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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.

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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.

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God, Rest My Soul.

I don’t remember my first cup of coffee or much about attending the World Series in 1982. I do remember, Michael, the first child I saw in a wheelchair, receiving insulin every few hours from a long tube connected to a bag, hanging from a thin metal pole above his right shoulder. I was 8 when I met him.

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I can’t tell you about the first home run I ever hit or the first fish I caught on a fly. My first kiss didn’t change my life. But my first hug from a young boy with Down Syndrome did.

Political conversations ping pong around my social media and petty problematic issues too often are the focus of social interaction — I can’t help but think about the feeding tube needed to nourish the young girl in my daughters pre-school class.

I’m reading less of Hemingway, his self-character, Nick Adams, somewhat a muse to me, and reading more of Helen Keller, realizing, Anne Sullivan, her teacher is a real hero.

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I’ve seen people broken, mostly late in life, change what matters most to them, depressed about their lack of health, and even more, their relationships. Selfishness is to not live now, life to the fullest.

Creating a network of generosity, compassion and philanthropy, helping others improve their quality of life, and reach their full potential is what you’ll remember, when time seems short. Actions, without expectations, is more than enough to feel at peace about our time here on Earth.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. He serves a non-profit organization and owns an Impact Investing and Wealth Management firm, Yield Wealth Management. Yield Wealth is the first benefit corporation in Arkansas.

My goal is to leave a legacy of positive impact on others and the world.

Tackling The Titanic

Samantha, a young ant, graduated, magnum cum laude from University of Antansas, and set out to change the world.

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What she initially found, stepping into the “real-world” is an ocean of diversity, filled with gargantuan issues too complex to tackle. Feeling tiny, alone and helpless, her focus became more about survival than positive change.

One week in January, it rained every day, and started to flood. The single ant, Samantha, was swept into Wishing Springs. Fighting for survival, she comes across a raft, made of ants. She climbs aboard to safety.

Only to look down and realize, the raft was built using helpless baby ants as floating life-preservers. Sticking them, at the very bottom of the life rafts, they build with their own bodies.

Ants, bonding together to create a buoyancy and thus, increasing survival. Such is life, ants die, but the colony must continue to survive.

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Time passes quickly. The young ant, Samantha, now half way through life, sees the world different from before, not more beautiful, not less, just different. Perception, maybe.

One week in January, it rained every day, and started to flood. The single ant, Samantha, was swept into Wishing Springs. Fighting for survival, she comes across a raft, made of ants.

But instead of climbing on the raft made of ants, she quickly finds a stick, and then another and binds them together, with a blade of grass. She builds a raft from floating sticks, and help ants from the floating ant raft, aboard the stick raft.

Getting their head above water, they were all able to breathe, moving from a fate of death and freeing them opportunity to thrive.

Actions taken for positive impact, doesn’t have to change the world to be important. One ant can’t do it alone, but together we make a difference. Together we can leave this world a little better than we found it. What ants do for themselves dies with them, what they do for other ants and the world remains, and is immortal.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel lives in the ozark mountains of Arkansas. He likes good stuff, like good people, good food and good music.

Charles fly fishes, wishes he could jam a mandolin and wants to leave a legacy of positive impact for others and the world.

His mantra – “The journey starts, not with having new vistas, but with having new eyes.~Marcel Proust