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!

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Peace and Love


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How to Let Go, Forgive and Move On From the Past

So easy to say. Moving on. Letting go. Forgive and Forget. People tell us to do it all the time, like it’s nothing. It’s nothing, right? Ah, he/she/they didn’t mean to do that. Just forgive, forget and move on. Are you serious? It’s hard to deal after the trauma, amirite?

Right. What’s the big deal anyway?

Well, the big deal is that it really fucking hurts, our hearts are broken into a million trillion pieces and we’re still not sure how he/she/they could have done that to us when they told us they loved us.

Moving on with forgiveness

Well of course you can. It’s not easy to do. It’s also not impossible to do. It will take time, guts, determination, strength and courage. Oh, and a whole lot of practice. Practice and more practice.

But really, why should we forgive? I mean, why do these people or that person deserve my forgiveness anyway?

Why do they? They don’t. YOU do. WE do. WE deserve to forgive these people.

Let’s take mom and dad for example. They liked to hit. A lot. More than was necessary. Often brutal forces. Out of the blue. Whenever they thought I did something bad enough to deserve to be beat and whipped til I was screaming and begging for them to stop. Yup. So did I forgive them? Of course. Was it easy? Nope. And to be perfectly honest, it didn’t happen until just a few years ago.

And then there were all the ex boyfriends who cheated, lied, emotionally and verbally abused me. Yup, forgave all them too. And the guy, who was supposed to be my friend, who helped himself to $1000 of my money without telling me. Yup, you guessed it. Forgave him too.

But Why, Iva, Why?

So how do you forgive people like that? Moving on and letting go from people like that, how do you do it? People who claimed to love you, took care of you, kept a roof over your head, etc. How? And why? Why would you forgive monsters like that? (I would not call them monsters but some people might)

Because the pain and anger of carrying around the hate and resentment was too heavy a burden to carry. I carried it around for over 40 years. It ate at me and tore my heart and soul apart.

Because it robbed me of the happiness and peace I deserve.

Because there was such heaviness and blackness in my soul the only way to get rid of it was to release the hatred and the only way to do that was through forgiveness.

Can We Forget?

Well, unless you are some magical being or you had your whole history wiped out and erased from your hard drive, then I’d have to say no. We don’t forget. We never forget. It will always be there. Do you dredge it up and talk about it all the time or do you just leave it buried and only talk about it when necessary. Moving on is necessary.

Do you recount your trials to help people or to reclaim your victim status? That’s the difference right there. You see?

I used to bring it up all the time so I can hear people say “Oh poor you”. Yup, pretty pathetic really. Then the forgiveness kicked in. Now I bring it up to try to get people to see that forgiveness is possible.

Oh right, getting back to the *forget* part of this. Every now and then the guy who ripped me off crosses my mind, but I just send him healing love and prayers. He needs it. Then I let that go. Every now and then I think about my ex’s and all the shit they did to me. It’s so rare though I can practically say I hardly ever think of them anymore. And my parents? One dead, and one has their foot in the grave. I rarely even think of them anymore at all.

So do we forget? Nope. I don’t think so. But with forgiveness, when we think about it, it just doesn’t have the same poisonous effect it used to. Now it’s just a fleeting memory. It’s nothing, mostly.

The things I went through and lived through helped me to be the strong person that I am today. Strong, brave, courageous, accepting and loving, very loving.

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Because really, all the world needs is more love.

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Peace and Love



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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Making Friends as An Adult Is Harder Than You Think.

You know, making friends was a lot easier when you were in elementary school. We all just played together and had fun and the worst crime was not sharing your chocolate bar.

As an adult, making friends isn’t so easy anymore. It’s almost a game of Russian Roulette. Ok, maybe not that bad but you get the idea. It’s hard and you just never know if you’re gonna hit the jackpot or lose your shirt, or in some cases, your heart and trust in people. I’m a very trusting person, which ironically is very surprising as I’ve been shit on by the best of the worst and I still trust people. I mean, if you’ve shit on me your days are over, but I’ll keep trusting despite the shitty thing you did to me.

Nope, it takes a bigger douchebag than you to totally break my trust in humanity. I’m not sure that would ever happen anyway. I just trust.

Wanna be friends?

So moving down here in Guatemala almost one year ago had me “making” new friends, or at the very least, meeting people who may have potential to be a friend. As a friend I don’t ask for much. Honestly and really, just don’t be an asshole. That’s pretty much it. But let me tell ya, as an adult in a new city in a new country, it’s fucking hard to make friends. Well, it is for me, if you’re too trusting and just want everyone to be your friend.

I realized everyone can’t be my friend, nor do I want everyone to be my friend. But I also realized and learned a lot about myself in my new quest in a foreign country trying to get along with those around me. I learned that there are many things I really don’t tolerate after all and if you happen to do or have any of those traits, then I really don’t want you as a friend (that’s the asshole part). You know, there used to be a time when I would desperately want you as a friend just because I always felt alone and needed friends.

I’m not there anymore.

You are definitely not friend material!

When I moved down here, I had no idea what I was doing or where I was going and I frantically tried to find my way around here and make “friends”. After a few months, I discovered that finding your “vibe tribe” really wasn’t that easy. I mean, this isn’t kindergarten anymore right? We don’t all get along in the sandbox. I had to remind myself many times that “Sally” wasn’t right for me and that “Henry” was going to be a person to stay away from. 10 years ago they all would have been my “friends”. I’m not that person anymore and I’m actually pretty selective when it comes to the company I keep. I even surprise myself sometimes.

I don’t put up with much these days and I’d rather have one or two really close and good friends then 50 fake friends.

Blending in is for teenagers.

Can you remember being back in high school and wanting to hang with the cool kids and you did everything you could to be a cool kid? Remember those days where you wanted to fit in so bad.? You dressed like them, you talked like them, you acted like them. Good ole high school. Funny though I still see some adults doing that. I was one of those adults years ago. Wanting to be friends with anyone so bad I did what I had to do to blend in. Fit in. Have friends. Be liked.

We lose ourselves. Actually, some of us spend so much time trying to blend in and fit in that we get to the point where we don’t even know who the fuck we are anymore. I was there. That happened to me. In all honesty, I literally just found myself about 2 years ago. Really.

Who are you anyway? Have you lost yourself desperately trying to fit in, blend in and make friends? Do you have a short list of fake friends that you hang on to just for the sake of having friends? I used to, so don’t feel bad if you answered yes to that last question. We’ve all said yes at one time.

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Are you my friend?

No one wants to be alone, ever. We all need and want friends. How bad do you need to have friends? How important is it to you to have true friendships? I realized that I no longer compromise my values and morals just to be someone’s friend. If you want to be my friend, a real friend, that’s great, if you don’t want to be my friend, that’s ok too.

We can’t all get along. I mean, this isn’t kindergarten, right? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if it was and we did though?

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Peace and Love