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)
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)
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!