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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 ·  2,486 ratings  ·  185 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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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  2,486 ratings  ·  185 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
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
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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
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
May 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
I am wary of any book that tells me I need to buy something -anything - to be happy. This book insisted that I needed to rent a red convertible. Okay.

Perhaps the suggestions discussed in this book brought the author bliss, but I'm not sure they apply to the rest of the world. I appreciate her effort, but this book just didn't speak to me at all. I also found that the sections were choppy and resembled random diary entries that hardly had flow.
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. ...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". ...more
Mar 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I heard this author speak at Franklin College in 2010, and I follow her blog.

I have gone through this book many times, and it's finally time for me to mark it as "read" on Good Reads.

This book is charming, fun and colorful. It is full of helpful ideas on living a healthy life.
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
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
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! ...more
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
It was an entertaining read. There were really enlightening passages. My only criticism, sometimes the author's descriptions seemed materialistic instead of aiding the scene. Sometimes that was entertaining, but depending on the message accompanied with the passage it was distracting. Otherwise, I found I was able to relate to most of the passages and felt motivated. ...more
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.
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. ...more
What a fabulous book to read as my first of 2022. Digh's beautiful offering is perfect at any time of the year but particularly pertinent as I look forward to a fresh start and a clean slate on the first day of January.

This book is a love letter to life. Digh's storytelling is superb, her examples lovely and relatable, and the exercises she offers are both practical and approachable. In a world that's becoming increasingly more divided, with the focus on hustle, productivity, and proving our wor
Cat Rayne
Jun 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Life is a Verb is a beautiful book, full of inspirational quotes, quirky art and several personal stories by the author. The premise of Patti Digh was formed by a person she knew who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 37 days later. Her consideration, along with all of us, is we do not know when we are in our Day 38 as it were, and should live our lives fully, and mindfully.

The book is designed beautifully, and it will make you think. The exercises are fun, and prompt you to experience l
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
Carol Tardiff
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you're interested in taking a little journey inward and getting some cool ideas on how to expand and grow get this book. Be prepared to, at the very least, be wholly entertained by Patti's short stories, drawn from her own experiences. Patti's sense of humor, acquired wisdom and creative outlook on life draw you in, sometimes shake you up but most of all, make you want to jump up and grab your own lovely life by the horns. There are exercises at the end of each chapter... do them or don't... ...more
Sondra S-L Bever
There are a lot of quotes sprinkled throughout the book with random placement. They became annoying and distracting because they are sometimes right in the middle of a paragraph of a particular story - not at the beginning or end. (The book has many short stories used to illustrate a point. Sometimes I wasn't completely certain of the exact point).

The book was written with stories and then assignments to complete after each of them like a workbook. After stopping to do a few assignments, I just
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.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This the book we invited our learners to read this month for Community of Learning. I really enjoyed the narrative, prompts to reflect, and encouraging acts for the next 37 days. There are too many gems to name and the text could be used as writing prompts for middle and high school students. Powerful!
journey artis
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life is a Verb is a must read. I carry the words of Patti Digh with me through out every day of my life since I’ve start reading this book. It challenges you to dig deeper and think: how do I want to live before I die? I tell everyone I love to read this book & join me in a quest to live a happier more fulfilling life.
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!!!
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The more I read, the more I learned from and appreciated this book. I have so many sticky page markers stuck in it, that this is one of the few books I'll probably never get around to passing on, even though SO many people should read it! ...more
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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

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