Best Self Magazine

Interview: Congressman Tim Ryan | America 2.0

Congressman Tim Ryan photographed near steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio Photograph by Bill Miles
All photographs by Bill Miles

March 22, 2019, Youngstown, Ohio

At the end of the day, people just want an opportunity to have a good life, and I know that we can give it to them if we get our act together.”

~ Congressman Tim Ryan

Congressman Tim Ryan, currently serving his 9thterm — was first elected in 2002 at 29 years of age. He is an enigma in a world of bi-partisan politics, but he also epitomizes what it means to be a Best Selfer.

Tim is a ‘big picture’ thinker who understands the very nature of connecting the dots of all aspects of our lives in order to best serve the whole. He is a man of the people — equally comfortable standing with farmers, CEO’s, and laborers. With a commitment to economic, environmental, and social wellbeing — he holds a bold vision for improving wellness, education, food systems, and technological innovation. He has a plan for creating unity and opportunity for all — most of all for healing the body politic.

As an advocate of mindfulness, he is as candid about his own daily practice as he is dedicated to sharing its merits to improve the quality and health in the lives of others — from veterans healing trauma and children improving their ability to learn, to helping fellow politicians become better leaders. 

Congressman Ryan invigorates a fresh sense of hope in a climate of bitter divisiveness and contention while being uniquely poised to act as a much-needed bridge between conversations and communities. Tim is the author of The Real Food Revolution and most recently, Healing America. He is also a husband and father who has the chops (and the heart) to get the job done.

Kristen:                       Well, hello my friend. Thanks for sitting down with us and welcoming us back into your home state of Ohio.

Congressman:             Thank you. 

Kristen:                       I should probably point out that you are the first person to be on the cover of Best SelfMagazinetwo times.

                                    Clearly, we’re fans. But it’s not just because you’re a good guy; it’s because you are bridging a conversation that needs to be bridged. Before we dive into all of that, Timothy John Ryan, is there something that you would like to share with your Best Self family?

Congressman:             Yes! I’m running for President of the United States.

Kristen:                       Well, that is certainly a first — no one has ever said that to me in an interview!

Congressman:             We’re super excited about it. We think that beneath the chaos and all the noise of the current political climate, there is nothing but opportunity — that the solutions for our nation are out there across the country, percolating up. I’ve been seeing that, and I’m excited about throwing gasoline on those fires and bringing that kind of life and spirit back to public debate. 

Kristen:                       One of the many things that stuck with me a few years ago was when you said, “We have people who want to be one with the Universe that don’t want to be one with DC.” 

                                    We all have friends who don’t want to talk about politics, particularly in this incredibly contentious environment. But you also said that, “We need to bring our practice from the mat and into the world and to be a part of the conversation.” In other words, joining the conversation is not really an option.

             Yes. I ask people who are into contemplative practices, such as yoga, self-reflection, mindfulness, building community, “Don’t you think now more than ever that the country needs someone like you, someone with your beliefs, someone with your practice — to take it off the mat or off the cushion and bring that

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