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 release the past and define myself as I choose.

Quote:  “Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” Unknown

Newsletter archives:

December 2017 - Spark/Bodacious Inner Child

November 2017 - Leap of Faith/An Attitude of Gratitude

October 2017 - The Human Dilemma/No Singing Required


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: I had a client complaining of intermitent acne so I made an Acne Facial Cleanser with Castile Soap and a blend of Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon and Frankincense essential oils. Lavender is anti-microbial and is renowned for its ability to heal skin, Tea Tree is an excellent treatment for acne, Lemon is also particularly useful for acne and blemishes and Frankincense is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.The client has been using the blend now for over a year and keeps coming back for more.

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.

Trauma and Resilience

Have you ever wondered if there is a connection between childhood experiences and current behavioral and health challenges in adulthood? Well, interestingly, two doctors at Kaiser and the CDC did a study in the mid-ninety's to determine the answer to that very question. The results are very validating.

The study looked at 10 types of childhood trauma and the effect that having experienced them has on long-term health. They include: physical, emotional and sexual abuse; physical and emotional neglect; living with a family member who’s addicted to alcohol or other substances, or who’s depressed or has other mental illnesses; experiencing parental divorce or separation; having a family member who’s incarcerated, and witnessing a mother being abused (see survey in article below.)

These childhood traumas have been dubbed ACE's (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and subsequent surveys have revealed that 38% of children have experienced at least one ACE. That's 34 million children. The study shows that many of those children will grow up to harm others, harm themselves, or both. In addition, the study reveals that the higher a person's ACE score, the higher their risk of chronic disease, mental illness, violence, being a victim of violence and several other consequences.

Honestly, this news was not earth shattering for me. I've believed there is a direct connection between childhood experiences and adulthood for as long as I can remember. However, the good news is that there is now evidence to back this up. Also, where there is identification of a pathology, so to speak, someone is looking for an answer. In this case, the answer is to work on resiliency.

What is resilience? It turns out that there have also been studies done on resilience, also referred to as stress hardiness. The bottom line is this: While you may not be able to go back and change the past, nor can you prevent stress from showing up in your life now, you can learn tools to better deal with it.

When we talk about resilience, we're basically talking about self-care. Eating right, exercising regularly, getting a good night's rest, having some kind of regular practice of mindfulness or meditation, working on healthy thinking and healthy attitudes and finally, having a regular practice of participating in pleasant activities.

While this list of focus areas may be clear in and of themselves, as always it is hard to make lasting changes on our own. Think of past New Year's resolutions that were abandoned within the first week of the New Year. 

If you would like coaching to support your efforts in creating new positive habits, please contact me.


While it is unsettling, to put it mildly, to be confronted with events in childhood you may have worked really hard to forget, it is also empowering to discover just how common it is and that there is something you can do about it.

If you would like to explore your own experience, here is the ACE test.

Prior to your 18th birthday:

  1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  4. Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  5. Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  7. Was your mother or stepmother:Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?                        No___If Yes, enter 1 __
  10. Did a household member go to prison?No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

Click here for more research results:  What does it mean?

I work with people who experienced adverse childhood experiences and are interested in learning resilience, personal growth and empowerment. If you would like one-on-one coaching or to explore what Interactive Guided Imagery might bring you, 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