Mountain Within And Without

Recently, I was attending a lecture where the English speaker mentioned a woman by the name of Herta von Stiege.  At the age of 50 Herta von Stiege, CEO and founder of the Ariya Capital Group, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a party of 28 individuals.  Seven of the 28 were individuals with disabilities from Enham.

Enham: Founded as a rehabilitation centre for ex-servicemen returning from the First World War, Enham has helped disabled people find new lives, homes and employment in unique and innovative ways for over 90 years. The link is below.

Herta von Stiege wrote of her experiences in The Mountain Within. Additional information about this remarkable woman is listed below.

Every man, woman and child on this planet traversing the cosmos faces challenges—mountains within and without.  At times what lies before us seems impossible to face and to conquer.

I remember when I was in Hawaii on business a number of years ago that one of my colleagues got the brilliant idea to climb Diamond Head very early one morning.  Leaving the hotel on the beach we boarded the bus and headed toward Diamond Head.

It was a trek up that dormant volcano and old military fortress.  However, when the top was reached, the view of the early morning and the Pacific Ocean was beyond comprehension.  The ocean winds reminded one of what it meant to be alive. To be honest I don’t remember the downward trek being much of a problem because I had reached the summit of a beautiful reality which remained with me on the way down the volcano.

The same was true years before in Phoenix when we decided to watch the sunrise from Piestewa Peak on a cool early August morning.  The trek was arduous, but the view was spectacular.  If one does not climb the mountain, the vistas of reality remain in shadows of the valley clouds.

Whatever mountain you face this day, remember it takes the first step to reach the summit.  I will close this post with the following statement.

“The thing that I realized on the way to the summit and on the climb down was that we tend to focus on the external challenges, but the reality is that we all have a mountain within us to climb and to conquer. It may be something in our career, like being a perfectionist or speaking in public. It may be fear of failure or of making decisions when those decisions affect the lives of other people”. Herta von Stiege


G. D. Williams       © 2012

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Herta von Stiegel

Herta von Stiegel climbs mountains literally and metaphorically. From childhood in communist Romania to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the journey encompasses a ground breaking career in law, the financial world and the creation of Ariya Capital, her own successful equity fund in London and Africa.

She did not have an easy start to her life. As a young 17 year old woman growing up in the repressive atmosphere of communist Romania she was made to demonstrate her leadership skills and courage by confronting the totalitarian system. She achieved the almost impossible by persuading the authorities to allow the family to emigrate to the United States, and to a new vision of possibilities.


Kilimanjaro: A Lost World

Tanzania National Parks