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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We Have To Take Care Of Each Other

Thursday, June 11, 2020
There is a lot of tragedy around. That is an understatement It's going to hit all of us at different times and in different ways. From all the things.... Read more

Fighting For Each Other

Monday, June 1, 2020
We're in a hell of a moment. If you are hoping that it is going to calm down, I'm here to tell you that it won't. We just had a series of super spreader... Read more

Yet Another Trump - Putin Call In A Sea Of Outrageousness

Monday, June 1, 2020
Here's a random data point for all the trippy stuff happening today out of the White House and in DC: Trump and Putin talked today. Heaven knows what... Read more

The Great Transformation

Sunday, May 3, 2020
In a 2012 keynote speech at the Smithsonian, I heard a renowned system scientist say: "The challenge of our lifetimes will be to manage the decline of civilization."  It felt like every single person in that auditorium stopped breathing. Like time paused; if only for a moment. I've never been in... Read more

There Is No National Coordination System - There Are 12

Tuesday, March 31, 2020
There Is No Single National Coordination System For Disaster Response NO, there is no single US system to help everyone in every state and in every hospital get the critical... Read more

3 Huge Federal Things Not Fully Activating

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Three Huge Things The US Government Is Deliberately Not Fully Activating That Could Help Keep You Alive: 1 -- The Defense Production Act. 2 -- The... Read more

We're Going To Need Dreams As We Go Through This

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Disasters can be dream-killers. We don't really talk about them that way. Yet they wipe out people and neighborhoods and livelihoods. There's another... Read more

Machinery Behind The Scenes Of Big COVID-19 Announcements

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Big Infrastructure Action NCAA cancelled in-person attendance at the March Madness tournament today. This post is a super quick look at how some post-9/11... Read more

Haunting National Security Post

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Hello! It's the middle of the night, and apparently this is the time in which I decide to write haunting posts about homeland security. Tonight's post is... Read more

It Almost Certainly Is Going To Be A Pandemic

Monday, February 3, 2020
Two enormous factors converging. You never know what will cause the perfect storm. We can see the risk landscape intensifying though: *** The constitutional... Read more

Stopping The Sellout

Thursday, January 23, 2020
(UNCENSORED) I'm feeling some overwhelm and I imagine I'm not the only one. So what do we do in this moment? Some have given up. Looks like many in the... Read more

Shift In The World Order

Sunday, January 12, 2020
In June of 2001 I went on a date. We ended up in a very detailed discussion -- or rather, an argument -- about how the US could experience a very serious... Read more

Unexpected Lessons From The Life Coach Who Ran For President

Friday, January 10, 2020
So this happened today. It is part of my mission this year to support the Democratic nominee for president. As such, I've been keeping my opinions on each... Read more

Forms, Fractures, & The Transformation Of Tyranny

Friday, August 23, 2019
It's easy to get overwhelmed and overtaken by the slow tsunami. The forms we are used to are hypnotic and reassuring, but that doesn't change the... Read more

The Dimished Fight Against Domestic Terrorists

Saturday, August 3, 2019
As a reminder, one of the first things the Trump Administration did in the early months was to attempt to or to successfully shut down the office for... Read more

Found My Resonance: It's Shifting The Country

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
The Spectre When it comes to dealing with the current state of the country, I feel like I had a bit of a head start.  I moved to Iowa from Washington, DC in the fall of 2015… just as the races were really heating up for the Iowa Caucus set for February of 2016.  So much for leaving the politics of Washington. As I started to settle into my new life in the midwest, the spectre of Donald Trump was becoming more ominous.  He seemed to be everywhere.  His intention to be a disruptor was crystal clear. I had a talk about Mr. Trump on a phone call with a friend of mine around that time.  It was November of 2015, and I can tell you right... Read more

Our Weakening Homeland Security

Saturday, June 22, 2019
This piece was inspired by this New York Times story, "ICE Is Expected to Begin Operation on Sunday Targeting 2,000 Immigrant Family Members".  Related story... Read more

Attempted Bombings

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I wish I could say I was surprised about the attempted bombings and/or suspicious packages today that were sent to political figures in the US. It sounds brazen to say I was not surprised.  It might sound callous.  It’s... Read more

Knowledge IS Power: Why We Need the Scientific Method

Monday, October 22, 2018
I just went on a five minute rant to a local Facebook friend about the scientific method. Y'all, I've taken three classes in philosophy of science and... Read more

A More Open World: Navigating Social Media Overwhelm

Saturday, October 20, 2018
Overwhelmed by social media? The thing is, people were ugly before. What's changed is that now we are seeing it. We are in a more open world. We can see... Read more

Embracing the Space Social Media Brings

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
I like the space on social media because we can see how much other people really very deeply care about this country. What I see here is some very thoughtful... Read more

Fight Conspiracy Theories: The Presidential Alert

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Hey!  Are you concerned by the “presidential alert” today?  Here’s your opportunity to fight rumor-mongering and conspiracy theories… The president does not have your phone number!  The... Read more

Stop Waiting For Something Bad To Happen: It Has (And There Are Things You Can Do About It)

Saturday, August 4, 2018
If you are under the impression that the United States government can do nothing to fight Russian cyber actions and attacks, to help states with election security, to help with detection of cyber threats to states or companies or federal systems, or to take offensive cyber... Read more

Holding the Line: DNI Coats On The Record In Aspen

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Here’s my quick high-level reaction to DNI Coats’ lengthy live interview on NBC today.  Fascinating that the Aspen Security Forum is the same week that the US president kowtows to an enemy of the US known to have attacked us, and speaks AGAIN against the US... Read more

Alloys Forged in the Fires of Fracture

Thursday, July 19, 2018
The fractures on the “social pages” these days are, perhaps unusually, reflective of the fractures spreading elsewhere – between friends and families, and within communities. As an... Read more

Why I Stopped Salsa Dancing (or, Russia Doesn't Play)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
I’d bet that lots who have worked in national security keep quiet about certain things – even in light of any given news, reveals, or leaks.  Many have also been speaking out through various media.  Twitter is a hotbed of national security discussion.  Among other things. Here’s my national security... Read more

When "Burning It All Down" Has Begun

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The thing is, when people take action meant to burn it all down, there's a chance it will actually all burn down. Once a disastrous fire is burning, you don't know where it will... Read more

America The More Vulnerable (Why I March)

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Big day for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Nationwide protests of its activities. Federal Protective Service, or FPS, which is in NPPD... Read more

DHS ICE HSI Agents Send Protest Letter To Secretary

Friday, June 29, 2018
I get very serious when it comes to what homeland security is supposed to be about.  We can push exactly that as a critical message at this time. It's directly related... Read more

Actions For You & Yours In An Active Shooter Incident

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Active shooter again today.  This time it's at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School (#StonemanShooting) in #ParklandFlorida. Every time there is an active shooter incident, it is a chance to think and talk about how you would react.  It is a chance for... Read more

Doing The Same Thing Over & Over Doesn't Cause Change

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Y'all, @600 people were shot at one single incident in the past year in Las Vegas. There are active shooter incidents every few days in the US. Orlando in... Read more

So You Want To Help Counter Election Interference

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The Risk & The Election This week, the US Intelligence Community (IC) said in public that the country’s next election is threatened by Russia. They said this already about the last election. The... Read more

Holding The Line: Law & Order

Thursday, January 25, 2018
The Institution Is Essential Institutions matter. They are the anchors to society, the social contract, and government itself. When it is your... Read more

The Mueller-Oprah Phenomenon, & Another Way

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Holding Out for a Hero No one person is going to save the day – or the country.  It's not Special Counsel Mueller.  Despite all of the twitterpation since Sunday’s Golden Globes that Oprah... Read more

It's Time To Talk About National Security

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
My advice today:  it is time to talk about National Security. This is the dialogue.  This isn't about politics.  This isn't about anything else now but a threat to the security of... Read more

Not Panicking... When You're the Fire Department

Thursday, October 12, 2017
There is a scene in the movie Roxanne, where the fire chief walks into his small-town Colorado fire department on a summer evening, and a 50-gallon drum is on fire in the station.  He hollers up to the volunteers, who... Read more

My List: As Long As Any Woman's List

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
"Pissed off women move mountains." - Me (Vanessa Burnett) I see that a whole lot of my women Facebook friends are sharing their stories of icky man interactions.  Assault.  Rape. ... Read more

We Need to be Careful on Wildfire & Climate Ties

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
We need to be careful about citing every intense wildfire as tied to climate change. California has a natural fire ecology, frequently severe fires, high fire... Read more

Humanity in Vegas

Monday, October 2, 2017
This quote is from a witness in the Las Vegas mass shooting.  His name is Anthony, filmed with his girlfriend Dillon. He was interviewed by Jo Ling Kent, NBC News Correspondent at 8:05 p.m.... Read more

Disaster Emotion: On Heartbreak & Resilience

Thursday, September 7, 2017
This piece is long, and I’m okay with that.  Sadness and hard truths aren’t always short stories. We are at a unique time in America, when hundreds of thousands are being affected by disaster of some type.  There are incredible wildfires across the western US, Texas and Louisiana are in response and recovery from Hurricane Harvey and its incredible related flooding, and Hurricane Irma is... Read more

Ill Will & Name-Calling

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Today I’m fired up.  I get in a state when there are impending catastrophes, especially given the fact that we’ve already got one or two well underway. Years ago, I committed to living my life well within my own integrity.  For me, this means loving people, giving folks a chance, and embracing... Read more

Charlottesville: What Would Your City Do?

Saturday, August 12, 2017
A white supremacist rally was declared unlawful after turning violent today in Charlottesville, VA, and an emergency declaration was issued by the... Read more

Close to Home: Lawmakers Targeted in Alexandria Shooting

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
"Our strength is our resilience, and it's usually times like these that bring us together and we're always better afterwards. So pray for the continued... Read more

This IS the Disaster

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Some on social media today seem surprised or extra disheartened by the behavior of Senators in the Attorney General Sessions hearing regarding the Russia... Read more

Floored by the Shock About Paris Climate Accord

Friday, June 2, 2017
Well I'm going to have to swear. I have to admit to being flat-out stunned that so many people are stunned about the POTUS pulling the US out of the... Read more

What "I'm Done" Means

Thursday, May 11, 2017
Yesterday I heard myself say the words "I'm done," in reference to something I have loved for years. A part of my work. I spent the rest of the evening... Read more

Sea Change: Let's Call the Budget Proposal What It Is

Friday, March 17, 2017
"Brace for impact." - 'Sully' Sullenberger Perusing the news or your Facebook feed can be perilous these days - especially if you are a news addict with a... Read more

Have a Resilient Inauguration Week Trip to DC

Monday, January 16, 2017
So you’re going to Washington! Whether you are traveling to the nation’s capital for a party, a protest, or just to be present, one thing is for sure: you will need to be resilient. Anything can happen in a city on a normal day, but let’s admit it: this week, Washington, DC will be a special case. Really and truly — anything is possible. Things may go just swimmingly. Hopefully that’s the case.... 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

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

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

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

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: 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

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

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

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