"Light Up The Darkness"


The quote above is from Bob Marley - "Light up the darkness."  It's right for this moment.  The US is in a time of unprecedented risk and crisis

This idea to counter fear came out of years of my own work in homeland security dealing with terrorism after 9/11.  It came out of a desire to focus on something other than fear and the people who bring it. I don't want a future dominated by the threat of terrorism, and I know most other people don't, either.  The terrorism persists, but it's evolved.  Now the greatest threat is from far-right domestic violent extremists. 

Still the question remains... how do we create a future where fear isn't the driver? 

That's what this site was set up for.  We're in a great disruption just in the US... but also in the world.  War, climate change, and supply chain shifts are likely to intensify as pressures increase.  Our lives, the people we love, the places we live, what our lives look like - everything is impacted.  Most everything is changing, or could change soon.

Are we going to drive it?  We could damn well try.

To that end, some of this work has spun off into a nonprofit called Shift the Country... set up to create a movement that can help Americans chart a different future.

A Spin-Off Nonprofit:  Shift the Country

"Because the world... depends on it." - Ghost Vitruvius, in The LEGO Movie

A new nonprofit launched recently originally through Counterfear.com to help us through that disruption.  It's called Shift the Country. Info on this new organization moved to the new Shift the Country website in mid-2022.  We're fundraising too to ramp this shift up.  Donations can be made through the new website, and through Patreon

The Shift the Country information here at Counterfear.com has become the legacy nonprofit info. We'll leave it here for now, and keep the focus on this website on countering fear and the original philosophy, coaching, and services.

The Shift the Country mission is to help people help get people involved with helping each other through several crises happening at once, to hold civil society together in this country, and to make needed transformation along the way.  The 5-part approach is a strategy for doing that.  Plus we can take care of each other even as we drive transformational change.

The Counterfear.com work here and on Facebook has always been about fairly and honestly seeing the risk landscape, and then taking action to mitigate or deal with that risk where that's possible - especially focusing on resilience.  People's eyes tend to glaze over when you talk like that.  Risk can sound daunting and unimaginable.

Yet here we are in the greatest set of risks this country has seen in a century - if not in its history.  It's definitely unimaginable.  We are also in the greatest collective trauma (legacy 2020 info) in at least a century.  Things that can help us counter fear can also help us act in trauma.

There are ways to get through chaos, disruption, disaster, trauma, simultaneous crises, system interruptions, and cascading effects without having everything fall apart.  Without devolution.  Without collapse.

We can find them. The Shift the Country 5-part approach is built exactly for that, and for the urgency and risk of emerging tyranny and increasing oligarchy.

We Can Find Ways Through: Principles for Doing That

"I don't care what you believe, just believe it!" - Shepherd Book, in Serenity

We get through this massive disruption with the principles we've always followed on this site for navigating disruption; updated slightly for the moment.  The 4 legacy principles from 2020 are:  connection, community, resilience, and problem-solving.

We can help people help each other through several crises happening at once, get voters engaged, hold civil society together in this country while we get through, and make structural transformation along the way.  (Again, that's the Shift the Country mission).

We use those four principles to find ways through.  To light it up.  To shift the country.  They come from years of experience in disaster work, and knowing that we'd need them "when the big one hits."  The big hypothetical catastrophe - whatever it would be.  Now we're living it, and it isn't just one thing.

This Site Was Built For This Moment

"Luck favors the prepared." - Edna Mode, or "E," from The Incredibles

The world was never going to get simpler.  Wicked problems abound.  We have a growing world population living in high-hazard zones, on a finite planet. We have a worldwide community not taking enough significant action to mitigate the impacts of climate change.  With the coronavirus pandemic and the likely shift away from the US' status as a superpower, we will also likely have a massive shift in the world order.  That could be messy.

As the coming months unfold, there's going to be more disruption - not less.  That's not written here to scare the daylights out of you.  That's written to be honest; to help us all get ready.

Getting through overwhelming crisis, chaos, and catastrophe is no small feat.  This site right here and everything on it is designed entirely to help, because this disruption was not unexpected.  The specifics are a little mind-boggling, though.

The US was not going to be ready for multiple catastrophes or a pandemic. Understanding that back in 2011 led to the work here.  This post on Why this space was created has more, plus there's a collection of back stories that inform this work.  Now that this great disruption has started, there is a possibility that it can be a great transformation.

The Shift the Country nonprofit, mission, and five-part strategy was created to help us get through this disruption, to survive it, and to turn it into a great a great transformation.

The Shift the Country initiative, the 5 major ways to to make shift happen, the 25 focus areas for navigating disruption, the counterfear toolbox, the counterfear blog post tools, the services we offer, and the original blog are all built to help with the chaos and crises in front of us.  There's also a new blog platform: the Shift the Country Substack.

We can start anywhere.  If you need a nudge in a direction, not panicking is as good place to start as any.  Or, have a look at the 5 Ways To Make Shift Happen  There's no right way.  We all have to find our own lane.


"Have faith, but tie up your camel." - Arab Proverb

We can believe that we will get through, too.  To keep the faith - in whatever it is that we have faith in.  At the very least, faith in humanity will be absolutely essential. 

There are ways through.  We can find them.  This site is anchored in that belief.

We need the belief.  We need the practical, too.  The best approach to counter fear - especially in a time of such massively increasing chaos - will be a mix of both.  Belief + works. 

We can make good happen.  We can find ways to survive.  We can find ways to thrive.  It can be done.  When we're looking honestly at the challenges before us, we'll be better ready to take them on.  We'll be even better if we're connected to good people.  If we've got community.  When we're inclusive.  When we're resilient.  And when we're solving problems - with all of that.

Every one of us can contribute in our own way.  Always.  Anytime.  Every little thing we do in the world that does good reverberates.  We cause a shift; with even the tiniest of actions. 

When we put all of that together, we get synergy.  The tiniest of actions - and the combination of very many actions - lead to bigger action.  To big shift happening.  That's what we're here to foment:  getting through, and spiraling up.  Creating a phenomenon.  Believing that we can.

We will make some big shift happen

We intend to Shift This Country.

We will.

We already are.