We live in a universe of infinite possibility.
That’s why last night, along with 80,000 other enthusiasts, I did the wave in a football stadium and swished an American flag through the air for the first time since the Memorial Day parade in the 3rd grade.
As an American, as a yogini, and as an ordinary person who believes in the immortal goodness of the human spirit, I went to Invesco Field last night to participate in history.
My journey there was indeed a pilgrimage- riddled with doubt, despair, dehydration, blisters, sunburn, resilience, and, of course, some raw truffles that I smuggled with me from the Oasis.
At 3pm, under the hot afternoon sun (with no “liquids” in tow per security restrictions), I humbly took my place at the end of a labyrinthine line, which snaked for 1.5 miles through parking lots and fields, under highways, and up and down steep ravines. OK, so that last part is a bit of an exaggeration, but it did get pretty hairy there for a while.
Yes, we had been warned, but my peeps and I could have never imagined such a line in our wildest dreams. We looked at one another, the same question running through all of our minds: “ Should we turn back?”
The big question. The one that we all must ask whenever called to move beyond our comfort zone and trust in a feeling even when we don’t know what the outcome will be.
No. We cannot turn back, we concurred.
Something was stirring deep within us. Something was stirring in everyone who stood in that line for hours on end. What was it? A renewed faith in possibility. A remembrance of the power to change. An unprecedented bridging of worlds—whether that’s yoga and politics, republicans and democrats, or the young and the elderly. Something or someone was sewing one fabric out of many threads once again.
That’s why we all stood in that line together, uncertain of when or if we would ever actually get into the stadium. We were mayors and CEOs, elderly women with canes, those who tried to cut and those who didn’t (of course it crossed through everyone’s mind at some point).
Two hours into our “own personal hell,” as my sister called it, things started to move. We were actually walking, quickly. We were covering more ground. Hope rekindled. Police officers appeared on the scene to distribute free water. They actually smiled. Someone played uplifting music; others began to dance. Soon enough, just after 6pm, I breezed through the security tent and found my seat. Pause.
Then I felt it. I felt the yoga. Through the tears as they came to my eyes and through the hair that stood up on my arms, I felt the deep knowing that I was in the presence of, and in participation with, something very massive, very beautiful, very inexplicable, and oh so very simple.
Barack Obama took the stage a couple of hours later. We all silenced. We all listened.
A true yogi, he stood grounded, humble, gracious, and confident.
“We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we will always walk ahead. We cannot turn back,” he urged under the starry Denver sky.
Thank you Barack, for risking to believe. And for acting on it.
Thank you everyone who was present last night for your openness and perseverance.
Thank you to anyone and everyone who cares about basic human dignity, cooperation, and kindness.
But mostly, thank you to my own heart, that which will never let me turn back.