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
Get Your Daily Dose
The other day, I spoke with a fellow whose circumstances are dire. Despite how burdened he is by daily challenges such as where he will find or afford food and shelter, I noticed a complete transformation in his face when he told me about a beautiful public garden he found. As he described some of the awe-inspiring scenery he saw, he brightened and got so much more animated. It was as if someone had given him a happy pill. As I noted this, it dawned on me that this guy could really use a daily dose of beauty. If he is around sights that bring joy, he has an antidote to the issues that make him so heavy-hearted. When I offered my insight about this, his face lit up again. It was a visceral Yes! We brainstormed about free, accessible beautiful places in his immediate surroundings.
In a stroke of synchronicity, a dear friend sent me this excerpt from Mary Oliver’s great poem, When Death Comes:
“When it's over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
It would be way too simple to conclude that beauty is what everyone needs for a daily dose of joy to counter what troubles or burdens them. Thank goodness, we are not all alike! For a fun exercise, I thought about some of my dearest friends and relatives, and asked myself, “What does this person need a daily dose of? What is their happy pill, or vitamin? Where do they access their amazement?”
That query informed the beginning list of possible vitamins in the lower right-hand box below. You might resonate with several items in the list but see if there are one or two that particularly stand out as important ingredients in your recipe for a great day. Another approach would be to ask yourself what is missing when you do not have a great day. If the days without solitude were crummy days, that just might be your daily dose!
Next, perhaps the biggest challenge of all: we have to see to it that we actually get that daily dose! In some cases, not much effort is needed to make this happen. For example, if you live with a pet and spending time with pets is your most crucial daily dose, you have it except if you travel and leave the pet behind. Chronically over-worked folks may know they need a daily dose of exercise or music but how do they remind themselves to stop what keeps them busy and get their needed vitamin? Those who must take daily medications or supplements face a similar challenge; how to remember? Post-it notes on a bathroom mirror? Alarms or alerts on your cell phone? Whatever we devise to remind us is as important as the daily dose itself! Get your daily dose! You deserve it.
Possible Daily Doses
Time with beloveds, including animals
Adequate sleep or rest
Connection and intimacy
Entertainment (TV, movies, plays)
What daily dose do you need?
Just in case your daily dose is also Beauty:
Your Septembert 2015 Prompts for Joy
Click here for beauty, music, and gorgeous scenery from Croatia.
(With thanks to Cindy Gum)
Click here for a chance at being a bride married to amazement.
(R.I.P. Beth Brown)
All previous Prompts for Joy (PFJs) can be found at my website, unless the video url is no longer functional.
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 ·