Weekly Word #2 ~ February, 2007
“What would you do if you were stuck in
one place and everything was exactly the same and nothing that you
did mattered?" Phil (Bill Murray) asks his inebriated companions
at the bowling alley, in the great metaphysical movie, Groundhog
Day. One of the local Punxsutawney fellows replies: “That
about sums it up for me.”
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever wondered
if your life was stuck on “repeat,” and going around
and around in the same place, day after year? It’s easy for
this to happen to us, following the rules we learned during our
childhood domestication—being nice, not making waves, holding
on to the safe job-- and safe relationship, safe wardrobe, safe
identity, and safe religion.
As Phil and his companions drive off from the
bar, he realizes that if he has “no tomorrow,” he can
do anything he wants. He can be in the moment and quit following
all the rules. It is one of many profound teachings in a gentle
comedy about a man stuck in a repeating day. Of course, he begins
pushing the edge more than most of us might be comfortable with
. . .but then, comfort is one of those “safe” things
that many of us try to hold on to.
The turning point in Phil’s agony, trapped
in his repeating Groundhog Day, comes when he is telling his producer,
“Rita” (Andie McDowell) about his dilemma. She says
something like, “It depends on how you look at it.”
(As in the Toltec wisdom about "Dreaming").
Phil goes through several changes about his situation,
beginning with being a victim of it, to becoming a master of his
situation—and using it in an attempt to seduce Rita and others.
Rita represents a very strong personal integrity in the film, and
he cannot use his tricks to win her—he cannot achieve her
level of integrity and realness without a purposeful inventory of
his own mind.
When he realizes who she is, he finally begins
to model his life in his repeating day after her, and lives his
life in genuine service to others. We can watch his feelings about
himself change as he responds to the needs of others in service
and appreciation. He becomes a true master of his own personal world.
With Phil’s integrity now matching Rita’s,
his heart is freed to truly love, and the spell is broken. His heart
is open, she responds, and all is well.
Is your life repeating itself? Are you following
rules that trap you in a repetitive cycle of days without a chance
to be yourself and shine in your integrity? What if there was no
tomorrow? (There isn’t, you know, there's only today). What
will you do with your life today? What risks will you take, what
will you give? How will you love?
What a great lesson for us all! Let’s wake
up from our Groundhog Days, and LIVE!! Let's open our hearts and
heal those fears and wounds that hold us back from our true nature
as generous lovers of Life!
I hope that my teaching and Joydancer.com can
offer guidance to that awakening.
Thanks for being here.
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