The Bitter McBetterson. Have you ever felt like one? If you’ve developed a competitive edge and think most are beneath your station, you just might be a Bitter McBetterson. If you feel triggered when someone else is facilitating a workshop that relates to your professional expertise, it’s very probable you’re a Bitter McBetterson. And then, of course, if you see a social media post and your knee-jerk response is to post a link with your reference info and *smiley face*, I’d say you’re in the grip of the Bitter McBetterson.
The Bitter McBetterson: the lower vibrational bitterness a person feels when they think they’re better than one or more individuals.
Mind you, there can be different levels of the BM:
The Mindful BM is where your compassionate heart is bitter at the injustices in the world. You wish for world peace but all you get are two dimes and a candy wrapper.
The Mind-filled BM is the next level down, a lower vibrational frequency than the first. Your mind gets filled with comparisons between yourself and others. You become quick to judge, and have no interest if there’s more to a person’s story.
The lowest frequency of a Bitter McBetterson is the Mind-less BM. These colorful folks are known as the trolls of the internet. They look for confrontation to prove their bitterness has a purpose. These characters are energy-zappers and if provoked, they can become a black hole of time. If you come across them online, be prepared to ignore, block, and move on.
When it comes down to brass tacks, this discussion of the Bitter McBetterson has been one of the most difficult for me to formulate. I drafted this blog over and over again, realizing each time I finished, it wasn’t complete. What message did I want to put out? That you have to settle experiencing a Bitter McBetterson, being one, or an endless cycle of both? I’m glad I gave it some time to blossom…
You see, when I first recognized that I had a Bitter McBetterson, I was burned out. I was experiencing the first level of BM with an integration of the second. The natural healing industry became a trigger for me. I could feel my passion drain out my solar plexus and leak on the floor like sap, attracting gnats and ants as I walked along the way. At times, I couldn’t even stand the word holistic because I knew professionals overused it for marketing purposes, even when their products or services were far from being “whole.”
I had quite a ride, floating on the river of bitterness. And after a few years of being burned, I felt like I wasn’t respected. My vision tunneled and replayed a dramatic story of the holistic community not caring about me. In my eyes, they didn’t care if I got paid, or even wanted to help me promote my events. They wanted to steal my clients, ideas, and possibly prevent me from working. Whether this was true or not, I felt very alone.
I wore my bitter-suit well as I watched my colleagues shoot for the stars and I was stuck in a bitter stagnation of jelly. I was a good and authentic person, why wasn’t I building attendees? Why weren’t people responding to my posts? Why, why, WHY?!
I felt like a little kid having a temper tantrum.
I remembered some teachers of my past where they displayed their BM’s nonchalantly. I didn’t understand it at the time. Weren’t teachers supposed to be encouraging for their students to fly the coop? Aren’t there enough clients for everyone? Did he really have to cancel his workshop because only 2 people showed instead of 20? I didn’t understand the little nuances of being a holistic professional, especially when one’s Bitter McBetterson was in charge.
Every professional has their own gripe. The holistic community is of no exception. In most circumstances when like-minded groups come together, there will be politics involved. Some will carry dog-eat-dog undertones. You could describe them as holistic bullies who use passive aggressive Reiki mind-tricks. Unfortunately, they speckle throughout the communities, slicing and dicing them into a
I had to remind myself there was good out there. Maybe I didn’t feel like I knew many genuine practitioners at the time, but I knew they existed. They had to, right? Teachers and practitioners with truly gifted talents infused with brilliant light, compassion, and authenticity. However, my experiences from past discontinuity haunted me, and looped a melody of defeat. It was quite unsettling to observe and experience.
My first level BM spoke one day: “What happened to learning from and supporting each other? The fluidity of student-teacher-student? It’s such a beautiful cycle of one’s development and everyone’s experience is so unique. We as a holistic community can learn from each other. In fact how can a community who’s praise is “whole-ness” do anything but manifest such support?”
I was stuck, constipated with emotions. My BM in full gear. What I wanted to know was how to get out of this rut. How could I change my perception into something that was on a higher vibrational level? I was there before, but could I do it again?
I sat at my computer one day and discovered a Facebook friend had started her own 200-hour yoga teacher training program. Like a big tap on the shoulder and a nudge in the gut to follow, I felt encouraged to take it. I never planned to be a yoga teacher, but she had such a well-rounded program and it drew me in, tapping into my “seeker-of-knowledge” personality. I knew this program would affect me, I just wasn’t quite sure how.
Over the span of thirteen months, I expanded my stomping grounds from Long Beach, California to Rancho Cucamonga. Like a child smiling after lodging a wooden peg into its hole, I realized I fit in rather well in this program and with this group of yogis. I learned about Ashtanga Yoga, Patanjali’s eight limbs or principles. I digested knowledge about Ayurveda, pranayama (breath control), asanas (yoga poses), meditation, mantra, and self-care. I became inspired.
All during this time, I turned inward. I opened my heart to listen as my questions were answered one by one:
1. How can I work with other holistic professionals on a business level without being victimized?
The duality of the holistic professional is nonexistent. Often times, when you work with another individual, you are not only working with their passions, gifts, and talents, you are working with their un-healed wounds. Until a person has healed from passed traumas, you will be working with the sum of ALL their parts which, at times, can be more challenging. This is also true of your-Self and how you coped with past traumas. You want to experience change? Change yourself.
2. How can some professionals be so cruel and not walk their talk?
Bullying can occur regardless what industry you’re in, or who you are as a person. The act of bullying occurs because of the individual’s inability to express their fears and insecurities, which can also be related to un-healed wounds of the past. They find someone they believe to be less than, and project their fears onto them in relentless ways. Bullying will stop when they come to terms with their-Selves. (Side note: If our current year of 2018 were instead 1518, a bully would actually mean a sweetheart. My, how we change with the times….)
3. What was the real reason for my bitterness?
It was from residual hurt and jealousy because I did not know who I was. Who knew I could feel the way I did just because I didn’t know my-Self?! By understanding who you are, you can diminish any jelly in the belly because everyone has a different path to follow. I was comparing myself to others because I thought their path was mine, but it wasn’t. Not only was I unsure of my own path, I was actually more afraid of what I could become. My potential Self had confidence and stamina. She had discipline and strong boundaries. She was a Lesley that would howl at the moon and not blink an eye if others watched. She scared me….and yet, I wanted to be her.
4. What is behind this concept of the Bitter McBetterson?
The title of Bitter McBetterson is in truth, the ego at play. It is the ego that honors our individualism. It is the ego that fears and creates lack. The ego is of this reality and, ultimately, important for our growth. If we did not have an ego, we wouldn’t learn about the yins and yangs of life. Instead, we’d live in a state of complete bliss without any inkling of what it felt to be alone. The ego is a tool for our advancement. To master it, is enlightenment.
With this self-realization, my Bitter McBetterson began to let go. I felt my vibration change. My understanding of who I was drew the bitterness out of me like glass cups and a snake bite. I felt happiness tickle my heart like a giddy child. My passion returned to my solar plexus, fiery and wild. I felt exhilarated and ready to create. I could feel my creative center open and I was now prepared to anchor each idea at their appropriate time. I happily embraced my new upgraded Self.
Last month I graduated from my yoga teacher training program. There are certain milestones that really change your life. This one was mine. This was a humdinger of a vibrational change, not to mention, I’ve found such a beautiful tribe of life-long friends. This was one giant step on my own path. MY path….and I just realized something at this very moment. My teacher’s school/DBA is called Healthier Vibrations. Healthier. Vibrations. Well didn’t THAT ring so true! I think I felt my heart giggle.
As Holistic Professionals, we may come to a point in our lives where we feel burned and ready to wave the white flag. We may feel the world is too much to take on and the energy left for us is too low to supply for anyone else. Remember that we all go through processes, transformations, and upgrades in our own personal growth. When we focus so much on what other people are doing, or cater to others needs over ours, we lose ourselves and our main purpose. We begin to solidify a seriousness that sucks all the love out of what we’re doing.
If you find yourself in the dumps of the Bitter McBetterson, have you thought about ways to change your vibration? My solution may not be yours, however, have you thought about what can? To change your outlook on life, it is absolutely necessary to change your-Self. If you see bitterness, you will radiate bitterness. If you have the intention to see love, and do your best to transmute this new energy, with time, you will radiate love. Like attracts like.
My wish is for you to remember your brilliance, be kind to each other, respect each other, live by example, and light up your communities, just as I plan to light up mine. (Thank you my dearest teacher for you heart-filled messages about community.)
Last but not least, our Bitter McBettersons are there as catalysts for change. They can help us realize that these crazy and obnoxious thoughts are mere distractions from our path. What you can ask yourself is “Do I want to continue with these distractions?”
If not, then allow this new melody to resonate within:
“I will travel my own path,
allow my brilliance to shine,
with my heart as my guide,
no matter what the result.”
Emoting In Motion,
Photo Credit: Robin Higgins