Out on a Limb
A Monthly Newsletter from Martha Clark Scala
Invest in bringing joy back to your life.
November 2008
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 2008

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

It has been sung by one of its songwriters, Jackie DeShannon. Dolly Parton gave it a whirl. Annie Lennox and Al Green sang it as a duet. At the YouTube website, there’s a gospel-like version that features John Denver, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer and others! Click here or use this url, http://www.youtube.com/ to view the video. The lyrics are quite simple, and they’ll stick with you like a magnet drawn to metal. My favorite lines are:

You see it's getting late
Oh please don't hesitate
Put a little love in your heart

Why is it that we hesitate to love? Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard: “I’ve been burned one too many times.” “It’s too scary.” “I have to play hard-to-get.” “The world is a cruel place.” “I don’t ever want to suffer a broken heart again.” “It’s corny/hokey/dumb/lame/pathetic/etc.” It all distills down to self-protection, doesn’t it? The importance of self-protection cannot be denied, but what about the importance of loving, and being loved? Not just romantic love, but all kinds of love.

What danger is there in declaring your love not just to a main squeeze but to your dearest friends, the high school girlfriend who dumped you, the waiter who remembers how you like your eggs cooked, the estranged nephew, your mother’s sweet neighbors, or the relative who refuses to pose for a family photo? Might the extent to which we are parsimonious with our love correlate to the extent that we feel lonely, isolated, disenfranchised, or disconnected? Songwriters Jackie DeShannon, Jimmy Holiday, and Randy Myers said, “the world will be a better place” if you put a little love in your heart. I say: you’ll have more joy, too.


“How extraordinary life can
be if you take your door off
its hinges …”
                        ~ Kris Radish


It Gets Late Fast

If you have weathered the loss of a love, a close friend, or even a remote acquaintance, you already know that life is fragile. It sure seems like sudden loss is more devastating than one that can be anticipated. We never know how long someone will be in our lives or not. So open up your doors, love ‘em all, love ‘em now, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

                       Love, Martha


Joy-Gram for November

Click here or use this url, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLxTpsIVzzo, to listen to The Beatles perform another great anthem on this topic, All You Need is Love! If neither of the songs mentioned in this newsletter appeal to you, identify an anthem that works for you. And let the spirit move you past parsimony!



The website, www.Caring.com is dedicated to “Helping You Help Your Parents,” and it has a wealth of resources. For example, click here or use this url http://www.caring.com/articles/stages-of-grief to go to an excellent article by Melanie Haiken on the stages of grief. At this website, I respond to questions posted by readers on the topics of grief and loss, substance abuse, and caregiver self-care. If you’d like to locate my responses easily, type “Martha Clark Scala” in the Find box at the Home page of this website.


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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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