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The Wisdom of Groundhog Day
This spring I saw an old friend in a coffee shop. Many years had passed since we last spoke. Children had grown, marriages ended, and homes relocated. We spoke for hours, finding similarities and differences as we exchanged stories. Our lives had taken similar paths with families, children, even our health. Both of us live with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
And it is there that our stories differ. I jokingly referred to our health as fun. My friend became serious and even angry about my comment and went on a rant about how hard and unfair life is and how she had been mistreated at every turn by everyone she knew.
Obviously forgetting that I live with the same illness, she continued to educate me about her experience. Amidst all her anger, she shared a few examples that served to validate some of my own experience and helped me to understand why I do some things differently since becoming ill. She talked about the way each day must be re-invented when one has fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and compared it to the movie “Groundhog Day.” In that analogy, I saw a nugget of truth. Out of all her anger came a defining comment; “…every day is like Groundhog Day.” It was true for me as well, but only for the first two years of my illness. Sitting in my back yard I had a defining moment that started me on the path to better health.
She had given me a lot to think about that day. We both
have the same illness and have experienced similar struggles because
of it; the same illness with one exception, the way we think about it.
I don’t know from one day to the next if I will be well enough to do
what I want, and I still get frustrated at my limitations, but I won’t
let that stop me.
I couldn’t get our conversation out of my head. For the week that followed, someone kept whispering “Groundhog Day” in my ear until I finally paid attention. Once I did, the rest of the message flooded in. In the movie, Bill Murray’s character, Phil, the weatherman has the uncanny experience if living the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over. Each morning he got up, talked to the same people in the Bed & Breakfast where he stayed, saw the same people on the street, and had the same conversations.
As with most of us, Phil’s normal life was filled with limiting thoughts and behaviors. It took the daily rewind of Groundhog Day to get his attention. The defining moment came when he asked someone, “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.”
With that realization, Phil started to live each day as if it were his last. Throughout every repeated day he tried something new until he learned to change what he didn’t like and create the life of his choice. At one point his co-worker told him, “…you can’t plan a day like this,” to which Phil replied, “Well, you can, it just takes an awful lot of work.”
“Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” James Allen 1864-1912
Phil was a rude, self-serving, grumpy man. In the movie he had a moment of clarity and decided to make some changes in his life. It’s the type of moment that is available to all of us if we honestly pay attention to our situation and the thoughts that brought us to where we are. Phil decided to take advantage of what he knew about each day and create the life he wanted.
“As you think, you travel: and as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. You cannot escape the results of your thoughts.” James Allen 1864-1912
What did Phil know? He knew all of his personal patterns of thoughts and behaviors that were being played out each Groundhog Day as well as the behavior of the people he connected with as he went about each day.
Phil made a conscious decision to change his life. Instead of taking, he decided to give. When he started paying attention to those around him, he realized what was important to them and used that information to do nice things for them. People responded to his kindness, which gave validation to his new behavior and in the process he learned to love himself, which opened the door to February 3rd, the day after Groundhog Day.
To those close to him, the changes in Phil’s life seemed like an over night miracle. They didn’t see the personal work he went through. What may look like a radical, overnight change to some…a miracle…may actually be the results of years, or even lifetimes of personal and spiritual work.
So far, I have compared the movie, “Groundhog Day” to
living with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. In fact, the lessons learned
in this movie could be applied to living with any undesirable situation.
It’s an eternal truth that thoughts create. It’s been written about and talked about for centuries but rarely personalized. We are responsible for our thoughts and actions. This isn’t something outside us; it is a part of us. Weather we consciously or unconsciously live each day, we are responsible. We have the power to create the life we desire. This isn’t an idea for someone else; it is a truth for you and for me.
In book three of the “I Am Discourses” Ascended Master St. Germain spoke of the creative power of thought. “Life, in all Its Activities everywhere manifest, is God in Action, and it is only through lack of the understanding of applied thought and feeling, that mankind is constantly interrupting the pure flow of that Perfect Essence of Life…”
He then goes on to say, “…’I AM’ is the activity of ‘That Life.’ …When you say, and feel “I AM,” you release the spring of Eternal, Everlasting Life…you open the door to Its natural flow. When you say “I AM not” you shut the door in the face of this Mighty Energy.”
Visual proof that thoughts create can be found in Dr. Masaru Emoto’s published research showing the effects that thoughts, words, emotions, music and pollution can have on ice crystals. In other words, these things can actually change the physical properties of water. The movie, “What The Bleep Do We Know?” featured Dr. Emoto’s work while making the point that our bodies are over 70% water. Think about that!
After seeing the movie I started paying even more attention to my thoughts and words. In doing so I had found two words, two very powerful words that were being used out of habit. For most of my life I have used the words “I am,” but they were often followed by the words, “sick and tired.” I am not saying that the use of these words is the total cause of my illness. But if thoughts can change water, what am I - what are we doing to ourselves?
Like Phil in the movie, “I am” learning to pay attention to my thoughts and words. When I catch myself saying something that does not serve my best and highest good I try to restate it in a more appropriate, positive way. Changing a habit such as this takes time and patience, but the pay-off is worth the effort.
Ask yourself, “Am I willing to take responsibility for my thoughts and words to consciously create the life I desire”? If the answer is yes, “I AM” willing, then here are a few ideas and resources to help you in your journey to self-mastery.
The first is to have fun, play and be creative. It’s hard to have limiting thoughts when we are doing the things that make our hearts sing. And remember, limiting thoughts and words interfere with the natural flow of life. I tell you from personal experience that being creative with an activity you enjoy opens the door to greater things. This summer I made a new friend. Patricia Palin taught me to work with raw wood – branches to make walking sticks and other things. I found myself spending hours at a time with each project and happier then I have ever been. The act of doing something fun also opened the door to receiving creative ideas in other areas of my life.
It seems the older we get, the less we play. Think back to your childhood. What activities made your heart sing? What activities would make your heart sing today? If for any reason you can’t picture yourself having fun and living the life you want, I suggest reading “The Law and the Promise” by Neville. This little book is full of stories from adults who have used their imaginations (a childhood attribute) to create great changes in their lives.
I also recommend “Ten Principles of Conscious Creation,” a powerful teaching brought forth by Master Kirael through Rev. Fred Sterling of the Honolulu Church of Light in Honolulu, Hawaii. Studying the principles has made me more aware of how I present myself to the world. I found the principles of Clarity, Communication and Completion most helpful in understanding personal behaviors that I want to improve. The Ten Principles are available as a workbook as well as on CD and can be ordered on-line at kirael.com.
Next, Manifest Your Destiny” by Dr. Wayne Dyer is a small
book packed with nuggets of truth written in a step-by-step format to
help you create the life you desire. In it he refers to thoughts as
“…architects of the foundation of your material world…” He cautions
us to “never limit Spirit in any way” and to “honor your worthiness
to receive.” St. Germain called life’s activities, (our activities)
“God in Action.” How then could you or I not be worthy to receive?
“When I create my day, and out of nowhere, little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net, in my brain, that I accept that that’s possible, gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day.”
“I’ll use living as a genius, for example. And as I do that, during parts of the day, I’ll have thoughts that are so amazing, that cause a chill in my physical body, that have come from nowhere. But then, I remember that that thought has an associated energy, that’s produced an effect in my physical body.”
“Now, that’s a subjective experience, but the truth is is that I don’t think that unless I was creating my day to have unlimited thought, that that thought would come.”
Each morning, after deciding what he wants to experience, Dr. Dispenza proclaims his desires then goes about the day watching for signs of his creation. It’s important to notice that he decided what he wanted in his day. He thought about it. He then paid attention to his day, watching for signs that he is receiving what he asked for.
Like Dr. Dispenza, we have the knowledge, wisdom, power, and help to create the life we choose to live. With the many methods and ideas available, I suggest looking at a few of them to see what feels right for you. Take ideas from each and combine them into your own personal daily practice.
The process of life contains several different paths, personal and meaningful to each of us. I believe that all paths converge where Spirit resides, deep within. It doesn’t matter what path you take, or how you choose to create your life. What matters is that you DO IT. Find what works for you; pay attention to your day, and journal the experience. Journaling is not only a great way to track your progress, but it also opens the way to communication with your guides and angels.
Most of all, have fun!
- Sandra Nelson