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: My feelings are valid and worth expresssing.

Quote:  "Stay strong, make them wonder how you're still smiling." -Kushandwizdom

Newsletter archives:

September 2017 - Extroverts vs Introverts/4 Types of Introverts

August 2017 - Self Love AGAIN/Detox

July 2017 - Fear and Anxiety/Creating Safety


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 as well. If you are interested in custom blends and/or coaching along with aromatherapy solutions, please email me at

Example of a custom blend: I had a client complaining of Candida, which is overgrowth of yeast in the digestive system. I created an Anti-Fungal Candida Lotion. It contained Coconut Oil which is good for itchy, sensitive skin, Clove, which has anti-fungal properties and actually has the ability to cause the cell wall of fungus to rupture. Lavender for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and skin nourishing properties. Tea Tree which is anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. Sandalwood and Rosemary which supports the liver in detoxing.

The client reported that within a couple of days of using the blend 4x's/day, she noticed a significant reduction in sugar cravings.








The Human Dilemma

I just finished teaching a class on the subject of Suffering for an on-line Bachelor's program in Liberal Studies for the University of Philosophical Research. The first time a new class is taught, it is always interesting to see how the many long hours of development and preparation lead to insights and learning for the participants. There are some interesting tidbits that came out of the experience that I would like to share.

Kind of an obvious truth, people suffer. I haven't met a person who hasn't suffered over, because of, in spite of, in some way, shape or form at some time in their life. It is what I refer to as: The Human Dilemma. You can't get through life without some kind of suffering. It is inherent in the human experience in life.

First, there are many philosophies, religions etc., who have profoundly spoken on the subject of suffering. Buddhism, for instance with the Four Noble Truths which state, 1) the truth of suffering; 2) the truth of the cause of suffering; 3) the truth of the end of suffering; and 4) the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. More simply put, suffering exists; it has a cause; it has an end; and it has a cause to bring about its end. Buddhism offers the 8-Fold Path to detach from our attachment to things which, it says, is the cause of suffering. The good news is there is a path before us that others have trod successfully that can offer hope.

Second, how do you deal with it? And there are so many people dealing with it...Some, well. Some, not so well. All of the suffering people who choose mind-altering substances to alleviate their suffering in an effort to distract, avoid, deny, numb out, etc., from feeling and knowing what kind of pain they are in....often discover even more suffering. 

Third, Why? If you believe in God. Why, would the earth and all the people be created just to suffer? Since we have already established that it is happening. Many people feel the need to understand what's happening and to make sense of the God element of the equation. 

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I can say that I believe there is purpose in suffering and that is: To inspire learning and growth. I believe we come into this world into a particular body, into a particular family, into a particular culture, into a particular region, because that "life" would provide the opportunity to suffer in a particular way that could/would lead to the particular growth needed/desired by that particular soul. Not everyone responds to their life experiences by choosing to grow, but they certainly have the opportunity.

When you consider the "how people deal with it" question. It is obvious that there are some people who deal with suffering in a manner that is all about becoming a better person, a more enlightened person and there are others who are brought down by it. 

A good example of this dicotomy comes from Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search For Meaning in which he says, "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way."

Ultimately, this is what I believe suffering is all about: to find that spark of humanness in the midst of our instinctual human reactions that enables us to rise above, regardless of the circumstances.

Singing is Not Required.


It seems in our fast-paced society and busy lives there is often a tendency to skip over one of the most important parts of processing a challenging experience. That is to express yourself. Not only that, it is not necessarily easy to find someone who is skilled at listening much less comfortable with whatever feelings you need to express. So, many people just don't, and begin to emass an incredible load of unexpressed emotions and experiences.

Many years ago, I found myself with such a load of unresolved, unexpressed emotions which I had gathered over many decades. It seemed like it had gotten so heavy that it was leaking out. So, when the opportunity arose I signed up for a workshop called, "The Mastery of Self-Expression" which was being taught by two people from the entertainment industry with a vague hope of relief.

We were asked to bring a "performance" piece which we would perform in front of the entire group and be coached through the process of breaking down any barriers to full and authentic expression. I had chosen a piece that even I viewed as a cop-out but seemed like the best I could do at the time. 

As I watched my classmates get up one-by-one and witnessed the process they were being coached through, I realized that I needed to dig deeper.  So, in the moment, I decided to change my performance piece and sing a song that I knew by heart and felt would authentically reveal what I was feeling. It was the song "Listen" from the musical Dreamgirls.

When my turn came, I nervously took the stage, very aware that I hadn't practiced but chose to trust the process. With no accompanying music, I sang, and as I did, I tapped into years of pain and heartache. I didn't worry about how it sounded (pretty sure I butchered it) but focused instead on the words and the feelings they conveyed. I let all of it flow freely through me.

When I finished, the entire class jumped to their feet in a standing ovation.The two instructors looked at each other and simply said, "Wow!" They had no words of coaching for me, nothing I should have done differently because what I expressed said it all. It was an incredibly validating and healing experience.

I encourage you to express what you need to express. Singing is not required.

As a professional "listener," I support people in expressing their unresolved and unprocessed feelings. Please click here: to contact me to schedule coaching or counseling services.

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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