Making of a Mountain

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A seismic Cenozoic collision crushed the Rongbuk Formation beneath, and thrust the North Col Formation upward.

Unless you’re a geologist, that probably doesn’t mean much to you.

But you’ll recognize its other name: Mount Everest.

Sometimes, long after a cataclysmic event what’s remembered most is what still stands.

Epic world-shaping shifts birth giant mountains. In the case of Mount Everest, millennia of slow-moving impact. Mountains formed this way are smashed upwards or sometimes the earth’s crust bends and folds into new shapes.

Now is the time. It’s a different world now.

The ground slides beneath our feet and paradigms shift beyond recognition.

The pressure built up can produce different reactions in us.

There’s a groundswell of potential energy. The question is what shape will that energy turn when it goes kinetic?

  1. We can shiver like an earthquake knocks everything over and rocks anything built on sand, breaking homes apart, leaving us grasping a pile of rubble. “Why me?!”
  2. We can repress like a volcano, the pent up pressure explodes molten lava and spews blinding ash and noxious gas … lots of hot air that blocks out the light and poisons those around us. “It’s your / their (always someone else’s) fault!”
  3. We can hitch a ride on that tectonic momentum. We grab hold of the shift and bend with it not as a way of compromise but as an opportunity to see things new again. We plunge a stake into the ground right where we are. Get clear about our values, anchored in our purpose — ready for action. “Let’s go!”

And you climb a mountain not because it’s easy but because you want to summit. The view. The clear air.

The grandeur of seeing the world from higher ground. We want to be those shoulders that allow others to breathe fresh air, see further, more clearly, and climb higher.


Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

Frank Herbert


In Colorado, there’s Mount Elbert.

They call it the Gentle Giant.

Because even though it’s the second highest peak on the U.S. mainland, the climb does not require inordinate technical expertise.

I like that. It’s a humble mountain.

As its namesake, I exist to equip and lift others up with encouragement — always grounded, I hope, with much humility.

What kind of mountain are you?


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