I have been thinking about this question a lot lately. Who are your teachers who taught you addition and subtraction facts in 1st grade or how to write a term paper on Shakespeare’s works? Who are the people who influenced the way you show up in the world with love and laughter like perhaps your parents or siblings? And who are your teachers that sometimes may not always feel like teachers because they are forcing you to feel different emotions like fear or anger or look at yourself in the mirror and evaluate how you handled a situation; positive or negative?

I had the great fortune to meet one of my teachers last week, Philip Henderson. Philip’s daughter and my daughter went to camp together this past summer in Maine and when I heard who Philip was and what he is doing for the world, I knew he was someone I could learn from.

Philip has worked in the outdoor industry for almost three decades. In the spring of 2022, Philip is leading a group of climbers who will make history as the first all-Black team to attempt to summit Everest. His passion for outdoor recreation has provided him with the opportunity to be on major expeditions to Everest, Kilimanjaro, and Mt. Kenya. In 2012, he was a team leader of the North Face/National Geographic Everest Education Expedition and became one of the very few African Americans to summit Denali and is the recipient of the Outdoor Afro 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. Philip deeply believes we can make a change in the arenas of climate change, environmental racism, and the health of our public lands.

I am guessing you can see why I wanted to talk and learn from Philip Henderson.

Philip’s incredibly inspiring life as a black man in the very white outdoor industry taught me three unforgettable lessons that I would love to share with you.

  1. He taught me no matter what hardships you go through as a human being, which he has gone through many, to spend time in nature to feel alive. It can be anything from planting a flower in a pot to kayaking in Africa.
  2. He reminded me to not let the color of my skin, the ability of my body, or the hardships of my soul to stop me from following my passions. Be that be summiting Everest as one of only eight black men in history, to traveling to lands like Kenya or Tanzania where part of your soul feels right at home.
  3. He inspired me to stop and be present in everything I am doing because in one day, an hour, or a second, life can change.  You could lose the person you are talking to; your health could change in a nanosecond, and you could miss the preciousness of your children’s smile because you are lost in thought regretting something that happened yesterday or worried about what is happening tomorrow.

 This week maybe spend some time thinking about who your teachers are and what have they taught you. Philip Henderson will forever be one of my teachers and hopefully one of yours as well. To support his exhibition up Everest you can donate and learn more here.

To learn more about Philip and his incredible life story stay tuned to my upcoming podcast Cracking Open with Molly Carroll coming very soon!

Work With Me: Free Coaching Session

Date: Friday, October 15th, 2021
Time: 8-9:00 am PT

Click here to reserve your spot for this live workshop session.

Want to learn more about the upcoming Cracking Open Coaching Group in February 2022Click here to book a call with me.

Learning: Henry Shukman — Zen, Tools for Awakening, Ayahuasca vs. Meditation, Intro to Koans, and Using Wounds as the Doorway

Feeling: Violin Boat

Joy: Phil Henderson, Expedition Leader