No 33 8-17-18 “Good friendships are fragile things”

2018-06-07 08.23.22“Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing.”

– Randolph S. Bourne (1886 – 1918) American Writer

After 42 years with Arthur Murray Dance Centers, I now have a lifetime of my dancing friends, and they are truly my family. These are precious and fragile relationships. All of us have gone through thick and thin, success and failure, sadness and happiness, health and illness, and we have stuck together for decades.

On the other hand, there are some friendships that have shattered like a precious vase, like a broken like a picture frame. These are the tragedies and losses of life and are very sad. Sometimes a cross word has caused a riff, a callous gesture, a blunt conversation, and repair is possible but not probable with some of these lost relationships. I always hope that at any time, especially at Lent that healing will happen and I always pray for that healing.

“Many a friendship — long, loyal, and self-sacrificing — rested at first upon no thicker a foundation than a kind word.”

– Frederick William Faber (1814 – 1863) English Priest and Hymn Writer

Many, many of my life-long friendships truly began with a hello. Or a compliment, or a dance, or an introduction. That thread was stronger than steel and a golden thread of love has been woven throughout our years of knowing each other. The sadness I feel for the relationships where the thread has broken, is that the reconciliation may never happen, but I never lose hope!

“I never said it would be easy. I said it would be worth it.”

– Pete Egoscue (1945) Founder of Physical Therapy Method ‘The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion’

We just celebrated our 5th year of ownership of the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Santa Monica. I never thought it would be easy. In fact, I cannot believe how hard it was at time and still is to this day. But, it is worth it. The personal change I have experienced over the years has been fantastic and I have grown and matured 100 times over from when we started. Easy no, worth it, YES!

“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

At one time, I thought I was very serious about my career. I began to believe what others graciously said about me and I began to believe that I had arrived and that I “had it all”. Then I quit growing. Today, I am surrounded by many mentors and guides, and leaders who constantly correct and guide me. Today, I truly take my career seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously. My mom, J. Clair, always said to me “Keep a little song in your heart”. It’s hard to take yourself too seriously when you have a joyous laughter in your voice and you’re focused on service to others.

“We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens.”

– Brooks Atkinson (1894 – 1984) American theatre critic

This magic does happen in my life. Somehow, at the eleventh hour, things do seem to work out. I once worried so much, almost to the point of illness. Then I realized that the sun would rise in the morning and no matter what happened, there would be a new dawn in the morning. So now, I cherish my friends and family, pray for the broken threads that need to be mended, and I try to laugh every day.

Thanks for reading!

David Earl Woodbury

Keep on Dancing!

DavidEarlWoodbury@gmail.com

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3-7-14 The Arthur Murray Lifestyle

DEW Good Photo 11-7-

David Earl Woodbury

No 11 Changing Lives through Dancing
By David Earl Woodbury
Friday, March 7, 2014

The Arthur Murray Lifestyle!

This week we observed Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. How does my Arthur Murray Lifestyle apply to Lent? Well, today I was Team Leader for the 8 AM Mass for ashes, and who do I see, my students, my staff, and the Arthur Murray Dancers of St. Monica’s. We are the dancers for Dancing With Our Stars, a fundraiser for the Arts Department of St. Monica’s Schools March 7, 2014.

Arthur Murray ManAs I am guiding our wonderful Hospitality Team Members into their spots, I see the faculty around me who are participating in the upcoming event. I say hello to my very own student who is just finishing the 6:30 AM Mass. I see the principal of both schools and realize that I am truly living the Arthur Murray Lifestyle.

You see, I have the unique experience of living, worshiping, and working with my friends and neighbors in my Santa Monica community.  This is a great responsibility, for I must live the life of a true Arthur Murray man, a man of character and grace and poise, while remaining a leader and mentor to others. I see our students at mass, at the market, walking to the beach, shopping, and generally all over the city of Santa Monica.

Arthur and Kathryn Two PhotosThis is a challenge in many ways for I am a human full of faults and flaws. I get tired and grumpy and sometimes lose my smile. Here’s a lesson I have learned. When I am dancing, greeting others, serving others in any way, a genuine smile creates a magical environment.  A smile comforts others and opens up the doors of trust, communication, and connection.

For you see, being an Arthur Murray Man means being the leader that others are looking up to. I do not have the luxury of a bad day, a grumpy mood, a sour attitude. I must leave the negative behind and carry light so others may see.  Today I read a story of a teenager who created a flashlight that operated from the heat of the human hand. This could potentially change the lifestyle of many, many people who do not have electricity. We have to be that light for others, generated by the heat of our passion for life and service.

Arthur Murray on ShipThus, the reason for Lent. I am giving up my anger, my doubts, my grumpy moods, my darkness. What am I doing for Lent, sharing laughter, light, and life with others. Cleaning up my mouth from negative talk (and worrdie dirdies) and filling my voice with words of hope and affirmation. It will be a 40 day journey and I have taken the first step. Want to go with me?

Thank You,

David Earl Woodbury

Next Week: When will all this hard work pay off?