Are we living in the movie Groundhog Day?

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Danny Wage

By Brian Hawley

So many people say that they want things in their lives to change, yet they are unwilling or unknowingly ready to change any of the patterns or habits in their lives.

You remember that movie of the 90s where Bill Murray is living one day over and over again, and yes with Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog?

Well, what if I told you that most of the population is doing that exact same thing (minus the groundhog, of course). This is especially true if you are in your 30s or older. Why would I dare make such a claim? Let’s look at some interesting facts. Now I don’t know you, but I would be willing to guess that every morning you follow a routine. You get up on the same side of the bed, put the same leg through your pants first, brush your teeth in the same pattern, and wash yourself in the shower the same way. Oh but it doesn’t end there: You probably take the same route to work, stop at the same coffee place, drive in the same lane (watch out for that pothole that was there yesterday), even interact with fellow coworkers in the same mannerism every day. Then you come home, take your shoes off in the same place and, of course, take the shoe off the left or right foot first as always. You follow the same repeatable patterns all the way up until you fall asleep.

These patterns have been ingrained in our being for most people many, many years with only slight modifications. This type of patterning causes neurons in the brain to hardwire together and after years it will actually start auto programming the body. Just think, the last time you were taking a drive and drifted off only to mentally return back and realize you drove 40 miles without consciously thinking about it. That was your “autopilot” body programming that took over; this pattern is so hardwired that your subconscious was telling the body what to do.

I hear so many people say that they want things in their lives to change, yet they are unwilling or unknowingly ready to change any of the patterns or habits in their lives. Why? Because it feels comfortable, the mind and body are used to doing things in a certain way and at certain times. It feels unnatural to do something different. Many equate that feeling of unnatural to something bad that is happening and shun away from it. In some extreme cases the body will actually fight against change. You may get sick, come down with the flu, develop pains, aches, or a host of other physical ailments—just to keep you from changing.

In order to make a change, we have to change our thought patterns first. You see most people are doing the same things everyday and they relive the same experiences over and over, and, thus, experience the same emotions, which are sparked by the same hormones being pumped through their bodies. After a period of time the body actually becomes used to getting its hormone fix at a certain time of the day causing physical stressors. It’s not that stress in general kills us, in fact, in some cases stress can be a good thing. Our bodies can handle stress for short periods, and our bodies are pretty well designed to do just that. The antelope being chased by the lion (yup, whole lotta stress going on there) is pumping huge amounts of adrenaline throughout its body to put it in either the flight or fight mode. But say he does outrun the lion and after a while the threat is gone; he sits under a shade tree and all hormone levels are back to normal. This is what is termed short-term stress.

Let’s apply this concept to us driving to work. Some jerk cuts us off and we yell a few pleasantries, maybe even give a salutation gesture, and he fires back a few as well. Of course, this escalates us to the adrenaline rush for the fight or flight mechanism. Then we see a police officer pulling him over for running a red light and we thank lady karma and all is well and we return to normal. Later, as our mind wonders, we relive the experience in our minds and since the body does not know real from imagined it starts producing the fight or flight hormones and our breathing picks up, pulse rises, we become super alert and then the phone rings and breaks us out of that thought process, and then we lose focus and return to normal. The next day we go to work using the same route and pass the area of incident and—without even thinking—we start breathing hard, our heart rate increases, we start thinking about the incident all over again and the hormone cascade starts back up again. The prolonged stress that is brought upon by us continuing to relive events over and over in our minds is what is harmful. We on average have 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and most are recurring thoughts from previous days, weeks or even months. After a while these become hardwired in our neural system and repeat patterns keep leading us to the same thoughts along with the same emotions and stresses. Then we wonder why we keep getting the same results and same things keep showing up in our lives.

In neuroscience there is a term that goes “neurons that wire together fire together.” If they have been wired together for years due to repeating patterns, then changing things will seem tough and out of the ordinary. This is especially true if emotions and hormones were involved because the body is used to a certain “fix” of hormone at a certain time of day (like when you drive pass that intersection every day at 9 a.m. where the incident occurred). So you have to ask is there any hope? How can we change this?

The first step is to realize that we are master creators, and we really are in charge of what we manifest and what experiences we wish to bring into our lives. Think of our brains as the hardware and the thoughts are the software. Science has now shown that we can change the hardware by changing the software—or, in other words, change the brain by changing our thoughts. When we do this we undergo a process called neurogenesis, in which we create new neuron connections by creating new patterns and thoughts. After a while of following these new patterns and thoughts our old ones start to die and wither away (neural pruning). After repeating these new patterns, they become the hardwired ones. The trick is to realize when we start to slip back into old thought patterns and observe what we are doing and thinking; science terms this as metacognition. Once we realize we are falling back into our old pattern of things we can then become the role of the observer of the program. That is when we are unattached and can make changes in our attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, words, and actions to reflect the better version of ourselves. When we start doing that on a consistent basis we start seeing things manifest and change according to our will.

Now keep in mind once you start to rewire your brain and change your behaviors you are going to be getting some strong opposition from your old universe. The people you used to hang around with are going to be saying, “You’ve changed. You’re not the same anymore. You seem different.” Well that’s because you are changing, your energy dynamics are changing, your focus is changing. You no longer want to go out to the clubs and stay up all night. Instead, you may want to take come self-improvement classes, yoga, meditation, art classes, volunteer or a host of other things that are in line with your new self and universe that you are creating. Your energy will change and will not match old energies, and the people or things attached to them. This is where your inner will has to be stronger than your outer environment. It’s very easy to slip back into old habits and routines they may actually feel better. (It’s because the ego doesn’t like change and will use every trick in the book to keep you from changing.) As long as you stay focused on what you want to see change things will happen and you will start changing things to your will.

When we start doing this we are entering into a whole new universe and we can begin to manifest from the 5th dimension instead of manifesting from the 3rd dimension, which is much more difficult and slower.

May you transform in the New Year!

Dr. Bryan Hawley has served in the healthcare arena for over 30 years. He has owned several high-end clinics and has traveled all over the United States lecturing and teaching healthcare practitioners. He currently teaches guided meditations and energy work to clients all over the world. He lectures on topics such as neurogenesis, epigenetics, metacognition, and how we can literally reprogram our brains and create the lifestyle of our dreams. He is currently finishing two books on the subject which will be available in January 2019. Contact him at

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