Vicki Fox is a catalyst and conduit for holistic growth. She loves to connect people and inspire them, and this drive led her to create Women of Intention, Ordinary Women Making An Extraordinary Difference in 2006. I met Vicki at one of the Women of Intention meetings where I was impressed by the heart-felt gathering of super cool ladies. I’ve made some lifelong friends from these meetings. Besides being a consummate connector, Vicki is a freelance court reporter who types a stunning 260 words per minute.
Q: What led you to create Women of Intention?
VF: In 2005, I had moved to York to start a new life and get remarried. That December, I ended the engagement and moved back to Harrisburg. Many women had been excited and encouraged at my finding love in my early 50’s. Returning to the area, I felt a bit of shame and some embarrassment as if I had let these women down. I knew I needed to let them all know my story and I also knew that it would be an opportunity to reinvent myself. My solution was to hold a 55th birthday party for myself, invite them all, tell my story and celebrate my new beginning. I asked them to come and celebrate with me, explaining that their presence was my present.
A love of mine is creating a safe space and building community. With that in mind, I posed two questions to the women knowing it would bring us together as a group and connect our hearts. I requested they come prepared to share an intention for their own self-care and an intention for the care of the planet.
Thirty-four women showed up! It was a Two Tissue Event! When women stood up and shared their intentions, it was incredibly moving. The next morning when I awakened, it was as if I was in a conversation with someone, and I found myself saying out loud, “Yes, you are right. Unless I hold monthly gatherings, all their intentions will die. Women of Intention: Ordinary Women Making an Extraordinary Difference.” I believe that experience was divine intervention.
Ordinary women making an extraordinary difference.
It has been eight years. I’ve watched the original women grow and change. Women of Intention attracts an eclectic group of women. The beauty is that most of these women would never meet because of their life’s path. Yet when we convene and share deep conversation, there is a sense of camaraderie. We realize while externally we may seem different, we are all the same — desiring a safe world where we can all make a difference and prosper.
I have often described Women of Intention as not another networking group, but rather a group where we connect our souls. That being said, I encourage the women to support each other in our work in the world.
Q: Women of Intention has been flourishing for years. What are some of the things that surprise you?
I’m surprised that Women of Intention keeps on going. There are times that I want to give up. It’s a lonely process. When one sends out three or four newsletters to the over 600 women on my list and there is no requested feedback, I sometimes start to wonder Is anyone out there? Then as we get closer to an event date, women start enrolling, and I get renewed excitement.
The evening of an event always reminds me why I spend so many hours planning and executing the program. It is because magic happens when you gather women! There have been many synchronicities, friendships and collaborations borne at Women of Intention. To keep things fresh, groups need to evolve. As the women have changed and grown, the programs have reflected that. I am looking forward to seeing where we go from here.
I have watched my growth over these past eight years. In some ways, I’m a maverick, but in other ways, I’m terrified, both of failure and success. Trust is a big issue for me and I know I am not alone. I’m like “every woman” and I feel like I am a good barometer in deciding what topics to present.
Q: What advice would you give to an earlier version of yourself?
VF: When I look back on my life and see things that were a “mistake”, where life could have gone a different way and didn’t, I see at that time I had an inner knowing that the path I was choosing, mostly because of fear, was not the one for my highest good.
My advice would be: Be quiet and still, listen to that inner voice that is telling you not to do something, or the excited, passionate voice that is telling you it is time to stretch and be a “yes”. Trust all the answers are inside. Remember if you make a decision that does not feel right down the road, there is always a course correction to get you back on track.
Q: How has the path your life has taken surprised you?
VF: It’s interesting because at this part of my life I want to be in the front of the room, but for thirty-nine years I’ve been the silent person in the courtroom as a court reporter.
Court reporting has been a good profession. I’m certified at 260 words per minute. From recording hundreds of trials and deposition, I know a little bit about everything, yet not much about any one particular area. Every case is something interesting – from Three Mile Island to the Rite Aid trial – but it’s like you’re a fly on the wall and not a participant.
To develop the other side of my brain, I’m certified in reflexology and as a yoga teacher. No one in the courtroom has ever said, “Thank you, Vicki, I feel so much better.” It is nice to hear that after working on a client’s face and feet or instructing a yoga class.
It has surprised me that I am not in the front of the room more. In high school, I was very active in student government and I enjoyed making a difference. I have been a Toastmaster for five years, and I am honing my skills so that in my Third Act, I will not be silent any longer.
Q: Life is beauty and pain. Tell me about pain in your life.
VF: Currently, the pain is that my daughter lives in Chicago and my son, his wife, and my two-year-old grandson live in Minneapolis. I miss them terribly. The beauty is I am happy that they have fabulous lives and are amazing human beings, but I am saddened that our in-person contact is so restricted because of the geographic distance. God bless Skype!
Q: What question did I miss? What else should I know about you?
VF: I am a wonderful doer, and I am trying to carve out some time to be. To listen to my soul’s calling to see what is next for me. In April, I connected with some wonderful people out in California. I was invited to a meeting with fifty attendees, twenty-seven women and twenty-three men. We are embarking on a movement in its early stages called The Conscious Elder Network. Our intention is to be a catalyst to transform our culture to respect the wisdom of the elders and to use that wisdom to support the dreams and visions of the younger people in our culture to create a kinder, more gentle and self-sustaining world. I am not sure what my place will be there. I am trusting that will become more apparent as we move forward.
There has been much back and forth since this initial website and it will be growing organically. One thing that is not visible there at the moment is the importance of intergenerational collaboration.
One new friend from The Conscious Elder Network said his definition of a conscious elder is to be comfortable with uncertainty and embrace the mysteries of life. That is certainly a growing edge for me, and I am enjoying my new involvement with these wonderful people, many of whom appear to truly know how to live in the present and trust all is well.
So stay tuned. We hope The Conscious Elders Network will begin a movement where elders will help the youth achieve their dreams, and we, as elders, will return to our rightful place where our wisdom is respected.
Some other unknown facts about me are that I love to sing (my fantasy is to sing vampy, jazzy songs in a cocktail lounge!) and I take private ballroom dancing lessons and have participated in annual shows where my instructor has me doing lifts. Also, what everyone says about being a grandparent is true. I recommend it to everyone. Pure joy!