Live and Love Strong

ArtHOPE-Live and Love Strong
The Heart Resilient – Live and Love Strong

It takes strength to live and love because life is full of heavy lifting. The heart is a muscle that pumps the blood rich energy of life through our body to keep us living and it’s the center core of our loving. This powerful organ is about the size of your fist and is where the beat goes on with every breath in every moment of your lifetime. If you are ever out of balance, just listen to the heart’s “lub-dub, lub-dub” rhythm and entrain your breath and vibrational energy to the beat. Everyday living and loving keeps the heart rate in pace with our lows and highs, stresses and joys. It feels, opens, radiates, and sometimes breaks, and it always keeps us going. The heart strengthens with use – the more we live and love with stamina, the more we feel vitality and positive affect.
In February we celebrate all those loved on Valentine’s Day and it’s also American Heart Month. We recognize the family, friends and pets we care most about, and it’s a time to care for our own heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in America and is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths annually. Even though heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 killers of women, most of us are too busy loving and caring for others to believe that our heart is a health threat. More than 80% of fatalities are preventable with education, a good wellness routine and these simple lifestyle choices: 1) Live and eat healthy. 2) Learn the signs of heart attack and stroke. 3) Don’t smoke. 4) Start walking and maintain a fitness practice. 5) Recognize and reduce stress factors. If there is someone you love who needs a little nurture when is comes to affairs of the heart, both for physical and emotional well-being, give them a nudge toward healthful changes and habits that will help them live and love strong for many years to come. As hard as this may be, it is what the heart calls us to do.
Heart images symbolize the force of life and love, they are healing and give hope, like the wonderful painting that illustrates this post. The art is by Darlyne, a young woman who made it for the Art HOPE Community Mosaic Project, which is launching in April (stay tuned). What makes this heart so alive is the beauty and intention she put into her work. Our theme is creative wellness, and she said that painting was her most loved activity and it helped calm the chaos in her life. Creativity is a medium for relating what we think and feel in ways that express our true voice. Darlyne revealed to me that she was living in a shelter for abused women with her children, and that my painting class was the first thing she had done for herself in many years. She said it was liberating and she was determined to make art part of her new life. Her image tells the story of the human heart’s resiliency, and for Darlyne it’s a self-portrait of the love that gave her the strength to live. Heart-felt thanks to her for sharing this inspired art. Live and love strong everyday.