Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
June 2016



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.

The Simple Joys

By now, you may be one of multiple millions of viewers who have seen the “Chewbacca Mom” share her sheer joy in a four-minute homemade video. There is so much to love about this unrehearsed expression of excitement and glee due to the simple purchase of a mask. I cannot watch this jolt of unexpected entertainment without guffawing out loud. Candace’s (a.k.a. the Chewbacca Mom) laughter and playful spirit are contagious and totally worth your time. My favorite part, however, is the last thing Candace says before she stops recording: “It’s the simple joys.”

What are yours? When do you get to experience the lightness of feeling unencumbered? I sincerely hope your answer is anything but “never.”

Does any particular scenario come to mind when you hear the phrase, “the simple joys?” I see a kitten with a string, a dramatic sunset, many hotly contested games of Hearts with my family at the dining room table, or a dip in ocean water just cold enough to be invigorating. When I envision any of these events, I agree wholeheartedly with Candace. It is the simple joys. Those five words are a complete sentence, but they imply a longer message. It is the simple joys that make the hardships tolerable. It is the simple joys that assure a better balance between sorrow and delight.


Technology: A Source of Simple Joy

This past weekend, I joined a chorus of laments about how technology has made some parts of our lives more complicated. This conversation was prompted by adventures in remote-land. (Oh, I know you can relate.) A television with a knob to switch channels looked mighty attractive as we struggled to navigate with multiple remotes for a flat screen TV with a separate cable box. But once the technical difficulty was resolved, we kind of overlooked the simple joy of a large screen with amazing reception. Other simple joys thanks to technological advances are abundant. Imagine life without amusing videos, shared photographs, and instant answers to questions posed to a search engine. Next time you curse your slow internet speed, or a computer glitch, make sure you remember the simple joys, too.


Use Your Senses

Simple joys come in all sizes, shapes, and senses. Perhaps you cannot see a scene that qualifies but your other senses can help. What tastes send you into orbit? A fresh strawberry picked and popped into your mouth? What smells make your tense, stressed-out shoulders and neck (not a simple joy of computer use) drop down three inches? Is it a whiff of lavender or just-picked lilacs? Popcorn popping on the stove may provide both scent and sounds that evoke an instant sensation of wellbeing. Many meditative recordings include sounds made by water. And finally, there are countless joys available to us through touch. A lot of people like getting their feet rubbed, or their backs massaged. With so many possibilities, there is really no good excuse for depriving ourselves of the simple joys. Let your senses do the steering.

Prompts for Joy

Click here for a great laugh with Candace/Chewbacca. 
(Thank you, Robin Eschenbach Foley/Wonder Woman!)

Click here for a simple joy that involves a kitten and two apples.
(Great one, Bobbi Emel!)

All previous Prompts for Joy (PFJs) can be found at my website, unless the video url is no longer functional.


Archives 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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