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 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

No 44 The Road to Happiness 11-3-17

#44 Changing Lives through Dancing

By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Road to Happiness

“The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it — every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.”

– John D. Rockefeller III (1906 – 1978)

American Philanthopist

After 41 years with the great company Arthur Murray, I have finally found my place. I love being a studio franchisee and seeing so many Santa Monacans loving their dancing. Yet my heart lies in service. We give our students the service to become as great of dancers as they want to be. We train our staff to be studio owners themselves. I love inspiring others to live a life of greatness and to always have a dream in their hearts.

Now, I know where my destiny lies and I’m putting my 100% into that goal. Everything that I hear that is motivating, everything that I read that is uplifting, every experience that is life-changing, goes into my “life reservoir” and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with others. When someone asks me a question, I have an answer and a life example to share with them. My only goal is to positively inspire other and give them a moment of clarity and motivation. Many times I feel that these words of inspiration are drops of water on a desert landscape. These positive saying are in such need and demand in today’s world.

“The most important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one’s work seriously and taking one’s self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second disastrous.”

– Margaret Fontey (1919 – 1991)

English ballerina

I’ve long since given up on taking myself seriously. The truth is that no one cares about what is happening to me. What they do care about is how I use my experiences to help them in their lives. What I have and who am I mean nothing if I don’t have a good reputation and a good name. For me, I have everything I need or want in my life. Now it is time to give back and be the inspiration for others.

I hope for my readers who come back weekly, that you will awaken to the opportunities in your lives to help others. That your eyes will see clearly the power that is inside of you to change lives.  Guess what? When you discover these service truths, your life will change! Depression will flee, illness will lose its power over you, darkness will turn to light and you will finally be free in your life. It has and continues to work for me every day. Remember that the smiles in the faces we see daily are reflections of the smiles we give to others. Remember that we are the examples of hope, life, and light for others every day. Try this, just go through a day and smile to those around you. Just see what happens to your life!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 42 10-20-17 Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

No 42 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, October 20, 2017

 

Enter to Learn – Go Forth to Serve!

-Tom Murdock – Arthur Murray International

 

At a recent Fall Forum staff awards and training weekend for Arthur Murray Dance Centers, Tom Murdock opened our great weekend with the above words. Tom is such a good friend to me and when he said his opening remarks, I said, that’s my diamond of knowledge for the weekend. I even made a note to write this blog today!

Yes, I am here to run a great Arthur Murray Dance Center, yet Joel Rieck and I try to run our school from the point of giving the best service first! Giving service to our staff, students, neighbors, to our parent company Arthur Murray Int’l, Inc., our city, our friends, faith family, and to one another. We want to share that knowledge of dance with others and help them grow. No mistake, I want to prosper and earn my fair share, but earn from helping others receive what they want in their lives.

 

“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

– Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) Spanish painter, sculptor

 

Every day I do something that I cannot do. This leads to some big mistakes and some great triumphs, yet I learn from all of them. I just let fear go and realize that I must move forward and take action. When I’m done, I always say, Well Done! Even on the hardest days and the most challenging moments, I know that time marches on and that the sun will rise tomorrow and that I’ll make it.

“Genius is eternal patience.”

– Michelangelo Di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 – 1564) Italian Sculptor and Painter

 

Are you a truly patient person? I am not at all a patient person. So guess what life brings me all the time? Situations where I must be patient to see the end result. Trials that require lots of time and resilience. Moments where I must breathe in and wait before I speak. Gee whiz, I hope l learn a little patience in my 60’s. It’s about time!

 

“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

 

What are your past thoughts, your present thoughts, your tomorrow thoughts? These are mine. Every morning I fill myself with light and the waters of healing. I allow the waters to wash over me, cleanse me, heal me and revive me. Then, I find a moment of serene peace, a perfect moment where all is well and safe. Then, I awaken to my day and to life.  Are all my thoughts good? No. I sometimes have a hard time controlling my thoughts to keep them positive. It is a daily effort to think good thoughts and stay positive.

Solution: continue to live a life of service and giving to others. Continue to seek the council of great leaders and mentors and strong life coaches. Then, give that light to others. For me, it’s the only way I will ever have peace in my life. Give strength to others and guide others. Through dance, through faith, through leadership, through example. It is my calling. It is my life. It is who I am. Success = Service.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 39 9-29-17 Until One Is Committed!

No 39 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 29, 1956

Until one is Committed!

“Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one element of truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans – that moment one commits oneself, then providence moves all.”

– Johann von Goethe (1749 – 1832)

German Poet and Dramatist

 

In my laptop is a book that I’m finishing “Closing the Back Door – Making Life’s Ultimate Commitments!” The book is about making a decision and sticking with it to the end and not giving up. As I was writing it, I lost both parents and ultimately my life partner to cancer. The book was left for a while because some of my life commitments had been taken away from me. I had to rethink a closed back door that did not exist.

Now, I realize that times will change and modify our goals, yet we may stay focused and keep our goals and dreams in life.

“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.”

– Joseph Addison

(1672-1719) English Writer and Statesman

These words are nuggets of gold. Perseverance, experience, caution, and hope.  A friend came up to me a last weekend’s dance competition, with tears in her eyes and she hugged me and said that I never give up and how that has inspired her. This moment stuck with me and was deeply moving. It is easy to throw in the towel, to walk away, to give up, but the rewards of sticking with it are powerful and long lasting.

 

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.”

– Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

British Politician

 

Calamities, I’ve had a few. Water over our ballroom dance floor, illness, the passing of friends and families, and changes that I could not control. Now, I know that something good will come out of all these situations.  Years ago, one of my mentors, Miss Pat Traymore, was in my car driving from LAX and I missed an exit. I was very upset and embarrassed and this is what she said to me. It was meant to me. That I was being protected from something bad happening to me. My mom, J. Clair always said the same thing. She said that the way things turned out was Gods way of protecting us from some unforeseen calamity that we could not envision. Now, I’m always aware of this when I forget a key, run back into the house, or I’m late. I know that I’m truly being protected.

 

“The past cannot be changed. The future is still in your power.”

– Hugh Lawson White (1773 – 1840)

American Politician

In the 80’s, my dance partner did a reading for me. I usually do not participate in this practice but I did receive this reading just this once. She saw many upcoming things in my life and before she gave me her reading, I asked her, am I in charge of my destiny and she said yes. She can I could control my future by the actions I was taking today. Ultimately, many of the predictions she saw came true, but my positive attitude and my heart of faith truly shaped and helped destine my future.

Last thought for commitments: Let go of fear. It’s just like driving your car with one foot on the gas pedal and one heavy foot on the break, all at the same time. Letting go of fear is a daily routine and a daily habit. Try it, you’ll like the new you and like living a life without fear.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

How to make pressure work in your favor!

No 38 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 22, 1956

How to make pressure work in your favor!

Some ideas on making stress work in the positive for you!

 

Inside Influences

Have a positive optimistic outlook

Have an anchor of faith or spirituality

Always be motivated

Take action – be the proactive person

Always enjoy learning

Go with the flow – be flexible

Adapt with life’s changes

Be a leader socially – be the Go-To person

Show self-confidence and self-esteem

 

Outside influences

Take every opportunity that comes your way

Use the support of family, friends, and co-workers

Manage the stress and difficulties that you face

Surround yourself with a nurturing, happy environment

Live in an autonomous area

Earn the trust of others and be trusted by others

 

Do I do all these things? I attempt them all daily. The fact that I have them listed, and I study them, and I try to achieve all of them makes me a winner. Have these goals in front of you and strive to achieve them. Personally, I hate negative stress and what it does to my blood pressure and my heart. Yet, I must, I do, and I will manage the challenges that come to me daily. Owing a dance studio may put you on the mountain top one minute, then into the depths of hell the next when a water pipe breaks over you dance floor! You just learn to adapt and try to not have a stroke or turn into a mean person. The truth is, it will all get better.

I love receiving a bag of lemons. Tea, sauces, fish, steaming, cleaning, salads. So many uses for lemons. When I take a lemon, I let it settle to room temperature. Then I roll the lemon to release the juices. Before cutting it, I zest the whole outside.

Then I cut it open, squeeze all the juice out. I take a grapefruit knife and then cut out all the inside and chop it up and use it in my dish. When I’m finished, all that is left is the white skin and I have completely used up the lemon. I use this analogy, because this is what I want to do with my life. I want to use up every part of me to the service of others and use every drop of ability that I have to influence and guide others.

So, go be a good lemon in your life.  Remember, surround yourself with people you want to become like. Surround yourself with great leaders, mentors, guides, helpers, and with friends who will tell you “NO” when you are wrong. Truly, we become exactly like those around us all the time.

Remember pressure can make you blow up, or cook a great pot roast. Use life’s challenges to empower you and make you stronger!

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

 

 

 

No 33 “Patience is passion tamed.” 8-18-17

Deborah Voigt as Brünnhilde 

No 33 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, August 18, 2017

“Patience is passion tamed.”

– Lyman Abbott (1835 – 1922) American Congregationalist theologian

For many years I never had patience. I was a ‘millennial’ in the 70’s. I wanted everything in my dancing to come to me on the first try and I wanted my technique to be perfect and natural from the first try. I had the passion and the talent, but not the patience to practice to perfection. Many others could just see a step and do it the first time. That skill I did not possess (I still can’t do this).

Then, I watched how others taught the steps that I was learning. They were fast and impatient with their students, and they lost patience with those that did not learn as fast as they had learned. They even became harsh with others when the step was not executed to their standard.

One of my teachers told me a wonderful key that has stayed with me for decades. She said “David, you’re a slow forgetter!” I just thought I was dumb sometimes when I could not get a pattern. But when I learned the step and the technique, I had it for a lifetime.

On the teaching end, since I was a “slow forgetter”, I was very patient with my students. I learned that the two key ingredients in teaching were laughter and praise. Later I learned that people did not remember what you said to them, they remembered how you made them feel. I learned that teaching could be a wonderful confidence building experience for the students who were learning.

“Thoughtfulness for others, generosity, modesty and self-respect are the qualities which make a real gentleman or lady.”

– Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) British Scientist

Over the years I have had teachers who brought me to tears, made me hate and resent them, and teachers who tore me down. Then, there were the master teachers who made me feel as if I could learn and perform anything in my life. They made learning fun and made me feel confident and talented. They are still the heroes in my dancing life. Although some of the mean teachers taught me some greatly needed lessons, I still remember the emotional floggings they gave me.

Now, when I am teaching and someone makes a mistake, I pause, smile and say “What was that?”  We begin to laugh and share a hug, a giggle, and then we fix the step. Those students seem to love their lessons. They are the ones who smile on the floor and draw all eyes to their great smiles and beautiful technique and styling in their dancing.

Perhaps the best part of ballroom dancing is that we learn respect. Respect for our partner, other couples on the floor, the audience, the choreography and the music, the judges, and the wonderful audience for whom we are performing. Ballroom teaching discipline and how to present the other person with grace and elegance. Perhaps if we could just get all the leaders of the world together at the United Nations and teach them ballroom technique and the etiquette it teaches, we might have better world peace!

“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.”

– Elizabeth Asquith Bibesco (1897-1945) English Writer

As I write to you today, the words flow from my heart to my fingers to the page. I give this love and support to you not remembering the effort of writing, and I take back the blessings I receive from sharing this love with you, never forgetting the experience.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com