Go Straight to Your Goal! 9-23-16

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No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 23, 2016

Go Straight to your Goal!

“It is the man who goes straight to his goal, obstacle or no obstacle, that commands our respect, gets our confidence, and gets to the front. He is the man who is sought in an emergency, not the man who is afraid of obstacles, who magnifies difficulties.”

– Orison Sweet Marden (1850 – 1924) American Editor and Speaker

Before turning 60, I lived a life of “setting goals”. In fact, that was my whole life. I was dreaming the big dreams of success, and contemplating all the things I would do if I just applied myself. I have also lectured and helped many people set and realize their dreams.

So what am I doing now? Now I’m living my goals. No one talks about what do you do when you have achieved your goals. I believe that you reassess and go to the next level! It is challenging to have struggles and to have fought for a goal, and then achieved it. Many have lost faith at this point in their lives, for they did not know what to do next.

After reaching a goal, life’s obstacles are still there and we must learn how to deal with daily life and how to rekindle our passions and dreams.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt(1884-1962) American First Lady and Political Activist

Do you have a reoccurring dream while you are asleep? I do. I’ve had some of the same dreams all of my life and I can remember them. How about a conscious dream? My true lifelong dreams have not changed in 60 years. To live a life of beauty, movement, music, service, and faith. To share all this with others, that has been and will continue to be my life’s dream.

“The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be common, nor the common heroic.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

As the above quote says, I have resolved to be great. This life is not easy, but is very exciting and rewarding. I want to make a difference, to leave a mark, to leave a legacy!

Let’s end with this amazing quote from Shaw.

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Playwright

Thank you for reading!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

Hospitality 9-17-16

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Hospitality Summit 9-17-16 at St. Monica Parish Community.

http://stmonica.net/

Hospitality

Last weekend, Joel Rieck and I were facilitators at a Hospitality Summit. This was an all-day training for leaders from many different ministries. Our privilege was to lead our table of leaders and help focus on what Hospitality means and how to live the life of Hospitality. All around the ballroom were posters with quotes and I would love to share these with you in this blog.

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There is no hospitality like understanding.

Anonymous

Understanding is accepting people just as they are and letting them know that “All are welcome”. You may look different, dress different, believe different and come from a completely different background, but you are welcome just as you are.

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I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Have you ever left a place and not felt welcome? Did they exclude you, judge you, or say to you that you will be accepted when you change and become just like they are?

Has you ever left had an interaction with someone that left them feeling badly about themselves? Hospitality is making others feel that they are welcome and will be accepted for who they are at that time.

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Hospitality is love in action. It is the flesh and muscle on the bones of love.

Anonymous

It’s OK to say to someone “I love you”, it’s another thing to say to them “How may I help you?”. Hospitality is a verb and it means giving of ourselves to others in the “flesh and bones” of action.

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Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across difference to

participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.

Letty M. Russell

In the world of dance, there are great differences. Smooth, Ballroom, Latin, Standard,

Rhythm, Theater Arts, the world of Tango and Swing. How do we unite the worlds of partnership dancing? They are united on respect for the dance, respect for the partner, respect for the other dancers, and respect for the judges. If the world acted more like the competitive dance world, we would have a great period of partnership and connection in the world. Justice and healing on the dance floor is always based on honoring the dance and the music and moving harmoniously with our partner surrounded by other couples.

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The Heart of Hospitality is creating space for someone to feel seen and

heard and loved.

Anonymous

At a dance competition final, with six finalists, there is a major component that the couples must show in order to place. That is floor craft. We must not bump into, impede, hit, obstruct, or disrupt another couple’s dancing. This is a learned skill and is what makes watching a dancing final so exciting. Each couple is trying for first place, dancing their best, exhibiting dancing that has taken years to learn with hours of practice, while all the time giving all the other couples to space to do the same. This is a great lesson for life.

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Hospitality is one form of worship.

Jewish Proverb

For me, Hospitality saved my life. I walked up to a man, Dan Schwala, 14 years ago and asked “May I help you?” and he put me to work and he taught me how to show and live the life of Hospitality.  As I was on my last thread, and I have been several times since then, the giving life of Hospitality has always given me a reason to live and go on. Serving other led me out of the “Dark Night of the Soul” and opened my eyes to how to be happy in my life.

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Hospitality is simply an opportunity to show love and care.

Anonymous

Want to have a great day? Just ask someone if you may help them. Ask them if they would like to talk with you. Do they need some help in their life? Do they need a friend? Do they just need to talk? Show someone else that you love and care how they are and you will find that life will bring these “opportunities” to you daily.

In the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.

Kobayashi Issa

My mother, J. Clair Woodbury, did not know a stranger. Yes, she had Southern opinions about a lot of people, but they were always her friends. Daddy and I would leave mother sitting in a mall as we went to shop, and we would come back to find a group of people around her listening and enjoying stories about Louisiana. J. Clair truly did not know a stranger.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Gandhi

Unfortunately, I spent a great deal of my life trying to “find myself”. I was often unhappy, lost and unfulfilled. I was always looking for that magic that would make me feel completed. It was not until I learned the magic of helping others that truly became “Free” in my life. This Hospitality Summit has opened my eyes to the joy of helping others in every area of life. I can’t wait to use more of this in my Arthur Murray Dance life and in all other areas of living.

Hope you enjoyed this little view into the wonderful world of Hospitality and serving others!

Thank you,

David Woodbury

Keep on Dancing

Email me if you like this blog: davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

P.U.R.P.O.S.E. 9-9-16 Happy Birthday Troy D. Woodbury, Sr.

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No 37 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 9, 2016

P.U.R.P.O.S.E.

Part of God’s Plan

Unique and Talented

Radiant in Spirit

Passionate and True

Optimistic in Thought

Soulful and Inspired

Enriched by Faith

Christine, my husband Joel’s mom, sent me this saying on my 60th birthday card. I loved it so much I’m sharing it with you! (Today’s my dad’s birthday, born 1909!)

Yes, I have my mom’s talent and my dad’s uniqueness. My mom’s radiance of spirit is my call to the light every day. My dad’s passion for life, and his true nature to serve are in my blood. Daddy was always so optimistic in his thoughts. I remember daddy singing all the time “Oh what a beautiful morning….Oh what a beautiful day!” I can still hear him singing in my heart. My mom was truly soulful and inspiration moved her. Finally, Enriched by Faith, that was both J. Clair and Troy D. Woodbury. They both lived and moved on to heaven Enriched by their faith.

You have a choice

Each and Every Single Day

I choose to feel Blessed

I choose to feel Grateful

I choose to be Excited

I choose to be Thankful

I choose to be Happy!

Life is never easy for me. No mint juleps in my afternoons. But, I am so blessed by the opportunities that come my way!

“I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are perhaps more in favour of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.” – Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) English Novelist

This quote moved me. Yes, I might fail. And the challenges that face me are huge. Yet, I would rather carry on my fight to the end than give up. I will not give up. I will continue with the above P.U.R.P.O.S.E. and I will make my blessed choices each day!

Keep on and don’t give up.

Thank you,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Email me if you like my blogs.

My 60th Birthday 9-1-16

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No 36 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 2, 2016

My 60th Birthday!

Today is September 1st and I’m now 60 years old! I started with Arthur Murray October 15, 1975 and what a wonderful dancing life this has been.

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Arthur Murray has taken me around the world and was and has been my school of life. 41 years of dancing, laughing, performing, teaching and having fun have been the fountain of youth for me.

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Yes, my belt size is bigger, my feet are flatter, my knees sound like creaky doors, and my back goes out, but I have stamina and energy when I’m dancing that rivals 20-year old’s! I simply still love to dance.

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I always wondered what it would be like to be an older dancer. Well, I certainly am a lot more fun to take a lesson with, because I have learned to love and laugh. I listen to my students because I hurt all over just like they do. And when my students make a mistake, rather than being a rough teacher, I laugh and say “What was that!” and we both laugh until we have to hug each other.  A bit of loving laughter seems to go a lot further in instruction than a reprimand!

My personal teachers are all about 20 years older than I am. They are Arthur Murray legends and they are in such great demand today. They dance, teach, coach, own schools, travel and train others. They are constantly surrounded by young dancers and they have the stamina of much, much younger people. They are my dancing examples and I strive to be just like them in my next 20 years. Imagine, at 60, I have a new 20-year plan. Retirement for me will be to coach full time and train others for the rest of my dancing days.

The new fuel for me is now service. As long as I am giving great service to others, I seem to be OK in my life.  Depression is kept away, darkness and sadness seem to fade away when you are always planning some benefit to help others in some great way. When you always have to be at a meeting and you are giving time to serve, you seem to always be happy.  Also, the people who you are working with are usually just the same and they are happy in giving service to others!

When my daddy passed, his funeral was long with the many, many organizations that came to honor him for his service.  Daddy was a part of so many groups that help others that I sat in amazement as “strangers” to me seemed to know him and love him so very much. Guess what, I’m becoming my dad. I love being surrounded with workers and leaders and find life is rich with joy when I’m around these people. I love being a part of many groups who specialize in changing the lives of others.

Leaders are timeless and ageless. They seem to have great health and happiness. They are known and loved by many others. They seek out new ways to serve and give of their time.  They seem to thrive on the art of donating time to worthy causes.  They seldom complain because they are too busy making a phone call or planning on a committee.

Am I happy at turning 60? Well, I think I have a lot more to learn, and I definitely know that I have a lot more to give. I’d be worried, except I have to finish my city-wide Buy Local event next weekend, and I have a major Hospitality Summit at St. Monica’s the next Saturday followed by a wonderful dance competition the next day. November and December are our busiest months, then we have our Dancing with Our Stars Event in January, Seasons of Love Show in February, then the Sand and Sea Ball in early 2017.

I guess if I’m going to have a pity party, I’ll have to find some time and schedule it, for right now, I’m just too busy to worry about unimportant things in my life.

By the way, time to get moving and motivating others. Thanks for letting me share my wonderful 60th birthday with you all!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Email me if you like my blogs!

“A Kind Word is Never Thrown Away” 8-19-16

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No 34 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 19, 2016

“A Kind Word is Never Thrown Away”

“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.”- Arthur Helps (1813 – 1875) English Historian and Novelist

My mom, J. Clair Woodbury, taught me a great lesson. She said that immediately when you meet someone, find what you like about them and build an empire on that one thing. It is a wonderful way to life and spreads light and love to all. I see someone and I like their hair, their clothes, their smile, their handshake, their scent, their laugh. Then I TELL them I like that special quality about them. I then go on a treasure hunt for more diamonds of things I like about them.

What I have found is that, just like J. Clair, I never know a stranger. I’ve met strangers and we have entered into full conversations as if we have known one another for a lifetime. In public I have had many such meaningful conversations with total strangers that ended with a handshake, a hug, or a kiss. We just connected.

The other secret ingredient is a smile.  Recently, I was the front usher at the 7:30 mass. I was positioned at the altar, next to the organ, and my job is to help anyone who needs assistance. I was standing with my best Arthur Murray posture ready to assist, and an older parishioner sitting in the 3rd row loudly said, “Hey David, could you crack a smile!” His words echoed in the 1000 seat sanctuary. Wow, I was sure my face had turned beet red and I quickly put a smile on. I realized that being Visible, Easy, Useful and Ready was not enough. I had to look the part as well.

Needless to say, I always smile at mass now. I always say “Thank you” when passing the baskets and I greet everyone with a smile. This is called “The Habit of Happiness” and is truly a lifestyle.

“What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?”- Adam Smith (1723-1790)

Do I want to be happy, yes! How is that every going to happen? Well get this, it’s by making others happy. That’s the only way for me. When someone irritates me, I quickly realize that I am seeing something in myself that I don’t like, and I must pull the speck out of my own eye before pulling the plank out of the other person’s eye. When someone comes up to me in an angry state, they are usually not angry with me, they are having a bad day, a flat tire, a rough day at work and they need a good word from me and a listening ear.

I’ll never have a tough skin, I’m too sensitive, but I can laugh a lot and smile a lot and that has done wonders in my life.

“Great is the road I climb, but the garland offered by an easier effort is not worth the gathering.”- Sextus Propertius, (50BC – 16AD) Roman Poet

Life will never be easy, but it sure can be a lot more fun if those around us are happier. Give a good word to someone else today. Throw on an unresistable smile. Lay a great sincere compliment on someone. And don’t stop until they are smiling with you. You’ll thank me and they will love you for it.

Thanks,

Ending this blog with a big smile!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Trying! 8-12-16

 

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No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 12, 2016

Keep on Trying!

“But try,” you urge, “the trying shall suffice; The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life: Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!”- Robert Browning

Do you ever want to give up? What a horrible question from me a motivator. You might be saying, “Oh, never. How could you ever ask that!” Well, I have been discouraged before and still experience challenges when it comes to keeping my Try-O-Meter on high every day.

Sometimes I see the road as long and I feel as if I’m driving through the desert! My personality is that I live for success. I am a successful person. I know how to make it happen and I’m a hard worker. Every day I only see opportunities to grow and realize my dreams. That way of thinking is the only way for me.

Many dancers who are in the top 6 have arrived because they never gave up. They started off as new pros and competed many, many times until they worked their way up from quarter finals, semi-finals, to the finals to being in the top three, to winning! They weathered all the wins and losses and never let go of their dreams. Then at the top, they continue to train and strive for success and perfection in their dancing. They then help the other new dancers on their paths of success as champions.

“The saints are the sinners who keep on going.”- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish Novelist

Because I am Southern, and from Southern parents, I always feel guilty. I always know that I am be biggest sinner of them all and undeserving sometimes. My mother’s middle name was “I’m sorry” and she was always apologizing for everything all the time.  It’s a thing from the South, but it never goes away. Not that my mom and didn’t know how to laugh and enjoy life, we just felt a bit guilty because we laughed so hard and often!

Weather I am a saint or a sinner, weather I deserve what I have or not, I just keep on going and I don’t give up. I cannot stand quitters and I just will never throw in the towel. Success comes to those who make it to the end, and they keep the success because it was fought for and was won in the battle of life.

“Remember that if the opportunities for great deeds should never come, the opportunities for good deeds are renewed day by day. The thing for us to long for is the goodness, not the glory.” – F.W. Faber

Not going for the glory is tough for me. I love the spotlight and the fame. Yet, many of the stars I know in my life are also the nicest people on the planet and they have maintained their goodness with their greatness. I love the fact that opportunities are renewed day by day, and that each new day is a new beginning.

If you read my blogs, I just pour out my heart that we have to all keep going in our lives and not give up. Why, because when we succeed, we carry someone with us over the finish line and help them to finish. At the end of a 5K or 10K race, tired and spent, you will see everyone sprinting to the end and they want to pass everyone running up to the huge FINISH sign.  It’s funny, at the end of a race, everyone is smiling for the keepsake photo, no matter how you feel, there is a big smile, then as you walk through the finish line, someone puts a medal around your neck and you truly feel great. You made it!

Please don’t give in or give up. I know that I am taking others with me on the road to success and I just cannot give into anything but the fact that we ALL are going to make it in our lives.

Put your arms out and “bring a friend” to the finish line in their life. You’ll find it’s worth every step of the way!

Keep On Dancing!

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like my blogs!)

A Passionate Sense of the Potential 8-5-16

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No 32 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Passionate Sense of the Potential

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible…what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!”- Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855) Danish Philosopher

There are some people in my life who electrify me. They are charismatic and are visionaries. Even an email from one of them gives me a chill, a laugh, a tear, a pause, a moment of rest, a ray of sunlight. There are those in my life who move me just by watching them in action. They cast a beam of light wherever they go.  And to talk to them, they are humble and do not feel their calling to serve others is anything less than a wonderful blessing.

“Surround yourself with people you want to become like”.  Now as I look around me, at the circle of the great pillars of strength in my life, I am surrounded with great leaders, mentors, givers, actuators, organizers, thinkers, inspirers, innovators, guides, teachers, examples of a good life, motivators, uplifters, guides, supporters, and humble servants. Yes, I do want to become just like those who surround me with their love and support.

Dancers always ask me “How do I get better in my dancing?” My answer is always the same, get on the dance floor and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Enter a dance competition. Scare yourself silly and dance in front of a 200-person crowd dancing a solo exhibition with your partner. Get out there and dance!

Do you know when you are ready to do an exhibition? It’s the moment you walk off the floor, for your first thought is “I wish I could dance that over again”. And you will dance it over again many times.

The best part of being on the competitive dance floor is that you are surrounded by great dancers and they pull your skill level up to new heights! A dance showcase is worth 50 lessons, for you come back a different, transformed dancer.  A major dance competition, one over 3 to 5 days, is in itself worth 100 personal sessions. You come back twice the dancer you were when you left, and you are then ready to tackle a new dance adventure. Your confidence is solid and your vision of your dancing is clear!

For the ‘passionate sense of the potential’, I feel it so strongly that it eats me up. Sometimes this passion is like a burning heat and consumes me. I’d rather feel passion for life every moment that to go through life without feeling and a strong sense of direction.

I have a friend who is lost. Completely lost. Not sure what to do, when to do it, how to do it, or even why to do it. They are beyond my help at this point and I just try to live a life of example for them. Every day I try to give a smile, a great word of direction and never cast a cloud of uncertainty or blame.  I remember when I was lost and I remember those who pulled me through it, and those that hindered me. To this day, I am full or gratitude for those who kept my light burning through the ‘dark night of the soul’.

“Tough times never last. Tough people do.”- Robert Schuller (1926) American Minister, Evangelist

Never envy others. Who knows, you might end up with what they have you might be miserable with what they have. The money, good looks, the luck, the family, the education, the possessions. You never know what it is like to be someone else so just remember that any rough time you might be having will pass, and you’ll be stronger for going through it.

I’ll leave you with this thought. “It will get better” You’ll make it. You’ll succeed. You’ll see light again. You’ll be alright and OK very soon! I love you. I believe in you. My heart goes out to you to share with you that it’s OK to see in life what is sparkling, fragrant, intoxicating.

Live it up, today is a miracle!

Keep On Dancing!

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com (email me if you like my blogs!)