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 be gentle with myself.

Quote: "The finest thing is that I can write down what I think and feel; otherwise I would suffocate completely. -Anne Frank

Newsletter archives:

April 2020 - Powerlessness

March 2020 - Change Happens

February 2020 - She, Who Was Next


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!

In Hiding

There have been some funny memes on Facebook recently depicting the effects of people living in close quarters, aka shelter-in-place. One such meme provides a chart indicating levels of danger vs. safety depending on how you speak to a woman during quarantine. For example: Dangerous="What's for dinner?" Safer="Can I help you with dinner?" Safest="Where would you like delivery from tonight?" Ultra Safe= "Here, have some wine." 

All kidding aside, the truth is: It is challenging for people to live in close quarters. And the longer it lasts, the harder it gets. We tend to wear on each other's nerves when there is no separation between us.

Anne Frank was 13 years old when she lived in hiding with seven other people for more than two years in a 450 square foot space. This was during WWII in the Netherlands where it is estimated 28,000 Jews were in hiding from the Nazi's. In addition to not being able to go outside, there was the need to be completely silent as there was an open business operating in the building during the day. Anne and her entire family were eventually arrested and sent to concentration camps. While our current circumstances can't be compared to the horrors of the holocaust there are some interesting similarities to our shelter-in-place of today.

Possibly the greatest challenge for Anne and her family was the fear of being discovered. Today, many people are experiencing paralyzing fear and anxiety of getting the virus. Even as restrictions are being lifted, some people are terrified to leave their homes. Many others are depressed and immobilized from moving forward in their lives because of the many changes that have occurred for them personally as a result of shelter-in-place.

While being quiet is not a requirement for shelter-in-place, monotony and boredom is prevelant as it was among the people who lived in hiding. I've always felt that not having enough to do is way worse than having too much to do. And maybe we have simply forgotten how to entertain ourselves. Lately, I've been playing card and board games and doing jigsaw puzzles. Things I haven't done in a very long time. I feel like I am re-learning the art of play. 

Finding a way of releasing stress when confined to a space is challenging for many people but is very necessary to prevent us from taking our stress out on those closest to us. While the gyms aren't yet open, walking is always available to do outside. It's also possible to create a workout routine in your own home. Many people are using Youtube to access videos for yoga and Tai Chi.

Continue reading below...


One of the less talked about effects of shelter-in-place is the effect it has on the psyche. While many people are sheltering with their families, many other people are alone. Spending a great deal of time alone can be challenging for people who consistently focus their attention on activities such as work and interacting with others. When we are alone for sustained periods of time, we are often confronted with parts of ourselves we may have previously avoided or even denied were there.

Anne Frank's way of coping was to keep a journal. She is, in fact, famous for the diary she kept during her time in hiding. It was possibly what helped her retain her sanity during her 2-plus years of hiding. She used her diary as a place to retreat to in her own mind. She wrote stories and letters to imaginary friends. Her father, the only one of the eight people who hid together who survived the concentration camps, published the material from Anne's diaries after the war. He said that when he read her diary, he realized that he really didn't know his own daughter nor the depth of her thoughts and feelings. Many believe it provides a true and rare understanding of what it was like for Anne and her family.

While I have never experienced having to hide during war time or any other time, I have kept a diary/journal myself for over 40 years. Among many things, it has been a place to record my secret thoughts and release feelings it doesn't seem safe to share anywhere else. I have often referred to my journal as my best friend for that reason. No where else have I shared myself where I have experienced the total freedom to express anything and everything, without judgment.

It has also been a way of accessing parts of myself that aren't available in normal everyday interactions wtih other people. I have access to an inner child who shares her dreams and heartaches. I have access to an inner brat who confesses to sometimes sabotaging the good things in my life and I have access to my highest and wisest self who simply loves all the other parts.

If you are challenged by alonenss and need support dealing with parts of yourself, health and wellness coaching can be supportive in moving forward in your life. 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