By Virginia Beck

ArtworkThis fabulous artwork was created by Page Hodel in honor of her partner who died of ovarian cancer. Every Monday, when Madelene stepped out of her door, a gorgeous artwork lay at her feet, made from flowers and lots of love.

After Madelene was gone, Page found a way to take her love and make these everlasting images of beauty to share with others. Four hundred and seven hearts later, love lives on.

February is love-and-hearts month, my favorite. Love is at the heart of all our work, no matter what.

The beauty of aloha and ‘ohana is the extraordinary power of community teamwork.

Teamwork begins when we all work together, because we love results, what our work creates. Personalities take a backseat when the drive to succeed shows up. The wisdom of the heart is that you begin to enjoy your work more and more, as results are achieved.

Someone once told me, “Work is love made visible.” It is the way your life force shows up in the world as the things you create and produce for your family, loved ones and others.

It turns out that job satisfaction takes more than just money. It isn’t just your time you are spending; it’s your life. Experts have found that heart attacks are more common on Monday mornings, as people return to stressful situations, so we need more self-care to manage our hearts.

Stress itself is not always bad. It depends on what we do with it. Can you channel a sense of urgency into more productivity or exercise? Can you take a walking break outside at lunchtime? Can you burn the uncomfortable feelings of stress away in exercise, swimming or yoga? Coffee with a friend to talk things over does a world of good. But alcohol, more than one drink a day, is not good for the heart. Smoking and drugs are bad for the heart.

Paying close attention to ourselves, as we do our work, can give us a sense of presence that steadies and calms us. It lowers our heart rate and blood pressure. Taking a few mindful, deep breaths in the middle of busy work scenes really does work.

When we are really attending to the other person, our hearts rhythms actually start to change. Paddling a canoe, the more closely the paddlers get into rhythm, the more the canoe starts to fly across the water. Dancing, the music helps dancers’ heart rates to synchronize. Musicians begin to jam together. A baby resting next to your heart hears beating and calms down. The best thing in the world for any baby is a calm mother.

Virginia Beck

Virginia Beck

We think we don’t want to talk about love in ordinary things, but what gives us the energy and the inspiration to keep going when things are tough? It is the aloha our ‘ohana and family share with us.

Whether you are the mayor, a councilperson, a nurse, an engineer, a teacher or construction worker, a senior, a mom, a teen, we all share one island, one planet. Please take care of your hearts with lower fat and more exercise, drug-free.

You are the only one of you we have. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Page Hodel has a website,, where you can see more of the hearts she made for Madalene. The proceeds benefit the Women’s Cancer Research Center in Oakland.

  • Virginia Beck, NP, Certified Trager Practitioner®, does private Wellness Consulting and Trager ® practice at the YWCA Women’s Center in Lihu She is part of the Women’s Health Team at West Kaua‘i Clinics, and can be reached at 635-5618.

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