Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
January 2010
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.
Summoning Light, Praising Darkness

Iíve never been one who could rattle off lines from a poem, or lyrics from a song but there is one proverb that never strays far from my memory bank:

It is always darkest before dawn.

Iíll leave it to the scientist-types to let me know if this is actually true. Is it really darker at 5:00 in the morning than at midnight? I havenít a clue, but I can attest to the metaphoric wisdom of these six words. Just yesterday, the morning was gloomy here in Northern California. Soon, the fog lifted and the sun gave us some wintery light. The world outside started to look different, better, and even a bit more optimistic. No wonder light therapy lamps are a treatment of choice for those who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder! Yes, we need food and shelter to survive but for quality of life, light is essential. We might wish for bright light in every day but it isnít going to happen! Imagine how screwed-up the world would be if we didnít have the darkness of night, to promote rest and rejuvenation, or the darkness of a rain or winter storm, to bring water to crops and critters. And isnít bright sunlight shining on wet vegetation a precious sight to behold after torrential rain? So rather than curse the darkness, be it in the weather or within, perhaps we are meant to be present for it so that the light of dawn shines that much brighter afterward.
The Light Within

If the absence of light deeply affects you, it may be hard to tap into other sources of light, including the unique gifts that you bring to the world, but does that mean your light is extinguished? Heck no. Itís more like youíve walked into a dark room and youíve forgotten where to go to turn on the lamps or overhead lights.
  Finding the Switch

Sometimes you have to stumble around a bit. Sometimes you have to sit in the dark space until you find a way to the light switch. Music is the beacon for some, poetry, dance or silence for others. Being outside, even if itís stormy or bleak, often works, too. Good luck identifying your switch, and once you find it, remember where to find it in the future!

Your January 2010 Prompts for Joy

Perhaps 21 seconds of laughter is light: click here for a short giggle.

Or perhaps witnessing others’ creative expression is light: click here for a unique rendition of “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by Lulu and the Lampshades.

Thanks to Bill Faure and Bill Scala for bringing these lights to my attention

Pictured Above

This photograph was taken by Bill Scala, on a very rainy weekend in December, just as the light started to peek through the clouds, in Lucia, California.

Joy-Gram for January 2010

Is there a proverb, phrase or slogan that you could adopt as your mantra for those days and times of your life when you need to summon more light? The hunt is on!

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 ē 721 Colorado Ave., Suite 201, Palo Alto, CA 94303 ē

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