Are You Ready to Simplify Your Life? Here Are 4 Tips to Help You

Our lives are clogged up with stuff. Material things, things we don’t need or want, toxic people, people we don’t need or want. We work at jobs we hate, we live in houses that cost more than we can afford, we drive cars that are hella expensive to maintain and we have more pairs of shoes than we can shake a stick at. Do you want to simplify your life but are clueless as to where to even begin with that? We all want to be happy but are we getting close to achieving that goal? I doubt it.

We run around in circles frantically trying to please others, follow rules, pay bills, sneak in some enjoyment and find happiness. Somewhere. It’s chaos, it’s frantic and it’s borderline hopeless. Or maybe it’s not?

3 years ago I got rid of 95% of my shit, packed two suitcases and bought a one way ticket to Guatemala. I knew I wanted a better and happier life and I also knew I had to simply my life. It was starting to take its toll on me. The stuff, the drama, the desperate thoughts of “what’s it all for”? I knew something had to give, and give it did.

It wasn’t easy at first. The thought of even starting caused me a great deal of anxiety, truth be told. All I’ve ever known is work hard, pay bills, make everyone else happy, rinse and repeat. I didn’t know anything else and I especially didn’t know what true happiness really was (except the day my son was born).

Be prepared because if you want to simplify your life it can be done in these 4 simple steps, it’s the emotions that may get in the way.

The seed was planted and it was time to start watering it.

Time to simplify your life

And so it started. I didn’t know how to be happy but I was ready willing and able to find out. Here are the 5 things I did that propelled me into a life of crazy ridiculous joy. I hope they help you too!

Dump toxic people

Toxic people cause stress and drama. They are no good to you. They will only cause you grief. Get rid of them. If you can’t get rid of them (maybe a family member or co worker?) then limit your interaction with them or put up a toxic people barrier. Yes that’s a thing. Shield yourself from them. Don’t let them enter your energy field. You can do that!

The more you interact with toxic people, the more you become like them (yup it’s true) and the less you’ll be happy. Don’t you want to be happy? Don’t you want to simplify your life? Start by reducing the toxicity.

Get rid of shit

How much clutter do you have kicking around your house that you have absolutely no use for? Like that storage room you have, you know the one where the door stays closed all the time because it’s a shit show in there. Yup. That room.When was the last time you opened the door, not to throw more shit in there but to actually analyze it and figure out what to do with it?

Clutter causes stress and chaos in your life. Trust me on that. I know decluttering can sometimes cause extreme anxiety so start small. One corner of the room at a time. Take a couple of hours, set a timer if you wish, and start. The more you declutter, the more liberated you feel and the easier you will find it to do more and to simplify your life this way. You’ll see.

On a side note, this could be a great way to make some extra fun cash too! Go through your stuff, see what you don’t want anymore and sell it!! Some people make thousands of dollars on garage sales! Try it.

Start saying no

It really truly is ok to say no to people who ask for favours that end up sucking the life out of you. You know what I’m talking about. Learn how to say no, and mean it. Say it with a smile and don’t feel the need to have to apologize for saying no and please don’t feel guilty about saying no. I get that will be hard to do. We’re people pleasers right? We want to make everyone happy and say yes to everything. But….

You can’t and it’s not your job to make everyone happy. It’s your job to make you happy. No one else. At first saying no will feel awkward but once you get the hang of it you’ll see how fun it is to take back your power, see that this is a great way to simplify your life and people will soon learn you have boundary lines. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Take time for you and you only

Go for a walk, go down to the lake, take yourself on a picnic or a movie date. Unplug your electronics for a couple of hours (or maybe even a full day if you’re feeling ballsy). Turn on some zen music, put up a do not disturb sign on the door and just be with you!! Have a nice long bubble bath, take a book in there with you, pour yourself your favourite beverage and chill the fuck out.

When was the last time you practiced some mindfulness? There is much to be said about taking some alone time. We don’t do it enough. We fill our calendars with shit and then fall into bed at midnight exhausted and frustrated because our whole day was spent running around like a squirrel looking for nuts.

We get too wrapped up in people, drama and stuff that we forget one important thing; this is your life. You deserve to be happy. If you want to simply your life and be happy, it’s up to you to do it.

Take that step!

Have you checked out my new self help guide ebook yet? It’s jampacked with tips just like this and then some to help you live the life you deserve!! Click here to download your copy now. 

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Peace and Love


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Be Yourself. Everyone Else is Already Taken

I love who I am. I strive to be authentic. It’s taken me awhile to get here, to this happy place I’m at now, but man oh man I sure love it. One of my former co-workers one day looked over at me and said, with this huge funky smile on her face, “My God, Iva, you are such a free spirit!!” I am.

Her statement really made me stop and think. Omg, she’s right. I am. I actually had to take a step back and take that in. I AM a free spirit. What an absolutely wonderful feeling.

I don’t know how to be authentic.

For years, I’ve tried to fit in, follow the crowd, be accepted, make everyone else happy (though I do still try to do that), you get my point. I’ve spent so much time, and notice I said spent, not wasted, trying to be someone I’m not. I spent so much time pretending to be someone I’m not. I didn’t even know how to be authentic. Wasn’t even in my vocabulary.

It was all so downright exhausting!!

I always tried to do the right thing, whatever that was. I struggled all my life to find out who I am, what my purpose is, what makes me tick, what makes me happy. Have I got it all figured out yet? I’m pretty close. One thing I do know for sure is that I’m happier now then I ever have been in my whole life.

Then I woke up and the shit got real.

So why did things change? Why did I decide I didn’t want to be like this anymore?

Because I was so done:

  • living my life for everyone else
  • pretending I’m someone I’m not
  • living a lie
  • painting on a happy face
  • conforming to how society says I should behave at my age
  • wasting away my life and not being true to me

I can’t complain about how long it took me to figure this shit out. The life I lived and the things I lived through were meant to be. I wouldn’t change a single thing. (except I’m still kinda pissed I didn’t win the $50 million Lotto Max)

Who are you anyway?

Do you find yourself complaining and whining about the things you did, your faults, your mistakes, your life lessons? Stop doing that!! You are who you are and you are beautiful exactly how you are. You are you! There’s no one else like you and no one can live your life but you. If you are still desperately trying to fit in and please everyone, please stop doing that.

The world needs and wants to see YOU. Authentic and beautiful you.

You have unique talents, a wonderful personality, fun and exciting passions and a soul that’s longing to be felt around the world (or at least around your friends and family anyway). People will love you or hate you and none of it has anything to do with you. Remember that!

It doesn’t matter who you try to be are or how hard you try to make everyone happy, at the end of the day, none of that matters. The only thing that matters is you, how happy you are and if you feel good about who you are.

You are not here to fit in, blend in or be someone else. This is the only life you have. Live it as you.

Be loud, be unique, be different, be free but most importantly JUST BE YOU!!

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Bartender, a round for everyone!!

Peace and love,

Iva ♥

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Why Your Comfort Zone is Bullshit and How to Get Out of It.

Get the fuck out of your own way! Get the fuck out of your comfort zone! Stop flatlining! Get a grip for God sakes!

How many times have you heard that? Maybe some of you have never heard that and have no clue what I’m talking about.

Get the fuck out of your own way.

What way? What does she mean?

I’ll explain. In a minute. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, you just got called out. You know you are in your way. You know that you are the only one standing in the way of the shit you want to do or need to get done.

Step away from your bullshit comfort zone………….NOW!

So what does it mean to get out of your way or the better question here would be, what does it mean to stand in your way? Stand in your way of doing things you really want to do. And why the fuck do we do that anyway? Before we go on and on about how to get out of your way we need to understand why we are standing there in the first place and why we desperately cling on to our comfort zone.

No really, you’re fine here, all cozy in your comfort zone.

So this is something I’m sure many of you have heard a million times. Of course you have. You tell yourself this all the time. “No no no, I don’t need to _____ (insert desire here) because my life is just fine now so why upset the apple cart”? You talk yourself out of doing cool shit because you are “fine just the way you are”. So why bother? What’s the point?

Our comfort zone is a happy, cozy and safe place to be so why would we want to step out of it anyway? Let’s just stay here. Doing anything else requires too much effort and skill and I’m not so sure I have either right now, so,  we’re good. Let’s just stay like this. It’s cozy and safe.

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Your comfort zone is bullshit

The comfort zone.

So when I think of the comfort zone I imagine myself all curled up in a little ball with my Tweety Bird fleecy jammies on (yes I honestly do own jammies like that), eating lightly salted chips, because the regular kind are way worse for you ~eyeroll~, watching Vikings or UFC or any kind of show that involves hot sweaty and bloody, ripped men (don’t judge) with my cell phone neatly attached to my wrist so I can check FB feed every 20 seconds and text whoever is on demand at the time.

It’s super cozy and comfy here and I fucking love it here. BUT, I don’t stay here long. I’m not a comfort zone surfing kinda girl. I used to be though. Oh trust me, I sure was.

So your comfort zone is your place you are cozy in. It’s nice, it’s familiar, it’s safe. It also gets boring as hell. You know it does, otherwise you wouldn’t even be reading this right now.

Oh those dirty lies.

And in walks fear. Fear is that ugly little bastard that fills our head with dirty little lies. Yup, he sure does.

  • You’re not good enough
  • You don’t know how
  • Oh you will NEVER do that
  • Stop talking like that, what makes you so special?
  • You’re a chicken shit and that will never happen in your life
  • I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t (this is one of fear’s favourites)
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Your comfort zone is bullshit

Any of these sound familiar? I’m sure they do. I used to tell myself all of these and then some, for many many years. Most of my life actually. I have a secret for you. Actually it’s not really a secret any more. A lot of us know this but still, for some reason, ignore it.

All those stories and thoughts fear plugs in your head, they are all lies. Yup. They sure are. Who knew right? I have another secret for you. YOU are in control of your mind. But you knew that already didn’t you?

Bring that cloud bubble to life and get the fuck out of your way.

So now that we know what a comfort zone really is, what fear really is, and why we are still standing in our own way, it’s now time to pop that bubble, have a look to see what’s really inside and flick fear away. Want to know how easy all that is? Super silly easy. So easy in fact you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner. Here are 8 simple steps!

  1. Bring cloud bubble and put it on the table
  2. Open it up to see what’s inside.
  3. Take one thing to start and have a look at it to see how challenging, or easy, it really is
  4. Tell yourself “I can do this. I don’t know how BUT I’m going to research and find out what I have to do to bring it to reality
  5. Get on the internet, go to your library, do whatever it takes, whatever you have to do, talk to people you know may have done this already, do what it takes to get information about it.
  6. Remind yourself often, many many times, in fact, that you are about to do something awesome and you are SUPER stoked and excited about it.
  7. Make it happen.
  8. Stay out of your way. Make it happen. Remind yourself you can do anything. Keep going.

That was pretty easy wasn’t it? You just got out of your own way. Now go do epic shit and have fun.

Tell the story again about how you’d like to go skydiving?

Peace and Love


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If You Want to Know How to be Happy, Ask Yourself This One Question.

When you wake up in the morning, what pops into your mind first? Do you start thinking about all the work you should do? The emails you should reply to, the pile of paperwork on your desk that you have to complete, or maybe it’s the housework that you still haven’t done? Or do you think about how to be happy and what you have to do today to make yourself happy?

Do you think about all the things that make you happy? The kiss your little son or daughter is going to give you before leaving for school, the hug your partner will greet you with when you return home, or the fact that, although you might not have everything you desire, you’re still doing just fine?

According to Albert Einstein,”The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.”

So, is the world you live in friendly or hostile? It’s up to you to decide. And you should make this decision every single day.

Wake up and ask yourself: “Do I live in a good or a bad world?”

Whether you view your world as friendly or hostile impacts your attitude as you live each day. You become more understanding when you see things happen that you didn’t necessarily expect.

Somebody cuts you off in traffic? It’s ok. At least they didn’t hit you, so it’s not the end of the world.

Is there a tourist walking slowly in front of you on the roads of New York City? Be patient! Enjoy this given ‘extra’ time instead of whining.

By beginning your day with a conscious decision that the world is friendly, you’re less likely to react negatively each time things don’t go your way. You become a little more patient. A little more hopeful.

Positive thinking brings positive feelings.
Plus, how you see your day right at its onset can also affect how many positive things will happen as the day progresses.

According to Susan Reynolds, co-author of Train Your Brain to Get Happy, “feeling pleasure can be so stimulating for your brain that it is primed to respond to pleasure in a way that reinforces that pleasure.”

This means that the more good you search out in the world, the more good you will receive in return.

When you wake up and decide (consciously or unconsciously) to live in a hostile world, you go through your day much differently. You get frustrated when you wind up behind someone who’s walking super slowly or when you get stuck in traffic. Standing in line at a store feels like an eternity, and everything you do seems ten times more difficult.

Nothing works out as it should, and you are constantly expecting things to go wrong (which they usually will); all these things “prove” that the world is a hostile place.

So, it’s obviously better to try and be optimistic when your day begins. It’s also good for you physically.

Deciding to think positively provides a lot of great health benefits. It reduces the risk of depression, decreases anxiety, and even makes you more resilient against any bug that’s going around. Those who look at the bright side of life tend to live longer as they have an easier time coping with everyday life’s stressors.

Of course, it’s really easy to get stuck in negativity, especially with everything currently going on in this world. You can’t go through your social media feeds without noticing several posts of all the things that are going “wrong.”

However, feeling that way prevents you from being happy. It prevents you from reaching higher levels of success as negative thinking has been associated with a reduced ability to think creatively and even respond to life in a healthy way.

If you want to improve yourself, thinking positively every morning is the best way to get there.


But how can you do that?

If this whole “positivity” thing sounds new to you, here are some tips to help you concentrate more on the good than the bad:

Select words and statements that reflect a positive attitude, like: “I will have a good day” or “I’m excited about today.”
Focus on things that make you smile:”I look forward to seeing my partner today!” or “I can’t wait to see where my project at work takes me!”
Appreciate the good things in your world, like your health, your family, your friends.
Spend more time with positive people. That will make it easier for you to be positive yourself!
It’s never going to be 100%, but if you focus on the good just a bit more, you are making progress. It’s all about baby steps.

When you wake up tomorrow, don’t forget to ask yourself this question:

“Do I live in a good world or a bad world?”

And you should know that you do have a choice. Do yourself a favor and select the good. It will make you happier and healthier.

This article was originally titled If You Want to be Happy, You Should Ask Yourself the Same Question Every Day and published on Thinking Humanity. It is re-posted here under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Have you checked out my new self help eBook yet From Hell to Happiness? Click here for more info and to download your copy today!

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