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 breathe and stay present in the moment.

Quote: "It's not stress that kills us, but our reaction to it." -Hans Selye

Newsletter archives:

September 2019 - Loving Yourself/Inner Child

August 2019 - Rising Anxiety/Calming

July 2019 - Belonging/Empathy & Presence


Certified Aromatherapist

I have recently completed yet more training and am now 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.

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!

Stress in Relationships

It's challenging as individuals to deal with the world being a scary place. When we deal with stress and fear on an individual basis however, our relationships may suffer as well.  

Stress is an interesting animal. There have been so many things written about it and how it effects us. While there are all the physical effects triggered by the release of hormones such as raised heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate, there are also interesting things going on in our brains. The oldest part of the brain, sometimes called the reptilian brain is directing our actions. While this is an instinctual process designed to enable us to survive as a species, as individuals our perception of the danger determines what we do. Our perception of our  level of personal power influences this.

If you perceive that you are more powerful than the danger you will feel compelled to fight. Your blood and hormones will move to your upper body, your arms and torso. You will likely feel anger.

If you perceive that you are less powerful than the danger, you will feel compelled to flee. Your blood and hormones will move to your lower body, your legs and you will likely feel anxiety.

If you perecive that you have no course of action to effect the danger, in other words you have no escape and there's no way to fight it, you will typically freeze. Your mind and body will shut down in a sense, and wait for instructions. Just like your computer does when it has received too much input too quickly.

If you are in a close relationship with another person whether that person is your spouse, children, friend, co-worker, etc, your brain may possibly fixate on someone close to you as the cause of your danger, pain or issue and suddenly you are flooded with hostility towards that person.

For example: One day several years ago, my daughter opened the back door and my cat ran out. My little dog, seeing the cat started chasing her. She turned and ran to the nearest "safe" place which happened to be an Italian Cypress tree. If you have ever seen an Italian Cypress tree, they are like bushes that grow straight up, in this case about 50' feet. My cat is now 40' up one of these very tall bushes and is too terrified to come down. My first instinct is to yell at my daughter.

Continue reading below...

My brain perceived my daughter as being the cause of the stress and perceived me as being at least as powerful as my daughter. I was flooded with stress hormones, all of which equals fight. Fortunately, because I have worked at changing my reaction to stress I didn't yell at my daughter.

Through the course of the next 26 hours, we tried numerous strategies to get the cat down including calling the fire department (no, they don't do this anymore.) Long story short, eventually a couple of male friends hacked their way up 40 feet into that tree and physically grabbed the cat. All is well, all are safe (except for the tree.) Danger, stress, over!

Throughout that 26 hours however, I continually had to work on maintaining myself to avoid yelling at my daughter. My biology, my brain, my perception, my experience in life taught me that this is the way to deal with stress. As I'm sure you can see, yelling would not have gotten the cat down any faster. And while my daughter opened the door, it was an accident, not intentional.

I'm wondering if you can relate to this in any way? Have you experienced stressors in your own life that conveniently get vented on the people close to you? Do you find yourself feeling hostile and blaming others for things whether or not they are at fault?

To change the way we deal with stress first requires calming the nervous system. In my August 2019 edition, Rising Anxiety I discuss several steps to calming.

If you would like to learn more about strategies that can help with calming, email me to learn more about Health Coaching.

Click here to find out more
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