He was right the whole time. An epiphany about habits

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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!

Entrepreneurial Journey to the right side of wellness

Flown The Coop's Tiffany Eckhardt taking flight as an entrepreneur

My entrepreneurial journey has had many twists and turns.  The latest adjustment is a hard for me, but I am confident it will be WELL!  😉

The Story Of A Serial Entrepreneur

Tiffany Eckhardt with Flown The Coop is a self proclaimed serial entrepreneur

I am a self proclaimed Serial Entrepreneur, tenacious in attempting business ventures and gravitate towards the under dog.  I wholeheartedly believe in the American Dream.  I believe that a life worth living is not handed to you, but is earned by hard work and dedication to a dream.  I also believe everyone would own their own business if it were easy.  Despite the changes I’ve had to face, I prefer to create a life on my own terms.

As you can see from the above picture… I’ve attempted a lot of businesses over the years.  I am blessed by the experience each venture has added to my life.  The uncomfortable truth of creating a life on your terms is that you must remain flexible and learn to adapt to changes in the market place.

Flown The Coop

I have officially Flown The Coop.  August 4, 2018 is our Final Closeout and will be the last day of regular hours at my little shop in Burton, Texas.  I’ve known in my gut that it was time for a change, but my heart didn’t want to accept it.  For three years I’ve invested my heart and soul into my dream shop.  I have loved creating a destination in this sleepy little town that begs to be discovered and LOVE all my customers who are now friends.

I could list all the reasons that Flown The Coop isn’t flourishing, but I prefer to face the future with a positive attitude.  I believe that a new exciting chapter awaits.  I hope you stick with me as I embark on a new journey.

Moving forward I plan on hosting classes and special events at Flown The Coop.  Keep an eye on the Creative At The Coop webpage.  I will also focus my attention on our Guest House project.  Stayed tuned for regular updates as I share the progress.

For now, let me explain how I got to this point….

An Entrepreneur on the Right Side of the Quadrant

I am a big fan of Robert Kiyosaki’s book CASHFLOW QUADRANT.  I read his first book, Rich Dad Poor Dad when it came out twenty years ago.  Has it really been that long????

His CASHFLOW Quadrant explains my entrepreneurial journey completely.  Most of us live in the E Quadrant.  We are taught in school to be a good employees.  Some of us set out to own our own businesses.  MY EPIPHANY: As I struggle to make Flown The Coop profitable.  As much as I enjoy owning a store, I had basically bought my own JOB (Just Over Broke).  A true entrepreneur eventually understands the importance of creating residual income (or passive income).  I am now focused on the right side of the quadrant.  I highly recommend reading CASHFLOW QUADRANT.  Robert explains the concept way better than I ever could!

An entrepreneur on the right side of the quadrant

SIDE NOTE:  Jeff and I have the CASHFLOW QUADRANT board game.  Anyone interested in a game night??????  Seriously, message me!  I won for the first time during a recent family vacation.  So, I’m feeling empowered!

Business Opportunity In Wellness

I have spent the last year focused on wellness.  Jeff and I have come to the realization that we are approaching the prime years and want to enjoy them.  We want our grandkids to have to keep up with us.  Honestly, we still have work to do… but it’s a journey worth taking.

Wellness is not just ONE thing.  It’s a lifestyle.  It is learning to listen to the body, mind and spirit.  Wellness is eating whole “real” foods, staying active and getting the toxins out of the home.  Wellness is focusing on what the body needs before there is crisis.  Wellness is taking charge and living the best life possible!

I want to spend the rest of my life promoting this lifestyle.  I hope you have enjoyed traveling the world of Young Living essential oils with me, and now Scout & Cellar clean crafted wine. These two businesses have been game changers for me!

I’ll never forget when Lynsey Kramer visited me after I ordered a Young Living premium starter kit.  She had shared her lifestyle so freely on her Facebook page.  I didn’t hesitate to jump in when she shared the opportunity to purchase a starter kit.  Lynsey came to my house to help me understand what the essential oils could do for me.  In passing she mentioned that she was growing a Young Living distributorship for retirement. As small business owners, they didn’t have a traditional retirement to fall back on.  IT WAS A LIGHT BULB MOMENT.  I remember immediately thinking about the book CASHFLOW and saw a real opportunity to make a difference.

Then another opportunity presented itself.  Bethany Dwyer reached out to me, offering a Scout & Cellar wine tasting at the Flown The Coop Backyard Karaoke Bash in the spring.  Bethany is a Young Living member as well.  She mentioned that this wine company shared a similar philosophy and paired well with essential oils.  First of all, who would turn down a wine tasting opportunity?  I liked Bethany right away.  I love her boldness in reaching out to me and her tireless pursuit of many business ventures.  I asked her why she worked so hard.  Her response was another LIGHT BULB MOMENT.  She replied, “The truly wealthy people have more than one income stream.”  In April I invited her and Lacey Harwood back to Flown The Coop for the Cotton Gin festival.  I got excited watching the people try and love this wine.  I had to get involved in this opportunity too.

I truly believe that these two movements (plant based products and clean crafted wine) are the future.  This generation will demand cleaner products and are taking charge of their wellness.  I also believe there are people like me, who want to enjoy their prime years and still have the spunk to grow a business that will give them financial freedom.  They call people like me encore entrepreneurs.

I urge you to invest twenty five minutes watching this video…. while a little goofy and long winded, he totally nails retirement.  Totally worth the time!  {Here are the docs he mentions: the income disclosure statement, the comp plan and the personality colors}

This is why I am focusing the next phase of my entrepreneurial journey on wellness and the right side of the CASHFLOW quadrant.

Dollars & Cents of a Young Living Business from stacie malkus on Vimeo.

Flown The Coop will become my creative outlet for prime lifestyle, wellness and wine.

SO…. stayed tuned.  I’m looking for people to join my team.  Reach out if you are a kindred spirit (a serial entrepreneur) who wants to build a thriving business in Young Living or Scout & Cellar.  I would also love to chat with anyone who simply wants to take charge of their wellness.  I’d love to help in anyway I can!

Life is a journey, come travel with me!

~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!

 

A Creative CAT

Let me render my heart this morning…

Today I started my day journaling.  For me, this is the only way I can make sense of the million thoughts that circle in my head all day long.  What stood out this morning is:

The creative mind is like herding cats.

I’m a cat in the cat/cat herder philosophy.  Back up:  I should explain the philosophy that came about on a trip to NOLA.  My husband is a cat and was frustrated by attempting to keep a group of cats together.  In total annoyance he yelled, “Y’all I feel like I’m herding cats!”  The cats busted out laughing.  We spent years coming up with truths about this philosophy.  If you are a cat, you can never be a cat herder… you just don’t care that much.  If you are a cat herder, you can never be a true cat… because you just can’t trust the cats to be in charge.

Back to my morning.  I found myself anxious about all the ideas that I have and how to achieve them.  Fear crept in, as it always does.  This creative life is FULL of insecurities. Then it hit me… BAM!  Insecurities don’t have a chance when you have a tribe!

I stopped what I was doing and immediately messaged my two BFFs, Michele Savoldi and Kelly Blanton.  I wanted to thank them for being my cheerleaders and let them know how they keep me inspired.  Thank GOD we met 8 years ago!  The love of family, a great help mate and a tribe is the wonderful foundation that God has blessed me with.

I felt this truth bubbling up and the need to write about it, hoping it might touch one of you… dear kindred spirits.

So… I sat down at my desk to punch it out before the idea had time to fly the coop.

Before I could get my Internet to come up I noticed my trash needed to be taken to the road.  The cat in me was off…

I took the trash to the road.  Let Jack out and checked his food situation.  Meandered into my garden.  Dang, the carrots aren’t ready YET.  Took a few pics.  Realized how good the garden is to my wellness.  Decided to share it in a Ripl (a great app by the way).  It had been updated, so I needed to sync with Instagram again.  Forgot my password.  UUGH.  Finally got it uploaded and posted correctly to all my social media platforms.  Sit back down to type.  I see a color test to take to determine my personality.  I am 40% blue (TRUE) and 40% red (TRUE).  GREAT!  I hate that I am that personality.  Watch a video on Yellows.  I wish I could be more like them.

I’m back to the blog with even more evidence that I am a cat.  MEOW!  Let’s herd me in.

These tendencies of mine can be downright maddening.  I also tend to be a little hard on myself.  I’m learning to like (because love is too strong of a word) who God created me to be.  One of my Mom’s favorite sayings is, “Go with the flow and you’re sure to grow.”

This reminds me of a TEDtalk I watched a long time ago.  (oops just got sucked into FB briefly while searching for this video). Elizabeth Gilbert gave an awesome TEDtalk “Your elusive creative genius.”  She is the one who influenced my decision to sell my car and travel to Costa Rica to spend a month at a language school to find myself.  Didn’t find myself, nor learn Spanish… but that’s another story.  Here’s a GREAT quote around the 2min marker, “What I have been thinking about lately is WHY.  Is it rational, is it logical, that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work they feel that they have been put on this earth to do?  And what is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us really nervous about each others mental health in a way that other careers don’t do?”   I want to personally thank Elizabeth Gilbert for giving me permission to speak to my creative thoughts.  For example, “Hey creative idea, I’m a cat… please stay with me until I finally sit down to work on it with my full attention.”  I’m busy going with the flow.

So, I hope this speaks to one of you precious creative souls.  Believe it or not, it’s only 9:52 in the morning.  I have a WHOLE day to be a CAT.  I’ll choose to show up for my job and keep plugging away at my creative ideas.  Despite the fact that I will get sidetracked by paths that lead to unexpected places.  I’m a stubborn CAT! “¡Olé!”

Please let me know I’m not alone… share in the comments or comment on a social platform.  I’d love to hear from YOUR creative stores!  Beyond my two BFFs, I know there is a massive TRIBE of us!

~Tiff

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!

 

 

 

A Feel Good Experience

e88c7da511340f6f93482e1b771d52a3I am one of those crazy people who actually believe in changing the world.  Well, at least in making a difference on the local level.

I aim to make shopping at Flown The Coop a “feel good” experience!  First by supporting local makers, creators and entrepreneurial friends… the backbone of the American Dream.  Shopping small and local not only makes a difference to creatives, but also to Burton’s economy.  Earlier this year I turned my attention toward ways I felt could directly contribute to my community.  I made the decision to donate ten cents for every dollar spent at Flown The Coop to the Bridge Ministry of Burton, TX.

The Bridge Ministry of Burton,TX. is a collaboration of thirteen churches in the Burton area.  There are six ministry teams within the Burton Bridge Ministry; Seniors, Children and Youth, Helping Hands, Community, Corner Shoppe and Manna Ministry.  This type of community outreach is rare and could only be accomplished by people who believe in making a real difference.

Today I had the privilege of lending a helping hand to the Manna Ministry, a Food Pantry led by Karen Nelson. This dedicated team meets at the Food Pantry at 5:30 am every Tuesday.  Together they unload the delivery truck, organize items and greet their clients with dignity and respect.

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Carolyn’s Country Corner

 

The Manna Ministry feeds over 200 households every month.  Most of the volunteers know each client by name and are interested in their families.  Carolyn is in charge of the miscellaneous items donated by local grocery stores.  They call it Carolyn’s Country Corner and is filled with “exotics.”

 

 

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Karen Nelson saw the need to create Manna Ministry in June 2014.  She is responsible for following all state and local guidelines, keeping records, volunteers and storing the donated food.  It is not uncommon for a neighboring Food Pantry to call Karen throughout the week with donations.  This week she picked up a load of sweet potatoes discarded by a Houston grocery store due to a damaged shipping box.  They were good looking sweet potatoes!

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I’m sure I’ll be back to help out at the Manna Ministry Food Pantry.  I left feeling good about serving my community.  Burton is truly a wonderful community to live, work and serve in.  It is my hope that you feel it too, whether you are a local or a welcomed visitor!

Stayed tuned as I visit the remaining five ministries, and a sneak peak of exciting projects in the works!

#BringmetoBurton

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How are you attempting to change the world?  Share with me!  I’d love to root for you!

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

~Tiffany

 

 

 

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.

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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

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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!