Charge: The Key to Your Life Force

The basic substance of the person is energy. The movement of energy is life. The freer the energy movement … the more intense the life.
—John Pierrakos

Pulsing through the whole of nature, animating each and every one of your cells, is a luminous, divine energy. Its radiance shines in the light of the sun and the reflection of the moon. It’s found in the teeming life in the sea and the constant buzzing of insects. It beckons the grasses to rise and opens the flowers in spring. All life carries it, depends upon it, and is made from it. Like electricity in a lamp, it is universal, yet it shines through the individuality of each vessel, with an infinite variety of expressions.

Scientists have explored this energy, measuring and quantifying, yet have not pierced the mystery of its essence. Religions have worshipped it, with volumes of scriptures about its meaning, yet its everyday presence is often overlooked. Lovers thrive on it, moving mountains when they discover it, or suffering miserably with its loss.

We seek this energy like water and breath. We define our moods and aspirations by it. We know it when we find it, yet simultaneously fear its potency. Without it, our lives become mechanical and meaningless. As our innate life force, it is ultimately free, yet it has been diminished and restricted—even enslaved.

This life force has been known by many names. The yogis call it prana, and activate it through breath and postures. Acupuncturists call it chi or qi, and balance its movement through a network of pathways called meridians. Martial arts, such as Tai Chi, Qigong, or kung fu, also call it chi, and learn to cultivate its mastery through years of disciplined practice.

Freud called it libido while Wilhelm Reich, one of Freud’s contemporaries, called it orgone energy, and saw it as an underlying healing force that often becomes trapped in body armor and behavior patterns. Energy healers work with its manifestation in the subtle field around the body, called the aura, and some have called it Reiki. In the Star Wars movies, it was simply called the Force, a universal principle of intelligence that we can tap into for guidance and harmony.

By whatever name, these words all describe the same thing: the basic energy that runs through all of life. We can refer to this energy under one comprehensive word: CHARGE. This word is part of our everyday life, something even the skeptics can relate to—as in having a charge about something. It’s a word we can use with a child who is excited or scared: “I see you’re really charged up about that, aren’t you?” It’s a term that a therapist can use with her clients without getting mired in esoteric philosophies: “This seems to be a charged issue for you.” Yet this common usage does not at all diminish its mystical nature, for the more we learn to cultivate and manage our charge, the more its profound power is revealed.

I like to think of the word CHARGE as an acronym for:

Consciousness Having a Really Genuine Experience.

When charge is running through your system, you know it. You might shake or shiver, laugh or cry, feel excited or scared, but there’s no doubt you’re experiencing something. You feel the energy coursing through your body. It captures your full attention and fixates your thoughts. You might like the aliveness and exhilaration, or you might feel like jumping out of your skin, but there’s no doubt that a genuine experience is taking place.

Blocked or unbalanced charge is real too, and can cause all sorts of problems. It can make you say the wrong things or make it difficult to speak at all. It can keep you awake at night or make it hard to get up in the morning. It can turn against the body, creating diseases like ulcers, heart disease, or even cancer.

The charge of fear can keep you from moving forward in your life. The charge of anger can destroy marriages or even start wars. Lack of charge can lead to depression, while too much charge can make you anxious. A parent’s unconscious expression of anger or sexual charge onto a child can cause serious wounding.

On the positive side, charge not only animates us, but also increases sensation, awareness, and aliveness in the body, intensifying our experience. It rules our drives and ambitions, and keeps workers motivated and political parties in power. It’s the energy behind attraction, and it’s what keeps relationships juicy. Charge governs the feeling and expression of emotion.

Appropriate management of charge is essential to be successful in life. But it’s also how we experience who we really are—as living, energetic beings, each with our own unique expression of life force. As a central aspect of embodiment, charge lies at the core of many mystical experiences. It gives an experience meaning and makes life worthwhile.

To be healthy, we need a balanced flow of charge moving through the body. We need to be able to generate charge when energy is required, to feel its pulsation and movement when we have it, and to calm it down when we have too much. We need to be able to harness its power to accomplish our goals. But most of all, we need our charge for the deeply human experience of being alive, and connecting to one another and to the source of all life.

Find out about upcoming programs with Anodea Judith at Kripalu.

Excerpted with permission from Charge and the Energy Body: The Vital Key to Healing Your Life, Your Chakras, and Your Relationships, © 2018, by Anodea Judith.

Anodea Judith, PhD, an internationally recognized spiritual teacher, yoga instructor, body-oriented psychotherapist, and author, is founder and director of the Sacred Centers teaching organization.

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