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 boldly and gracefully stand up for myself.

Quote:  "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends." J.K Rowling

Newsletter archives:

February 2018 - The Longest Journey/Whole Brain Thinking

January 2018 - Trauma and Resilience/ACE's

December 2017 - Spark/Bodacious Inner Child

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

Example of a custom blend: There are many people experiencing pain due to muscle spasms so I made an Anti-spasmatic blend. An anti-spasmatic acts as a muscle relaxer. 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. In addition, I use it to calm my leg cramps before going to bed. It makes a huge difference in my ability to sleep. Like many essential oil blends, 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.

You Don't Have to Do Anything You Don't Want to Do

"You don't have to do anything you don't want to do," a therapist said to me many years ago in response to my ongoing complaint that people in my life were fond of telling me what to do.

It seems to be a common experience that there are some people who really like to be in charge of other people's decisions and actions, even the little things. For example, years ago I was hanging out with such a person when we went to In 'N Out. He ordered a double cheeseburger with onions. When I ordered a single cheeseburger without onions, he made a somewhat loud remark that made it clear to me and everyone within earshot that he really wanted me to have the same thing he was having. To avoid the conflict, at the time, I chose to comply. Today, I choose not to hang out with that person.

Complying to such commands is often done out of a sense of obligation or just plain inability to stand up for oneself. Why? Because it would cause conflict. The #1 reason why people do things they don't want to do is because someone will be upset, angry, disappointed, hurt....(fill in the blank.")

In the family system I grew up in, it was drilled into my head that, "you don't hurt people's feelings." This became a core belief for me and has influenced my decisions my whole life. While it is a good thing to avoid hurting other people's feelings, the problem with this belief is that many times, people are asking/telling you to do things that, 1) They can and should be doing for themselves; 2) Are projecting their stuff onto you; or 3) Are their way of validating their own actions.

A lot of the coping strategies people employ are an unconscious attempt to make themselves feel safe in an unsafe world. And that is exactly what is behind the unconscious intention to control other people. It gives people a sense of certainty in a world where there is none.  

When starting classes at Kaiser, I often ask, "How many of you like to be told what to do?" Strangely enough, no one has ever raised their hand. So, clearly it feels safer to tell people what to do than to be told.

The cool thing about this topic is that Health & Wellness Coaching and Life Coaching are founded on the principle that people have their own answers and that it is the job of the coach to help them uncover them. So, you will never be told what to do by a Coach who is properly trained.

If you find yourself complying with the commands of other people and would like to learn to stand up for yourself, please contact me for Health & Wellness/Life Coaching. 

Going to the Hardware Store Looking for Milk

There is a very apt saying used in recovery circles which says, "Don't go to the hardware store looking for milk." I bring this up because this saying illustrates one of the biggest challenges of my life and that is, how do you deal with people who can't give you what you need... even if they want to.

Over the past couple years I have gone down the path of learning more about attachment trauma which is an experience of not getting your basic emotional needs met when growing up. There are two common ways people cope with this, one is to focus solely on meeting their own needs, to the exclusion of all else. That means that if you are the potential supplier of their need, they will do whatever it takes to influence you to fill their need. The second way is to focus on meeting the needs of others with the hope that they will reciprocate.

The challenge becomes, of course, that these two tend to attract each other. Therefore, you have a couple where both people are focusing on meeting the needs of one person. The second person continues to try to get their needs met, but the first person is incapable of doing so. Thus the saying, "going to the hardware store looking for milk." They're looking for nurturing, care and support in a store where they don't sell it. Ouch!

The lesson always comes back to listening to your internal communication system to help discern who are trustworthy people who can connect with you in an equally beneficial, reciprocal way.

I work with people who want to learn how to get their needs met in a healthy way, 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