presentsThe Evolving Self
When growth is the only option...

The Evolving Self is an e-newsletter that reflects the belief that growth is a choice that can bring an ever deepening and expanding awareness of who we are and what we are here for. The reader can expect affirmations, quotes, book reviews, insightful commentary and tips that support the growth of the individual.

Affirmation: I choose to live in the flow of life on life's terms.

Quote: "The pain of powerlessness is excruciating. It is the most painful experience in earth school, and everyone shares it." - Gary Zukav

Newsletter archives:

March 2020 - Change Happens

February 2020 - She, Who Was Next

January 2020 - What I Did For Love


Certified Aromatherapist

I am a Clinical Aromatherapist, which means I am qualified to work in a healhcare setting as an Aromatherapist and of course, to make custom blends to address various health concerns and skin issues. Many aromatherapy blends also have a quality of emotional support.

If you are interested in custom blends to support your physical and/or emotional health and/or coaching along with aromatherapy solutions, please email me at

Contact me to get your own custom blend!


In my interactions with people lately, we have been checking in about  experiences with "sheltering-in-place." It's fascinating to me the variety of experiences people have been having. Some people are enjoying a break in their usual hectic schedules, some people are using the opportunity to do projects around the house, and some people are downright miserable, feeling trapped and cagey. Even amongst those who have found a positive spin on the current circumstances, there is a common theme that has emerged. Powerlessness.  Powerlessness is one of the Human Dilemmas.

Human Dilemmas are those things which are universal to the human experience. We experience them as part of simply being human. Powerlessness involves being faced with circumstances you did not choose, that you prefer weren't happening and you have little to no control over.

The first step of the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous states, "Admitted that we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable." This step is all about powerlessness,

Step 1 is very applicable to our current circumstances given the uncertainty that we are living with right now. The Covid-19 pandemic and the shelter-in-place order are turning many people's lives upside down. While there are many things in our "normal" lives over which we have no power, we are now experiencing a new version of powerlessness.

I notice for myself that the whole concept of powerlessness is unpleasant. Not something I enjoy or deal with well. Everything from unfortunate weather changes to traffic to taxes and drastic changes in schedule, to people behaving badly. Many people are challenged by powerlessness and some even lash out at others, or simply try to control everything and everyone they come into contact with.

A sign that we are challenged by uncertainty is the tendency to be compulsive. Eating more, drinking/drugging more, tuning out more (watching TV, playing computer games, facebook.)

There is an emotional aspect to powerlessness that is worth mentioning and that is Depression. If you consider that Depression is like a system freeze (just like your computer gets locked up,) it falls into the standard instinctual human coping responses, Fight, Flight or Freeze.

Studies on depression refer to a common human experience when people are faced with a situation they cannot change as Learned helplessness, or giving up.

Given all this, what to do? So what, now what?


Acceptance. Accepting that we are powerless, accepting how we feel about being powerless and accepting all of our attempts to deal with being powerless. In other words, accepting it.

I find for myself that when I accept my powerlessness, I'm able to eventually move to gratitude which changes my circumstances profoundly in a very short time. And maybe it doesn't always change my circumstances so much as it changes me and how I look at them.This is something that might be helpful for those who are stuck at home.I believe there is a way to do this without letting your life fall apart. That's not what this is about. It is about an attitude. A way of looking at life. Finding and making peace with life on life's terms instead of expecting life to conform to my needs and desires.

For example: I am being required to pay more in taxes this year than I have paid in my whole life. While I am very unhappy about having to fork over very hard earned and judiciously saved money, I am grateful that I have it. I don't have to go into debt to pay the taxes. And in the upcoming election, I can cast my vote for a candidate who is focused on the needs of his constituents that may lead to a different tax law in the future. So not only does accepting my powerlessness enable me to move into gratitude, it also leads to actions that are ultimately empowering and forward moving.

If you are challenged by feeling powerless, consider health and wellness coaching as a way to move forward in your life. Click here to contact me. 

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Jaqui Duvall works as a coach, mentor, trainer, facilitator and public speaker developing and delivering workshops, leading mentoring groups and working with individuals to help them identify and express their inner spirit and live a life of consciousness and intention. •  San Jose