Are “Blessings to You” the New “F*ck You”?

Via on May 26, 2011

I believe our generation has become adept at guerilla warfare cloaked in lululemon bag cliches.

Via Daily Transformations

I recently had a negative interaction with someone in my community.  Although I hoped to communicate face to face, this person chose email.

What bothered me most about this interaction was not so much the biting emails or our disagreement, but the signature  “Blessings to you”.

Has this expression become the modern day passive aggressive fuck you, or a way to feel superior with a pat on the head?

I’m finding that oftentimes, my generation’s twist on spirituality is just a new way to passive-aggressively strike and attempt to clear karma.  We Ommmm together in yoga class, bow our heads in Namaste, and then gossip in the locker room about whose breasts are new.

Sadly I’ve found that yoga studios are no different than the corporate boardrooms from which I escaped years ago.  Politics, ranking of power and sabotaging gossip still prevail despite the holistic Zen atmosphere.  At least in corporate America we were dressed in our suit armor rather than half naked in corpse pose.

Have we learned to talk the talk but not to walk the walk?  I find that we’re often namanasty instead of namaste.  We put on a pious personae at the front of our classrooms and the top of our yoga mats while harboring judgments of fellow students as well as other teachers.

Will judgments, politics and gossip stop in the yoga world?  Not likely as we’re all human; but as one limb of yoga Satya teaches, let’s be truthful.  I’m not suggesting truthfulness in a harmful way, but let’s not fake sweetness please.

Truly blessing someone is a beautiful thing to do.  I personally believe a blessing holds great merit and healing power.

Let’s remember what the generation before taught us: if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all, especially not sticky sweet spiritual euphemisms that aren’t authentic.

xo

~via Dailytransformations

Photos: lululemon by marccizravi.com, monk by theendlessfurther.com, boardroom by theglasshammer.com, sports bra by chicagonow.com

About Tamara Star

Tamara Star believes we are meant to be happy. She makes her living as a life coach, healer, speaker, writer, yogi and business woman. If you let her, she'll transform the life you're living, into a life you'll love.    Her global reach inspires over 1.2 million people a month through her programs, newsletters and teachings in 20 countries.    Connect with Tamara on her site Facebook or Twitter.    Tamara's work had been featured on The Huffington Post, The News.com Australia, Blog Her, The Good Men Project, Yoga Mint, The Elephant Journal, Twine Magazine, Eat, Drink, Explore Radio, Think Simple Now, Boulder Life and Yoga Anonymous.  Do you want to take your life to an even higher and happier level? Her Fresh Start guide is an in-depth deep dive into removing what blocks love, money, health, happiness and joy in your life. Find the description here.

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39 Responses to “Are “Blessings to You” the New “F*ck You”?”

  1. Laura says:

    I like this message. Just a thought – "Lets be truthful" is dead on and has its place, but perhaps sometimes people forget the mantra of "do no harm". Don't let the negative energy sent your way sour you – let it bounce off, pity the source and consider what and why that person is sending out such negative energy, and move on. F*ck her! :o )

  2. Steve says:

    Namanasty! A little direct confrontation goes a long way to busting the gossip bubble. Absolutely LOVE this post

  3. Brad says:

    The last line of the article makes one wonder why the article was written at all. Oh that's right. To get something off of your chest mixed with a little bit of self-righteousness. The "pointing one finger out, three back at myself" idea, makes the post and my comment also, to be redundant :)

    • hmm, i’m glad you commented Brad but I’m not following your thoughts about the last line. I definitely agree with the 3 fingers pointing back though…i thought that as I wrote it! :-)

  4. cat says:

    I left a school because it made me so uncomfortable. The teacher spoke badly about another student to the class on more than one occasion behind the persons back. I also noticed cliques, and I left high school a long time ago. I left that school and am glad I did as I have found more than a workout at the new place.

  5. ARCreated says:

    well my first thought is that the blessings to you is probably their signature line and it goes on every email :) so maybe don't get too snagged by it.

    But all in all I agree with you…it is somehow even more painful and annoying when you run into backstabbing and judgment at the yoga studio — at least in coporate america they aren't preaching one thing and doing the other…ON THE OTHER HAND>>>> we are all just practicing and learning and growing and changing.

    I sometimes have to remind my friends and family that just because I do yoga and teach classes does not make me gandhi or the buddha – I'm still me and I'm still human with foibles and bad habits and a temper…all of which I am working on taming, but alas I haven't yet.

    .

    • ARCreated says:

      So rather than thinking we are all bullshitting with our namaste — we are all striving and when it doesn't work, let's talk about it…and I suppose part of that is forgiving…not being attached to outcomes…not judging etc. Hold up the mirror – be the change — etc etc. You know the drill :) Don't even get me started on how we do business – non environmental practices and other non yogastic acts that belay a certain fakery….but I don't give up we keep trying

    • Tamara says:

      lol, yes that is probably true.
      AND, it's everywhere, not just yoga studios..All in all I love my yoga community, i just get tired of the same drill that happens most anywhere 3 or more people gather. Love your comment, thank you for reading…

  6. Kim says:

    Fighting fire with friendliness & nonreaction has worked for me so far… not being affected by the negativity of others, not taking it personally has been the best advice I've ever gotten. A yoga studio is one of the best places to be an example of how to practice yoga in everyday life to others when these situations arise :) Those tnat engage in this behavior are really only hurting themselves.

  7. undefined says:

    I understand the aversion you feel. I feel it often enough myself.

    What I say to myself is: why do you need everyone and everything to be perfect?

    If I could, I would aspire to receive the blessing and let the nasty go.

    Since that's too hard for me without a spiritual practice I usually try Metta or Tongeln for a while, then reapproach (not reproach).

    Here's another slogan that's true: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

    Good luck!

    • Tamara says:

      Most definitely. My point was just for us not to be so fake with our spiritual sayings….
      Love the be the change you wish to see in the world..that is the true learning. Thank you for reading

  8. Guest says:

    Is it negative to avoid these yoga studios because their is so much negativity and ego abound? I mean, people made fun of me just because I had a cheap Styrofoam yoga mat. I practice in private now with an instructor. These places have become escapes for the bourgeois Lululemon bag wearing, fake persona that is not getting enough drama at home so therefore they chose to invade these studios and bring their negative energies with them. It's sad that the management at these places have not a care of these happenings ans as long as they are paying good money, they look the other way. Sad but true.

    • Tamara says:

      Dear Guest,
      That makes me so sad. The reality is it's everywhere, not just yoga. Where more than 2 people gather, it's likely to happen. The good outweighs the bad and the community of a yoga studio is far more positive than negative. My point was just for us not to be fake with our Many blessings, and namaste faces. We're all definitely learning.

  9. Solar says:

    Hello,
    I once read that our qualities and our flaws are made of the
    same “stuff”. If we try to “purify” ourselves of our flaws we are also
    flushing down our livelyness and shine. Yoga helps me find the middle
    path. As de Dalai Lama explains: Don’t be afraid of change yet remain
    true to your nature. So sometimes it’s good to say F@;/ u and other times
    it’s good to say bless u ;) . Yin and yang! It’s all energy!
    As westerners we are all very influenced by a dual approach on life. We like to think good karma or bad Karma, good yogi or bad yogi, OUR community or their community…and the list continues ;)
    I guess that’s why we need yoga so much… It elevates the childish mind into the adulthood of consciousness. We are all just growing up really and growing pains suck for everyone. It’s the human condition.
    So…yes in the yoga community as in any other community there are some jerks! Don’t identify with them and if you do ask yourself why. Does it hurt your feelings? Does it hurt your ego? Did you have expectations??? It’s interesting to really know where WE are coming from before we project where others are.
    Sincerly, from Switzerland.

  10. Good blog, Tamara, and I always love one that gets a good discussion going. Thanks.

    Sadly, I've heard very similar reports from a Buddhist priest friend of mine about his experiences in the Zen monasteries of Japan.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

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  11. This is the worst piece of crap article I've ever read.

    Blessings to you.

    Dr. J

    P.S.
    Just kidding…

  12. Lurkitty says:

    While it is generous of you to think of this as a problem restricted to your generation, let me assure you that this has happened since men were painting caves. In the Uddhava Gita, Krishna has quite a few words to say about gossips. Diplomats and rulers of all nations have long been adept at delivering a sweet and charming "F-you". Travel down to the Southern U.S. and you will find that the term, "Bless your heart!" frequently takes on the opposite meaning.

    The important question is: What is it you would rather see happen? Would it be better to openly express hostility toward another?

    The fact that this appears to be a new situation for you shows that the previous generation lacked the subtlety of the veiled insult, and was more likely to spit in someone's face than try to be civil. While it may seem to be more truthful to display one's anger at a fellow human, outright displays of anger and unpleasantness rarely help a situation. It is far better to withdraw and determine the source of such feelings before inflicting them on someone else.

    • Tamara says:

      Hi Lurkitty
      Thanks for reading. No definitely not my wish for anyone to be openly hostile. My wish is to not use a beautiful phrase in a sarcastic way such as the southern term "bless his heart"….Just better to not say anything if you don't mean the nicety. (sp?)

  13. elephantjournal says:

    #
    Sharon Champagne I find yoga studios have much more respect than gyms…I rarely see this there
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    #
    R Aimée Cruz-Báez Lol that's too funny…
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    #
    R Aimée Cruz-Báez Some yoga studios are all about who does this position better than me and so on…I prefer a more non judgmental place where everyone is welcomed
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike
    #
    Nancy Sikora I once followed a thread in Facebook in which a woman behaved very nastily, deriding everyone whose view points didn't match hers; she then ended with Namaste. Nobody was fooled.
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    #
    Stacey Sperling
    Great points raised in this piece. Thank you. I worked at a well-respected, internationally known studio run by a talented, charismatic teacher. I became so dismayed by the tone of competitiveness, greed, and favoritism/disrespect, that I l…eft. That was a couple of years ago, and today I wonder if my expectation that the place be somehow different from any other business, or even place where many people gather and work and practice together, was a mistake. Perhaps I should have stuck around and been a bit more accepting, and worked harder to help create the environment I think we all hoped to practice in. Or perhaps I needed to let go of that particular set of circumstances. Not sure. See More
    3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    #
    John Alberta Man is born free,but everywhere he's in chains !!!! From one cage to another !!!!! The cage is the mind,drop the mind !!!!!! ♥,Peace & Compassion !!!!!!!!!!
    2 hours ago via Facebook Mobile · LikeUnlike · 3 peopleLoading…
    #
    Kathy Custren
    As someone who uses the signature/sign-off of "Blessings!" or "Namaste ~ Blessings!" all the time (yes, all the time), I can speak to adhering to the last line of Tamara's article. I was raised with that adage of "If you can't say something… nice…." I say it with good intent–but if anyone wants to accept it as being a euphamism for the F word, that's on them.

    I think the article speaks not so much for whatever the word is that is used, but the "F-word sentiment" behind it. ~ Blessings!See More
    2 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personTamara Kerner likes this.
    #
    Natalie Wood I found a very nice yoga studio where everyone is genuinely focused on themselves and practicing. In my opinion those gossipy types should go back to the obnoxious gyms they came from.

  14. CuriousGeorge says:

    Is there any chance the person was sincere in their blessings? If they were, and you knew this to be true, how would it have influenced the resulting karma of the communication?

  15. Yiipppeee says:

    I’ve read multiple articles now about this back stabbing atmosphere in yoga and while I can’t say it surprises me, I honestly have not encountered this myself. Maybe it’s a benefit of living in a cities and towns where people still largely consider yoga to be “hippie bullshit. I have lived and done yoga all over the place though, including Denver and I did take a class in boulder once… and I’m starting to think perhaps I’m just oblivious. Or at the very least just not involved with enough fellow yogis to have been inundated with new agey (namastey hah! Love it) hypocrisy. I will bike to my next class at my little 2 room studio while being hollered at to “get off the f*cking road” and waving away the smoke clouds blown at me by disenchanted youths as I cross the sidewalk to the studio with renewed gratitude because I have never felt anything but supported and encouraged on my mat there. East Meets West in Buffalo NY what up!!

    • Tamara says:

      What's up Buffalo!!
      Thanks for writing…I believe it's not just yoga, think of the south where they say Bless your heart with a nasty tone….I want us all to play nice or just don't play but not pretend, it's ugly. :-)

  16. Ben Ralston says:

    Great post Tamara. So true – a lot of people are hiding behind spiritual fluffery, and I too have had shitty emails from people ending with a ‘Blessings’ line! You’ve gotta laugh really…

  17. Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

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  18. [...] how to give blessings is a powerful means to transform your world and the world of others. When you say their name and [...]

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  20. Tamara says:

    I know. Anytime more than 2 are gathered it seems. All of that won't stop but I do wish using beautiful phrases in a sarcastic way would~
    Thank you for reading and commenting.

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