Ask Emma: Uncomfortable Chanting and Vegan Exclusion

This week’s wisdom and wit from a sassy sage.

Ask Emma is our straight-talking, semi-irreverent, spiritualist-realist etiquette column for all matters metaphysical and mundane. We openly welcome and acknowledge all views, opinions, feedback, ideas, and questions. Please recognize that this is about spreading useful, positive, helpful, kind, practical tips. Should you feel inspired to share bad vibes or hate mail, we politely and respectfully ask you to peace out.

Ask a question at, or turn to her most recent book, The Soul Searcher’s Handbook, for more.

My yoga teacher friend keeps trying to get me to chant.

It’s just not my thing. In fact, I feel ridiculous doing it, and it doesn’t help me spiritually. How can I tell her to drop it without hurting her feelings or losing my zen?

Ommmmmm no! (Sorry can never resist a good chant pun.) I get it. Chanting is not for everyone, and it’s good that you are aware of what makes you feel uneasy in your yoga practice. You never know, though: Over time, chanting may grow on you. But for now, you need to chant a polite “no thank you” to your friend. Speak from the heart, and just let her know how it makes you feel.

Saying something along the lines of: “I love your classes, but have to be honest and let you know that chanting doesn’t resonate with me. I would appreciate some space in my practice to not feel pressured into joining in. I hope you understand. I love listening! Just not chanting sorry.”

Be honest. Find your voice. And should you feel it falls on deaf chanting ears, stay open to exploring other studios—even if you have to take class without a friend—where you feel more comfortable.

A new friend keeps asking my boyfriend to do household chores or “honey-dos” for her.

How do I get her to back off—or get him to realize he’s being taken advantage of—without coming off as the jealous type?

Dang! In a way I admire people who have the confidence to ask for help so easily. On the help-appropriate scale, some are straight-up bad at asking for a hand, others (your new friend) are like a yogi in an​ organic fruit store… Sometimes they just need to be told that everything has its place—in moderation. Have a chat with your partner and let him know how you feel. Have a chat with your friend, and let her know how you feel.

If that doesn’t work, start charging your friend for hiring your boyfriend! The invoice could be for a girls’ night out, during which you rave about how much you love your man, how lucky you are to have him, and how devastated you’d be if anyone tried to take him away.

I’m vegan, but I’m the only one in my friend group.

My friends aren’t supportive of my decision—and in fact, often refuse to eat at strictly vegan restaurants with me because they think the food will be gross. Is it wrong to try to trick people into eating vegan food to prove them wrong?

No way. I say Master-Vegan-Chef their doubts! Pull out all your culinary wholefood weapons, and wow them with your kitchen skills. ​Let them know that you will be going out of your way to make sure there is something that will cater to each of their taste in food (even if they haven’t been good friends to you by being conscious of respecting your own). Roll up your sleeves, and get those chickpeas, lentils, and vegetables on the ready. As you cook, take photos of the ingredients you’re using, and write down the recipes for later.

If you drink alcohol, be sure to serve some vegan wine with it to show the vast variety of vegan products available. Once you’ve put on a night that their conscious stomachs will never forget, pull out all the stops and show them the photos. Let each person take home a recipe so they can try it own their own. You just showed them who’s the vegan boss.

Emma Mildon

Emma Mildon is an author, columnist, and spiritualist that specializes in spiritual research that she shares to her readers through her interactive website, app, and books. Giving her readers easy access to everything from spiritual scriptures across all religions, to different types of yoga to explore, crystals, feng-shui right down to how to work out your astrology and numerology. Be sure to check out her book The Soul Searchers Handbook or visit her website, You can also find Emma on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Google+