Could Invisibility be a Secret Power?

As published in Sybil Magazine, April 2015

As published in Sybil Magazine, April 2015

(#4 of a series of 12 articles on ‘Unlocking Your Sacred Power’)

Nowadays in social media and elsewhere the ‘come out of hiding and step into your power’ message seems to be getting louder and louder. But I often wonder… does this admonishment make us stronger? Or does it offer the message that we have to change who we are, and what we are doing to ‘become’ powerful?

When we see our quiet nature, or our need for privacy or internal time as negative, we buy into the notion that we have a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed. We adopt another ‘should’ instead of asking who we are and what gifts we possess. We can then become “the woman in hiding,” the shy one “afraid of her own power”, the one who is constantly on the verge of success but “can’t quite make it”.  Instead, we need to stop and question the whole notion that a quality like introversion (or a need for turning inward) is ‘hiding’ – wrong, bad and worthy of shame. And to question the belief that power means being extroverted, ‘having impact’ or being constantly in the spotlight.

What is the truth about declining the spotlight and visibility? Is it the opposite to ‘stepping into our power?’ In the popular Harry Potter series, as he apprentices to become a powerful wizard, Harry is gifted with several secret tools or powers. One of these is the Invisibility Cloak. When he dawns the cloak, he does not lose power. He gains it. He gains the ability to travel great distances without being seen or impeded. He is able to observe conversations without being detected. And it allows him to act on behalf of good in the world without fear of being thwarted by the forces of evil.

Similarly, when we are introverted, or when we chose to remain silent and out of the spotlight, we gain valuable opportunities – to observe, to listen deeply, to gestate, to see the whole, or to quietly prepare until we are ready to speak. As a powerful wizard, Harry doesn’t live his life under the invisibility cloak. But having it and learning to use it wisely gives him an advantage that others lack.

I’m not suggesting that women should hide their power or not speak up. But what I’ve learned is that when we’re judging ourselves, when we label our behavior with words like ‘hiding’, we are fighting ourselves. We are denying and pushing away our unique, inherent power. Whether the fullness of your power stuns like the roar of a lion or mesmerizes like the quiet beauty of fireflies against the night sky, it has its own unique nature, needs and rhythms.

If you are pushing yourself to be more visible, or resisting your ‘hiding’ in any way, I invite you to pause and consider this. What secret powers may your invisibility cloak be offering you?


  1. Walburga Maria Richter says:

    There is a time for both sides. There are times when to be silent, to “hide” is nuturing us, will give us strength and there are times when speaking up, standing up for what we believe in is appropriate and will give us strength, will let us grow into even more of what we are…and so there again is no rule to follow but our heart which knows when it is time to be quiet and when it is time to be in the spotlight and then it’s up to us to follow these impulses this inner wisdom.

  2. I love the gentle, deep way you have approached this topic, Marilyn. The consideration that being ‘invisible’ can be an essential power-position is really important for women to consider. I think of the time of pregnancy, when women generally pull away from the busyness of the world to gestate a new being. If that isn’t an example of power, creating a new life, I don’t know a better one. On a personal note, when I meditated some years ago about why I was living in this rather strange town, one I am not particularly fond of aesthetically, environmentally or politically, I ‘heard’, “Anonymity!” In other words, this setting allowed me to fly under the radar while my original work developed. Every creative process needs time in the ‘dark’ to cultivate something authentic, a new ‘life’ that can genuinely bless the world.

    • Thank you, Andrea! I couldn’t agree with you more about the need to pull away in order to gestate and give birth – whether it’s to a tiny human or a fragile project or next stage of life. Unfortunately, there’s so much fear of the dark, but as you well know, that’s exactly the environment seeds and roots need!

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