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 to speak my truth with confidence.

Quote: "If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu." -Elizabeth Warren

Newsletter archives:

May 2020 - In Hiding/Journaling

April 2020 - Powerlessness

March 2020 - Change Happens



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.

A few of the blends I have made recently:

  • Anti-viral lotion (it helps hydrate amidst all the hand-washing)
  • Hair thickener
  • Muscle cramp oil
  • Arthritis blend
  • Hand sanitizer with or without alcohol

If you are interested in any of these or 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!

The Stolen Voice

In the Disney animated film, "The Little Mermaid," the mermaid princess, Ariel has been watching the activities of humans on land from afar and longs to " a part of their world." She goes so far as to make a deal with Ursula the Octypuss who says she can give Ariel legs for 3 days to walk on land. To keep the legs and remain human, Ariel must get the Prince to fall in love with her but there is a catch, Ursula will take Ariel's voice. Despite the objections of Ariel's sea companions she makes the deal, joins humans on land with her legs but without the ability to speak.

Leaving fairytales and sensational Disney movies aside, I believe there is something very important going on in this story that reveals something many of us, especially women, can relate to.

I have been teaching Assertiveness now for over 30 years. While there have been many men in my classes throughout the years, the vast majority of my students have been women. While there are some very assertive and even aggressive women in the world, it is far more common for women to be passive. I would go so far as to say that for many women, their voices have basically been stolen from them. 

Gender roles develop largely as a result of the culture we grow up in. Even living in the age of "feminism," many of us were still raised with traditional gender roles. Girl Training code says, "Don't be too strong, too outspoken, too sexual, too aggressive." It results in girls modifying themselves to be pleasing to get a man, not only in behavior, but also focusing on looking good. In the Little Mermaid, Ariel asks Ursula how she will get the Prince to fall in love with her if she can't use her voice and Ursula tells her to use her "body" language. Meaning, she'll have to make use of her "looks." There is a lot of pressure placed on women to look good, be attractive and to age well.

Our mothers may have also modeled the standard of sacrificing our needs for those of our husbands and children. We often learn to stifle our voices, to not stand up for ourselves and to martyr oursselves so others can get what they want and need. 

Finally, in many family dynamics, children don't find a listening ear when they are challenged by injustices whether coming from their siblings or even their own parents. Many children are expected to serve, to make their parents look good and not be a problem.

The long term effect of all these factors is passivity. These girls grow into women who don't know how they feel much less have the ability to ask for what they need and/or want, or to express themselves in a meaningful way. These women are much less likely to set healthy boundaries.

Loving Yourself

Even when you have raised your awareness of the experiences and life elements that have contribued to passivity, it is not that easy to overcome. We become entrenched in negative beliefs we have of our own worth and habitual ways of behaving.

The Little Mermaid was rescued by her sea creature friends who retrieved her stolen voice. Ultimately, her father grants her permanent legs so she can reunite with her prince and find her happily ever after. The rest of use must rely on other means to find our voices.

In Dreams Girls, Deena faces the truth that she fell prey to manipulation and her voice was given to her. She realizes that she "must find her own (voice.") It's not easy to change especially when you realize that you contributed to your own dilemma.

When we have good self-esteem, being assertive flows naturally. When we value ourselves, we stand up for ourselves, so it is very helpful to consider working on self-esteem as a good place to start.

How do you teach someone to love themselves? Identifying the negative core beliefs we developed in life gives us an opportunity to redefine the beliefs we choose to have about ourselves and our place in the world. And practicing assertive communication helps us to find the voice that was stolen from us.

If you are interested in raising your self-esteem and finding your voice, health and wellness coaching can be helpful. 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