Kinder and Less Rushed

My kids put each other down. My neighbors rush past one another with barely a nod. My colleagues talk to one another without looking up from their computer screens. I, too, am critical, avoid eye contact and value projects more than people.

But wait! What am I doing? What is my purpose?

I believe I was put on this earth to create community, to write, to teach, to parent, and to love well. So, in that case, I might as well slow down and get to it.

Yesterday, my friend sent me this link: Business Etiquette. It makes good sense, especially:

  • #4 Focus on the Face, Not the Screen
  • #5, Don’t Judge
  • And I’d add #6 Don’t Rush

Sometimes I think my days should have themes. Perhaps —

  • Monday is for in-depth writing.
  • Tuesday is for kindness and courtesy.
  • Wednesday is anti-procrastination day (thanks, Flylady!).
  • Thursday is for teaching, training, networking.
  • Friday is for more writing and creating community.
  • Saturday and Sunday, rinse and repeat (and do the laundry).

I also want to return to living My Rules. I want Good Orderly Direction — GOD!

And just to keep myself accountable, for the next 10 days, I am going to post every day either here or at mbcoudal.com.

Because it’s good to have a plan, even if I don’t stick to it.

And my plan is to be less rushed at work and kinder at home; (yes, kinder at work and less rushed at home).

So, stop and smell the flowers in Riverside Park. That kind of thing.

advice from my art teachers

My art teacher Naomi Campbell at the Art Students League said to do these three things:

1. Make it strong
2. Keep it simple
3. Edit it down

Is this brilliant or what? She advised us to start with a big solid shape. To convey a gesture, make a strong line.

I love this. I’m a dip-my-toe-in kind of painter but this advice gives me permission to be bold.

Speaking of permission, Robert Burridge, my teacher at the Holbein workshop in Vermont, begins his class by passing out permission slips – bright magenta slips with the word “Permission” printed on them.

And whatever question you ask him, Burridge said, he will always answer, “Yes.”

“More blue?” “Yes.”

So one smart aleck asked, “What if I ask, ‘Does my painting stink?’ Will you say Yes?”

And Burridge said, “I’ll say, ‘You have permission to start over.'”

And that’s kinda what Campbell said today too when she said, “It’s only paper. Don’t try to make it perfect.”

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This guy was eating lunch and smoking at the same time, sitting outside the Art Students League today.