Spiritual E-mail Closures–Evolved or Obnoxious? ~ Toni Grates

Via elephant journal
on Aug 30, 2011
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Photo: Brian Talbot

E-mail closures that leave the reader (and especially this author) baffled, curious, or just plain giggling. 

When I worked as a corporate event planner, the closures of e-mails were always very straightforward and professional. Regards, Sincerely or a good old fashioned Thank You, followed by a comma and a name. No casualness. No smiley faces. God help you, no exclamation points.

My time in the entertainment industry was less formal and more excited! Lots of exclamation points­–usually one per project! “Life is great and I have everything together!” surrounded by links to personal websites with an assortment of x’s and o’s, since everyone loves everyone in show biz. Regards was replaced with Best or Talk Soon. Less formal. More transparent and looking for work.

Owning a yoga studio has brought me e-mails with closures I never dreamed of. I’m not talking about your spiritual garden variety of Peace or Love and Light. Those I can handle. Love and Light actually makes me feel warm and fuzzy, since it reminds me of one of my favourite childhood toys, the Glo Worm. What I’m talking about here are spiritual e-mail closures that leave me baffled, curious or just plain giggling. And it seems to me that the more spiritually evolved a person claims to be, the more curious (insert ridiculous and often obnoxious) their closures become.

Photo: Arun Prabhu

 Example 1: “Infinite Blessings be upon you and yours”

 This whimsical little number was at the end of an e-mail demanding that I pay a studio invoice that was past due. The e-mail warned me that if there was not payment within 30 days, there would be consequences. The e-mail was then signed, “Infinite Blessings Be Upon You and Yours” with a name. This, my friends, is spiritual passive-aggressiveness at its finest. The classic pre-comma “consequence and threat” with a post-comma “self-righteous high road.” I did what I had to do to pay the invoice, since the whole thing was an infinite pain in my ass.

Example 2: “Namaste”

Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think you should sign something Namaste unless you are fluent in Sanskrit. Otherwise, it seems pretentious and awkward. Kinda like Shakespearean actors who insist in speaking in liquid ‘U’s, even after closing night of Henry V. How about peace? Same meaning. Simple. English.

 Example 3: “Yours in Cosmic Consciousness”

This one is awesome. It’s Milky Way meets Freud. It came at the end of an e-mail asking me to pay lots of money for a workshop that was guaranteed to change the way I approach my yoga practice. I seriously considered it. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a part of the cosmic consciousness?

 Example 4: “Yours in Body, Mind and Spirit”

This one throws me into a kilt and takes me right back to Catholic school. I feel like I should do the sign of the cross and say ‘Amen’ after reading it. It was the closure of an e-mail from someone I’d never met asking about teaching opportunities. It didn’t make me want to hire him.

 Example 5: “Hoping You’ll Join Me on the Path to Enlightenment”

This one is fantastic. It came after a simple e-mail. Something about wanting to rent our studio for a photo shoot. Unless the e-mail is signed by Buddha, I don’t think anyone should ever use this. Never. Ever.

And so now I find myself confused as to how I should sign my e-mails. I tried infinite peaceful blessings a couple of times, but the in-authenticity of it made me feel like I should wash my mouth out with soap. I tried just signing my name for a while with no closure, but it seemed far too closed and unavailable. Needless to say, I’m determined to try different things out until I find the right fit.

Jazz Hands and Glitter,

Toni Grates


Ultra-Enlightening Bonus:


Toni Grates is a domesticated nomad unconcerned with societal norms. When she’s not running a yoga studio, she’s with her one year old baby boy. You can find her blog at www.tonigrates.com/blog.



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25 Responses to “Spiritual E-mail Closures–Evolved or Obnoxious? ~ Toni Grates”

  1. yogiclarebear says:

    Love it Toni! Just posted to Elephant Spirituality Facebook. Namaste, blessings, peace, and joy to you love Clare! LOL 😉

  2. Toni says:

    Thanks, Clare! Much appreciated.

  3. Ardha Chandra says:

    I get it. And I will think about abandoning my use of Namaste as a closure. I adopted it because each time I wrote it, it helped me feel the connection, the commonality of source with the living being to whom I was writing. You/Me identically flowing into form from the big bang. Separate waves arising from the vast ocean. Hi there! I suppose another word could be found . And I welcome your suggestions. In lieu of the n word, Cheers!
    Ardha Chandra

  4. Penny says:

    Hugs and Much Love! But only to people who I would actually hug and who I love muchly…it gets too creepy if I use it with the guys with whom I work.

  5. Diane says:

    Thank you Toni, you are hilarious. I changed my closing to “Warmly” a few years ago and I’m sticking with it – unless of course I’m not feeling very warmly towards that individual.

  6. surdas says:

    Thanks Toni, this article was quite hilarious and something that I can really relate to. wishing you the best on your path.

    "two palms pressing"

  7. Vivienne says:

    Namaste does not mean "peace". It means "the divine or infinite in me bows to the divine or infinite in you." Whether you like it as a sign off or not, good to at least know what it means when writing about it. Peace 🙂

  8. Jai says:

    Hi !

    I might be complete stranger to you. But please dont stop writing Namaste at the end of your email. It's a great way to end or begin any conversation. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

  9. Jai says:

    Good point and completely agree. Namaste is used for both begging and ending the conversation.

  10. Mary Tracy says:

    Jazz hands and glitter!!! Jazz hands and glitter!!!!!!!! *THAT* is the e-mail closure you should go for. Right there!

    For a while I was signing my newsletter with "beams of ok-ness" which I dare say is both honest, quirky and conveys the point of wishing good things on the reader without being obnoxious.

  11. julie says:

    OMG, thank you!!! This was much needed and overdue.

    I might have to steal your “Jazz hands and glitter” though and maybe add “and pink fluffy unicorns”.

  12. Tiffanie says:

    I like to sign 'In Health' simple and to the point

  13. Natalie says:

    I just end the last sentence of my email with a period and write my name. Enlightenment is the discarding of what is not us. Adding fuzzy unicorn speech to go with our scarves and flowy pants is a sign we are still far away from ourselves. We NEED to be spiritual, and we NEED everyone who reads our emails to know it. Hustling for attention and worthiness by being spiritual is annoying to the world.

    Namaste (as in, I am BEGGING people to stop doing this crap, it gives "yoga" a bad name while also ending my post).

  14. Nic says:

    It reminds me of Neil's letter to the bank manager, asking for an extension on his overdraft in The Young Ones. Beginning "Darling Bank Manager," and ending "May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman. Love Neil."
    Kind regards,

  15. jessica says:

    this is really funny. I went from banking (super formal) to yoga. and im pretty much bewildered by the bizzare spiritual infirmality. the best point here is the insincere spirituality juxtaposed with mundane requests for money etc. Eg: no feminine products in the toilet. Namaste. Really? Thats kina obnoxious and almost offensive. I'm actually ok with an occasional Namaste signoff IF you just had a heartfelt exchange where "I love you man" woulda been ok too. It's a little like Aloha or Ciao. But more spiritual. It annoys me a lot when it is used inappropriately though. Do you really recognize the spiritual light within me, that is also in you… right now??Cause I didn't really feel it.

  16. lolhahajakpeace says:

    Totally agree with what you said, but I had a little chuckle at the irony of your bio that says, "unconcerned with societal norms"

  17. RLynch says:

    Hilarious! Thank you for exposing these hideous sign-offs!

  18. emily says:

    Thank you! I was going to say the same thing.

  19. Interestingthoughts says:

    I couldn’t stop laughing because I in fact use Namastè as my sign off! But I’m also a Hindu who is also about 75% fluent in Sanskrit and own a company rooted in Ayurveda so it made sense to me. It’s how I speak to my family members but I didn’t realise the idea of Namastè was seen as pretentious. Honestly, I was tempted to change it but I like it so I’m sticking with it!

  20. keightyem says:

    A new colleague at work (a museum) signs his emails 'wildly'. Still not sure what to make of that!

  21. jazmyn says:

    I like ending my e-mails with

    I AM,

  22. kiva says:

    I’m a fan of “Panacea Later”.

  23. debaumer says:

    Thank you for this. And I think it is a beautiful way to begin or end an email or letter.

  24. debaumer says:

    I agree. To use it indiscriminately on form letters and ads is in appropriate, but to use it in a meaningful way is different. I don't use Namaste, but I sign some of my stuff with "Metta" depending who I am writing to. When I do it, though, I do it with intention.

  25. Julie says:

    Jazz Hands & Glitter… I love it. I think I am going to use it until it catches on!