Spreading Wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all of my wonderful customers {dear friends} for helping me put Burton on the map during the spring Texas Antiques Show!  Each show just keeps getting better.  Karaoke Night and White Linen Night were both huge successes.  Karaoke Night felt like a scene from a Reese Witherspoon movie, as I watched guests approach The Coop carrying their lawn chairs and coolers to listen to Karaoke singers in the back yard.  The community did not disappoint on White Linen Night either.  Loved seeing the crowd dressed in white enjoying Libby Koch, Bad Girl BBQ and of course all the talented artists who participated.

It was an exhilarating and exhausting three weeks.

Now that I have had time to catch my breath, I am ready to take on new and exciting things at The Coop!  The past few months I’ve been exploring high quality and light hearted items that compliment our “Industrial, Vintage and Homestead Goods” core products.  I promise to never stray too far from our core, but would also like to

be delight and frolicsome, I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.

Have you ever felt like an underdog?

I confess that I often feel like the underdog as I forge my way in a secret town.  The underdog is a role that many entrepreneurs can identify with.  We march to our own beat and take the path least traveled.  Part of my mission at Flown The Coop is to promote fellow entrepreneurs and underdogs. I wholeheartedly believe everyone can achieve a dream by hard work, persistence, determination and being flexible to market trends.  It also helps when your small business community focuses on discovering ways to support each other.

I am so proud of the variety of talented people featured at The Coop.  Our vendors are dear friends who are chasing a dream and the majority of them are local folks.  We currently offer tee shirts designed by Sugar Pie Tees and Display,  Pamela Fagan Hutchins fiction and nonfiction books, artwork by Humble Donkey Studio, Lazy Bee Honey and honey jams, lavender products by Lacey Farms and sugar scrubs by Massage Therapy by Emily (my daughter).

In May The Coop will add jewelry created by Anastasia Gregoire.  Anastasia designs jewelry from vintage silver platters.  Stayed tuned on our Facebook Page for details!

New to The Coop: Boomtown Coffee is now sold at The Coop in one pound bags of whole been blends {Ethiopian Amaro Gayo and the very popular Darkness blend}.  You can now buy THE coffee voted number one in Houston at The Coop!  {EEKS!}  Jeff and I made Boomtown part of our daily routine when we lived in the Houston Heights.  Our son, Hayden, roasts coffee and is a barista for Boomtown.  We love this company and are thrilled to bring the Boom to Burton! #BringmetoBurton #BringtheBoomtoBurton 🙂

Items Just for the FUN

I am open to any idea that will make our customers smile!  A few months ago my daughter texted me a picture of novelty socks that she insisted we carry at The Coop.  So I did.  The first weekend we sold ten pairs.  SO FUN!!!!  I love watching people read the socks.  Most of them supports my sassy side.

When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead. ~ Hemingway

Spreading my wings

Despite my love for The Coop and my beloved secret town of Burton, I need to fly free from time to time.  In May I will hit the road for a buying trip to Ohio.  I have several stops planned along the way and will see my favorite pickers once I’m in Ohio.  I hope to bring back amazing Industrial and Vintage finds.  You can follow my journey on our Facebook Page and Instagram.

Contact me if you would like me to hunt for something specific for you!  The Coop will be open while I’m on the road.  But please call or check our FB and Instagram for possible closings.

That’s the scoop on The Coop!  I’m excited to spread my wings with new ideas, products and an upcoming road trip.  Hope you have something zesty to pursue!  I’d love to hear about your adventures.

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged,

~ Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

 

Rocking Around The Coop

Getting in the spirit

This year is my first year to decorate The Coop for Christmas.  Sadly, I don’t normally enjoy decorating for the holidays.  It’s just not the same since Jeff and I flew the coop, becoming empty nesters.

I forced myself to start thinking about it in October, already feeling behind the retail schedule.  Saying a little prayer for creativity, I started pinning ideas on Pinterst.  One pin led to another, and then the Christmas spirit took me by surprised.  I was actually looking forward to transforming The Coop with my new ideas.

During the same time, I was putting together our first Christmas At The Coop scheduled on December 6th, 11am – 5pm.  Planning a party is one of my all time favorite things to do.  I am really excited for all the creative people who will be joining the celebration.  The special guests include Pamela Fagan Hutchins (author), John Lowery (artist), T-Roy Miller (musician) and my son Hayden Eckhardt (barista & coffee roaster with Boomtown Coffee)!

A few of my favorite things

I had an idea of how I wanted to incorporate our existing Vintage * Industrial * Homestead goods with a Christmas selection that focused on shopping small.

First I placed orders with my favorite entrepreneurs, procuring an assortment of great gift ideas including tees, bracelet charms, candles, bags, pillow,etc.  Then I stocked up on our local homestead goods, Lazy Bee Honey and Honey jams and Lacey Farms Lavender.

This month we are introducing local talent into The Coop.  We now carry a local author, Pamela Fagan Hutchins with Skipjack Publishing.  We met Pamela and her husband this past fall at our Karaoke Night at The Coop.  Pamela didn’t miss a beat and sang two songs that evening.  John Lowery, a local artist, has been popping into The Coop since we opened in March.  It took me by surprise the day he stopped by to ask if we would display his Engelbrecht Longhorn prints in The Coop.  Of course we would!!!!  You can meet both Pamela and John on December 6th during Christmas At The Coop.

Taking time to create 

Making a list of projects I had pinned, I decided Jeff and I would create a few of our own Christmas decorations {another first}.  Jeff used his new plasma cutter to make wonderful galvanized Christmas ornaments.  He also hand crafted a mantel and some church pews with galvanized embellishments.  I created paper ornaments, paper chains, forced paper whites into canning jars and chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  My friend Carolyn spent an afternoon crafting at The Coop to help me get it all done.

A vision realized

I waited until the Sunday before Thanksgiving to transform The Coop.  The weather was finally cool the day I insisted on pulling everything out for a complete re-do.  It was fun to rearrange and add the Christmas collection to our Vintage and Industrial design.

My excitement ignited when Jeff hung my chalk boards with messages of Christmas cheer.  It was one of those moments when you realize a vision exactly how you had hoped it would be.  We were rocking around The Coop as we added the Christmas trees!

I am proud that The Coop has become an unique shopping experience with Vintage * Industrial * Homestead Goods, and fun gift ideas for the holidays!  The best part is that you can feel good that you are supporting local businesses, local talent and my entrepreneurial friends.

Even Maggie Magenta got dolled up for the holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can honestly say that I am in the Christmas spirit.  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Here’s a sneak peak… check out our Christmas 2015 album on Facebook for more pics!

What is your favorite part of getting in the holiday spirit?  Will you be rocking around the Christmas Tree?  I’d love to see you ideas, hear your traditions and what you are looking for when you shop for your loved ones.

May your days be Merry & Bright,

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Christmas At The Coop

It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our first anniversary of life in Burton, Texas!  Jeff and I moved into our Burton home a few days prior to Thanksgiving 2014.  It has been a very full year of making memories, realizing our dreams and becoming apart of an amazing community.

Christmas At The Coop

December 6th 11am – 5pm

I have thoroughly enjoyed planning our very first gen.u.ine Christmas At The Coop!  Here’s what you can expect on Dec 6th…

From the beginning, I envisioned featuring homestead goods at The Coop.  It has been a joy procuring local products, such as honey and honey jams from Lazy Bee Honey and lavender from Lacey Farms.  I am confident you will find unique gifts from our mixture of vintage and industrial home goods, along with our hand crafted items and fun tee designs.

I dream of filling The Coop with live music.  It was a goose bump kind of moment when my friend Abbey Road helped me book T-Roy Miller for an acoustic jam from 11am – 2pm. Not sure how we got so lucky! T-Roy’s guitar picking is mesmerizing and will definitely put us in the holiday spirit! Check out his web site http://www.t-roymiller.com/ and this video: https://youtu.be/7KGIu4-iQuE! If you weren’t in the holiday spirit yet, you will be now!

Where the backroads end, Burton is a homestead for creative and talented people!  I am thrilled to be hosting two very talented individuals whom I have had the privilege to become friends.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins, author and co-owner of Skipjack Publishingwill be joining us for a book signing.  I recently completed her Kate Annalise trilogy and couldn’t put the books down.  Her books will make great gifts, especially signed by the author!

 

Local artist, John Lowery has chosen The Coop to exclusively display his Engelbrecht Longhorn.  The original painting is quite large at 50″x50″ and depicts a typical scene if you drive down Engelbrecht drive between 390 and Post Oak Road.  You will be able to meet John and purchase one of his prints for the art lovers on your gift list.

Be sure to get there early!

11am – 1pm Boomtown Coffee, voted reader’s choice 3 years in a row, will be in the house!  My son, Hayden Eckhardt will be using his mad barista skills to serve java and espresso drinks.  Bags of freshly roasted coffee will be available to purchase as well.  The perfect hostess gift for your upcoming gatherings.

Make it a day!

Burton’s Heritage Society has planned a Tannenbaum Tour and Christmas at the Depot. Tour our local businesses and vote for your favorite Christmas tree, have your photo taken with Santa and enjoy the holiday spirit in our magical little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it a tradition

December 4th – 6th small towns throughout the Roundtropolis area will be celebrating the holiday season.  So, book a B&B and make a weekend of it!  We hope that slowing down for a country Christmas will become your annual tradition.

Stay updated on the event HERE!

Happy Holidays!  ~ Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

TIME FLIES

It’s true!  Time flies, much like a gen.u.ine FREE spirit.  Since opening The Coop on March 25th, we’ve had so much fun nestling into our Burton home.  We honestly LOVE the community and all our new friends.  Thank you ALL for making our first few months in business a tremendous success!

Hard to believe we are weeks away from another Texas Antiques Week!

Getting Ready for the BIG SHOW

Jeff and I will hit the road again for a buying trip.  I already have a large load waiting to be picked up!  I am super excited to visit my favorite dealers to see what they’ve uncovered in their latest hunting adventures.  This promises to be epic!

Flown The Coop will be closed August 30 – September 22.  The Coop will undergo a complete redo to prepare for Texas Antiques Week.  During this time we will bring back our new treasures and create all new vignettes.  Sorry, no sneak peaking…

The Burton Antiques Market

September 23rd – Kicking off the Burton Antique Market

Flown The Coop will throw open the doors September 23rd at 9:00 am.  Be the first to grab the newest treasures from our buying trip and one of our BRAND NEW gen.u.ine FREE spirit tees.  Don’t forget to snap a pic in front of our gen.u.ine FREE spirit mural.  Tag us #2flownthecoop so we can highlight your pic on our FB and Instagram accounts.

Later that night we have a BIG treat for you…  Flown The Coop will open our backyard stage from 7:30 pm – midnight for Kountry Chic Karoake & DJ.  Bring your lawn chairs and BYOBeverages!  It will be a fun evening under the stars with Denise and our favorite local karaoke stars.

 September 26th – White Linen Night 

Several months ago the idea for White Linen Night came to me while dreaming up events for Texas Antiques Week.  I saw a throwback picture on Facebook from one of Theresa Cano’s Blogger Parties.  All the ladies showed up dressed in white.  The idea popped into my head:  Burton needs a White Linen Night, much like the New Orleans and Houston Heights tradition celebrating the arts and surviving another sultry summer.   So ladies and gentlemen, get out your favorite white outfit and join us on September 26th from 6pm – 9pm for Burton’s FIRST EVER White Linen Night!

Flown The Coop is teaming up with Market Realty/ Rita’s Antiques to sponsor White Linen Night.  Artists, creatives and makers will line Live Oak St. in front of Flown The Coop.  Live music will be on the porch of Market Realty.  Food by the Burton Volunteer Fire Department will be located in front of Market Realty.

There is still room for artists, creatives and makers to join White Linen Night!  Email me at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com for registration!  

Check out the White Linen Night Fabebook Event for the updated list of Artists * Music * Food * Fun.  

Burton Antique Market

Putting Burton on the Antiques Show Map!  Burton will roll out the welcome mat for pilgrims of Texas Antiques Week September 23 – October 3rd.  Our charming little secret town has even more new Antique Stores and will host a few events you will want to be aware of during this bi-annual event.

September 26th Burton Trade Days, because it’s nearly impossible to have a garage sale in the country.  Located at The Railroad Details from 9am – 5pm.

September 23 – 25th Volunteer Fire Department will serve BBQ at the Fire Department under the water tower.  11am – 7pm

Flown The Coop will be open daily September 23 – October 3rd  9am- 7pm

The BIG FUN will be here before you know it… I can’t wait to see all my friends I’ve made over the past several years! #TexasAntiquesWeek #BurtonAntiqueMarket #BringmetoBurton

 

A gen.u.ine Free Spirit

I’m here to tell you that wild and crazy dreams come true.  The day Jeff and I put an offer on our new home, I woke up with a vision for March 25th.  We were going to have a party! I envisioned live music, food trucks and fun.  Months later, I can’t stop smiling over all the tiny details that I envisioned fall into place.

For example, several months ago I began searching for an artist to paint a free flying mural on the outside wall of The Coop. The vision for it was vague.  As time ran out on hiring a talented artist, I realized that this would have to be a DIY project.  Could I really do this?

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

I sat down to my computer and played with different ideas until the mural emerged.

YES!  It is exactly what I hoped for.  With help from Jeff, a borrowed projector and the talented Stephanie Jarvis {who gave the mural wings}…. my vision took flight.  A gen.u.ine free spirit!

Let’s kick off this party with a photo contest!  It’s easy as 1.2.3!

1. Take a photo of yourself flying free in front of the gen.u.ine Free Spirit mural.

2. Post your photo to Facebook or Instagram with 3 tags: #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop and #BringmetoBurton

3. The photo with the most likes wins a $50 gift card to Flown The Coop!

Contest rules: Contest runs March 25 – April 1.  Winner will be announced on April 2.  Winner will receive a $50 gift card for Flown The Coop merchandise in The Coop with no cash back.  No purchase necessary to win.  All sales are final.  I will monitor Facebook and Instagram for photos using #2flownthecoop @2flownthecoop #BringmetoBurton only.

Can’t wait to see ALL YOU gen.u.ine free spirits!  NOW LET’S HAVE A PARTY!  

My secret town

Burton, Texas is often overlooked in guides written to navigate Texas Antiques Week.  In fact, Burton has managed to be the best kept secret among the dealers who enjoy getting away from the crowd without the crazy lines.

In 2011 I was invited to join a group of dealers to eat at the Burton Cafe during the fall show.  Ludmil and Linda Marcov of Willow Nest lived in Burton at the time.  After dinner our group walked a block to their homestead for a chance to tour their shop and home.  It was love at first site.  In my wildest dreams I could never imagine that in four years I would call this magical property my home.

I pinch myself everyday!  The best way to get to know a new hometown is to become a tourist in your own town.  Here is what I’ve discovered about this secret town….

This community is alive!  It didn’t take long to get to know people and feel apart of this wonderful community.  A quick look at the Burton Chamber of Commerce calendar for March gives a glimpse of the numerous events and opportunities to interact with our neighbors.  The energy put into events is admirable.  The chamber of commerce and area businesses have been extremely supportive of the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party events planned for Texas Antiques Week.

There are three restaurants within walking distance and literally within view of our little white house.  The Brazos Belle Restaurant, with an authentic french fare, was recently featured in Texas Highways magazine.   Burton Cafe is a wonderful german restaurant where we discovered german pancakes and the red rueben.  The Burton Short Stop is a local favorite.  They make the best hamburgers and finger licking fried food.

This sleepy little town rocks during the weekend!  Every Thursday night the locals come out for Karaoke with Denise the Country Chick Karaoke & DJ at The White Horse Tavern.  On Friday and Saturday nights it is fun to watch two stepping couples let their hair down to live music at The White Horse.  I wish I had known about the White Horse when I was a dealer in the field.  It would have been a great way to unwind.  In addition to nightlife, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists and classic car enthusiast flock to Burton for day trips.

The rolling hills of Washington County is known for the numerous wineries.  I was thrilled to learn Saddlehorn Winery was only four miles away!  Another relaxing destination I wished I had known about during Texas Antiques Week.  The winery and tasting room are located in a renovated horse barn with scenic views of their vineyard.  Jeff and I joined their wine club and have enjoyed pick up parties in their fantastic event room.  Saddlehorn just announced construction on their outdoor patios.  I will toast to that!

It’s only natural to mention the parks.  Lake Somerville is a short picturesque drive from downtown Burton.  There are a few campgrounds to launch a boat, camp or have a picnic with the pet like deer.  Behind the Cotton Gin Museum you can explore the Indian Creek Nature Area.  This little nature preserve is a labor of love by local members of the Texas Master Naturalist.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

I love that Burton’s charm has been preserved over the years.   The town is filled with historic homes, the official Texas Cotton Gin Musuem, The Burton Heritage Society located in the historic Burton Railroad Depot and established downtown businesses.  The Nesting Co Flourist is a lovely business.  Heidi Jaster is not only an accomplished florist, but a talented photographer.  The Burton Bridge Ministry Thrift Shoppe, located in a historic corner gas station, is a mission of Burton area churches and another best kept secret.

Photo Credit: Heidi Jaster

In recent years visionary businesses have fallen in love with our secret town.  Old Glory Antiques established their Old Glory Texas pop up shop in the 3000 square foot dance hall in the spring of 2014.  Their bunkhouse adjacent to their shop was featured in the October issue of Country Living.  This spring Texas Antiques Week will usher in two new businesses.  In addition to Flown The Coop, Joel and Shelby Geshay will open Bayberry’s on East Texas St. on March 25th.

The biggest joy of our new hometown is in our backyard!  Jeff and I have really enjoyed country living and so excited to open Flown The Coop in this wonderful community!  We’ll be kicking off our new venture on March 25th during the Burton Preview Party.  This will be a city wide celebration with food trucks and live music.  The party will continue on Friday, March 27th when Burton rolls out the red carpet for the first ever Burton Blogger Party.  Click through the Burton Preview Party and the Burton Blogger Party links to see details on the events.

In 16 days the secret will be out!  We know that as people become more aware of Burton, it will be a favorite Texas Antiques Week destination and a day trip destination all throughout the year.

Hope you stop by and see me!  When you come be sure to tag any posts to Facebook or Instagram with #BringmetoBurton so we can see Burton through your eyes.  I also use #2flownthecoop, #secrettown, #BurtonTX.  Search these hashtags if you want to see what has been posted recently.

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Check it out!  Recently published Social Marketing on the Fly, a guide to social marketing on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing My Latest Project

I’m beyond excited to announce the launching of my newest project!  Social Marketing On The Fly is a beginners guide to understanding social marketing and how to effectively engage your customers without spending your day in front of a computer. Specifically written for creatives who travel great distances to display their finds at shows and flea markets, but the techniques can be applied to any small business owner with limited time for social media marketing.

My love affair with social media began in 2008 when I met my best friends through a Tweet Up in Columbus, Ohio.  My addiction to social media has open many amazing doors since that time.  I’ve helped small businesses develop plans to utilize social media, traveled as a travel blogger with Weekend ReTweat, built Flown The Coop’s social media presence and have taught colleagues at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques how to jump start their presence on social media.  It was Heather Basden at Chippendale Eastlake Antiques who encouraged me to teach my friends in the field how to use social media to promote their businesses.

I am always open to helping small businesses wrap their minds around social media.  It occurred to me that I would be able to help more small businesses by writing an easy to read Ebook.  I hope to convey how effortless social marketing can be once you understand how to properly use and connect the various platforms available.  As a follow up, I will be offering assistance in setting up and launching a social marketing for readers who need a little push out of the nest.

I am dedicating this book to raising money for a single mom who came into my life while I was writing Social Marketing On The Fly.  I fell in love with her and her precious little ones.  She opened my eyes to the struggles she must overcome, while figuring out life and raising her little ones on her own.  Truth is we are all struggling to discover our value and purpose.  I hope to give her some relief and encourage her “take a leap and build her wings on the way down.”

Starting in April, I will be offering a limited number of packages for businesses who need help structuring a social marketing plan for their business.  Contact me to reserve a consultation.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our grand opening!  March 25th will be here before you know it.  Life is heating up just in time for spring!

~Tiffany

~And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

Contact me if you would like to

Destination shopping

As much as I love hitting the open road, it is refreshing to discover a fun destination close to home.  Annette’s Touch of Class, located north of Houston, isn’t your typical junking experience!

I LOVE a good success story

I had the privilege of meeting Annette at the Dallas Market Center Vintage Home.  Annette and her daughter Megan have spent the past ten years creating a successful retail business, eventually expanding to wholesale and trade shows, selling unique apparel and accessories.  In May they celebrated the Grand Opening of their 5000 square foot “spirited” shopping experience, complete with a full soda bar, man cave, child’s area with tv and a barn filled with unique junque (my fav).

This mother and daughter team got it right, in my opinion.  🙂  They have created a fun destination that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Sensory Overload

My junque senses were in overload!  I love their creative displays using awnings, old signs, car parts, benches, etc.  I saw something to ooh and awe at everywhere I looked!

 

Family Friendly

Who doesn’t love an old fashion soda fountain?

And a place to park the hubby!

The Red Barn

Owning a barn like Annette’s would be a dream come true!  🙂

Abel, a young junker in training, was impressed too.  🙂

Inspiration

I enjoyed a fun morning shopping Annette’s, looking at all their creative displays and junking in the red barn.  I left inspired by the successful business Annette and Megan built together.  And I definitely recommend taking a road trip to visit them!

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged

 

Flown The Coop is dedicated to those who can’t be caged, because I aspire to live authentically.  I want to surround myself with individuals who are giving themselves permission to BE.   I honestly believe in the American dream, that we all have gifts to give and that we all can soar past our limitations.

Occasionally we find ourselves caged by ideals and circumstances.  Flying free is not always easy.  I unexpectedly found myself caged and am willing to share what I learned in hopes that we can encourage each other to fly free!

Caged by the Do

Time between shows and buying trips makes me restless (and crazy).  I love the road, finding unusual junque and then finding new homes for the treasured pieces!  I also love to be busy, proving myself to be productive and useful.  In the month of March I was super busy, only home in Houston for five days.  You would think that I would welcome a few weeks off.  After only a few days of rest I was anxious to get on with another project, hit the road, DO something productive.

Well, here’s the thing… I was caged by my need to “Do.”  You know I like the HUSTLE!  I equate doing with successful people.  I tend to fight for what I think is necessary for success.  I erroneously believed that if I stopped the madness, nothing would be accomplished.

My forced down time has given me the opportunity to read, garden, walk/run, watch the DIY network and spend time with Jeff.  Funny what you discover when you slow down!

  • I read The Invention of Wings and wondered what women of that era would think of the freedom we have today? I devoured a few Brene Brown books on shame and vulnerability, discovering a few things about myself and my perceived limitations.
  • I serendipitously discovered TX/RX Labs while picking up an industrial shelf I purchased on an online auction.  Jeff and I joined the lab, signed up for classes and now have a renewed excitement about creative projects we are planning.
  • One day, I won a GoPro camera watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, which has inspired me to pick up my camera again.
  • After watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, I also watched an interview with Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York.  I fell in love with his project, bought his book and daily read individual stories on Facebook.  We are all so unique, but still struggle with similar issues.

Although I fought it at first, slowing down has given me a new sense of HOPE, creativity, and made room for new opportunities.  I am reminded of the importance of BEING.

Caged by Comparison

Comparison is a cage I desperately need to be free of.  GEESH!  This one kills me.  If I wish to be vulnerable and authentic, I need to be honest about this one.  I found myself envious of the success of others.  I immediately fell into despair thinking I will never achieve success with all my limitations.  I have had time to process this cage and take flight.  First of all, my personal journey will not look like any other journey.  The hardest thing for me to grasp is that my self worth is not tied to my net worth, productivity, or the accolades of others.  Life has meaning and hope when I free myself of that crap!

FOCUS

Improper focus is another cage.  I’ve always had a Focus Board of dreams.  I have several posters covered with magazine images of what I thought life should deliver me.  I dreamed of big houses, cars, exotic trips, etc.  Dreaming and ambitions in life are not bad.  I treasure the dreams and accomplishments of my life.  I realized, after reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, that the acquisitions and accomplishments I strive for don’t necessarily bring joy.  Love this quote in Brown’s book,

Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness.  Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky.  Joy is a light that fills you with hope, faith and love

~Adela Rogers St. Johns

I see a pattern.  Once I achieve a dream, I always set the bar higher for myself.  Striving for success in the future robs me of present joy. Now, I am working on a Focus Board for JOY, the things in life that bring meaning and hope.

The Avett Brothers sing it best!

Head full of doubt/Road full of promises

Like a bird in a cage, I broke in and demanded that somebody free it!  I am grateful for the downtime and for discovering creative people who inspired me to live authentically.  In sharing my journey, I hope to encourage you to break free from whatever cage ensnares you.

I’d love to hear from you!!!!  Let’s encourage each other in flying free.

Here’s to freedom!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!