Time to Awaken! – Part 4

Two of My Favorite Movie Characters Awaken to Appreciate their Lives

As I was writing this “Time to Awaken!” blog post series, I realized that two of my favorite movies both have leading characters that are angry and unhappy with their lives. As the movies progress and the characters learn and grow and find love, each in different ways, they transform and awaken to the precious gift of their lives.
Both are involved with suicide, one in a dream-like altered universe state, trying it many times in many ways. The other makes just one attempt, plotting his final demise in an elegant New York City hotel.
At different points in their movies, they renounce the lives they are living and want to die. One tries unsuccessfully to kill himself again and again. The other tries mightily to do so, but meets his match in a young prep school student whose love and authenticity wrestles him off his emotional cliff. This young man understands so well the value that this Lieutenant Colonel’s life could continue to bring to so many, including himself.
At the beginning of their movies they do not realize all the good they can do in their lives or how happy and fulfilled they can be if they shift their mindset and attitude. As the movies and their plots unfold, both characters awaken to the great gifts of their lives, both ultimately using their lives to help and serve others.

Love transforms both their hearts and helps each appreciate the great gift of their lives. Photo by Klaus Post from www.freeimages.com.

Love, of course, helps to transform both of their hearts and their lives. As I have shared many times, I believe love is the most powerful of all medicine and it’s why I named my business “Love Healing and Miracles.” First comes love; then comes all the healing from love; and then all the miracles pour forth from both the love and the healing.

“Groundhog Day” and Resurrection

In the first movie, “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray plays Phil, a weatherman for a local television station. He is grumpy, sullen, complaining, rude, offensive and sarcastic. He is all ego and clearly very unhappy with his life and his position in it. Putting down all those around him, he feels highly superior. Those working with him feel his bristling sarcasm and don’t expect any empathy from him or see any enthusiasm or quality either in his work or his life. He doesn’t seem to particularly like what he does or who he is doing it with.
His life gets turned inside-out and upside-down when he finds himself repeating the same day over and over again no matter what he does to try to change it. He is in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, there to do a story with two of his crew to find out if the groundhog will see its shadow or not. Whether it does or not is supposed to predict how many more weeks of winter are ahead. He is very bored with this small and mundane assignment.
Hearing the same Sonny and Cher song, “I Got You Babe,” every morning and the same band playing in the square for the Groundhog Day celebration, he soon learns he will be repeating this same day over and over again.  He tries to kill himself several times in varying ways, but still wakes up to the same day again and again.
For a while, this gives him courage to become a daredevil and be very reckless. After getting bored with this kind of behavior, he tries to use what he learns on this same day to his advantage with the people in the town, from seducing one of them to stealing money from an armored vehicle.

Love Transforms Phil

And then Phil begins to fall in love with one of his co-workers, Rita, played by Andie McDowell, and something transforms within. He tries to use some deceptive tactics to seduce her, but none of them work. He wasn’t being authentic and it was more about winning a game with her than sharing his love.
So he sets out on a journey to discover the good within his own heart and he finds a jackpot full of that. From playing the piano to creating beautiful ice sculptures, he finds the artist within. He also finds the humanitarian within who catches a boy from falling out of a tree, repairs a flat tire for senior women, saves the mayor of the town with a Heimlich maneuver and tries again and again to save a homeless man.
He learns that it is beyond his power to save him. It was the man’s time to die. He also learns that it is his time to live. He begins to actually enjoy his service to the local community and working on becoming the best version of himself.
The love that earlier in the movie was more about lust turns into true love. He professes his feelings for Rita in a beautiful quiet monologue as she lay sleeping beside him, waiting to see with him if morning will ever become a new day. He quietly shares: “I think you’re the kindest, sweetest, prettiest person I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve never seen anyone that’s nicer to people than you are. The first time I saw you… something happened to me. I never told you but… I knew that I wanted to hold you as hard as I could. I don’t deserve someone like you. But if I ever could, I swear I would love you for the rest of my life.” You can click on the image below to check out this very sweet scene.

Phil tries to seduce Rita and get her to fall in love with him, but fails with his inauthenticity. In the process, he falls in love with her and her kind and beautiful heart and soul. Photo from https://www.tor.com/2014/02/02/groundhog-day-bill-murray-time-travel-spirituality-romantic-comedy/.

His sentiments were authentic and straight from his heart. As a result of his transformation, he got both his new day and the love of his life. That life was the one he was previously so willing to throw away before he awakened to the fullness of who he was and could be.
Before the trip to Pennsylvania, he was throwing it away in his egotistical and callous way of judging and treating others and repelling them from him. His heart had hardened and it had grown cold.
His awakening gradually opened his heart as he found more and more meaning in life and in his relationships with others. The movie ends with a wonderful song sung by Nat King Cole titled, “It’s Almost Like Being in Love.” The lyrics tell the story beautifully of the new meaning he has found in his life, like a beautiful bell ringing just for him.

It’s Almost Like Being in Love

By Nat King Cole
What a day this has been
What a rare mood I’m in
Why, it’s almost like being in love
There’s a smile on my face
For the whole human race
Why, it’s almost like being in love
All the music of life seems to be
Like a bell that is ringing for me
And from the way that I feel
When that bell starts to peal
I would swear, I was falling
Swear, I was falling
Why it’s almost like being in love
All the music of life seems to be
Like a bell that is ringing for me
And from the way that I feel
When that bell starts to peal
I would swear, I was falling
Swear, I was falling
Why it’s almost like being in love
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lerner Alan Jay / Loewe Frederick
It’s Almost Like Being In Love lyrics © Emi April Music Inc

“Scent of a Woman” – Lieutenant Colonel Slade’s Transformation

In “Scent of a Woman,” Al Pacino gives a magnificent academy-award-winning performance as retired Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade who once served in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s detail as a Secret Service agent. Like Bill Murray’s Phil, he is cranky and judgmental and very frustrated with his life and how it has turned out. While Phil was reckless when he was caught in his “Groundhog Day” time warp, Al Pacino’s character Frank played some reckless games during his life. One of them was with a grenade that blew up in his hands and left him blind, destroying so many hopes and dreams for his life.
Chris O’Donnell plays the young prep school student, Charlie Simms, who answers an ad to watch Slade over the Thanksgiving weekend while Slade’s relatives are away. It is not an easy choice for Simms given Slade’s strong personality, his angry attitude and loud, commanding voice. Out of sympathy for Slade’s niece and her family, Simms agrees. He doesn’t know, however, that he is also agreeing to accompany Slade on a momentous  trip to New York City that will be life-changing for both of them.
During their time together, in addition to the strong, harsh personality Slade displays, Simms also finds a man who enjoys fine food, wine, cigars, fancy restaurants, elegant hotels and clothing, and beautiful women and their scents. Simms witnesses Slade do a fabulous tango with a young woman named Donna (played by actress Gabrielle Anwar) at the Pierre Hotel. He also witnesses him drive a Ferrari with daring and speed; get out of an impossibly difficult spot with a young police officer; slam his angry and sarcastic nephew against a wall with fierce and swift precision despite his blindness; show his joie de vie for life; and share his relish for all he once enjoyed before becoming blind.

Al Pacino, as Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, performs a memorable tango as he glides beautifully on a hotel restaurant dance floor with Donna, played by actress Gabrielle Anwar. Photo from www.socialdance.stanford.edu.

Simms also gets to witness Slade’s deep depression and his plan to commit suicide while dressed in his finest military attire. A battle ensues between them that becomes a fight for both their souls and lives.
Simms is facing serious consequences and potential expulsion from his prep school for not sharing information about a prank played on the headmaster by some of his less than honorable classmates. Slade senses the heaviness in Simms’ heart and Simms confides in him about what has happened at school. He is so weary of his own battles as a prep school student on scholarship. Striving to do better in his life, he finds himself in a world where he is often judged and manipulated because of his lower socio-economic status.
There comes a point in the battle when both are wrestling to take hold of Slade’s gun. Slade wins that battle and forcefully pins Simms against the hotel room wall.
With tears in his eyes, Simms affirms that he is not leaving and asks Slade to give him the gun. As Slade demands that Simms leave, this is the dramatic conversation that follows:
I’m staying right here!
Col. Slade:
I’m staying right here!
Col. Slade:
I’m gonna blow your fuckin’ head off!
Then do it! You wanna do it, do it! Let’s go!
Col. Slade:
Get outta here!
So you fucked up, alright? So what?! Everybody does! Get on with your life, would you!
Col. Slade:
WHAT LIFE?! I GOT NO LIFE! I’m in the dark here, understand?! I’m in the dark!
Then give up. You wanna give up? Give up. ‘Cause I’m givin’ up, too. You said I’m through; you’re right, I am through. We’re both through, it’s all over. So get on with it. Let’s fuckin’ do it! Let’s fuckin’ pull the trigger, you miserable, blind motherfucker!
Col. Slade:
Here we go, Charlie.
I’m ready.
Col. Slade:
You don’t wanna die.
Neither do you.
Col. Slade:
Give me one reason not to.
I’ll give you two. You can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
Col. Slade: [Lowers the pistol] You haven’t seen anyone do either.
You can check out the scene by clicking on the image below.
In that climactic moment, some kind of transformation takes place for both of them. Simms has shown remarkable character, courage and fight. Through Simms’ sharing that he would be willing to give up and die, Slade realizes that neither of them wants to die.
It will soon be time for Slade to rescue Simms in an extraordinarily dramatic and fulfilling way. That memorable scene – one of my most favorite — will provide the beautiful foundation for each of them to move on, claim their power and strength, and embrace much more fully the extraordinary gift of their lives.
Without Simms asking for any support, Slade decides to help defend Simms at his prep school hearing. Sitting onstage by Simms’ side, Slade delivers a searing defense of his young friend to the snarky, uptight headmaster. His oral prowess and inner strength captivate the entire audience and the faculty sitting onstage. They ultimately deliver a positive verdict for Simms and a less than stellar one for his shady classmates.
To witness this powerful scene, click on the image below.
Walking out of the auditorium, students are congratulating Slade. He stops to connect with a female member of the faculty who was onstage. It is this brief and flirtatious conversation that points the way to Slade’s re-emergence into the world to reclaim his power and to no longer let his blindness deter him from his precious gift of life.
He realizes how much life still can offer him and he also understands well how much he has to give to others.
Both Phil and Slade live in very different worlds and have very different obstacles to overcome. However, they both have so much in common. Self-absorbed and unhappy with their lives, they also lack empathy for how their attitudes and behaviors affect others. It is all about them and what is wrong with their lives.
They both felt superior to all those around them. But it was ultimately those people they put down and felt superior to who helped them awaken to their brilliance and potential in life.
Charlie Simms helped pull Slade out of his black hole and into the light of his awakened self. Simms’ accomplished this amazing feat through his own courage, tenacity, compassion and respect for this tour de force of a man who had been broken by his own choices in life.
For that blessing, Simms was so richly rewarded. Soon after, he was to feel the fabulous, feisty and powerful speech Slade would unleash in the auditorium, leaving the headmaster stunned and an audience of prep students wildly cheering. Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade was back in his power and strength.
He was fully awake to the gift of his life.
For Phil, it was a combination of forces that propelled him to finally greet a brand new day. Reliving the same day again and again forced him to continually evaluate his situation, his deep dissatisfaction with his life, and his relationship with others. He was forced to ultimately look into the mirror of his soul and it was not a pretty picture.
As he began to change inwardly, everything outwardly began to change too for the better.
What I love so much about “Groundhog Day” is watching Bill Murray’s performance as Phil moves from malcontent to humanitarian and the true lead in a romance movie. His journey is quite an extraordinary one as he morphs from one mood and way of being into another until he reaches his final glorious metamorphosis. He becomes the expert jazz pianist, life of the party, and most popular man in town who helps so many and finally attracts the woman of his dreams. When Phil has awakened to the richness of this gift of life, he has also awakened to his new destiny and trajectory in life.
A poem by Portia Nelson reminds me of Phil’s journey and fits in so well with that watery hole he keeps stepping into for so many days before he makes a new choice:
Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson
Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
 Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter V
I walk down another street.
We are each the heroes and heroines of our own movies here on this Earth plane. What kind of movie script are you writing for yourself? Are you walking down streets with watery holes and falling into them? Or are you crafting a life where you are in your power and in service to others? Are you walking boldly and confidently into your future? It’s all up to you.
For those who would like to create a movie of what they want in their future, you can go to www.mindmovies.com and start creating what you want. After you finish it, you should watch your inspirational movie every day and let it uplift you and help you to become your best self.
Sometimes a counselor and healer can also help. If you think I can help you awaken to your potential for joy and abundance, you can schedule a free 30-minute get-acquainted session to see if I can help you move forward. I have a single “Time to Awaken to Joy and Abundance” counseling session for those who need a reminder to shift into a higher vibration and affirm all the good in their lives. For those who need additional support to awaken to more joy and abundance in their lives, I also offer three “Time to Awaken to Joy and Abundance” packages. You can check out the single session here and the packages here.
We are blessed to have the amazing performances of Bill Murray and Al Pacino and the memorable movies they star in. They show us two brilliant inner journeys from men who are truly in the dark to men who move in miraculous ways back into the light.
By the end of the movies, each character emerges victorious and greatly impresses and affects those around them.
They are in service and on new paths to lives that have many more possibilities for abundance and joy.
It’s interesting that both movies end with crisp, clear early mornings. It is a new day with a new start in life. Both characters are more deeply connected to others and are so much more in the flow of life.

A new day is dawning for both characters that have awakened to their magnificent potential for abundance and joy. Photo by Idea Shinagawa from www.freeimages.com.

May we all have miraculous journeys where life opens up in such spectacular ways as we connect with our higher selves and the Divine. May we all awaken to remarkable moments and brilliant tomorrows as we cherish and honor this great gift of life. And may we all find the strength and courage to overcome obstacles and become the best versions of ourselves as we reach out to serve others and God.
With love, healing and so many extraordinary miracles,
Rev. Donna
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