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Announcing Living True Inc.!

breakingnews_finalsWelcome to Living True Inc.

Living True Inc was founded in —- by Dave Jetson, with the intention of helping people and organizations learn and practice a more congruent and emotionally healthy way of interacting and living. Support at Living True isn’t about ‘fixing’ you, it’s about really seeing you, the real you – and helping you to do the same – so you can live your fullest life.

Our philosophy is this:

We all have a true pearl of great worth within ourselves. We were born with it, yet it is a treasure that few of us actually see in ourselves because it becomes so deeply hidden.

The work of Living True Inc. is to help participants connect with this pearl, the truth of who actually they are.

Living True Inc. is a marriage of this philosophy with workshops, seminars, and other resources to help any person or group find healing in their own lives.

Ultimately, Living True is about connecting to your true, authentic self as an individual and organization, and, in doing so, creating a life – or work life – of peace, connection, success, and joy.

When you visit this site you will find encouraging and supportive information, and a wide variety of resources available to help support you or your team in a journey and vision toward deep appreciation of yourself, participation in an effective team environment, and a life of peace and happiness.

Please feel free to share any of the content you find here to support yourself and others in living a life of purpose and joy.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and LinkedIn to stay connected with us and be the first to hear about exciting new opportunities coming your way.

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Creating Health Sexual Relationships Workshop
Where:  Blck Hills, South Dakota
When:    April 7 thru April 10, 2011

What is sexuality and what components are associated with a healthy sexual relationship? This workshop will explore healthy sexual relationship patterns and the obstacles in creating these relationships. This workshop will:
Explore healthy and unhealthy sexual patterns
Explore what sexuality is and how it impacts every aspect of your life
Explore how the perceptions of our family, friends, school and religion have impacted your understanding of sexuality
Explore how all forms of sexual trauma impacts sexual experiences
Explore communication patterns and skills around sexuality
Create balanced self-care around sexuality
Exploring when to say “No” to sex
Recognize when “No” means “No” around sex
Recognizing sexual preferences
Explore intimacy and infidelity issues around sexuality

Where:        Angostura Lake House
View the resort website at: http://www.findrentals.com/23492.html
When:        Thursday, April 7 @ 5:00 pm thru
Sunday, April 10, 2010 @ 12:00
Cost:        $1,600.00/person includes workshop, food and lodging
Pre-registration with deposit of  $800.00 per person is required due to limited space. If interested Contact Jetson Counseling @ (605) 718-5500 or www.jetsoncounseling.com to register. Deposit is non-refundable after March 25, 2011.

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The word “You” is one many of us use every day in our relationships with others, yet this word alone can be very destructive. When we use the word “You,” most of the time we are blaming the other person for something. Or at least it feels like blame and makes that person defensive. This defensive posture is the catalyst for most arguments and tension in a relationship.

We have been taught to use the word “You” by not taking responsibility for our feelings and actions. Many of us learned at a young age that tension or problems in the family were our fault. As a child, we learned when we deflected blame, it created a release of tension by diverting the attention to someone else. While the word “You” may have served a positive purpose as a child, it creates much stress and destruction in relationships as an adult.

When we use the word “You,” it’s as if we are pointing our finger at the other person and saying, “It’s your fault.” This creates a defensive posture in the other person and then “You” starts to fly in both directions. This defensiveness created by the use of “You” gets both parties to start saying things they do not mean, things that are untrue and hurtful and that they will regret.

Many of us are used to this type of communication and disrespect. We may not like how we feel when the argument ensues, but we do it because this is the way we were taught to communicate, because it is familiar to us. Even though the current way of communicating hurts greatly, communicating in a different fashion can be scary enough that we don’t try to change.

It makes logical sense that if we are hurting ourselves and others, we need to do something different. If our logic were in control, our behaviors would quickly change to make the situation safer and more respectful. Yet feelings, rather than logic, drive these arguments. As long as we talk about the “he-said she-said facts,” no one is heard. In the argument, a portion of the issue may get temporarily resolved until the next argument triggers the underlying feelings again. This gives rise to the same argument and pain over again. Even when people are ready to change this “You” communication pattern, changing takes conscious effort.

When we talk from the “You,” we are communicating from a position of wanting to be heard. We explain all the facts and situations, hoping to be understood, with little or no success. The other person may have heard all the information and can repeat nearly every word, yet the message is not heard. To actually be heard requires the other person to be able and willing to listen rather than determine ways to respond to what is being shared. To listen means we do not have to defend ourselves or figure out ways to fix the problem, it means we just listen and only ask for clarification as needed, while interjecting nothing.

To create a situation where we can be heard requires us to get rid of the “You.” This can keep the other person from getting into a defensive posture. Rather than communicating from “You,” we communicate from “I” to help limit defensiveness. Taking it a step further, we talk about our feelings from the “I” position, since the energy that needs to be heard and worked through is our feelings.

Communicating from “I” takes time, practice and encouragement. When we are able to develop this new format of communicating, many things change in a positive fashion.

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After observing the political atmosphere in America, it seems that American politics can be compared to a dysfunctional family. The Democrats typically present themselves in the role of the codependent, the one that needs to take care of everyone and everything. The Republicans tend to present themselves in the role of the addict with their staunch positions, insuring their needs are more important than those of others.

In this scenario, the children in the family are represented by the American public. Some children—the Democratic constituents—cling to the codependent parent at all costs. Other children in the family—the Republican constituents—cling to the addict parent at all costs. Still other children are interested in supporting both parents by not showing favoritism. This last group could be seen as the swing vote that all the political campaigning attempts to influence.

While some interpret the terms “dysfunctional,” “codependent,” and “addict” as negative, this analogy is not intended to be either positive or negative. Rather, it is a way of framing behaviors that mirror family dynamics which are familiar to many people. While many people recognize these types of behaviors, most have been taught to hide them in some fashion in order to look “perfect” to those outside the family.

Since politics continue to get uglier, it is becoming more apparent that the dysfunctional family roles are being played out on the political scene more intently.  For example, many of us were ridiculed and put down when we were growing up. The same attitudes appear in much of our political rhetoric, from ridicule and dismissal of “tea party” advocates to contempt and dismissal of “bleeding heart liberals.” Many of us resented this type of treatment when growing up. We would attempt to do just the opposite of what we were being told to do. Others would just comply, with resentment, in hopes that their parents would notice them.

When the Democrats won in 2008, they claimed the voters were mandating change, and to some degree they were. Since the 2010 election, the Republicans are also claiming the voters are mandating change. The question is what change is being mandated. This is like the family when children present their needs and wants to parents who can’t or won’t listen. The parents ultimately do what they want or what they believe is right for their child.

When families function in this fashion, no one is heard or respected. In the same sense, no one is being heard in the political arena when issues are presented about how the opposing candidates and political parties are wrong, bad, and incapable of representing the American public. Negative ad campaigns work because, as a society, most of us are used to being treated disrespectfully and not heard. Being heard and treated with respect is foreign to most of us and so, as a society, we revert to what is familiar.

Whether it’s a political party or a member of a dysfunctional family, each one periodically promises that they intend to do things differently and better. Yet change rarely occurs, because the underlying feelings and patterns are so firmly established. For true change to occur in the family or political environment, help is necessary.

As long as members of a dysfunctional family attempt to figure out and modify their problems on their own, they have little success because the feelings and patterns are too entrenched to create any positive change. When family members recognize their problems and are ready to work on creating true change, they recognize they require outside assistance, and they seek help. Help typically comes from a third party like a counselor/psychologist for psychological issues and a financial planner for financial problems.

In the same way, changing our political environment is going to require outside help. The question is what form that help might take. Perhaps the first step toward change will come when enough of the “children”—the American people—become frustrated with both the “addict” Republican Party and the “codependent” Democratic Party and start looking outside the family for a third choice. When more options become available, the entrenched emotional patterns lose some of their power to block positive change.

There are at least three options to every solution. As long as only two strong parties exist, not all options can be explored to create the synergy necessary for positive change in America. When more options are available, the emotional limitations have less power and opportunities for positive change become greater.

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Many of us continually tell ourselves how bad and worthless we are, yet the truth is different. This workshop was created to help people work through the issues related to this negative self-talk. This workshop will:

  • Explore the origins of the negative messages we tell ourselves
  • Explore the truth around the negative self-talk and how negative messages do not represent the truth
  • Explore the truth that sets us free from the negative self-talk
  • Explore how we were taught to believe the negative messages we tell our self
  • Explore what the negative self-talk has taken from us
  • Create emotional freedom from the negative self-talk
  • Recognize choices we have around the negative self-talk
  • Explore ways to create more self-trust in our lives
  • Explore the patterns associated with negative self-talk
  • Explore our beliefs around our distorted self
Where:        Red Lodge, Montana
Cost:            $1,600.00            Deposit: $800.00
When:         Thursday, May 19 thru Sunday, May 22
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Many of us have heard that we are our own worst enemies. While we want to do and be the best, many times we fall short of our expectations. Many times we feel inadequate, yet we receive feedback from others who don’t perceive us as inadequate at all.
The reason we focus on our shortcomings is because of the negative messages we continually tell ourselves: you’re dumb, you’re lazy, you’re a troublemaker, you’re wrong, it’s your fault. Our lists can go on and on.
What is interesting about these messages is that we have been taught and trained to believe them—yet they are all lies. All messages that we are naturally born with are always honoring and respectful, yet we have been taught to believe these lies to the point we attempt to prove their validity every day.
Children are taught these messages directly and indirectly at a very young age by being told they  are bad, dumb, lazy, etc. Many people find it difficult to recognize where these messages come from because they may not have been directly spoken. Some of these messages may have developed from a glance, glare, or cold shoulder given that children interpreted in a negative way because they had no information that told them differently. As children grew, they took these messages on and believed them because they were coming in some fashion from the most important and intelligent people in the children’s lives: their parents and caregivers.
Many people find it difficult to believe that these messages are not true, which makes their path to recovery more difficult. These messages undermine opportunities to create positive change because they have been integrated into their lives to the point these are the only messages people can hear and know. When given the opportunity to hear and receive the true messages and positive qualities they possess, they tend to ignore and justify why these positive messages and qualities do not exist in them.
When a person is ready to work through these negative messages, it requires self-reflection and opportunities to explore the underlying feelings that get reinforced when they buy into the messages. When people can recognize the feelings, they can begin to work with those feelings to help the negative messages lose their power. This allows the underlying truthful messages to become more apparent.

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Counseling has many theories and techniques available. The insurance industry, for example, has embraced behavioral counseling. Behavioral counseling embraces techniques to modify behaviors, and much research is available that demonstrates behavioral changes.

Experiential therapy is another approach that can be used to help modify behaviors. Additionally, experiential therapy has the ability to help a person explore and work through core issues when and if they are ready. While most counseling theories connect with the conscious or cerebral part of the brain, experiential therapy works to address both the conscious and subconscious parts of the brain. This is what sets experiential therapy apart and what allows the person to access core issues.

Experiential therapy also goes beyond talk therapy in that one of its goals is helping a person connect with what the body is saying or hiding. Many times a person is unaware of what their body is saying, yet the information the body shares has truth that wants to come out. Experiential therapy allows a person to reenact the emotional experience, then to embrace it and let it go. This is an important part of the process necessary to create long-term changes that many people desire.

Many techniques currently exist that are experiential in nature. Experiential therapy allows people to feel and connect with the hidden emotional truths that create chaos in their lives. Experiential therapy techniques include but are not limited to play therapy, art therapy, journaling, meditation, story telling, sand tray therapy, psychodrama, sculpting, and intuitive experiential therapy.

Many people share that they have attempted to figure out their problems for years with no success. Since they are intelligent, it makes sense that if they could figure it out, they would have already done so. Attempting to figure out the issues is tapping into the conscious part of the brain. To create the positive change they seek requires them to connect with their feelings as well, which is part of the subconscious brain.

Experiential therapy allows people to access both parts of the brain and  connect with the deeper issues that keep them from creating change. This is the reason it is such a beneficial and effective tool for change.

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Codependency is a term that originally was used to describe family members of addicts, but it defines how nearly everyone interacts with others. Codependency is when we see the needs of others as more important than our own and, deep down inside, we may have some resentment about it. The resentment may be demonstrated as an expectation of acknowledgement for our sacrifice, sideways anger, passive/aggressive behaviors, martyrdom, and keeping score.
Codependency in relationships is destructive, and it is preventable.
To better understand codependency, it is important to recognize where it originates. We are taught to be codependent at a very young age, which makes it seem as though it is a pattern that is just part of life. Every time children are told by words, actions, or body language that their feelings need to be shut down (for example, “Please stop crying.”), those children are learning that their feelings do not matter and that their parents’ as well as other authority figures’ needs and feelings are more important than their own.
Every culture I have worked with to date has its own way of stifling feelings, which is the starting point for codependency. When children are very young, they wish to please their parents more than anything else because their parents are the most important people in their life. When parents ask or tell children to stop crying, the child wants to please their parents so they work to stop crying. By the time children are in elementary school they already have started to learn how to shut down their feelings, and by the time they are done with elementary school their feelings are shut down.
The purpose children shut down their feelings is to please their parents, who in many different ways with words, actions and body language teach children that their feelings are not important. They are also teaching that it is important to take care of their parents’ feelings by not feeling their own.
The problem is that even though children learn techniques to shut their feelings down, the feelings still exist because they are the core and essence of each child.
Deep down, children continue to have the feelings. They may think at some level they must be doing something wrong because they have these feelings that they are not supposed to have. The feeling of doing something wrong is where guilt originates.
At the same time they may think there must be something wrong with them because they have these feeling they are not supposed to have. This creates a sense of shame.
Interestingly enough, the core underlying issues with any addiction are guilt, shame, and codependency. The codependency becomes even more apparent when the addiction is removed.

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Every time I attempt to write an article, I question myself. Have I used the right words? Will this make sense to others? Am I using proper grammar? Will the article be interesting to others? Have I written it in a fashion that others will understand?

With all these questions running through my head, I realize I want to write the perfect article. These questions prevent me from writing more or addressing topics I believe could be interesting, because they limit my creativity.

When we strive for perfection we are guaranteed to fail, because we can always see flaws in whatever we do. Perfection is not a natural trait, but is something we are taught.

Many people see perfection as a good thing because it can produce positive results, yet there is a down side to perfection as well. Perfection creates much unneeded stress in our lives due to the higher demands and expectations we place upon ourselves. This stress affects everything, including the people we love, because the stress comes out sideways as sarcasm, criticism, and anger.

We are taught to strive for perfection as children when we are criticized for not behaving, looking good, trying hard enough, or feeling our feelings when we are not supposed to. We also learn it when we are told we are wrong or even bad for what we are doing or thinking. When we receive these messages often enough as a child, we take them to heart and start to tell them to ourselves, reinforcing the message that we are inadequate and need to try harder. These messages we learned as children and tell ourselves are actually reflections of other people’s direct or indirect inadequacies that they saw in us.

Since these messages that drive the need for perfection are so engrained, they create a pattern that is difficult to break. When a person is ready to break the pattern of perfectionism, it takes a conscious effort to do something different. Many people that are perfectionistic do not see a need to change because these tendencies can prove beneficial in certain situations. Yet perfectionistic tendencies are destructive in relationships with ourselves and others, which is the typical reason for working on our perfection.

Many people are concerned that when they work on their perfection, they will lower their standards and this will not work well for them in their professional lives. When we work on our perfection, we can still maintain a high level of performance, without the unnecessary and destructive stress. This is where we evaluate when good enough is good enough and not try to push it even further.
In my case, I have found it helpful to let the words free-flow in the document and get help from my gifted writing friend, Kathleen, who polishes the writing. Then I can let go of my internal criticism, relax more when I write, and free myself to focus on what I have to say instead of questioning how I say it.

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Are you your own worst critic? Many of us are, sometimes to the point of believing we have few, if any, redeeming characteristics. This negative outlook comes from all the negative messages we tell ourselves every day.
When asked where they first heard the negative message, most people indicate the message has come from themselves. The reality is that all negative messages are taught to us by another person or situation. We are actually born with no negative messages. All negative messages are lies that may have a small, twisted piece of truth attached to them. The power behind these negative messages is so great that it can be difficult to believe the truth: that we are good and have many fine qualities that our Higher Power has given us.
We are taught to believe these negative messages by things we have been told directly or indirectly, with words, body language, facial expressions, or looks. Some of the messages we have taken on may never have been what the other person intended, yet our perception of their negativity made them our reality. Since all our negative messages have been taught to us in some fashion or another, they can also be untaught.
To unlearn these negative messages, it is important to understand their origins and the feelings that drive them. It is equally important to be willing to follow through with change, even if it feels uncomfortable or unfamiliar. Every negative message has at least some level of guilt and shame associated with it, which is also common with any addiction.
While there can be many different underlying themes associated with negative messages, the most common are associated with intelligence, looks, behaviors, inadequacies, and blame.
When we are ready to explore and work through these negative messages that cause us to do many things we regret, it is important to understand where we first heard these messages. The purpose of gaining this understanding is not to find someone to blame, because when we blame someone, we remain stuck. Rather, when we find the origins, we are able to connect more deeply with the underlying feelings to embrace, feel, work through, and let go of them. When we are able to work through the feelings so they no longer negatively affect our lives, we have the freedom to move forward without the negative self-talk.
One major obstacle to working on and through these negative messages is the payoff we receive by continuing to use the negative self-talk. Many people question the validity of any payoff because they are able to see how hurtful the negative messages have been for them. They don’t see anything that could be considered a benefit, even a twisted or negative one. Some of the payoff is associated with the inability to do anything differently in their lives and not seeing how it could be better. Another payoff is being able to stay in what is familiar, even if we do not like what we are familiar with. Continuing to use our negative messages is also a way to embrace our fear or anger and feel justified.
While there are many payoffs in embracing our negative messages, there are many losses as well. Poor communication, failed relationships, lost opportunities, and even the lack of fun are a few losses that occur when we embrace the negative messages.
Unless the pain from the losses becomes great enough, most people continue to embrace and believe the lies associated with the negative messages because it is familiar and requires no work. Letting go of our negative messages does require a willingness to do the difficult work of change. Yet it frees us to embrace our many positive qualities and enjoy living as our true selves.