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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

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  2,356 ratings  ·  175 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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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,356 ratings  ·  175 reviews

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Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: happiness, healing
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.

I read this again in December of 2017.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: happy-books
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
Jess Michaels
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
My original reading was below. I bought in paperback and read slower, savored it more and I love it even more!!

I've been on this "happiness" "live a full life" kick, so I picked this book for our book club. I thought a lot of the advice was so great and fun (I was very excited about spatulas for weeks). But I read the thing all in a short period of time, so it also ended up being overwhelming. Bottom line, it's a good book, but buy it in paperback and savor rather than power through.
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me a long long time to finish this book but I enjoyed the wisdom very much each time I picked it up.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jun 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eyeopening
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
Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mindfulness
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
Kristine Raugust charette
Meh. The book had a great beginning and I liked the writing. I think I just got bored, but I gave 3 stars because the first half of the book stayed with me. I highlighted, made notes, wrote in the margins... Then I think my life was just too chaotic to really care about the freakin portfolio advice. I was done after that, but finished it just to make sure I didn't miss any nuggets that I couldn't live without.
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a fun book from a creative, artsy type of author. But the whole vibe of the book seems cliched and old - it's been rehashed too many times. All the graphics in the book were a bit too busy and unappealing for me. Maybe other women really enjoyed this book, but I felt it was just another feel-good, vision board sort of book that's been cluttering bookstore shelves for years.
Michael Rusk
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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...
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Guida Brown
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve owned this book for years, and I’m now on a quest to write a curriculum to help others live their best lives. This book is a great guide to doing that.

I didn’t do the exercises as outlined, one each day, and I was a little disappointed that they focused so much on one activity — journaling. Still, the concepts of the book and how it’s laid out are perfect for anyone who really wants to live life to the fullest.

I’m a bit surprised by some of the negative reviews: that it reads like a diary
Kelly McCloskey-Romero
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book, a section a day, all summer long. It is a beautiful reminder of all that is important in life - connecting with others, being a good and honest person, being creative, being true to oneself - all in an engaging, funny, practical format. I plan to return to it again and again, especially the exercises at the end of each short chapter. This book is truly a gem and I'm so glad that it was at the heart of my summer!
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I actually didn't finish this book, it wasn't for me. I read it out of curiosity on recommendation and I think I couldn't fully appreciate it because it's not where I am in life right now.
I agree with Gail's comments completely.
However, it is in a great format that I think all self-help books should follow- easy to hold and lots of space in the margins to write notes.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A friend recommended this to me saying that the exercises were fun and a great inspiration for writing (I've been in a writing rut for a while).

This book is beautiful, and I'm sure it can be really helpful to someone with more time or who just clicks with the book more than I did.

The book is fine, just not quite for me and where I'm at right now.
Tami Sparks
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It makes you stop and think about life and each other. I did not do all the writing exercises and 37 day challenges at time of reading, however I am now going back and taking on several of the challenges over the next year. Some great life lessons in here!!!
Pat Edwards
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Best read a little at a time -- not one a day! Maybe one a week. Or maybe it takes longer for me to absorb and practice. A lot of great quotes and useful exercises because we all need more reminders to get out of our ego-heads.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I put this on my to-read list because I loved the title. On a trip to the library some time ago, I found it in the online "card catalog" and noted the call number. It wasn't on the shelf at that time. My latest trip to the library - I found it on the shelf and brought it home. I wasn't really in the mood for a self-help book.

But this one is beautiful. There are the usual self-help stories with morals. The illustrations were all done by readers of her blog, 37 Days. I guess it's time to explain
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"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
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Christa Sigman
I borrowed this book from the library so I did not have time to do all the activities - I was mostly reading on the train. However, there is much material for thoughtful consideration and definitely some ideas I can apply and try. I appreciated the wide margins created for those who purchase the book and want to make notes in the margins (as the writer encourages). However, overall, this was a difficult book to read. The font is so tiny and the pages are irregular colors. While aesthetically it ...more
Twila Bennett
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
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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
“People don't stop being bullies when they grow up. They just dress differently to fool you.” 28 likes
“Create inclusion - with simple mindfulness that others might have a different reality from your own.” 20 likes
More quotes…