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 behave in self-loving ways.

Quote:  “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” -C.G. Jung

Newsletter archives:

July 2017 - Fear and Anxiety/Creating Safety

June 2017 - Emotional Sobriety

May 2017 - Challenging Established Beliefs/The Mind-Body Connection


Certified Aromatherapist

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Self-Love AGAIN

After many years of working, people retire. At least that is what many people strive for. The opportunity to finally enjoy leisure time and activities they truly enjoy. One of my dear friends has just taken that leap.

Interestingly, while she is happy to not be working anymore, she is actually struggling significantly with the vacuum that not working has created in her life. Sleeping until noon, watching a lot of television, feeling unmotivated to do much of anything. While there are many people who make this transition gracefully, unfortunately, this response to retirement is not that unusual.

It turns out that of all the things people can be addicted to: drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, shopping, food/sugar, etc, etc., the most common addiction of them all, the one that is socially acceptable and even revered, is workaholism.

There are many reasons why people put so much time and effort into work, perhaps they are seeking financial gains and accolades or maybe they enjoy what they do. Often they are secretly seeking self-esteem. In addition to our relationships, work is one of the most likely places that people go to raise their self-esteem. "Hey, I'm good at what I do, people praise me for it, it feels good, I want to do more." Positive reinforcement at its best. Nothing wrong with that, except that for many people, this is the only way they gain self-esteem.  

Whether it is from a relationship, work, or other source, when we seek our worth and value from something outside ourselves, we can become dependent on that source to make us feel good about ourselves. When that source drys up, i.e. retirement, divorce, etc., we can be adversely impacted by that unless or until we find another source.

I came to this realization for myself recently a year after a relationship ended. I struggled mightyly with the break up all the while realizing that my deepest wounds had been triggered. The realization that I had been looking to my partner to esteem me was the end result of significant effort to process my experience of that relationship.

Given such a realization, the question always becomes, "So what, now what?" Having had this experience and this insight and learning, what do I do with it so that I can change my life and live differently? That is always the challenge.

What did I really learn? It may sound cliche, but what I learned (not for the first time) is that I ultimately need to love and esteem myself. This, from a person who has been using affirmations and positive self-talk for years. And yes, I have been doing that all along. Part of what I learned, however is that words are not the same as actions. You know the ol' walk the talk thing.

So I started asking myself what I could do differently rather than just adding more affirmations. The answer I came up with was to behave in a self-loving manner and to do self-loving things. For me, that means not settling for less than what I truly desire, and turning my attention fully to creating and living my life. If I'm not waiting for someone to show up who's going to make it all alright, then I'm making choices based on my needs and desires and joy in this moment.

Sugar Detox

Louise Hay says, "When you love yourself, everything in your life just works." I'm taking the affirmations and positive self talk to a new level and creating an actionable plan that changes my relationship with myself. After all, sugar, food, and shopping among other things, are ways we try to nurture ourselves. But the "fix" is only temporary. I decided I needed to start by facing my addiction to sugar, finally.

The ugly truth is, of course, that these days there is sugar in EVERYTHING that is processed. So even or especially gluten free products replace flour with sugar. In terms of the reaction our brain/body chemistry has to flour, it is as significant, if not more so than refined sugar.

I don't know about you, but I have been aware for more than 40 years that refined sugar is not a healthy choice, and is in fact addictive. There is evidence that the food industry has been intentionally capitalizing on the addictive quality of many substances that are common in our foods today.

I have been working over the past couple months to prepare myself to do a sugar detox as an act of self-love. I have researched various detox plans, ordered supplements, cleaned out my candy drawer and started gathering recipes. I have also signed up for a support group. In all ways, I am working to set myself up for success. While it may seem that I am starting out with a plan of deprivation, the hope is that the end result will be higher energy and stablized mood.

According to my research, body chemistry is a significant factor in our energy level and how we feel about ourselves. I am anticipating that there may be more of an emotional impact than physical and therefore plan to use meditation and journaling to support myself through whatever needs processing.

I will report back on my progress. Feel free to join me if you like.

I support people in making lifestyle behavior changes and processing experiences. Please click here: to contact me to schedule coaching or counseling services.

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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