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 choose to love and accept myself.

Quote: "I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship." -Louisa May Alcott

Newsletter archives:

April 2019 - Incivility/Becoming the Monster

March 2019 - Losing Things/Re-ordering Things

February 2019 - Tortured From Within/Managing the Brain

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

Contact me to get your own custom blend!

Shame and Self-Esteem

I was just recently teaching Assertiveness for my long-term gig as an instructor at Kaiser. Throughout the class, I heard myself repeatedly saying, "You know, it really comes down to self-esteem." Just as Louise Hay said, "When you love yourself, everything in your life just works." In other words, to overcome your fear of being assertive, to believe you deserve to stand up for yourself typically requires raising your self-esteem.

This may not be new news. I honestly don't think many would argue with what I've said so far, however, knowing this and changing your level of self-love are two completely different things.

While I know there are many people who have a healthy level of self-love and esteem themselves highly, I would venture to say that they are a minority. The vast majority of people are swimming in a sea of shame. Brene Brown has written and spoken extensively on this subject and says that even talking about shame is difficult because people don't want to acknowledge they even have it. What exactly is shame?

Shame is not the same as guilt. Guilt is a reaonsable response to a situation in which a person has acted against their better judgment. They made a mistake. Shame is believing your are a mistake, that you are inherently flawed and unfixable. Not that people don't try to fix their shame, usually by trying to earn love and accolades. Others try to anesthetize their shame away with addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, shopping, eating, etc, etc, etc. Which, of course, only makes things worse.

When I first became a Life Coach almost 17 years ago (oy, can't believe it's been that long) I started using affirmations, some of which were specifically designed to address self-esteem. Don't get me wrong, saying, "I love and accept myself exactly the way I am," every single day for 17 years has had a positive effect. However, there are many aspects of self-esteem that you can't affirm your way around. While I will continue to use affirmations, frankly, I find inner child work to be much more effective when it comes to changing how I feel about myself. Read more below...

Inner Child

Many psychologists, starting with Freud, have discussed the psyche being made up of parts. Part of the psyche resides in a subconscious state, the vast majority, in fact.

In the subconscious live all of the thoughts and feelings we have ever experienced relative to our life circumstances. You experience them now when a current event triggers a reaction that is connected to a past event that was unresolved (unresolved meaning, you still have feelings about it.) And (here's the interesting part,) your conscious self-talk is directly connected to the meaning you gave to all of those events and circumstances buried in your subconscious mind. While some of that self-talk can be positive, typically, much of it is negative.

Most people relate to being their own worst critic. Not only that, but some people are merciless with their criticism of themselves. Guess what? That is a reflection of poor self-esteem. This is where connecting with your inner child can positively effect your self-esteem. By loving the inner child part of yourself, the one who originally experienced negative experiences it helps to rewire your brain to a positive experience.

Here is a simple exercise you can do that can start to change how you feel about yourself. First, find a picture of yourself when you were a small child of about 4-5 years old. If you can't find a picture, close your eyes and imagine yourself at that age. I took a picture of a picture so I could carry it with me on my phone.

Pull out the picture several times a day and imagine it is a child actually standing before you. Greet the child like you are happy to see him/her. Embrace the child. Laugh with the child. Love the child. And just notice if your mood and attitude change through the day.

If you would like to improve your self-esteem to see how loving yourself more can change your life, email me to learn more about Life Coaching.

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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