The foreboding themes of the year 2012 and the potential end of the world seem to be in the minds of many.
The apocalyptic film 2012 was released as a big blockbuster back in November. The History Channel frequently airs programs with ominous titles such as Armageddon and Life After People. Costco recently featured a one-year supply of dehydrated and freeze-dried food on their site. And the Internet is abuzz with headlines like "The World Will End in 2012, Say Experts" (www.merinews.com). Read closely, and you'll see no actual experts quoted in that story.
All of this hype creates an unfortunate byproduct—fear.
NASA's "Ask an Astrobiologist" site (astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist) has received more than 2,500 questions about 2012 and related topics. Senior scientist David Morrison was quoted in a November National Geographic report as saying, "A lot of (the submitters) are people who are genuinely frightened. ... I've had two teenagers who were considering killing themselves, because they didn't want to be around when the world ends. Two women in the last two weeks said they were contemplating killing their children and themselves so they wouldn't have to suffer through the end of the world."
There are others, however, who are replacing fear with preparedness and calmness.
Tucsonan Lynn Gardner, a professional speaker, addressed a full house at Unity of Tucson last month on "See What's Coming: Be Prepared for the Joy in 2012 and Beyond." With reassurance and humor, Gardner explained that the world is not going to come to an end in 2012.
Gardner said that a near-death and "cross-over" experience as her son was dying opened up her intuitive abilities. She has also appeared on local and national radio and television programs. (Visit www.lynngardner.com for more information.)
Gardner started her lecture by saying that the Mayan calendar doesn't end in 2012, and that it's only a cycle of the calendar that's ending. "I was with Mayans a year ago, and they can't understand why we see it as the end of the world. They don't. This is what they call the cycle of purification.
"During the cycle of purification, we can look around and see the increase of things happening—volcanoes, earthquakes. ... The Earth has done this before, and it's doing it again," she said.
Gardner said that during volcano eruptions, "the Earth is belching. ... It's wonderful information that the Earth continues." With a smile and casual shrug, she added, "The Earth is doing its shifting and changing."
In light of these changes, Gardner discussed being prepared for whatever the future may bring. "Preparation really is very simple. Having extra water, candles, matches (and food). ... That's how easy it is to prepare. Not out of fear, but out of the reasoning that when things begin to shift, you are prepared to stay calm and are not rushing around in other people's panic."
Still, Gardner believes the most important preparation is of the mind. "This is not a time to go into fear. Fear is the greatest enemy anyone can have in their lifetime. ... If your mind is unsettled, find (a way) to make quiet your friend. If you work with the quietness, you might be able to hear and feel the serenity, closeness and love of the best companion in the world—the Divine."
Gardner also suggested a practical way to improve intuition. "Get a simple notebook, and ask yourself yes/no questions each day. Write down what you get. Soon, you will ask more and have an amazing documentation of accuracy."
Besides Earth changes, Garner spoke about living in a new way. "We're going to learn to live in this world as we once did—heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soul. ... We will have a vibrational change and be awakened to what the inner self knows."
Awakening to the facts about the Mayan calendar, earth history and planetary alignment—and no major events are scheduled in 2012, according to NASA's Morrison—can help alleviate the fear perpetuated in movies, television and the Internet. "If you linger in fear, there's no flow; there's no flexibility. (You can't be) stuck in the mindset that says things have to be one way," said Gardner.
There are different ways to look at 2012. Ultimately, the choice is up to each of us. We can fear 2012, or embrace 2012 as a time of endless possibilities.