No 24 – 6-15-18 “Run the Great Risk”

“I run great risk of failing. It may be that I shall encounter ruin where I look for reputation and a career of honor. The chances are perhaps more in favor of ruin than of success. But, whatever may be the chances, I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

– Anthony Trollope (1815 – 1882) English Novelist

Wow, this is my daily life! I generally feel on the edge most moments of every day. I too look for a good reputation and a career of honor. There is much risk in this type of life. I do go on as long as I have any means of carrying on the fight.

The great thing about living the life of great risk is that you get stronger every day. A risk turns into a decision from past experience. Fear turns into determination. Confusion disappears and is replaced with knowledge and confidence. The truth of living your best life is that it gets better.

The best part of living carrying on the fight at all costs is that you become a leader for others who want to take great risks as well and achieve great goals. You become the mentor and you go from strength to the next. This does not mean that you don’t have failure and obstacles, it means you see your challenges as learning experiences.

“The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, common sense.”

– Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931) American Inventor

This says it all. Be willing to work hard and stick to it with common sense. Where does common sense come from? Taking chances in life and learning from past mistakes. Here is where it is good to have wonderful mentors to guide and coach you. Just realize that everyone who has achieved greatness in their lives has failed many, many times, and they have also succeeded a great number of times.

“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.”

– J.B. Priestley (1894 – 1984) English Author

What do you do after a failure? You get up and dust yourself off and move on with a fresh day. You see a fresh start. You learn from what just happened to you and then you forge a new path, set a new goal, and move forward with all your heart. After receiving a new shoulder from UCLA in 2010, I found out that my nemesis would always be shoulder freeze. If I did not keep my shoulder flexible, it would freeze up and I would lose the range of motion and much of the use of my left arm. As eight years have past, I realized that I must keep my life moving to avoid “life freeze”. If I don’t move forward, I will just stop still in my tracks and stop living.

I’d be more fearful in my life, but I’m too busy achieving great things in my life. I’d be more tired, but I don’t have time for the fatigue. I’d have doubt, but I’m surrounded by great leaders and mentors who are always guiding me to greatness. I’d be failing more, but my passion for service overtakes my life and I only see opportunity ahead. Yes, “I shall go on as long as any means of carrying on the fight are at my disposal.”

Thanks for reading to all my lovely readers!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

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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 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!

davidearlwoodbury@gmail.com

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

@SadoPhoto ©KristinaSado

 

2015-08-26 22.21.28

No 39. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, September 25, 2015

A person is only as big as the dream they dare to live.
— Unknown

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of
life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to
be enthusiastic about.
— Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English Novelist and Clergyman

Every day when I awaken, I’m excited about the upcoming day. Sometimes I’m excited because I have so many opportunities that day. Perhaps I have a challenging situation to take care of. The day may hold some mystery for me. I may be excited because I don’t know what will happen with what’s ahead for me. Then, sometimes I know that the day will be a home run all the way around.

Despite the success cult, men are most deeply moved not by the
reaching of the goal, but by the grandness of the effort involved in
getting there.
— Max Lerner (1902-1992) American Educator, Columnist

I know that I’m going to give each opportunity the “grandness of effort” that is deserved.

Man is happy only as he finds work worth doing — and does it well.
— E. Merrill Root (1895-1973) American Writer

I am so blessed in my life to have found the work worth doing. My “profession” as a professional dance instructor will be the path for the rest of my life, God willing!  My teachers are 20 to 25 years older than I am and they are all going strong.

To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate
the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man’s life.
— T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American Poet

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
— George Eliot (1819-1880) English Novelist

The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must
not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but
jump in and scramble through as well as we can.
— Robert Cushing Dennison (1921-1998) American Military Officer

I like a person who knows his own mind and sticks to it; who sees at
once what, in given circumstances, is to be done, and does it.
— William Hazlitt (1778-1830) English Essayist

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

Let’s just go for it in life.  I’m not going to wait until I’m ready for a task. I’m going to move forward and learn as I go. Warts and all, I’m going to make it happen. How? First, set your goal and fix your mind on it. Second, surround yourself with others who will make your goal come alive. Third, calculate what it will take to get the task done, and plan to double the effort, resources, and energy needed to complete your task. (If you don’t believe this, you have never remodeled a home or business.) Lastly, make perseverance your best friend and just move forward and never look back.

An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; A pessimist sees
a calamity in every opportunity.
— Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British Politician

As I move forward to my goals, I just see wonderful opportunities meeting me as I move forward.

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

— Hugh Lawson White (1773-1840) American Politician

Don’t dwiddle on the past. Let it go. Being angry at someone is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I found that I had been angry at someone for over 30 years. I was justified and if you knew what she did, you’d be angry too. Then, I just woke up and realized that she had no idea that I was always boiling mad at her.  I typed a letter when I apologized to her for carrying all this negativity for these many years and I asked her to forgive me.  Then, I did not mail the letter, I just let it go. I did not want her to know how shallow I had been for all these years. Now I feel great and I have love for her in my heart.  Let the past go, check your baggage at the ticket counter and get on board. Live, love, laugh!

Keep on Dancing!

David Woodbury

 

 

 

 

 

Life is Miracle and Magic 4-3-15

2015-03-11 17.22.40

No 14. Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, April 3, 2015

Life is Miracle and Magic

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

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, quoted after breaking all single-handed woman’s records and finishing second in round the world yacht race. February 11th, 2001

2015-03-29 07.38.51

Here we are at Easter and Passover at the same time. I wish all of you, no matter if or what you celebrate, a great holiday season. This is truly a time of renewing our hearts and our dreams.

The last almost 40 days of Lent have been a great time of reflection for me. I did OK in my “fast” of a bad habit of mine. It is a life-long quest to change something about myself that I detest, and I gave it a lot of work during my Lenten journey. Still working on it!

One great result of this time was the renewal of my own deathless dream, and the rekindling of the fire of my enthusiasm. There were many, many moments in the last 40 days of joy in my life, happiness in where I am at peace with all the challenges that have come my way. A grateful heart has grown within me as I have counted the many blessings and opportunities all around me.

The simple renewing of a dream has been wonderful for me. The reality, if God is willing, that I will dance for the rest of my life has been a great joy of thought for me. The knowing that I can teach, dance, perform, enjoy, and participate in dancing has given me immense joy daily.

2015-04-01 12.04.22

Wisdom begins in wonder. – Socrates

As the body needs physical exercise in order to remain in fit
condition, man’s spirit also requires the spiritual exercise derived
when he confronts his problems and combats life’s vicissitudes.
— William Sahakian and Mabel Lewis Sahakian, describing the philosophy of Epictetus

The wisdom of life comes after we have met life’s challenges, overcome the trials that have tried our patience and tested our character, and then moved forward with the knowledge that we have learned from our journeys. For many, many years I focused primarily on my physical exercise which is still essential until today. Yet, now I know that our spiritual exercises are just as important to develop our character. A healthy heart and soul are both important to overall fitness and conditioning.

For me, I will always be a kid inside.

A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.

–Aldous Huxley

See you all next week!

David Woodbury