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 am responsible for how I treat people.

Quote: "The greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another." -William James

Newsletter archives:

January 2020 - What I Did For Love

December 2019 - Prisoner in the Dark Cave

November 2019 - Loving Kindness

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!

She, Who was Next

As I entered the doctor's office, I had my membership card ready to scan at the reader on the receptionist's desk. There was a patient standing slightly to the right talking with the receptionist and I paused briefly and said, "Excuse me," while reaching my hand forward to scan my card. The patient reached in front of me and scanned her card, saying, "I'm next." I waited while she did this, scanned my card and then went to the back where the treatment tables were lined up. I chose the farthest one in deference to the "person who was next" even though she was still at the reception desk talking.

Very shortly afterwards, the doctor called my name and I indicated I was there, at which point, "She, who was next"  came into the room. There was a constant stream of words coming out of her mouth. "I was next. That women nearly bolled me over to scan her card. I was next. I'm in a hurry, I have someplace to be,  I was next..." On and on it went. The doctor stated that he simply went by what showed up on his computer, but showed obvious signs of irritation. As the doctor responded to "She, who was next," the volume of his voice got higher and higher as she continued her constant stream of words, "I was next, etc, etc" Eventually, he loudly lost his temper and asked her to leave. This exit did not happen immediately or gracefully. The doctor had to take a time out to calm himself down and when he returned he said, "I didn't like the way she was treating you." "She, who was next" never did take her turn, at least not that day.

There was another patient sitting in a chair directly in front of the treatment tables. After "She, who was next" left, she stated that she was waiting behind me to scan her card at the door, had witnessed the whole scene and said she would have done exactly the same thing I did in attempting to scan my card when "She, who was next" was talking to the receptionist.

In contrast to the doctor, I felt completely detached from the ire and constant stream of words coming from "She, who was next." However, there were some interesting insights I had after the experience.

Continue reading below...

Reduce Your Stress

First, while I have never verbalized my internal thoughts the way "She, who was next" did, I have had similar thoughts going through my head in similar circumstances, therefore, it could just as easily been me. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

"She, who was next" almost seemed to be possessed. No matter what the doctor said, she continued her constant stream of words. It appeared that she was completely unaware of herself, how she was behaving and the impact it was having on the people around her. She believed she was in the right and that she had been victimized.

It was clear that, "She, who was next," was completely caught up in a dilemma of her own making based on demands she placed on herself and very possibly poor planning and time management. She put herself in that situation and was so stressed that she lost her humanity in the process. Again, there, but for the grace of god, go I. It is a dilemma that happens when I try to squeeze too much stuff into my time. While I have gotten better at this planning ahead thing, there are times when we can't predict the unpredictable.

This whole situation provided a really good example of what happens to us when we get stressed. The instinctive systems in the body take over and the thoughts that are fueling the behavior seem to be real and very convincing.

How we deal with things not going our way can either contribute to or eleviate our stress. We are the only ones who can decide that. And it often requires practicing an intervention on the nervous system by taking deep abdominal breath, and managing our thinking.

Having a regular practice of deep abdominal breathing is an excellent way of helping the body maintain a regular stress reduction program. In addition, it helps us to re-engage our ability to practice rational thought. Practicing self-soothing by coaching ourselves to calm down is a way of modifying the erroneous thoughts that get triggered in situations like this.

If you want support in finding and practicing ways to reduce your stress, 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