The Blog

“You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free. Your. Mind.” – Morpheus, in The Matrix movie

The Blog is an exploration of the counterfear work.  More here:  "About the Blog."

This blog is a dynamic tool.  As stories unfold and content builds, you can use the buttons below to search for blog topics you are interested in.  Each Focus Area has a tag.  All blog post entries are original unless noted.  Contact us to ask about posting as a guest.  All blog post comments are moderated and may be delayed until approved.

Counterfear tools are tagged.  Each can be found below via the tags noted here, or on its own page, "Counterfear Tools (in blog)".  The 15 Tools to Make Shift Happen are addressed separately.

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A Prayer for Election Day

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
And so it begins.  US Election Day 2016.  Years in the making. May we be wise in our choices, and peaceful in our response.  May we find acceptance.  May we... Read more

Everything You Want Is On The Other Side of Fear

Sunday, October 23, 2016
George Addair said, "Everythig you want is on the other side of fear."  I love that, because it is a tool. If we face our fear; if we counter it - we start a shift.  The action might just be finding the fear, and... Read more

Breakpoints & Resilience: Why Sidewalks Are Sexy

Saturday, October 22, 2016
"There's no doubt the ground will shift.  The question is: when it does, will you be ready?" - Seth Godin Nobody wants to talk about sidewalks.  Sidewalks are boring.  The opposite of sexy.  A... Read more

Staring Down Transformation

Thursday, October 20, 2016
"You can't transform something you won't look at." - Dixie St. John It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and a bit paralyzed.  We tend to resist change, even when risk is... Read more

Going the Full Phoenix

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
I learned a beautiful metaphor about transformation when I was in life coach training with Martha Beck.  It’s a bit about how a caterpillar doesn’t go into a cocoon and slowly transform... Read more

Countering Fear & 9/11: A Community Radio Conversation

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Click on the graphic below to hear KHOI's "Heart of Iowa" 9/15/16 Community Radio Show I’ve spent kind of a ridiculous amount of time this year thinking about 9/11.  The fact that I think that that is... Read more

Terrorism: Accepting the Unacceptable

Monday, September 19, 2016
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” - Og Mandino Just when I feel like it’s safe to take a time-out from the news for a day or so, we’ve got more terrorism. I won’t even try to summarize the latest developments… but the super-quick picture is that there were attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota this weekend.  The debate rages on about whether these were terrorist attacks.  At its... Read more

Anchor and Flank

Sunday, September 18, 2016
"Anchor and Flank" is at the core of the counterfear process (check out the Focus Area page "Anchor and Flank" for more).  It comes from fire.  In fact, it's a core principle of wildland firefighting,... Read more

Light From the Darkness: The Day After 15 Years After 9/11

Monday, September 12, 2016
"I remember exactly that moment when the whole world stopped & we saw each other standing there. Wondering how we ever forgot that we are all light wanting to shine for each other." - Brian Andreas, StoryPeople Yesterday I tried to write a blog post about 9/11.  Well, if I’m honest, I started trying to write it on Friday.  Didn’t work.  Didn’t... Read more

Tool: The Art of Triage

Friday, September 9, 2016
Addressing Chaos Years ago when I worked as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops," I set about finding some tools to help me organize and prioritize.  South Ops is the country’s busiest interagency operations coordination center, and is reputed to be the busiest such center center in the world.  It covers response coordination... Read more

Brexit, the EU, & the Market: Need a Time-Out?

Saturday, June 25, 2016
“Why don't we take a five minute break?” - Dark Helmet, Spaceballs Big news today, as the UK has voted to leave the EU. Worldwide markets reacted to the... Read more

Keep the Faith

Monday, June 20, 2016
Fire folks are known to be a little eccentric.  Well, wildland fire folks, anyway.  Come to think of it, just today I had a new friend say to me, “who voluntarily goes into a burning forest, anyway?”  To me, that sounds like a... Read more

Tool: Create the Space

Sunday, June 19, 2016
"First things first." Creating the space is one of my own personal go-to favourite coaching tools.  It’s pretty simple.  You have to create the space for what you want.  You may want peace.  Vision.  Rest.  Progress.  You can reach these - even for a moment - by creating some space for them.  If... Read more

Tool: Take a 5-Minute Break

Saturday, June 18, 2016
“Why don't we take a five minute break?” - Dark Helmet, Spaceballs I find much of my wisdom in silly movies.  This gem from the movie Spaceballs has been a counterfear lifesaver for me - over and over.  "Why don't we take a... Read more

Tool: Sphere of Control

Friday, June 17, 2016
"You don't surrender your dreams.  You surrender the one thing you never had and you never will: control." - Socrates, Peaceful Warrior Read more

Tool: Daily 5 & 5

Thursday, June 16, 2016
This here is a tool you can use daily.  It's fast.  And it's effective. Every day, take five minutes and write a list of: 5 things you are grateful for 5 things that you... Read more

Tool: Change Your Language, Shift Your Life

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Take a look at your language.  You are not what you were.  From this moment on, you can be something different. Language is powerful.  How we use it reflects how we think.  When you pay attention to your language, you can see what it reflects about how you think.  When you put the work in to change your language and your thinking - you can shift both. Talking about You To start with,... Read more

Tool: Embrace Your Humanity

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
This is a tool from Steve Maraboli, a favourite life coach of mine.  I met Steve in 2009, well before I considered becoming a life coach myself.  Steve planted a seed, though. I listened to hours of Steve’s online radio... Read more

Tool: Hear Your Fear

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
With all this talk about countering fear, it is important to recognize fear itself. We have fear for a reason.  Sometimes it’s a life-saver.  When I see a crazy driver veering around on the road or cutting in and out of traffic -... Read more

Tool: Go for a Walk

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
“The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.” - Socrates, in the movie Peaceful Warrior Going for a walk is absolutely one of my favourite life tools.  Walking is good for the soul.  Humans have been... Read more

Tool: Take Out the Trash

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
"Take out the trash.  The trash is anything that's keeping you from the only thing that matters, this moment.  Here.  Now.  And when you truly are in the here and now, you'll be amazed at what you can do, and how well you can do it." - Socrates, in the movie... Read more

Tool: Vision & Passion

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
“This is your world.  Shape it, or someone else will.” - Gary Lew Randomly sit one day and write a life vision.  Don’t stew over it, or make it in to something bigger than it is…... Read more

On Orlando: Love Makes Us Strong

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Pulse Nightclub Attack - June 12, 2016 - Orlando, Florida Tonight I finally figured out what I wanted to say about the attack this week at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  I outlined a... Read more

On Newsletters

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
So I will admit this:  I was a bit of a policy wonk during my quality time in Washington, DC.  I only mention this because one of the things you do when policy wonking is... Read more

May Day & Mayday!

Sunday, May 1, 2016
It’s May Day here in the US.  For me, it’s a day loaded with meaning.  All kinds of meaning. When I was a kid, May Day was the symbolic “real” beginning of spring.  The grass was green.  The winter was almost certainly over.  And every year, we went to some effort to make May baskets.  My mother led the operation, which involved assembling collections of popcorn... Read more

Random Tools to Counter Unclear Fear

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
One benefit to growing the Counterfear idea is that I’ve got notes on about a hundred counterfear tools in my arsenal - and that is a real number.  I’m in the process of getting as many of those as possible on the website in the near future.  In the meantime, this post is a bit of a Toolbox sampling... as I tried to process some unexplained fear one night. Practical Fear It would be nice to think that if... Read more

For the Universe-Denters, the Leapers, and the Dreamers: What To Do With The Voices In Your Head

Friday, April 22, 2016
“What do stars do?” - Yvaine, in the movie Stardust I’ve been in hermit-mode lately.  I suspect that the people who dream big and make stuff happen all maybe do the hermit thing every once in a while.  For me, it’s the best way to get a lot done.  If... Read more

2015: The Great Personal Leg Break

Thursday, April 21, 2016
The title here sounds dramatic and perhaps a bit grandiose.  I reckon that's because this here is one hell of a personal disaster tale.  And, I’m still trying to walk correctly. Here’s the super-short story, from last February.  On a Thursday, my brother and my dad flew in to help me gut and start the remodel of the only bathroom in my... Read more

About the Founder

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
“Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did… there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” – Morpheus, The Matrix   Hello!  I am Vanessa Burnett, the founder of Counterfear.com. Here are some basics - my experience / bios, a public LinkedIn Profile, a bit... Read more

Stealth-Help

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Lately I’ve been busy writing an abbreviated history of my life and times for The Blog and the website.  One of the dangers and benefits of all the writing is that it inspires other... Read more

Random Life Tidbits

Monday, April 11, 2016
Hello!  This blog is just a few random pieces and parts about my life.  Much of my writing leads to Read more

The Link Between Fear & Resilience

Monday, March 28, 2016
This post is part of the "Counterfear Tools" blog series. Does Fear Tie to a Lack of Resilience? I’ve thought for years about resilience, and how to explain it.  Explaining resilience can feel overwhelming, because it can be so complex.  But, that is because life is complex.  When you boil it down a bit, resilience gets simpler.  We may well have more fear in areas where we suspect... Read more

Why

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
"Light up the darkness." - Bob Marley   [NOTE:  This piece has become one of the anchor pieces in the story of getting ready for the great disruption that began in 2020 with the pandemic.  More pieces to the back stories are here, including a sort of update to this post here on Why called The Great Transformation.]   Most Counterfear.com blog posts are conversational and fun and not so technical. This one is technical, serious, and sobering. It is a memorial.  It is a foundation.  It is also an explanation.  A clearing.  And a space to dream. This blog... Read more

Children of the Cornfield: Hilarity & Inspiration at a Middle School Musical

Saturday, February 27, 2016
I moved back to Iowa recently, for a different life.  I had spent four years in the LA Basin (with 18.5 million people), and another eleven-plus in the Washington, DC area (9.5 million)… so that’s over 15 years in the country’s 2nd and 4th largest metropolitan areas.  OOF.  I add an extra “uff-da!” to that when I think about how I set out to be a park ranger, to live in the trees.  Who would have thought the world of wildland firefighting would lead to the damn... Read more

About the Blog

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” The Counterfear Blog is a piece of the heart and soul of this website, and of the counterfear idea.  I do not promise brevity.  I am... Read more

A Floor Wax and a Dessert Topping: New 'Counterfear'

Monday, February 8, 2016
“Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did… there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” - Morpheus, in The Matrix movie One of the things about a website is... Read more

I Took the Red Pill: Why I Am On The Counterfear Path

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
“This is your last chance.  After this, there is no turning back.  You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red... Read more

Launching an Idea: What is Counterfear?

Friday, January 22, 2016
Welcome to Counterfear!  This right here represents my first blog post, and something I didn't expect.  That is because the word "blog" annoys the daylights out of me.  It is an ugly word, although the idea behind it is good.  I purposefully avoided using the word for several years, hoping maybe it wouldn't stick around.  Hoping... Read more