Phases of the Moon, the newsletter of the Maine NVC Network
Volume Nine, Issue One: ACEs: What's That?

Our newsletter appears approximately once a month. Our purpose is to contribute to the NVC learning of people who have taken at least an NVC Level 1 workshop, and help us stay connected as we endeavor to deepen a culture of peace within ourselves, our families and the world. We believe a Level 1 offers so many new ways of thinking that additional support for learning and integration could be helpful.

We endeavor to make each edition informative, connecting, inspiring and fun. Please let us know how the newsletter might contribute to your NVC well-being. Email: newsletter at


ACEs: What's That?

by Peggy Smith

In the 1980’s Kaiser Permanente’s1 obesity clinic found that about half their participants were dropping out of the program even though they were losing weight. Interviewing the "drop outs" brought the discovery that at least half of the people interviewed had experienced childhood sexual abuse.

Since then a growing field of research has focused on childhood trauma and its long-term effects on learning, behavior and health throughout life. These traumas were given the name Adverse Childhood Experiences (or ACEs).

Further studies are showing us that

ACEs can have tremendous effects on a person’s ability to learn and/or conform to social norms (such as sitting still in school). They can have long term effects on how our immune systems work increasing the likelihood of physical diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Are you curious? Would you like a sense of what these ACEs are?

The original ACEs study measured

Take a moment for self awareness and self-care. Do you notice tension arising in any parts of your body? Turn your awareness to that tension. Can you smile warmly to that tension and imagine bathing it with all the love and tenderness a frightened child would enjoy? Bringing more oxygen into your body by breathing with full attention.


When I show an ACEs list to the men I work with who are incarcerated, there is often a deep and powerful silence. I hear things like, "I have all of these." Or "Its easier to pick out which don’t apply to me than all that do." As a society we are paying a heavy price.

Are you ready for some good news? Organizations are beginning to pay attention to this research. Some schools, some social service and some law enforcement agencies are learning about trauma and its effects. Trauma-informed responses are being tried with healthful results.

The brain has tremendous capacity for healing, given the proper supports. AND, NVC practiced in a warm and welcoming way is an ally for restoring and maintaining brain health. We are fortunate that this March Sarah Peyton will be returning to Maine for an extended teaching engagement. Sarah is a self-proclaimed neuroscience geek and a certified NVC trainer. Sarah has a passion for digesting the current research and making it understandable for the rest of us. You can begin to absorb Sarah’s work through her book, Your Resonant Self: guided meditations & exercises to engage our brain’s capacity for healing. AND you can study with her through her online learning offerings or right here in Maine this March.

In Maine we have a group dedicated to increasing trauma awareness and pro-active responses to it, the Maine Resilience Building Network brings together professionals from diverse fields to support each other’s learning and effectiveness. They are co-sponsors of Sarah’s events in March.

1 Kaiser Permanente is a health maintenance organization based in California

Suggestions for Practice

  1. Use your feelings & needs cards about how you are right now having read this article.
  2. Engage with Sarah Peyton’s book, Your Resonant Self
  3. Participate directly with Sarah’s work either online or at a workshop
  4. Participate in the next series of the Maine NVC Integration Program, beginning Sept. 2018.
  5. Watch this video, in which Sarah demonstrates three approaches to calming anxiety, Using neurobiology-informed practices.

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Upcoming Trainings

Trainings listed here are in the Maine region. If you wish to list an event, please follow our guidelines for submission. Please note that both certified and non-certified trainers, (who are willing to follow certain requirements of the Center for Nonviolent Communication), may be leading the posted trainings. Listing here does not imply endorsement by the Maine NVC Network of the trainer or the event.

Special Opportunities:

January 26-28, 2018, Nobleboro, ME
Bringing Mindful Speech To Life
Seventh annual weekend of mindfulness with
Dharma Teacher Peggy Smith and Theodate Lawlor,
Members of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Tiep Hien Order

Online registration here.
After completing your registration, a screen will appear with payment options.
If you prefer not to use the online process, you can print and mail this form.
FMI: printable pdf / or email: peggy at / phone: 207-789-5299

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

March 7-11, 2018, Belfast, ME
Returning by popular request!
Sarah Peyton, international author and teacher,
will be teaching in Maine for the third time, with a range of offerings.

  1. March 7-9: Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): What Neuroscience & NVC Have to Offer
    FMI (printable pdf)
  2. The following options may be taken as add-ons following the above 3-day workshop.
    Also, Sexuality in the Brain may be taken as a stand-alone IF you have completed a 3-day workshop with Sarah Peyton at an earlier time.
    Family Constellations in Action may be taken as a stand-alone by anyone.
    • March 10: Sexuality in the Brain: Healthy Development & Trauma Recovery / FMI
    • March 11: Family Constellations in Action / FMI

Online Registration & Payment here. / Mail-in registration here. (printable pdf)

Please Note:
The deadline for registration AND PAYMENT is FEBRUARY 23, 2018.

Also, there will be no refunds made after Feb. 23. If you find it necessary to cancel your registration BEFORE Feb. 23, your payment will be refunded minus a $20 handling fee. Thank you for your cooperation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Level 1:

Feb 2-4, 2018, Norway, ME
Speaking Peace

taught by Leah Boyd
FMI & Registration

March 23-24, 2018, Falmouth, ME
Deep Listening

taught by Leah Boyd
FMI & Registration

April 28-29, 2018, Lewiston, ME
Speaking Peace

taught by Leah Boyd
FMI & Registration

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

is now open for enrollment.

FMI & Registration


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  • Monthly Empathy Circle:
    Belfast, ME
    Second Friday of each month, 10am-1pm
    (formerly first Friday)
    25 Village Rd, Belfast
    You are welcome to come when you can.
    If this is your first time coming, please contact Linda beforehand:
    Phone 207-322-2122
    email: chezcote5 at

  • Authentic Communication Groups
    Falmouth, ME

    with Andrea Ferrante, trainer and coach
    Two groups meet biweekly, one on alternate Wednesdays; the other on alternate Mondays.
    Authentic Communication Groups are coaching groups designed to open you up to an approach to living that offers greater peace, personal empowerment, and conscious connection to that which sustains and enriches life.

  • See also the Practice Groups page.


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Moon rise Freedom
Valerie Porter

With every option there were walls–
They fell at each opening,
And it was choice at any cost
A burn for talking
No food to save money, or lose weight.
No empathy to control my feelings
Locked myself up in a mental box to keep safe.

And this, this arrived like a liberating force.
Unrecognizable at first, and compassionate.
Our shields lowered,
And our weapons gently fell to our side
We kneeled as the force sunk into the heart
As I met the truth about myself.
Choice at any cost.
At first there was disbelief – then rage.
And grief after years of fighting.

And the moon rose from the sea,
Illuminating the night sky. . .
I began to feel freedom.

Valerie Porter is an artist & poet, survivor of extensive ACEs, participant in Maine NVC Integration Program, and a dedicated self-healer.


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Special Announcements

  • Scholarship Fund for the Maine NVC Integration Program! By supporting a scholarship fund for the Maine NVC Integration Program, you will be helping bring together a more diverse group of people to experience this life-changing program, thus helping foster greater compassion and harmony individually and collectively. Please join us in supporting this fund in order to include individuals who otherwise would not be able to attend. Our goal is to raise $21,000. Contribute HERE

  • Sarah Peyton has launched a website for her recently released book, Your Resonant Self. You can order the book and sign up for FREE meditations from Sarah.

  • Parsons Scholarship Fund
    Making it possible for professionals from Maine’s lower income areas to attend Sarah Peyton's March workshop on Transforming Adverse Childhood Experiences
    Details will be sent out in a separate email within the next few days.


Paid Announcement

Clarity Services, LLC
Now Accepting Clients

Helping groups of people think together collaboratively and effectively. Free 30 minute initial consultation:
email: leah at


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