Sarah Regan


November 21, 2022

Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

By Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor’s in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

5 Ways To Figure Out Who You Were In A Past Life — In Case You're Curious

November 21, 2022

From karmic ties to soul contracts to sheer curiosity, there are plenty of reasons you might want to know who you were in a past life. But how can you begin to find out? Here’s what to know, plus what to actually do when you find out who you were in a past life, according to those who study reincarnation.


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What is reincarnation?

Before we dive into how to figure out who you were in a past life, it’s essential to lay the groundwork with a bit about reincarnation. The belief in reincarnation, or the cycle of death and rebirth, originates from ancient India and is a key component of Eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

According to psychic medium and soul progression healer Gaia Chinniah, reincarnation relates to cycle of Samsara: “Samsara meaning your soul is taking on a new body, and that cycle keeps going until you reach Moksha, which is your enlightenment, or the end of your in reincarnation cycle.”

As child psychiatrist and past-life researcher Jim B. Tucker, M.D., previously explained to mbg, reincarnation posits there is “carry-over from one life to another,” and we all possess “some type of consciousness entity (or in religious terms, a soul) that experiences successive lives.”

Why should you know who you were in a past life?

As Gaia explains, understanding who you were in a past life is valuable because some believe that the problems or difficulties you face in this lifetime could actually have carried over from previous lifetimes.

“We’ve actually come here with the knowledge and wisdom that we’re here to stop repeating certain things and get to the end of certain experiences so we reach enlightenment and don’t need to come back,” she tells mbg.

And even if your final goal isn’t reaching enlightenment, it can still be empowering in this lifetime to put an end to long-standing problems.

As past-life regression expert Ann Barham, LMFT, previously told mbg, “Usually a client comes to me because they have some issue or problem they can’t resolve,” adding that learning about past lives can help people “look at what’s been carried forward [into this lifetime] so it can be processed and released.”


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5 ways to find out who you were in your past life:


Work with a professional psychic.

One of the quickest and most straightforward ways to figure out who you were in a past life is by getting right to the point and seeing a professional. There are many psychic mediums who specialize in past-life therapy and/or past-life regression that you can seek out for guidance.

As Gaia explains, getting in touch with past lives doesn’t just come naturally to everyone, whereas others (like herself) are more intuitively able to tap into other lifetimes.

Find your mystical side with Keen’s psychic insights.


Try guided meditations.

If you do want to start dipping into past lives on your own, Gaia notes there are guided meditations that can help you reach a state of receptivity and openness to information. “We are a compendium of information, and meditation or guided meditation is certainly something you can empower yourself with—but that does take time,” she explains, adding it will take some diligence in your meditation routine to begin to uncover things.


Reflect on what you’ve always been drawn to.

Another way to approach thinking about who you were in a past life is simply to get familiar with the most innate parts of yourself, such as the things that have always attracted you or drawn you in. “You don’t even need to be spiritual to be able to start reading the similarities of your desires versus what you’re attracting in your life,” Gaia tells mbg.

Once you start noticing patterns (i.e., you’ve always loved the piano even if you don’t know how to play), these could be clues about some aspect of a past life.


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Reflect on fears and triggers.

Similarly, the things that have always wigged you out or triggered you for seemingly no reason could also be clues about your past lives. As Gaia notes, things like triggers, addictions, and even toxic relationship patterns can all be residual clutter from another lifetime.

You may even attract people with these problems, even if you’re not experiencing them firsthand, and be confused as to why the same themes seem to pop up, she adds.


Pay attention to your dreams.

Lastly, according to Barham, dreams can also be quite telling when it comes to past lives, “particularly if you have recurring dreams—ones that are particularly vibrant and when you wake up you’re like was that a dream or was that real?” These dreams could very well be material from a prior lifetime, so take some time interpreting them.

And she adds, “Before you go to sleep at night, ask for information about a prior lifetime that is affecting you now,” adding, “Some people do get spontaneous downloads of recollection when they do this.”


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What to do once you find out.

Once you have some new knowledge on who you were in a past life, you can begin to reflect on how it could be impacting you now in this lifetime. As Gaia explains, there is likely a particular lesson or lessons that are asking to be learned through you and your experiences.

“So we look at what it is you need to break and use that information to your advantage rather than using it to fuel your ego,” she explains, adding whether you were a princess or a peasant in a past life, it comes down to how you use this information to fulfill your purpose.

“Looking at the reoccurring patterns and knowing your soul’s blueprint are really important for the foundation of figuring out who you are and why you are the way that you are in this lifetime,” she adds.

Or as Barham puts it, understanding past lives “really broadens people’s perspective on what we’re doing on the planet, why we’re here, and the connections we have—so it’s just a great way to explore: What is this existence all about?”

Whether you’re experiencing repeated patterns in your relationships, your health, or your career, Gaia notes, once you understand what’s been carried over from other lifetimes, you can “make adjustments in your life and be more conscious about what’s repeating.”

The takeaway.

Discovering who you were in a past life can be enlightening, eye-opening, and potentially sometimes hard to swallow. But no matter who your past self is, the point is to use this knowledge to help yourself now. As Gaia says, “Past lives are not just a fun, mystical thing. They offer real insight into how can we get to a place of no longer suffering.”


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