By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
DreamChasers, get ready for a fun ride! Today, you get to hear the life story about my amazing friend, partner, and, possibly, long lost sister, Jackie White. In true Jackie style, there’s insight, inspiration, and truth all wrapped up in fun...and, maybe, a little song and dance.
Let’s Begin at the Beginning
Since she was a kid, Jackie has been goal-driven. Jackie places a high value of living her best life due to having had a near-death experience with carbon monoxide poisoning when she was young. This experience taught her the invaluable life lesson that we all have an expiration date and tomorrow is not promised; life is too short not to be joyful. Stop wasting time...go out and live this life today!
Jackie graduated from high school in 1984 and upon graduation took a few months to travel the world. Upon her return, true to Jackie’s style, she had a plan. Step one, graduate from cosmetology college, both because she wanted to become a hair stylist and have a way to finance her next step. Step two, go to UW-Madison to pursue a degree in Industrial Psychology. The kicker? At that time, this degree didn’t exist! Not to be deterred by this minor road block, Jackie set out to customize her course of study to combine her love of business and passion for psychology.
After graduating from the UW, this cosmetologist-turned-industrial-psychologist landed her first corporate position at Oscar Mayer. At that time, Jackie was working several jobs to pay for her college tuition. One of these jobs was working at her parent’s bowling center. The lunch hour regulars knew Jackie was hoping to get the job at Oscar Mayer, so when she did find out that she got the job, to celebrate, she brought Oscar Mayer Bologna sandwiches for everyone! That, right there, sums up how Jackie not only finds the fun, but brings it to any situation!
The Unexpected Paths Become the Most Rewarding
Jackie reports that she absolutely loved her time at Oscar Mayer and then later Kraft Foods. She held several positions during her tenure there, starting in Human Resources then transferring to Promotions and Marketing. Her desire to be innovative and creative in her career was fueled by the many books she read on business and personal development. One significant book she came upon was "Awaken the Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins. This book changed the way she looked at the world and ultimately how she decided to live her life. This book was the doorway to her own personal development journey that will continue on for her lifetime. Jackie states that you can never know it all - even about oneself.
Jackie’s work at Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods also brought about another key turning point in her life when she met her husband Mark on a project they were assigned to work on together. Future collaborations for them included their three children together, Scarlett (17), Marshall (16), and Truman (14); as well as Jackie taking on the role of stepmother, though not of the evil variety, to Ian (30) and Hayley (27).
After Marshall was born, Jackie decided that the best thing for their family would be for her to stay home with the children. Although she loved her career, she realized that closing that chapter would open another where her children would come first. True to Jackie's style, she threw herself into being the best mom she could be. She traded in her corporate life for playdates, trips to the libraries and a plethora of kid's activities! It was a perfect fit! This just goes to show, DreamChasers, you never know if what’s around the corner could be the next best thing in your life!
Living with the Forward-Thinking Lifestyle
As children do, Jackie’s kids became more and independent the further they traveled into the teenage years. Jackie realized she needed to have something for her when her kids were gone from the nest. She began re-visiting some of her personal development books. She spent about a year assessing where her true passions and purpose in life were directing her to go. That is when her friend, Stef mentioned that she had a friend with similar interests that Jackie just had to connect with. In January 2019 back before virtual meetings were trendy, Jackie and Erika had their first meeting over Zoom, and SoulShine Life Connections was born.
As it turns out, Jackie has been pleasantly surprised to find how much she loves and enjoys writing for the SoulShining Blog. Looking back, there were hints of this in how much she looked forward to writing her annual Christmas card letter; she even has had friends and family tell her that she needed to put her pen to paper and write a book or blog. Hmmm...foreshadowing at it’s finest, DreamChasers! (P.S. Looking for your passion or purpose? Pay attention to what others see in you...that’s a great clue!)
Jackie loves putting together all that makes up SoulShine. The strategy, the writing, the class and workshop development and even the creative execution. She will admit that she had to step out of her comfort zone into the unknowns of technology and starting an online business. So far, it has been fun and rewarding. Jackie holds a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and restlessness to take SoulShine Life Connections to the next level.
How to Begin Living a Life of Purpose and Passion
When asked if she is living her life purpose, Jackie’s answer was the best I have ever heard. She said this is definitely part of it but she has a lot more in her that is yet to be seen or even uncovered. She has had a passion for personal growth for years, so that piece is not surprising, but becoming a writer was not something she had considered. This makes her instinctively ask herself, and others, “What other doors haven’t been opened yet?”.
As Jackie says, she has bigger fish to fry. Her biggest challenge is that she has too many interests to pursue, which means being bored won’t happen! She encourages you to start your life of purpose and passion by looking for inspiration. Need a place to start? Check out books, podcasts, You Tube, and, obviously, SoulShine Life Connections blog or blogcast. Feed your mind with positivity and possibility if you want to live your best life and limit any negativity.
Jackie encourages all to find the fun and happiness in life and to stop being afraid to live! Everyday gives you the opportunity to choose how you will live out that day. You can find the fun and the joy if you just take the time to make it a priority. Life is too short to choose otherwise!
Jackie, thank you for sharing yourself with all of those who you meet. Keep on bringing the fun and pouring out the inspiration and happy, mixed with your creatively quirky and no-nonsense style. You are an example to all that, while living your best life takes effort and rolling with the punches, the journey is fun and rewarding as it unfolds.
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.