In the movie Groundhog day, Bill Murray’s character wakes up at 6:00 am to the same day, every day. Trapped in the same day he learns new skills to impress the woman he is falling in love with. Grumpy, intolerant and selfish his best efforts to delight and impress only fail miserably when they are exposed as self serving. It is only when Bill changes, awakening qualities of compassion and kindness within himself, that he finally wins in love and escapes the drudgery of being trapped in the same day, over and over again.
In reality, if only we woke up, we would see that all our days are Groundhog days too. We get up every morning and repeat the same ingrained habits and conditioned behaviour every day. There may be a change of routine at the weekends, but to someone watching the film of our lives, it would be as predictable as Groundhog day. The only difference between Bill and us, is that he knows he is trapped in the same day.
Our lives change when we wake up and accept that every day is a Groundhog day, but recognise that every day also presents an opportunity to begin again. Like Bill we will fail repeatedly, we will make so many mistakes, follow so many wrong paths, and find it nigh impossible to break free from the shackles of our own beliefs, habits and conditioning.
Ultimately, we will discover that at our very core is a soul that can tap into an unquenchable wellspring of love to nourish and transform us. We will come to accept ourselves as human beings suffused with both light and shadow. When this happens a whole new world of opportunity opens up for us. One in which our lives are not dedicated to chasing elusive success or unattainable perfection, one in which we stop digging for gold at the end of rainbows.
Instead, every day becomes a new beginning, every moment has meaning and hidden depths to be explored and savoured. Our priority shifts to learning simple daily rituals and habits that keep us awake and allow us to extract a deeper meaning, purpose and happiness from life.
There is an indian proverb that says,
Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
To nurture our Wellbeing means taking care of both our internal and external worlds. Our internal dimensions of mind, body, emotions and soul are so deeply integrated that they blend into one consciousness, caring for one enriches the others.
Our external world is enriched through our social connections, meeting a good friend can lift our mood in a heartbeat. Finding a community to connect with can bring a sense of belonging. Work is such a large part of our lives that it is essential that it flows at a rhythm that is in harmony with our soul. As to money, I agree with the late Irish comedian Spike Milligan,
“All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy”
Taking care of our Wellbeing is an adventure, one in which we wake up every day on a journey to explore and learn. We need a North star to guide us, a map to follow, a set of basic tools, and a log to record the insights and lessons learned along the way.
And so it begins…. a daily journey to enrich our lives.
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau