This blog space is a dynamic tool. As content builds, you can use the buttons below to search for blog topics you are interested in. Each Focus Area has a tag. The "Counterfear Tools (in blog)" can be found via that link or through the tags here. Shift the Country tools have moved to the 5 Ways To Make Shift Happen page on that new website.
All blog post entries are original unless noted. All blog post comments are moderated and delayed until approved.
Friday, October 30, 2020
I never wanted it to be like this. Not that anyone did, but I’ve been dreading it longer than many.
This week I heard yet another pundit say “no one could have ever imagined it could be this bad.” “This bad” meaning Trumpism, mass death, a democracy in trouble… all of that.
Yeah – that’s not... Read more
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Folks it's time to think deeper resilience.
Put your contingency plans in place. Write down the phone numbers you need. Have backup plans for meeting... Read more
Monday, May 25, 2020
Lots of helplessness, worry, frustration, anger, and rage on my feed today. I've got it too.
I'm going to say some uncomfortable stuff here as a disaster... Read more
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
Monday, April 6, 2020
Today I offer two pieces of advice in this time of increasing intensity. The first is to try and stay grounded. To not panic. The second is to... Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
I feel like the US is slowly catching up to what I've known for years.
I knew we were not ready for a catastrophe - especially more than one at a time.
I... Read more
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
Friday, January 3, 2020
We're at nothing short of an enormous moment. Tonight, the United States of America took out the second most senior official of Iran.
A lot of fear... Read more
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
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
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
Saturday, June 30, 2018
There are a few things I don’t talk about very much, and one of them is Continuity of Government (COG). It’s about actions and protocols that maintain the continuity of Constitutional US government. It’s not a light subject. It doesn’t come into the light in the public sphere very often.
I very recently watched an episode of the CBS TV show Madam Secretary called “Night Watch” (summary here) that aired May... Read more
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” – Representative John Lewis
Things are getting more intense, here in the U.S. of A. We’re in a near-constant ramping up of, well, a whole heck of a lot.
This weekend, a protest... Read more
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
Thursday, November 16, 2017
UPDATE: This post is duplicated as a Services page, "Holding the Line," and is a Counterfear Tool. Since it was originally posted, the US has been experiencing increasing chaos; especially in mid-2020. This area of work - holding the line - can help with the part of the mission of the... Read more
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
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
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The Basics of Fire Intelligence
I had a super sexy sounding job once as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops,” the busiest interagency emergency coordination center in the world. Our job as one of eleven geographic area coordination centers in the US was to coordinate regional... Read more
Monday, October 2, 2017
Holding space today for everyone in Las Vegas and those connected to the incident. Unfortunately, active shooters are part of our way of life now.
We can hold space for those affected, but we... Read more
Monday, August 28, 2017
Hurricane Harvey aka Tropical Storm Harvey is unfolding as the largest US catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina. Rain and flooding are expected to continue this week.
What can you do to help?... Read more
Saturday, August 26, 2017
There is no doubt that Hurricane Harvey is a natural disaster already underway. We don’t know yet if it will become a catastrophe – time will tell, as flooding persists over days. First, this post will note how to help in a... Read more
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
I live in central Iowa. Naturally, like much of America, I felt inclined to take a dive into total solar eclipse madness… after all, I was only 3.5 hrs’ drive to the north. Probably like more of America than Americans would admit, I made my travel plans at very nearly the last minute. That part worked out pretty well, because I ended up having what was really a pretty divine... Read more
Friday, August 11, 2017
I have never been to Guam, but I have twice been on teams whose job it is to look after it in some way. At South Ops in Riverside, CA, the South Pacific... Read more
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
How do we explain the moment that we're in? We've got a US president and some in his administration under investigation for collaborating with a hostile foreign state. A foreign state that 17 US intelligence agencies agree... Read more
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
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 trulyâ€Š—â€Šanything is possible.
Things may go just swimmingly. Hopefully that’s the case.... Read more
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
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
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
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
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
Friday, September 9, 2016
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
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
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
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
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
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
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