On Saturday at Wanderlust Festival Copper Mountain, Congressman Tim Ryan’s Speakeasy “Building a Mindful Nation—Together” focused on how we as Americans, need to take a breath, slow down and pay attention in order to reignite the can-do American spirit and create a dynamic new vision for America.
We’ve interviewed Congressman Ryan on our Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis a month back, so I was familiar with his book and his basic principles of mindfulness, but his presence was inspiring and encouraging, building enthusiasm within our already somewhat aware community and throwing
gasoline recycled veggie oil on the mindful fire.
“A quiet revolution has been gathering momentum.”
Congressman Ryan starts the talk with a story of his childhood, remembering his grandparents’ rosary bead obsession and Catholic meditation commitment. Even at a young age, he admired his grandparents’ daily ritual to spend time in the quiet.
Once older, Tim jumped into a yoga and meditation practice to prevent burnout. He encourages mindfulness as a preventative approach all across the board—”cultivating this basic human quality of mindfulness in schools, hospitals, doctor’s offices, the military and other vital institutions.”
Tim says our bodies have evolved to appreciate fear, ramping our bodies up to fight the predators—which aren’t around now. This leads to our destruction, always in a hyper-tense state, and stress has been shown to lead to illness. Stress inflames the body, whereas meditation cools the body down. The body wants to naturally heal itself, if we just let it.
He admits that taking care of yourself is an empowering thing, and mindfulness can be a tool.
“We’re all going so fast on this treadmill that’s going faster and faster. We just need to slow down.”
We need to not just yell at children or coworkers or really anyone to pay attention, but we need to teach them how. Tim encourages we can shift the culture. Not focusing just on family values, but learning to value time with our families.
The “most precious moment” is actually being where you are, where your head and body are, living in the present moment.
Congressman Ryan asks “what the hell are we waiting for?”