By: Laura Norman Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Groundhog Day is Feb. 2nd. You may remember the classic fantasy/comedy flick of the same name. It’s sure to be on TV a lot this month. It’s a classic because, like all memorable art, it speaks to the heart as it illustrates deeper truths.
Remember the story? A news crew from Pittsburgh goes to the rural town of Punxsutawney to cover the festivities on Groundhog Day, when a groundhog named “Punxsutawney Phil” emerges from his den. Tradition has it that if he sees his shadow, expect more of the same–six more weeks of winter. Otherwise, expect a change in the weather–an early spring. In the crew are TV weatherman, Phil Connors and his producer, Rita. The self-centered, arrogant, cynical Phil makes no secret of his contempt for the town and its festivities.
A blizzard strands the crew in Punxsutawney. When Phil awakens the next morning, he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day all over again. Much to his dismay, Phil keeps living that same day over and over, seemingly trapped for eternity in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day.
Once past his confusion and disbelief, Phil embraces hedonism, as he discovers there are no consequences to his actions because, for him, there literally is “no tomorrow.” He becomes obsessed with seducing his colleague, Rita, his polar opposite—kind, caring and genuine.
He studies Rita’s interests and preferences, using the information to try and impress her. Rita, however, recognizes his insincerity and rejects him again and again. In despair Phil tries to kill himself in a variety of ways—only to wake up each time at 6am with the radio announcing, “It’s Groundhog Day!”
Phil is confronting his own “shadow”—the utter lack of meaning in his life—which he fears he cannot change. Yet, just as he reaches “bottom”, unable to “end it all,” he discovers that, while he may not be able to change his own fate, he can learn new things and improve the lives of others. For instance, a little boy falls from a tree at a certain time each “day”, so Phil positions himself to catch him. He saves a man from choking on some food, helps some women who have a flat tire, takes piano lessons and studies classical poetry. By doing something different, actions with meaning and purpose, he discovers the authentic pleasure in kindness and giving to others. He also develops genuine feelings for Rita as he becomes someone she can love.
Is this so different from the journeys we all experience? How many of us confront similar uncomfortable, upsetting or otherwise challenging situations over and over—and yet react the same way each time?
Like Phil Connors, it’s time to try something new. Instead of just seeing our own vantage point, we can live each day from a place of loving kindness and an authentic desire to give to others. We can approach challenging situations as opportunities the Universe gives us to become who we are meant to be plus learn through the experiences of others. And only when we are in this place of allowing and flow can we move forward—just as Phil moved beyond his endless day through love and giving. As William James said, “If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”
Laura Norman, M.S., LMT, world-renowned Holistic Reflexologist and author of the best-selling book, Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, offers private Reflexology and Life Wellness Coaching sessions in Delray Beach and Holistic Reflexology Certification Training Programs in Boynton Beach starting February 17. Laura has created Aromatherapy products and step-by-step Foot, Hand and Face Reflexology Home Study DVDs, and offers beautiful gift certificates for better health and wellbeing for Valentine’s Day and all occasions. www.lauranorman.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • 561-272-1220