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
No Place Like Homes
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.
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!
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!
June 2010 Prompts for Joy
here for instant joy and a kid who loves, among other
things, her home!
here to see one of my favorite homes: the California
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
for June 2010
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!)
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.
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!
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 •