Islander Sally Jean Fox shares her wisdom in new memoir

“Our bodies will decline with age. But if we feed our souls, our spirits will be able to soar.”

Vashon author Sally Jean Fox will launch her new book, “Meeting the Muse After Midlife: A Journey to Meaning, Creativity and Joy,” in two upcoming evenings of readings and conversation — events she hopes will inspire others to find hope, meaning and creativity in the second half of their lives.

The readings will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at Synergy, at 17600 Vashon Hwy SW, and at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Vashon Bookshop.

In her memoir, Fox shares how in the years and decades that followed her 50th birthday, she has found joy in a range of art forms from gardening to performing, writing to clowning, singing to painting. Her journey to fill her life with more beauty, reverence and wonder is ongoing, she writes.

In her book, Fox doesn’t sugarcoat the anxieties, hardships, and deep losses that can come with age. Rather, she urges readers to think of aging as an ally in wrestling down old demons of self-judgment and learning to trust their inner wisdom.

“Our bodies will decline with age,” she writes. “But if we feed our souls, our spirits will be able to soar.”

Fox, a 17-year resident of Vashon, had a busy professional life before her epiphanies on older age occurred.

In her earlier career, she directed pioneering leadership programs aimed at fostering self-awareness, presence, and engagement with others.

She was the founding director of the Graduate Management Program at Antioch University Seattle and holds a PhD from the Fielding Graduate University, an MBA from Yale University, and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

On Vashon, Fox has been involved in the community in many ways, including serving as president of the Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club and sitting on the boards of Preserve Our Islands and Friends of Mukai.

Now, through the business, Engaging Presence, she coaches clients to explore their passions, nurture an inner spark, and design lives that support their creative aspirations. Her work for Engaging Presence also includes weekly blogging and podcasting.

Fox’s launch of “Meeting the Muse After Midlife” follows another creative first for her. Earlier this month, Fox — now in her early 70s — opened her first solo art exhibit at Synergy. The luminous, colorful abstract paintings are still on view in the co-working and event space.

In the meantime, her book is garnering rave reviews.

“This book is like a masterclass in empowerment,” said David Spangler, author of “The Call” and “Apprenticed to Spirit.” “Cleverly disguised as a memoir, this is a wise, witty, and captivating exploration of aging and creativity.”

“Aging, Sally shows us, is not the diminishment we are led to believe, but rather, the opportunity to embrace all of life as a thing of beauty,” said Carol Orsborn, author of “The Making of an Old Soul” and “Fierce with Age.”

Purchase the book at Vashon Bookshop and online outlets including Amazon.

Correction: The print edition of this article erred in stating the time of day of Sally Fox’s reading on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Vashon Bookshop. The reading will take place at 5 p.m., not 6:15. We regret the error.