No 20 5-18-18 “Offering a Word of Praise”

“Yes, Thank You! I’d love to do that for you. May I assist you? You look great today. I love that color on you. You look happy and healthy. Thank for coming today. It is a pleasure to have you with us. Welcome! That’s the best I’ve ever seen you dance. You’re on fire today. Thanks for all your help. You’re amazing. I love seeing you, you’re always so cheerful. You brightened my day. Thanks for going the extra mile for me. You are fantastic. I rely on you. You’re the best part of my day.”

Wow, ever had any of these greetings? Did you notice the person who gave you this praise and how they greet everyone? They’re just super kind and nice people and everyone loves them, all the time, every day. They are surrounded by friends, followers, supporters and usually are friends with the same kind of positive people. They handle adversity in stride, they have full composure and they ride out the hard days with grace and dignity. They are amazing, and they make everyone around them feel great, important, and special.

Today I was in a meeting where someone was saying how bad things were, complaining about someone who was in our group and generally saying many negative things. Then, next to this person came in another team member who from the moment they sat down, gave sweet hellos, lovely compliments, uplifting responses, positive comments and they made everyone around feel great and happy. What a difference. What a contrast between someone with great positive words of praise and uplifting support from the other participant.

This is just the way it is in life. I don’t condone the Debbie Downer, and I don’t think the person of light is a better person, but I do think that you can get a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar. My dad always said to my mom, “Be sweet Miss W”, for my mom had a quick word and a final word of judgment regarding people and situations. I was that way for many, many years, and now I am learning to wait before I speak, and I try to deliver words of light and healing.

How do you turn into a person of praise? Well, I’ll give you a secret that my mom, J. Clair, gave me later in her life. She called it “Build an Empire”. Mom said, when you first see someone, immediately find something you love about them and say it to them. Wow, you look great today. I love your outfit. You look so healthy and happy today. I love that suit. Just say the first positive thing you feel and then build an empire of conversation of good about that person. You’ll find that the other person loves it, that it makes you both feel great, and you begin to make this a part of your life.

I’ve spoken about, written about and practiced “Building an Empire” for so many years that it has truly become a part of my life and I love it. Guess what, your smile is reflected in the faces of others. So, if during conversation your friends are looking back at you with big smiles, you are smiling at them. This holds true with and just try it. You’ll make someone’s day a happy day. Offer unexpected praise and guess what, it will boost your day.

I have often read that petting your animals calms and relaxes them. But get this, it calms YOU as well and makes YOU feel good. It’s the same with people. Just give little praise pats to others all the time and you’ll have day after day of love, laughter, happiness, and friendship. Remember, laughter is a medicine that all can take, at any time.

Thank you for reading this and let me tell you that YOU my friend are wonderful and worthy and special to me as you read this. I love you and praise you and wish you a great and happy day. You bless me by reading this!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

No 19 5-11-18 “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”

– Jack Dempsey (1895 – 1983) American professional boxer

There have been a few times when I could not get up in life. I was beaten down, crushed, defeated, and lost in the dark night of the soul. And yet, I got up. Jack Dempsey said it well when he said we can’t. There are times when you just can’t go on, and yet you do.

This past week I was blessed to coach a man whose wife had just died tragically in a car accident just two months ago. He was taking an Arthur Murray Dance lesson and I was working with him and his teacher. He and his wife loved their dancing together when she was killed. He was continuing with his lessons. I did not bring his loss up in the coaching, but I told him that dancing was a safe place for him and that he could escape into his dancing.

He then began to weep and tell me the story of his wife’s passing. The three of us cried and held each other on the dance floor. Having lost my life partner to cancer, and his dying in my arms, I knew only too well what my student was currently feeling. His broken heart and the horrible heart ache that follows. The dark night of the soul that had surrounded him. Yes, I knew that he was hurting. Yet, he was dancing and preparing for a dance competition. He was getting up when he couldn’t.

This moving experience weighs heavily on my heart and I am praying constantly for this lovely man as he heals from his grief. I was so happy he had his loving Arthur Murray family to guide and to love him and to give him moments of healing through the magic of dance.

“Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing, the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude to any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

– Viktor Frankl (1905 – 1997) Nazi concentration camp survivor

The ability to get up and move on is a choice, a choice that we make or don’t. Even in grief, illness, or loss, we still have the choice to choose our own way.

“Fear is the opportunity for courage, not proof of cowardice.”

– John McCain (1936- ) United States Senator

Fear may keep us from knowing that we are even able to make this decision to choose. Overcoming fear often means walking through a fiery wall of flames, only to realize that the flames were only an illusion, and that we always had the power to walk through them. Fear causes us to make a decision of flight or moving forward with courage. This courage is magic if we us it, and once passing through the flames, our confidence is forever strengthened and we are forever changed.

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”

– Booker T. Washington (1856 – 1915) American author

When it comes to the pushing down part, life will take care of that for you on its own. Life is always testing us, but to be able to see the light beyond the darkness and pull ourselves up, this is a tough choice that is give to us. I remember after the great losses in my life, then getting back on the dance floor and giving joyous performances. It just didn’t seem right, but the dancing, the smiling, the performing acted like a healing medicine that restored me from the inside out. I would not have made it up this point in life without my Arthur Murray Dancing, and the magical joy and strength it gave me.

Remember that you are a champion, and all you have to do is get up and walk forward to light in your life when the dark times come your way.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

No 17 4-27-18 “A Failure is a Mark of Experience”

SQA Winners 2018

“In Silicon Valley, failure is experience. Now, if you fail at everything, that’s different. But a failure is a mark of experience more than anything.”

– Vint Cerf, One of the Key Creators of the Internet

Today, Arthur Murray Santa Monica won the Sustainable Quality Award in Excellence in Social Responsibility. This is our second SQA award and we were honored to receive this special recognition!

20180426_134423

We won in 2016, but we lost in 2017. I was broken hearted to lose. We had done so much in the community and our application was not up to the standards to win that year. I truly felt as if I had failed and I truly took it to heart as we saw so many other businesses in Santa Monica come forth to accept their winner’s awards.

20180426_133915

This year, our writer was Joel Rieck, and we won from his great essay and his superb writing skills for our application. We had done all the same work as the past year, but Joel did an outstanding job in presenting our acts of service and all our involvement in giving back to Santa Monica.

20180426_134058

Being in the winner’s circle was very sweet after failing and not winning. As quoted above, the failure became a mark of experience and we learned from it, and that pushed us forward to achieve success and win.

20180426_134253

Last year someone wanted to buy our school from us. This came out of the blue and I shook us up. I knew we could be doing much better, and I was recovering from a heart scare and getting back my health.

20180426_114650

I thought, why does someone want to purchase our school? Then I gave a very sober and thoughtful look at what we had created.  We had a great location, wonderful and dedicated staff, and the best Arthur Murray Students anyone could ever hope to have. We had created a special branding of the Arthur Murray name in Santa Monica and the whole city knew about our great school.

In 4 short years, we had created a legacy of Arthur Murray returning to the city of Santa Monica. The value of the school became an overwhelming thought to me and I then said, instead of selling, why don’t I just double our success and recharge our energy? And guess what, we DID just that. We excelled in every area and ended up a top school in many areas for Arthur Murray for 2017!

I had not failed, but I had not fully opened my eyes to our true success and our great possibilities of growth. Perhaps my past ‘marks of experience’ had given me strength, wisdom, hope, vision, and a new excitement to achieve and hit new great goals.

Now, I see a fantastic future for 2018 and we are living our dream of success with much, much more to come. With all achievements will come the storms of life, and the trials and tribulations of life will test us to our very cores. But with failures, lessons learned, and life lessons, the experience we gain will take us to the winner’s circle.

Thanks for reading,

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

FB: David Earl Woodbury

#ArthurMurraySantaMonica

#ArthurMurrayLifestyle

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 11 3-16-18 “If We Had No Winter”

2018-03-01 06.36.11
No 11 3-16-18 “If We Had No Winter”

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
– Charlotte Bronte (1816 – 1855) English novelist and poet

Almost 16 years ago, my life partner died in my arms, at home, surrounded by love, family, and friends. I was so angry in the Spring when the trees began to bloom. I wrote this as I realized time could not keep me in my Winter of sorrow but was ushering me to my time of Spring renewal.

March 3, 2003

I cannot stop the trees from budding.

I cannot stop the spring from coming.

I cannot stop the days from growing lighter and longer.

I cannot stop the awakening of Spring and the good-bye to Winter.

I cannot stop the warmth of Summer from arriving.

I cannot stop time.

Time is moving on.

Time is removing all bad memories and renewing all good memories.

Time is soothing the pain of grief and is the solace of mourning.

Time is the author of hope and a new tomorrow.

Time is healing the brokenness.

Time renews the spirit that has been crushed.

Time moves on.

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