Reminders of autumn still visit us here in Vermont, but more often the days worthy of down jackets and wool caps have begun to emerge.
We’re on our way to the new season and its longer nights, deeply into the quiet of the beautiful, peaceful ways of white winters. The planet is always changing its angle to the sun, turning and bringing changing seasons.
Life changes too.  Are you feeling changes from hep C and cirrhosis that bring you a different life than you once had?  For me, this last decade has been full of change, as one thing seemed to always lead to different complications. Hepatitis C and cirrhosis, and medications, have turned me around many times, leaving me not sure which way was up.
Does feeling like you don’t know “which way is up” sound familiar to your life circumstances? How can you embrace the changes that might be upon you from hepatitis C, and learn from them?  Are there ways to counter the feeling that your life has been spun around, leaving you fearful, isolated, or that your life is out of your control?
Yep, there are many ways to return to a feeling of peacefulness and joy, for what you can learn, and how to more deeply love what you have, not mourn for what you had. Times of crisis, or emerging from cycles of chronic liver disease, are times to recognize and to make the changes you know you want in your life.
Make a vow that will help you along your new path.  Promise yourself you will reach to achieve and live out your vow. Whether it’s being kind to all people you encounter, to helping children in your neighborhood or community, or elders, or those who suffer from hunger and poverty, is a way to heal them and yourself, too. No act is too small. 
In whatever action you take, from more patient parenting; being an understanding, empathetic friend and partner; to working to make others more safe and comfortable; to working to protect Mother Earth, or whatever you vow, let those actions be driven by goodness.
Choosing to use strategies to improve your health, like nutrition, exercise as tolerated, connecting with the your inner spirit, and more, all make you more able to follow your vows to give.  I’ve written about these strategies before, but this a different type of strategy. Your heart will grow while you give, but it is all about, as the timeless Hindu poem Bhagavad Gita reminds the reader over and over, to perform positive “without any thought of results.”
Of course, you want the result of improved health, but it is more to be able to first and foremost hold true to your purpose, your vow. Then you will profoundly heal, from the inside out.  
Or, to rephrase it in the language of the Tao Te Ching, “Do your work, then step back. / The only path to serenity.”
You can reach new self-understandings because of the trauma of being diagnosed with hepatitis and/or suffering from a balky liver.  Reach by using practical strategies to heal your body and spirit, and even more deeply, by giving back.  That’s how we can become better, with our health problems as an opportunity to learn. 
Like the seasons, be ready to change, and accept the beauty that is all around. Let your disease teach you to elevate yourself to achieve your purpose and to realize more deeply your reason for being here.
Oh yea, and eat your kale!
Anything is Possible.
Matt Starr
Health and Life Coach, CPCC