We had the good fortune of connecting with Verna Fisher and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Verna, what do you want your legacy to be?
Having worked in hospice, this is a question often asked of my patients. And because I was made well aware that we are not always old when we die, I have already started to work on this. Those who know me already, know that I have had this dream for years and years. Integrative Wisdom, which encompasses retreats and coaching, has also developed the Soul Catalyst Card Deck 4 in 1 System of Healing. This system is the legacy I am most passionate about. I truly believe if we develop a practice that integrates body, mind, spirit in the service of the soul, we can bypass much of the pain and suffering we seem to carry with us for way too long. And when that happens, we may not be able to sing the song that is ours alone to sing. And that to me is a travesty and waste of our lives. I want us to sing our song! “When body, mind, and spirit come together in harmony, the soul’s light shines through.” VJF
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So, first of all, my work, Integrative Wisdom is a multilayered coaching and consulting service. The goal is to assist others in four areas…growing in self knowledge, self acceptance and self empowerment through the design and development of a personal healing practice. Offering self care retreats at our small retreat space is one of the best parts of the work. The work is multigenerational and elders are especially important in this work which is one difference. The other is that the system of healing is designed for the individual and does not require one to “follow the leader”, AND the spirit and soul are as important as the body and the mind. The road to “here” has been a long, long one. It has been a bumpy one. It has meandered here and there. And yet it never disappeared. I am glad the universe has been patient with me. I was a late bloomer as they say, so I didn’t start college until I was in my mid 30’s. I attended school for 11 straight years while working at the post office. My MSW led me to work in hospice and it was there that I was given the passion for living fully NOW. I learned much about the challenges of saying good bye to this world and all those we love AND the fact that all of us will have lived our best and most truest life. I worked in this field for 12 years until I finally reached a place of clarity about my next adventure. Which is where I am now. Integrative Wisdom and The Soul Catalyst Card Deck. This is my newest mission…to inspire businesses to invest in a card deck for every employee and to see the cards available in bookstores and gift shops. This is my newest challenge as I am mostly an introvert. So, having support and helpers who are extroverts is a vision for me as I go forward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely LOVE living in Escondido. Since we are a retreat space, I recommend staying here and venturing out during the day. Favorites include the 3 lakes we are blessed to have, starting with Lake Hodges and hiking around until you find the wooded carved statue of “Hodgee”. Set your sights on Queen Califia’s Magical Circle. It is one of the last works of Franco-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and it truly is magical. We are also blessed to have Deer Park Monastery, a beautiful meditation center started by Thich Nhat Hanh and his followers. I would encourage visitors to head up Highway 78 and stop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Pasqual Battlefield Museum, and the San Diego Archaeological Preserve before heading further down the beautiful highway to the Ramona Camel Dairy! Now, the trick is to make sure everything is open before you go. Lastly, one of the amazing wonders just a bit further down the same road is the hand-built sculptural home and the working-artist studios and gardens created by James and Anne Hubbell, Ilan-Lael. This is only open for tours twice a year, so plan your visit with this in mind. It’s a treasure beyond words to explain. And take note, we have so many small wineries and breweries here, including the famous Stone Brewery and Gardens, that you can sip and relax and listen to music for days and days without having to repeat any of them.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The biggest shout out by far is to my husband, Bob. Because he was willing to let me do whatever I needed to do to follow my soul, I have been able to do just that. This included moving 70 miles away from his place of employment so I could open my retreat center. It also included me quitting my job to focus solely on Integrative Wisdom. He has held my hand and soothed my fears over and over. I am here because he is here. And because the pinnacle of my work is the Soul Catalyst Card Deck and Guidebook, I want to acknowledge three people: Valerie MacRae who designed my logo, Steve Potts, who designed my cards, and Matthew Miali who is responsible for the printing. So many thanks to these three!
Other: Blog: vernafisherintegrativewisdom/blogspot.com Meditations: http://insig.ht/vernafisher