I’ve Been Keeping a Secret

by Liz Jansen

For years I’ve been keeping a secret from myself. Only now do I have the courage to bring it into the open.

I started my professional life as a Registered Nurse, working in hospitals for five years before moving into Occupational Health. From there, I migrated into Corporate Human Resources and Training and Development. I enjoyed it and worked for a great company.

Somewhere I realized I’d followed a fork in the road that although scenic, wasn’t getting me to my destination. My work was no longer meaningful and my spirit needed to be doing something that was.

You can’t go backwards in life, not that I wanted to, but I wasn’t sure how to get back to the path I wanted. The first thing is to stop going in the wrong direction so I left my job. Since I didn’t have anything else to do, like work, I went on a two-month motorcycle trip around Canada and the United States, always a good option when a motorcyclist needs to think.

While on that trip, I began the second step—coming up with the things I really enjoy doing. The things that make my heart soar. Topping the list, of course, was riding a motorcycle. But how do you turn that into meaningful work that pays the bills?

Having experienced and seen in others how transformative riding can be, I realized what I really wanted to do was create the opportunity for others to share that experience. So in 2004 I started a company that offered tours, organized events, and held workshops and retreats.

You can’t experience the Zen if you don’t have the skills to operate a motorcycle proficiently so I became a certified motorcycle instructor, teaching others to ride through Humber College in Toronto.

A budding interest in writing led to freelance work and authoring books about motorcycles and empowerment. Most of my inspiration came from motorcycle experiences and the inner and outer journeys they take you on.

In 2013, a six-week trip took me through Utah to where, coincidently, a course on shamanic energy medicine was being offered. I’d been exploring this for years but expected to take just the one medicine wheel course, for interest. Once I got there, I knew I would complete the full practitioner program. I received my certificate last month.

So here’s the secret. I’m a healer. It’s at the root of everything I do. I’ve come full circle from my start in nursing. The gifts, or medicines I use for healing, are my motorcycle (which precedes the nursing), words—in books, articles, stories, blogs, and presentations, and my training, wisdom, and experience in counseling others. Now I’m integrating energy medicine practices into that medicine bag.

I’ve hesitated to use the term ‘healer’ because the voices in my head tell me it sounds too gimmicky. Or, “Who do you think you are to call yourself a healer?” Or, “People will think you’re a flake.”

So be it. I make a difference through my medicines. What’s that called, if not a healer? That’s what has heart and meaning for me and always has. My gifts are too valuable and too needed to keep them to myself. They are for sharing.

The truth is, as soon as you try and define yourself by a role or title, it’s confining, so I hesitate to list anything. But I have to put something on my LinkedIn profile and business cards. Now I’ll add “Healer” to the roster.

It may seem like a small thing, but hiding something, especially from yourself, blocks creativity and overall energy. Letting it out is liberating.

My secret’s out. We’ve all got secrets that are holding us back. Are you up to sharing yours? Write them in the comments below.

photo credit: JeremyOK eagles via photopin (license)


Author, writer, and student Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery.

18 Comments on “I’ve Been Keeping a Secret

  1. Liz, I’ve been studying and practicing shamanism for a long time. When I was little, because of my mother’s influence, I was always connected to animals and nature. Shamanism taught me how to broaden and deepen that connection, which is hurting these days almost everywhere I go. (The land sorely needs us.) I guess I would also call myself a healer but the way I heal is by working with dreams. I’m a crack dream-worker with 30 + years of experience. Dreams reveal untold depths of wisdom and, because of what I have learned from Jung about archetypes and archetypal patterns, they are not that difficult to decode. Thanks for this invite to share without mincing words.

    • Very interesting Gary! Fascinating work, and you’re right – so needed. I haven’t done much dreamwork or connected dreams with archetypes but it makes perfect sense. Another truth, as you point out, is we all contribute to healing in our own way. Even a simple act of kindness works miracles. Thank you!

  2. LOVE IT!!!! Congratulations and best of luck to you!
    Next, we should talk so you can heal my aching parts!!!!

  3. Interesting how, even as a young person, the healing aptitude was coming out. So glad you are listening to your heart, Liz. The world needs it so much!

  4. Love the journey that you are on Liz, and especially listening and heeding messages from Spirit! Shamanism is a beautiful modality and the world definitely needs more healers
    Thank you for sharing your story!
    All the best,

  5. Liz my friend I am so proud of you with your dedication to improving yourself and the rest of us along with you. Thank you.

  6. Liz, I love your style of writing and what you have described and revealed here. Its wonderful to see how these “dots” have all connected back to what you feel your true essence, or purpose really is. Its interesting to me that so often, when we go on these journeys of trying to work out who we really are and what we are really meant to be doing here, others may find it confusing, unstructured or “random”. Your journey just goes to show that actually, if we really tap into what our hearts are telling us and go with the flow, its not random at all. thanks for sharing this!

    • Thanks Claire. We do leave a trail and it’s often so obvious when we look back. And often we don’t expect what we get. I love watching your journey unfold. Truly heart-led. %hqnk you. On another completely different note, I just realized Born Free is playing on the radio to remind me of Africa and following our heart! Being free.

  7. Truly an inspirational life story, hoping that people are able to read it, take it in and learn from it…We just need to breath a little more and let our spirit take us. Thank you,

    • You said it well Tara-Lynn. We make it so unnecessarily hard for ourselves. But that’s how we learn. Thanks. Liz

  8. Well done Liz. Sooner or later, we have to come-out as who we really are if we are to offer what we can. I know your gifts and knowledge are a blessing to our shared world, Oriah