Tag Archives: charles kochel

Life Simplified

The core of human existence revolves around 5 principles. This is what matters most to us, yet we seldom set daily intentions to nurture our joy of existence.

Spirituality – The theory of dirt. What happens when you die? Do you turn into organic matter and that’s it, or is there something more? The simple belief (faith) that there is something more gives purpose in life, from here the spider web of religions present chaos, bitterness, and the ugly finger pointing: “I’m right and you’re wrong.” The fact that we are all a product of our own environment should present, at the least, a state of mindfulness opening our hearts and minds to other’s existence and beliefs. The business of hyper-religious sects (radicals) polarizes our communication and our ability to listen and learn from others. My religion is very simple. My religion is compassion.

Relationships – Sharing life with others that we love and care about lies dead in the middle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The roller coaster of joy and pain shouldn’t be shouldered alone. Without love and friendship – you only have spirituality and no one should have to go through life alone. Be cognizant of those that show up in the good times and the bad. Because if shit hasn’t hit the fan yet, it will – again and again. And those that matter most to you, more, those that you matter most to will help you through the bad times and celebrate with you the good, without motives. Life without ego is beautiful, live it.

Health – Your mind, body, and soul are your temple for living a quality life. What matters most to you cannot be fulfilled without health. The unfortunate part of life is that sometimes we can’t control our health. It is important to understand what you can control and take action and what we can not control and let go. This doesn’t have to mean carving out time on the mat for yoga or the gym; you don’t have to become vegetarian or vegan. Carving out time for simple tasks can be enough, like breathing, eating, hydration, and exercise. But what about nourishing our minds and our soul? How do we eliminate ‘monkey mind’ or slow the ‘ping-pong balls’ in our head? There are 3 things you can do for yourself that will make all the difference: Educate, Entertain, and Inspire. Another way to look at health is through the eyes of the 8 limbs of yoga.

Live Better by being mindful of all your actions

Time – It’s all we’ve got and the one thing we can’t get back. Time is defined as the indefinite continued process of existence. Even the definition blows my mind. We can’t control time, but we can control what we do with it. So, make the most of your time here on Earth. A simple structure for time can be prioritizing what matters most and do first. Organize your priorities and place them on a timeline. Simplify a doable and measurable process and plan to accomplish your goals. The question to ask your self is this, “Self, what matters most to me?” When you’re dead and gone, swinging your legs from the heavenly cloud placed just for you to sit, what do you want to see? What you see, starts now. Nurture the good, turn away (repent) of the bad and move on. Shrink your circles and give more to the people and things that matter most to you. Life is chaotic and time flies. Carpe’ Diem, Laissez les bons temps rouler, do more of what you love.

Freedom – Ouch, this seems to be our problem. Free from the daily stresses of life. Free from guilt. Free from overwhelming responsibilities. Total freedom is a state of mind and should be treated as such. No one can take away the freedom from your soul. If you prioritize Spirituality, Relationships, Health, and Time – Freedom will come naturally. Get out of the realm of more, more, more – bigger, and faster and appreciate what you have. Be content and live life. Some of the happiest people I know, don’t have much at all in the light of things, but the light they shine is brighter than the sun. These are my people. This is my tribe. Be Free and live the life created for you. Life is hard, but with a few simple adjustments, life can be enjoyed, appreciated, and lived like it should be. Enjoy the journey, it’s your life.

Charles Kochel can be found meandering the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, and sometime Missouri. I’m passionate to the point of fault about the things I care about most.

Fly fishing, writing, and spending time with my family and friends is all I really ask for. I don’t need too many ‘things’, but I’ve been with a lot and without a lot – and I must admit it’s better with than without.

Fact is, if a person has never been without, it’s difficult to appreciate ‘the with’. Life is short, live it and do your best. As long as I can look in the mirror and think, “Ata boy”, I’ll make it. It’s the times when I don’t like the person looking back at me from the mirror I know that change must take place. Good luck out there, stay safe, and do more of what you love.

TajMo: Autumn in the Ozarks.

It’s almost autumn in the Ozarks. Football, Fishing,  and Fantastic Music.

Two black men riding white horses down Dickson Street dismount in front of Walton Art Center. Together, they step on stage, pick up their guitars and start playing music and telling stories.

It’s a style Keb Mo and Taj Mahal have mastered, like no other in history. A decade of difference in age, the folkie blues & modern soul artists share striking similarities; mastering multiple instraments before guitar: piano, trombone, clarinet, French horn, steel drums, harmonica, and standup bass. Although both began their careers in California, they understand the deep south’s delta blues and modern soul.

 Taj and Mo

Taj Mahal started his career with Rising Sons, and Keb Mo played with famed violinist Papa John Creech of Jefferson Airplane. Both have reached the top of their respected art, as individuals, and now have partnered to create the duo, “TajMo” – a diverse platform of brilliant artistry. When playing acoustic, they drive us towards a deep emotional journey.

The two join forces September 19th, at Walton Arts Center on Fayetteville’s playful Dickson Street.

With your tank refilled by TajMo and the sophistication of Walton Art Center still lingering, ByrdFest peaks her bohemian head from around the mountain, inviting you, September 22 – 23, to kick off your birkenstocks, and enjoy all things outdoors.

Byrd

One of the Ozarks prized festivals, ByrdFest offers an array of history, experience and tribute. The Grateful Dead Experience – The Schwag, Led Zeppelin Tribute: Hindenburg Project, Undertow: A tribute to Tool, The Driftaways, Molly Adamson, and one of Arkansas’ hometown favorites, Freeverse will all be on stage performing for hula hoopers, fire dancers, and disc throwing families.

Byrdfest is hosted by Byrd’s Adventure Center. This is a rain or shine event (oddly is seems many prefer the rain.) Camping and RV parking is available on the banks of aesthetically pleasing Mulberry River.

Fire Dance

Autumn in the Ozarks, it doesn’t get any better than this. Whether you’re into sophistication and deeply rooted acoustics, or psycho jams, we know one thing for sure. The Ozarks is the place to be in Autumn.

Turn off the TV (except for the Hogs game) and leave your phone in the VW van, because the fall is upon us and there is no other place I’d rather be, than right here at home, in the Ozarks.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel lives in the Illinois Watershed and fly fishes.

I write, play mandolin, and hang with my family. I don’t use the phone much, but often watch leaves float downstream.

The Ozarks have become home for me. I work here, play here, and raise my children as good bohemians.

Back to Your ‘Roots Festival’

The beauty is Roots deep. Poetic fusion.

FFM

Culinary magicians competing for “high-south cuisine” bragging rights coupled with life changing musicians moving mountains, in diversified venues throughout the cultural epicenter of the Ozark Mountains.

To coin Fayetteville Roots Festival is like describing God, with human features, no justice. The experience is a life event, moving, tasteful, and creative.

Collaboration of art decision makers in Northwest Arkansas have stretched ‘Roots’ geographically, further bleeding melting pots of diversified cultural interest in the festival. It’s like a fondue of good vibes.

CB

Crystal Bridges kicks off the 5 day artistic revival, hosting 3 bands, in the aesthetically mind-blowing venue, nestled conveniently in the north hills of Bentonville, AR. Oddly, you can ride your bike from Fayetteville’s Dixon Street to Crystal Bridges and never touch a road, or dirt; thanks to the Razorback Greenway…it’s a breathtaking scenic tour of about 40 miles…one way.

Thursday, true to it’s roots, Garner Farm Homestead will host, VIP, some of the best musical talent in the world, featuring the Wood Brothers. Enough said.

Friday through Sunday are all-day affairs – gorgeous, orgasmic, feel good entertainment. Roots Fest has become well-known, nationally. A gathering of the ‘who’s who’ — best-of-the-best, from those listening, dancing, and playing, in intimate Ozark venues.

Iron and Wine, The Wood Brothers, John Paul White, Smokey and the Mirror, Blind Boy Paxton, The Honey Dewdrops, Nick Offerman, Dead Man Winter, Elephant Rival, a mere drop in the bucket of talent for this year’s Root’s Festival.

It’s mind-boggling what’s going on here. If it’s not obvious, by now, tickets are difficult to come by, so leverage your peeps and dig deep, because you can’t put a price on the journey of life, and this is it.

Community, defined. Being mindful, not everyone can afford this mega event, 40% of everything happening at Roots is free. Check out the Fayetteville Library for ongoing Roots entertainment, or the late night venues including ‘spiritual’ Nederland, CO based jam artist Elephant Revival and hometown favorites Arkansauce.

maxines

But, if you’re going to do it, might as well stay up late-night, with Maxine’s Tap Room and Kingfish Dive Bar. Epic is an understatement, life changing better aligns to Fayetteville Roots Festival. Intimate, urban, music and food take place in one of the best small cities in the world.

fayetteville roots