Dedicated to those who can’t be caged

 

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

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

Caged by the Do

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

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

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

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

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

Caged by Comparison

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

FOCUS

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

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

~Adela Rogers St. Johns

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

The Avett Brothers sing it best!

Head full of doubt/Road full of promises

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

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

Here’s to freedom!

~Tiffany

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

Hustle Day

Inspiration that I stumbled upon today on Pinterest.  (source unknown)

I am a natural dreamer.  I enjoy spending time visualizing all the possibilities, but have learned that The Hustle is a necessary part of realizing my dreams.

Definition:

The Hustle (according to Tiffany’s Dictionary) is loosely defined as the consistent pressing into an idea or goal in the pursuit of a dream, being open to opportunities, saying “YES,” and does not include the shady practices of a person solely in pursuit of money or power.

 

Let’s do The Hustle!

Uh oh…Guess what day it is.  Guess what day it is!  Anybody?

It’s hump day.  Wednesday.  Looks like the camel is the only one happy about it.

I propose we change “hump” day to “HUSTLE” day!

Let’s get happier than a camel on Wednesday.

I don’t know about you, but I am the happiest when I am pressing into a dream.  Wednesday doesn’t seem like the time to wind down, but to pump it up!!!!

Hustle day is half time for the week.  A day to regroup, take a look at your dreams, get excited about the possibilities and examine your opportunities.  And then… dance, do, make it so!  There is still more life left in the week!  Do The Hustle!

HUSTLE DAYYYYYY….

What about you?  Will Wednesday be a “hump” day or a HUSTLE DAY?  I’d love some ideas on how we can campaign for a universal shift away from the dreaded hump day.

~Tiffany

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

Freedom

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged!

Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on freedom.

I believe in the American Dream and am proud to live in a country that was founded on the principles of independence.  I am grateful for those who have sacrificed to protect our freedom.  In fact, the military men and women enlisting today understand that there is a good chance they could pay the ultimate sacrifice.

I enlisted as a reservist in the United States Air Force after graduating high school.  In 1988 America was not in war and had no prospects of war.  It was an adventure, an ironic choice for an individual who bucks authority.  Lucky for me, I met Jeff in tech school.  We enlisted a few weeks apart and became fast friends.  My Mom says I enlisted in the Air Force to find him.

Funny side note:  Jeff remembers whistling “Don’t worry be happy” when he got off the bus at boot camp.  I knew I loved him from the very beginning.

Within a year we were married.  The military was a good choice, until the first Desert Storm.  I faced potential deployment orders and being forced to leave our newborn daughter Emily.  Miraculously, I was speared and was granted an honorable discharge after the conflict ended.  Jeff thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Air Force and served for a total of seven years.

I’m clearly not a hero.  As much as I love to encourage the pursuit of dreams at Flown The Coop, it is the brave military men and women who should get the credit for being dedicated to those who can’t be caged.

Personal Freedom

I think of freedom in terms of cultivating an authentic life on my own terms.

I love the idea of flying free!  I am drawn to birds, except bats.  I hate bats.  I often wondered why birds symbolize freedom?  Is it their ability to roam free?  Birds seem to embody strength, and yet fly with a lighthearted spirit.

It wasn’t until I came across a well known Bible verse that it finally clicked for me.  According to Matthew 6:25-27 birds don’t worry.  It goes on to state, “who can add a single hour to life by worrying?”  That explains my love for birds!  I want to be free of worry.

I long to fly free!  I want to escape the cage of worry, cultivate trust and soar with wings as eagles!  I understand that putting an end to worry it is easier said than done.  It requires persistence.  It demands boldness to step into dreams and hope for the future.  I’ve learned it also means learning from past mistakes.  Freedom is a state of mind.  Especially when you realize the cage is open and it’s your choice to be free of it.

When it gets hard whistle, “Don’t worry, be happy!”  See what happens.

 

What is your definition of freedom?

By definition freedom is a thing.  It is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  My personal freedom is pursing an authentic life without worry.

What does your personal freedom look like?  

Veteran’s Day is the perfect opportunity to ponder what freedom means.  I am grateful to those who have paved the way for me to fly in the direction of my dreams.  Our veterans past and present deserve our deepest gratitude for their sacrifice.

Thankfully I’ve Flown The Coop,

~Tiffany

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

 

 

I get knocked down… but I get up again!

Week #3 topic: What is some things you have done but previously thought you could never do? It took me several days to figure out what I would share, then it finally hit me at 4:30 this morning when I woke up singing, “I get knocked down, but I get up again” by ChumbawambaVEVO. (cool name)

I GET KNOCKED DOWN – take a second to listen.

Finding My Muse

A couple years ago I devoted a series on my personal blog, Doing Life Being Tiff, called Finding My Muse Interviews. I had just stepped back from a career as a REALTOR in Ohio and was lost. I loved real estate, but the market had tanked. In the past I had wore several hats as a volunteer and attempted a variety of direct sales companies, but my heart had always been wearing my hat as a stay at home Mom. A “job” I absolutely LOVED and knew I was meant to BE. My children were grown and had become fiercely independent as I had always hoped they would, although heartbreaking at the same time. I was searching for an occupation that embodied my passions and would excite and challenge me every morning. Thankfully, I have a completely supportive spouse who encourages me not to settle. Jeff is a wonderful cheerleader who believes in me. I had also surrounded myself with strong, successful women who love their careers. Finding My Muse interviews was an idea birthed out of a necessity to find what I should BE when I grew up. I learned that the key to their success required pressing into a passion. I longed to find my muse, something I could be passionate about.

I always knew I would own and operate my own business. As a little girl, I believed owning a business was how you became rich. Funny! The reality of owning a business is quite different from my childhood expectations. The truth is that it requires fortitude of spirit. An attribute I definitely possess. I frequently get knocked down in pursuit of the American dream.

 Fast forward.

I woke up this morning thinking of all the times I had got knocked down while testing various business ideas. My stack of business cards reminds me of all my attempts and failures at finding my muse. I always press into an idea until it is obvious that it isn’t the right fit, which usually requires a complete knock down. Insert a smile. 😉 I am so happy that I kept on getting up again. I wake up every morning with an adventure awaiting me.

{Hence my internal alarm clock waking me up at 4:30 this morning}

Flown The Coop allows me to pursue a passion for rescuing and repurposing cool junque, and gives me a platform to inspire creativity and a zest for life. I encourage you to press into your passions in spite of the inevitable knock downs. It is worth it.

I’d love to hear about how you found your muse. Leave a comment or join the conversation on the Flown The Coop Facebook Page. I love the inspiration I get from your stories.

 ~Tiffany

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

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