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 live in my body in this moment.

Quote: "It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse." Adlai E. Stevenson II

Newsletter archives:

October 2018 - The Statue of Responsibility/Gratitude Practice

September 2018 - Perception of Power/Changing Your Perception

August 2018 - What I've Learned From Teaching Assertiveness for 30 Years


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

We've once again entered flu season. I find that steam inhalation is one of the most effective ways to ward off respiratory symptoms. It helps with nasal and chest congestion, coughing and sore throat. In addition, it just feels really good to do. Here is a recipe to use at the early signs of respiratory issues: Ravinsara, Eucalyptus, Frankincense. Make a stock bottle by taking an empty botte (5ml or smaller) with equal parts of the three oils. Fill a medium size bowl with steaming water and 1-2 drops of your stock bottle blend. With a towel over your head, put your face over the bowl and breathe deeply for 2-3 minutes.


Command Presence

At my newest gig teaching workplace violence prevention I have been reminded of a very interesting concept, which is Command Presence. Command presence is a term that was developed in the military to describe a person who had the quality of a leader, especially those who would be leading soldiers into battle. The term has since been generalized to business and other settings.

As part of my new role, I met with the Sheriff who brought up the subject of Command Presence saying that he believes this is what employees need to develop to reduce and prevent violent incidents. When I asked how we might go about teaching it, he said the only way he has been able to teach it is through experience.

What exactly is Command Presence? Basically it is an attitude which starts with a perception you have of yourself being strong, competent and capable of handling whatever happens. It results in verbal and non-verbal behaviors that translate to those around you indicating that you are positively utilizing your personal power, you are in charge of yourself and you know what to do should a situation arise.

I became familiar with the concept of command presence as a trainer. To effectively teach in front of a group of people, you must be viewed as someone who knows what they're talking about, that you can be trusted to put the needs of the group before the needs of the individual and you create an environment for learning that is safe for all participants.

I believe we can all work on developing Command Presence by doing a few things. First, working on Assertive Communication skills starting with the belief that 1) we are all equal; 2) each person has a legitimate perspective; 3) each person has the right to their feelings and; 4) how we express ourselves is much more important than what we actually say.

Second, take care of yourself, body, mind and spirit. When you exercise regularly you are building strength and a foundation of health that your mind/body perceives as powerful and therefore brings confidence.

Third, continuously educating yourself, expanding your experience and knowledge so that when you do speak you really do know what you're talking about. And finally, mindfulness which cultivates present moment awareness.

The main reason it may be beneficial to do all of this is that with Command Presence you are perceived as a powerful person and not an easy target. When people are choosing someone to harm or steal from, it is less likely to be you. Not only that but you also feel good about yourself.

Are you being a leader in your own life?

I had the extreme fortune of participating in an equine therapy workshop recently. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I intend to do much more.

First, we meditated in the yard where the horses hang out (after clean up.) While I have been meditating twice a day for several years, I haven't meditated outside among living things for a really long time. It was amazing.

Later I had the opportunity to do "ground work" with a single horse in a round pen. I've never done this before but discovered in this process that horses meet you where you are, not where you would like to be. I was trying so hard to "do it right" but the horse was responding to my inner desire to just connect and just kept coming up to me. I finally let go of my mental construct and joined the horse in the moment. It's hard for me to describe what that felt like but I was completely in my body, in the moment, connected with the horse. Something I've wanted to experience my entire life

Her behavior indicated that she "liked my leadership." Where I walked, she followed. When I stopped, she stopped. When I petted her, I felt one with her like I couldn't tell the difference between my hand and her head. Not only that, but the normal every day mind chatter in my head was gone. No self-deprecating remarks or self-doubts, completely in the moment.

So what, now what? My favorite question when all the dust settles and we're back to our normal lives: How shall I live differently as a result of this experience? More than anything, I choose to live in my body. I choose to live authentically, to strive for balance between my needs and  the needs of others. I choose to tell the truth. And finally, I choose to be a leader, THE leader in my own life!

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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