Sounds cold and reptilian doesn’t it . . . ?
Well it was. That was me. I had built my life around being the perfect fit-in chameleon. It was like I could smell how people felt and what they needed and wanted, and I would adapt myself to fit that picture. I did it with different groups of friends and in relationships I would mould myself as the perfect girlfriend and fit to what I thought was needed.
I would use this talent in bed as well, to make sex amazing for my partners, as I instinctively knew what they liked. However, I would then be left feeling the emptiness of the lack of connection and then resent my partner and the relationship.
My relationships would only last about 3 to 6 months. I would get over playing the role and I would start to feel that something was missing here: I was missing just being me! All the “I love you’s” I had said and the care I had shown was empty, as it was never really me. I had been living with that emptiness within my relationships for so long, with partners and in friendships alike.
I didn’t know who I was anymore: I was interchanging so much I had no memory of me and what it was like to just be me.
Through a friend I met an amazing woman, Natalie Benhayon, who has continued to be a true role model for me. I began attending healing sessions with Natalie and found working with her was supporting me to come back to re-connecting with myself after all these years. I was receiving bodywork regularly, but even just simply talking honestly about how I was feeling as a woman helped me discover more of who I really am . . . beneath the Chameleon.
As I have learnt to build trust in myself and to open up and share not only with Natalie but with many other close friends on a deep level, I have developed and grown to be my own woman, something I had long left behind.
Now I have been re-finding me, getting to know myself deeply, not in the fluffy spiritual sense, but in a simple ways, like:
- Taking myself on lots of first dates
- Finding out what I like to eat
- Discovering what places I like to go to
- Exploring what perfumes I like to wear
- Learning what music I really like
- Discovering how I laugh and smile for me, not for everyone else.
Just being me is like finding the rainbow complete with the pot of gold at the end. I have found the Holy Grail . . . the familiar feeling of running into an old friend, Me!! I now have a sense of not needing to look outside of me anymore to make myself feel loved.
I am enjoying the imperfect and sometimes wobbly process of my rebuilding, looking back at where I was and where I am now and where I will be. I cannot help but smile when I look at how far I have come. I am looking forward to the next steps – like a gardener who keeps adding to and maintaining the beautiful space that has been created.
The beautiful, tender, delicate and super scrumptious woman I am has been hidden under that yucky self-made reptilian chameleon coat for too long. Inspired by Natalie Benhayon’s example, I have realised that I can uncover the real me by simply re-connecting deeply with myself and the woman I truly am.
I have found enjoyment in the small things, like asking myself what I want to eat and cooking yummy foods, taking time in the mornings and not rushing out the door, spending those small moments appreciating who is looking back at me in the mirror. This has been a world of discovery, seeing my beautiful playful face in the mirror and enjoying me.
It has really been great to meet people when I am feeling so amazing and to have them light up when they spend time with me, as me . . . My relationships with others have changed, I am more open to enjoying another person’s company with ease as I now have the confidence to just be me.
Over the past few years Natalie Benhayon has been a true inspiration and role model of how to be a real woman. Her strength and powerful emanation of a woman is something I know I also have equally, but over the years had forgotten. The more I connect to the true me, the more I can feel the old falling away and the true me beaming through. As I live from this I can see all women have the same innate tenderness, power and strength; it has just been forgotten and buried under the ideals of what we believe society wants us to be.
By Nicole Wise, Student, Northern Rivers
What Happens When You Meet Natalie Benhayon?
What Defines a True Woman? – Returning to Be-You-Ty
What a celebration this blog is – to now appreciating and enjoying your face and the depth in your eyes reflected back at you in the mirror Nicole.
“This has been a world of discovery, seeing my beautiful playful face in the mirror and enjoying me.”
Oh the release of the shackles!! I have been a chameleon, an adaptable human being…making sure I cover every base with everyone so that not a single person has an opportunity or excuse to not like me. I’ve changed my ways for the better, and whilst at times I get caught out by my old tricks, for the most part, I’m a lot more comfortable presenting myself as me and I’m less attached to how people might respond.
When we discard the false protection of the cloak of many colours we discover the truth of who we naturally are is there within us and we can have fun “appreciating who is looking back at me in the mirror”.
This is the journey of getting to know YOU. How many people say, “I don´t know who I am deep inside”. Allowing and having the courage to peel off the layers we consciously put on, will show you the real you again. And I can say out of experience even my face changed immensely letting go of all the cloak of colours I chose to wear out of protection and comfort.
One of the most liberating experience there is is to simply be able to be ourselves in all environments and with everyone equally
‘The more I connect to the true me, the more I can feel the old falling away and the true me beaming through’. Beautifully said Nicole.
Really there is no greater price then the love we find that was there all along.
Reading this has confirmed and clarified for me something I have felt for a while. I do feel very open and I want to be with people when I am myself. The only time I don’t want to be with people is when I believe that I have to be something I am not. So simple and it feels pretty cool to have what was once so confusing now clarified.
ˇseeing my beautiful playful face in the mirror and enjoying me.” yes you are very playful and its always a joy to meet you. Thank you for sharing.
Hey Nicole, this is an amazing description of how it feels like to fall in love with yourself – you’ve really captured the magic that is possible. I completely understand when you say you love the imperfect moments, and all the small moments of rebuilding – and I love how you describe all the different ways you got to know you. The relationship we have with ourselves is one billion percent worth building and developing all the time.
Thank you Nicole – you have shared what I am sure many of us have experienced growing up and also in life in general. I know I certainly did but often thought at the time, I was alone in feeling this. The roles we play to be accepted, recognised and feel a sense of belonging, all of which in the end, when we are with ourselves leave us feeling at a loss of who we truly are. Like you I also have discovered that there is no greater confirmation of who we are than being who we are. You have summed it up beautifully how enriching it is to live in connection to who we are – ‘As I live from this I can see all women have the same innate tenderness, power and strength; it has just been forgotten and buried under the ideals of what we believe society wants us to be.’
For years I perfected my chameleon act and then felt short-changed that others seemed not to ‘get’ me! It has been so revealing to peel off the layers and let go of the need to fit in and for me the joy I am finding in exploring my relationship with myself is reflected in the deeper connections that are emerging with others.
For starters I love the pics with this article !! And yes until we know ourselves we cannot help BUT be a chameleon… because the only way not to be IS to know who we are
The moment we stop looking outside of ourselves to be loved is the moment we finally take responsibility for our own lives. When we love ourselves we have everything we could possibly want.
“As I have learnt to build trust in myself and to open up and share not only with Natalie but with many other close friends on a deep level, I have developed and grown to be my own woman, something I had long left behind.” It is so important to start to share who we are with not just the ones we trust but with everyone. I often find how I am myself with people close to me and who know me, but can hide a whole part of myself with people I am not so close with, and try to make them like me instead of being real and truthful without fear of them thinking I am awkward. Thinking about it, it is so strange how we can most parts of our lives not be ourselves! And then wondering why we don’t feel the full joy of living…
If we are not ourselves in life, eventually things come unstuck. I was very much a chameleon too Nicole but through the inspiration of Natalie and Miranda Benhayon in particular, have learnt to be and to value myself and the flavour I bring to people and life as unique and important. It is so much more enjoyable and easy to live this way.
Someone I knew some time back, used to say all the time when they saw me, your such a chameleon, and I used to think that was a good thing and that it meant I was changing all of the time. But I think what was really happening there is that I was changing myself to fit in to different circumstances, or trying to find the real me within life.
I wonder how many women (and men!) could say the same or similar about the inspiration and life changing interactions they have with Natalie Benhayon? My guess is in the 1000’s. The thing is, Natalie Benhayon is not special – the difference is that she has committed and dedicated herself to living and expressing who she is at all times and that’s the reflection that changes so many lives around her. We can all do the same.
Getting to know myself truly and deeply means that so much has fallen away. I had crammed my life with so many activities and so much stuff. A spaciousness has opened up in my life on a daily basis although my life is full, the fullness now is of a different quality. The old ways try to creep in and they do some times and they show me areas where I hold hurt or fear of hurt. This I can take to a session and be supported in healing.
Thank you Nicole for sharing your experience, one I can relate to, I had hidden myself away for a very long time relating from what I thought people wanted me to be, there was none of the true me to share with anyone, a very empty life. These days thankfully through Unimed presentations I have come to know that there is a true beautifully tender me deep inside, one that I have been able to accept explore and express, it has at last been okay to be me, the true deeply loving me.
It is indeed inspiring to witness people living the grace and power of their essence like Natalie Benhayon. I know the pattern of being a chameleon well. The thing is when we are on the look out for what others need and adapting to that, we end up in a relationship that panders to the needs and limitations of both parties. But when living the grandness of all that we are, this honours and invites the other person to also connect and live the grandness of who they equally are.
You know Nicole, sometimes when I look at people it feels like there is another version available if they would choose. I feel that the person we make available for others is a limited one, at least that is what I can feel with myself. I give others a certain amount of me but not the full version. I’ve beginning to feel lately that it’s time to bring the full version though.
Ah reading this and introducing the process of getting to know myself feels amazing – like a beautiful step into appreciating who I am for who I am – not what I do or how I interpret how other’s perceive me. It’s like a process of becoming confident, this is who I am and loving and accepting all of me. What fun I can have with me! It’s like so simple yet something I’ve waited for from others – their getting to know me when I don’t know myself now seems crazy – or shall I say somewhat flawed? 🙂 – on reflection.
I happen to know your laugh and it is utterly gorgeous so I am very glad you found it again to let it light up the world when you do. Amazing that we can travel so far from such intrinsic and natural beauty to search for something we already have in spades.
I can so relate Nicole to what you are saying, I used to pride myself on the fact that I could change to adapt depending on who I was with, though at the end of the day this left me feeling anxious and exhausted.
Isn’t it great to let all that go and instead discover that just being ourselves is enough.
Yes Samantha – It’s a huge skill to be able to calibrate and adapt to the crowd we are around, and to also remember who is who with who! Utterly exhausting indeed.
The initial thought that came to me when asking ‘What does the real Leigh like?’ that exploring such a question was too hard. But it really isn’t and the moment I claimed this the first thing I can claim is that the real me likes, if not loves, warm tea! It makes my whole body feel yummy and supported.
It’s a sad fact that the world we live in doesn’t nurture or support us to make choices consistently to experience the end result of feeling absolutely yummy and content within ourselves, Thank God for people like Natalie Benhayon in the world that show that nothing in the world around us is worth giving more attention than what we feel is needed for us to be ourselves in the world.
The bottom line is when we are able to just be ourselves, what is not to love, because love is what we are, and anyone with a problem with that is only jealous.
Awesome blog Nicole, and what a gorgeous woman has emerged from the Chameleon skin. I love how you now appreciate being you, sharing your light and love for all to appreciate and enjoy.
Living life enjoining others in order to be liked or accepted is exhausting and eventually takes a huge toll on our bodies, it is only unitl we reconnect to our bodies that we get to appreciate deeply our own qualities and how much joy and ease life is when we choose to be who we truly are.
I love the appreciation you share about enjoying the simple ways in which we care for ourselves. These are so important to be aware of, fully connect with and allow any delicious, beautiful and playful feelings be fully honoured. Like choosing ‘the underwear’ for the day simply because of how we are feeling and to honour ourselves and choosing to expand on that – for ourselves – very often no one else will ever know.
Thank you for the reminder to allow surrender in my body to the natural flow of what’s available. Trying to work it out is exhausting and headaches come as well, blocking the connection to a great awareness that is available with the surrendering in my body: life is simple, clarity is present and complexity isn’t present.
“As I live from this I can see all women have the same innate tenderness, power and strength; it has just been forgotten and buried under the ideals of what we believe society wants us to be.” Beautiful Nicole – and so true.
I too have been a Chameleon most of my life. I saw it as being compliant or easy to get along with, but in fact it was giving away who I truly am and avoiding confrontation. Therefore the end result is who am I? Something I am finding out by allowing myself to speak my truth and acknowledging and loving the person I am.
This has been something I have been looking at in terms of ‘standing up for myself’ which to me has been a process of learning when I follow another’s advice just because they said it, doing something my whole body does not want to do, feeling uneasy as I try to claim what others have said or done as my truth and the bigger ones – accepting how I feel to live even if no one else likes or accepts it, accepting what I feel to say and do even if I get ignored or rejected. And the other one would be – standing as I feel to stand, because I have been noticing that I take on the stances of others, like a chameleon I copy their body posture. Learning to be me and stay with me is an ongoing process but with role models such as Natalie Benhayon I know it is possible.
Natalie has also been a very inspiring role model for myself too. She breaks down all the moulds of how we should be as women and inspires in you and inner strength that can ignite the real you to come out.
Natalie is very much herself and through her living and expressing in that simple way it inspires others to connect to the same quality in themselves – it has certainly inspired me and continues to do so. This may sound a bit obvious but somehow or other pretty much everyone miraculously manages to present someone other than who they truly are which is why it feels so amazing to meet someone just being themselves!!!
This is so simple and lovely Nicole, ‘ spending those small moments appreciating who is looking back at me in the mirror. This has been a world of discovery, seeing my beautiful playful face in the mirror and enjoying me.’
“Finding out what I like to eat” this is a bombshell of a one, how many of us really eat from our heads, what we ‘think’ we should eat, what someone else eats, instead of what we feel, and what supports our body.
“I cannot help but smile when I look at how far I have come” A beautiful appreciation of the blossoming of the true woman within.
Natalie is certainly a wonderful inspiration, a woman who supports and encourages us all to shed our reptilian skin and be our true natural selves.
I love what you have expressed in your blog Nicole; thank you for being the inspirational woman you are.
I am on that same return journey Nicole, thank you for sharing yours! I am realizing that I need to ask this question more often ‘Who am I truly?’ And allow myself to discover more of me as there are so many pictures and concepts that we grow up with, it is a jungle to find your way out of and back to simple, amazing ME.