Inspired By! The Desire to Inspire Force of Good Awards: MOUNTAIN CLIMBER

Who Inspires YOU? Leave a Comment • Win a Book!

Who do you know who’s not afraid to tackle life’s greatest challenges—a true MOUNTAIN CLIMBER? Nominate him or her below in the comments section for a chance to win an ORIGINAL PIECE OF ART FOR THAT PERSON and a FREE copy of Desire to Inspire! Leave a comment below for your own chance to win a book!

Last week we kicked off Inspired By! The Desire to Inspire Force-of-Good Awards and you can read more about the series and our first spotlit focus—the DREAM BIG Award—here.

Thanks to all of you who left comments last week, nominating the good people who inspire you to step big into your dreams. We promised each week we’d give away one copy of Christine Mason Miller’s book, Desire to Inspire to one randomly-chosen winner, and that winner from last week’s comments is Clearer Reflections—congratulations! We’ll be in touch with you soon!

The MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Award stems from chapter eight in Desire to Inspire, “Finding the Way Through: Believing in Ourselves, One Challenge at a Time.”

In the chapter, Christine observes that issues such as cancer, the loss of a job, the death of a loved one or a divorce are all forces that are traumatic on the surface, but which typically “have the potential to open new doors of insight, wisdom, experience and opportunity that would otherwise remain closed.” She goes on to say that they key is to be willing to spend a bit of time being present in the scary places of uncertainty and discomfort, for in those places lies a powerful transformative energy! This energy can be constructively observed and then channeled toward positive growth and change within.

Artwork by Christen Olivarez, Photo by Christine Mason Miller

Oftentimes, this transformative change takes place in the small spaces—the quiet little day-by-day moments. Book contributor Mary Anne Radmacher realized she had been a source of great inspiration to others when a client alerted her that a large vinyl banner outside a fire station in New Jersey—a station that had crews serving at Ground Zero—featured one of her own quotes: “Courage doesn’t always roar. Courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”

Photo by Tracey Clark

Our tough experiences make us who we are—for better or worse. We are lifted up and encouraged to use heartache for positive change when we see that it can work for others. As contributor Anne Carmack put it:

“This thing right now—this feeling, this fire, this frozen brick of panic and shame—this means something; there’s something brewing here. This can be transformed. This can be the place where your dream begins.”

And, through her work supporting children and families dealing with cancer, Carolyn Rubenstein observes that those who chose not to focus on discouraging odds are the strongest and the happiest. She notes that when their focus is shifted in a direction toward their favor, a beauty and source of strength emerges.

Christine Mason Miller observes, “Thinking small and giving in to negativity—particularly toward oneself—does not serve the world. Ever.”

I love that.

Artwork and Photo by McCabe Russell

So tell us, who do you know who has bravely taken life’s challenges and turned them into something amazing? Who do you remind yourself to think about when you get discouraged because you know if they can succeed after what they’ve been through, surely you can, too?

Leave a comment here, telling us all about the person you’d like to nominate for the MOUNTAIN CLIMBER award (or one of the three other awards). If you write a post about your nomination on your own blog, you can include a link for that as well. On March 15, 2012, our Force-of-Good Panel will reveal the four Inspired By! winners, and if your nominee is chosen, they’ll receive a signed copy of Desire to Inspire, along with an original collage creation by Christine Mason Miller. But that’s not all; just by leaving a comment that nominates someone, you’ll be eligible each week for a randomly selected winner of a copy of the book! So tell us who you are inspired by!


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6 Responses to Inspired By! The Desire to Inspire Force of Good Awards: MOUNTAIN CLIMBER

  1. Sark inspires me with her books and teachings. Her website “planetsark” is a creative resource and guiding light. She is a model of inspiring stories and an example of living her creative dreams. SARK truly cares about people and wants us all to to live succulent lives. I have bought all of her books and I return to them over and over for inspiration and for that special nudge when I need to challenge myself to take the next step.

  2. I have commented about the book, “Desire to Inspire”
    on my blog:

  3. mixedmediagal says:

    I would like to nominate Katherine Wolf for the Mountain Climber award. In her mid-twenties Katherine had a massive brain stem stroke. She was not expected to live but she miraculously did. She has a number of physical limitations but continues to press on so she can make additional gains in her recovery. Her story has been so inspiring to me and I truly hope that she can win the book and lovely art piece by Christine. I’m sure it would mean a lot to her. Please read her story at: Her website has additional information. She is an amazing person who reaches out to others even though she remains challenged in many ways. She has a small son, and a wonderful husband, Jay, who has stood by her through this unexpected turn of events in their young lives.

    Tomorrow, February 25, the Wolfs will attend the Casa Colina (Rehab Center) Tribute to Courage gala along with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. Here is a portion of the publicity blurb discussing these special guests and what they have been through: “Commander Mark Kelly was set to take the Endeavour on its final mission to the International Space Station and Jay Wolf was working through his third year of law school when the inconceivable happened. Their wives, Gabrielle Giffords, a Congress member meeting her constituents in Tucson, and Katherine Wolf, making lunch at home in Malibu, suffered different but equally unexpected devastating injuries that left them with massive brain damage.” Jay Wolf and Mark Kelly will both share how these events changed their families’ lives and the courage that their wives have shown to “climb their mountain” to recovery.

    Thanks so much for considering Katherine Wolf to win the Mountain Climber award. She truly exemplifies the spirit of this award!

  4. patsypat says:

    My Mountain Climber award goes to Joe dean Sola. He’s been through a lot! A big sinner when he was young, he wanted to be a drug lord because that’s the environment he grew up in. He used to use bible pages to make marijuana cigarettes. But now he’s devoted his life to saving street children here in the Philippines. He dreams big! He’s planning on building a home for the street children.

  5. Bella says:

    I want to nominate Angie Briggs Johnson for a Dare to Inspire Award. She inspires me everyday, but most importantly she shares art to help people heal. She brings art to kids who are in a Juvenile Detention Center and this last year with a girl who had to have her leg amputated, together they made a painting using the girls leg, before she had her surgery. Her is a link to a news clip about it:

    She also started a non profit called : Art2- Art Renewing Teens and Treasures, where she teaches at risk kids how to restore and paint old furniture and turn them in to pieces of art. The kids learn to sell their pieces and then replenish their supplies with the profits as well as donating a portion to local charities.

    The most important reason I want to nominate her is that she inspires me to want to do something BIG to help others, I am not sure what that is yet, but somehow I would like to help kids like myself use art to help heal Anxiety, which I also stuggle with.

    Thank you,
    Bella Johnson

    Here are her blog and website:

    PS Did I mention she is my mom?

  6. rainofstars says:

    One woman, Pat Graser is a bundle of committed energy wrapped in 80-something body. From 1981 to the present she has spent 8,857 hours as a volunteer with the Mogollon Health Alliance in Payson, AZ. An average of 6 hours/week for the past 30 years devoted to an organization is nothing short of inspiring. As a “pink lady” Pat has worked in the hospital answering patient questions, run the arts and crafts program for the auxiliary, and she currently helps out in the Almost New Thrift Shop. Her volunteer hours contribute to young people receiving health scholarships and free community health education to the public. When this diminutive woman wearing her pink coat and name badge approaches you her eyes light up, and when she gets to you, her question, “How are you?” is absolutely genuine. (Shirley Billingsley has almost as many hours and is equally awesome, but I have to pick one so I nominate Pat for the Make a Difference Award. Pat does not have a blog or a Web site, but you can reach her through MHA:
    My thanks to ALL the people in the world who volunteer to make their communities a better place. It’s not altruism, it’s simply love.
    Carol La Valley