What???!!!!! I had no idea! I have heard of these filters but I have never used one! All along I have been merrily taking pictures and posting. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised at this. I wish I could say it is because I am so confident in my looks. Alas, I simply don’t know how to do it. I have visions of wanting to take a picture using a filter, and then needing to call one of my children to figure it out!
When I think about these magical filters, part of me thinks they are a great idea. I know that I have seen pictures that have been taken using such filters and they really do help create incredible photographs. On the other hand, I think of women and our struggle to find a balance between using ‘things’ to enhance our looks and striving to be valued for more important things than those that are superficial.
As I age, I try to remind myself that my body tells the story of my life and that I should embrace the lines and spots and gray hairs and aches. Having had a mother who died when I was 10 years old, I know too well that the alternative to having wrinkles, et al, is not my desire. I try to appreciate this and show up to my life with confidence.
And yet… those filters are now calling my name!
As I have been pondering this deep dilemma this week, and laughing at myself as I do so, I’ve been trying to notice places where filters could come in handy in our lives.
This week I was at the dentist office for my six-month cleaning. As always, I was welcomed warmly at the front desk by Michelle, who not only asked how I was but also checked in on how our daughter Kaitlyn is feeling as she enters her final month of pregnancy. Then Sam, my hygienist, made sure to talk to me about ‘life things’ that we had talked about last time. I love her true caring nature and the passion she brings to her work. And even though Dr. Charanduk wasn’t scheduled to see me, he popped in just to say hello and to inquire about how things were going for me, not only regarding my teeth, but also in reference to my family and my life. He made sure to check in about both Jim and Greg, even though neither of these is a patient of his. As I payed at the front desk, Michelle tucked a little gift card for Chapters, into my receipt. She said that Chapters has lots of neat things for new babies that I might like to spend it on. And then she said that in their morning meeting they had talked about me and had said that I will be a wonderful grandma. Incredible!
Considering that the dentist office is not my favourite place to be, I couldn’t think of any way that this visit could have been made better. In truth, this is how all of my visits to this office play out. Whether I am there for a cleaning, a regular check up or a root canal, I always know I will be well cared for. As I drove home after my appointment (thinking about how I might use a filter to show off my uber clean teeth – if only I knew how ;) ), I realized that Dr. Charanduk and his staff use a filter with their patients. Oh, no doubt they need to use the regular filter to monitor what they say, but it seemed to me that the more important filter they use is the one that allows them to see their patients as valuable people, rather than as procedures. Clearly, in their morning meetings, they discuss the roster for the upcoming day and they remind each other about the people they will be serving. From everything I have ever seen or heard when I have visited this office, the treatment I received is standard practice. The ‘Let’s View this Patient as a Valuable and Welcome Person’ filter is applied, patient after patient, day after day. What a wonderful gift this is for their patients!
Since not all of us are as adept as using filters as Dr. Charanduk and his team, I’ve been wishing that some tech company could develop filters that we each could apply in our lives. As this busy season of Christmas rushes toward us, this could be invaluable!
What filter would you find most valuable? Perhaps you need one that filters out your abrupt words and lets you sound more like the person you heard in your head when you were thinking about what you wanted to say.
Or maybe you would benefit from the filter of kindness? When you apply this filter, you will notice that all people are carrying a load, and that by offering kindness, you lighten that load.
Perhaps the filter of ‘Memory Making’ will be the one you choose this Christmas Season. When you use this filter, you try to make your ‘to do’s’ into moments that can be cherished.
Or maybe you will filter everything through the lens of love, or patience, or through the lens of the Christmas Story, or through the lens of ease.
As for me, I plan to use many filters. I hope I can choose just the right one at the right moment to help me create the season I want to be part of.
If all else fails, apparently the Clarendon filter on Instagram will intensify the shadows and brighten the highlights, and Reyes will hide all blemishes so at least I can turn my Christmas photos into the illusion of my self-enlightenment!
Think about the person you are hoping to be this season. My inquiry for you this week is, ‘What filter should I use?’
Elizabeth creates and facilitates custom workshops for corporate, public and private groups. She provides leadership coaching for individuals and groups. Book a session with Elizabeth to learn how to incorporate the tool of filtering into your life.