QUESTION OF THE WEEK: How important is it to update the things in our environment? As I look around our home, a lot of our photos are from the distant past when the kids were young. What are your thoughts on this?

I have learned so much by doing consultations over the years and am constantly amazed at the direct correlation the environment has to our lives. The more conscious we are about the links between our own environment and our lives, the more aware we become of how the choices we make in our homes affect our lives and vice versa.


Here is a story I thought about when I read your question that you may enjoy and learn something from. For confidentiality reasons, I changed the name of the gentleman and created a slightly different situational scenario. Any similarity to you or someone you know is purely coincidental.

The weight of the past

A friend of mine in the construction business called me one day and asked if I could take a look at a home he was renovating. He said the man who lived there needed some “help,” and had agreed to my consultation. I have been to many homes and seen some unusual things inside them, but what was happening in Louis’ home was a first for me.

Already in his 50s, Louis lived alone and had a lot of clutter, which was not unusual. What was unusual was the type of clutter he accumulated. Throughout the house were stacks of newspapers and magazines dating from the 1970s to the present. He had prescription medication bottles with expired dates in the ’80s and unopened canned goods more than 20 years old.


Not surprisingly, Louis’ conversations all revolved around the past — when life and health were “good,” before his kids moved away and before he was demoted at work. He had nothing positive to say about the present and would not let go of the fantasy that the past was better. His environment fully reflected that he was unwilling to move forward. The lesson here is that dated material more strongly ties us to the past. Living in the present means embracing what life has to offer now.

So ask yourself: Is it time to let go of expired goods, medications and old magazines? Is it time to start displaying pictures of your family that are more current?

Use your environment for support

You don’t have to know feng shui to make an energetic difference. Whether you feel stuck, overwhelmed, anxious or sad, do something in your home to update it, no matter how small, and it will physically bring greater order to your space and support change in other areas of your life.


Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to alice@ Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kakaako where anyone can find positive inspiration and high-level guidance to minimize stress and optimize modern day life! Visit