By Jackie White
Have you ever read a book or seen a movie that changes how you see the world? That story for me is The Polar Express". "The Polar Express" was originally a book, that somehow I missed, however, I am so grateful for discovering the animated film that has become a tradition in our family. If you haven’t seen "The Polar Express" it is about “a doubting young boy (who) takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, (and) embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe”. The story written by Chris Van Allsburg exquisitely describes really the heart of what Christmas and life is about. It is one of those stories that stirs your soul and is meaningful on any day of the year.
It’s genius that "The Polar Express" story revolves around the Christmas season because Christmas is a great time to reflect upon the year past and the year to come. It is a time when people seem to be more connected and empathetic towards each other. We are thinking of others as we wrap a gift or send a card. We are lending a hand to help those less fortunate than ourselves. The mood is light and sans the hectic commercialization of the holiday, there seems to be more love. Because hearts and minds are more open at this time of year, I can almost feel that we are more connected to the deeper meaning of the life we all are experiencing.
That is what I love about "The Polar Express". The story follows the boy looking to figure out if he believes in Santa. I look at it as the story we all follow and that is; what is it that we believe in? The gift to me is our life. We all have been given that gift, but it’s what we believe that will either propel our life forward or what will allow it to stall out. If we are given a golden ticket to ride like the boy in The Polar Express and that ticket is our life, what are we inscribing on it? If you have seen the movie, you know that each passenger has their ticket punched with a word that describes their lot in life. What word would you inscribe on your ticket? What will your journey be? What do you believe will unfold in your life?
These are all great questions that can be summed up in one word: Believe. Such an important word that can be interpreted in so many different ways. Chris Van Allsburg, the author states that “The Polar Express is about faith, and the power of imagination to sustain faith. It's also about the desire to reside in a world where magic can happen, the kind of world we all believed in as children, but one that disappears as we grow older”.
What we believe in is core to how we conduct our lives. If we use our imagination like Van Allsburg suggests, we can board the train of life and choose the route our journey will take and what the final destination may bring us. Life is anything we can imagine. We are all creators of our lives and we can choose how we want it to be designed. It’s our choice.
It is a delight to look at children during the Christmas season and see the wonder in their eyes. Their belief in magic and possibilities in the world is endless. As adults, we replace the magic with logic and by doing so, we lose the belief in possibilities. I challenge you to take the opportunity this season to get in touch with the wonder of the world and see if you can’t rekindle some belief in what could be possible in your life. Could you laugh a little more? Love a little more? Give a little more? Appreciate a little more? Live a little bit more? The answer is yes. Yes,you can, if you just believe.
Believe that you can live the life of your dreams. You can be the person you want to be. This is your one chance to ride. Along the way, fill your journey with realizing your dreams, creating a life of possibilities and sprinkling it all with joy, laughter and lots of love. If you choose to travel down this track, the destination will be a place of fulfillment and happiness.
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them...Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”
"The Polar Express" book or movie is a great story to read/watch no matter what age you are. I highly recommend checking it out and see if it doesn’t inspire you to look inward to what you believe about what your life is about.
Finally, my hope and wish for you this season is to use the magic of Christmas to renew what you believe. In the words of the song “Believe”:
“Believe in what you feel inside and give your dreams the wings to fly. You have everything you need, if you just Believe”.
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.