Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
November 2007
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.

November 2007


Now how can the act of surrendering cultivate joy? Is that what you are wondering? So many of us associate the word, surrender, with its military meaning. If you surrender to an opposing party, you give up, you acknowledge that you’ve been beaten. The proverbial white flag goes up, and the conflict ends. You may feel joy or gratitude for the conflict being over, but it is usually at a “price” that outweighs the relief. There are alternative ways of looking at surrender.

Consider the phrase, “it is what it is.” Let’s say you’ve been diagnosed with an illness that either currently or in the near future limits your independence or mobility. You may be very unwilling to surrender to this and there are certainly good arguments for battling the debilitation that could ensue. If you say “it is what it is,” you are not necessarily saying that you like the turn your life has taken. You are saying that you accept it. And just because you accept something, it doesn’t mean you are resigned to it. Resignation is giving up, and yes, that can bring the opposite of joy. How about if you accept that bad news, including that which you can’t control, while discerning that which you can control? This type of surrender brings relief. If you try too hard to swim against a very forceful current, it’s exhausting, and it’s very hard to truly get anywhere. If you limit your focus and “fight” to the arenas where you do have some control, you conserve your energy for optimal impact.

The Mathematics of Surrender

We have so little control over anything, actually. You might as well call off the search for a reliable mathematical equation to explain the unexplainable or solve the most challenging questions and issues. Life isn’t math. This could bum you out if you resign yourself to it. Rather, if you surrender to this, and allow yourself to say “it is what it is,” a grin may take up residence on your face. If life isn’t math, then you don’t have to figure it all out! You might even start feeling giddy if you embrace this! To find solace for surrender, click here.


Joy-Gram for November

Since Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, summon joy by making someone else’s day. Send out at least one snail-mail card of gratitude. Look past the obvious recipients and acknowledge someone who brings light in some way to your life. I’m sending a card to the baristas at Martha & Bros. Coffee Shop. (no, I don’t have a business by this name), and the sweet Thai women who bring me “#10 with chicken” at Regent Thai in San Francisco!


And the winner is …

Amber Coverdale Sumrall came up with the new name for this newsletter. Honorable mention goes to Catherine Anderson, Margarita Davison and Lian Gouw for their great suggestions.
Amber suggested Out on a Limb because she says the newsletter “always provokes something a little scary to look at, and because I love the birds that are often out there, singing praises to the new day.” Just as I read this suggestion, I looked at a magnet I have on my filing cabinet right beside my computer. The magnet quotes Will Rogers: “ out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” I bought it years ago as a gift but ended up keeping it, and now I know why! Amber wins a rather fruity prize: she’ll get a half-dozen grapefruits (see picture above) the next time I see her, and a promise of a basketful of plums next summer.

By the way, Amber’s second collection of poems, Refuge, is coming out this month. To order, click here.


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

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