Instead, they point to the power of the unconscious to rule us. But it doesn't have to be this way!
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Happy New Year Marisa!

It's around this time of year that many of us begin to terrorize ourselves with tyrannical resolutions like:

"I will lose weight!"
"I won’t work 80 hours a week!"
"I will take better care of myself."
"I won’t eat sugar."
"I will exercise more."

Are these sentences familiar to you?

Familiar for the sense of hope that comes from new beginnings? And maybe familiar because this is the 3rd, or 30th, year in a row that you have heard yourself or others making these promises to self, only to find that by January 15 life is exactly what it was on Dec. 30?

Why do we do this? Why do we enter new spaces in time with new hopes and new resolutions, only to crash and burn, time after time?

Mostly our crashes and burns and disappointed resolutions come from something even more powerful than fragile new hope: unconscious contracts for self-care that have been in place for a very long time, often since our earliest days.

How can we lose weight, for example, if we have a contract to make sure we never feel the slightest hint of hunger ever again?

How can we start exercising if we have a contract to make sure that no one, even ourselves, ever tells us what to do again?

The repeated experience of unfulfilled resolutions is NOT evidence of your lack of self-discipline! Instead, it points to the power of the implicit to rule us.

The word "implicit" is roughly identical to the word "unconscious," and many neuroscientists believe that the territory of the implicit is the entire right hemisphere – half of our brain.

No wonder it is so powerful!  And no wonder we can sink our own best resolutions immediately out of the starting gate. (Or by January 15!)

The power of the deep seas of implicit movement are the currents that move us – and when we cannot access them with our conscious awareness, we are helpless against them.

What gives us a foothold in working with the implicit is learning to name and swim with the deep currents of attachment, life energy and non-verbal relationality that are so vital to our essential core of being.

When we learn to name what has been unnamed, in ways that are not reductive, but are rather appreciative and allow for the flow of language between the solidifying left hemisphere with its quotidian approach to meaning, and the metaphorical, poetic, reverberating right hemisphere, then we are able to claim all parts of self as wanted, even the parts that we are not yet acquainted with.

This openness and fluidity allows us to swim in the seas of our own unconsciousness without drowning.

If you find yourself trying in vain each year to create change, and you're ready to uncover a gentle way of working with, not against yourself, to bring flow and movement to even the most persistently stuck places, please consider joining me for a 6-week online course that begins January 9th:

This 2019 course will meet Wednesdays, January 9 – March 6 (6 sessions) from

This 6-session, online course will meet from January 9th - February 13th, 2019 from 5:00- 6:30pm Pacific (California) Time (Recordings available for those who cannot make the live meetings!)

address the unconscious contracts that occur along the edges of our circuits of motivation and emotion, including understanding the self-sabotaging ways that we limit our own sexuality, our life energy and ability to connect with others.

This Self-Sabotage online course includes 6 weeks of deep-diving into, and working with, our unconscious patterns, giving us a change to see and clear the blocks to our own life energy, and to learn the skills and tools to take us toward full-engagement, empowered living:

  • Week 1: Finding the patterns in our self-sabotage
  • Week 2: Linking self-sabotage to early childhood experience, loss and loneliness
  • Week 3: Self-sabotage and life energy: telling the difference between anger and predatory aggression, learning to weave and temper our seeking
  • Week 4: Self-sabotage, our fears and the ways we care too much
  • Week 5: Self-sabotaging our sexual well-being and interconnectedness
  • Week 6: Self-sabotage and healing our flow of life energy, sexuality and joy

$392 includes all recordings.

PS: Registration includes a Free Bonus Gift (Valued at $100): As part of this course registration, you'll receive free access to the Your Resonant Self Book Study Recordings! This is a prerecorded video course that moves through the key concepts of Sarah's book, Your Resonant Self, in 16 sessions, 1 session per chapter. This is a sweet, go-at-your-own-pace kind of course that introduces to you, in simple terms, to the core neurobiology insights and frameworks from the book.

Every month I present the latest brain science research on how empathy and interpersonal neurobiology can support us in well-being in a variety of ways. Here's the full roster of planned topics for next year's monthly webinars, including:

JOY: How can we support its growth, recognize it and nourish it so that it sustains us?

ANXIETY: last year Sarah offered an anxiety webinar that discussed the difference between Fear and Grief-Panic-based anxiety... since then she's uncovered two additional foundations of anxiety: imbalances in the endocannabinoid system and experiences of contradicting narratives and world-views (especially when the narratives come from an authority figure.) Join Sarah for an exploration of the new neuroscience of anxiety, and how empathy and resonance point the way toward very clearly toward relief once we know the origin of our discomfort.

DEPRESSION: When depression hits, it is a blow to our life energy. Why? What is happening in the brain at these times? And do we have any recourse? Is it possible to leverage what we know about neuroscience and resonant language to have an effect?

And more!

Each month you can join the webinar for a drop-in fee of $20, but if you like enough of the topics, consider buying the full 2019 series for just $120 ($100 off the cost if you purchased each as a drop-in)!

PS -  $170 $120 is a special price available to newsletter subscribers.

Check out the topics HERE and click the button "REGISTER FOR THE 2019 SERIES," then use the discount code 2019everything at check-out :)


I recently sat down with my dear friend Eric Bowers, an artist, author and certified NVC trainer to talk about everything from parenting, to creativity, to poetry and language:

In this far-reaching interview we discuss:
  • Creativity, my background as an actor and translator, growing up in Alaska
  • The beautiful mystery of how resonance, including right-hemispheric words, poetry and songs can speak our deepest truths.
  • How NVC entered my life, how I discovered IPNB, attachment theory, and family constellations
  • My challenges with parenting and how NVC and my own healing work changed my approach to parenting, especially how to use a relational approach to work with difficult behavior

You can see this interview, as well as other free resources, on my YouTube channel. Please subscribe if you'd like to be notified when I release new content!
If you get excited imagining a 3-dimensional, experiential and participatory exploration of how trauma and past pain can live in individuals AND entire family systems and how to untangle it, please consider joining me in Vancouver, WA (30 minutes outside Portland, OR) in January, 2019 for this 1-day constellations event.

There will be 4 constellations total, determined by
lottery among the participants. Last year we had almost 40 people, which makes for a very rich field to explore the convergence of what we are learning about relationships and the brain, and how we can use resonant language and family constellations to create pathways for healing and well-being. $150 for the day. Read more and sign-up here.

In a culture that feels increasingly fragmented and divided, with challenges that invite us into the most serious action and commitment, we long to feel connected, supported, and open to each other in our diversity. To really be there for ourselves and each other.

Healing can be defined as bringing together parts that have been separated. We move from a kind of fragmentation that happens in the face of great strife, whether in communities or within the individual soul, to the reparation that naturally occurs when we commit to truly seeing one another — and ourselves — with compassion.

Our theme this year, A Call To Optimism: From Isolation to Resilience, is an invitation to rediscover the power of the shared space in which all are welcome and to rise up to declare the full force of love. It is an invitation to walk in the company of caring others as we seek out the wisdom of our ancestors to move forward more boldly and in greater unity.

Learn more on Sarah's website here. PS - Super Early-bird pricing ends January 10th
Next March, Sarah will return to Belfast, Maine to give a 3-day workshop on healing childhood trauma and addiction, and a 1-day workshop on Constellations.

Read more about the ACES event here, and the Constellation event here.

If you follow Sarah's work and you've wondered about the modality we call "Systemic Constellations" or "Family Constellations", this workshop is the perfect place to start!

In this workshop, the focus will on be learning to clear the blocks to well-being and movement through constellation.  Participants will work together to uncover:

  • What are the elements of relational neuroscience that illuminate constellation work?
  • What IS constellation work, exactly? Why does it work?  
  • How can constellations respond most fully and responsibly to people’s longings and the riddles of life constellation seekers carry that are often tangled, where it's not at all evident how to set up the field?

This event can be attended as a stand-alone if desired, but is intended to be part of a year-long Masterclass Series.



We have two ways that we use our brain: one is to get things done, and one is to be in relationship with others, with self and with the world. If we try to use the language that gets things done (giving advice, rational logic and weighing options) to heal and talk to ourselves and others when we are in pain, we never move into relational space; we stay in the "instrumental brain." But when we use language that lights up the right hemisphere, like poetry. needs guesses, body sensations and feelings, it enlivens the right hemisphere and allows us to access gentleness and warmth, to create movement in our most pained, stuck places.

This course uses interpersonal neurobiology to explain how to use the language of the right hemisphere to access our innate, human capacity for deep resonance with ourselves and each other. $75 per person, and you can sign-up with a friend for free!


Do you long to be a more full and free version of yourself? Do you sometimes feel stuck and unsure how to move forward?

Have you read and integrated much of the self-warmth from the book "Your Resonant Self," and do you still have difficulty with fully nourishing your Resonating Self-Witness? 

Do you wish to be free from your self-sabotaging or self-destructive behaviors which keep you small and inhibit you from thriving?

How can we shift such deeply ingrained habits and thought patterns?

Registration is $245 and includes recordings... and more:


All online study group registrants will have access to monthly Relational Neuroscience and Empathy Webinars included for the (9-month) duration of the course!

Also, you're eligible to grab a copy of the recordings from the first
Your Resonant Self Book Course (which goes through each chapter focused on getting a baseline understanding of the book material) for just $25!

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Sarah Peyton | Empathy Brain
7720 NE Hwy 99
Suite D #482
Vancouver, WA 98665
United States