Small Actions, Big Life

In it’s ever-changing way, life is constantly inviting us (sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently) to be clear about our intentions.  One of my favorite resources for all of us on the journey of conscious living, is Life is a Verb, 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionallyby Patti Digh.


The death of her step-father 37 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer, prompted Patti to ask herself, “What would I be doing today if I only had 37 days to live?” From that question, and Patti’s bright and honest writing style, this book was born.

Divinely written. Beautifully funny. This book is filled with humor, personal experience and stories, stories, stories.

It is founded on the simple but profound truth that small actions, taken consistently over time, create the life we inhabit. They may be easy to overlook because they are small, but every seemingly small choice we make contributes to the trajectory of our lives.

“We are moving in a direction, it occurs to me, even when we feel like we are not. Perhaps it isn’t apparent today, or tomorrow, or next Thursday, but it will be . . . .  . ”      ~ Patti Digh from Life is a Verb

The book takes shape with six guiding intentions; a series of essays (stories from her own life) that illustrate ways to embody that intention; a suggested action at the end of each essay – usually a short writing exercise that can be completed in 5 – 10 minutes; and movement – a practice to do daily for 37 days.

Here are Patti’s “Six Practices for Intentional Living.”

Intensity: Say Yes. This one is all about engaging and embracing your life – every messy, delightful bit of it.

Inclusion: Be Generous. Here are stories that encourage a kind of generosity of being. A generosity that allows us to open ourselves to others, that embraces others exactly as they are. 

Integrity: Speak Up. With this practice, Patti illustrates the beauty of honoring our own truth, while allowing others to have theirs as well.

Intimacy: Love More. This practice shines a light on our tendency to value ourselves and others by the measure of our bank account, IQ, pant size, resume or any number of image-related criteria. It reminds us to love ourselves and others for who we are rather than what we have.

Intuition: Trust Yourself. It can be part of human nature to ignore our own intuition in favor of external approval. These stories remind us to listen to that still, small voice inside, let go of outcomes and leap

Intention: Slow Down. Every day is precious. With this practice, we’re encouraged to savor every moment.

“What, if you did it consistently for 37 days, would create positive vibes, intentional joy, good karma, fantastic direction, and deep expansiveness in your life?” ~ Patti Digh from Life is a Verb

Life is a Verb is as lovely to look at as it is to read. The design is artful and engaging. It reminds me of a travel journal where you might record precious memories, scribble quotes, and paste pictures and newspaper clippings. It invites us to play, offers inspiration and reminds us to write in the margins – not only in the book, but in our lives as well! 

This is not a read-once-and-done kind of book. It’s one to live with. A friend and companion to return to again & again.

Thanks Patti!



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