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Cell Wisdom

July, 2020

Blooming Black-Eyed Susans

lessons in joy courtesy of my phone

I continue to search for pithy words I can type on the topic of cultivating joy at this time. The woes of the world remain a bit overwhelming, don’t you think?

I figured I had two choices. I could punt the proverbial football and not send you a Limb this month. OR, I could see what random wisdom my phone might offer up for this month of July.

I “consulted” with my email inbox, and my Notes app where I store quotes by others, and creative ideas that I may want to return to some day.

Today was one of those “some days.”

Here is the wisdom that came my way:

First,’s Word of the Day for 7/6/20 was BAILIWICK.

This noun is defined as a person’s area of skill, knowledge, authority or work. Bailiwick reminded me of a few words that had emerged while journaling a month ago. The phrase I’d stored in my Notes app was STAY IN YOUR LANE.

Raised by a Helper Extraordinaire (Mom) and an Artist/Engineer (Dad), perhaps it’s no surprise that my adulthood has necessitated some discernment about what my lane actually is for this third act of life. My parents’ influences bordered on oppositional.

In August, it will be three years since I closed my private practice as a psychotherapist, with the intention of indulging more fully in my father’s lane: creative expression. (For a video about what motivated me to write Assembling a Life, click here, or scroll down a bit.)

I am grateful for my years in the psychotherapy lane, and for the joy of supporting and watching others figure out and claim their lane. But my bailiwick has changed. Now, I am an artist. This lane gives me so much joy . . . and yes, plenty of hand-wringing, too. I made a collage about this journey a few months back:

If you sense that the message in this collage is exhorting you to claim your lane or pivot to a new one, well hallelujah! The life-changing walk may bring more joy to your life, and if so? Another hallelujah.

But . . . (Dangit, there’s so often a “but!”) sometimes I hear a critical voice that persists at telling me, “you’re not helping enough.” Perhaps you hear this voice, too? It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Time for more wisdom from my phone!’s Word for the Day (7/6/20):

“My religion is kindness.”

~ H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

Well now, there’s a nice over-arching lane, eh? If only kindness were tops on everyone’s To Do list:

Everyone would wear a mask until they are no longer a necessity.

Black lives would matter. Period.

The environment wouldn’t be threatened by such disregard.

Love would be love would be love.

Greed might even become extinct.

And more.

What wisdom is hiding in your phone for you to discover today? I hope it points your inner compass toward joy.

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Prompts For Joy

Click here because Pluto’s right, cats are amazing! 😉

(Grateful for the laughs, Michael Sally!)

Click here for more on where joy might be hiding.

(Thank you, Sue Murphy Murray.)

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.


Pictured Above

Top: Sidewalk Art and Appreciation, Palo Alto, CA

Collage of Walk the Life-Changing Walk: Hand-crafted by Martha Clark Scala


Front Cover of Assembling a Life by Martha Clark Scala

"Assembling a Life is a collage of words and images, artfully presented, and a story artfully told . . . Martha blends love, loss, images and humor into a memorable palette."

~ Darlene Frank

Author, Editor,

Writing and Creativity Coach

To purchase the premium softcover or e-book versions of Assembling a Life, click here.


Why Assemble a Life? An Interview with Author and Artist, Martha Clark Scala

Check out this video that reveals what motivated me to write Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in My Father (and Myself). Comments and feedback welcome!


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