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, June 12, 2020
Way back at the beginning of all of this before this Administration even came into office, I hoped that the US intelligence and national security... Read more
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
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Some Big Picture Parts
Hey! It's another super long post! This one puts some of the pieces together in one place that we're not all talking about as a big... 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, 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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The federal coronavirus response, being touted by the media as something that will be lovely and helpful, is ramping up way later than it should have.
One... 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
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Today's word is "devolution."
Yesterday I talked about two fairly dark subjects... pandemic planning, and continuity of government / continuity of operations... Read more
Monday, March 9, 2020
The darkest areas I've ever worked in in disaster management are continuity planning, and pandemic planning. The worst-case scenarios are usually too much... Read more
Friday, February 28, 2020
Play time is over.
If you don't think the pandemic threat of coronavirus is worth taking seriously, then you're not paying attention to the ENTIRE FREAKING... 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, August 2, 2019
Hi all! I started this as a little life update, but it turns out it's more of a clarion call.I feel like I'm on the eve of something big. We're in a time of... Read more
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Late night commiserating, here.
I am super frustrated lately with a) judgment and b) unnecessary meanness. Oh, and c) dismissiveness.
These... Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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, 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
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, 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, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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