No 17 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 28, 2017

Gaining Wisdom

“Wisdom comes alone through suffering.” – Aeschylus 525-456 BC

Well, that’s not too encouraging is it? But it is so true The best champion dancers have worked and trained for many years to get to the top. As with any athlete, they have gone through wins and losses, sickness and injuries, and also great triumphs. Yes, there is a great price to pay for wisdom and success.

When God asked Solomon what he desired above all other things, he replied, “Give me wisdom and knowledge so I may lead my people”. Solomon was wise, for he knew wisdom was the greatest of all riches.

2 Chronicles 1

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

Along with Solomon’s wisdom came great riches and great power. Even though Solomon was warned to not turn away from God, he did so. The power overtook his believe and faith.

1 Kings 11

I have had power, riches, and knowledge. I found all those things to be nothing when it came to dealing with death and loss of loved ones. All I had, all I knew, and all I was could not help keep the angel of death away from the ones I loved. I realized that we bring nothing in with us and we take nothing with us as we leave life.

Now when writing about wisdom, I don’t think I know all about life. I know the basics. My goal is help, inspire and mentor others in life. Whether it is through dance, faith, career, relationships, or helping someone find their purpose in life. If I can just guide others in the right direction, and give them the tools to stay on the right paths for their lifetime, I think that is good.

“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” – Horace (65-8 BC) Roman Poet

I would love, especially at 61 years old, to now avoid adversity and stress and problems, but that just ain’t going to happen. I realize that a diamond is only truly formed after extreme pressure over a long time to that little piece of coal. I now welcome the ‘refiner’s fire’ and I know that each day will bring challenges.

“An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Arab proverb

Life does not work like Amazon One-Click ordering. You see it on line, click Amazon Prime, and have it the next day. That instant gratification is truly for an army sheep. I want to be the lion leading others to victory in their lives.  I just have to remember to embrace every challenge, every trial, count every blessing, and cherish all the good things in life.

Thank you for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

Keep on Dancing!

 

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ash Man 4-1-16

David and Paola DSB 3-6-16 with Logo and Text

No 14 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 1, 2016

“The Ash Man”

Dreams. I was having a rough time in my life. My attitude was flawed and I would go to sleep and awaken in the same mood. Just couldn’t shake it. I even got cross with God during Lent. I said “If you’re mad at me, that’s OK. I’m still going to believe”. I was shutting down and not feeling well and my light was dim for a while.

Then a new dream. I dreamt of myself being free of anxiety and not worrying about tomorrow. A voice said “Be happy today, be happy now and don’t worry about the future”. Then, a foul mouthed, angry ‘me’ came up and start speaking. I pushed his hand away and his skin slit open and a gray ash seeped out the tear in his skin. I looked at this person and I realized he was “The Ash Man” and was fully of soot and dirt. He was real and but was not the real me.

He tried to talk to me and as I pushed him away, more ash began to seep from him. The light and water of life washed over me and he was swept away and then I awoke. I was happy, and that joy lasted. I realized that the trees on my street were turning green. The Spring was coming and was aware that Lent was just ending. The man of ash had left me and I saw him for the man of despair that he was, and that I was not that sad or negative person. I was alive and full of hope!

Lesson learned, Live in the Moment. If today is good, don’t worry about tomorrow. If today is rough, know that tomorrow is a fresh, new day, a new start, a new beginning.

“You can have anything you want — if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

My singleness of purpose is to not give up, knowing that life has changes and turns and I must turn with those changes. Also, from the last dream, I have learned to get to my life’s destination ‘all in one piece’.

“The best portion of a good man’s life is the little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” – William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English poet

I want to get to the end of the road of success, but with a giving heart that still practices service and with a heart that has not grown cold. My mom had a philosophy, Build an Empire. She said the moment you met someone, instantly find out what you liked about them, and build an empire on that quality. This has been a wonderful tool in life that I have now learned and I practice this daily. I tell my staff that when I see them doing something wonderful, that I only remember that moment and always see their best every day.

I’ve never before seen the “Ash Man” and the next time I see him, I’ll know what he is made of and know that he has no power over me or the light that I see and experience daily. Do you have an Ash Man? Remember he’s not you and that you are truly wonderful and a miracle of light and life!

Thank you,

David Earl Woodbury

Email me if you like my blog: DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

“Whatever you do, you need courage” 1-8-16

2015-08-26 22.21.28

No 01. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 8, 2016

“Whatever you do, you need courage”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end, requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men to win them.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Poet and Essayist

“Determine that a thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) 16th President of the United States

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” – William C. Durant (1861 – 1947) American Manufacturer, Founder of General Motors

Hey, do you need a lift in 2016? Did you make New Year’s Resolutions? Have you already left them behind? I’m collecting dreams in 2016 and I’m going to have a “Sweet 16” this year. This is a year of realizing dreams and making magic happen in my life. A year of joy, happiness, fulfillment, and realization.

Wow, doesn’t that sound great? How about the 18 hour days that make all this a reality? Am I willing to pay the price for making my dreams come true? Yes, I am.

And what do we do to make these dreams realities? Courage. Courage to get up every morning with our mines washed clean and our hearts cleansed and ready to conquer another day.

Determination is getting up on a long day and just jumping into the tasks that are ahead. Starting off with moving our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. For me, I laugh that what determines a great morning for me. I awaken with all my high and mighty plans, then I must clean the kittie’s poop. This must happen daily and they are prolific and never surprise me. I’m scoopin’ the poops while I’m laughing at what I must do to get the day going. Then it’s treaties and foodies for the kitties before I can do anything. Yes, this requires both love and determination.

Perhaps this is what creates me on a daily basis. Not being afraid of the routine, being grateful for my life and taking daily moments to give thanks for my MANY, MANY blessings.

Now, in a new year, I’m looking forward. Not only putting my mistakes behind me, keeping the knowledge from going through the mistakes in my mind and heart, yet also having courage to seize every day.

Wow, it takes a lot of work to make all these dreams come true!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

Make Up Your Mind 6-19-15

2015-06-18 11.51.02

No 25. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, June 19, 2015

Make Up Your Mind

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work
hard at work worth doing.
— Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th President of the United States

Imagine walking up to Joshua Bell, famous violinist, and say “You are working too hard. Slow down and enjoy life a bit. Don’t practice so much”. Or saying to an Olympic marathoner, swimmer, sprinter, weight lifter “Slow down, you’re going to burn out!”. Would you tell a great brain surgeon “I bet you regret all those 24 hour shifts as an intern”. Would you have gone up to the Golden State Warriors and said “Hey guys, slow down and relax. Don’t take this so seriously”.

I don’t think that any of us would ever say these things to any of the great conductors, composers, athletes, physicians, leaders, mentors, or any champion of today. We know that no greatness is ever achieved without sacrifice and passion and commitment and a 100% focus on the plan and goal we have ahead of us.

You sort of come face to face with your own values at some point,
where you can walk away or do something about it.
— Scott Neeson, who left the presidency of Sony Pictures to found a nonprofit helping very poor children in Cambodia

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Someone recently told me that their goal was too hard, took too much time, and was not what they wanted. My heart sank. I can only thank God for what I am learning every day in my life and for the great opportunities that are coming my way, moment by moment. Yes the road is long, and sometimes hard, but the good times are precious and the rewards are priceless. I welcome the many, many lessons that I am learning today and the opportunities I am given to grow daily.

Matterhorn Catching Joel 5-24-15
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to.  But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.– Sir Douglas Bader was a British fighter pilot who lost both legs in a flying accident, but still fought in World War Two. He was knighted for his work with the disabled, and the quote above is from his talk to a 14-year-old boy who had lost a leg in a car accident.

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The great ballroom dancers of today will tell you the secrets of their success. First, they love to dance. Second, they love to PRACTICE. As Christy Melgoza says, “Practice makes permanent”, and that’s the truth. Champions have an incredible work ethic and great discipline. They do not give up. They take defeats in stride and are stronger as they continue to improve.
Determine that a thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find
the way.– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

When we go to a concert and hear the great singers of the world, we never think of the road that got them to that stage. The countless hours of practice, the rejection they have experienced in competitions. The many auditions. The successes, the failures. The rough times. We just purchase our tickets and enjoy the magic that they deliver to their audiences.

It is right to be content with what we have, never with what we are.
— James Mackintosh (1765-1832) Scottish Statesman, Historian

I don’t think I’m ‘there’ in my life yet. So much character building left, so much to learn, so much to experience, so many more leaders and mentors to learn from. Then, I have my dreams as a leader, franchisee, writer, speaker, motivator, friend, husband, team member, and passions to be all that I can be in my life.

Make up your mind, live in greatness and don’t be afraid of a little hard work. See you in the winner’s circle!

Happy Dancing,

David Woodbury

 

4-18-14 Happy Passover Happy Easter!

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With Mr. Masters and Joel Rieck in Miami!
David Earl Woodbury
No 17 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, April 18, 2014
Good Friday – Passover

You can have anything you want — if you want it badly enough. You
can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish
if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.– Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the United States

The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is
going.– David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) American, University President, Author

Now is the time to understand more, so we fear less. — Marie Curie, Polish Scientist and Nobel Prize Winner

Not the owner of many possessions will you be right to call happy: he
more rightly deserves the name of happy who knows how to use the
Gods’ gifts wisely and to put up with rough poverty, and who fears
dishonor more than death.– Horace (65-8 BC) Roman Poet

Easter Bunnies

The above are some reflections from the past 40 days of fasting and prayer. I wish you all a happy weekend no matter what faith you are or how you celebrate life in your hearts. All are welcome and peace to you all.

This has been a rough Lent for me. I asked God to take away anger in my heart and to stir up my soul and spirit and renew me. As I drove past St. Monica’s on my way to the studio today I realized that yes I had been shaken, but to take away faults in my heart and life…that is up to me, and to me alone.

I do have passion in my life and singleness of purpose. I do know where I am going. I am understanding more and fearing less. Yes, I acknowledge God’s gifts and put up with fearing dishonor more than death. Yet, the way is not easy and the road is not always smooth.

Happy Passover

God is not a short order cook. Who do I think I am to take the menu of life and say “I want this today God, and I want it MY WAY”. Well, that just doesn’t work.

Why has this Lent been so hard for me? I think it is because I took a stand in my life regarding faith and service and fully came out with my beliefs. That stance is always followed by many challenges and trials and tests to see if we are sincere and truthful. I have fallen short and I have much to learn and a long way to go.

Take a pause on this Good Friday, this end of Passover and reflect on your life and your hopes and dreams. From my heart to yours, I wish you a great moment of peace, hope and love. A pause that will give you strength and sustain you and empower you to realized the greatness that lives within you. (Don’t eat too many Peeps!)
Peeps

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: A Life of Service – To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. — Donald A. Adams