So you may be wondering why I’ve chosen an odd choice of word for this blog such as chameleon!! A blog about women and parenting…and there’s a random word like chameleon!! Yet I also found it a bit different to be writing about chameleon! So I’ll give you a bit of background on my why I chose to write about chameleons!
A bit of background
I’ve been really developing my psychic abilities over the last few months. It all started back in September 2017 when we went on a 2 week holiday to Majorca and I had the opportunity (if that’s the right word!) to chill out for some parts of the day (when Maya was napping!) and reflect on my life. In all honesty, I was feeling stuck. I really NEEDED that holiday! It really allowed me to dig deeper into what I wanted from my life and what I was prepared to do. It allowed me to reflect on my life up until that point and consciously choose to let go of things that weren’t serving me. I also fully learned to embrace the path that I was being guided to take….and I finally felt like ME again…the person I’d been looking for for a LONG time!
I’ve always had psychic abilities….but have always dismissed them as being “just one of those things” or something that “everybody experiences”. Without going into too much detail on this blog post (I’ll expand on another as that deserves its own blog post!), as I’ve learnt to trust myself and the abilities I was learning more about, more and more things have been opening up for me which has been pretty exciting! And one of those is being able to “hear” Spirit and receive messages from Spirit…mainly through symbolism. They just LOVE to share animal imagery with me!
So that’s where the chameleon comes in!
What’s the story?!
I’ve recently discovered that one of my abilities (I have a number of them!) is clairaudience…where I “hear” messages from Spirit. I’ll have words come to me in my mind or random songs will pop into my head with a message. It’s actually pretty cool and I love learning new things! Because I’m highly intuitive too, I know that there is a message behind the songs and I’ll tune into the words I’m hearing and the imagery I’m seeing in my mind’s eye.
Last week, I was in the kitchen on Friday evening and just started singing “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club and the legendary Boy George! No reason for it….it just came to me. I’d not heard that song in years and hadn’t seen any images at all about chameleons. There was no reason for it to come to me at all other than that Spirit had a message for me and I had to sit up and pay attention to what that message was (I’m still singing it in my head now!). It was just one of those little quirks that I love to embrace and I love figuring out their messages! I used to love that song as a little girl back in the 1980s and have fond memories of dancing around my grandparents living room to this song with a scarf wrapped around my forehead! Those were the days!
As I started to think about the song and why it had come to me, I started thinking about what the chameleon represents. Intuitively, the message came to me to “stop changing your colours to suit others”. In other words, stop trying to blend in with others. Be yourself and be authentic! What a fabulous message to receive! And a message that I’m really keen to share via this website! That message really struck me and it still does even now a few days later!
Stop changing your colours to suit others
There’s a lot of meaning behind this and I know that it won’t just resonate with myself….hence me feeling called to write this blog post as all day long I’ve been singing Karma Chameleon! When Spirit wants to guide you, it really lets you know! I’ve even had to watch it on YouTube too as it’s been in my head for days! Great song…and a great meaning behind that little quirky animal!
I realised that for me this message was so appropriate! For years I’d gone along with the crowd, done what people expected of me instead of being true to myself and who I am. We all try to blend in with others, do what others are doing, but why is that?! Why are we all trying to conform to looking the same way (thanks social media!), to being like everyone else and not being true to ourselves?! It’s ok to stand out…. I mean look at Boy George for example! He really embraced that “different” label back in the 1980s! Fair play to him! But why aren’t we just trying to be ourselves instead of being like everyone else?
The chameleon within
This is a really interesting concept and one that I’d like to take the time to write about. When you think about chameleons, you think about all the beautiful colours they can change into to blend in with their environment. I really think it’s so cool that they can do this…..and they do it so well! Yet it is a protective mechanism that they use to camouflage themselves from predators and to stay safe.
And that is what so many of us do in our own lives. Which is why this message really resonated with me and I knew I had to share it!
How many times have you changed your own “colours” to suit the environment around you? Here are some examples of changing your colours:
- Changing your beliefs to suit others and to “fit in” with those around you
- Changing your opinions to match those of your peers or family so as not to go against the grain and upset them or rock the boat because you think differently
- Changing your lifestyle to suit everyone else and to do what makes others happier rather than being true to yourself and doing what makes you happy
- Being afraid to say what you think for fear of retribution….so you don’t speak out….and feel frustrated
- Hidden how you are feeling so you don’t get judged, for example, hidden the depression that has been leaving you feeling totally in despair or the anxiety that prevents you from going out socially
- Decided that it’s better to do/say/be/act like everyone else in the hope that you’ll fit in with the crowd instead of flying your own flag and stepping out in your own Technicolour Dream Coat…lol!
Those are just a few of the examples I know of where people have listened to the chameleon within and changed their colours to suit others. There are many more I could write about!
My own inner chameleon
I’d like to share my own personal experiences of my inner chameleon in the hope that these will resonate with your own experiences.
I was fortunate enough to go backpacking on my own back in 2004. I’d split up from my boyfriend and thought “sod it, I’m off travelling!”. So I booked my ticket and off I went around the world. It was honestly one of the BEST years of my life and I’d highly recommend it to anyone! Stop holding back…just go for it!
However, I came back to “normal life” and reality with a pretty big bump in September 2005. This really had a huge knock on effect on my life as I felt empty and didn’t have much to look forwards to. My friends didn’t live nearby, I was doing a job that bored me but I needed money and I felt uninspired. I’d gone from travelling the world embracing all that this beautiful planet has to offer (big blue oceans, green rainforests, orange deserts, city metropolises, the bright sunshine that warmed my skin…) to being back home with grey skies, rain and winter was fast approaching!
As such, in November 2005 I became very deeply depressed. I’d started with insomnia – I’d get to sleep ok but would wake around 3am then get anxious that I couldn’t get back to sleep. This went on for years. I started on anti-depressant medication. I even took sleeping tablets that the doctor prescribed for the insomnia but even those couldn’t keep me asleep and left me feeling totally spaced out so I stopped taking them after a few days.
I really tried very hard to hide the depression from friends, family and co-workers. Back then there wasn’t a lot of information out there about mental health awareness and it certainly wasn’t something that you’d seen on social media….because we didn’t have Facebook then! Now that makes me feel old…and I’m only 37!
For years I’d be like a yo-yo with depression. I’d start to feel depressed (and I’m not just talking about feeling low one day or feeling irritable around that time of the month)…these were deeper feelings of not feeling like life had a purpose, feeling like nobody gave a shit about me, feeling a dark despair around me, feeling inadequate, feeling lost and bored, feeling like I was treading water but deep down I was drowning.
Depression came and went for me over the course of around 11 years. I’d start to feel better, come off the medication (slowly….that stuff really messes with your head if you come off it too quickly!), finish my talking therapies (I saw a few different counsellors and CBT therapists in that time)…..then something would happen that would send me back to that depression I’d fought so hard to get away from. And that was my life for 11 years.
During that time, I’d be a chameleon and change my colours to suit my environment. I’d keep on smiling. I’d do fun activities with friends or family like going on holiday or going out. I’d exercise (that was a huge chore to do, I’d have to force myself!). I’d keep my head down at work and keep going even though on the inside I was screaming out to escape from jobs which made my situation worse. I like to feel challenged….it gives me a purpose…and some of those jobs just didn’t do that for me. And yet I’d be told by so many that I should be grateful for having a job and that not everyone enjoys their job but it’s just one of those things that we have to do so we can pay our bills.
I’d be told “just to snap out of it” or “you don’t look depressed” – please….NEVER say these things to people who you know are going through depression. It’s not as easy as just “snapping out of it”…if it was, do you think that people would CHOOSE to stay in such a dark place?! I wouldn’t!
Back in 2010 the depression took hold of me again and I remember feeling so low and unimportant that I even thought (for a split second) that I could walk in front of a car or something and that would get me to A&E and would get me noticed and get me the help I desperately needed to climb out of this dark place I was in. And yet I kept on smiling. Kept telling people I was fine. I’d keep laughing at people’s jokes, keep going out, keep showing up as to how I thought I was supposed to show up. Because if people knew the TRUE depths of how I was feeling I was scared that they’d judge me (only a couple of people really knew the true story). And nobody likes to feel judged. So instead, we change our colours to suit the environment and the people around us to keep everything ticking along smoothly….and instead we forgo how we truly feel in order to please others.
(Almost) Post-natal depression
I’m actually quite grateful for the previous times I’ve experienced depression as it helped me to feel confident that I’d be able to recognise it again if I felt it creeping back up. And I did. After my daughter Maya was born in 2015.
I knew that being a parent is one of THE hardest things you’ll ever do. And I knew to expect the sleepless nights, the constant feeding of a new born baby and the pressures that you put upon yourself to do a good job and be a good parent. Never mind the endless amounts of unsolicited advice that you receive! I knew to expect all of that. But what I didn’t know to expect was the feeling of loss – of losing who I was, losing my identity as Leanne and losing my independence. Because nobody tells you that. The NCT course we attended certainly didn’t and you never see it in films either!
In 2015 after Maya was born I could feel myself sinking lower and lower…..the lack of sleep really doesn’t help either! I’d find myself longing for just 30 minutes of time to myself. She used to nap on me after I’d breastfed her to sleep and she would sleep in our bed at night so I could breastfeed her easier when she woke…which she did frequently. I’d even take her to the toilet with me if I was breastfeeding her but REALLY had to use the toilet (especially in those early months when your pelvic floor muscles don’t work!!). So I really had zero time on my own. And I’m someone who craves my own space. It makes me feel whole.
I could recognise that my mood was sinking lower. And as a new parent you are “supposed” to be overcome with love and joy and not feeling shitty in yourself. Because society/friends/family tell us we aren’t supposed to feel shitty and should be loved up. Now I could have changed my colours like a chameleon and told the world how amazing I felt, how loved up I was, how becoming a mother was the best experience to have ever happened to me and basically wax lyrical about how fucking amazing I felt. But I didn’t! Because what was the point of living a lie and not being true to myself! What was the point of doing what I’d always previously done….changed my colours to suit the needs of others rather than listening to myself and what my needs were.
So kept wearing my own colours to suit ME….not to suit what others wanted to hear. When people asked how I was, I’d tell them the truth. And be pretty blunt about it too!
- “You know what?! I feel absolutely fucking exhausted that I really don’t know what day of the week it is”
- “My armpits STINK because I’ve not been able to shower for days and you literally have to peel my PJs off of me”
- “My hair is so greasy that you could cook a fried breakfast on it (thank God for “mum buns”…lol!)”
- “No I didn’t and still don’t feel that “rush of love”…what the fuck is that anyway?! And why are you trying to make me feel even shittier that I haven’t experienced it?!”
- “I would give anything to just have 30 minutes…on my own…with a hot cup of tea…and no baby attached to my boob”
- “I have to know where every toilet is in town because when you’ve got to go…you’ve got to go!”
This was a huge learning curve for me as I knew from previous depressive experiences that if I let things continue without recognising my own needs then I’d just sink even lower. I remember one day when I asked my husband Ben to look after Maya for a few hours. I didn’t want to do anything with anyone else, I didn’t want a family day. I just really needed some time to myself, to go be me for a few hours. So I went to get a coffee on my own. Read a book for a bit. Went to the cinema on my own to watch Bridget Jones’s Baby and thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon where I could just switch of from being a parent and just sit and be Leanne for a few hours. It really helps to lift your mood when you just go and be yourself for a few hours!
My question to you
So my question to you is…..why are you trying to be like everyone else and change your colours like a chameleon to suit your environment, when you can embrace the authentic you and be unique?! Is it not better to embrace our differences and stand out from the crowd? To admit when we aren’t feeling on top of the world. Because it really is ok to admit that we are all different and have our own needs.
In a world obsessed with the likes of the Kardashians and their (photoshopped) images that grace the covers of glossy magazines, why do so many of us want to do/be/act/look/say the same as everyone else?
So that’s my message to you….be authentically unique and embrace all your quirks, your differences, your styles, your interests etc. Embrace the bad times as well as the good times, because every experience helps us to grow more as a person and every experience carries a lesson to learn. It’s ok not to follow everyone else just to suit the crowds, it’s ok to speak up and say your truth….because it’s so much fun when you can stand out from everyone else and have your own voice and style!
My top tips for embracing the authentic you and being your own chameleon!
- Get clear on WHO you are – Decide who you are. What are your hobbies and interests? What do you love to do? What are you really good at? What makes you different to your peers? This is something I really had to dig deeper with when I realised that I just wanted to be myself and to embrace all the things I love about myself!
- Dare to be different – Now I’m not suggesting that you have to go out and dye your hair pink or go dress as a hippy or whatever! But what I am suggesting is that you stop giving a fuck about what others think! So what if you love playing the banjo but all your friends prefer the piano…or if you love nothing more than reading a great book but your friends think you are “boring” because you don’t want to see the latest film. Who cares! Embrace what you love, embrace your interests, embrace your talents – they are what make you…YOU!
- Be a chameleon for yourself…not for others – It’s ok to change your colours for yourself to match your moods and your interests. But you don’t have to change anything about yourself to suit others. You really don’t! If people can’t accept you for who YOU are (and I’m talking about who you are at a core level), then that really isn’t your problem so stop giving a shit! I’ve been guilty over the years of worrying what others think of me, of worrying about what to say or what not to say, when really that’s just wasted energy and you’d be better of putting your energy into developing who you are and embracing yourself!
- Stop comparing yourself to others – In a society obsessed with social media…obsessed with images and standing out from everyone else on your Instagram or Snapchat…obsessed with filters and editing tools etc….stop comparing yourself to others! I know it can be hard, when celebrities and influencers post photos of them looking amazing as they “just woke up” (yeah right!!! We all have puffy panda eyes in a morning!)…but really, stop comparing yourself to others as that’s the downside of social media….all the bloody filters available and digital images that can be deleted in an instant if you have a hair out of place! But in reality, we’d all be much happier if we just embraced who we are on the inside and the outside instead of comparing ourselves constantly!
I hope you found this post interesting….my aim is to get you to think outside the box more, stop comparing yourself to others or worrying what others think about you. Who cares!! This is YOUR life, so embrace it! Embrace the inner chameleon within you and show your true colours off! It makes life much better when you are true to yourself and true to the authentic you….stop living your life for others and start living your life for yourself!