We spend an awful lot of time in the past.

Acknowledging pathology is one thing, but getting stuck in blame and bitterness, and just, well, STUCK in the past doesn’t help any of us in our lives. I am as guilty as anybody on this one. I’m sure my therapist would agree.

I was sitting at my kitchen table tonight, having put in several hours today on some bizzy-fabulous-ness, rewarding myself with some promised ME time. Currently, that’s working my way through Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions. And, holy hell, Ms. Thang is lighting a fire under my ass. Or really, helping me to find my own fire, which is the best compliment I could give her.

Me with Danielle LaPorte.

I completed Exercise 2 (clearly, I am just starting to burn my way through the program), which has to do with identifying past “failures” in business so as to move beyond. Danielle clearly has a fantastic sense of humour (or at least she shares my particular irreverent sense of humour.) There was a footnote at the bottom of the exercise, suggesting several things to do with the paper, once the exercise had been completed, all in the name of release. One of the suggestions was to write “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” across the page.

So I did.

And promptly started laughing like a fucking lunatic.

I mean out loud. Really loud. (Thank God no one else was home and none of my children were trying to sleep.) Kind of maniacally. (OK, possibly super maniacally. Stephen King would have been proud.) Unstoppably. (It just went on and on and on. And on.) I eventually had tears streaming down my face. And a newfound lightness in my being.

Looking at my bizzy-not-always-so-fabulous past has always been a source of bitterness and disappointment for me. But it doesn’t actually matter what other 99 descriptors I could add there, the past is the past is the past. No, don’t forget it, because it A) got you where you are now, which is a fabulous jumping off point for what comes next, B) made you who you are today, and that person is equipped with everything they need to take the next step, and C) taught you every lesson you’ve got in your arsenal, lessons that you can turn around and NOT repeat (you know what they say: know better, do better.)

So don’t forget it. But don’t stay stuck in it. Move along. No…no excuses. Just. Move. Along.

In all the many business- and success-related books I’ve read and speakers I’ve heard, that is an overwhelmingly common thread. Do something. It almost doesn’t matter what. But keep moving. I understood it rationally, but it hadn’t hit me on a visceral level until I sat there laughing uncontrollably at my kitchen table tonight.

This was exactly the kick in the ass I needed in order to move beyond. Sure, shit’s happened. Yep, shit will happen in the future too. But for God’s sake, lighten up and don’t drag it around. That baggage can be incredibly freakin’ heavy. Don’t let it define everything you do. Don’t let it define YOU!

I will no longer let it define me.

Now I can give a rockin’ elevator speech that leaves you as in the dark about irrelevant parts of my past as before I started. And almost all of it is irrelevant. Unless it has to do with my business now, or looking forward, it doesn’t matter to you.

So I am in deep gratitude to Danielle. This hit me just the right way, at just the right time. It freed up in me something that has long been stuck. Instead I’m in a place of joy, doing something. Staying in motion. Doing. Something. Best of all, I’m doing it all while laughing.

Because laughter is really effing important. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!