August 30, 2011

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

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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