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 create my own reality.

Quote: "If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can transform one million realities." -Maya Angelou

Newsletter archives:

June 2018 - Engagement vs. Control

May 2018 - Body Chemistry & The Law of Attraction

April 2018 - Depression Stigma/Contributing Factors

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. 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

I was recently in Oregon and chanced upon a store which was selling essential oils. The proprietor showed me an invention she designed called an Aroma Dome. While there are exact instructions on the use of such a device, I want to say that the idea is a take-off on a traditional folk remedy that has proven highly effective. That is: Using essential oils through steam inhalation.

I used steam inhalation for a blend addressing respiratory issues (cold/flu) through this past flu season. While I had a cough and congestion, I remained free of fever, chills and aching joints. It also feels great!

The traditional folk remedy involves boiling water, pouring it into a bowl, adding 1-2 drops of essential oils, placing a towel over your head and breathing in the steam.

Positive Fantasy

When I was 5 years old, the Rogers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella played on my family's RCA color television. More than twenty years later, I remembered the words to many of the songs having only seen it that one time. Clearly, it had a big impact on my 5 year-old mind.

In the beginning of the show, Cinderella sings a song, "...In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be..." She then reviews a variety of fantasy scenarios, "I’m a young Norwegian princess...I'm a thief in Calcutta...I’m a queen in Peru."

The reality of Cinderella's life was not so glamorous or happy. Her father had died leaving her with a "wicked" step mother and two step-sisters who treated her like a slave. Given her circumstances, her future looked bleak, and yet, in the end, she marries the prince and lives happily ever after.

It is hard for the human mind to absorb truly awful circumstances, so one coping strategy of the brain is to create wonderful, exciting, pleasurable pictures in the mind as a distraction.  For some people living in traumatizing circumstances, fantasy is the only way they survive. In that scenario, fantasy could be considered to be a positive use of imagination. Worrying about possible negative outcomes, and "what iffing" is another way people use their imagination but is considered a negative use of imagination.

The million dollar question is: How did Cinderella achieve a happy ending using fantasy after having lived in such horrible circumstances? Of course, Cinderella is a character in a fairy tale and fairy tales always have happy endings. However, there is some helpful information to be extracted from her experience.

To effectively engage the Law of Attraction, to co-create the outcome you're hoping for, you have to do more than create pictures in your mind. You also need to generate the feeling and energy state those pictures would create if they were your reality. 

In my May 2018 newsletter: Body Chemistry and the Law of Attraction I talked about how shifting your body chemistry supports this and in my April 2017 newsletter I discussed Smile Therapy as another support for the shift of body chemistry to create a positive vibration. This is essential to support the outcome you desire.

As for the images, it is most powerful to focus on pictures of the completed outcome. In Cinderella's case, once she met the Prince, she was entirely focused on him. When asked what she would say to him, she said," Your highness, I would like to be your bride." Another less exaggerated example: I used to work in Santa Cruz until 10pm and then have to drive home to San Jose. It always made me nervous to drive Hiway 17 in the dark because there are so many animals crossing the road at night. Because of my awareness of the power of images, I shifted my fearful, worry picture to the image of pulling into my driveway safe and sound. You may call it a coincidence, but I fully believe that I created that outcome.

I help people work towards their goals and dreams, please contact me for Health & Wellness/Life Coaching. 

Fantasy Gone Wild

Another interesting example of the use of imagination comes from the book, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber. Both of the movies made with this title stray significantly from the original story. But interestingly, "The name  Walter Mitty and the derivative word "Mittyesque" [6] have entered the English language, denoting an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic  daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not." (Wikipedia)

Interestingly, there is much discussion on the purpose and function of the ego as a mechanism that enables people to push themselves to greater achievement in life. Some people exaggerate their accomplishments, puffing themselves up just like some animals do in the wild to make themselves look bigger than they are.

In an interview, have you ever led someone to believe that you had experience that you didn't really have to get yourself hired?  Have you ever played "One up?" In a conversation, stating that you've done that (whatever the first person says) but even better.

A person with narcissistic personality disorder may create an entirely false image of themselves. They truly believe it is who they are and have an affinity for anyone that will also support that image. It is a way of coping with overwhelming shame that they are unconscious of.

While the ego can sometimes participate in fantasy gone wild, the ultimate purpose is a good one: to push us to grow and become more than we are.

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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