Today, it's -11 degrees celcius. It's hard to believe that just a week ago we were in Mexico where the temperature was +33 degrees celcius. Since we've been back everyone has been having a hard time getting back into routine. It seems like we all wish we could live where the weather isn't so cold. Personally, I miss the sun. I wish it would show up more often up here in Quebec. I admit that I love having four seasons but I wish winter wasn't so long even though it isn't really longer than spring or summer if you count the months. I think that it's more a question of impression than actual fact.
I've come to pay more attention to impressions lately because I noticed how they influence my behaviors, my attitudes and even my actions and reactions. Impressions are underlying perceptions that exist almost like shadows to experiences, events, and people etc.... For example when I was in Mexico I met this man at a jewelry store. He didn't seem motivated to sell me anything at first glance. He sat on a stool polishing rings while clients moved around browsing. It's only when I approached him with questions that he suddenly reacted like a salesman. He suggested jewels to buy and calculated prices before I even showed interest in the objects.
At first impression I thought that he loved his merchandise and allowed it to sell itself but as I interacted with the man my impression changed. He was no different than any other Mexican vendor who seemed caught in survival mode. He was pushy and wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. I did end up buying a ring and bracelet from this man but only because he shared a story about himself. He was curious with the fact that I spoke French and told me that his mother tongue was Mayan. He explained that the Mayan language was actually closer to the English language. "Chocolate" he said "is almost pronounced the same way." He talked about his family and where he lived. He allowed himself to be intimate.
I questioned my "impressions" once I got back on the ship. Was he like a shark oblivious to the objects and focused on a sale or was he more like an artist in love with his jewelry and certain that they were well worth the price? It was clear that it mattered to me one way or another. Impressions shape our life story and memories. I didn't wear the ring and the bracelet until I figured out "the impressions" that I had surrounding this interaction.
I'm a teacher of the Medicine Wheel and Indigenous Dreaming - impressions are a huge part of my life and I teach my students how to recognize their impressions and live well with them. I finally ended up wearing the jewelry that first night of classes once we were back home. It made sense to walk into a class room with all kinds of stories to tell even though some of them weren't quite finished yet... I talked about the jewelry and the Mayan man noticing that it stirred all kinds of feelings and "impressions" in my students.
We often talk about storytelling as entertaining but storytelling is so much more than that it helps us learn and heal; it helps us grow and change; it helps us to open up to new things and it challenges us etc.... I think that both my impressions were right and that perhaps, if I would have had other impressions as well they too would have been valid. For the fifteen minutes that I spent in the jewelry store sharing with this Mayan salesman -- I learnt about myself, about the man I was interacting with and about conditioned behaviors.
We talked about language in although it seemed to be a superficial conversation the impressions that I received through the knowledge that was shared was the both of us loved our Mother tongue. It gave us access to our ancestors and to our history. There was something in this that was important to me and that I would continue to explore in 2009.
My ancestors used to build their wigwams with the door facing the East. This is where the sun rises and where our ancestors rose every day. I understood that impressions are gifts from the East of our sacred Wheel and that they help us build our Power Wheel one stone at a time. Clarity is the first stone and I came home with the objective to learn to be clear in my impressions.