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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Own Circumstances 11-4-16

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No 45 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury

Friday, November 4, 2016

Make Your Own Circumstances

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) Irish Playwright

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We think, “Oh, they have it so easy in their life. Money, family, opportunity. It was all given to them.” Yes, it may seem that others have it easy and we have it hard, but get this. We have the best in our own lives if we just look up and see all the great things around us.

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I’m a blamer and I get jealous of other’s success. I think, “That should have been me”, “I can do that, what didn’t that success come to me?”. The reality is that we are all truly living in our own great success. We have control over our circumstances and we have the ability to make opportunities come our way. We never truly know what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.  The funny thing is this, often the ones we are envying are looking at us and saying, “Wow, they have all the luck” for they see the good in our lives that we are unable visualize.

“Trials, temptations, disappointments — all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fibre 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

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Why do our diet and exercise programs fail? Once it gets a bit hard, or requires extra energy, or tests our character, we give in. The temptations are overwhelming and we just do not have the strength to overcome the trials. We just give into our present circumstances and cannot pull up.

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Do you know how a world class ballroom dance couple makes it to the top? Is it talent, luck, or is it just given to them? The answer is simple, the best couples have worked the hardest, practices the longest and have earned their ranking through many trials and failures. Their successes are precious and sweet, and they have hearts of gratitude for the glory given to them. They made their own circumstance and created their own opportunity and stayed with it to the top.

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“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” – Vince Lombardi (1913 – 1970) American Football Coach

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It’s easy to stay down after being knocked down over and over. Yet, as Vince Lombardi says, coming back is the real glory. I’d like to just get up and stay up, but as Waltz has rise and fall, and Tango is staccato with starts and stops, and Swing has its turns and spins, and Samba has a bounce, blessedly there is the Foxtrot that is smooth and glides across the floor. I wish you, the reader a few Foxtrot days, but also enjoy your Tango days, and keep on coming back!

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Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

Dance this Fall and Winter 7-25-14

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Invasion of the British Party! Unique Dance-0-Rama 2014

David Earl Woodbury
No 30 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, July 25th, 2014
Getting Ready to Dance in the Fall and Winter!

Wow, I’m planning out 2015. Those of you who know me are chuckling. Fall and Winter is just around the corner. The fall dance calendar is full of exciting events! We are planning our Tournament of Champions in August and getting ready to dance into 2015!

Someday, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great
temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the
real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now it is being
decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you
shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made
except by a steady, long continued process.
— Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American Bishop

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Miss Vicki Venka, my favorite coach!

We were just asked to submit our Hospitality Service schedule at St. Monica’s through January 2015. It was amazing to me to see that our dance calendar is full until March next year. What a joy and thrill that we have the opportunity to dance, perform, compete, train, and share the magic of dance together.

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

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Georgetta Platt, Amazing and Wonderful friend!

Do you want to get motivated? Go to your PC and print out calendars for August 2014 through December 2015.
Then, write out some goals of what you want to do with your life. Write in goal dates of when you want to take your first dance lesson, perform your first routine, and compete in your first competition. Plan your weight and exercise goals. Do you want to travel, learn a language, run for office, get a promotion, have a needed surgery, get a new job, start school or graduate, or fulfill an lifetime dream? Write it down, make a plan, then inch-by-inch it will be a cinch!

Aim at the sun and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far
higher than if you had aimed at an object on a level with yourself.
— Robert F. Hawes

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Steve Platt, our Area 7 Director!

Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, And just work
out your think.
— Nixon Waterman

Last weekend I had the honor of judging Unique Dance-O-Rama in Irvine. The organizers, Steve and Georgetta Platt, put on the largest event in Arthur Murray History, perhaps the largest competition in the US to date! It was an amazing few days. Friday and Saturday, the competition began at 7 AM and finished around 1:30 AM with the ballroom always full and hundreds of dancers at their best taking the floor to compete! I left with such great hope for the young generation of today after seeing the young couples trying to win their heats. The gentlemen were so beautifully dressed with perfect decorum and poise, and the ladies had grace and beauty and elegant charm as they glided across the floor.

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To see such a return to elegance truly blessed my soul. There is hope for today, and a lot of it comes through the discipline and reward of ballroom dancing which is stronger today than ever. Write on your calendar that you are going to call your Arthur Murray Dance Center and start on you new dancing journey. You’ll be glad you did!

We each have all the time there is; our mental and moral status is
determined by what we do with it.– Mary Blake

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: How to be a Champion Dancer!