Conversations With the Past
How to Let Go of the Past, Redefine Your Present, and Create a Positive Future
by Dr. Aura Imbarus
Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction
There are no accidents in this life―and the more aware we become, the more we're able discover the patterns that challenge, elevate, and enlighten us. In Conversations with the Past, Dr. Aura Imbarus delves into many of the profound experiences she's had over the years―from emotional breakdowns to spiritually elevated states―in order to help people discover and understand their own purpose in life. Through this exploration, we will all be inspired to examine our own lives and take the necessary steps to enhance our happiness and well-being.
Emotional, physical, and spiritual experiences are all part of the intricate, interwoven tapestry of existence. And though it may sometimes feel like finding our life's purpose is difficult and elusive, Dr. Imbarus demonstrates how it can, and will, be revealed to the curious mind and willing heart.
“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”
--John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Looking back at my life, I realize I have as much fun now as I did in my childhood, if not more. My experiences are varied, my joie de vivre doubled, my trust solidified, my happiness increased, and my inner joy skyrocketed. I am an adult who plays and looks at life through the lens of a child. My job, as a high school teacher at one of the best, highly awarded high schools in Southern California, two South Bay colleges, freelance journalist, and founder of See Beyond Magazine, is my life and my calling. As a result of my knowledge and experiences, I can guide others toward fulfilling and attaining their goals. I teach while learning from my students at the same time. We are all students of life, and, as there are no coincidences, we are always at the right place at the right time, for the right reason, whether we realize and accept it or not. My awakening happened one night when I retraced my life in a couple of minutes, from the day I was born to that frozen moment in time, making me realize how fragile we are, but at the same time, how powerful we can be.
Driving my car off a cliff? Pills? What scenario I choose to end my life. How painful would that last moment be? Crazy thoughts bounced around in my head while my heart raced. I was sweating, lightheaded, and tormented. After the loss of my mother, who meant the world to me, life was passing me by without me even being present in it. Nothing had mattered anymore, and many times the idea of crossing over—for that was the place where many of my beloved ones were—had sprung up like a weed in a field of flowers. Life is important if there is a meaning and a purpose behind it. At that moment, it felt that I lost them all.
I trudged out of my pond of my tears, grabbed my car keys with no clear intention. I opened the garage door; inside its blackness sat Bobo, my orange convertible, purchased before my financial catastrophe, my only significant remaining possession. Bobo awaited, top down, ready to navigate the road of life. I turned the key, revved the engine, and pulled out of the garage.
From a dark sky, soft raindrops fell in a misty, melancholic veil washing away the trails of my own tears. I’ve never been fond of rain, but that night, it perfectly reflected my state of mind. No, I would not put the top up. I needed to breathe, to feel alive. The darkness of the coastline mirrored my mood. My neighborhood of Palos Verdes had never seemed so beautiful and mysterious. The breeze tousled my damp hair as I let the gentle rain chase me in the dark. Mile after mile, one curve followed the other until the coastal view disappeared.
Ahead of me lay an impenetrable abyss. I didn’t know my destination; I had no specific route. I followed the road, and the rain followed me, now falling rapidly, pelting my face, chilling me to the bone. I felt sick. I slowed the car and hit the button to bring the top up.
Dr. Aura Imbarus is an awarded educator, freelance journalist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Amazon best-seller and Pulitzer Prize entry, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity (Bettie Youngs Books, 2010), a memoir detailing her life in Romania during the Communist regime, and an upcoming self-help book, Conversations with the Past: A Journey Home (Rainbow Ridge Books, Sept 2020). She was featured on NBC, ABC, CNBC, Good Morning San Diego, Forbes Romania, etc.
She is also the president and founder of See Beyond Media, a company focusing on adolescents’ challenges in the 21st century, having as its launching platform See Beyond Magazine(www.seebeyondmag.com) and of Raw and Real with Leo and Aura podcast, where on a light and humorous tone she is examining and dissecting social issues. Dr. Imbarus is a licensed hypnotherapist, having trained with Dr. Brian Weiss and Dr. Wanita Holmes.
She sits on the Advisory Board of CA Ballet, is a member of Royal Society of St. George, SACC – Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce; she is also one of the founding members of RACC – Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, CA.
In her free time she is taking ballroom dancing. She loves car racing, skiing, yoga, sailing and traveling.
I was like a boomerang in time, moving forward to see what was going to happen and then returning to experience it.
It seemed that mental health care was designed to keep people addicted to their psychologists, prescriptions, and charts. This creates a co-dependency, a way to “enslave” people even more, instead of helping them reclaim their power.
We cannot change the world if at first we don’t change ourselves, and that’s the most challenging task.
I was in the creative mode once again, and the idea of starting a magazine came to me. The title See Beyond was born after my trip to Brazil. Initially, I had no idea what to do with this, except trademark it, so I did.
The Symbols of One’s Life
By Aura Imbarus
The image of an endless ocean and palm trees was as vivid as Benny, my dog, lying beside me, nibbling on my sandals. I grew up in communist Romania. Despite the closed borders, I knew with a crazy certainty that I would end up living in a country far from Transylvania, my native cradle. I sensed in every cell of my body that I would reside in a country, whose name begins with the letter A, but I could not place my finger on that space on the globe.
Since I was seven, premonitions and extrasensory experiences have riddled my life. Both my parents were baptized and raised in the Greek Orthodox religion and because of our multicultural background, I was exposed to the Catholic, Jewish and Lutheran faiths.
However, my heart has never been in tune with any of them and my soul was never satisfied with the idea that people only had one life. I have always felt a universal consciousness more elevated and deeper than our five senses can perceive. I felt my ancestors communicating with me through the invisible field of energy that connects us all. In my sleep, I have been frequently catapulted into the future. Because of these unusual experiences, I developed a belief reflected in the words of the Jesuit priest, Saint Ignatius of Loyola: “For those who believe, no words are necessary. For those who do not believe, no words are possible.”
I remember an incredible experience in elementary school as if it were yesterday. Without warning, my heart started racing. Breathing became increasingly difficult and my palms started to sweat. The image of my beloved grandfather, Mosu Ioan, appeared to me. I could touch him and feel his breath. I could hear the beating of his heart, as if mine and his had become one, forever entangled. Smiling gently, he grasped my tiny hand and told me that he needed to go to the other side, but love, our love, will continue forever. I started weeping uncontrollably and between sobs managed to mumble to my beautiful teacher, Mrs. Rosca, that I felt sick and needed to go home. The school called my parents and Dad came to get me.
Even though my father had just lost his dad, he did not appear to be distraught. Always in control, Fanel, my super athletic dad, showed no emotion. Walking home, we exchanged only a few words, and I felt like I was dying inside, also crossing over to where I knew my grandpa was waiting. The moment we walked through the door, my mother, Rica, who resembled Sophia Loren, was convulsing in tears. She grabbed and pulled me close to her chest, struggling to find the right words. I looked straight into her dark eyes and said, “Grandpa died at 9am. I know because I saw him leaving. He came to say good-bye to me.”
Even now, I remember the shock on my parents’ faces. My mom said, “But you were at school. What are you talking about?”
With great determination, I insisted, “I saw him clearly in his bed, in his room, in our house. I was there when he died even though I was at school, too. Why don’t you believe me?”
This was my first encounter with the magical side of life.
From that moment on, before important exams, I told my parents the topics that would be on the tests, the grade and ranking I would earn, even where I would be assigned to sit. I was like a boomerang in time, moving forward to see what was going to happen and then returning to experience it. My parents and grandma started becoming less skeptical and eventually accepted my unusual way of understanding and living life.
Science has proven that between the ages of one month and seven years, kids’ brains work in Delta and Theta waves, making them moldable, easily influenced. Their behavior is guided by what they see rather than their conscious choices. Children lack the logical and analytical skills to make ethical decisions. My parents were busy with work, so my paternal grandparents took care of me, providing lots of attention, love, motivation and influence. By the age of four, I read the newspaper and wrote in cursive. By the age of five, I knew all the stories my mom would read to me from One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of translated Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. You might recognize the English version of this book by the name Arabian Nights, first published in 1706. By six, I developed a fascination for the Theory of Evolution and Charles Darwin, the function of the human brain and the power of dreams.
All of my family invested time and love into my upbringing, but it was my brilliant, highly educated grandpa, who made sure that I was given an excellent academic foundation. I was enrolled in early development courses in biology, anatomy, astronomy, and astrology. In addition to regular kindergarten, I also attended kindergarten at a private school. This institution offered zoology, psychology, astrology, science, Newtonian physics, molecular chemistry, Romanian and German folk tales, foreign languages, creative writing and so much more.
At the age of twelve, I discovered Eugen Celan, the Romanian author of TheParapsychological War and became infatuated with the Aztecs and Mayans, the Roosevelt phenomenon, the lost civilization of Atlantis and Lemuria, the String Theory, parallel universes, reincarnation, Buddhism, telekinesis, auras, the mysteries of Egypt, the secrets of the pyramids, the Fibonacci sequence, the Golden Ratio in connection to Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael. Topics described as “magical,” “mystical,” or “supernatural” fascinated me.
Because of my interest in psychology, philosophy, Quantum Physics, molecular chemistry, I decided to attend a high school that offered majors in these subjects in order to prepare for college. I wanted to become a psychologist or a psychiatrist, in order to help people open up, to cure their fears and tend to their “dis-eases.” Little did I know that becoming a psychologist in Romania at that time would have mostly involved labeling, diagnosing, sedating, and medicating. It seemed that mental health care was designed to keep people addicted to their psychologists, prescriptions, and charts. This creates a co-dependency, a way to “enslave” people even more, instead of helping them reclaim their power. This was not in alignment with the kind of help I considered genuinely productive.
I changed my career goals, not once but many times, swinging between architecture, law, physical education, art and fashion. Ultimately, I chose foreign languages and education, in order to explore and utlize my creative side and pedagogical skills. The foreign languages degree came in handy because I left Transylvania, Dracula’s home, the “land beyond the forest.” I was finally following that vision that intrigued me at fourteen. I arrived in America, the Land of the Free, and settled in Los Angeles. The coastline and palm trees were no longer just a dream.
Arriving in the US on May 7, 1997 felt like coming home.
For years my premonitions resembled an internal GPS that guided me to move from North Hollywood to Palos Verdes, to accept multiple teaching positions, and to purchase a variety of cars. We can all have the things we want if our limited mind does not get in the way by establishing rigid, debilitating steps or arbitrary deadlines. You have to see it in order to believe it. Albert Einstein and Max Planck, the fathers of Quantum Physics, have explained this many times. The world is made up of energy and matter. With our limited senses, we can only select 0.1% of the possibilities because that’s all we understand. There is another 99.9%.
Over the years, my laser-focused intuition started to dim. I was brought to my knees by my mother’s passing, a divorce, and a huge loss of material possessions. I started creatingout of fear not out of love. Sadly, this is a natural human tendency because it is easier to destroy than to build. I realized the need for some serious internal work. This time, I was the sculptor and the marble was my life. Michelangelo once said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I love this concept. It’s wonderful to envision the masterpiece already existing, whole and perfect, merely needing the arduous and precise chipping away of that superfluous matter. which obscures the art piece. Even if the task of digging out the image of my life would be a Sisyphus-like undertaking, the results would eventually be stunning. I wanted be able to get myself back, ready for the second time around. Rebuilding would take a long time, but I was ready to tackle the most challenging project of all—myself.
To do this work, I needed to go back to that stage of life where divine guidance was received. I wanted to be in tune with the universe again, able to decipher its signals.I craved that laidback feeling when I used to go with, not against, the flow.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This Buddhist saying could not be more accurate. I became familiar with Dr. Wayne Dyer, whose first book Your Erroneous Zones (published in 1976), sold over 35 million copies. I was inspired through his vast national best-selling books and decided to meet this amazing educator, lecturer, and author. In his presence, I had the pleasure of also being introduced to so many extraordinary minds. Anita Moorjani, Dr. Robert Holden, Dr. Brian Weiss, Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Dr. Bruce Lipton helped ease my transition, to make my road of self-discovery more accessible and doable.
Days turned into nights that turned into weeks and years of exploration. My footsteps took me all around the world, following these bright minds all the way to Alaska, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, until one day I ended up in a small village in Brazil called Abadiania where I visited João Teixeira de Faria, internationally known as John of God or João de Deus. He is considered one the best healers in the world. Celebrities seek him out. Oprah Winfrey visited him in 2012. Dr. Wayne Dyer was healed by him. Hundreds of thousands of people reach out to John for help and guidance. His name popped up from three impressive sources, so I decided to go to Brazil. I spent two weeks in endless hours of meditation, did crystal bed therapies and had two energy healing experiences with John. This topped anything I had ever seen before.
We cannot change the world if at first we don’t change ourselves, and that’s the most challenging task. A year after my trip to Brazil, I decided to get certified in hypnotherapy and became my first patient, practicing all the things I learned with Dr. Wanita Holmes. I traveled to the Omega Institute in Alaska to benefit from one of the brightest minds in psychiatry, Dr. Brian Weiss. The feelings of urgency and anxiety disappeared. As my mind started to relax, so did my body. The process of creation started. I was not in survival mode anymore where the amygdala was constantly firing. I was in the creative mode now and the idea of starting a magazine came to me. The title See Beyond came to mind and initially I had no idea what to do with this, except trademark it, so I did.
Seeing the steps I have taken on this journey of self-discovery, I decided to be of help to others, who also need to see beyond a break-up; a divorce; a loss of some sort; depression; anxiety; attempted suicide; self-esteem and image issues; or a lack of motivation, happiness, or purpose.
On June 1, 2016, See Beyond. Live. Love. Inspire. was born, bringing an incredible, inspirational online and print magazine to teens, young minds and young-at-heart adults.
My mission is to expand this platform and reach as many people as possible from all parts of the world, from every walk of life. We all experience ups and downs, but it doesn’t matter how many times we fall; it only matters how many times we manage to stand up and start again. My journey is not unique. My struggles are genuine. Remember, at the end of life, it will not matter what zip code we lived in, what cars sat in our garage, or what designer clothes we wore, but how many lives we touched, how many people we built up, how many minds we molded toward goodness, the hands we caressed, the tears we wiped, the hearts we opened.
I believe in the ripple effect: The first wave starts with one pebble. Are you that pebble?
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