Spiritual Gangster is a quite famous T-shirt brand, but the term “spiritual gangster” itself has much more meaning than that. The term gained considerable popularity in recent years, especially in the yoga and spiritual communities. So what is a spiritual gangster?
A spiritual gangster is someone who is committed to their spiritual practice and personal growth, while also being grounded and resilient in the face of life’s challenges. They may have a strong sense of purpose and conviction, and may be willing to take risks and stand up for what they believe in. Essentially these are gangsters who aren’t afraid of whatever challenges life throws at them, but at the same time, they are still compassionate, empathetic, and kind. They embody the qualities of both spirituality and street smarts or toughness.
Spiritual gangsters use their spiritual practice to cultivate a sense of inner peace and resilience. Coupled with a unique perspective of the world, spiritual gangsters live with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for this life, having seen and been through so many things in the past.
How spiritual gangsters rose in popularity
The stereotypical images of “spiritual” do not go well with the image of “gangster”. Let’s stop for a moment now and think of the phrases that you may use to describe a “spiritual person” and a “gangster”. Don’t look at the table below just yet. Just stop and think for a while. Contrast those 2 images to every detail.
Done? Okay, now let’s scroll down to see if the characteristics we gave matches with the images in your head.
|Wearing flowy or loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers, such as linen or cotton||Wearing baggy clothing or athletic wear, often in dark colors|
|Practicing yoga or meditation regularly||Involvement in criminal activities or gangs|
|Eating a plant-based or vegetarian/vegan diet||Brash and confrontational demeanor|
|Being deeply connected with nature and the environment||Use of slang or street language|
|Embracing alternative or holistic healing practices||Carrying weapons for self-defense or intimidation|
|Being interested in astrology, tarot cards, and other divination tools||Being involved in drug dealing or other illicit activities|
|Having a calm and peaceful demeanor, and speaking in a soft or gentle voice||Using profanity and engaging in aggressive behavior|
|Expressing a deep sense of compassion and empathy towards others||Displaying material wealth and luxury|
|Having a preference for natural and organic products||Having a tough and fearless attitude|
|Being interested in social justice and activism||Disrespect for authority or rules|
|Practicing gratitude and mindfulness on a regular basis||A willingness to break the law to achieve goals|
Of course, stereotypes are just stereotypes. They don’t represent everyone in the category, but they do a fairly good job at giving us a rough sketch. You can immediately see that those 2 terms are drastically different from each other. How can “spiritual gangster” be a thing?
Let’s go back in history. The term “spiritual gangster” rose in popularity in the mid-2000s, largely due to the growth of the yoga and wellness industry. The phrase is believed to have been coined by Ian Lopatin, the founder of the clothing brand Spiritual Gangster, which was launched in 2008.
The brand’s mission was to create clothing that was both stylish and spiritual, and that could be worn both on and off the yoga mat. The clothing featured designs with spiritual themes, such as the word “namaste” or images of the Buddha, alongside edgier designs like skulls and roses.
The brand quickly gained a following among yogis and wellness enthusiasts, who were drawn to the idea of embodying both spirituality and toughness. The term “spiritual gangster” became a popular hashtag on social media, and the brand’s clothing was often seen on celebrities and influencers. Over time, the term “spiritual gangster” has come to represent a broader cultural trend, reflecting a growing interest in spirituality and mindfulness among younger generations, as well as a desire for authenticity and individuality. It has also been criticized for appropriating the culture of marginalized communities, such as gangs and hip hop culture, without fully understanding or respecting their histories and struggles.
In a way, you can think of “spiritual gangster” as more than just a brand name. It is a perfect way to describe someone with a deep sense of spirituality or connection to a higher power, combined with a willingness to challenge traditional religious or cultural norms. They are ready to challenge authority or traditional power structures in order to formulate change, but still with a desire to make a positive impact on the world.
Another definition for what it means to be a spiritual gangster
There is another interesting interpretation for the phrase “spiritual gangster” from Urban Dictionary – an online dictionary and slang reference that provides definitions and explanations for words and phrases that are not typically found in traditional dictionaries. To them, a spiritual gangster is someone who lives life to the fullest, has a strong ability to manifest their desires by releasing resistance and allowing positive energy to flow through them, and focuses on positive thinking and reaching for higher vibrations. They are dedicated to spiritual evolution and the greater good of themselves and others.
So a spiritual gangster is basically someone with strong manifestation power. They understand deeply the Law of Attraction and the Law Of Abundance. Manifestations come to them easily, and they seem to know how to navigate around this seemingly chaotic world.
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4 Signs That You Are A Spiritual Gangster
1. You ain’t living life aimlessly
You are clear on your goals and are always taking steps towards achieving them. You have a strong sense of direction in life. This strong sense of purpose didn’t just come to you out of thin air. It was the result of a long process of identifying core values and a lot of trial and error. It’s about figuring out who you are deep down, not who you are as what society expects. Even if you have gained quite a good understanding of yourself, you still move forward with an experimental mindset, always ready to embrace chaos, explore paths, and take on new opportunities. If things don’t turn out as expected, it’s fine. You are safe in the strong knowledge of who you are, and you won’t let that little disturbance sway you out of your path.
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2. You prioritize your personal growth and development.
You understand that mindset is everything, and your beliefs shape your reality. You actively work to shift any limiting beliefs or negative thought patterns. Taking responsibility for the energy that you bring into your life through techniques such as positive affirmations, visualization, and gratitude, you consciously choose to focus on thoughts that feel good and align with your desires.
Even in the face of challenges, you still approach them all with a sense of fearlessness and resilience. You understand that challenges are opportunities for growth and view them as a chance to develop your strength and character.
3. You acknowledge the value of materialistic things, but you don’t obsess over it
Don’t we all love a good amount of money, possessions, or status? They provide a sense of security and comfort, and indeed they bring not only you but also your loved ones a better life. Money does not buy happiness, for sure, but you sure won’t be happy if you don’t have money. As a spiritual gangster, you know that full well. You work hard – you know the importance of labor, and how materialistic things do provide security and a safety net for your life, but then you also know that genuine happiness lies somewhere else. In fact, genuine happiness is everywhere: appreciating a shooting star by your garden or a little cup of coffee gives you a strange kind of joy that no money can buy.
4. Compassion is your strength
You have a strong sense of compassion and empathy for others. You are quick to offer support and encouragement to those around you, and understand that the well-being of others is interconnected with your own. We all come from the same Source – the Universe. The separation of the Self is just an illusion, and loving others is, in fact, loving ourselves. We all share the same basic desires for happiness, safety, and well-being.
Defense mechanism such as physical attacks, verbal attacks, insulting, or gossiping are only a manifestation of powerlessness. They are all used as a means of self-protection or coping in situations where the individual feels threatened or insecure. They resort to those means to “regain” a sense of control and power in the environment, but these behaviors are ineffective in the long run. They don’t address the issues. They only breed further conflict.
To be compassionate is to understand and feel the other person from their perspective, while not letting disrupt your inner peace. You have to set aside your own judgments, biases, and preconceived notions to fully listen and engage with the other person, while setting healthy boundaries and limits, even when it may be uncomfortable or difficult to do so. It is no easy task.
How To Be A Spiritual Gangster?
Believe in yourself and your abilities, and develop the confidence to pursue your goals and dreams. You charge ahead with strategic, calculated moves. A cold head of a gangster with a warm heart of a spiritual person takes you pretty far. Approach situations with a sense of detachment and rationality while still maintaining a deep connection to their values and principles.
Learn to think creatively and outside the box, and find innovative solutions to problems or challenges that may arise. Connect with your intuition and inner wisdom to access the infinite possibilities of the universe. Trust in your own resourcefulness and tap into your inner “gangster spirit” to manifest your deepest desires. Embrace your role as a co-creator with the universe and take action to bring your spiritual purpose into alignment with your daily life.
Build strong relationships
Invest in building strong, positive relationships with those around you by taking the time to connect with them on a personal level. Get to know their interests, passions, and values, and share your own in return. Build trust and rapport by being honest and authentic in your interactions. Show kindness and compassion, and be willing to offer support when they need it. Develop a network of support that can help you achieve your goals by cultivating relationships with individuals who share your vision and can provide guidance, mentorship, and encouragement. Regularly check in with your network, offer your support and expertise to others, and be open to receiving help in return.
Stay focused and determined
Take time to reflect on your values and what truly matters to you, as this will provide clarity and direction in your life. Consider your passions and interests, and set goals that align with them. Create a plan to achieve these goals, breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. Take action every day, no matter how small, to move closer to your desired outcomes. Celebrate your progress along the way, and be kind to yourself when things don’t go as planned. Remember that growth and change take time, and keep moving forward with determination and purpose.
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