Leaving the past behind

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I am going through a period of transition. I left my marriage and took the things I needed (some furniture, dishes and other household items) and found myself an apartment. It’s been a year, and I’m ready to move on, but somehow I still feel stuck. What can I do?

Whenever someone is going through a life transition or feels stuck in the past in some way, it is important to shift the energy by making changes to help let go of the old emotional and mental energy so that you can more easily transition into a new life.

Fear of the future

In the midst of change, we often have an unconscious fear of the future, clinging to the old and familiar for stability. Everything in your home has “energy,” or a “vibe.” Keeping items associated with your past brings that energy into the present, making it harder to move on. Consciously create a new beginning by taking affirmative steps to clear out the past.

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How do I move on?

I remember a client, Anne (real name not used), who had gone through a divorce. Her main complaint was that even though she had moved, she couldn’t get herself into the “present,” let alone on a path to create a new life for herself. How could she move on?

Holding on to the past

When I walked through her home with her, I noted the following:

• Half of her living room was taken up by a formal dining set from her old life.

• Her ornate four-poster bed was the same bed she and her ex-husband shared for 20 years.

• The boxes stacked in the guest room were filled with her ex-husband’s things that she “accidentally” brought with her.

My advice

More than 90 percent of her furnishings and artwork were from her “old” life. While I understood the financial challenges that come with a life change and the desire to save money by keeping old furniture, I suggested that she implement the following:

• Donate or sell all furniture she wasn’t using.

• Save money to purchase a new bed. The bed is most intimately connected to your personal energy. After a divorce, a new bed makes perfect sense for a fresh start.

• Return or get rid of her ex-husband’s things, as they kept his energy in the space. The sooner she got them out of her space, the lighter her space would feel.

How can you use this story?

If you feel stuck and want to move forward, check your environment for what you can donate, sell or give away, including any “clutter” you have.

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, a friendly educational establishment at Na Lama Kukui (formerly known as Gentry Pacific Design Center) on Nimitz Highway. At Happiness U you’ll find dozens of inspiring classes all geared toward personal growth, helping you live a more purposeful and ease-filled life. YourHappinessU.com.