In Her Power: Reclaiming Your Authentic Self

 Helene Lerner

  1. 190 pp. Atria Paperwork, New York.

 

Veil or unveil? I found the use of the analogy of veils resonating soundly with me.

“My choice of the word veil is deliberate. It is a metaphor for the limiting, false beliefs that cover a woman’s authentic self so that the parts of her that are joyous, creative and confident may remain hidden. Veils prevent us from having genuine relationships with ourselves and, as a consequence, with others. They make it impossible to live as self-actualised beings. We all possess veils, although the tapestry of false beliefs that comprises them may be different from woman to woman” (xvi).

To me this notion of veil is protective, a soft mask giving an illusion but also mystery of what lies behind. The concept veil is deliberately provocative, yet gentle in the way that Helene leads the reader to the notion that we all hide behind our veils.

These veils cloud the full expression of a woman’s power which Helene defines as “being able to act from a position of strength rather than react out of fear and limitation” (xv). Whilst this definition may not do justice to myriad of ways ‘power’ is defined, I believe the definition is well supported by the 9 chapters identifying and discussing the 9 facets of a woman’s power.

The book structure has such a wonderful feminine flow to it. Helene demonstrates and exudes the authenticity she encourages each woman to step into, and the flow of the book reveals this.

Nine chapters identify a facet of a woman’s power, opening with a positive affirmation, then the veil related to that power is exposed through discussion and case studies. As a woman you will inevitably resonate with what is written, either through your own experiences or someone you hold dear. Then the chapters will provide tools to rebuild each facet of power. Peppered throughout the book are exercises, quizzes and “wise tweets” which I found thoughtful and worthy of reflection. Finally, the end of each chapter is a power declaration. On a positive note the last chapters are filled with power building affirmations.

Overall a very good, easy-to-read book which reaches out to women to know, own, and claim their power to positively contribute to their lives and those who are near to them.