If walls could talk, would they say your dated artwork and photos are keeping you in the past energetically? Let go of any hang-ups with a change of scenery

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What do you have to say about artwork and framed photographs from the past? I’m curious.

I have a lot to say about this! As some of you may know, I often talk about the importance of the pictures and images on our walls. The images in our environment play a big part in the energy of a space.

Imagine being in a room filled with large images of flourishing trees and flowers versus one with images of dead trees and droopy flowers. The experience of the second room would be very different from the experience of the first. In one, you would more likely feel “bright and alive” whereas in the other you’d likely feel more “drained and droopy.”

Often, what we have on our walls is forgotten. Time passes and we grow, change and evolve, but the energy on our walls remains the same, tying us to the past and making it more difficult to stay in the present. Look around and see what hangs on your walls. Are the images in your environment current with who you are today?

Artwork on the walls


This past week I did feng shui in six offices in a large business. The people working in the offices were in demanding positions, often working 12 hours plus per day to accommodate client requests. Some of the people shared that while they lacked neither clients nor work, they felt stagnant: “It’s the same old same old” or “Things feel stale.”

While these people had their desks in the correct position, and no blockages to energy flow were present, I noticed the images and photos on their walls and shelves and asked how long they had been in the particular office. Some of the items had been in the same office 10 to 15 years.

When were the images hung?

I asked the first gentleman, “When did you put up this artwork?” He said it was when he moved in 15 years ago and that nothing had changed since then. I explained that the energy of his walls was stuck in 1998, but that he was no longer the person he was in his 40s. He has grown, matured, gotten wiser, is more respected, and has had multiple experiences that define who he is today. Yet, every day he walks into the energy of his past.

Even though the work on his desk was current, the walls that supported him were streaming energy from the past. I advised him to bring in some of the new images that he had put to the side and to move some of the old images around, raising them a few inches to “lift” the energy. In a few minutes the office felt refreshed.

Other things to note

In another office I noticed a photo on the wall and asked the owner what it meant to him. He mentioned that he bought it when he first moved into the office 10 years ago, that it was by an artist he liked, and it matched the d├ęcor, but had no special meaning to him.

I brought up the importance of having images that “speak” to and mean something to you. He mentioned having a friend who takes inspiring photography of beautiful places and immediately recognized that getting another large image to replace the one that was currently hanging up would dramatically increase the beauty of his traditional office space, helping to lift the energy of a rather drab space.


Photographs of family


I often see dated family photos displayed on walls and other surfaces. Take, for example, a home I went to where a mother and son lived. I arrived mid-afternoon and only the mother was home.

As I was walking through the space I saw many photos of the son in various places and happy situations — dinners, at the park, with friends, and many with his mom. I guessed her son was somewhere between 5 and 8 years old. When she said her son would be coming home soon, I expected to see a child, but was shocked to see a 17-year-old!

While having photos of past good times is great, having only photos of the past, can keep one stuck in that timeframe. As I tuned in more to the mom’s conversation, I realized that she spoke only of how great the past was when her son “used” to like to be with her. She was stuck on nostalgia and her home failed to reflect who she and her son were today. She was unaware that her home was so “past” oriented. My suggestion was to keep a few photos from the past, but to display more recent photos as well.

Make updating your photos a priority

Replace the photos of the past and with ones that reflect who you and your family are today. Keep a few timeless photos, but do so consciously, only allowing those that hold extra special memories and big events. Bringing the energy of your environment up to date to reflect who you are now will aid in keeping you in the Now so that you can appreciate the amazing moments of the present.

Happy days are here again

Come to a free talk on happiness, at my new school, Happiness U, today at 5 p.m. Stop by for tea and pick up information on classes such as clutter clearing, feng shui, life purpose, positive mindset, and more. Find more details at www.yourhappinessu.com.

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer at Happiness U, an educational establishment at Gentry Pacific Center on Nimitz Highway. Learn things about life that were never taught in school about how to be happy. Happiness U offers classes such as Feng Shui 101, Clutter Clearing Plan 101, Positive Mindset 101, Happiness 101 and more. Visit www.YourHappinessU.com for more information.