ACTUAL inspirational books kind of boring. Most of them don't go far enough, or don't actually address the problem I seem to be having. With this title, I kind of expected it to be a little too cutesy.

There are occasional moments where her anecdotes are overly "I've had a privileged white upper middle class upbringing and I like to talk about how alternative I am" bu
Loved it!

Fun, inspirational, encouraging, and uplifting.

Patti Digh’s personal stories provide metaphors for the actions she suggests you take at the end of each section. Not everyone will find something in every story that resonates, however those who follow through with the Action and Movement activities are sure to learn a little bit more about themselves.

Attitude is everything. Those who want to get something from this book will do so. Those who aren’t in a place where they are willing to tak
Wow. I loved this book - not sure I can even call it a book, almost more workbook! My copy is filled with circles, underlines, dog-ear corners & notes in the margin which I never do in books, yet felt compelled by the authors encouragement to do just that to absorb & process. While I technically finished reading it, it lingers on with me as I go back & consider putting the book into action because that's truly how it is designed to be used. Every nugget of story & inspiration end ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Jane marked it as abandoned
Shelves: audio-books, memoir
I'm not sure why this book didn't work for me. I love memoirs and I'm interested in mindfulness so it seemed like it would be a great fit for me. I just lost interest in listening to it. Maybe it was me. I'm not going to actually rate it because it's very possible that I didn't give it enough of a chance.
My dad had just passed away when I saw this book. I started thinking back to the last time I saw him. It had been the one year anniversary of my mom's death. When I counted the days from that day until he was 37 days. Wow. What had he done in those days? Well, I found out at the funeral that he had lunched with many dear friends in his close circle. He had called several and written notes of encouragement. He had lived those 37 days as if it was his last. maybe he knew somehow? I will ...more
I didn't end up doing this book, because:

#1 the author writes that she deliberately put it in a large format so there's room to write in the margins, to really grasp it, etc. I love small things, I hate carrying things, I cannot fit this book in my backpack so I cannot do it as a daily plan.

#2 Life is not a verb. Live is a verb, it's a perfectly fine verb. Now, love is a verb, that's something I've said before. Love's a noun and a verb and a tennis score. Life is not.

It reminds me of when I bou
I agree with another reviewer further down who said that she liked the idea of this book more than the actual book. I have read Digh's blog and found it so moving and so original and I felt like this book was watered down for the self-help seeking masses. I know that is harsh, but that is how I feel (and the more I review books the more opinionated I seem to get about it). This was not a re-invention of the wheel by any means and most of us seeking to make more meaning of our lives would already ...more
Sparkling with artistic contributions from 37days blog readers and the author, this collection of meditations on spiritual practices and exercises to help embody them is accessible to a wide range of readers. Recommended for individual use, small spiritual groups, and spiritual arts groups.
This took me WAY longer to read than I thought it would. It's hard to finish when the reader keeps going back to chapter after chapter. Some days I would read the same page three times. This is a book I will keep by my bed and get a little refill on those days I need it. I have done the exercises and gone back and redone them. I have written quotes down and put sticky notes around to remind me. The author went from DC to Asheville, both places I love, and I felt a connection to the experiences a ...more
I LOVED this book and have bought several others to give away as gifts! If you're looking for a daily dose of whimsical inspiration this is the perfect book as it is broken up into short stories and has tons of colorful illustrations throughout....if I was teaching a creative writing class this would be a perfect resource for "start up journal" converstaions because these stories can really get you thinking about the life you live, the life you dream of living and the life you can be living! LOV ...more
Larry Hoffer
I don't usually read "self-help" type books because I think I'm far beyond helping myself. But this book really spoke to me. It's not one of those "live like you were dying" books that encourage you to bungee jump and do all of those things you've always wanted but never had time to do. Whether it's because I've met Patti or I'm just a little more receptive to wanting to change my attitude on life, this book and it's attitude really spoke to me. I know what I'm buying a lot of people for the hol ...more
Hester Thorpe
A few years ago, I saw Miss Digh speak at a conference. She was so dynamic and inspiring (a word I'm typically not fond of when it comes to describing speakers) that I immediately tried to buy her book. Alas, the conference was all sold out. I decided to get it through Amazon and then started checking the mail incessantly for it to arrive.
This book is incredible. The stories in it are amazing but more than that is the way that she relates them. I keep meaning to take her exercises and start work
Oct 26, 2014 Susan added it
Love, love, love this book!
Oct 11, 2009 Gabrielle marked it as momentary-pause
I'm in Black Butte this weekend, and I'm feeling rested, and ready to reflect on my friend Paula's death, the 13th anniversary of Bob Wallin's death, and the intense suffering (not necessarily physical suffering) of people around me. This book has drawn me in from the cover. The images, the size, the texture, the print, the invitation in the introduction to write in the margins (that the author has made especially wide for that express purpose.) I think this is going to be my version of "A Purpo ...more
Loved this book. Fabulous insights and wonderful sense of humour!
Dec 16, 2010 JayeL rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I stopped reading this book for awhile, but am determined to clear off my 'currently reading' pile, so I started up again. There are a lot of things I like about this book, but it is hard to read. I have not done any of the exercises, because they are hard and I am not sure I want to self examine that much. My idea is to do the exercises after I have read the book as kind of Word of the Day exercise. If anything this book will drive me back to figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.
Jon-david Mafia Hairdresser
Please please please get this book and keep it by your side. It's NOT a self help book. It's a happiness companion. A must have book to use a workbook, a self-motivator, a look on the bright-side book, and a just-what-I-needed-today-book.
I loved this book so much I bought the CD's and downloaded it to my Iphone so I could hear Patti Digh's own voice telling me about how her daughter views the world or how her inspirational friends gave her wisdom by just being.
A must have.
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"If the Buddha had two kids, a dog named Blue, a Southern accent, and a huge crush on Johnny Depp, his name would be Patti Digh," wrote one reviewer after Digh's grassroots bestseller, Life Is a Verb, was published. In 2003, Patti Digh's stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer and died just 37 days later. She woke up on day 38 and asked herself a question that she has asked every morning since: ...more
More about Patti Digh...
Creative Is a Verb: If You're Alive, You're Creative Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives What I Wish For You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life The Geography of Loss: Embrace What Is, Honor What Was, Love What Will Be Creative Is a Verb

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“People don't stop being bullies when they grow up. They just dress differently to fool you.” 25 likes
“Instead of a book, what if we're actually writing (or not writing) in the margins of our lives? What if our lives are books? What is the sign of our presence? Are we pressing into the margins our interpretations and questions? Are we circling offending verbs and drawing furious arrows to the margin where we scrawl "irony," "frustration," "voiceless," "unfair!" Or do we simply turn the pages, passively receiving what's given, furiously disagreeing but remaining silent about it?” 13 likes
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