Synopses & Reviews
One womans quest to do one new thing every day of the year, what she learned, and what we all can gain from her journey...
In 2009 veteran journalist and eight-time Emmy award winner Lu Ann Cahn was feeling angry and frustrated. The economy was tanking. Her job was changing. Budgets were being cut. She resented the new technology and social media she was being asked to embrace at work. In a word, she felt stuck.”
Cahns daughter encouraged her to try blogging, and after some thought, she decided to write about trying something new every day for a year. Little did she know, that "Year of Firsts" would change her outlook on life.
For 365 days Cahn made a point of doing something she had never done before, some as simple as performing an old task in a new way, some creative and extreme:
Riding a mechanical bull Eating a scorpion
Speaking to a complete stranger on the street
Smoking a cigar
Shoveling horse manure
Zip-lining across a crocodile-infested Mexican lake
Spending a day in a wheelchair
Walking her dog backwards
Taking a drum lesson from a famous 80s rocker
In the process she discovered that "firsts" were the antidote to stuck.” I Dare Me is Cahns journey, but it's more than just a memoir. It challenges readers to confront their own fears, and encourages them to try their own "firsts."
"Life is a Verb is brilliantly-crafted, raw, gorgeously-designed, and daringly different from 'self-help' books. It relates, through stories that sparkle and astonish and soar, how to move, to be on your way, to realize who you really are through your actions. Through exercises that you participate in, as if in conversation with the author, you will learn, as she promises in the prologue, 'deeper thingshow to know what to care about, how to treat others around you (and yourself), what to question, how to love, what to stand up for, and why you should tell stories and listen to the stories of others.' There is no more important learning.
So read it. Inhabit it. Breathe in every word, because every word of this book is essential. Let it animate you. Annotate it to make it your own. And then let it let you change yourself, and become who you were intended to be. Begin now. You have no time to lose."
--- Dave Pollard, author of The Natural Entrepreneur, and the weblog How to Save the World
"Pattis guide for the last 37 days of life will turn every one of your next 3700 days a fully lived experience. If you had some unsolved fear for death, that would be your season ticket to have a free ride on the train with the author. I have never seen such a simultaneously practical, esthetic and soul-caressing book in my life."
--Kichiro Hayashi, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo
"I laughed. I cried. I want the t-shirt! Seriously, Life is a Verb may well be the single book that will change the world or maybe only your life . . . Artful, funny, heart-breaking, Digh reminds us that today isn't a dress rehearsal and we can start today celebrating the magic of ordinary life. Reading Life is a Verb is like mainlining goodness. Digh shows us what is real and what matters, and she gives us insiders tips on how to make minuscule life corrections that result in quantum shifts in experience. She reminds us that life can easily be fun. This will surely be the last self-help book you will ever need or want to read."
--Patricia Ryan Madson, Stanford Emerita, author of Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up
"Life Is A Verb is a wonderful treat! Good exercises, stories, and examples. Reading it will help you appreciate just how much can be gained through living with intention. It's also a lot of fun."
--Roger von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
"Ive said it once and Ill say it again: I adore Patti Dighs book Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. I love her writing, her depth, her sizzle. This is a book that makes me sing with life and the possibilities we all have for transformation and awareness. It is the best antidote Ive got these days for the pain and fear raging around us--that and loving hugs, long naps, fervent prayer and letting myself feel whatever Im feeling."--Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman's Comfort Book
"I love the bold and brave spirit of this book — along with its wit, warmth, honesty, and endearing sense of fearless self-deprecation. In these pages, the author has packed not only a year of courage, but more than enough for a lifetime. I think (and hope) that her journey will inspire many others like it!" -Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
and The Signature of All Things
"I loved Lu Ann Cahn's I Dare Me! This is a book that can change your life—if you let it! Her Year of Firsts inspired me, as does the story of her life! A must-read for every woman I know!" -Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author
“Lu Ann Cahn has written a delightful and helpful guide to all the ways large and small to unstick your life. Even if you dont want to eat a grasshopper.”
-Delia Ephron, author of Sister Mother Husband Dog
“Everyone needs a best friend like Lu Ann Cahn - the bold, spontaneous, zany-in-a-good-way friend - who dares you to do what you would never otherwise consider but makes it look so fun you just have to give it a go. You might curse her name while up on that mechanical bull, but you'll end up thanking her for shaking up your life. Packed with laughter, shrieking, and the thrill of the new, I Dare Me is an irresistible guide to making every day an adventure.”
-Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave
“First first? Buy this book. Then take in Cahn's spirit and try out her plan. It can only do you good.”
-Judith Sills, Ph.D., author of The Comfort Trap or, What If Youre Riding a Dead Horse
“I Dare Me is hilariously inspiring. This book will motivate you step out of your comfort zone and take more life-changing chances to increase your life fulfillment and happiness quotient! You will fall in love with Lu Ann's charm and story-telling style, that is not just entertaining but empowering to say the least!”
-Jen Groover, author of What If and Why Not?
“Lu Ann Cahn has taken the concept of ‘falling into a rut and conquered it in the most humorous and accessible way. From plunging into the ocean on New Years Day to eating desserts all day long, she made her year of ‘firsts into a guide for anyone who needs to recharge, reboot and find the joy in the quotidian.”
-Ellen Lubin-Sherman, author of The Essentials of Fabulous
“A fun and accessible read for those looking to add excitement to their lives.”
In October 2003, Patti Dighs 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, Life is a Verb is all heart.
Within these pagesenhanced by original artwork and wide, inviting margins ready to be written inDigh identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life: Say Yes, Trust Yourself, Slow Down, Be Generous, Speak Up, and Love More. Within this framework she supplies 37 edgy, funny, and literary life stories, each followed by a do it now” 10-minute exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 daysand perhaps the rest of your life.
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, Life is a Verb is all heart.
Within these pages—enhanced by original artwork and wide, inviting margins ready to be written in—Digh identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life: Say Yes, Trust Yourself, Slow Down, Be Generous, Speak Up, and Love More. Within this framework she supplies 37 edgy, funny, and literary life stories, each followed by a “do it now” 10-minute exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 days—and perhaps the rest of your life.
Part meditation, part how-to guide, part memoir, "Life is a Verb" identifies six core practices to jump-start a meaningful life. Within this framework Digh supplies 37 life stories, each followed by a 10-minute "do it now" exercise as well as a practice to try for 37 days--and beyond.
Veteran journalist and cancer survivor Lu Ann Cahn was feeling angry and frustrated. The economy was tanking. Her job was changing. In a word, she felt stuck.”
Something had to change. Her daughter helped convince her to start a Year of Firsts.” For the next 365 days, Cahn made a point of doing something she had never done before, every day. Before she knew it, her whole perspective on life had changed. In this inspiring book, Lu Ann recounts how a new first” everyday brought excitement and wonder back into her world. And more than that, she helps readers see how they can do it too.
Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge
Speak to a complete stranger on the street
Zip-line across a crocodile-infested Mexican lake
Spend a day in a wheelchair
Learn to Hula Hoop
About the Author
Veteran journalist and eight-time Emmy award-winner Lu Ann Cahn is a reporter for Philadelphias WCAU-TV. Shes currently working on special in-depth projects and exclusive high profile interviews for NBC10 News at 11p.m. Lu Ann is admired by her colleagues and viewers for her personal story of beating breast cancer at the age of 35. By going public with her struggle and determination in overcoming this disease, she raised awareness and impressed upon millions of women the importance of breast self-exam and mammography testing. Her 1992 special report, "Breast Cancer: My Personal Story," won her a national Clarion award and two Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmys.
Cahn is an honorary board member of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and serves as the annual emcee of the foundations main fundraising event, the Renaissance Ball. She also works extensively with Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
Table of Contents
Preface Why 37 days?
Chapter 1 Write to remember
Chapter 2 Start with I
Chapter 3 Intention
Chapter 4 Insight
Chapter 5 Intuition
Chapter 6 Integrity
Chapter 7 Inclusion
Chapter 8 Intensity
Chapter 9 Live an Irresistible Obituary