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: In the midst of many options, I choose peace.

Quote:  "Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best." -Bobbie Davis

Newsletter archives:

January 2018 - Trauma and Resilience/ACE's

December 2017 - Spark/Bodacious Inner Child

November 2017 - Leap of Faith/An Attitude of Gratitude

Certified Aromatherapist

As a Certified Aromatherapist, I am qualified to make custom blends to address various health concerns and skin issues. Many aromatherapy blends also have a quality of emotional support as well. If you are interested in custom blends and/or coaching along with aromatherapy solutions, please email me at

Example of a custom blend: There are many people experiencing pain due to muscle spasms so I made an Anti-spasmatic blend. Of all the products I have used when my back or neck goes into painful spasms, this one seems to help the most and the most immediately. Like many essential oil blends however, it is in using it repeatedly and consistently that I experience the most benefit.

This particular recipe consists of Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lavender and Ylang Ylang essential oils blended in a lotion. Check it out in my Etsy Store.

One of the fun things about custom blends is that the oils that are used are the ones you find attractive and fragrant with the effects you are looking for.

The Longest Journey

Have you ever experienced an event or a moment in your life that was heartwarming and inspiring? I imagine you have as for many people, this happens when we encounter something or someone we love. It can happen when we witness someone helping another person in need, in the act of rescuing animals and small children. For most people witnessing heartwarming and inspiring events causes us to move out of our heads and into our heartspace. The distance between the head and heart in our bodies is only about 10 inches, but some people call this the Longest Journey you will ever take.

I have just been reviewing the functions of the different hemispheres of the brain and it turns out that when we're talking about moving out of our heads and into our hearts, we're really talking about moving from our left hemisphere to our right.

The left hemisphere of the brain thinks linearly and methodically. It's all about the past and the future. It is designed to take the enormous collage of the present moment and pick out details which it categorizes and organizes and then associates with all its past information to then project into the future all of our possibilities. It thinks in language and is the home of the inner voice that we hear chattering to us all day long about everything from what we need to buy at the grocery store to a comment on how we looked in the mirror the last time we looked. It sees itself as being a single, solid individual, different, alone and separate from all other people. 

The right hemisphere of the brain thinks in pictures and is all about the present moment, right here, right now. Information in the form of energy, streams into the right hemisphere through our senses and explodes in an enormous collage providing a picture of what the present moment looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like and sounds like. It sees itself as being connected through our senses to everything and everyone.

While the two hemispheres communicate with one another through the Corpus Callosum with 300 million nerve fibers, they are completely separate from one another. Because they process things differently, each hemisphere thinks about and cares about different things.

In addition to all the things I listed above that characterize the brain's right hemisphere, it is also believed to be the place where emotions lie, where the subconcious resides and where we dream. In her book and TED talk of the same title, "My Stroke of Insight," Jill Bolte Taylor says that the right hemisphere of the brain is the place we need to go in the body to experience peace.

When we are in a place of peace, we are connected with all of our inner resources and typically make decisions that are more grounded and intuitively informed.

Adapted from "My Stroke of Insight," Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

Whole Brain Thinking

Research on the brain has led to an understanding that each of us has a preferred way and mode of thinking that affects the way we take in and process information. The awareness of one’s own thinking preferences and the thinking preferences of others, combined with the ability to act outside of one’s preferred thinking preferences is known as “Whole Brain® Thinking.” (Referenced from:  Whole Brain Thinking)

While, in truth, we are always using both sides of our brains, our instinctual human functions in reaction to stressors coming from the outside world often push us into isolation in the Left Brain and for many, it is a critical and negative place to live.

I am typically a Left Brain dominated thinker which means I have a tendency to analyze. It is how I make sense of chaos and disorder in the world. I came to a point in my life some years ago however, when my analytical tendencies felt overwhelmed by the data coming in. I realized that simply seeking inner peace was way more important to me. I decided to go down the path of learning and integrating a regular mediation practice into my life. This regular practice doesn't eliminate chaos in my life, but certainly gives me a tool to help keep myself calm and detached in the midst of it. In addition, learning to respond to our inner voices in a calming and rational way, can alter how we see the world and how much peace we experience.

Raising awareness about the qualities of the Right Brain can motivate us to make a deliberate choice about where we orient ourselves in our brains, even for just a few minutes. Orienting ourselves to the peacefulness of the Right Brain can support us in seeing ourselves as part of and connected to all of humanity with compassion and empathy for ourselves and others.

I work with people who want to experience peace inside themselves, if you are interested in cultivating this within yourself, please contact me by clicking here.

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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