TIME IS SHORT! 3-27-15 David Earl Woodbury

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No 13. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 27, 2015

Time is Short!
You, enlightened, self-sufficient, self-governed, endowed with gifts
above your fellows, the world expects you to produce as well as to
consume, to add to and not to subtract from its store of good, to
build up and not to tear down, to ennoble and not degrade. The time
is short, the opportunity is great; therefore, crowd the hours with
the best that is in you.
— John Hibben, president of Princeton University, 1913 graduation address

The championships, the money, the color; all of these things linger
only in the memory.  It is the spirit, the will to excel, the will to win; these are the things that endure.
— Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) American Football Coach

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Don’t you hate it when you go to the fridge and reach in the back for a bag of lettuce. You’re so excited to find it and your hungry. You pull it out and feel “squish” and hold up a bag of sour, brown, lettuce goo. It’s 3 weeks past the expiration date. You don’t dare open it for the smell would permeate the whole house. You waited too late.

Opportunities are like produce. Use it or lose it. What about the old lemons and apples and bananas we find. How many sour gallons of milk have we thrown out? Yuck.

I love to come back from the market with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, apples, bananas, and then make a wonderful salad and have a perfect banana for my morning cereal with fresh milk. There’s nothing like fresh food. Buy it, use it quickly, enjoy it!

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Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
— Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)  7th President of the United States

That’s how it is with life. We must take action. I have post notes everywhere (and a pair of glasses on every table) and everywhere a pen. I wake up from a deep sleep to write out my idea from my dream on a piece of paper. I have post notes all over my bathroom mirror, my office monitor, my fridge, my desk. Ideas are all over the place.

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What I hate is the idea that I did not write down. The note that I cannot read and cannot remember. The lost opportunity, the lost inspiration, the lost moment. Grab hold of your ideas and make them come alive. If I live 50 more years, I will not have enough time to listen to all the music I love, to read all the books I crave, cook all the dishes I want to prepare, and meet all the people I want to meet all over the world. Life has to be lived NOW!

You want to dance? Learn ALL the dances. Come in for lessons as much as many times as you are able. Do it all. Live it all. Experience it all. Life is short.

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.-Nelson Mandela

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it!– Jonathan Winters

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Take a chance. Be a “fresh produce” kind of person. Live your life to the max. Take action today. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Today is the day to make life happen for you!


David Woodbury

Eat Off Your Best Dishes 3-20-15

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

No 12. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 20, 2015

David Woodbury

Eat off your Best Dishes!


Instead of always harping on a man’s faults, tell him of his virtues.
Try to pull him out of his rut of bad habits. Hold up to him his
better self, his real self that can dare and do and win out.

— Eleanor Porter (1868-1920) American Novelist


The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

— William James (1842-1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist


Give those around us that chance to risk it all and try their best, and let them make mistakes.  I worked for someone once to whom I admitted making a mistake. She said “That’s OK as long as you don’t make another one!” That killed my relationship with her and my eroded my confidence for a while.

I am very busy in my life always trying new things, and making a lot of mistakes along the way. I learn from them, and I also have some great successes.  When I fail, I remember the grace of those around who help and rescue me, and I try to remember that support when those around me have challenges. Also, I try to celebrate my achievements and the successes of those around me.

Hold up others to their better selves and see what happens to them. Regarding those around us who we want to give up on, remember we only recognize the faults in other that are prominent in our own lives. Also remember, those around us that bug us to distraction are sent to us to teach us patience and forgiveness.

Now, on to eating off of good dishes…

During the Northridge earthquake in 1994, I remember being violently jolted awake to discover that my home full of broken glass and chaos. I remember reaching for my flashlight on my bed stand, only to find that the stand had been thrown across the room. As I went down to my kitchen, I saw in horror that the floor was covered with my broken Waterford crystal, mixed in with pieces of my best china, the contents of my opened fridge, and all my spilled dried goods, all mixed up together all over the floor.

As I threw away all my broken treasures, I vowed to use my good crystal and china for the rest of my life.  I would not allow another day to go by without eating off my good dishes.  If they get broken, it will be from using them, not storing them! This has become a theme in my life, “Eat off your good dishes” in every area of life.  I share with others to always be their best, dance their best and act their best.  I say, “Dance to your full potential”, “Live your day to the fullest”. This always brings a smile to others they understand that NOW is the time to shine and use all of our gifts.


David Woodbury

Humus, Planting in Good Soil 3-13-15

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No 11. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, March 13, 2015

David Woodbury

Humus, Planting in Good Soil

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Anyone with a green thumb will tell you that humus is essential in their gardens.

Humus is the richest part of the soil, composed of the decay of plant and animal matter. After the humus is tilled, broken open and exposed to sun and rain, it yields a bountiful harvest of glorious growth.

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The root word from “humus” comes from the English word, humility. Having humility is the ability to be broken and tilled, ready to receive the seeds of life’s experience, thus growing in wisdom and experience.


Humility comes from having the grace to be broken and tilled like soil. It requires us to let go of our pride, ego, and our own wants and enter a stage of gratitude in our lives. Humility gives us the ability to show hope to others and help others survive the droughts and the storms of their lives.


Humility is not putting ourselves down, but actively respecting others and the great gifts of life that we all possess. We realized that we are a part of the whole, and we exist in a community of other seeds that are seeking the good dark rich humus of soil in which to grow.

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The “humus” of life gives us the ability to grow in abundant ways from barrenness, to being filled with hope from despair, and then move toward light from the dark nights of the soul.


What do we plant in this rich soil of our lives? Hope, peace, joy, trust, and community are a good garden to plant. If we watch the seeds and tend to them, they will survive and grow into a rich harvest.


What is that hard soil in your life? For me, it’s just the hardness of my heart that comes from the “work and get ahead” mentality that we are all exposed to. “Get all you can as fast as you can” is a formula that will soon kill any seeds of joy that are planted in that rocky soil.

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Try this. Give back to someone. Recently one of our dance students purchased a ticket for another student so she might attend a wonderful event. She said, “She deserves it. She is a wonderful person”. I was so fortunate to deliver that message, and the student who received the ticket began to cry. She was so full of gratitude that I just had to give her a big hug. That’s when I decided to write this “humus” story.

Break up the hard soil in your life and plant some seeds of greatness in your garden of life.


David Woodbury