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Knowing Thyself vs. Knowing Thy Facts

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Each Monday, Tiffany posts a message that provides positive energy and tips for eating more mindfully. The purpose of the weekly message is to reinforce the ideas from the talks and classes that are a part of the Como Water Membership, and to further support those living the veg-centric lifestyle. To receive our Mindfulness Mondays posts, Become A Member today.

Knowing Thyself vs. Knowing Thy Facts

This past weekend I met up with a friend from my Senate days to unwind and to sip some yummy warmth at a tea cafe in downtown DC. As we caught up, we engaged in a conversation about the importance of community, the importance of surrounding yourself with people who help you be your best self, and our thoughts on this city we’ve both found ourselves in. She had a great insight, so great, that I had to share with all of you!

Her insight was (and I paraphrase): people in DC (and major cities like DC) put most of their time and energy into work. What that means is that they really know their stuff. They can spit off facts, throw out names, tell you the latest scandal or news story with ease. But what that also tends to leave is a void. A void in them truly knowing themselves. Because to truly know yourself–who you are, the type of person you want to be and why–requires time and energy and space. Mental space, physical space, the space that nature provides, the space that silence provides, the space that other people on a similar journey also provides.

Goodness gracious, she was so right. I have struggled to articulate just why after almost four years DC still doesn’t feel like home, but after 4 months NC did. And I think her observation is part of the reason why. Knowing thyself vs. knowing thy facts. In NC, I and many of the people around me were focused on knowing thyself, and after acquiring that knowledge put the practices in place to be that self. In DC, it’s been much harder for me to consistently engage in this practice and to find people on this similar path (although I definitely have been fortunate to find some!).

And let’s be clear, this is not me throwing stones at glass houses. Quite the contrary, actually. This is me admitting that I, too, in this fast-paced, work-centric context have tended to focus on the acquisition of skills, positions, facts–sometimes to the detriment of what I could (and feel like I should) be focusing on–my health, my fitness, my fresh fruits and veggies, my need for creative outlets like cooking and dancing, my need for true connection, and being a true introvert, my need for downtime. Ah, yes, lots and lots of downtime.

In a city like DC, downtime is implicitly, or at times explicitly, shunned. What? No plans? No happy hour? No brunch? What? You’re just taking a walk to relax? You’re not running a race for a cause? What, you don’t want to work nights and weekends? What a nap? What? What? What?

Well, there’s no time like the present (or a holiday break and the coming of a new year) to partake in some deep contemplation, assessment, and recalibration. And I am looking forward to doing just this. I’m looking forward to opening up the space to get in touch with the best me I can be, and most importantly the best steps I can take to cultivate that me.

So, with that folks, have a great Monday and happy holidays!!!

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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

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