Feeling Charged, Table Salt + The Tango


In the last newsletter, we talked about electrons, the negatively-charged particles that give and receive light.

But they don’t live alone.

Their home is the atom, and within the atom they rotate around the nucleus. The nucleus is the central core, containing positively-charged protons that give it, well, a positive charge. Neutrons are there, too, but are neutral.

So … each atom consists of a positively-charged nucleus, surrounded by one or more negatively-charged electrons. When the positive charges equal the negative charges, the atom has no overall charge; it is electrically neutral. If it has a charge, it’s called an ion; sodium, for example, is an ion (when you drink ions in Gatorade, you’re used to hearing about them as ‘electrolytes’).

Note that a ‘positive’ charge doesn’t mean ‘good,’ just as ‘negative’ doesn’t mean ‘bad’… although it’s super funny to envision protons as all happy and blissed-out, while surrounded by a bunch of pissy, grimacing electrons. But no, these dualistic connotations are human-made. Positive is positive and serves its purpose; negative is negative and serves its purpose, too. And we need two to tango (and even more if you watch this AWESOME threesome tango scene (minus poor lighting) with Jenna Dewan).

But I digress.

Every quality possesses its own power and purpose. In atomic life, we need a negative atom to join with a positive atom to… make an entirely new compound like table salt (NaCl). Very important, especially when peanut butter is involved. Another example is calcium chloride (CaCl), which helps you drive in the snow and doctors improve low calcium levels. Just positives or just negatives wouldn’t get us very far; there would not be much neutrality, bonding, or salted peanut butter.

In your life, ‘positive’ charges – which we consider traits like joy, generosity, vivaciousness, etc. – can help you maintain a sense of love, connection and compassion as you move through your day. You probably feel like a happy version of yourself. But there are times you also need to feel a negative charge – like sadness, disappointment, anger, etc – to better appreciate the positive aspects of your life, learn about vulnerability (and its companion trust), catalyze necessary changes in your life, cultivate non-attachment…and, in general, not end up like a Stepford wife.  So we need not one-or-the other but balance-amongst.

Mind you: BALANCE DOES NOT MEAN LACK OF CHARGE.  It means equanimity in the midst of lots of charges. Just like a neutral atom that – while neutral – is comprised of plenty of plusses and minuses. It’s got a lot going on, like you in your life. And yet its attitude is, well, neutral. Ain’t no thing.

Without repeating myself much more: You’re full of these plusses and minuses, too. Inside and out. So how do you feel charged and stay centered within? How do you maintain impartiality? It’s akin to being the eye of the storm. Fun fun.

Here’s a hint from Buddha/one of his messengers:


Short of that, your guess is as good as mine;)

But, as always, here’s my best guess for the moment: A breathing meditation, woohoo!

  • Find a comfortable seat with palms on your lap, turn off your ringer(s), and set a timer for 5-minutes.

  • Close your eyes and inwardly focus on your solar plexus, located about where your left and right ribcage meet, at the level of your stomach. On each inhale, repeat to yourself ‘inhale’ and feel the region expand 360 degrees; on each exhale, repeat ‘exhale’ and feel it contract 360 degrees. Take each inhale and exhale to its fullest extent – there’s no rush. If it helps, visualize this spot as your own, internal big bang/crunch.

  • Word to the wise: even if you’re an advanced meditator, consider bringing it back-to-basics for the summer.

  • Added bonus: Do it on the ground to help you ground. In the physics sense of the word. Seriously – that’s why a ground is called a ground. So use it to take some of your excess charge.

Being able to establish equanimity helps not just for the five minutes of this meditation, but for the other 1435 minutes of your day, as well, i.e. whenever you’re surrounded by charges – internal and external – and need to figure out how to surf the waves before you combust.

And, as always, this practice is for you and our collective. Cause if you haven’t noticed, our world is kinda charged at the moment. And it’s not going to go from volatility to equanimity without you…because you are part of it. We all are.