Tim Ryan smiling at the camera

Elected into office in 2002, Congressman Tim Ryan has been exemplifying the qualities of a Spiritual Warrior for the past 20 years. The outspoken meditator who is for working families and choice, counts farmers and vegans among his closest friends. He’s brought emotional tools to the toughest vets, and inspired even his most conservative colleagues to try just one downward dog. Hailing from the 13th district of Ohio, a Georgetown University study recently listed the lawyer in the top 35 most bipartisan reps in the house. You may have seen him during the primaries on the Democratic presidential candidate debate stage explaining to the nation that we’re more alike than some may think.

I recently had the opportunity to do an extended on-camera with interview Congressman Tim Ryan. Here are 5 excerpts from that exchange.

1. On getting out the yoga vote…

“I tease my yoga friends all the time,
‘Oh you want to be one with the universe and sit on your mat and your cushion
but then you don’t want into politics.
I hate to break it to you, but that’s part of the universe.”


2. On how to approach the big issues…

“It’s really about getting to the root cause of what the problems are.
If you’re talking about education or mental health,
you really gotta focus in on trauma, and diet, nutrition and food.
You want to talk about climate,
the root cause really is what we’ve done to our soil and our agricultural practices.
So for me to push trauma-informed care, social and emotional learning,
these different techniques for our vets who are coming back so traumatized,
or regenerative agriculture for how we heal the planet,
it’s all about getting to the root cause of the problems
and having innovative solutions on how to really deal with it.”


3. On bravely bringing mindfulness and wellness resources to the Hill…

“Oh, I just said F*ck it, you know, (he laughs).

It was just, it needs to be done….there’s so much stress and anxiety and conflict,
and the staffers have a lot of pressure and stress too.
I wanted to just begin to open it up… and then that’s one way to affect policy.
If people are using this for their own personal wellbeing,
then when me or my staff says,
‘Hey, along those lines, we’re trying to get more money for social and emotional learning’
or some other program, there’s already a general awareness, like, ‘Wow, that really works.’


4. On making holistic healthcare, trauma-informed therapy and mindfulness programs available to veterans…

“I tell ya, I’m from Youngstown, Ohio,
I’ve seen some pretty burly Vietnam vets go through some of these programs
and just absolutely rave about it.
They wish they would have found it 30 or 40 years ago.
They got divorced, alienated from their kids,
and these programs are helping them heal themselves
and also start to heal those relationships and to me,
that’s what it’s all about and again; getting back to the healing.
Heal our vets, heal our kids, heal each other, heal the planet…
That’s kinda the underlying theme of the whole thing.


5. On recent Covid-related changes to work/life balance…

“Who knows, maybe this is an opportunity for us to really recognize
that slowing down, being with our families, having dinners together
that are home cooked, maybe this is the shift we need.
My mom used to say, ‘the Lord works in mysterious ways’.”


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