Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
August 2009
Welcome to Out on a Limb, a monthly newsletter from Martha Clark Scala. This free e-zine is meant to invite and inspire you to maximize the joy in your life. To Subscribe, click here.

Collect Your Pithys

I’ve been hearing the word, pithy, a lot lately. It’s an adjective. The definition that made me laugh at dictionary.com was “of, like, or abounding in pith.” I guess the good folks at that website assume we know what pith is! The more useful definition is: “brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression; full of vigor, substance, or meaning.” This suggests that a pithy observation or phrase is quite valuable to the recipient.

What pithy words of wisdom help you in your pursuit of joy? I have a few. I suggest that we call them pithys: that’s the plural form of the NOUN, pithy. Don’t ask me why it’s not spelled p-i-t-h-i-e-s; my whims don’t pay attention to spelling conventions! What collection of pithys guide your life and your decision-making?

I can’t tell you how often I heard the phrase “salt water heals all wounds” in my childhood. Some people hate to swim in salt water but I spent more time in the ocean than in any swimming pool, lake or pond. As a result, just wading at water’s edge is a joyful activity for me. Being by the ocean, if not fully immersed in it, is my best prescription for sorrow. But obviously, there’s no universal, one-pithy-fits-all, is there? For example some people have never even seen an ocean! Perhaps they have gargled with salt water to ward off a sore throat.

For a few more from my private collection of pithys, scroll on down the page.


Looking for Some Grief Relief?

I interrupt this regularly scheduled newsletter for the following announcement: A few more of my brief FAQ responses have been published at the website, www.Caring.com

Click here for: Is it Normal Not to Feel Social After Someone Close to Me Has Died?

Click here for: How Do I Find a Grief Counselor?

Coming soon at www.Caring.com: What Can I Do to Speed Up the Grieving Process?

Pithy This

“Less is more.”

The older you get, the more ways in which this is true. Striving is over-rated.

  Pithy That

“It’ll all come out in the wash.”

Ah, the rinse cycle of life. This is a great anti-anxiety “prescription.”


Pithy These

“What other people think of me is none of my business.”

One of the best self-esteem salves I’ve ever heard.

“What goes around comes around.”

A perfect pithy that reminds us to conduct our lives with integrity and congruence. Byproduct: Joy!

"Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."

                                                         — Rossiter Worthington Raymond

A comforting quote to re-visit with each accumulated loss.


Joy-Gram for August 2009

As your reflect on your own collection of pithys, think about the person, place or situation where you first heard or read these words. Express gratitude where applicable, and watch your joy rise.


Pictured Above

That’s me, attempting to say something pithy, no doubt! Photo by Bob Kato.

Archives Now Available

To re-read or share past Out On A Limb newsletters, click here, or type the following url into your browser: http://www.mcscala.com/html/EZineArchives.html.

By no means do I have joy “figured out.” Please do not assume that I do! I write Out On a Limb as much as a meditation for myself in the ongoing pursuit of joy, as for you. I think this pursuit is a lifelong journey and that the full experience of joy is, at best, episodic. May we all have more episodes!


Martha Clark Scala, MFT 721 Colorado Ave., Suite 201, Palo Alto, CA 94303

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