For anyone who’s seen the 1993 movie, GROUNDHOG DAY, you will remember that Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is stuck repeating the same miserable day over and over and over. Phil is a self-centered weatherman from Pittsburgh who dreads going to the small Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney every year on February 2nd to cover the forecast of the famous, weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Phil hates everything about Punxsutawney–the small town, the people, their enthusiasm for the ridiculous holiday, and he is rude, mean, judgmental, and treats people terribly. He can’t wait to leave and get back to the city. To Phil’s dismay, he wakes up the day after Groundhog Day and discovers he must relive that same awful day over and over. He tries everything he can to escape, but he’s still stuck in a day that he hates. He becomes angry and depressed and forecasts the weather as, “It’s going to be cold and grey, and it’s going to last you for the rest of your life.” His misery increases, and while drowning his sorrows in a bar, he asks two guys, “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was the same and nothing you did mattered?”
The beautiful thing about this movie is that at its heart, it is a metaphor for how many of us feel–stuck living day after day in lives that we find miserable, and no matter how hard we try or what we do, we feel unable to make any significant changes. We may not be stuck in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day, but we may be held captive by our fears, feelings of powerlessness, shame, beliefs passed down through generations, or many other limiting habitual thought patterns that we aren’t even aware that we hold. Eventually Phil realizes the only way he can change his experience of Groundhog Day is to change himself. It takes effort, but he becomes kind, positive, loving, and grateful, and only once he has changed, does time begin to move forward for him again. Before that, Phil tells his producer, Rita, his predicament, and she replies, “Maybe it’s not a curse. Maybe it’s just how you look at it.” We, too, can learn to change our thoughts, our perspectives, our past stories, and then we can step into the future, living lives we love.
At the very end of the movie, Phil has changed so dramatically that he looks out at the town of Punxsutawney and says to Rita, “It’s so beautiful! Let’s live here!” It’s estimated that Phil Connors relived Groundhog Day for ten years before he was able to finally shift and make the necessary changes. However, there’s no reason for us to suffer that long. If you are serious about making changes that will awaken you to the beauty, power, and magic of your own life, contact me and we can create a plan to free you from your own self-imposed version of Groundhog Day.