Revolution Equality

We are in the midst of revolution.

The world has turned the corner in a long-time battle for Equality. People are dying, families ripped apart from biased acts of terrorism, reactions, and revenge. Is this all necessary? Has it always been right under our nose and the veil is now slowly being pulled away, exposing right and wrong? Do we sacrifice lives: black lives, law enforcement, military, and our unfamiliar neighbors across the great salt pond? Is it all worth it? Maybe.

Revolution is revolt, a Latin term meaning “Turn Around.” Repent means the same, to turn away from sin. We are fighting righteous battles of morality.

Equal

Fundamental social change for equality is happening, now. It’s not a matter of if, but when social equality becomes reality or we fight and the winner prevails to rule a world full of love or full of hate.

Women vote, People with black skin ride in the front of the bus, homosexuals marry, medical marijuana is prescribed, Muslims pray, and walls of containment have literally fallen.

It’s different. Natural characteristics of the human race are uncomfortable with change. No, it’s not the norm – not what you’re used to. Not yet. We will progress or regress from here. This is why Revolution Equality is at climax.

An issue of this magnitude will not be still, we will move forward, backward, up, and down – each individual will make a decision to react or be proactive, to accept or deny, to open arms or protect individual belief. The collective population of our world will determine the next chapter.

My friends – black people, my Goddesses – women, my brothers sharing skin color like mine – white man, courageous gays, mindful Muslims, beautiful Buddhist, celebrating Hindi . . . the list goes on – good people – all of them, no matter judgement. People – more than skin deep and practicing beliefs. More than you and me. Coming together, for better or worse will determine our quality of life and the lives of future generations.

It seems so simple to choose good over evil. Ignorance is bliss and oblivious to everything else. It’s not that we must come together and prevail good over evil. It is what it is, and what will happen, will happen. It’s how we handle everything. Mindfulness of our own inner thoughts and feelings, what happens around us, and what we will do next. It’s how we love and accept others not in our immediate circles of beliefs and vanity.

A certain frame of mind, understanding our revolution is acceptance and all about the Golden Rule – “Treat others like you want to be treated.” Lack of tolerance is what we are fighting, “An eye for an eye.”

whitestown

It wasn’t long ago, say 35 years, when I invited two of my best friends to swim at a local club pool. They were turned away because the color of their skin. My family dropped our membership. It was my first encounter with prejudice inequality.

We did not affect the club, they needed not our money. But it did affect my friends. Two young black males seeing a young white kid confused, and taking action to speak to his family and the family doing the right thing. No, we did not end bigotry, but we gained friends for life.

It’s society revolting against one another. Small pods of civil war and unrest around the world. So, choose a side and support good or support evil. It’s not religion, race, or ethnic boundaries. We are fighting a war on inequality, hate, and ignorance.

Most people I know stand beside me in my beliefs of acceptance. I’m realizing my own ignorance of assumption, something I work on every day – to not assume anything. I had no idea the number of people with such hate in their heart and soul, to the point of taking another’s life and their own. I’m not hurt, as much as feeling stupid for perceiving the world as a better place than it really is. Chapter 10 has begun and it will unfold quickly. Good luck world, I’m rooting on you to do the right thing. Peace. Love. Equality.

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Charles Kochel fly-fishes, a lot. He also writes, bunches. He’s a terrible gardener, but seems to like it just the same.

Sometimes he can be found longboarding farmer’s markets or throwing disc amongst friends in open spaces. His dog, Prana, is named from Sanskrit meaning “life-force.”

He wishes he played mandolin better, but enjoys it just the same.

Radical Insanity

Advocates of hate. My way or the highway. I’m right and you are wrong. Thoughts bouncing around diverse communities throughout. Radical insanity has no borders, no religion, no political affiliate.

She’s ugly and mean. Unpleasing aesthetics of egotistical terrorism dominate her culture. From within her circles she has devout loyalist praising her beliefs and capabilities. From outside, she’s just a bitch.

Why? Because St. Peter is at the gates of Heaven grasping his driftwood staff, confederate flag waving atop. This is our sacred space, righted to us by Almighty God. If you don’t get what we say, damn you to hell for eternal suffering.

Mother Teresa

Condemning Mohammad Ali, His Holiness – The Dalai Lama, Ghandi, and Mother Teresa. “They may be good people, but works don’t get you home. All will burn in hell.”

Faith plays the star role in radical insanity. He’s all we’ve got. Individuals, products of unique environments – our own history, education, hobbies, religious beliefs, friends, family, career and everything that shapes everyday life. It’s who we are. It’s all we know.

Simmered down from a stock to demi-glace it looks something like a theory of dirt. When we die, we either turn into organic matter, or there is more, both is hopeful.

This is not where most radical insanity begins, more somewhere in the middle web. Life after death, reincarnation, cats get 9 lives, people get 7. Whatever your faith, believe it with all you are and condemn no one. It’s not appealing.

“Can’t we just all get along?” ~Rodney King

Religion, government and hippies – the little competitions suck you into escalating cycles. Before you know it, they become oddly personal and somewhere along the way it slips into resentment.

Government elections are bad enough. Religion complicates and staggering numbers of hippies are screaming about GMO’s, and know nothing about what they are.

Relations between the opposing forces are chilling. Polar faiths, known for sure to be correct. It’s not surprising, an overwhelming number of people, most of us, are trying to “keep it in the middle.” Agitated at times, empowering the middle road towards radical insanity.

Society will gladly take you by the hand, leading you to scripted answers. Prospects of people yanked around by society will prove tempting. But for now, lack of tolerance is a form of control – the problem itself.

We’re all trying to get to the same place, following different paths of the spider web woven by each unique life. Acceptance and love – the ‘do right rule’ seems to ring true in my world.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others remains and is immortal.” ~Albert Pine.

The only question I ponder is, “why not?” If I’m radical, I’m a radical pluralist striving to continuously improve the man in the mirror. Starting with self, we can make a difference in the quality of our own life, and the life of others through small actions of kindness.

Show up for yourself. Find or create the life you want. Do more of what you love. Catch your dream – a career you are passionate about, people you want to be around, hobbies you enjoy and make you happy. Ask yourself, “Self, What do I Want Out of Life? Will I look back, near the end of my days, and say … “at a boy, job well done”?

wooderson

As usual, Wooderson (Dazed and Confused, 93’) has all the answers.

“You got to do what Randal Pink Floyd wants to do, man. The older you get the more rules their gonna try to get you to follow. You just got to keep livin’ man. L-I-V-I-N.

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Charles Kochel sometimes writes a controversial blog. But, he fishes, so all is well. Wishing peace and love to all those suffering from mindless acts of terror.

Knee Deep

There is no place I’d rather be, than knee-deep, with a stick. A pastime, needing not the roar of a crowd, I do it for myself. No need to wet a line or feel tension on the end of my cane, just as content, with pen and pad, whilst leaning, next to the river.

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Of contentment, I enjoy watching a good leaf travel downstream. Harvesting fish, with a blade creating Nigiri Sushi or fried crappie. Natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, pleasing aesthetics, the mind can rest, rejuvenate and be left only to wander.

Fishing the flats of the Ocean, chalk streams of foreign prairie lands and alpine snowmelt. These are my homes. A place where there is nowhere to go, because I’m already here.

Water, never judging, always accepting, the source of life. Covering seventy percent of Earth and Newborn Child, life and water are synonymous, like joy and fishing. This is where I belong.

God created water and Fish before man. Jesus and Hemingway fished and so does my tribe. There is no place I’d rather be, than standing knee-deep waving cane.

Images of me holding a tiny rod and a green 2.5 gallon bucket beside my grandfather and his old blue truck are my first memories. The only thing ever in the bucket was responsibility and I owned it. The bucket and I were pretty tight in those days and I continue to cherish responsibility.

I remember fishing with my father for the first time on a reservoir at the family farm in Southeast Arkansas. He, telling me stories about being my age, having to prime an old hand pump with water for it to work. He talked about the dead heat of summer, dripping sweat. He’d pour the water it in, pump and repeat until finally water started trickling out the spout. Then he’d do it again and again until it poured cold, fresh water to quench his thirst. What I learned that day is you get out of life what you put in.

I remember teaching my best friend to fly-fish in the Spring River. We’d ride backroads, and visit hours on end about life, listening to our favorite music, singing. Our third trip he started to get the hang of wading knee deep, waving cane in the swift, cold water. He’d load the tip of his fly-rod, patiently wait for the line to unravel and extend from a tight loop to a straight line, watching it behind him until he unloaded the tip and the fly changed direction across and up the stream. He stripped his line a few times straight towards his belly button and wham his first trout. He admired and respected the art. After releasing the fish, he retired to a shade tree with a Hemingway book, pad and dull pencil. We fished many times after this, never did he cast more than a few minutes before retiring to his shade tree, watching me, his book, his pad, nursing a smoke and iced wine. My friend died a few months after he landed his first and only fish, the most glorious rainbow, a scrawny little stocker fish, my favorite fish of all time. The rainbow taught me to appreciate the small things in life.

Six years ago was born my first daughter. When she was a week or two old we took a family trip to the lower Norfork tailwater in Northern Arkansas. She had become one with me. Often packing her on my front with a Baby Bjorn, cooking and such other fine chores I want her to learn at her spongy-brained age. This day, at three weeks old, we fished. Papa and his baby girl. Down the mountain to a floating dock, I dropped my fly into the cold, fast moving river and stripped line, watching my fly float naturally down the stream sliding beneath the fog gently lifted by the warmth of the early morning sun. Flicking my wrist, my fly finessed up and across the stream, I mended for a natural drift. We were shut out that morning, but I gained my favorite fishing partner on Earth. I learned unconditional love and what matters most to me. An hour I’ll never forget.

This past week I met my oldest sister after a long, hard week of work and personal strife for both of us, we met at The Rail in Rogers, AR. A beer, some shanks – skipping the small talk, we walked to the FLW event near the farmer’s market. No escaping the familiar aroma of fried crappie, a family favorite we’d shared together for over 41 years. We made our rounds to every vender, listened to blue grass, danced a bit and finally got around to the small talk. Checking out the massive rigs of boat, trailer and truck packages beaming the brand of their sponsors. At this moment, last week, I was reminded who loves me most and the fact much of this realization revolves around fishing. So, I vow today two things. Do more of what I love with whom I love most. It matters.

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Charles Kochel is a fly fisherman currently exploring the natural streams of the Ozark Mountains.

Broken, but not dead

Struggling, resisting wiping the first tear escaping my soul for decades, I restrain. She’s so pure. Too real. Pain escaping like nuclear fission of the atom bomb. I am not bent, I’m broken.

Broken is broken. There is no one more than another. You can be bent to extraordinary measures of pain, but this does not change you. Once broken, things will never be put back together the same way. Everything is different.

Humbleness crushes individualism and ego. Silent senses of others like you are comforting. I’m more careful than I once was because I’m afraid. I don’t want to break again. I will, quite sure of this. Lifestyles of the chosen: roads less traveled, blazing paths, territory owned by risk and reward.

Whilst others have faith they know for sure their roadmap from God, we peek around dark corners to see what is real and what is not. Sometimes not seeing our feet, blinded by the chaos of life’s thickets and thorns. Nothing less than a fence protecting us from a jagged cliff. One of us is sure to slip and fall, breaking yet again and again.

See your sister curled in a fetal position, at the bottom, in the valley of rising water, and without thought jump. Because once you’ve been there, you already know, they need not be alone.

Listening carefully and speaking with care is priority over who’s right and who is not. Simplicity and free time are valued more than bigger and faster. Circles shrink. The world has clarity and is good. You can see the fog snaking through the canyon, more stars fall from the sky and the flowers and the children, wow, they are so delicate. The moon is more important, as are others.

regret

There is only one thing I know for sure, I know nothing at all. A great poet once said, “Life ain’t easy” only followed by another living more in the present, “Today was a good day.”

travel (ck backpack spain)Charles Kochel fly-fishes. Currently exploring the Ozark Mountains, he enjoys laughing, baseball, good food, and mindful people.

He writes, tries to pick mandolin and purchased a pair of running shoes today.

Sometimes he can be found wandering the streets and paths of Northwest Arkansas, sometimes he can’t be found at all. Carpe’ Diem, may be your only chance.

 

“utopia”

“Go make yourself drink, and I’ll be down in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.” ~pulp fiction

Transplant culture. Genius exposing. Gawking, riding longboards through the farmers market, painting, running, biking, trails, discs.

Global stopping, taking notice. Co-existing, environment healthy, fun, smart, providing.

Diversity, togetherness – melting pots, people helping people – “at a boys” from corporate encouraging entrepreneurs to keep on going vice versa.

Kids bouncing around oversized sidewalks, pretty dogs, obedient, happy, healthy, culture local, organic, foodies, yoginis, savasana, cycling, fly-fishing, hiking, pickin’ and grinnin, and smoke. People read some write. artist, musicians, museums muse sharpening souls vice versa.

elastic, moving. standing still.

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Charles Kochel fly fishes the Ozark Mountain streams of Northwest Arkansas.

Wall Street’s Sharknado

The Story: If you’ve seen the movie, “The Big Short” that’s me (Brad Pitt – I wish, or maybe a hybrid of Pitt and Steve Carol.) Point is, I was at the epicenter of the collapse, feet on the ground, in Manhattan, on Wall Street – the day it all went down.

Mass chaos doesn’t do justice to describing the “Eye Wall” (pun intended) of this killer economic hurricane. It was sharknato.

sharknado

My story is rich with fear and greed, corporate corruption, big time attorneys, Wall Street, Main Street, from the highs of Heaven to the lows of Hades.

After pouring my young heart and soul into helping people, to the best of my ability, I realized the corruptness of mega-corporations. Understanding the only true purpose of a corporation, by definition is to build shareholder wealth. “At all cost” should be copied and pasted into Webster’s or Wikipedia (wait, I can do this myself.) Short term visionaries are responsible for ‘making the quarter’ and without regard to anything else, a plan is put in place to do just this. During the financial Sharknado of 2008, this left individuals, families and even the null soul of corporations devastated, it changed the people we are.

This leads me to allow anger and pain between me and the corporation. “Let it pass through.” I tell myself, it’s a mute point, null because the corporation does not care, it does not know how to feel – a corporation is an entity. It also helped me realize shrinking my circles was a good thing. The “Circle of Trust”, like Robert De Niro so eloquently described in the movie, “Meet the Parents” was immediately roped, with barbed wire, electric fences and super k-9’s named Cujo.

Some hid under their desk, whilst the storm passed and a few years later, peeked around to assess the damage. What they saw were clients crushed because half their life-saving disappeared. Retirement dreams shattered, homes up for sale, relationships severed, nervous breakdowns and even suicide was the aftermath. An economic storm that left a wake of broken people, confused, lost and knowing not, what to do next.

The Reality: Fortunately, we the people will win the war, but the toll of battles fought, between Daniel (Main Street) and Goliath (Wall Street), left our spirits broken, our minds and body tired and our bank account empty. No one ever really wins a war.

No one ever really wins a war.

The Outcome: The crucial blow, taking up to 5 years, or longer regain composure, left us alone and somewhat scared.

So, it’s time to evaluate the man in the mirror. If you don’t like what you see, make a decision to change life’s intention, from “More, Bigger, Faster” to “Leaving a legacy of positive impact, on others and the world.”

Re-organize life, a continuing process, and live simply. Create a workable plan to do more of what you love, improving quality of life, and work towards your legacy. Continue to “Fill the bucket” with dreams. Surround yourself with good people. Once this is done, there is no mountain too great to climb.

The journey starts not with having new vistas, but with having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust

 

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel founded Yield Wealth Management, helping people align their financial resources with what matters most to them. Yield Wealth is the first benefit corporation in Arkansas.

Charles also serves a non-profit, helping people of all ages reach their full potential. If you’d like to learn more about Yield Wealth, and how you might benefit from ‘mindful wealth management’ visit our website, http://www.yieldwealth.com.

Contact: charles@yieldwealth.com

Finding Yeshe’

Alone, writing in my journal, my server met me with gentle eyes, speaking with a servant’s heart.  Connecting immediately and having moments of deep conversation.

Leaving, he follows me outside and asks, “What are you doing in town?” We talk about mutual friends, the nearby, self sustaining, Circle Yoga Shala, where I was staying the night, and then, he invites me to the next days sweat lodge. As I start to leave, he said, “They’ll know me as Yeshe’.” and that was it.

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The next day, I find a Monk in maroon and yellow wraps, chopping wood. Beads of sweat rolling down the sides of his face, focussing entirely on the task at hand. This is Yeshe’. Whether washing windows, dishes, chopping wood or in deep conversation,Yeshe’ is always in the present moment.

After a long, hot sweat lodge, a joyful potluck with friends and a few tears shed from the opening of chakras (or just plain sweating out every thing I am), we sat atop the back porch of Circle Yoga Shala’s barn studio watching the sun set beneath Mt. Shiloh. Respecting one another’s presence, Yeshe’, a Buddhist Monk, and me, a corporate impact advisor, helping one another manifest a dream of what matters most to us.

I ask him about his understanding of wealth. He says, “Wealth is more than just how much money you have. Money is purchasing power. Wealth comes from your own definition of inner values. The sum of your talents, creativity, dreams and fears. It is all the qualities that are uniquely yours and make you happy – therefore, determining quality of life.”

As with all my clients, I ask, “What matters most to you?” He took a deep breath, in through his nostrils and exhaled our his mouth. “Understanding who I am, what I want and what I need. Until I know this, I’m just spinning wheels of life.”

Yeshe’, knowing how to “just be”, was still and deep in thought. He listens carefully to me and everything making up his being – inside and out – taking it all in. His breaths rhythmic and slow, choosing his words with care, he says, “To be wealthy and free, I need scarcity.”

Despite my 15 years having conversations about wealth and impact, there are some stratospheres I just can’t fathom. Unlike most Americans and people around the world, Yeshe’s definition of wealth is like nothing I’d ever heard. Instead of building assets to become financially free, and making a positive impact on others and the world, he wanted to give away all his worldly possessions and retreat to the mountain top of his Buddhist Monastery, in silence, for three years. His own definition of wealth and freedom.

cowboy and monk

We talk for hours, me, learning more about Yeshe’ and he about me – and how we’ve become a product of the environment we created – our past, education, trials, tribulations, fears and dreams. We embrace and part ways with a clear understanding. A respect of where each individual is now, and where we want to be in the future and set a time and medium to follow-up on the next steps of how to create a “road map” of sorts, to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’.

The goal is to Minimize chaos, focus on what matters most and do more of what you love. The process is to prioritize what matters most. organize your resources and align them with what matters most. Most of all, simplify, an easily understood and doable process and plan to enjoy life.

Throughout the next year, Yeshe’ and I would communicate, update one another on where we are in our plan, ask questions, voice concerns and basically leverage one another as a sounding board and creative think tank.

Exactly one year later, February 2015, we met again, at Circle Yoga Shala. After the sweat lodge and potluck with friends, we sat inside the barn studio and filmed a conversation about manifesting our dreams. It was beautiful. Yeshe’ is beautiful.

Planning for Yeshe

The next day my family, wife and two daughters, met him at his Monastery. He showed us the sacred grounds, nestled deep in the Ozark Mountains near the Little Buffalo River. We prayed, feasted, and thanked God for the opportunity for Yeshe’ to spend three years in prayer for others.

Thank you,Yeshe,’ for reminding me of my true wealth, which is independent of how much money I have. Thank you for helping me realize the suffering on monotony and the beauty of diversity. Thank you, Yeshe’ for helping me realize who I am and what makes me happy.

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CHARLES KOCHEL lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. He serves a non-profit, helping people through therapy, education and support reach their full potential.

Charles owns Yield Wealth Management, the first Benefit Corporation, Motif Advisor and pure impact advisor in Arkansas. Learn more at http://www.yieldwealth.com or contact Charles at charles@yieldwealth.com.