I just watched a series of programs on the history channel about the potential apocalypse and prophecies that may be leading us to tremendous global change in 2012. Whether you are following the Mayan calendar, the writings of Nostradamus, the bible, your favorite psychic channel, watching the effects of global warming, or your own intuitive hunches, you could find yourself wondering what the heck to expect in the next four years.

Apocalypse, comes from the Greek word apokalyptein, meaning to uncover. (Merriam-Webster). Though the concept of apocalypse has been used to imply more sinister, disastrous implications, like the battle of Armageddon—the ultimate battle between good and evil, the meaning of the word itself—to uncover or to unveil—sounds more like a promise of discovery to me. Whether we make our discoveries through trauma or joy, through our personal and societal relationships with good and evil, or through planetary changes that force us to live in greater balance, I expect the next four years will be full of opportunities to discover more of our true nature as humans of Divine origin.

If you are a highly sensitive or empathic person, you may be particularly vulnerable to the emotional and physical tides of change taking place. In order to stay clear and stable, you are probably going to need some kind of spiritual practice to help you maintain your equilibrium—to stay in the calm eye of the storm, rather than being tossed around by the tumult of the storm. I’m not necessarily talking about going to church, though you may find a church service or ceremony helpful to you. I’m talking about the kind of daily, personal practice that helps you become clear-minded, heart-centered, and on-purpose.

You may be drawn to the martial arts and the practice of kata. You may have a regular meditation practice that helps you maintain balance. You may discover that a daily spiritual ritual, chanting, or form of running energy works for you. Whatever it is, you may find yourself feeling called now more than ever to establish or go deeper into your practice.

Another way in which you can help yourself find and maintain balance is through your relationship with the elements—you know—earth, water, wind and fire. With all of the changes our Mother Earth is going through right now, she and those of us who live upon her all benefit as each of us develops stronger relationships with the elements. Someone with a strong relationship with the water can actually invite the rain to come or to leave, and expect a response from nature. Someone with a deep relationship with fire can invite the sun to dry the earth and expect nature to acknowledge the invitation. When you live in harmony with the animals, they know you are safe and they will come to bless your space, and help you maintain balance with the Mother. Even the plants can respond to your invitations. Not so sure about this? Here is an example from my own life.

Some years ago, I was living with my partner in a small trailer on his mother’s property. We loved our little home and the nature that surrounded it. My partner and I were very sensitive to nature and had offered our blessings to the beings who shared our home with us. Our blessings included a sweet tree that we parked our trailer under, providing shade in the summer and protection from the snow and wind in the winter. We had also set clear intention with the spirits of the land that we would be protected from harm.

One particularly challenging winter, we had an ice storm. Power lines were breaking and falling to the ground and the tops of trees were snapping off. We had good reason to be frightened with only a thin metal shell to protect us, but we weren’t. We were safe and we knew it. One morning we got up and saw the sweet tree that shaded us had split badly. It had four major branches, each one facing a different direction. All of them had snapped and fallen to the ground, except the one over our little roof. Just in case we should ever doubt the power of relationship with nature, the tree towering over my truck snapped at the peak and several feet of its top came crashing to the ground, missing the back of my truck by inches. Were those the results of our protection intention only? Maybe. But I don’t think so.

At our quarterly meditations, I have witnessed deer running down the slope, stopping within feet of where we were meditating outside, wide-eyed with looks of wonder, as if to ask, “What motivated me to be here next to all these humans?” At SpiritQuest, I have seen animals come into the sacred space fanning their feathers, breathing on a quester, or walking the perimeter of the sacred circle and other forms of blessings and acknowledgments that we don’t experience in day-to-day reality. I have witnessed snow fall in only four medicine corners and no where else. Though these may seem beyond normal, perhaps they should or could be regular occurrences.

Just as in Tantra, when you as a lover adore and express love for your partner, an opening is created for the partner to express love and adoration for you. There can be many flavors of expression, yet the flow of mutually exchanging energy, when invited, becomes a natural response.

One of the reasons the Foundation has fire meditations, water ceremonies, and SpiritQuest is to provide you with opportunities to deepen your relationship with the Divine within you and a natural exchange of energy with nature. As you fall in love with the Divine expressions of nature, you fall in love with aspects of yourself. Then a dance ensues, and yes, as we witness every year at SpiritQuest, such interactions between nature and humans do occur. Nature does help to nurture, protect, and provide in return for our care of her.

Regardless of what happens in 2012, I do know that the earth herself is calling us to love her more. We have an opportunity to step into true apocalypse—to unveil ourselves as we use our sensitivities to become clear-minded lovers of the Divine, ourselves, earth, and the precious gift of life itself.

For an inspiring prayer for 2012, visit: http://newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php/topic,627.0.html