Christin Myrick Shepherd

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A Soul's Quest

 
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I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the owner and cultivator of Bucket List Retreats on her podcast program called Travel Talk (listen to the full interview here) which explores one of my favorite topics: transformational travel. The interview was so delightful, I converted it into a blog. I hope you enjoy ~

 
 

Part I: The Choice and the Feelings

Traveling gave me the space and time to discover that, by nature, I am a deep thinking wanderer fueled by profound and unquenchable curiosity. 

I graduated from college with a degree in engineering but, ever since I was a small I child, I had wanted to see the world. She called to me, like a piece of my Soul was out there and I had to find her. 

I went all over - sometimes with my then boyfriend (no hubby) and sometimes just by myself. 

Logistics are interesting. I get overwhelmed easily and, just like life, I had to take it one step at a time. If I thought about the whole trip, I'd panic from all the details. Instead, I focused on the thing right in front me, one at a time. 

The idea of going somewhere foreign was frightening to me. I think because I was afraid of both the unknown world and the unknown parts of myself.

I bought a one-way, solo ticket to China with zero idea what I was getting into. I was young and stupid: privileged enough to make the purchase but naive enough to not understand the risks. When I got to the airport I walked straight into a bathroom stall and sobbed. I had so many feelings and I was ashamed of myself for having them.

 

Part II: Transformation

I was lucky to have the opportunity to travel. It let me leave one version of myself behind and come back with pieces of myself I had lost. 

I learned to listen with my senses. To memorize a place by the way it sounds and smells. Each place left an imprint on my Soul, like potters hands on clay.

In Tibet, the air is crisp and thin, cold on the nostrils. Tiny bells tinkle on bicycles and there is an ever constant scraping sound of wooden blocks against dirt as the pilgrims stretch and bow across the ground. It transformed my idea of devotion.

In some parts of China, the humidity and fog is thick with the smell of food and salt and people. Even the crowds have a smell. Oceans of cream skin and raven hair, I was never, ever by myself, and yet - never in my life have I felt so alone.

In Peru, the people talk to the earth as if she were a living being: they stack stones on the pathways and call it ‘making a prayer’.  It taught me what it is to pray and how we lose something precious in our western culture that is so removed from the land.

It was all so new and wonderful. It was also frightening and thrilling. What I learned is that the the place where fear and thrill intersect is exactly the place we're meant to point. 

I don’t think I ever ‘arrived’ anywhere, in a spiritual sense. I don’t think any of us are ever 'done'. Each place gave me something different and special. Each place left its own imprint.

I became a person who trusts the process, trusts that one thing is always becoming another, and a person who listens in silence to what song spirit wants to sing through me.

There is a simplicity there, and simplicity is liberating: it makes even the most mundane thing holy.

 

Part III: Travel and Your Fearless Soul

People are just people everywhere. We're all trying to find our way and how we contribute to make the world a better place.

My book, Your Fearless Soul, is not about what you do, it’s not even about who you are. It’s about how you change people and how you make them better. 

When I set out to write, I didn’t even know what I was writing. It came out so jumbled and confused! But slowly, one sentence at a time, the fear and the thrill transmuted into something beautiful. 

I wrote my book to heal and to forgive. Your Fearless Soul is a lot about forgiveness, letting go and letting one thing become another. 

When you forgive, you create space for something new and beautiful to come in.

You create a vacuum for destiny and what wonders the universe can create when there is space in the heart to create them!

 

 Quintessential Machu Picchu pic (with llama!)

Quintessential Machu Picchu pic (with llama!)

 
 Arrived in Finland to a downpour and bad selfies.

Arrived in Finland to a downpour and bad selfies.

 
 Potala Palace, Tibet.

Potala Palace, Tibet.

 
 Making prayers on the trek.

Making prayers on the trek.

 
 Vietnam

Vietnam

 
 
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MusingsChristin Myrick