With conscience as our guide! 5-27-16

SASB 2016 Logo

No 22 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 27, 2016

SASB 2016 Dancers Logo

“The only guide to man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are so often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honor. – Tribute to Neville Chamberlain; 1940”

– Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) British Politician

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Well here we are on the other side of the inaugural Sand and Sea Ball 2016! We did it and sold out our first year and the whole event was spectacular. Our small but might core team pulled off a huge and mighty event. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to everyone who attended and all those who participated. We are preparing for Sand and Sea Ball 2017 and know it will be even bigger and better!

Beth Hansler's BD at SASB 2016 Logo

My shield of conscience was always with me each day preparing for our event. The late evening after the event was over, I could not sleep. It would not come to me. Then in the morning I realized that I was not awakening with “I need more sponsors” “I have to sell more tickets today”. That had been my purpose for so long that I felt a great empty space in my heart. My conscience had led me to do my best and produce the best show that I could.

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“The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.”                    George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish Playwright

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My co-chair, Beth Hansler, always help up that mirror in front of me and we always looked at our “best selves” and we never lost hope that we would succeed. I must admit, Beth was the strongest of us and the best keep her dream focused. She was my compass to my true North of success.

 Winner SASB 2016 Greg Saccone

“It is a good thing to be rich, it is a good thing to be strong, but it is a better thing to be beloved of many friends.” – Euripides (480-406 BC) Greek Playwright

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Now at the end our one journey, and the new beginnings of many more, what truly matters to me is that we helped change lives through our efforts, and that I made friends for life through the event. What I learned about people and organizing is invaluable. I would not trade a minute of this great experience for I am a changed man today and a better person from the experience.

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“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945) 32nd President of the United States

 

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live a life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

– Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) American Philosopher and Writer

 Kathryn and David At the End

At the end of the Sand and Sea Ball, during my thank you’s, I said “Dreams can come true”. I had a few dream killers along the way (sometimes that being my own self!) Yet I learned that even those who doubt you will bask in the success in the end and they too will be blessed from all the hard and work and effort. Enjoy the joy of achievement and continue to advance in the direction of your dreams.  You will have a happy day coming your way and a sense of fulfillment that will last a lifetime!

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Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

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

Laughter is a Medicine! 5-20-16

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No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 20, 2016

Laughter is a Medicine!

“Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.”

– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

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This Sunday is the first inaugural Sand and Sea Ball! We are raising money for the ballroom and music classes of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Our gala at the beautiful Loews Hotel includes complimentary valet parking and wine bar. We have cocktails, sit down dinner, music from the youth quartet, SAMOHI Jazz Band, and the Gold Medal youth winners dancing during dinner. We will end the evening with a two hour Arthur Murray Dance Party!

“No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)

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Well, today I have a smile and a laugh in my heart and a spring in my step. (My right knee just went out yesterday. Couldn’t walk on it a day ago. I’m still dancing and it’s getting better. It’s heck getting older. Knee or no knee, the show must go on!) I have done my work and kept faith and hope, all brought on by the vision and dream of dancing for kids.

“Happiness is like a cat. If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you. It will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you’ll find it rubbing up against your legs and jumping into your lap.”

– Dr. William J. Bennett (1943) American Author and Educator

My Co-chair, Beth Hansler, and the executive director of the SMMEF, Linda Greenberg, have been my heroes. They have keep the fire burning and hope for our event alive. We began without a single sponsor, and changed the date twice! Beth is my dream maker and director of the Sand and Sea Ball.

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Happiness has not been in my vocabulary for a year. It has been vision, belief, focus, hard work, working together, and faith. Fulfillment has been a better state of mind for me. I would not trade a single moment of this adventure to our first Sand and Sea Ball. I have learned a lot about people, non-profit, and myself. I have learned that I can’t do it all. It takes a great team, and we had a very small team of dedicated volunteers.

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!” – Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Albanian Missionary

My last few years of my life has been many dreams realized. And yes, there has been a great price to pay. There have been many ups and downs, and still challenges ahead. But the fulfillment of following a dream has been wonderful. And Yes, I have laughed a lot in the past year (did I mentions the sleepless nights as well?).

“No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.” – Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish Writer

Give this a try. If you are not happy, grab a hold of a dream, a vision a hope, and make it come alive in your life.  Throw caution to the wind and move forward with a good team around you. They’ll keep your feet firmly grounded and make sure you stay on track. Keep a smile on your face, hope in your heart, and have a good laugh several times a day!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write your wonderful play of life! 5-13-16

Joel and David Logo

No 20 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 13, 2016

Write your wonderful play of life!

“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play that I’ve written for myself… and so my purpose is to have the utmost fun playing my part.” – Shirley MacLaine

There is a new study, the Epigenetics Phenomenon. It states that sometimes our chromosomes are written with some of our mother’s experiences before we are born (my loose interpretation). It indicated that DNA is a script not a template.

For years I wondered why I was the way I was and why things affected me the way they did. Why did I have my quirky characteristics and why did I have some of the same exact problems that my mom did. Then, I came across this new study of epigenetics and a light bulb went off. I realized that I did not have to be a template, but I could write the script of my own life.

Yes, I love many, many of the great characteristics of my wonderful mom and day. Their charisma, leadership, service, talent, and powerful personalities. Yet, I had some other issues that I just could not figure out. Then, I awoke and said, I can write my life script the way I want to. And this new story begins.

“The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

– Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer

Imagine that this beautiful quote is from someone who could neither see, hear, or speak. Yet she became a great American figure, an icon and inspiration for millions of lives.  At some point, Helen Keller’s light bulb went off and she was free. Free to learn, express herself, communicate with others, and grow and an individual. She understood what the “tiny pushes” meant in her own success story.

“If a man is called to be a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) American Civil Rights Leader

There is an old saying “Whoever is too big for the small tasks is too small for the big tasks”. Even to today, I have a broom at the front of our Arthur Murray Studio. I sweep the front. Why, because it is dirty. I don’t care who sees me do it. I love my broom. I check the studio toilets daily and take out trash. Yes, I’m also ready for the big successes at the school because I celebrate my small tasks with joy and pride. Perhaps that’s why I’m a good cook as well. You’d better be ready to work hard, clean, and take pride in your work if you’re going to cook a great meal.

As for Epigenetics, I’m going to write my own script. I’m not now bound to what has been written on my old genetic code from who knows when and who knows from whom in what generation. I’m my own person and I will write my success and help others listen to the voice of success in their own lives. I’m free. I’m me and I’m writing a great story of life for myself, and hopefully helping others do the same.

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I must do is all that concerns me 5-6-16

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No 19 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 6, 2016

“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

“To love what you do and feel that it matters — how could anything be more fun?”- Katharine Graham (1917 – 2001) American, Chairman of Washington Post

Do what you love in your life. Do not worry about what others think about you. What will horrify you is that as you enter your world of success and freedom, there will be people who will want to stop you. They will tell you that you can’t do your dream. They are dream killers. Then, they will oppose you and try to sabotage your efforts and pull you down. Usually, these are very sad people who cannot stand someone else pulling ahead of the crowd.

“He who every morning plans out the transactions of the day and follows out that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) French Writer

The good news is that you will be so busy pursuing your dream that you will not notice the Dream Killers. You are always thinking some great thought and taking great actions to fulfill your destiny. You will always be thinking of ways to succeed and to be a success.  You know that failure is not an option, and you’ll move forward without fear. Your busy life of Dream Making will shield you from the naysayers!

In two weeks, I’m experiencing the most difficult event I have ever produced. Those closest to me have tried to stop me, told me I could not do it, and that I was “not in the right timing” for the event.  As they have been trying to pull me down, I have been watching the dream take form and now, take wings as it becomes a reality. Yes, sometimes their negativity hurts me, and perplexes me, but before I have the time to have a pity party, I have too much to do to make the dream happen.

“One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud

For a while, I hated the years of struggle. I resented that I was not having an “easy” life. I wondered why me and why am I just not at Starbucks at the beach, retired and relaxing.  Then, I realized that that life would kill me, and that I would quit growing in my life. The biggest change was when I realized that I would not continue to learn about service, and living a life of service to others. I quickly changed my tune and began to focus on the goal and the rewards from service.

“To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

The best benefit of doing what I love is this. I have met others who love what they do as well. I know people who walk in darkness that overtakes them and they have no control of that darkness. On the other hand, I am surrounded daily by those who give, who walk in light, who find joy in giving to others, and they are living a full life of service. Do they have normal problems, yes! But they look to the purpose of their lives and let that purpose guide and direct them.

Now, I am surrounded by the most amazing people to serve, give, organize, plan, help, and inspire. They are my peeps. They are my closest friends. “Surround yourself with people you want to become like”. For in your life, you will become exactly like those who are around you.

“To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” – William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

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