Tag Archives: impact investing

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.

Stupid Tuesday, #IowaCaucus

The political culture of modern day America brings out the U.G.L.Y. in our people. Biased egos emerge, feelings of “I’m smart, you’re dumb; I’m big, you’re little; I’m right, you’re wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Sure, how we see our own candidates is foggy, at best. My man, Uncle Bernie – we seem to be on the same side of about 95% of debate issues. I see his qualities and actions towards fellow human beings, as friendly, hospitable, generous, gentle, caring and compassionate.

Someone who will use their strengths, on behalf of others, especially the weak, the poor and the ill.

Public display of such character, the candidate is recognized and stands out from the crowd. Humanity is recognized. A leader displaying openness and a big heart, sharing their wealth.

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 the quality of your life.

"Were the Good People at?"

Elections are consumed by slander and hate. We keep on, despite the political wars that bring suffering to people and relationships, for so many – misery. It’s foreign, to me. What if our political culture changed and decidedly strive for harmony and community.

 

Creating societies, meant for the greater good, ending wars and seeking to heal communities is currently a dream. Trying to overcome the purpose of winning or losing an election is too much, for modern day politics. Anger, resentment, greed, aggressive competitiveness that rules today’s politics is corrosive and destroys harmony. Political candidates seek to destroy their opponent, both are victims.

No wonder, innocence in our children, disappears at such an early age. Elections leave me cold.

cropped-ck-photo.jpgCharles Kochel lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. “My goal in life is to leave a legacy of positive impact, on others and the world.” Charles serves as Director of Advancement for a non-profit helping people of all ages, through therapy, education and support reach their full potential.

His Wealth Management Firm, Yield Wealth Management is the first Benefit Corporation in Arkansas.

My Bucket

We must be responsible with our words. ~not today

Death of true love or loved person is too much. The reality of truly bad people and war is too much. Precious cargo, what matters most, taken. Controlling some parts of life is not possible, so we learn to let go.

I can bury my head in the sand, like the ostrich, but when I peak from the blinders hiding the truth, I see devastation. It’s possible to hide again, behind the offering of pills, alcohol and other drugs. Yet, escaping doesn’t have to be blunt (pun intended), I may also hide behind God and the church or any number of other truths.

The mantra of now is “Let’s Get Started.” When I reach the bottom of my bucket list, and the bucket is empty two things have happened. First, I’ve lived a full life. Second, my bucket didn’t hold enough dreams. Not because my bucket was small, but rather my dreams.

Relative, and naive it is, writing about such nonsense as myself. I learned long ago, conversation and writing about ones self is not good conversation. I give up on that one. If I show up and do things, extraordinary things, it’s of interest to most everyone – inspiring. Carpe’ Diem is a verb, so let’s get started.

To write about what came out of my bucket is ego, but to write what’s going into my bucket is goals. Goals are overrated, I’ll call it decisions and dreams. The only thing that can stop me is uncontrollable realities. I made a decision, “Only concentrate on what I can control.” So, let’s get started.

travel (ck backpack spain)

The road to Santiago or running with the bulls, depending on what stage of life or mood I’m in, at the point of Carpe Diem, goes into the bucket. It doesn’t matter why, I have a number of reasons, none of which makes any sense to me. No matter, in the bucket she goes. Remote alpine fly fishing, why not, it’s just a bucket holding dreams and decisions. New Zealand, yes. Tibet, yes. Labrador, why not – in the bucket – all of you.

Pushing the limits, not so much this time around. The concept left the last bucket, maybe never to return. The words “Maybe” and “In my opinion” somewhat absent from the bucket before, this round, in the bucket – I like you bunches. Listening more and speaking less, I need you in my bucket.

Love, compassion, empathy, philanthropy, courage, understanding, acceptance … all of you beautiful actions – get in the bucket and stay forever. Hate is not invited. Ego will be asked to leave more than once.  More is confusing, bigger and faster can do what they please, but sadness, broken hearts, anger you will be accepted, so into the bucket you go.

Mandolin, moreover me playing the mandolin, picking and grinning with friends, I place you, into my bucket. Friends, with whom to pick and grin, I escort you, into my bucket. A good dog, beaming with unconditional love, heal up, and follow me, inside the bucket. Spirituality, health, relationships, money, free time, hobbies, get in there.

Life will continue to present too much to handle, and when it does, I’m going to reach in my bucket and pull something out. I know what I love and what makes me happy, this all goes in to my bucket. I know things I do not love will make it’s way in; I’ll politely ask him to leave, accepting he came and was part of my life.

I’m not content with my words tonight, nor am I careful. I care, but I’m writing about me throughout, so nobody should really be interested in the first place. Carpe Diem, my friends, let’s get started.

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

~Marcel Proust