by Anodea Judith: We all know what it feels like to be alive. But do we know what it is to be vitally, juicily, magnificently alive?
And even more, to be able to handle our full aliveness in the challenges of today’s world?
I discuss in my book, Charge And The Energy Body: The Vital Key To Healing Your Life, Your Chakras, And Your Relationships, what it’s like to have a charge about something.
That depends on your understanding of Charge.
Charge is a word for the vital life force that runs through you, and indeed through all of life. Yogis call it prana; martial artists call it chi;Freud called it libido, and Star Wars calls it The Force.
By any name, it’s what makes us feel awake and alive, in touch with ourselves and the world around us. It’s what lies at the core of spiritual experience, and the energy of healing. It’s what makes you feel your emotions, as in having a “charge” about something. It’s also what gets blocked when you’re afraid to fully show up as who you really are.
I think of CHARGE as an acronym for: Consciousness Having A Really Genuine Experience. In other words, when you feel that roar of aliveness running through your body, you know it. In those precious moments, you don’t have to ask about the meaning of life. It’s obvious.
You are living it.
You are in the center of your charge.
To be healthy, we have to find balance. This is also true of charge. When we are tired and listless, or feel depressed, we have too little charge. Everything seems too difficult because we don’t have enough energy to meet life’s demands.
But we can also have too much charge, which makes it hard to sit still or focus, and can feel like anxiety.
Balancing our charge is as vital as balancing the in and out of the breath.
One of the prime ways we balance our charge is through the chakras. The chakras have long been known as energy centers spinning at the core of the body. And while they govern our deepest programming at the core, they also act as portals between in the inner and outer world. Energy enters and leaves the body through these portals. And it’s also assimilated and stored in the chakras.
In fact, here’s a good working definition of a chakra: an energy center that receives, assimilates, stores, and expresses life force energy.
So let’s look at a way to balance the charge in each of your chakras.
- Chakra One: Plug into the Earth.
Matter is stored charge. The more matter you have, the more charge you can store. A bigger body stores more charge than a skinny body. That means the earth is a pretty big battery.
Your two legs are like the two prongs of a plug. When they push into the earth, you push into a reservoir of energy that comes up your legs and into your body. Like plugging in a television, so that it can receive on all its channels, plugging our legs into the earth turns on the body so that it can receive on each chakra channel.
If you stand with your feet hip width apart, soften your knees, and imagine pushing down and out with your feet, as if you were pushing floor boards apart, you can feel your grounding become solid.
Earth is the element associated with the first chakra at the base of the spine. When the charge is balanced here, you feel safe, grounded, and focused. You can manifest in the world.
- Chakra Two: Flowing with Water
After bringing charge into the body through the feet and legs, we next want to get that charge moving. In the second chakra, charge flows through emotions and sexuality. To feel something deeply is to be moved. That means charge is moving within us, stirring the waters of our soul. Water is the element of the second chakra.
Our feelings and emotions are responses to what we like and dislike. We move toward what we want – we have a charge of excitement or gratitude for something good. Or we feel sorrow, anger, or fear – which is moving away from something we don’t want. Carl Jung said that the emotional body gives us our values, which in turns fuels our choices. When we act on those choices, we are stepping into chakra three.
- Chakra Three: Burning Our Way into Power
The third chakra represents the element fire. This kind of charge gives us our vitality, our ability to get things done, and our power to burn through obstacles.
We need energy to do that, and that means we have to get it from the earth, run it up through the torso, and then focus that energy into action with our will. And when we succeed in aligning our actions with our intentions, we feel powerful. We are now able to mobilize our charge toward productive results.
The third chakra is located in the solar plexus. Simply tapping all around that area and massaging points that are sore can begin to free up the energy in the fire chakra.
- Chakra Four: Breathing into Love
There is no greater charge in the universe than love. It’s the cosmic glue that keeps everything together, each part relating to everything else. Like its element air, charge in the heart chakra is as vital as the breath. In fact, when your heart is open, you naturally breathe deeper. When the heart shuts down, the breath becomes shallow.
The good news is that you can use the breath to increase the charge in your heart.
Simply increase the speed and length of your inhalations, while allowing only short bursts of air for your exhalation and you will experience a moment of heightened charge.
I like to think of the invisible air we breathe as a field of unconditional love. With every breath you take in, you are breathing in love, with every exhale, you can send that love outward toward someone or something that needs it.
In this way the heart is open to both giving and receiving, boundaries are softened, and our charge becomes self-regulatedand peaceful.
- Chakra Five: The Charge of Speaking the Truth
The things that matter most to us, have the most charge. Often as children, whether in school or at home, we were not allowed to speak our truth. Or perhaps no one was there to listen. Or maybe we were shamed or silenced for daring to say something when it wasn’t appreciated. So we learned to block our charge in the fifth chakra, and guard the throat from opening and spilling our truth. This blocks our creativity and self-expression.
However, some people discharge too much through the throat. They talk all the time! Then they need to tune into their inner listening more deeply, which is better heard through silence.
- Chakra Six: The Charge of Imagination
Our thoughts have charge, and so does our imagination and memory. If you imagined that someone was out to hurt you, you’d have a big charge on that, regardless of whether it was true.
We can also use our imagination in positive ways, by focusing our energy into the pictures we form in our minds about what we want to create. The more we energize our vision, the more we see with our intuition, the more we are guided along the way, and the more we see the beauty in everything.
Make it a practice each day to set your intention and imagine it happening easily and effortlessly. See it as a reality, and this alignment of your charge will increase the probability that it will happen.
- Chakra Seven: The Charge of Awareness
Ultimately, we become aware of charge through our awareness. You notice your body is tingling, that your emotions are rising, or your heart is expanding. You might feel that characteristic tightness in the throat or jaw, but it is awareness that turns experience into meaning. The more meaning something has, the more charge it carries.
Managing charge starts with awareness. Can we sense where that charge is flowing in the body or sense where we might be constricting the body to block it?
Relaxing those blocks, through breath, imagery, movement, or simply feeling them, helps the charge move freely.
Ultimately, spiritual experience is a free flow of charge, coherently organized up and down our core, connected equally to our inner world and the outer world.