How To Get a Fresh Start On Life

…and leave your shitty past behind

Who’s up for a fresh start in life, raise your hands and shout “mememememe”!!! I remember about 5 years ago I was sad, miserable, frustrated and tired of my life in Canada. I knew I needed something more. I knew I wanted to start a new life.

I also knew it was up to me to do it.

Everything about my old town was starting to suck the life out of me. I felt numb and dazed most days. I asked myself a million questions daily but the one main question I asked each day was “What am I here for?”

Starting over in life

Let’s face it. It’s scary. Period.

Starting over in life takes a tremendous amount of courage and determination. But it’s so much more than that. I remember people used to tell me all the time, “oh Iva you’re so brave and ballsy”.

Well sure maybe I’m all that but there’s more to starting a new life than being brave.

You have to really want it. Your desire to change has to be stronger than your desire to stay in misery.

Read that line one more time.

I felt it in every ounce of my body. I felt it in my bones, my heart and soul. I desperately wanted a fresh start in life and I was totally ready. I was scared out of my tree, but ready.

Starting a new life

When you are ready to start a new life many things happen to you. You get anxious, scared, withdraw, excited, terrified, nervous, you name it, you will feel it and most of it isn’t pretty.

I remember when I first started having thoughts of changing my life I almost could feel myself wanting to throw up. There was a huge knot in my stomach and I could barely breathe. An anxiety attack if you will.

But I could no longer ignore the bigger deeper feeling in my body that kept pushing me to make a move. Make a change. Do something different. Make a fresh start. I had to.

But you should know something very important.

What happens when you make a fresh start?

The number one thing that was the hardest for me was that you leave a lot of people behind. Especially family and friends. People you have known your entire life may fall to the wayside.

This will happen.

And that’s ok. You have to remember, not everyone belongs in the next chapter in your life. New people will show up. New and exciting opportunities. Places, things, etc.

Just because you are leaving most of the familiar things behind doesn’t mean you have to forget them, unless of course you want to. And that’s what we’re going to discuss here.

Making a fresh start and leaving the past behind.

The first thing you need to do is cut cords of attachment. Many of us still have them. You’ll never move forward in life if you are still chained to stuff from the past. This could be old crappy memories, people, grudges, any and all of that.

So many of us are still attached to some really negative things from the past. Unless you release that stuff, you will always be chained to it. A monkey on your back if you will.

When I left my last relationship of 8 years I cut off all ties to him. We had no communication, nothing. I knew I had to completely detach from him in order to move forward. As hard as it was to do, I managed to do it. It didn’t mean that i didn’t think about him anymore, I did, but not as much as if I was still attached to him.

Day by day, thoughts of him got less and less. It truly was liberating.

You can’t forget that you are leaving these things and people behind because they no longer serve you. They no longer bring you joy or peace. I mean, let’s be honest here, these things are killing your spirit and making you miserable, amirite?

Alright Iva, please tell me how to start a new life already!

I’m gonna break this down in a few simple steps for you. Though I already told you it’s going to be scary, it’s definitely not impossible. Faith and determination will get you through all of this. Trust me on this.

I’m going to start with my life example so you can see how it worked out for me.

You already know I was miserable and frustrated and desperately wanted more out of life. My home town just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Neither was my job or my pathetic social life.

Not only that, I honestly just felt like I was simply existing, not living. That’s a horrible feeling. You know that feeling too otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

I just needed more. I started volunteering at a homeless shelter, something I’ve always wanted to do just never did and my whole world changed right there.

First step: go do something you’ve always wanted to do but just never have

When you do this, finally, things like doors will open up for you. New opportunities, new friends, new experiences and a whole new outlook on life.

It was in the homeless shelter that I found my purpose in life. That purpose brought me all the way to Guatemala. Now can you imagine if I never walked into the homeless shelter, where I would be right now? Maybe still stuck in Canada complaining about my miserable life?

I wrote this article recently on how to find your life purpose. You should take a minute to read it because it’s pretty powerful!

The next thing you need to do is cut off all ties to the people and things from your past that still have a negative impact on your life. And yes, this will be hard to do, but also, not impossible. I did it and I’m a much better and happier person for it.

Write them a letter and tell them how you feel (in a nice way), block them on social media if you have to. There are a million ways to disconnect from people and things that you no longer want to associate with.

I simply stopped making contact with these people and they eventually got the hint. If I ran into them I would be pleasant enough, but quickly walk away. Remember you want a fresh start in life. You must let go of the people who are dragging you down.

Second step: dump all the toxic people who are sucking the life out of you

It’s hard in the beginning but once you’ve dumped one or two, and you see how much freer you feel, the rest will be easy. Trust me on this one.

Here’s a small list of some negative people you may have in your life who absolutely need to go!!

There were many people who had hurt me a lot and though I never talked to them again I still held on to the anger and hurt they caused me. I needed to release them too. It’s hard to have a fresh start in life when you are hanging on to hurt and pain from the past. For me, forgiveness was the only way to go.

I had to forgive them, no matter how hard it was, to free them from my soul. People cringe when I talk about forgiveness. So many are opposed to the idea. I need you to know one very important thing right now:

We don’t forgive them for them, we do it for us.

You don’t even have to verbally forgive them. You can write a ‘truth letter’ and then release them. By the way, this is not a letter you send to them. You will want to burn it or destroy it after you wrote it. Truth letters are extremely powerful and therapeutic.

Here’s an example of a letter I wrote to everyone who hurt me.

You can see from this letter it was very nice and loving. But I got the point across. My actual truth letters that I write here at home have tons of eff words in them and they are illegible. And yes, I still write one every now and then.

I just want you to see that a truth letter is about releasing all the hurt, forgiving them and letting it go.

This makes space in your heart for good things, happy things, more loving things. New things!!

Third step: Forgive everyone who hurt you and let them go

So now that you’ve

  • stepped out of your comfort zone
  • ended relationships with things and people you no longer want to associate with, and
  • forgave everyone who hurt you

the next step is make the decision of starting a new life.

You already know being miserable isn’t serving you anymore. You already know you are completely unhappy and you need to make changes. You already know that you CAN be happy and live the life you deserve but it’s up to you to decide.

So………decide today that you are ready for a fresh start and are ready and willing to do whatever the heck you need to do to start over and leave the past behind.

Remember, the past doesn’t serve you anymore. It’s in the past for a reason. We don’t live there anymore. Stop going back there. Look ahead to the future and picture how absolutely amazing it will be when you decide to make a fresh start.

A fresh start means letting go of the past

When I decided to start a new life I left my home country and flew to Guatemala on a one way ticket. Ballsy, yes. Over the top? Maybe. But this was something I had to do. I left my entire life in Canada behind, including 95% of my belongings. I came down here with two suitcases and a whole lot of faith.

Faith is all you need (oh and determination!!). You have to listen to your heart and soul, throw caution to the wind and make the leap into the unknown. There are amazing things waiting for you there. Trust me on this one too.

I let go of people, places, things, jobs, everything.

I just let it all go. And to be honest, I don’t miss 99% of it. It’s so liberating when you leave the past behind and start over. No matter how old you are. I did all this at 52 years, alone and scared and have never been happier in my life.

Trust, have faith, let go and do it.

Peace and Love

xo iva ox

Originally published at on September 18, 2019.

Self help Guru|Expat|Website: mini self help eBook series here:

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