Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear 2013 + The 24 Things Challenge

Hey all! Well, we've almost come to the end of the year, can you believe it? It's time to look back at all that was 2013 and hop into a fresh new 2014. Thanks to Beka and Amanda for hosting the Dear 2013 link-up and Marylee for The 24 Things Challenge idea. 

Dear 2013,

You've been a year full of changes, ups and downs, and love. 

I've learned from my experiences working with very different types of people. I questioned how I want to have an impact in my work. I've seen how money works, how can be very destructive when taken to the excess. And on the other hand, I've learned humbleness from my kids (I'll always call my students 'my kids'). Where simplicity was a treasured lesson. And everyday ended with exploding sunsets and their smiles imprinted in my mind.

Girls of Picaflor House.

I've met people who inspired me, with burning desire to give all they can, with endless amounts of love. I met different people, encountered other mindsets, and learned to stretch my own mind and heart. I became closer to people I love and admire.

I embraced love and took a leap to marry a wonderful guy. And was able to share the moment with a few special friends and family. I keep learning about love from and with him. This was a huge highlight of the year!

A favorite of our engagement photos. By: Diane Patterson

We made a big decision, to create a new step together. This in itself was full of challenges and difficulties. Leaving people we loved and trading it in for a whole new city life. We learned to use it to our advantage and to help us grow in love and support of each other. But it was still a tough time. 

After the struggles of adapting, a nest has begun being built: learning places and people, creating a community, and allowing openness to the possibilities. 

I was present to a whole new side of Peruvian food and we played around in the kitchen creating our own meals. I also delved into a hobby of sharing my life through a blog, which became even more important than I'd imagined.

Thank you 2013 for all that you are and that the journey continues to teach us more love than before.

By: Diane Patterson

*   *   *

The other day I stumbled upon an idea for the new year that I love! It's by Marylee and I found it through my daily emails from Elephant Journal (tons of inspiring stuff). This idea is called The 24 Things Challenge. Essentially, it's an exercise in simplifying. It's kind of like a spring cleaning of sorts, which I think is perfect for the new year and new moon. Doesn't that sound like a great thing for the new year??

The idea is this. Everyday from Jan. 1st through 24th...
1. purge one thing. In creating this clear space, there will be a new place for new things ('things' can be physical, mental, spiritual, etc.). 
2. abstain from buying anything other than necessities. Basically, practice being a conscious consumer. (I feel pretty good about this one but the tricky part (for me)comes down to social activities like lunch or coffee - not really necessities but I may consider as part of self-love/well-being.) If something comes to mind that you want, put it on a list to re-evaluate after the 24th. 

The simplicity is what drew me to the project. While these are simple acts, it's the growing consciousness that makes them great. I'm looking forward to sharing my purges and experience here. This is an open invitation to join in the 24 Things Challenge. I'd love to hear your experiences as well!

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