When Sheila VanZile’s distant, love-withholding mother died, VanZile’s grief was supplanted by guilty relief. Their relationship had been complicated, and as her mother’s primary caregiver, VanZile emerged from her mother’s passing physically spent. She wanted to collapse, but she had been given a remarkable gift: the opportunity to begin life anew — on her own terms.
At the age of 60, VanZile began a profound transformation that she shares in her powerful new book, My Waterfall of Awakening: How Loss Can Bring You Home to the Life You Want – A Guided Journal. In it, she traces her path toward self-discovery, beginning with a retreat on the Oregon coast that inspires her to take stock and start living a life of her design. Decades of her life, she realizes, had been motivated by what she “should” do. After a childhood that left her with feelings of self-loathing, a lifetime of questionable decisions and their unintended consequences followed. Self-neglect resulted in unresolved childhood trauma, bad marriages, toxic friendships and a dry, unfulfilling career. With cracks appearing in the veneer of her seemingly perfect life, her awareness expands, and she begins to see what she calls “spiritual breadcrumbs, croutons and the occasional slice of bread.”
She buys an ancient house in France and relegates her career to the backseat. Each triumphant awakening results in more joy, and readers are invited to join in. Along the way, VanZile explores forgiveness, trust, faith, self-love, grief, hope and much more.
“There’s a lot of joy that comes along on this journey as you unfold, and if you don’t take the time to acknowledge and recognize the good things that are opening up in front of you as a result of doing the work, you stay kind of in the old place — and it’s time to go to the new place,” VanZile said in a recent interview.
My Waterfall of Awakening is a guided journey filled with lessons, meditations, glorious stories of the French countryside and the reassurance that if you aren’t where you thought you’d be, you’re not alone, but it’s never too late to course-correct.
Author Sheila VanZile joined the first generation of career women in the 1970s, emerging from their homes gifted with the ability to juggle real careers and family. She served as a high-level executive, business owner, community volunteer and gracious hostess, but the truth beneath her seemingly successful and satisfying life was a different story. Dissatisfied, unfulfilled at 60 and having neglected her own needs for decades, Sheila suffered toxic relationships and embarked on a journey that she hopes will spark a deliberate and fruitful search for your style of awakening, too.
For more information, please visit https://sheilavanzile.com/, or follow the author on Facebook at Sheila VanZile Author.