One of the exercises in the first week of The Artist's Way is to answer this question: "If you had five other lives to lead, what would you do in each of them?" The answers probably could be very elaborate, but the author lists some examples, most of which are professions (firefighter, rock star, surgeon, and the like).
I believe in reincarnation. Yes, I'm fully aware that although this belief feels right to me, I have no way of truly knowing what happens after death until it's my turn to die. I'm comfortable with that. The Mysteries are just that...a mystery. A couple of other existences that have come to me quite vividly include a Native American man in the Pacific Northwest, and a life as a priestess somewhere in the British Isles (where my Mom and I were sisters).
But anyway, rather than calling these "past lives," I prefer the term "alternate lives." That's because, after reading and studying the Seth material and other channeled work, I've come to also believe that, looking at the big picture, time is simultaneous. Yes, here on the Earth plane we're immersed in a world of linear time, yet I think that's only one thin slice of the bigger reality that is the Multiverse. So I see the other lives I'm connected with personally as all happening at once. I can consciously tap into and learn from them, if I choose. Or I can simply learn from them through our subconscious connection, and perhaps visit some of them in dreams.
Those beliefs affected the way I approached the exercise, though the instructions did say not to overthink it, so I simply wrote down the first few ideas that came into my mind. Here, then, are a few of my alternate lives: a dancer, a yoga teacher, a massage and polarity therapist (aka healer), a librarian, and a Buddhist nun.
The librarian one is a no-brainer. I actually feel like I serve as one of the many librarians in a huge multi-cultural center (Alexandria? A future place where space travel is common? Someplace big). I find it interesting that the majority of these five lives are very much centered on the physical body, which is an area I felt challenged earlier in this life. I found my physical strength and grace as an adult, after feeling very awkward in my body as a child and teen, and I have learned that I most enjoy pursuits like swimming, hiking, and yoga, rather than competitive sports or gym workouts. I can totally see the dancer thing; when I dance, though I've had no formal training, I'm transported to a whole different level of awareness.
So, try this exercise yourself. What would you do if you had five other lives to play with? You don't have to be restricted to listing careers. Imagine yourself as a different gender or sexual orientation. What would your life be like? Would you choose to have kids, or not? Where might you live? It's a fun way to begin to explore your alternative lives, and to give your imagination a good workout.