A few weeks ago I was having an online conversation with a new friend in which she called me a Spiritual Gangster.  She quickly confessed, however, that her auto-correct had initially called me a Spiritual Hamster.

We laughed.

And then I said “Sometimes, that’s exactly how I feel, like a hamster, spinning my spiritual wheels, moving faster and faster, but getting nowhere new at all”.

Isn’t that really true of us all?  At some point in our spiritual journey don’t we all have a hamster moment? Perhaps several of those moments?

A moment when we realize we are just working so damn hard, exhausting ourselves, in this futile search for…what exactly?

What is that little hamster spinning his wheel so furiously for anyway? Where does he think he’s going? What does he think he’s achieving? And why? Why does he keep going, when it is abundantly clear he’s not getting anywhere at all?

Well, for starters…he’s a hamster. His brain is about the size of a pea…he’s not really thinking much of anything.

But what of us? What is our excuse? What is our reason behind this endless running in place?

It’s so easy to throw out platitudes:

“I’m searching for enlightenment”

“I want to feel closer to God”

“I’ve always been taught this is the way you do it”

AH…that one…that’s a biggie!

Because that wheel is the only tool we’ve been given in our small hamster cage of life. And even though we know, OH WE KNOW, that damn wheel doesn’t actually move location, it’s the only one we’ve got.  So, like clockwork, every day, we climb aboard, and spin.

And at the end of the day, we step off, exhausted, only to look around and realize that yet again, we’re right back where we began.

STOP!

It doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to settle for that hamster cage. And we don’t have to step on that stupid wheel.

WE aren’t hamsters. WE have brains slightly larger than a pea.  Just a tiny bit larger for some of us, but still larger, I promise.

And we have one other amazing gift that I think we sometimes forget, but is THE ONE essential tool in our spiritual journey…

We have a soul. Spirit. Heart.

We are connected to God, source, the universe, whatever word choice you want to insert here, on a level that we can’t even begin to understand, but that makes the hamster wheel obsolete.

We don’t need to run in circles to get there.  We’re already there.  We were created THERE. We exist THERE.

We are so there.

We just need to open our eyes and see.

THIS. All of this. Everything we see, and everything we can’t even begin to understand yet, is ours. There is no wheel, there is no cage, there is only the miracle of our very existence.

If I stop spinning long enough on my own hamster wheel, and allow myself the space to breathe, to be still, to stay present in the moment, I become so much more fully aware of all that I AM.

My purpose becomes clearer, my journey becomes smoother and far more important than my destination. I’m no longer racing to get THERE, spinning my wheels in place, because I begin to see that I’m already living my purpose. If I stand fully in my NOW, I find great joy right where I am.

I can be present in my connection to God. I can realize that I have had all I needed all along, and I can see the cage disappear.

There is no cage.  There is no wheel. There is only love.

And I am in full control of how little or how much of it I let in. I hold all the power.

Like the spiritual gangster that I am.

And so do you, my little spiritual hamsters…so do you.

Step off that wheel. Take back your power.

Embrace your role as spiritual gangsters.