Three Steps to Heart-Based Living

By Ronna Prince

Creator, executive producer, songwriter of the new film Sacred Journey of the Heart

Dive in, tune in, lighten up!

It seems we are inundated with messages about living in the heart. It’s the latest catchphrase. But really, what does it all mean?  It means living in balance with emotions and thoughts. It means allowing one’s heart to lead the way in decision making and actions. It does not mean letting unchecked feelings rule your life. But it also means not letting unexpressed feelings limit your interaction and connection with others.

Most of us have been brought up to be logical and rational, to hide our emotions and just “get over it.” The problem with this is that we really can’t solve today’s problems, problems that were created by analytical and mind-based approaches. I’m convinced that the analytical approach is what got us to where we are today, in many of the distressing situations we see in our own lives, communities, and on a global scale.

So the question is: How do we really embrace heart-based living and be effective as leaders and decision makers in these times of change? I believe we can do this by using a heart-based approach that has been distilled to three simple steps: Dive in, tune in, and lighten up. It really is a simple process. It starts with a choice to go into the heart-based feelings and explore what is there. I have found that if you can’t or won’t do that, you’re putting a veneer over the truth of your existence. Mastering emotions through the heart is the key to this time of intense transition. When we check into our hearts, we tend to make wiser and more compassionate choices. And with that, we live more peaceful and connected lives.

Step 1: The first step is to have the willingness to dive into the emotions locked inside the heart. This does not mean re-experiencing the traumas of the past. Rather, it is to acknowledge that your heart had to shut down in the past as a way of dealing with the hurts that all humans experience to one extent or another. In diving in to the heart (step 1), we are really just allowing the awareness of feelings and emotions to surface. In this step, we dive in to touch what’s been locked inside. We follow the breath into our hearts and listen. We can ask, “What’s in my heart?” Usually it’s a two- or three-word message that bubbles up, such as: “I’m afraid,” or “be careful,” or “go for it!”

Step 2: The next step is to tune into the feelings behind these initial pearls of heart-wisdom. “What is my heart telling me?” If you hear: “I’m afraid” or “Be careful,” your heart is informing you that you need to spend some time allowing the associated emotional imprints to emerge. We do that by feeling whatever is there and accepting the feeling no matter what it is: fear, anger, sadness, depression, happiness, joy. Tune into it, and allow it to move and flow.

As we allow ourselves to tune into these emotional states, we move the energy. When energy moves, there is room for heart-wisdom to emerge. Tuning into the heart takes practice, because we’re used to turning to the mind to find our answers. But the truth is that our hearts know. Our minds will rationalize or justify. But the authentic tuned-in feelings of our hearts will always lead us to compassionate and wise choices.

Step 3: The final step in this three-part formula is: Lighten up! This is an essential part of the three-step process. It means that after we do some intense emotional healing, we consciously choose to relax, enjoy, and embrace the gifts in life. At first, we have to really focus on this and make it a priority, because in dealing with emotions, we can easily get stuck in a state of perpetual healing and forget to enjoy each day.


So in this final step, we commit to looking around us and seeing beauty and joy, even if it’s just a small thing, such as a flower or a bird’s song or the smile of a loved one. Living in the heart is a balanced place, and in that balance, we make room for more joy and peace, not by ignoring but by embracing the wisdom of the heart.

Ronna Prince is the filmmaker behind the extraordinary new film Sacred Journey of the Heart. An official selection at the LA Femme Film Festival and featured at Sedona International and Awareness Fest Film Festivals, Sacred Journey of the Heart is a powerful and inspiring documentary that traces the role of the heart in connecting us to our higher selves, our spiritual essence, each other, the planet, and the cosmic design. The heart is the single organ that not only creates a unified field among all people, but that also creates a harmonic field with the Earth itself. The compelling film reveals how modern science is proving what ancient peoples have known all along: We are all connected—and that connection is the human heart. Featuring such luminaries and best-selling authors as Greg Braden, Joe Dispenza, Mary Morrissey, Colin Tipping, Sarah McLean, plus Dr. Rollin McCraty and Dr. Deborah Rozman of HeartMath, along with an array of other spiritual leaders, indigenous elders, and scientists, the film is designed to give people new tools to achieve a state of “heart-centered balance” so they can create a peaceful state of connection in their own lives. For more information or to see the trailer, go to