First thoughts from the new guy

19 11 2015


Starting a new job is not easy! Wow what a revelation. The effort that goes into finding a job and the excitement of being the successful candidate is quickly replaced by the realization that you now need to learn the role. This is where I found myself 50 days ago when I began my journey at Opening Doors to Success. New jobs are seldom exactly what we expect them to be. I had thoughts on what my new role at ODS would be like. First impressions of the current staff, clients and culture; ideas of the role and how I would fit into the current team.
I am happy these first impressions of my co-workers were correct. They are genuine people with endless compassion and truly unique personalities. The kind of people you would hope for when needing a helping hand.
My initial understanding of the role as a pre-employment coach was a little less accurate. I think pre-employment teammate would be closer to the reality of my role. These people have tremendous skills and rich histories and would make great additions to the work force. They are focussed on finding, not just any job but the right job for them and I feel privileged to be able to assist them on their journey.
Steinbach is fortunate to have a resource like ODS and I feel fortunate to be a small part of it!
Here’s to the next 50 days

Dennis Brewster

Pre-employment and Resource Guy

Permission to Suck!

10 11 2015

Today, well actually this morning, I write this blog, after a monthly struggle to get to my keyboard and type my first few words.

The reason for this blog is to meet the challenge that I put out to our amazing Oct-Nov-Dec  group at ODS.

One month ago today we each agreed to do something new and challenging, and we gave ourselves 4 weeks to complete our chosen task. Well here I am as I give myself permission to accomplish my goal to write a long overdue blog article. It is a much needed time to allow my words to flow, without judgement and without fear of the what-ifs.

The reason for my struggle to DO SOMETHING NEW?  Well here it is folks… My own personal fear of failure!

Today I remind myself and each of you that in order to accomplish our dreams and desires, we must first allow ourselves the permission to potentially suck! I haven’t come to this page for sometime now.This morning I finally took the risk to do it wrong, do a lousy job, bore my readers to tears, or have your eyes rolling to the top of your heads.

I felt the urge 4 weeks ago, to nudge myself and encourage others to take a risk and come out of our comfort zones.I have been procrastinating. I opened my page to begin writing a couple of times, only to get discouraged and resign from the task. But guess what? This is what happened this morning as I approached my challenge. I decided to give myself permission for the opportunity to experience an amazing sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Another factor in accomplishing this goal…ACCOUNTABILITY. Sharing our goals and desires with others assists us BIG TIME!

I sit here thinking about what an amazing workshop will transpire this afternoon as we all share how we finally gave ourselves permission to accomplish what means the world to us.

I love to write, to encourage and lead others towards their personal success. True and meaningful achievement comes only when we are gentle with ourselves and we allow ourselves to be awkward and to stumble.

So I write, stumbling, awkward and a wee bit jittery and nervous. But guess what folks. I did it. I gave myself permission to mess up.

What are you finally giving yourself permission to accomplish? How will this open a door to making your dreams into reality?

The beginning to realizing our full potential, begins with inner permission. This is what I said to myself this morning as it unfolded as my last chance to meet the challenge. NANCY! Just do it. It will flow…I claimed it as my desire, and therefore I give myself the permission to be awkward, to be imperfect, to potentially flunk the assignment.

Well her it is folks! I did it! We are dreaming big, It all begins with the little things that mean a lot.

Let’s share as we dream BIG and enjoy our steps to success!


21 03 2015

The little voice said…”It’s time to write a blog.”

The little voice has been trying to get my attention for quite a few months now. But there was a voice that was speaking louder. This big voice was saying that I didn’t have the time or the energy to write.

Well it is time to listen to the GOOD VOICE, the right voice…

It is time to write this creative expression of words. These words will paint the glorious and beautiful artwork of my heart and soul. This is how I know it is the GOOD VOICE.At this very moment my words are unplanned. The thoughts are flowing and I am using my fingers to put the thoughts and the feelings here for me to share.

The GOOD VOICE has won.

I find myself complete in this moment. Nothing is imperfect. I am perfect. I am loved. But the big voice is trying to talk me out of continuing. I stop and I doubt. I question and I judge. I can’t do this. I am stuck.

That little calm voice guides me back to my keyboard. My fingers flow once again. I find the letters to create this message…

God is LOVE and he is so in love with us. His voice is the one that gives us peace. His voice is the calm in the storm. The calm is quiet and still. We fight it. We prefer the craziness. We enjoy entertaining the big voice.Even the big voice has its place as does darkness.

We remember to close our eyes in the darkness. We remember as we close our eyes that the light will return in it’s right time. We have faith that when we close our eyes and allow the darkness…We will once again open them to the beauty of the morning sunrise. The calm little voice tells us this truth.

As a survivor with a history of severe clinical depression, my journey has revealed a healing truth and personal awareness. Depression is my darkness. Depression is my contrast that brings my life its amazing vividness. In my depression, I always find GOod VOICES.

Dreaming Big and Watching it Happen!

23 04 2013

I have been experiencing wonderful things as I stay fixed on the vision! I can’t express the overwhelming joy as I watch God’s plan unfolding in my life and in the lives of the people I love to serve.
I had a vision about 3 years ago…

It was actually pretty scary! I kept meeting people with BIG DREAMS, exciting goals and ambitions! As they shared their passions and goals for their future careers or jobs they would be expressed like this:

I want to get my class 1 Drivers License BUT I cant read well…
I want to be a hairdresser BUT I have been assessed with manual dexterity issues..
I want to be a daycare worker BUT people think I am not smart enough…
I want to take medical terminology BUT I was diagnosed with a learning disability…
I want to get a job BUT I have a social interacting disorder…
I want to be an electrician BUT this is too difficult for me! What did the school say is wrong with me?

It was very disappointing to see how society has been placing these “labels” on us and we aren’t even aware how they influence our decisions as we make plans for our careers.
I made it my mission to help these wonderful people challenge themselves and their negative belief systems. It has been so exciting watching people celebrate their successes as they ignore the “labels” and negativity.
Dreams do not come easily. they come with pain and trials along the way. They come with having to let go of good things to reach other levels of growth.
Dreams are BIG! They require a faith in something bigger than us! It takes risk! We need to keep connected with that awesome and powerful spirit within and around us to keep our sanity and peace of mind.
I had a dream to build Opening Doors to Success Incorporated. Its mission was to empower people to reach their career goals. I faced these voices of negativity and defeat:

I want to build the business BUT I am too old…
I want to quit my job to build the business BUT I cant do that!
I want to run my own organization BUT I am not a leader
I want to be an entrepreneur BUT that title is too big for me to handle?

The dream kept manifesting itself. It was a very confusing and exhausting few weeks for me as I dealt with depression and anxiety trying to suppress the nudge to move on. I was experiencing an even louder confusion:
I want to start my business BUT I have a perfect job.
I want to take the leap BUT I need to appreciate all that I have at this job!
I want to start my own organization BUT I would be giving up on this position.
I have a burning desire to lead a new initiative BUT what if its benefits are not recognized?

The dream was bigger than me! I didn’t know how to handle it! I had to either take the leap and move on or take pills to numb the feelings of confusion and depression. I chose option number one. :)

I am dreaming BIG and the confusion has left! It is a little scary. Taking each step and crossing each bridge they come up is the only sane way. It is very exciting as I am learning new skills and becoming the person I once never thought possible. Little ol’ me…an entrepreneur, a leader??
FOLLOW your dreams! They are BIGGER than you!

But oh how wonderful when we follow the nudge!! Life is full of awesome gifts, but how can they be revealed to us unless we take the chance of getting a paper cut as we open them!
Listen to those BIG DREAMS!

Cinderella had a BIG dream!
Elvis had a BIG Dream!
Benjamin Franklin had a BIG dream!
Mother Theresa had a BIG dream!
Martin Luther King had a BIG dream!

I have a BIG dream!
Do you have a BIG dream?
Are we listening? Once we decide it is possible…We are lead, one step at a time :)


The Undesired Gift

17 08 2012

There is a gift which so many of us have been given. I will try to describe it:

  • This gift is very seldom appreciated.
  • It is a gift which most of us choose not to keep. 
  • It is a gift which we fear to embrace.
  • It is a gift we often see as a punishment.
  • It is a gift we try to hide so no one else sees it.
  • It is a gift which we receive at any time of the season.
  • It is a gift which can seem too heavy to carry.
  • It is a gift which we are given when times are tough and we feel discouraged.
  • It is a gift which comes from an anonymous giver.
  • It is a gift which is wrapped in dark colored paper.
  • It is a gift we often exchange for something much less valuable or even damaging.

When we choose to accept this valuable yet unappreciated gift, we allow it to work wonders in our lives. But we need to change our perception of the gift. We need to see the beauty and benefits in it. This may be something totally new to us and to anyone else we may share it with.

If we accept this gift it may mean giving up the opportunity for something “better” or something “more”.

We need to think totally outside of the ” box” we have been given. When we decide to cherish and see the beauty in the gift, we may be giving up the chance of enjoying the other trade such as indulging in:

  • Unhealthy eating
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Overworking
  • Facebook and computer games
  • Sex
  • Smoking
  • Drugs
  • Other unhealthy obsessions
  • Habits which are damaging to our core values
  • Self destructive lifestyles

If by now you are thinking this is really crazy then you are right. Embracing this gift is not something most of us would naturally do. This present is unique and different to each one of us. It is a reward to be explored and examined. It may even be called a legacy or an ability.

Some of the benefits I have relished in holding on to my gift are:

  • A keener sense of peace and serenity
  • Better health
  • A stronger sense of joy
  • An easier acceptance of reality
  • Closer to my truth
  • More appreciation of the “good times”
  • Compassion for others
  • Feeling the pleasure of the simple things that life has to offer
  • Enjoying each and every aspect the “GIFT of the PRESENT”.

This gift is something society may call a disease, a sickness or a problem. It is often given very descriptive labels.

This gift is what I call DEPRESSION. I am thankful for it and I see the value it has in my life. It is a gift from God which humbles me and teaches me so much about Him and about myself. Sometimes I reject it for an extra large hot fudge sundae with peanuts. Sometimes I neglect it and drop an extra $10 in the lottery terminal.

But I love when I embrace it and I see what it is revealing to me. The growth that is open to me as a human being is so beautifully cherished. The weight of it is lifted by the giver himself. God is there as I delight in my beautiful and cherished gift. He shows me its beauty and its benefits. I am learning that it is not worth trading for any other earthly present.














What About Trust?

18 01 2012

Trusting our loving creator allows us to trust others…

We take the risk of loving wholeheartedly when we know if we are eventually let down, we will only fall back into His loving arms. So what do we stand to lose? Loving others without expectation is such a rewarding act.

Loving without trusting causes a barrier to stand between us and others.

In fear of being let down we shut down.The other person doesn’t experience the full benefits of our love.

When we give love in the many ways we are able to express it we do get it back. It might not come from the person we are giving it to. Look around you. Is it coming from other people, other sources? The love we pour out will flow back to us!

Trust shouldn’t be something to be earned. Trust is an action. Trust is not a feeling. How do you truly know for sure someone will not let you down? We need to give them the benefit of the doubt. When we do this the person knows we are giving them our trust. Wow! What a gift. It is saying to them…You are worthy of my trust. What a powerful connection for a strong and lasting relationship.

But what if we give our everything to someone and they betray us?

We can handle it! The other sources of love are always available to us!

God takes our hand and picks us up once again!

We say to God … “I loved that person so much”. God responds… “You did the right thing. That’s what we were made to do.”

Love still flows from us and we are able to love once again.

Why not take the chance to love and trust fully? The rewards are well worth it.

It might not be an easy thing for us to do.We may have put up a guard for so long. We may have developed the negative habits of being cynical, suspicious, overly cautious, jealous, or clingy. We have used these methods to control others in fear of  betrayal or loss of that person.

Trusting opens doors to successful relationships.

When we are betrayed we have the most powerful source of love available to us immediately. Our creator knows we may need him in those moments and he never closes his door to us.

Love others like He loves us! It just feels GOoD!

Christmas Miracles

27 12 2011

I made three wishes. I believed even when I didn’t believe. God is coming through as always!

The biggest joy for me is watching God work things out in His way! Thinking “outside the box” is so key to realizing God’s miracles coming to life.

God’s wisdom is so much more complex than we could ever imagine, so how can we expect him to work things out or make our dreams come true the way we think He should.

When we allow God to do things in his timing and in his way, we allow ourselves the pleasure of seeing and experiencing the steps to get to where we desire. God knows us more than we know ourselves. He created us and has it all taken care of.

Trusting that the miracle is in the works allows it to happen. When we trust that our creator has it under control…we allow His plan to take action.

When we give up hope, we cease to take action and the miracle is paralyzed. Be calm…be still…be listening…

Christmas was a reminder to me that with God anything is possible…and when we leave it to Him and not allow doubt or worry to take a hold of us…

Wow…The Christmas miracles!!!



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