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 the person my dog thinks I am.

Quote: "In the midst of every difficulty, lies opportunity." -Albert Einstein

Newsletter archives:

October 2020 - Eat a Toad for Breakfast/Kaizen

September 2020 - Red Flags/Discernment

August 2020 - Changing the Rules/Setting Boundaries

July 2020 - Hidden Landmines/Self-Examination

June 2020 - The Stolen Voice/Loving Yourself


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

-B'Itch Balm (effective with hives)

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 April 2020, I wrote an article about Powerlessness. It was early in the Shelter-in-Place experience and I was trying to make sense of what I was experiencing and observing of other's experience. Little did we know, 6+ months later that this would last so long and not only that but could possibly continue on for some time to come...It has become the new norm for the foreseeable future.

This year has been challenging for many if not all...depending on your unique circumstances and how you cope with them. I have had my share of challenges:

  • A roommate who skipped out on rent threatening ungrounded legal action amidst a series of verbally abusive phone calls.
  • Working as an "essential worker" for healthcare during the entire COVID19 Shelter-in-Place experience
  • An aggressive and bullying boss 
  • The California fires 
  • Paying higher Taxes 
  • A very stressful election
  • Relationship turmoil
  • Health issues
  • Aging

While I haven't taken a poll, I'm going to guess that many people have had it way worse than I. The question becomes, how to cope under extreme circumstances? The answer: Self-management: 

The opposite of self-management is reactive, disabling distress, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, being easily enraged or aggressive and allowing our inner world to be dictated by what is happening outside us. We might behave by being emotionally volatile, projecting our stuff onto and blaming others for our troubles. Ultimately, allowing our reaction to circumstances to interfere with our normal functioning in life.

The definition of Self-Management is management of or by oneself; the taking of responsibility for one's own behavior and well-being. To me, this means we focus on our own part of the equation of every experience, which is, of course, the only thing we have any control over. And direct our efforts to taking care of ourselves.

As I see it, to successfully self-manage requires emotional maturity and tools for self-care. Continue reading below...


When there are so many things going on around me over which I have no control, turning my attention to what is in front of me to do is really helpful. Since I can't change or even effect what is going on out there, I ask myself, what can I do right here? When I look around my house, there are plenty of "projects/tasks" to keep me busy. For example: Yesterday I cleared out the gutters on my house. Today, I'm doing laundry.

Emotional maturity is all about how I deal with things. While I know I haven't mastered this at this point in my life, it continues to be something I strive for. To achieve emotional maturity, for me means that I have to give myself time and space to process what is happening around me. It doesn't mean that I don't have emotional reactions, it means that I use tools to make sense of it all. The most helpful tools to do that are talking to another person who is well-versed in listening skills and journaling. Both of which are all about sorting things out.

Here are some self-care strategies that are also helpful: Calming, positive self-talk, making a plan and taking action

Calming, for most people starts with taking deep abdominal breaths. It is often the first thing on many stress management lists because to make better decisions, we have to engage the rational mind which is basically unavailable when we are in the Stress System of the body. It's easy to do and you really don't need special training to learn how, just start doing it.

Positive Self-Talk involves changing the way I talk to myself. Common to most human beings is the negative and self-critical voice we carry around with us in our heads which is constantly commenting on everything we do and say. I have worked long and hard to modify this for myself. I have learned that if I don't intentionally change this voice, I am condemning myself to live with the default I developed from childhood. No thank you. I now choose to be gentle with myself and reframe my thinking to a foundation of gratitude. It takes work.

Making a plan is just what it sounds like. If I don't change the way I'm doing things, then guess what? Nothing changes. So, taking some time to consider what I want to do and be in the world and making a plan that reflects my intention.

Taking action is, of course where the rubber hits the road. Sometimes, I find I have to start very small with incremental changes and work my way up to a reasonable momentum.

If you are interested in establishing a program for change self-care that you haven't been able to make on your own, consider health and wellness coaching. 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