From The Minister- April 2017
FROM THE MINISTER
Wednesday 15 March was quite an experience for me. I had been invited to take part in the Slimming World Policy Workshop and Parliamentary Reception, exploring ways to tackle obesity, and to speak at the parliamentary reception that followed in the Houses of Parliament. In the weeks before hand, people kept on asking me if I was nervous. The truth is I wasn’t, I felt good. I knew why I was going and, do you know what, I knew I belonged there, I knew I had something to offer from my own lived experience. I knew what had got me to where I am and that I could trust in this loving power to guide me through the day. I knew why I was going and I knew it wasn’t about me, it was about being of service to others who struggle with the shame about their own physical being. It was about being in love.
Even on the morning as I set off, really early, there was no fear. I felt at ease, I knew why I was going and I knew I was not alone. I was travelling with love flowing through my veins. I arrived at the Houses of Parliament early and walked around the square looking at the statues of the great and the good, David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln rising from his chair, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and others. I thought about the history of the place and the people who had spoken there in some form or another. Yes, these are great figures but they were no more human than any of us. It was strange there was no fear, love held me through it all. I then went through security and to the round table discussions on obesity, something I know much about. Again I passed statues of the great and the good and took in the immensity of the place. The only time I felt any fear at all was when I passed through security and I got that weird guilt feeling so many feel at airports and also as I passed the armed police with their automatic weapons, sad signs of the time. I joined in the discussion at my table with a variety of health experts from many fields and with Lords and M.P.s from all the parties. I spoke my truth in love and I listened with the ears of my heart, in the room named after the great orator Winston Churchill.
Later was the reception, when again I listened to speeches, first from Baroness Benjamin, (Floella Benjamin from my childhood). What an amazing woman, even more amazing in real life. Then politicians and a young weight loss champion spoke and then it was my time to speak. I stood at the podium I opened my mouth and I just let my truth come out. When I had finished speaking the response was amazing and Floella held out her arms to me and hugged me like no one has ever hugged me before. I had travelled, spoken and been in love all day, there had been no fear. Perfect love had truly cast out all fear that day. May we all live in love each and every day.
She then spoke so lovingly and glowingly about what I said, saying that she wants me back and telling me that I need to keep on sharing my story. Then I mixed with many others, photos were taken, arrangements were made to speak again and join in the efforts to help so many people out there who are suffering with obesity.
I know the truth, that love can help anyone overcome whatever it is that is holding them back and stopping them living the life that they are born to live.
Love and respect Danny