Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
June 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.
There’s No Place Like Homes

That is not a typing error in the above heading! There is nothing like the warm feeling of home, even though it may be a place where you have never lived. It could be a favorite town or vacation spot, a memorable person, animal, or family, and in some cases, it is an inanimate object. If you want to summon joy, find your way back home, just like Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz. The trick is to define the word “home” broadly and to accumulate as many homes as possible. This is not about acquiring real estate! Some people grew up in what they describe as hellish homes. If so, that is not the home to conjure! Where did you feel safe, loved, content, and/or at your best? With whom did you experience ease, good humor, fun, and minimal meltdowns? From whom did you receive acceptance, attention and affection … or a really yummy bowl of homemade soup? (By the way, when I use that old-fashioned word, “whom,” I am actually referring to both human beings and animals.) And what things bring you comfort, satisfaction or a sense of security? It may be the thing itself (such as a teddy bear or security blanket) or it may be what the thing represents (a vase that once held gardenias from your father’s garden). The more contact you have with any of these “homes,” the more joy you might experience.

The List

What would you put on your list of homes, as defined above?  Delve into memorable experiences from all of the different eras of your life to come up with a good long list.  Think about infancy, childhood, high school, college or other additional training, early adulthood, and so on.  Think about meaningful exchanges with significant people or animals.  Think about places you’ve lived, places you’ve vacationed or traveled to for work or in the military.  You are searching for situations that consistently left you with an “all is well in the world” or “I feel so comfortable here” feeling.  Go ahead, make your list, if only in your head!   


Go There!

It sure would be nice to travel to any of the places that evoke this feeling of home, or to visit with any of the past or present people or critters, or surround yourself with those things which derive such good feelings. This may not be practical or possible! However, you could employ as much creativity as you can muster to “go there” if only via your imagination. For example, see yourself having a conversation with one of those home-like people. What would you discuss? What would you ask for? What do you need to hear? One of my favorite homes happens to be out of the country! I travel there, in my imagination, quite often. So go home … there’s no place(s) like it!


Your June 2010 Prompts for Joy

Click here for instant joy and a kid who loves, among other things, her home!

Click here to see one of my favorite homes: the California Coast!

Many thanks to Deb Burgard for telling me about the first video. It has already gone quite “viral” but even if you’ve seen it before, it is most definitely one to view multiple times. What an upper! The second video was created by yours truly for a beloved woman who was “home” to me.

Joy-Gram for June 2010

Contact one person who is “home” to you and let them know. (You may want to forward this newsletter to them so they know what the heck you are talking about!)

Grief FAQ
As a Contributing Expert on Grief and Loss for the excellent website, www.caring.com, I have responded to several Frequently Asked Questions on this topic. Just type my name in the Search box to access my answers but beyond that, browse around. The website has many useful resources.

Pictured Above
If you can guess where this photograph was taken, you will know where one of my favorite homes is! (And no, I don’t own property there!) Certain readers are excluded from guessing … you know who you are!


Archives Now Available

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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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