Friday FFF: John Vasta
After somewhat of a hiatus, Friday Fab Foodie Friend is back and today I have probably one of the most exciting interviews thus far to share with you! Allow me to (virtually) introduce to John Vasta, the charismatic, kind-hearted and incredibly wise facilitator of Vasta Retreats. For those of you who may not be aware, John is also my Mum's good friend and business partner, as she wanted to share his wisdom with her friends so much that she coaxed him out of a near retirement to start up Vasta Retreats in 2014. After much anticipation I met John in January 2015 and was then fortunate enough to attend a retreat in July 2014. You can read about my amazing experiences at the retreat here.
John truly is a man of abundant wisdom and love. He walks his talk and lives life to the fullest every single day. His gentle ways, amazing personal story of success and generous approach to life are beyond inspiring. I cannot recommend the retreat highly enough to anyone who is struggling with any aspect of their life, who wants to learn how to fully utilise the power of their mind and intuition or anyone who feels that there is something more than what they are currently experiencing. The retreat allows you to tap back into your innate human wisdom and power in order to live the life of your dreams, free of any illness or negative energy. It is all about using the gifts you already have and is absolutely perfect for anyone of any age, background or level of experience. I've seen even people who consider themselves not at all "spiritual" have awakenings and incredible transformations during the 5-day program. If you are curious about the retreats but aren't sure if it is right for you then I would encourage you to read what John has to say.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently doing in life?
I spent about 30 years of my life in the personal development industry facilitating seminars focusing on the body, mind and spirit. These days I am semi-retired. I think (I don’t like using the word work) having an active interest in something, like a hobbies or doing work activities that you love and stimulate you are the keys to longevity and a happy fulfilling life. Some years ago I made a decision to spend the rest of my life only doing what I love, and so now I spend my life doing retreats several times a year. I also have a small music manufacturing, import and distribution business, I fly paragliders, ride my motor bike and travel. I do these things because they are my passions and I love doing them.
2. What are your passions? What do you love to do/talk about?
I think I answered that in question one above!
3. How did you become involved in teaching and running spiritual and personal development workshops?
About 30 years ago I was managing a casino in Australia and was suffering from an incurable degenerative back disease, I was under a lot of stress and life was going nowhere for me except backwards, or so it seemed to me at the time. I was told by my doctor that my life would be short and there was no cure. I accepted that advice and that there was no other option which made me more depressed and I started to give up on life. Fortunately, the Universe had other plans... Long story short through unusual circumstances I found myself attending a mind training seminar that was being held in the town I was in at the time. After this amazing seminar I put into practice the techniques I learnt and was able to rectify my health issue in a matter of weeks and returned to perfect health. This experience moved me so much that I wanted to let go of the past, start a new life and share this information with the rest of the world and do something that would benefit humanity. So a new direction and career path was presented to me that I threw myself into 100%. I completed the training and study and began presenting mind power seminars (as they were called in those days) all over Australia and then internationally. Over the many years I experimented and developed the work to where it is today in a retreat format.
4. What is one thing you wish everyone knew/realised about life and spirituality?
I love this question because the first realisation I had from my first experience in this field with my health was that I had choices, by that I mean, up until my mind was opened up to the endless possibilities and talent we possess I truly believed like most people of my generation that we were powerless to change so called incurable diseases or had any control over certain events in our life. I realised I was so uninformed and uneducated to my own personal power. My motivation to teach was to let people know that you have many choices to tackle life's problems, that you are not powerless or a victim, you can have the life you want and dream about if you follow some simple spiritual laws of the universe and put them into practice. All that’s missing is the instruction book on how to do it and the amazing thing is that we all possess these talents in abundance but have never been taught how to use them or had they explained to us, it's what we should be learning in school. Back when I started it was relatively new science although the ancients knew and practiced these techniques way back in history. Now that science has proved that these techniques work and its being backed up buy more and more research, it is becoming acceptable and very slowly filtering through to mainstream medicine and other areas of life.
5. Can you tell us a bit about Vasta Retreats and what the program has to offer?
If your life is confusing, you're unhappy, feeling unfulfilled, have fears that are holding you back from achieving what you want, addictions and habits that don’t serve you, issues with prosperity, unresolved issues with a relationship, issues with love, issues with health or are confused about spirituality, then you're like most other people on the planet and this is considered normal. This is wrong, your natural state is to be happy, healthy, prosperous and full of vitality, but we are never shown or taught how to achieve this. There is a way of living that allows you to achieve this, it's what you and I should have been taught at school. Society expects us to naturally know and then go out there in life and make a success of it. It's like the blind leading the blind, or I like the saying insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
The retreat is the best of all that I have learned over my life that enriches people's lives. It is like a fast track, if you like, to getting to where you want to be. What I share are scientifically proven techniques or tools that enable your mind, brain and body to comply with a new chosen way of behaving and living. It puts you in charge of your life and the direction you want to take, easily and quickly and can be achieved by anyone from any education level and walk of life, from young children to the very elderly. Over 5 days I gently get everyone to experience an easy, yet powerful, meditation and share information about what actually works. You will personally experience dramatic changes throughout the week before you leave. The best way to understand what results people get, as they are so varied according to what they came to achieve, is to read the testimonials on our website.
6. What do you like to do in your down time or to relax?
I like to mediate and spend time quietly reflecting on life and nature as often as I can. Weather permitting, I like to go flying as it’s a form of meditation when floating high up in the sky for me and the scenery is outstanding. When I can't fly I like to go motorbike riding, I live in a beautiful part of Australia that has rain forests, beaches and amazing scenery and hills so it allows me to do many things. In between all that I run 2 businesses at my own pace. It was my choice to create and live this lifestyle, I'm not obsessed by money or grand achievements and I live the life of my dreams.
7. What is your philosophy or approach to life? Do you have a personal motto or mantra?
I found my life really truly worked and I became happier, when I dropped expectations of how things should turn out, let the Universe guide me, and learned to forgive myself and others and practice acceptance. That’s what I truly believe and live by, I share and explain aspects of this on the retreat.
8. What is one film or book that you would recommend to everyone?
There are many great books, but I believe the book that comes your way through a friend, a recommendation or one that you just pick is probably what you're ready to read now, so go for it. I have read so many books but the only one that I still pick up and read now is A Course in Miracles (the blue sparkly edition), it has it all. However, I will warn you that you have to be ready or it will just not make any sense and confuse you. I also like Byron Katie's The Work for relationship stuff, and Conversations with God for spiritual and god issues. The best film that I like is Avatar for a connection to nature and life force.
9. What is your advice to someone who would like to make positive changes in their life?
Get help, don’t try to do it yourself! There are answers out there, you just have to turn over a few rocks to find something that works for you. Books are great for information and giving you some ah-ha moments, but there is no substitute for getting help through a seminar, workshop or retreat, because it is hands on and you can feel it, experience it and own it. Not all workshops are the same but you will get something from even the most basic of them. Listen to what people say and the results they are getting down the road after. But most importantly, don’t give up! There are solutions somewhere out there, your job is to seek and decide.
10. What is the best thing that has happened today?
I woke up! Lots of great things have happened today, but so far the most memorable is I had very cool bike ride through the Blackall Ranges and now I am being interviewed.
11. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want people to know that if they feel there is more to their life than they are living and they want more, that they do have choices and ways to change their lives that work and are permanent. You just have to look and when it's in front of you, choose to say yes and do something about it, regardless of the cost.
Love Erica x