No 21 Reflect on your past blessings! 5-26-17

No 21 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 26, 2017

“Reflect on your past blessings”

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) English Novelist

We must all have regrets and thoughts of “what if” in our lives. These thoughts can actually pull us down into depression and isolation if we give into them. For some reason, it’s hard to focus on the good. We all have trouble with this. The beauty of the day, our food, clothing, opportunities, friends and family in our lives. It’s easy to awaken and hit the ‘poopie thought’ list before our feet even hit the floor. Every morning I try to find my ‘perfect’ spot. It is a brief moment before rising that I am 100% in tune and at peace. I feel it, experience it, reflect in it, respect it, then I get up and start the day.

“Man does not live by a turkey in every oven or a color TV set in every home. Man lives by faith and hope and love, by the star on the horizon, by the trumpet that will not call retreat.” – E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

Some days, not only do I not have the trumpet of triumph, but I seem to be leading the retreat from the enemy even before I get up! I hate this. While my flesh body is thinking of my oven turkey and what I’ll watch on my laptop, I lose sight of my guiding star leading me to the faith, hope and love in my life.

“Quoted after breaking all single-handed woman’s records and finishing second in round the world yacht race. February 11th, 2001. If I have any message from this then it is if you really have a dream and you want to achieve it then you can and it really is possible.”” – Ellen MacArthur (1976 ) Retired English sailor

What the future holds, I just don’t know. I am only certain that today must be a good day, even a great day, and that I must make a difference in someone else’s life. If I could bottle dreams, it would be my fuel every day in my life. I dream of hope, success, health, service, faith, family, love, career, health, mentoring, sustaining, giving, creating, pursuing, cooking (of course), guiding others, and creating a world around me where others learn to be of inspiration to others. I don’t want to just have a business that makes money, I want a business that inspires my staff to greater heights in their lives. A business that will give our staff the skills to accomplish any dreams they might have in their lives. For my customers, I want them to feel they are in a place where they are loved, appreciated, wanted, needed, safe, happy, and where they have a place to be themselves and grow.

“Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.” – Kevin Costner (1955) American Actor, Producer and Director

Once I thought that you made a goal, focused on it and then, poof, it would happen. Little did I know that if you set a goal, you will be tested in many, many ways to prove your resolve and try your determination. Goals are great, but they are not the journey. The journey is staying focused through success, failure, doubt, glory, fears and achievements. Our goals are closest to us when we are in the hot, fiery oven of trials and tribulations.

Well, on that hot note, be positive and keep on dreaming. Every good thing we have in our lives is because we, or someone else had an incredible thought that became a dream that became a reality. Don’t be afraid of hard times. Don’t give up. Remember, It will get better!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Thanks to Kristina Sado for the lovely Sand and Sea Ball 2017 photos!

@SadoPhoto ©KristinaSado


No 20 5-19-17 Never Quit, Even if You Want To!

No 20 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 19, 2017

“Never quit, even if you want to”

“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, 1913 graduation address, president of Princeton University

My life is so full of great activity. There is always something great to look forward to every day, every week, even every moment. Funny, most of these anticipated activities are events of service to others. I just love the life of service. Being of use guiding and helping others, and stepping up to be the leader at all times.

“The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”- William James (1842 – 1910) American Philosopher and Psychologist

Do I love and live this life to be appreciated? Truth is, I have had enough accolades. Now it is time to give the spotlight to others and help develop others as champions. Many years I came out of the “Dark Night of the Soul”. The light that brought me through was not therapy, outside support, books, religion, even family. All these factors were part of what kept me alive and kept me going. The magic ingredient was when I woke up and starting volunteering to help others. My eyes were opened and I saw that I was not alone. I also saw that I was not the worst off of the bunch. In fact, I learned how great my life truly was, even coming through darkness. The day I stepped out of the back tunnel was the day I began to offer service to others.

“What a man is contributes much more to his happiness than what he has, or how he is regarded by others.” – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) German philosopher

Finally, I feel free from the constant want to be happy and for things to be going well. Free from the constant need to ‘get more stuff’. Free from wanting everything to go ‘my way’. The only times now that I am free from worry and doubt and stress and sorrow are the times I busy organizing something for someone else, offering a helping hand, or planning an event that will uplift and inspire others.

So to finish, you might think I’m just full of hot air. Perhaps I am. But I’m going to us my hot air to blow up a balloon of dreams that will lift someone else to a new destiny, to a new reality in their life. This may seem like a ‘pie in the sky’ philosophy, but guess what, I love pie!

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

No 18 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, May 5, 2017

Be The Change You Want To See In The World

I’m a high maintenance person. I’m either very happy, very sad, very peaceful, very upset, very productive or very blah! There is not too much grey area for me. As a Virgo of two Virgo parents, well, I’m perfect and I expect everyone and everything around me to be perfect. I can’t stand myself when I’m not perfect.

At 61, I now know that nothing and no one in this earthly realm is perfect. I’m not. I always want things to be better, and now I know the solution. I have to be the catalyst and I have to be the change I want to see. If something is not right, I have to start the change and be the energy to make something new happen.

The days of complaining and expecting someone else to pull up the slack are over for me. There is no one to go to. It’s me doing it or the highway. That’s OK, for now I have the heart of a leader. I’m finally fulling feeling the heart of my dad beating in side of me. Just don’t live for what you can get, but for the opportunities to give service to others. I wish I could just take a second and tell my dad that I now know why he was so happy giving service in so many ways.

“What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) German Philosopher

Perhaps we are all destroyed in some small way every day. We all go through rough times. We go through times when we just don’t think we can make it. Today I tried to remember my dad and if he ever showed me his stress. He always had a good face on and kept his faith and his positive outlook on life. He was such a great example of service, cheerfulness, a happy heart, a good laugh, and a great leader. How I wish that today I could tell him how proud of him I am and that I’m becoming just like him. Just tell him how his example in my life has guided me and has changed me.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”- Mark Twain (b: Samuel Langhorne Clemens) (1835 – 1910) American Author and Humorist

Perhaps Mr. Woodbury had the great courage to master his fear. I know fear was present, for I was a handful in my early years. All I can remember is that dad was there for me. When my partner Jim died, dad was the strongest for me. It was as if he had lost a son. In a way, he had. I’ll never forget his sorrow over Jim’s passing, his compassion, his love for me, and his support as I struggled with grief. I visited daddy right after Jim passed, and that was right before daddy went home to be with mom. Two military funerals back-to-back. I guess I learned to face my grief and move forward.

Today, I have Mr. Woodbury’s spirit inside of me. That spirit tells me to lead, be the agent for change, and the optimism to make those changes happen. I know that I don’t know it all, in fact, I seem to know very little. But I can stand up, volunteer, become active, add my energy, and lead the way for others.

Here is a challenge: find someone who is down in the dumps. Find someone who is lost. Find someone who is crying because they are not getting enough in their lives and help them learn the magic of giving back to others. It is a recipe for success

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!