comscore Column: Take time to bring your space into the present
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Column: Take time to bring your space into the present

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Before opening Happiness U, I worked as a feng shui consultant and visited people’s homes and businesses to analyze and suggest ways to help them improve their energy flow.

I learned so much in those dozen or so years and remember being constantly amazed at the direct correlation the environment has to our lives. What I learned was that we can make a difference by being conscious of what’s going on around us.

I remember a particularly impactful consultation that helped me to understand the power of the present. Sometimes being stuck in the past in our environment can hold us back from living in the present and embracing where we are in life today.

I did a consultation for a man named John (not his real name). Already in his 60s, John 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. He had prescription medication bottles with expiration dates in the ’80s and unopened canned goods more than 20 years old.

Not surprisingly, John’s conversations all revolved around the past — when life and health were “good,” before his kids moved away and before he was demoted at work. None of his conversation had anything to do with the present, only the past.

His environment fully reflected that he was unwilling to move forward and didn’t want to accept the present — where life was really happening.

The lesson here is that dated material in our environment 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 current pictures of your family? Is it time to get rid your house of expired food?

You don’t have to know feng shui to make an energetic difference. Here are some things to do to update your home energy so you can welcome new opportunities.

>> Throw away all old magazines, and newspapers that have been sitting around for more than three months unless you know you will read them within the next month.

>> Display recent pictures of your family and friends. It’s nice to have memories of the past, but stay current with your life.

>> Take 15 minutes to discard all expired foods in your refrigerator. Check the dates on condiments and discard foods that look OK, but you wouldn’t feel comfortable eating.

Whether you feel stuck or overwhelmed, or are just ready to live in the present and notice the good that exists in your life now, do something in your home to physically bring greater order to your space. Opportunities can only be found in the present.

Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit

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