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 am productive, energized and inspired.

Quote: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” - Mark Twain

Newsletter archives:

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!

Eat a Toad for Breakfast

Consider how many tasks you have on your "To-do" list whether or not you write them down. Some of those things have likely been there for a very long time. Chances are there are some minor items like: Sew on a button, clean out the birdfeeder or tighten a screw. You may also have some more significant items on that list, such as: Research Graduate schools, make an appointment to see a doctor, lose ? lbs., write a book.

There are a lot of reasons we don't do these things, or at least put them off. Interestingly, we have a fear mechanism in the brain that is engaged whenever we attempt to make changes in our lives. Think New Year's Resolutions starting out with enthusiasm and intention and then reverting back to old behaviors within a few days. That fear mechanism employs self-sabotaging behavior when it gets engaged that makes it really challenging when we want to make changes even when we view them as being for our good, like exercise, following a healthy eating plan, and meditation.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” This quote from Mark Twain inspired others to consider the benefits that can come by doing what you least want to do first. After that, everything else seems easy. This is a principle used in coaching which I utilize when faced with something I really want to do or believe I need to do and can't seem to get myself to do.

To this point during Shelter-in-Place, I have been working full-time outside my home. While I know many people have cabin fever and want to be out and about, I have been craving time at home. Over the next two weeks, I'm staycationing. This is the perfect time to experiment by "Eating a Toad for Breakfast."

The activities that count as Eating a Toad, are the things you otherwise would put off. Maybe they're not fun. Maybe they're connected to a vision for moving in a different direction in your life. Maybe it's something related to your health like exercise or losing weight. I have several activities that I want to accomplish in the next two weeks. More than anything I want to feel productive. So the experiment is: I don't allow myself to play or do the fun things until I have spent some time doing the Toad tasks.

Continue reading below...


Kaizen is a Japanese term which means improvement. It was first employed by western consultants and Japanese manufacturing companies after WWII in an effort to rebuild the Japanese economy. The power of Kaizen is that it focuses on small, incremental changes. Eventually, these changes accumulate to produce positive, measurable change.

The concept of Kaizen has been adapted to the Coaching field because when it is used for personal change it also results in supporting the changes we really want to make but can't because of fear. Robert Maurer, Ph.D. who wrote a book about it called "One Small Step, the Kaizen Way," says, "All changes, even positive ones, are scary. Attempts to reach goals through radical or revolutionary means often fail because they heighten fear. But the small steps of Kaizen disarm the brain's fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play."

When you make a small, incremental change it bypasses the fear mechanism in your brain. When you continue to work these small changes you start to make progress and pretty soon you see results and suddenly you've completed this task which has eluded you up to this point.

I am, without a doubt a person who is largely driven by getting things done. There is a great sense of accomplishment for me when that happens. Rather than just having a list of things I never get to that weighs on me, nags at me, drains my energy, I like the thrill of checking off a completed task. Coaching is all about doing the things you really want to do while working to overcome the obstacles that prevent that from happening.

So, back to my experiment. Here's how it works:

Identify the activity you want or need to accomplish. Figure out what the first step would be. Ask yourself what needs to happen even before that. Start with the smallest step that moves you forward with that task. You don't have to spend hours, but at least a bit of time each day...Then identify what your reward will be. Maybe it's watching TV or going onto Social Media. I recommend staying away from eating rewards for obvious reasons.

Doing an experiment like this helps to create movement and momentum. Do it long enough and it creates a new habit. When I employ this principle I get to reap the bigger rewards in my life by accomplishing the things that matter to me...because ultimately, my goal is to fulfill my purpose in life.

If you are interested in making changes in your life 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