is a certified trainer of the Center for Nonviolent Communication who has a passion for weaving together neuroscience knowledge and experiences of healing that unify people with their brains and bodies. She aims to integrate teachings from brain science and the use of resonant language to help heal trauma. Based on her belief that language is the starting point for the movement towards self-warmth, Sarah offers healing experiences using the precision and resonant language that have come alive to her through her long-term study of nonviolent communication, together with 3D body-centered explorations of families over generations (through family constellation work).
"Once we start learning about neuroscience," Sarah says, "we find out how emotional trauma creates self-blame and isolation, and gets in the way of gentleness with the self. We humans are uniquely vulnerable to emotional harm, but we are also uniquely available to hold each other and ourselves with warmth and resonance in ways that re-establish real relationship and engage our brains' capacity for healing."
Sarah teaches and lectures internationally, and is the author of the book Your Resonant Self: Guided Meditations and Exercises to Engage Your Brain’s Capacity for Healing,
published by Norton Publishing in September of 2017. Sarah "hopes ... we can use warm language to support and accompany ourselves and that our brain can grow and heal at any age, increasing our resilience and enjoyment of life."
In her work, Sarah draws from her own personal experiences: "I used to struggle with brutal depression… deadening, heavy sadness that made it hard to muster the energy to take a shower or even brush my teeth. Back then, I was in constant battle with a savagely self-critical inner voice that told me I was worthless, stupid, and unlovable. I didn’t realize that my depression made SO much sense given my childhood experiences of family that didn’t provide warm, nourishing relationships. I’m here today to share what I’ve learned since then about how to heal past pains and move into a joyful relationship with ourselves. Regardless of your age, genetic predisposition or adverse childhood experiences, your brain is capable of building new neural fibers to help self-regulate your emotions and awaken your body as a place of safety and security."
Join us in conversation with Sarah Peyton to learn more!
Five Questions with Sarah Peyton
What Makes You Come Alive?
There is nothing like watching people's faces light up when they "get" self-compassion. My favorite thing to hear people say after they've read the book or been to a workshop is "My brain makes sense!" We often walk through the world blaming ourselves for the aftereffects of trauma we think that we have character flaws, when in actuality we have perfectly normal reactions to hard times and to being what I call "unaccompanied." This means that we haven't had the combination of warmth and precise understanding that lets us know that we belong to the human race.
Pivotal turning point in your life?
The most pivotal moment for me was the first time I received empathy guesses in the Nonviolent Communication tradition. It was the first time that I really received the feedback that I might make sense. Before that, whenever I felt anything, my universal experience was of being told that I was wrong to feel whatever it was, and to think about it differently. This radical moment was the sea change for me. Everything else followed.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
The greatest act of kindness I have ever received was being wholeheartedly adopted when I was 19 years old by my friend Penny Walden. She became my greatest protector and advocate, and she changed my life.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
To take a couple of months and live in Interior Alaska again, where I grew up. To feel the rhythm of that particular nature and those particular people and the easy social movement there. I miss that landscape every day.
One-line Message for the World?
Heal your words, heal your brain!