He was right the whole time. An epiphany about habits

Quote

This is a common occurrence in the Eckhardt home.  Jeff will communicate a thought he thinks will help me.  He is dumbfounded when I share the same thought as an epiphany I learned from a podcast or a book.  Why did I have to hear it from someone else?  He was right the whole time.

Today I had a similar moment with God

Tiffany Eckhardt, owner of Flown The Coop, discovers a paradigm shift reading Atomic Habits, by James Clear

I am a journaler.  I write out all my feelings to determine what I think about them.  God has been whispering the word “BE”  to me for a long time.  It didn’t register until today.

Road to an epiphany

I have created a wonderful habit of listening to podcasts as I get ready for the day.  If you haven’t already, check out my 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 Strong article.

My habit has introduced me to wonderful Influencers.   I am currently enjoying the #Last90Days challenge with Dave and Rachel Hollis.  I tune into their daily FB live for inspiration.  Their Five To Thrive has really propelled me into some great foundational habits.

I’m seeing a reoccurring topic arise throughout the podcast world.  Everyone seems to be talking about habits.

I am currently listening to The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do on Audible.  This is a book Rachel Hollis recommended the first week of the #Last90Days challenge.  Wow! The study of habits is fascinating.  The same week I started to listen The Power of Habit I heard an interview on Lewis Howes’ podcast with James Clear. James just wrote the book Atomic Habits.  Blew. My. Mind.  I highly recommend listening to this podcast!

The road to an epiphany led me to a Habits.

I am a reader

My copy of Atomic Habits arrived in the mail yesterday.  Ironically, I am creating a new reading habit at night.  (I am a reader)  I devoured the first three chapters, underlining and wiring comments on several key ideas.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • A habit is a routine or behavior that is performed regularly – and, in many cases, automatically.
  • the quality of our lives depend on the quality of our habits
  • Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement
  • Success is the product of daily habits – not once-in-a-lifetime transformations
  • You don’t rise to the level of your goals.  You fall to the level of your systems
  • an atomic habit refers to a tiny change, a marginal gain, a 1 percent improvement
  • atomic habits are the building blocks of remarkable results
  • there is a difference between outcome based habits and identity habits
  • It’s hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led you to your past behavior
  • The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity… when your behavior and your identity are fully aligned, you are no longer pursuing a behavior change.  You are simply acting like the person you already believe yourself to be.
  • The focus should always be on becoming that type of person, not getting a particular outcome

Wow!  A paradigm shift!  I had to let all of these ideas sink in.  What stood out to me is that I didn’t truly believe I could be the person who accomplished dreams.  I didn’t believe I could BE successful or healthy (skinny).  I didn’t even believe I could BE a nice person.  UUGH!

He was right the whole time

This morning God whispered to me again, “Be.”  Turns out he was right the whole time.  God was leading me to focus on who I wanted to BE.  He is interested in leading me to my true identity.  Why didn’t I hear him from the beginning?  I was focused on outcomes. I didn’t have faith in the journey!

Now what?

I will focus on small changes over time.  My goal is to become the best version of myself.

The question becomes, “Who do I want to BE?”

  • I am a christian (true identity). I am loving and loyal to my family and friends.
  • I am a healthy person who is committed to daily exercise, drinking water, and eating well (I am skinny). 😉
  • I am a natural networker.  I love connecting people and helping them realize their dreams!
  • I am a leader who uplifts her team to the best version of themselves.
  • I am a reader… love to learn!
  • I am patient… becoming the best version of myself takes time.  🙂

This epiphany might only be for my benefit.

He was right the whole time.  I don’t think God is upset that I didn’t hear “BE” the first time.  I think he knew I needed to take this road to an epiphany.  Tiny habits over time compounds into the person I want to become!  I am thankful for this lesson.

I am humbly grateful if this resinates with you!  Let me encourage you!  Decide the person you want to BE and create habits that serve that person.

I’d love to hear from you!  Get a copy of the book Atomic Habits.  Let’s share what we learn with each other!  Let’s believe in who we can BE!

~Tiffany

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

The Practice Life!

The practice life is rich in opportunity!

The Practice Life is taking action on an idea, and an exercise repeated regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

Tiffany Eckhardt, owner of Flown The Coop takes a look at life as a practice.

People practice patience, hospitality, yoga, wellness, gratitude and their business.  Here are a few practices I’m currently working on.

Patience

Let’s just say that I am cultivating patience in tandem with all the other fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22-23). This is a necessary gift from God!  I don’t come by it naturally.  Our guest house project is testing my patience.  The struggle is real.  I’ve been dreaming of this project for three years.  I do not claim to be long suffering.  It takes practice to accept the things I can not control.

Hospitality

I love to practice hospitality.  I was fortunate to hear a speaker on hospitality as a young mother.  The speaker set me free from imperfect entertaining.  Entertaining is preforming to impress your guest.  Hospitality is welcoming friends in your home with the intention of blessing them.  The focus is on the guests, not on me.

One of my biggest joys is to have fun events and classes at Creative At The Coop.  It is a gift to be able to offer what I’ve learned from years of practice.  I enjoy learning new skills for my practice!  Recently I discovered the ease of creating a charcuterie board.  Charcuterie boards have been a fun creative outlet for my Scout & Cellar wine tastings.

Yoga

My wellness practice began over a year ago.  Jeff and I first embraced a paleo diet and Young Living essential oils!  My home and health became less toxic as I transferred my buying habits to plant based items.  Most importantly, I learned how to listen to my body for clues on what it needs.

I’ve noticed a need to be more active.  Jeff and I joined ​​gen·e·sis yog​a​​​ in Brenham.  Yoga is a patience patient practice, supporting mobility and mindfulness.  I discovered a love for restorative yoga!  It feels like a yoga massage!  I love the challenge of the strength building poses.  I need a lot of practice at this stage of the game!

Business

I am not a doctor or a lawyer.  I am a serial entrepreneur that has spent my life practicing business.  This is one area of my life that feels like an endless climb upward.  I had to learn to embrace the mystery and create a pro mindset.

Podcasts have become a staple in my development this past year.  Some of my favorite podcasters feel like friends.  Truly, at this point in my life I need mentors.  I long to surround myself with people who are in spaces I want to occupy.  Check out my latest blog to learn about 5 podcasts to finish 2018 strong!

Grace

Flown The Coop Guest HouseFinally, I’d like to offer a bit of grace by imagining all areas of life is a practice.  I am grateful to God for grace!  It is an open gate to excepting life in it’s fullest.  I will repeatedly, on a regular basis, move toward my goals allowing myself to makes mistakes along the way.  No one is perfect right out of the gate.  The important thing to remember is keep on practicing.  Right?

Are you giving yourself grace to view life as a practice?  Let’s encourage each other to finish 2018 strong!  Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below!

 

~Tiffany

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

5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 Strong!

Listening to podcasts has given me access to incredible thought leaders who have influenced a new mindset.  I am a firm believer that at any point in my life I have the power to change my story.  I am so excited to join Rachel Hollis’s #Last90Days challenge to finish 2018 strong.  The Last90Days challenge got me thinking about the biggest obstacle to realizing my dreams. I believe the challenge is the narrative I create in my head.   Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts to Finish 2018 Strong

Many of these leaders have inspired me to take a leap into the unfamiliar with Flown The Coop.  I’ve developed new skills, thought about life in new ways and became laser-focused on incoming producing activities.  By far, the biggest tool I’ve learned to harness is my mind.

Top 5 podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis

The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongI am a BIG fan of Brooke Castillo! Brooke has a brilliant way of putting thoughts into perspective.  She is dynamic and energetic, full of wisdom!  Brooke’s main premise is,”Thoughts create feelings. Feelings create action.”  She has over 200 episodes.  I recommend starting her podcast from episode 1.

Rise Podcast

I recently discovered Rachel Hollis.  You have to read her book, Girl Wash Your Face!  She is seriously on fire with life!  I love her no nonsense approach to success.  She speaks frankly about the lies we tell ourselves in a way that feels like love.  I joined her #Last90Days challenge and am seriously excited to see how 2018 end!

I enjoy her Facebook Live every morning at 8am central with her husband Dave.  They are a great team!

The Essential Oil Revolution

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongWellness has a huge impact on going for your dreams!  You have to be well to hustle!

I had no idea of where to start when I received my Young Living starter kit.  The Essential Oil Revolution was a God send, full of practical advice!  I love the variety of interviews, from Lucy Libido to Nadine Artemis.

The Goal Digger Podcast

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongI adore Jenna Kutcher, a boss babe, promoting body positive!  She is a viral sensation.  Jenna’s Social Media training has been a game changer for me.  She owns a killer multifaceted business!  There are over 140 episodes.  Not all of the content is applicable to my life, YET.

The Story Brand

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts To Finish 2018 StrongDonald Miller has an excellent way of communicating ideas… through a story!  Clarify the message to create a story in which the hero is my customer and my business is the mentor.  This concept forced me to look at how Flown The Coop solves problems.  I recommend returning to The Story Brand podcast regularly to recharge marketing creativity.

I highly recommend any of Donald Miller’s work!

Bonus:   The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale

Tiffany Eckhardt's 5 Podcasts to Finish 2018 StrongOk… The Strangest Secret is not a podcast, but a vintage 1950s YouTube video still relevant today!  I was challenged to listen to this recording for 30 days.  I hear something different every time I listen.

What is the secret to success?  It is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

 

 

Renewing my mind daily with podcasts like these propels me toward my worthy ideals!  Let me know what your favorite podcasts are!  Let’s encourage each other to finish the year strong!

~Tiffany

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

Flown The Coop Liquidation Sale

Make plans to come out to our Liquidation Sale at Flown the Coop.  Shop our “junque” with garage sale prices {except consignment and choice pieces}.  To be honest, we won’t know exactly what we have until we pull it all out.  I know for sure we have doors, sleds, canoe, Coca Cola machine, barn beam, wood, car hoods, signs, furniture, and misc. smalls…. and we’re ready to liquidate!

Thursday, June 14th – Saturday, June 16th

11am – 5pm

But first let me share with you how we got here….

Flown The Coop’s humble beginnings

From humble beginnings to Liquidation Sale... Flown The Coop is a genuine free spirit

The storefront was a blank page three years ago.  The dream of a store in Burton, where Jeff and I could work and live, was sealed with the promise of a rainbow.

Flown The Coop sealed with the promise of a rainbow

It has been a wild ride!  I cherish the friends I’ve made,  both customers and/or vendors.  I have loads of memories from buying trips, and the cool “finds” I brought back to The Coop.  The numerous events, from White Linen Night to Backyard Karaoke Bashes, have filled my cup!  I even treasure the obstacles that have been thrown my way.  All in all, I am blessed with a wonderful creative outlet.  I have become a better version of myself because of this adventure.

So why a liquidation sale????

I am, and will always be a gen.u.ine FREE spirit.  I am keenly aware when I need to adjust my wings.

Flown The Coop's Tiffany loves her WINGS, and is excited about the future... especially the liquidation sale June 14-16

The recent changes that have been made to the storefront are well received.

The Coop feels bigger with an open floor plan.

The classes are well received!  It is pure joy building relationships with customers who attend the classes.  I am currently working with a variety of teachers to offer classes that will work for them and potential students.  Jeff and I have plans to double the classroom space.  Groups will be welcome to use this space as a collaborative work space, private wine tastings and for small events.  The Creative space is a genuine “parks & rec” at Flown The Coop.

After the Flown The Coop Liquidation Sale????

Expect exciting days ahead for Flown The Coop…. I say “exciting” because I have no clue what’s in store for us (no pun intended).

One thing is clear, I can’t go on as it is.  My resolve has tanked with sales.

Customers can visit the storefront on Saturdays through the summer, along with scheduled classes and events.

The Antique Show in the fall is still up for debate.  Although, I have booked a band September 28th.  I will have a BIG party that night. STAYED TUNED!  (follow the EVENTS page on this website)

The guest house will be underway shortly.  That is a done deal… FINALLY!  I am looking forward to sharing every step of the way with you.  I might even let you in on some of the design decisions.

My enthusiasm and energy is being poured into a few passion projects.
  • I love sharing my wellness journey and Young Living Essential Oils.  There has never been a more important time to focus on keeping the body well!
  • Join our Burton Oilers Facebook Page for the wellness community & conversation.
  • I love sharing Scout & Cellar, a clean crafted wine company that pairs well with wellness.  I’m having so much fun sharing what I learn about the wine industry, classifications of wines and offering wine tastings.  #friendsdontletfriendsdrinkdirtywine
  • Gadabout Gals is my latest collaboration with my best friends Michele and Kelly.  Our launch last week exceeded our expectations!  Read how all that came about HERE.  The three of us and our Gadabout Guys have BIG plans to cross the globe together.  Individually, we have interesting adventures you can follow as well.

With mixed emotions, I look forward to what lies ahead.

Your friend,

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

 

 

 

Life in the Prime!

A women in her Prime! Going for it!

The beginning of an epiphany:

In preparing for our vacation to Belize, I discovered a picture of a fearless young girl jumping off the end of the pier at The Villa Groovy Gecko.  I admired her youthful inhibitions and knew I had to recreate that picture! {See Take The Leap}

The Villa Groovy Gecko, our vacation home in Placencia, was perfect!  After a tour and home instructions, the gang didn’t waist any time tackling island life.  First stop, floating in the pool, then we made cocktails and soaked it all in.  Jeff tried out the paddle boards and a few of us headed to the pier to watch.

The pier was calling me.  I knew in my gut that it was time for me to take the leap!  I wanted to get this act of bravery over with.  The only problem was a rare influx of seaweed had washed up shore.  The water looked mucky and I had no idea of what I’d be swimming with.  Even in my younger days I didn’t like to swim in lake or ocean water.  I just kept thinking, “I can’t let that young girl have all the fun.”  So I did it… I took the leap!

Our dreamy trip to Belize

I can honestly say our vacation to Belize was the best!  I fell in love with The Villa Groovy Gecko, and the entire staff who took such good care of us.  It was special to experience a bucket list dream with my hubby and best friends!  The weather was great with only one day of rain.  The day it rained, my friends and I had a epic dance party in the foyer. #winning  I watched the sunrise every morning from the end of the pier, and experienced a breezy massage there too.  There were adventures in the village, at a waterfall and a sunset sail. Finally, at our last dinner Jeff and I went international with our karaoke version of Inspite Of Ourselves (a John Prine song).

The vacation was everything I imagined and more!  Here are a few highlights:

 

The Epiphany

I had plenty of time to think.  The ocean breezes and the jungle air helped clarify a few things for me.

Conversations I had with Kelly and Michele, while lazily hanging at the pool, stuck with me. {This is where the epiphany set in}  I’ll be 50 years young in two years.  I am middle aged.

I don’t feel old.  I don’t act old.  I still have HUGE dreams.  So, why would this number even effect me???

Dreams aren’t reserved for the young, but for the young at heart. I believe the only real limitations I have are the ones I create.  I still have thirty plus years to blow up my dreams, and the confidence that I lacked in my youth.  Watch out!

Future plans?

When I returned home, I had a conversation with Jeff about focusing energy on our middle age.  It is time for us to get laser focused on what we want, where we want to go and how we’ll get there.  No time to waste!

Kelly, Michele and I agree that there is a market for women (and men) who are coming into a new freedom.  After raising a family and/or pursuing the career of our youth, it is time to pursue out of the box ideals.

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal ~Earl Nigthengale

I believe success is defined differently in the prime of life.  “Worthy ideals” may be a call to travel, or start a new business, or maybe it is time to do volunteer work on a passion project.

After the conversations I had with my tribe (Jeff, Kelly, Jason & Michele)… and my epiphany in Belize… it is no coincidence that I found an advertisement for Prime Women Magazine,  “Redefining the ageless generation.”  BINGO!  Confirmation to my hunch.

There are a bazillion ideas running through my head.  The future looks as mucky as the water I leaped into at the end of the pier in Belize.  One thing I know for sure, I am not letting the young have all the fun!  I’ll take the leap!  Here are a few things I’m working on:

  1. I love the course Flown The Coop is on.  Creative At The Coop classes start this Saturday (May 19th).  I LOVE all our product lines and supporting local entrepreneurs.  The redesigned the store looks amazing!  Exciting times!
  2. Jeff and I are planning the start of our guest house project.  This is going to be challenging, but so rewarding!  Stay tuned!
  3. I’m going to attack business ventures with confidence.  I am currently building three businesses; Flown The Coop, Young Living and now Scout & Cellar.  They are all wellness focused and allow me to express my passion for entrepreneurial endeavors.
  4. Travel and travel real estate is calling my tribe.  Currently researching vacation property.  AND… Kelly, Michele and I are looking at relaunching a travel project we started nine years ago.  EEKS!
  5. Wellness has taken on a whole new meaning for me.  I started my wellness journey in response to health crisis.  Now, I want to make wellness an integral part of my life.  I am going to be extremely picky what I ingest, inhale and/or place on my body.  I am going to be even pickier about the thoughts that I entertain.  I need my body to keep up with all the business, travel and lifestyle adventures I have planned.

No more inhibitions, I am a women in my PriMe!

Reach out to me by email or comment below if you can relate to life in the prime!

  1. I’d love to talk with you about entrepreneurship in the prime years.
  2. I’d love to encourage you in moving past limitations.
  3. Let me know what travel interests you have.

Life is a journey, come travel with me!

~Tiffany

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

 

 

Taking The Leap

photo cred: Ryann Beck

Photo cred: Ryann Beck

I was I glad to say good bye to 2017.  Last year was a challenge, to say the least.  I shared about my health struggles in a June blog post Zest For Life.

I gleefully leaped into 2018!

Before 2017 ended, I immersed myself in self help books, podcasts and youtube videos.  I was inspired to dream again.  I created a bucket list, then encouraged my family to create their own bucket lists to share at Christmas.  {side note:  sharing bucket lists at Christmas is a fun activity.  I use the bucket lists for future presents ideas}

One item on my bucket list is a vacation to Belize.  There is a difference between a trip and a vacation.  My heart longs for a relaxing tropical vacation!  In my mind’s eye, I see a whole house on the ocean with a pool.  I want to feel ocean breezes while I sip cocktails by a pool.  {A pool is ideal, because It is not dreamy to lay on a sandy towel with grit in my crevices.}  I also see hiring a chef to take care of us.  Wouldn’t that be luxurious?

I set my bucket list aside to work on figuring out 2018.  The list lingered in my thoughts as I struggled to live in the present moment.  Although my wellness journey is continually making an amazing difference in my life, personal loss and business struggles were getting me down.  Months later, following the advice of another podcast, I put a price tag to some of my dreams.

I did a quick search of homes in Belize.  Can you imagine my excitement when I discovered most of the homes for rent included a chef?????  In my excitement, I posted a picture of The Villa Groovy Gehko to Facebook.  This property is a perfect match!  So glad I’m an over-sharer on Facebook.  I love sharing dreams!  It resonated with many of my Facebook friends.

Fast forward a couple weeks… enter my adventurous tribe into the bucket list story.  The three of us are world class dreamers!  The time felt right to discuss our next adventure.  We’ve been throwing around a trip to Italy for years, and it will happen one day!!!!  Kelly threw out the idea of Belize.  She shared my desire for a true vacation.  The house I found to rent would be a perfect and could include husbands and friends.  So, we invited Jason and Jeff.  Later our friend Laurie joined the adventure.

After a little prodding from Kelly, Jeff agreed to the adventure.  My tribe truly believes that life is too short… TAKE THE TRIP.  You always need something zesty to look forward to!   I am so glad that Kelly persisted.  This trip has been dripping zest into another struggling year.

Just in the nick of time

As I write this blog post, Texas Antiques Week is coming to an end and our trip to Belize is less than thirty days away!

Flown The Coop will be open eighteen straight days during the spring show.  I absolutely love seeing so many wonderful friends who make the bi-annual pilgrimage to our neck of the woods.  I love junking… but it’s the people I’ve come to know and love who make it truly special.

Honestly, it is the people that keeps me going.  I appreciate all of you!

Unfortunately, the first quarter of 2018 has not been an improvement from last year.  Trends in retail have been harsh on a very small shop struggling to survive in a secret town that often feels like a ghost town.  Burton takes one step forward and six steps back.  I’ve seen businesses come and go.

Thank God for my wellness journey and focusing on Young Living!  It has turned into a passion, keeping me well and in good spirits as I face monumental decisions concerning Flown The Coop.

{credit also goes to all the great podcasts I pour over – keeping my thoughts positive}

The dreamer in me will not give up the ghost.  Jeff and I have long talks about various directions Flown The Coop could go.  There will be slow changes over time.  I believe God will lead me to the perfect plan.  He gave me a rainbow over Burton three years ago as a sign.  He knows the plans he has for me, plans for a hope and a future.  He knew I would need this trip to Belize at this very point in my journey.  God is good!

I can’t wait to get to Belize!  This tropical vacation is the rejuvenation I need to conquer the remaining of 2018.  I will be jumping off the pier in celebration of a dream realized, which symbolizes hope for dreams to come!

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

My advice to you… Go for it!  Take the trip!  BE a big thinker in a small world.  Believe in abundance.  See possibilities everywhere.

The end of Texas Antiques WEEKSSSS will bring slight changes to The Coop.

  • We’ll be closed on Sundays starting on April 8th.  Jeff and I need a day to recharge our batteries and enjoy adventures together.
  • We are also going to start on my beloved Guest House project.  YEAH!!!!
  • The Coop will offer more classes.  Stayed tuned!!!!!

We will also be closed the first week of May…. #Unbelizable.

Take the leap… take the trip… go for it!  Fly!

~Tiffany

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

 

Road Therapy

 

It is time for this road warrior to hit the open road.  The Road has a way to clear my active mind and set my soul free.  I’m off to see family and friends, hunt for treasures, experience spring for the second time, and then to come back to Burton recharged by the adventure.

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m not escaping from anything.  In fact, I’m torn between wanting to stay put and the call of the road.  I’m hoping to use the endless hours on the road to listen to books on tape and get infused with new ideas.  Road therapy is part of my creative process.

I’ll share my adventure on Facebook and Instagram @2Flownthecoop.  AND…You’ll be the first to see any cool piece I discover.

Are you looking for a certain piece?  Email your item or list of items to Eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com  I’d be happy to text you pics of finds that might work.

The Coop

Jeff will be the ring master of this shit show (might even wear the socks) Saturday and Sunday (May 20 & 21, May 27 & 28).  Marlene will keep Flown The Coop open Thursday and Friday (May 25 & 26).  They will be happy to see you!

The Coop will be closed June 1rst – 4th.

Road Trip Therapy

I hope you are able to hit the road soon!  I’d love to hear your stories from the road!  What has the road taught you?  What treasures have you found?  What are your fondest memories of the road?  Where do you plan to take off to this summer?

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~Tiffany

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

 

 

 

Resilient

“When we face a decision to fall back or press on, the whole universe holds its breath.”  John Eldridge

Let that sink in.

Fierce or Resilient?

My 2017 Pinterest Board was labeled “The year to be FIERCE.”  What was I thinking?  The Board should be labeled RESILIENT.

It’s hard to be fierce when you are recovering from a major surgery, then break your arm and face another health scare all in the first quarter.  I’m not a sick person!  Dealing with doctors is not my favorite thing to do.  Up until this year, I have avoided the doctor’s office (except for the yearly well visits required by insurance).  Good health was a badge I wore proudly!

Finding a doctor was a frustrating ordeal for me in 2016, followed by various issues that led up to surgery on January 9th that didn’t go as planned.  Six weeks later, I was disappointed to learn that the doctor who did my surgery was moving to a different health care system and would no longer accept my insurance.  When a new and potentially scary health issue arose, I was more defeated by the necessity to find a new doctor than I was the scare.  Even more aggravating is the system that requires a regular doctor to order tests, who will then inevitably need to refer me to a specialist if there is a problem.  I spent a couple days deciding wether to press on and have the new issue looked at ~ or fall back and ignore it.  Side note, I never made it to my follow up appointment for my broken arm.  I figured that they would just confirm what I already knew, it’s healing fine and just be careful.

As if walking through an internal struggle about health issues and recovery wasn’t enough, I had to add shame and embarrassment by transparently posting my dismay to Facebook, along with a sad picture to emphasize just how miserable I felt.  Why do I always feel the need to air my emotions so publicly?  I feel like a whiner just explaining my situation.  I have friends and family who are quietly walking through FAR WORSE.  Fortunately, I discovered most people didn’t see it as a character flaw (craziness displayed on the porch with a cocktail) and sent massive words of encouragement.  This embarrassment was a wake up call to me and was the catalyst into a life lesson.

037919eaa66b1f757e013895825be419

I now have both.

Proper perspective is helpful when faced with the choice to fall back or press on.

Resilient

re·sil·ent
adjective
        (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  strong, tough, hardy
AKA – FIERCE

Resilience is an important life skill that is not taught in school, or comes naturally.  It is only learned by walking through rough stuff.  Although, it would be helpful to teach children to look at the world honestly and not expect life to handed to them.

I had expectations that I would hit 2017 with fierce determination.  I am truly happiest when I am fiercely pursuing an idea.  My ambitions were to conquer fitness and weight loss, and had grandiose business dreams for Flown The Coop.    Reality was a healthy dose of adversity; physically, emotionally and with my business. The combination has given me a fresh lesson in resilience.

I am a “glass half full” type of girl who is currently working on the idea of happiness.  I’m learning to align my expectations with realty, an essential skill in withstanding or recovering quickly from difficult conditions.  I generally see life through a lens of possibilities and abundance.  The lesson is:  pray, do your best and let go of the outcomes.  I am not in control.

There are two ways I look at adversity.  I’m doing something right and am a target, or I’m doing something wrong and am being punished.  I chose to believe that I’m doing something right.  I didn’t come this far to fail now.  I am learning to dream big dreams and make exciting plans for the year, with the expectation that there will be bumps in the road.  It’s not healthy to avoid trials.

I’ve had plenty of time to analyze life while recovering from surgery.  It is encouraging to think there is a host of witnesses in the universe holding their breath; waiting for me to flip a switch, to embrace my life as it is and live in the flow.  They are cheering me on!

I’m not a quitter.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Philippians 3: 12

Trust In You by Lauren Daigle has become my anthem.

Yeah, I know most people don’t put their struggles on the Internet for the world to see.  My hope is that transparency will encourage you.  Life isn’t always what it appears to be on a polished Facebook or Instagram account.  Going for dreams and pursuing ideas is the sweet spot in life, full of promise and excitement.  Equally important are the seasons that stretch us and makes us stronger.  In 2017 I will be Fiercely Resilient, while I give myself permission to cultivate dreams with my expectations balanced in realty.

Your Word

068f16c978647020f1d4a74f5111cd03

What is your word for 2017?  I’d love to hear about your goals, dreams, visions, and even setbacks. Let’s cheer each other on!  If you are faced with the decision to fall back or press on, I will hold my breath and cheer for you!

~Tiff

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

Texas Antiques WeekSSSS!

It’s that time of the year again!

“It’s my favorite holiday!”  Marlene Kahanek

It’s my favorite holiday too!  I love the spring antique show!  Bluebonnets will be in bloom.  The weather is unpredictable, BUT IT’S NOT HOT.  Excitement blows with the wind as trailers packed with treasures begin to ascend upon our beautiful countryside.  I’m convinced that even the birds are singing about it.  What I look forward to THE MOST is visiting with friends who make their bi-annual pilgrimage to Texas to shop for their stores, find out what’s new in design trends and to be inspired by a creative community.

Flown The Coop will kick off our show March 16th and run through April 1st.  We’ll be open 9am – 6pm daily.  This spring we’ll host a St. Patty’s Day Karaoke Party in the back yard on March 17th 7:30pm.  The Kountry Karoake Chick will bring her show to our back yard stage.  Bad Girl BBQ will be here serving AWEsome BBQ!

GRAB YOUR BOOTS, or some comfy shoes, a coat (or shorts… who knows), a good hat, sunscreen, AND a good friend!  Hope to see you!!!!

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 10.16.42 AM

Flown The Coop will close for ONE weekend, March 2nd – 5th.  

Sorry for the inconvenience, but this shop girl is taking ONE weekend off to visit family.

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

A Dreamy Evening With The Dreamers

The Gathering at Round Top

unnamed-1

Months ago Tara Royer asked me to share my story at The Gathering At Round Top on September 22, 2016.  What was I going to say?  NO?  Of course not, it was such a privilege and a great opportunity.  I was a nervous wreck.  So, I spent months writing and rewriting what I’d share.  Then I spent hours practicing and making changes.  The day of I kept asking myself, “what are you so afraid of?”  Well, it turns out I had nothing to get worked up over.  It was actually fun overcoming a fear and to be surrounded my SO many kindred spirits.  It was a dreamy evening with the DREAMERS.

Thanks to ALL who put in countless hours preparing for The Gathering!  I love that you all cared so much to give of your time!!!!  Your love for sister/dreamers inspires me.

unnamed-2

Thanks to Beverly Martinets {owner of Bel Sole} for videoing me!

Words I meant to share

I skipped over a few details in my rush to finish.  I forgot to say that I actually got the job and didn’t let Jeff down.  🙂  However, it only lasted six months.  I can’t be caged to a desk or clock in.

unnamed

Hello!  My name is Tiffany Eckhardt, owner of Flown The Coop in Burton just 9 miles down the road.  FTC is an antique store specializing in Vintage, Industrial and Homestead Goods.  I also love to feature a variety of local products and my entrepreneurial friends!  My work IS dedicated to those who can’t be caged.  I hope to inspire kindred spirits to go for their dreams despite the directions others have taken.

I am so honored to be asked to share my story.  It is humbling to stand before so many rock stars in business.  There are so many stories I could share!  I have Forest Gumped my way through life.  It’s true.  Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get.  If I’m brutally honest, I struggle with fear that I don’t have what it takes to succeed.  I don’t have a college degree.  I didn’t come from money.  AND I often feel like the underdog.  But God has given me a stout heart that perseveres.  The truth is I only become defeated when I compare my journey with others and allow my limitations to define who I should be.

It has taken me a long time to figure out what God had in mind for me. This road to RT has been a long one.  I am very determined and usually choose the road that is uphill both ways.  I am NOT afraid to try anything and get more motivated by being told it can’t be done.  Although, the older I get the more I am learning to lean into God for direction.  In hindsight, I can see how he used each time I thought I had failed or that the deck was stacked against me.

If you get anything out of the stories I share, I hope it’s that… If I can do it… you can too.

I was born in a beautiful suburb of Columbus, Ohio and grew up in a wonderful old house.  I am the child of very hard working parents, Robb and Rose Landon, who instilled in my sister Gretchen and I the importance of working for what you want.  My Dad is a retired fireman and my Mom drove school bus while we were in school.  My Grandpa, his father, owned his own insurance company when insurance was just a developing industry.  I believe I get my entrepreneurial spirit from him.  One of my earliest memories is standing in the doorway of our kitchen while my Mom was making dinner and making the proclamation that I was going to own my own business some day like my Grandpa.

We were a frugal family.  I grew up shopping thrift stores and loved going to garage sales with my Grandparents who religiously went every Friday morning.  I learned to negotiate watching my grandma asking for a better price, even when it was cheap enough.

After graduating high school, I decided not to take the college path and enlisted in the Air Force as a reservist.  I was hoping to begin a new adventure…  It is in Tech School that I met my future husband Jeff Eckhardt.  We lived in the same dorm and became best friends.  After training I went back to Ohio and Jeff went onto Florida for more training.  We stayed in touch and after traveling back and forth several times, until I moved to Florida.  We married in 1989.

After Florida we were stationed at Columbus AFB in Columbus, MS. where we started our family.  We have 2 children Emily and Hayden.  I thoroughly enjoyed staying home with my children.  Being a Mom was the best job ever!  I fed my entrepreneurial spirit with a couple direct sales opportunities.  And Jeff and I stayed busy renovating historic homes.

After 9 years in Mississippi, we moved our family to my hometown Westerville, Ohio. While my children were in elementary school I took over my parent’s drive through coffee shop called Rosie’s Java Hut, which was fun for about two years.  I learned the importance of great customer service during that experience.  My customers loved that I had their drink ready for them by the time they pulled up to my window.  And all of them thought I did it only for them.

Moving our family to Urbana, Ohio is a great example of my willingness to go for it.  Jeff was working for a traveling CatScan company.  The kids and I would travel with him to explore the museums and parks in the area where they sent him.  I will never forget driving down Scioto Street in Urbana for the first time and falling madly in love with the stately historic homes.  I told the kids as we drove down Scioto St. that I would love to live there.  I’m sure they thought uh-oh, knowing their Mom was a free spirit.  That day I found a home that was up for silent auction on Scotia Street.  Jeff and I went to look at it on during his lunch and decided put a bid on it.  The next day we got a call that we won.  In a matter of weeks we moved our family into our fourth renovation project.  This time the kids knew what to expect and were not thrilled.  I tried making light of our adventure the first few months by reading them the book Onto Oregon by the fire before we went to bed in our pop up camper in the back yard.  The kids quickly made friends and it ended up being a great small town for them!  I jumped into volunteering, serving on a the Main Street board and founded First Fridays.

Later when the kids were in high school I became a realtor.  I loved showing off the historic homes in Urbana, until 2008 when the market came crashing down on us in Ohio.  Eventually I couldn’t afford to market homes that didn’t have a chance to sell and had to step away from my first real career.  I was crushed.  So, I did the only logical thing to do:  I sold my car and went to Costa Rica for a month to find myself.  Thank God my husband is totally supportive of my need for adventure.  I went to a language school and stayed with a host family.  It was a great experience, but I didn’t find myself.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was glad to get back to my family and figure out what my next step would be.

A funny story after I got back: A friend of mine in real estate went to work as a sales manager for a local manufacturer.  He called and asked me to apply for an inside sales position.  I went to an interview and thought to myself that I would be a shoe in…. Wes knew my work ethic and I had done sales my whole life.  He and I had several conversations about how it’s hard to teach sales, you either have it or you don’t.  Well, I was called back for a second interview.  I was totally annoyed.  I did not see the point.  On the way out the door the morning of the second interview, I asked my husband for some advice.  I never really held a corporate job.  He turned to me and said, “All I can think is this is your one chance fancy don’t let me down.” I got the job, I worked for the man all of 6 months.  I just couldn’t be caged to a desk or clock in.  I worked there long enough to save for a trip to Italy… Which was a dream Jeff and I realized in March 2011.

I may not have had a job, but I was never idle.  I was trying a variety of opportunities to figure out my “muse.”  I had a blog and had learned how to promote businesses using social media.  I had founded a group called Weekend ReTweat.  We were a group of ladies who had met on Twitter and then later in person at Tweetups in Columbus.  Weekend Retweet used our various social media platforms to collectively promote B&Bs and area attractions. It was fueling my need to travel and my passion for marketing.

I had also become friends with a Brenham native, Kristie Herlong, who had moved to Urbana and opened a cute little shop called the Green Owl.  We had the bright idea to put all our stuff together and do the Springfield Flea Market in the month of July.  Kristie was really good at merchandising and we were both excited.  We had no idea what we were doing, but were having a blast and felt like we were making a killing despite being an off month. That weekend hooked us into this crazy business.  We later named our little business Flown The Coop.  Mainly because we both wanted to get out of the house to JUNK.  Kristie and I had done Round Top together.  We set up at the Antique Depot (which is now the Stone Cellar).  Funny thing is when we did that show I never in a million years would predict that I’d be living in this area within a few years.

Jeff and I had been married about 20 years when he shared with me his dream to move to Texas.  Our kids had graduated high school by this time.  So, he told me that it was his turn to live near family.  I hate to admit it, but I was devastated by the idea.  I couldn’t imagine moving away from my kids, family and friends.  I was frightened by leaving my projects behind and starting completely over.  It took me several months after Jeff moved to finally join him.  I moved and took the name Flown The Coop with me.  Flown The Coop took on a new meaning for me.  Most families send their kids off into the world…. Jeff and I flew off and left the house to the kids.

This was really hard for me.  I am a small town girl who moved to Houston, the fourth largest city in America.  It took months, but I gradually found my groove doing the Canton Flea Market once a month and Round Top twice a year.  We found a cute little house to rent in the Heights and I rented a booth space in Chippendale Eastlake Antiques on 19th St.  I quit Canton to take care of my booth and set up at Round Top 2x a year.

One of the best things that happened to me during this time was befriending Brian and Melonely Russell, owners of The Seedbox.  They were rock stars in my eyes.  Both of them are extremely talented, generous and took me under their wings.  I helped them with Urban Market in Houston and the Dallas Gift Market.  I learned so much about merchandising and ways to look at the business from them.

Brian and Meloney encouraged me to add Urban Market and the Dallas Gift Market to the list of shows I did a year.  I quit my booth space and was so proud to set up seven times a year at shows.  To say it is hard work is an understatement.  I have a deep respect for the dealers out in the fields.  I got better at merchandising and figuring out what works for my booth with each show.  But honestly, I was not happy.  Jeff could not do this business with me because he had a REAL JOB that he loved.  And I haven’t figured out how to be his Sugar Mamma.  Traveling away from Jeff and toting all the heavy industrial pieces I love was taking a tole on Jeff and I. I started dreaming of a property that we could live in and work at.  I had specific ideas of what I wanted life to be like.  I wanted to walk to live music.  I wanted to be in a community of creatives.  During the show I would drive around Round Top and wish I could have a store here.  Jeff and I began looking for warehouse space in Houston and drove around the country looking at options.  Everything seemed way to expensive and totally out of reach.  I was tired and discouraged.  During the Fall Show in 2014 I remember telling God that I something needed to give.  I had just finished unloading our truck and setting up my booth.  I was exhausted and just couldn’t do it anymore.  During that show my friend Meloney came to our booth one morning and asked me if I knew Old Glory was selling their little property in Burton?  I remember my eyes getting big and told her that I had to have it.  I had been to the property several times and knew the past two owners.  I called Jeff to tell him the news and expected him to say that I had lost my mind.  Instead he said, “Let’s make an offer!”  I immediately called Brian Kuhn to tell him Jeff and I would like to make an offer on his property.  This was on a Friday and we agreed to meet him on Monday.  That weekend was so hard for me.  I knew that I’d be heart broken if it didn’t work out, I’d have to start all over again figuring out what to do with my life.  Jeff and I went by the property on Saturday evening after we closed my booth.  When we got there we saw a double rainbow over Burton.  It was a sign.  I called my daughter Emily about the property, she told me, “you know it will work out Mom, you didn’t have time to think about it.”

We signed the papers to close the deal at the end of November 2014, our year of jubilee.  This is the first home we moved into that didn’t need a renovation.  And we love Burton!  It is the obvious choice for me, off the beaten path with so much scope for the imagination.  Flown The Coop has become everything I dreamed it could be.  Thank God for Social Media!  I’m convinced that no one would know about Flown The Coop without friends talking about it on their social networks.  I couldn’t make Flown The Coop happen without the constant support of my husband Jeff!  He’s been making my dreams come true for 27 years.

My Mom always liked to say, “go with the flow and your sure to grow.”  I think my stories illustrate the importance of being willing to go with the flow, work hard, show up, never give up and talk about what you want. I am dreamer, but I also believe that you have to keep trying until the perfect solution presents itself.  I talked to God a lot about it.  Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses:  For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future. After the 2008 crash “the year from hell”, I was convince that he was not even on my side.  But He knew what I needed and recaptured my heart in the process of pursuing this dream.  And HE knows exactly what you need and can lead you to it.

I couldn’t be happier developing my little piece of heaven.  I’m so thankful that my journey led me to Texas and especially this area.  I love being involved in Burton and watching this secret town develop into a creative haven with several new businesses opening this month, one being the Burton Roadhouse where I can walk to hear live music!

So, I leave you with the words of Steven Tyler…

I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes.  I know it’s everybody’s sin.  You’ve got to loose to know how to win.  Dream on!  Dream until your dreams come true!

DREAM ON!!!!!!

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