Transformation in the Air at the DNC

Last night I attempted to stay up past my bedtime to attend an Etown event here in Denver, featuring some of my faves like James Taylor and Ani DeFranco. Unfortunately, after a full day at the DNC I couldn’t manage...
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Last night I attempted to stay up past my bedtime to attend an Etown event here in Denver, featuring some of my faves like James Taylor and Ani DeFranco. Unfortunately, after a full day at the DNC I couldn’t manage...

Last night I attempted to stay up past my bedtime to attend an Etown event here in Denver, featuring some of my faves like James Taylor and Ani DeFranco.

Unfortunately, after a full day at the DNC I couldn’t manage to keep my eyes open past the first third of the concert. On the ride back to Boulder, my boyfriend Peter (bless his heart for agreeing to chauffeur me home early), attempted to boost my spirits by reminding me of yoga’s promise.

I could transform my nearly blinding fatigue by shifting my focus, he urged.

“Can you tap into the bigger picture?”

True transformation rests in our ability to relax into the bigger picture, which is always one of goodness, beauty, connection, and freedom. We can access this regardless of present circumstances.

This morning I woke up refreshed, true to Peter’s prediction. And as if that weren’t enough for me to learn my lesson yet again, living examples of the wellspring that awaits when we relax into the big picture continue to bombard me here at the DNC.

Yesterday evening I stepped away from my computer to roll around (a very advanced yogic practice) on the floor here in the Oasis. There, yoga teacher and author

Matthew Sanford
, (who had stopped in for a massage and yoga lesson) gifted me with an impromptu dharma talk.

Matthew Sanford and Off the Mat, into the World's Suzanne Sterling


Paralyzed from the waist down during an automobile accident at the age of 13, Sanford transcended this trauma with yoga. By healing his own body/mind connection, he now he guides others (of all abilities) to bridge this gap.

He appreciates the emphasis on embodiment here at the Oasis.

“My time here has been an amazing experience of excited people sharing their ideas and who they are—while they are in their bodies! We need to be present with each other, not multi-tasking.”

Gandhi’s prime minister, he recounted, required people to do headstands before their meetings.

"It’s invigorating, grounding and makes you look at the world from upside down. Creative thinking comes from a grounded practice."

Speaking of getting grounded, by 1 pm today even the Oasis started to feel like life in the fast lane. A-list folks continued to pass through to stay well fed and serenely serenaded.

Will.I.Am and SNL's Fred Armisen stopped in to play. Craig Newmark (as in Craig’s List) parked himself on a computer next to me for a spell (thanks, Craig, for furnishing my apartment!), nearly speechless after his foot massage.

Everyone’s favorite mermaid, Darryl Hannah, returned for a big dose of the now-famous Green Monkey.

To take a break from the Oasis scene, I headed out for some sunshine and fresh air during a stroll to Denver’s Fishback Landing Park, home to true quiet and contemplation at the DNC. Here I caught a talk with leading spiritual teacher and author Sharon Salzberg on the topic of metta, or loving-kindness.

Metta is the antidote to fear, she says. This ancient practice can actually "reprogram" your initial motivation of fear (understandable here at the DNC where police line every street corner). Rather than living from fear, we can act from kindness, connection, and inclusion.

Sharon Salzburg in the Park

Do You Think They Would Try Metta?

Back at the Oasis, yogis of all shapes and sizes waltz through with surprising stories of evolution.

John Paul Dejoria, CEO and co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, stopped by. A true renaissance man, Dejoria is a former homeless man-turned-multi-millionaire businessman-turned philanthropist.

His advice? Do your best, treat others well, and be generous:

"Whatever you do, if you do it better than anyone else, it’s amazing how things just start falling your way. Also, do unto others as you would have others do unto you. It’s amazing, the planet keeps its own order if you keep a balance.”

Lastly, "Success unshared is failure."

Sounds pretty yogic to me.



T. Boone Pickens
, came to recharge with a quick smoothie. A former oil mogul and corporate raider, he transformed into an unlikely environmentalist. Just after his jaunt through the Oasis, Pickens delivered a speech in the Big Tent (along with John Podesta, former Clinton Chief of Staff and CEO of Progress America, and Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club) on energy alternatives.

(Pretty cool—and he even has a facebook page!)

When we take risks—whether that’s staying up past our bedtime (OK, not such a biggie), turning our lives around to serve others, believing in our ability to heal ourselves, or choosing love over fear—transformation happens.

We just need to keep our eyes and ears open for reminders of all that is Good, True, and Beautiful during those inevitable lapses of forgetfulness . . .

Read more about Sara Avant Stover