No 16 4-20-18 “Nothing becomes real until it is experienced”

 

“Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”

– John Keats (1795 – 1821) English Romantic poet

 

The path to having an understanding heart has been paved for me with years of experience. Now that I have experienced loss, illness, success, failure, good days and bad days, my many stupid mistakes, and my precious accomplishments, I now have a good ear for others.

 

Recently, our web guys lost their father. I understood that loss and was able to comfort, listen, and support them, even though I am their customer. I went to my doctor today with a perfect blood pressure reading after having heart failure last July with my blood pressure over 185! I understand now when anyone talks about their heart problems. I’ve experienced it.

 

What about the things we have not experienced but we need it to be real in our lives? The answer is listening with a heart of love and compassion. That will provided the listening ears and experience will come through empathy and kindness to the other person.

 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

– Leo Buscaglia (1924 – 1998) American author and motivational speaker

 

One thing that I have learned and use every day is to speak with a smile, all the time. I did not know this for a long time and would often hear the phrase “are you in a bad mood” and I wasn’t. I just did not let the smile in my heart reach my face. Now, I know that I am smiling for I see the reflection of my smile in other’s faces. Perhaps that small act of caring is the only act of kindness others will receive that day. That small gesture has the power to truly change some’s day, or perhaps turn their whole life around.

 

Now, I’m not afraid of the bad times. I’m finally smart enough to know that I am learning lessons daily that will make me a better leader and mentor. The only thing you can truly count on in life is change, and it comes at us from every angle. I remember when I was young dreading finals in school, and the dread of those tests. Little did I know that there are many “finals” we must take in our adult life, and we briefly “graduate” to a new level and then we are tried by life again to make us stronger.

 

Recently I experience my spell checker as I was typing Success. The spell checker popped up and said “You are now ready to use this new auto-correct in your life. Success is truly spelled Service”! Now I am not full of fear in my life. I want to serve in my life and learn how to be the best leader, guide, mentor, coach, and example that I can be in every area of my life with everyone I meet.

 

“Knock, knock, knock…I hear that new challenge rapping at my front door. Time to accept another challenge, a new adventure, a new path leading to another great lesson in life. I can’t wait to see what I find on my spell checker in the future!

 

Thanks for reading,

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

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2018-03-01 06.36.11

No 14 4-6-18 “We Must Sail Sometimes with the Wind”

 

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 – 1894) American Writer

 

 

Our journey of life takes us on many twists and turns. I have always wanted to be the person standing firmly on the rock of life, unmovable and invincible. I was sure what direction I was always going in life. What I have found is that I have ended up sailing with the wind many times and also sailing against the wind. The one thing I have found to be sure, I’m always moving now in my life, never anchoring and still in the seas of life.

 

 

There was a time when I had the perfect life. Perfect family home, business, health, hobbies, finances and career. I found out how strong life was when the loved ones in my life passed away very quickly, I sold my business, lost my health, and was completely lost in the dark night of the soul. It all happened very quickly, and I could not stop the angel of death from taking the ones I loved, and in such a short period of time.

 

 

During the dark night of the soul, I grew and changed as a person. I found out that I was not the center of the universe and that I was not as strong as I thought I was. Until that time in my life, I was convinced that my success in life was in what I had rather than who I was. I had lost almost everything in my life.  I was alone. I was adrift at sea.

 

 

Then, as I saw the light at the end of that path beginning to appear, I began to see that happiness for me could only be attained through a whole new part of my life – giving service. I had never thought of that in my life. I could not overcome my sadness, but a saint of a friend showed me freedom through service. I thought I know now to spell success, but did not know that it was actually spelled service!

 

 

Now as I look back, I see that I was not that stable person I thought I was. I was truly lost at that time but did not know it. After going to the bottom, my rise to light was achieved by looking beyond what was just good for me, but seeing how I could use my life to help, inspire, lead, mentor and guide others.

 

 

Now, service is a drug for me. I want more and more of it and I feel completely happy and satisfied through helping others. Am I a saint now, hardly, but I’m a nicer and better person and I have learned that the need for leaders and mentors is great in life. Is life any easier, not really, just a lot happier. The best part of service is the company you keep. You’re surrounded by like-minded people who truly get high from helping others.

 

 

Need a lift in your life? Find a friend who is down and out. Take them to a dinner and a movie. Send someone a card, an email, a text, or actually CALL someone and tell them you are thinking of them. Reach out to someone who needs you. You’ll be pleasantly surprised what a difference this will make in their lives!

 

 

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

– Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) American Psychologist

 

 

Be who you must be in life. Set your sails and ride the winds of life!

 

 

Thanks for reading,

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

No 12 3-23-18 “A Bumblebee Shouldn’t be Able to Fly”

Joel and David 12-19-17

No 12 3-23-18 “A Bumblebee Shouldn’t be Able to Fly”

“Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”- Mary Kay Ash (1915 – 2001)American Businesswoman, founder Mary Kay Cosmetics

 

I do not know that there are certain things I should not be able to do. I know that I make mistakes, but I keep on trying, and I am able to accomplish impossible things many times in my life. Recently I had a new task ahead of me and I was terrified. Guess what, I accomplished it! And did it well. I look back and saw it was the pressure of the task that pushed me to greatness and to expand my realm of possibilities. Life tricked me, and either I was to succeed or fail, and I made it.

 

Just a side note, my failures are not usually in what I do, but in what I say. I am working on the words that come out of my mouth, for they reflect the nature of my heart, character, and spirit. My actions are pretty good, but I must now conquer my speech and the delivery of what I say and and how it is said. “From the abundance of the heart a person speaks”.

 
“If you just keep playing, keep believing and have some faith, something good can happen.”- Washington Redskins coach Norv Turner, whose team became only the second in NFL history to win six games after losing the first seven games of the year. December 19, 1998

 
The good in my life does not come easily or quickly. It comes after a lot of focus, concentration, and relentless determination and hard work. As Norv Turner quoted above, I just keep on dancing, believing in the great outcome of life, and use lots and lots of never ending faith!

 
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”- Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) American Writer

 
Is it not amazing that Helen Keller is listed above as an American Writer? Not as someone who was born deaf and blind. She later learned to speak, giving speeches and lectures on aspects of her life, and was the first deaf and blind student to graduate from Radcliffe with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Imagine her humble nature saying it is her chief duty to do small tasks as if they were great and noble. He life was a miracle, and a continued inspiration to thousands.

 
“If you have made mistakes…there is always another chance for you…you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford (1893 – 1979) Canadian Actress

 
Have I made mistakes? What do you think! I have made such huge boo boos in my life that I am amazed that I am still standing today. Still, mostly because of my mouth, I make many mistakes. What do I do about it? I get up from the messy floor of failure, dust myself off, and head onward to the next challenge. Will I make more mistakes? Well, I’m loud spoken and still have strong opinions. But I think I will try not to make so many errors in my life.
Please, keep playing, believing and having faith. You’ll inspire others to greatness in their lives!

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!
DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com
FB: David Earl Woodbury

No 10 3-9-18 All the Big Things in this World!

2018-03-01 06.36.11

No 10 3-9-18 All the Big Things in this World!

All the Big Things in this World!

“All big things in this world are done by people who are naive and have an idea that is obviously impossible.” – Dr. Frank Richards (1875 – 1961) English Writer

Every day I am working on my masterpiece, a great life of service and a life of giving fun, happiness, health and healing to others through the magic of dance. This is my big thing in this world. I work on it all the time. This work mainly consists of the small, mundane things that make the big picture come to life. I used to put down the faithful person who just showed up day after day, now I praise them for their consistency and work ethic. Now, after so many years, I believe that showing up and doing a good day’s work is truly a hero’s day.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley (1864-1963) English Novelist

My quest for doing my Big Thing in this world was thwarted by me trying to change others for many years. I thought that my success would be insured by making others around me change to my standards. Boy, was that a bust! You cannot make anyone else change anything in their life. But I surely can change my life. I also found out that if I did not walk the walk, and live the true live, that I was just a fraud and a fake. Am I perfect now, no, but I’m trying, repeatedly to get it right in my life so I may be a leader for others.

“To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows.” – Jean Anouilh (1910 – 1987) French dramatist

As I have said my own “yes” to the Big Thing in my life, it has not been easy. I am often criticized for the schedule I keep, and it truly hurts to hear other’s opinions of “you need to slow down”. I can only think of great conductors and composers whose whole life is music. They never stop. The life of a musician, a painter, poet, writer, CEO, speaker, athlete, dancer, religious leader, entrepreneur, new anchor, they do not “work”, they just live their lives. Imagine if I asked Monsignor, are you going to take a break from your faith and leadership today? I’m sure he’d let me have it and tell me to get back to reality. Yes, I plunge both hands deep into my big life of service.

“Don’t bother about genius. Don’t worry about being clever. Trust to hard work, perseverance and determination.” – Sir Frederick Treves (1853 – 1923) English Surgeon

Never in my life have I been the brightest crayon, but I have been the best crayon in the box. My striving to work to realize the vision in my heart, to make the dream come true has been my saving grace all my life. Someone asked me yesterday where I got all my energy. I immediately said that I had the great blessing of having the most incredible parents in the world. My mother was charismatic, and she never knew a stranger. She was a story teller and she always could laugh at life. My dad was a great leader and a man of service. Dad made such an impact in others lives. The greatest legacy they left was their life DNA in my spirit, heart, and life.

Now in my 60’s, I am so proud that I am becoming my mom and dad. I feel them every day in my heart, my day, my spirit. They are somehow always with me and leading me. I have heard that some are afraid of becoming their parents. Not for me, I am giving myself to their example and striving to become that great leader in my life. You could say that this is becoming a burning desire in my heart that is growing dad-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year.

This is my Big Thing and I love it. What’s your Big Thing? You have one, just take a quiet moment and realized what you are called to in your life. I wish you joy as you come to your realization and as your eyes clearly open.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury
Keep on Dancing!
DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com
FB: David Earl Woodbury

01 1-5-18 Champions!

No 01 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, January 5, 2018

Champions!

“Champions talk success. Champions know that success is inevitable; That there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.” Michael Gelb

 

“A Champion Team will always beat a team of Champions.” John McGrath

 

“True Champions are team players.” Alan Cohen

 

“Champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.” T. Allan Armstrong

 

Guess what? You are a champion for reading this message. You are a champion because you are feeding your mind, soul, heart, and spirit with positive thoughts and inspirational readings. You are a champion because you take the time to grow and expand your life.

 

I once thought that being a champion was having great things happening to me every day, conquering all obstacles in my life, and breaking new records. Yes, all those things are true. But a champion is also someone who shows up and does the work, even the mundane work. It’s easy to go from mountain to mountain of success on a daily basis. But the true champion also knows how to do the small tasks well.

 

It is said to be successful, you should be Visible, be Easy, be Useful and be Ready! I try to do these things daily. I try to be seen, do my tasks with a smile, be ready to offer a helping hand to others, and be prepared for all situations. This is a good formula for life in general.

 

Do you feel like a champion? Try this, go out and give a nice compliment to someone who is not having a good day. Help someone who cannot pay you back. Cheer up a friend or co-worker. Do a good deed for someone who cannot help themselves. Then, I assure you, you’ll feel like a champion and feel happy inside.

 

“Keep a Little Song in your Heart!” J. Clair Woodbury

 

Thanks for reading!

 

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

No 52 12-29-17 Happy New Year!

No 52 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 29, 2017

Happy New Year 2018!

“To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself, it will spiral down into ever increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that discipline – training – is about.”

– James Clavell, in his novel Shogun (1924 – 1994)

 

British novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you, you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”

– James Allen (1864 – 1912)

British philosophical writer

 

“Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, and just work out your think.”

– Nixon Waterman (1859 – 1944)

newspaper writer, poet and Chautauqua lecturer

 

Yes, our thoughts are a huge part of our lives. Imagine if we could only control what we think! What if our self-talk was not so brutal? My self-talk is rough. I scold myself and beat myself up for just minor infractions. Now, I am stopping myself and ceasing the cruel thoughts and I try to think good thoughts to myself. I know we all do this and I know that I become my own thoughts, so they should be good even great ones!

“We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls, the deathless dream, the eternal poetry, the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic.”

– E. Merrill Root (1895 – 1973)

American Writer

 

Thinking good thoughts for me means that I often must let go. Let go of being “right”. Let go of controlling situations and others. Let go of my acerbic tongue and quick responses. Now, I am waiting for others to speak and listening much more in conversations. Also, letting go of fear of loss and the fear of something bad happening. Now, I find that my situations and life work out without me being nasty, controlling, and too overbearing. I am learning to say “this is working out” and truly letting good things happen in my life.

As a result of this, I do feel more a sense of wonder and magic. I dream more and these dreams come true. Now that I am not trying to control every aspect of my life, but live more in the moment, I am happier and those around me are happier with me!

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

– Epictetus (55AD – 135AD)

Stoic philosopher

 

“It is a hard rule of life, and I believe a healthy one, that no great plan is ever carried out without meeting and overcoming endless obstacles that come up to try the skill of a man’s hand, the quality of his courage, and the endurance of his faith.”

– Donald Douglas (1892 – 1981)

American, Founder Douglas Aircraft Company, later McDonnell Douglas

 

“I like a man who attempts the impossible.”

– J.P. Morgan (1837 – 1913)

American financier

 

Life can be impossible with endless obstacles. Yet, when we attempt the impossible with skill, courage, and faith we succeed in the end. I truly don’t want my life to be easy. Why, because during the rough times, I have learned the most and grown the most in my life. During the “dark nights of the soul” I have met mentors who have remained my guides, friends, and leaders until this day. I know life is going to be rough, so I use the magic of service to focus on the good and the positive.

 

“Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fiber of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

– James Buckham (1844 – 1930)

 

Canadian lumberman and Liberal politician

“If you smile when you lose, then you win in life.”

– From Tai-Pan, the great adventure novel by James Clavell (1924 – 1994)

British novelist, screenwriter, director, and World War II veteran and prisoner of war

 

As I look back on my years, I realize that there is so much I do not know about life and people. I realize that I am learning daily about people, work, faith, family, health, relationships, service, and patience. The list goes on and on. That’s exciting for me. There is a great future. As the above quote says, I smile a lot and that makes me a winner in life.

Go into the new year with a clean slate. Good thoughts, good hopes and dreams, good plans for the future. Let the bad times go and smile and appreciate the good times.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 51 12-22-17 “I Love the Holidays”

No 51 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, December 22, 2017

I Love the Holidays!

We put up our Christmas tree Thanksgiving Day. Sent out our cards the next day. We knew that we would dance almost every day from then to Christmas Eve. Guess what? The days have been glorious. We have danced at many Arthur Murray Balls with hundreds of guest in attendance. We have participated in competitions, shows, graduations, dinners, celebrations and even our staff Marathon Day and staff party.

Our school has just won first place in our division for the international Tournament of Champions. Many months of preparation, many weeks of great lessons, groups, parties and events. We came out first place thanks to our great staff and wonderful students.

As for music, I have listened to hours and hours of Christmas music. I discovered the YouTube Christmas channels and my heart is in a constant state of singing. Music is life to me and these holidays have been full of all the classics, and even some new tunes! My mom, J. Clair, always said “Keep a little song in your heart!”

As for dancing, a lot of people have a very hard time during the holidays. With Arthur Murray I have the privilege of dancing through the entire season. It is an elixir to the blues, depression, loneliness, heartache, and stress. Now for 42 years I have danced through to the year’s end with great joy and happiness. I am the luckiest guy on the planet!

As for presents, Joel and I have a tradition. We serve at Christmas instead of giving presents. That means we are Hospitality Ministers at St. Monica Parish in Santa Monica. This year, because it is Sunday, we have 11 masses on the 24th. We will be serving the 7:30 AM, then return for the 6, 8, and 10 PM masses. It is glorious. We are Team Leaders for two of the four we are serving. We help organize our teams and say “Merry Christmas” hundreds of time to many, many smiling faces. We walk to and from mass and it is a magical experience from beginning to end.

It’s almost that special day of Christmas, and I have been happy the whole season. No time for the blues or feeling down. Just enough time to get to the next event, rest and eat a bit in front of the Christmas tree with Joel and the kitties, and lots and lots of dancing to make the holidays merry and bright. In my “spare” time, I am preparing for 2018 and planning a dream year of success for the upcoming year.

Love the holidays. Volunteer somewhere. Send some unexpected thank you notes. Visit an ill neighbor. Call someone you have not spoken to in a while. Take a friend some food. Reach out and the joy you will receive back will put you over the top.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

 

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com