It’s mid-December, and in Northern New England, it’s dark.  It’s dark a lot.  Sunrise is just about 7:15, and sunset is just past 4:00.  That’s 9 hours of light, which decreases every day until the Solstice.  I hear groups of folks up here complain about the lack of light, especially when freezing rain or snow begins to fall. Some people get depressed living in this much cold and darkness, but there is light, both in the skies and in our hearts. We just have to embrace it.
Recently I read an article about how Norwegians celebrate their winters, even during the shortest days, with hardly any light in the sky.  They dress for it, get outside in it, have community gatherings to connect and keep from feeling isolated by it. They embrace it. They love it.
Our lives can feel mired in darkness, regardless of the season, when hepatitis C advances, causing liver disease, the rug is pulled from under us, and life becomes different than what is was.  
How about you?  Have you or someone you know, been bogged down by darkness from the changing seasons of life with hepatitis C? 
The Norwegians, like many Vermonters, have strategies for loving winter.  In your life, you can have strategies that help you love what you have and have learned. This can bring you more energy, vibrancy, and an overall improved life, instead of living with fear, isolation, or a sense of lost control.
Last week, I wrote about the power of mindfulness and meditation to relieve stress and improve the body’s ability to heal, along with deepened connections to the spiritual self and inner peace. 
Another strategy is to take a page from the Norwegians by getting outside to be with the beauty of nature.  Depending on your situation, you can walk in the woods or in a lovely urban space, try snowshoes in winter, or sit under a tree in the shade during warm months.  If at all possible, just get out there.
You can embrace and work with the changing seasons of your health and life, regardless of the changing outdoor seasons where you live.  
Working with strategies, such as being outside, exercising as tolerated, and practicing consistent meditation, can help your body and mind.  
By rolling up your sleeves and dedicating yourself to these solid strategies, you can love the life you live; not mourn for the life you had.
Put that smoothed rug back under your feet, and embrace the seasons of your changing life, as Norwegians do in the winter.
The reason I do health coaching is to help people through the dark times of health concerns.  I’ve been there; I had a liver transplant, I know how the darkness feels and also how to make personal changes to become more well. 
If you or a friend are interested in being coached about healing strategies in detail, and in connecting your mind to your body as it works to become more healthy and heal, check in with me.
If you are ready, so am I.
Anything is Possible. 
Matt Starr
Health and Life Coach, CPCC