Below is a Q&A with Ronna Prince, filmmaker of Sacred Journey of the Heart…
1. What inspired you to make Sacred Journey of the Heart?
My initial inspiration came from a desire to contribute to a growing body of films on consciousness and spirituality. I felt that something was missing in this genre. For me, the missing piece was the heart and the importance of emotions in creating our reality. My clients and I had been working with the “law of attraction” and with affirmations, and we found that it just wasn’t working very well to create lasting change. I had been taking clients to sacred sites for a few years and noticed how emotions would flow and their hearts would open up during these trips. So I hatched the idea of filming a “sacred journey of the heart” to show others how powerful a heart-opening experience could be.
The original concept of the film then, was to show how people transformed as they visited sacred sites throughout the world. We began filming in Glastonbury, UK and in places like Stonehenge and the Chalice Well. What I discovered in viewing the initial edits from our director, Skip Thomas, was that I was the one in need of transformation! I looked stiff and scared and was obviously totally in my head when I was speaking. On camera, I was nowhere near being grounded and heart-centered. This “wake-up” call took the film into a new direction. As I went through my own journey to heart-healing and authentic presence, the film expanded into its current form. It now encompasses the theme of heart-centered living with both science and spiritual traditions contributing to demonstrate why it is so important at this time. More than just information, the film features a variety of techniques offered by well-known teachers and inspirational leaders on how to go about living in this way.
2. How did you go from being a corporate banker to an intuitive counselor and filmmaker?
You could say that the universe conspired to kick me out of my comfort zone! I loved my job as a mergers and acquisitions specialist in banking and would not have voluntarily given up this job. But a large corporate merger resulted in elimination of my position and I found myself searching for the next thing to do. I tried staying the world of finance and banking and actually succeeded in landing two more jobs in that industry. But through a series of “fortunate events’, I ended up choosing to leave the known and venture into the unknown path of serving others with my intuitive gifts. Ever since I was very young, I realized that I could see and hear, or intuit things that others did not. Things like who was calling on the phone before it was picked up, or knowing when someone was about to die. I could also sense the emotions people were hanging onto. Part of the choice to leave banking had to do with a mystical experience at age 13 as a result of a personal illness. As I was contemplating my death at 13, I became aware at a very deep knowing level that I would survive and go on to live a long and interesting life. And I also knew that I would have the opportunity to use my intuitive gifts at some point in order to help others. I always remembered that feeling that I would be “called”. I resisted it for a few years, but finally surrendered in 2003, leaving the world of finance behind. I easily transitioned to working with clients and leading workshops on consciousness and change. I’ve been doing this work ever since and loving it!
3· Can you tell us how lasting transformation can begin with the personal journey to your own heart?
As I mentioned in the previous question, I discovered that just thinking my way to transformation was not working. My clients (and me along with them!) would make some progress using mind-based techniques such as affirmations and visualizations but it seemed that we’d slide back to old patterns within a few weeks. I’m referring to issues such as creating new opportunities in career or healing relationship wounds or transforming emotions such as doubt and confusion into assurance and trust. There was always the feeling that we were trying to “make something happen”. I finally realized that this forcing/pushing energy was coming from the mind. Trying to think and visualize our way into transformation just wasn’t working. My clients would come back after a month or so with a similar pattern cropping up somewhere else or even reappearing in the same way. It wasn’t until we took a dive, as I did literally in the film, into our hearts that things started to shift in a different way. Going into one’s heart means diving into the feelings, exploring what’s there (tuning in) and transforming past hurts and resentments that are inevitably stored in the heart, into acceptance, understanding and even gratitude. Once we started moving into the emotions and the heart, the changes we experienced were more lasting and a sense of acceptance and peace created a very powerful foundation for lasting change. Without the our emotions involved, we were just treading water, waiting for ‘the next thing to happen’. When you choose to dive into your own heart, you truly begin the journey to lasting transformation.
4·What was the turning point for you to share your personal story of childhood of abuse in the film?
When I saw myself in the initial edits of the film looking so scared and frozen, I realized I had some deep personal work to do. I had been through years of talk therapy and a whole host of alphabet soup of alternative healing techniques: Psych-K. EFT, EMDR, and things like shamanic soul retrieval, past life regression, Rieki, and energy balancing of all sorts. While each technique helped me a bit, nothing ever really resulted in my feeling authentic, safe and present in my body. While the film was on hold, I discovered the work of Colin Tipping called Radical Forgiveness. Embracing Colin’s work and becoming certified as a Radical Forgiveness coach was the turning point for me personally, and then for the direction of the film. I realized that to show up authentically in Sacred Journey of the Heart as a teacher, I had to reveal my own struggles; I was being called to reveal the innermost secrets of my own heart. It was not an easy decision because I usually kept my past private. But in choosing to show up authentically in my film, I also chose to share what was really occurring for me in the process of making the movie. At about this point, all of us working on the film project realized that the film was not so much about what was being seen through the camera lens, but what the camera lens was reflecting back to us about our own hearts. During this same time, our director, Skip Thomas, was diagnosed with cancer. He too chose to reveal his story and his heart in the film. When we did this, the film transformed from a “talking heads” movie to a heart-opening inspirational documentary film about the power of emotions, expression and the healing journey to wholeness and love.
5. Will you describe how you felt “before” going on your own heart-based journey, and how you feel about yourself and life now?
With the perspective of time, I now recognize that I felt disconnected and distant, not just from people in my life, but from my own self. I “thought” I was doing fine, teaching and sharing my intuitive gifts. But I was doing this with a subtle wall between myself and others. And I was also living with this wall between my head and heart. I had created a series of defense mechanisms and safety valves so that I could function, but I was truly operating from a non-feeling zone most of the time. And when I did start to feel, and I mean any feeling –happiness, sadness, guilt, regret, I would just shut down and zone out. In retrospect, I felt like a robot on auto-pilot. As long as the program was running, I was safe, or so I thought.
When I dove into my heart-based journey, I let down my guard and let my true feelings come up. I did this with the step-by-step process of Radical Forgiveness. Like many survivors of trauma, I was deeply afraid that if I allowed myself to feel my buried feelings I would not be able to stop the pain. I avoided feelings because when I did allow myself to feel some of the buried emotions in the past I would get flooded by them or I would freeze up again. I now understand that this was a learned response and a great survival tool as a child. When I found the way to touch into my feelings without getting flooded or stuck, I began to experience my emotions as neither positive nor negative. I realized that actually feeling emotions is a key aspect of a rich and rewarding life. You’d think that would be obvious, but for many people it is not. We are taught at a very young age to dismiss our feelings. I was punished or ridiculed, like so many people, for expressing feelings so I shut them down. Now I tap into my feelings in a conscious way, no longer being tossed about by uncontrolled emotional outbursts or locked up by repressed feelings. I make a conscious connection between my heart and my head, and use a number of tools to move the energy of emotion through me in an intelligent and coherent way. The benefit is that now I feel all of my feelings and recognize that I have the power to choose just how long I will stay with a feeling. Today, I am grateful to experience emotions and thoughts as an integral part of my everyday life.
6. Why is the heart the single most powerful organ of our body?
This statement is made in the film by several of our experts. What we are referring to in the film is two aspects of the heart: 1) the measurable signal that is emitted from the heart and 2) the heart’s power to connect us all. Obviously, the brain is an incredibly powerful organ and serves a multitude of functions. But the heart emits a far more powerful and measurable signal into the field around us. The heart’s magnetic wave can be measured up to 8-10 feet from the body using a magnetometer whereas the brain signals can be measured only a few inches from the head. The heart’s electrical signal is also far more powerful than the brain’s signal. Some studies show that the heart’s electrical signal is 60x stronger than the brain’s. Secondly, studies have shown that our heart rhythms synchronize or entrain when we are in proximity with other people. As we revel in the film, studies have also shown that when there is a massive outpouring of human emotion, such as on 9-11, the electromagnetic fields of the earth are impacted by our collective emotions. The EMF of the earth, by the way, is an exact overlap of the EMF frequencies of the human heart. I invite you to view the film for more information and some stunning examples of how this works!
7. How can you consciously create a harmonic resonance with all those around you as well as with earth itself?
In becoming a licensed HeartMath practitioner I learned that there is a very easy way to create a heart-based connection with people. It’s a technique called Quick Coherence© and it consists of three easy steps: 1) Heart focus – simply focusing on the area of your heart, 2) Heart Breathing – imagining that you are breathing in and out through the heart and 3) Heart feeling- generating a feeling of gratitude and appreciation while talking to someone or just being in proximity to them. These three steps can result in a state called “entrainment” where people’s heart rhythms start to synchronize. This state can be achieved when only one person is doing thise 3 steps. I’ve experienced this in action many times as I’ve simply dropped into my own heart-coherent space and then watched as others calm down, start to engage more authentically with me, and then truly open their hearts. The real power of this becomes evident when you start to meditate or pray in groups at specific times. HeartMath’s Global Coherence Initiative is one place that you can connect to just this type of activity. On the full moon of every month, people from around the world gather over the internet to practice heart coherence and focus loving and caring feelings and thoughts to specific places in the world where there is conflict or tragedy. It is a wonderful way to connect to people all over the world from the heart and to realize that when we are doing this consciously, we are also connecting to the electro-magnetic fields of the earth, again, which are an exact overlap of the human heart’s EMF. When I join in this event each month, I feel that I am truly contributing to the possibility of peace and well-being on earth.
8. Gregg Braden discusses the findings from the GOES satellites and the observed electro-magnetic spike measured on earth at the time of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. What implications does this have for humanity and our survival as a species?
Gregg’s discussion of the EMF spike in the earth’s field on 9-11 implies that we truly do have the power to transform the problems we are faced with as societies, nations and as a global community. And that transformation must come from the collective power of our hearts. We now know that the heart has the strongest measurable signal in the body and that this signal overlaps the earth’s EMF. When we focus on caring for others and contributing to heart-based solutions we will move through our current challenges to creative solutions that benefit all people, not just the few. If we try to solve the problems we are facing now with our business-as-usual mental based solutions, the result will be more of the same. Just like in our own personal lives, when we discover heart-based solutions, the answers are clear, they contribute to inner balance and peace, and in most cases, all people are honored, respected and recognized as important.
9. How has this film changed you and others who watch it?
Making the film has changed me from a resentful and anxious person into someone who is trusting and accepting. I enjoy my life so much more and look forward to each day with a sense of wonderment, gratitude and curiosity. Many people have watched the film and at first, not quite known what to say. I now understand that to be a sign of a heart-opening experience. When the heart opens, at first there are no words. There is simply the feeling of something magical happening. I believe that this results from watching the film and seeing the confirmation of what we’ve intuitively known all along, we are connected, both to each other and to the earth. And the place of connection is the human heart. When this is confirmed in the film from both scientists and the leaders of many spiritual traditions, people are excited to apply these principles in their own lives and thus become agents of powerful transformation.