Posts tagged spirituality
Purifying My Spirit With An Inipi Native American Winter Sweat
This is a view from the Retreat House across the yard to the lovely yoga/meditation studio and the Inipi is the little mound to the right.

This is a view from the Retreat House across the yard to the lovely yoga/meditation studio and the Inipi is the little mound to the right.

The warm and welcoming Retreat House.

The warm and welcoming Retreat House.

The tobacco taste from the Chanupa is still on my tongue (reminding me of the experience). The stars are still in my eyes (showing me the infinite possibilities of the universe). Maybe most important of all, the smile is still in my heart (allowing the peace of the purification ceremony to remain within me). I will definitely participate in this experience again.

This is how I feel more than a week after my visit to The Higher Haven Retreat Center which included a sacred Lakota Inipi* ceremony also known as a sweat lodge. It was a deeply peaceful experience for me, like I called home a piece of myself I wasn’t even aware I was missing. When I saw the Facebook announcement come across my news feed, I signed up immediately, without overthinking it or talking myself out of it. Instead, I trusted my inner voice. It turned out to be the right ‘next’ thing for me on my journey.

There is something very comforting about the land, the retreat center, the Inipi*, and even in the host Paul’s presence at The Higher Haven Retreat Center. I am a person who usually requires the why and the deeper meaning behind, before I go all in, but in this situation I felt the need to just experience/ participate and not to question it so much.

You could say it called me home.

This winter sweat was a magical experience for me. The lingering tobacco taste on my tongue from the Chanupa* puts me right back into the velvety blackness of the tent. I can still see the faces in the lava rocks, feel the heat of the steam, smell the smoke from the fire, and hear the drum beat and Paul’s hauntingly rich voice fill my soul. In the sacred space of the Inipi* I connected with a primal part of myself, and while the inky blackness left me feeling separate in my experience, I also felt very connected to everyone in the tent and to all my ancestors. Is it silly to say that everything became clearer in the darkness? Because for me it did.

I have mentioned before I am able to see colors when I close my eyes, when I meditate or sit in stillness. Those colors are my way of tuning in and bringing myself home to my body, mind + spirit. For the first time EVER, I was able to experience what I normally do with my eyes closed, with my eyes wide open. I could watch my inner screen and share in the magic with my eyes fully open. It was unbelievably cool. Usually I feel closing myself off from the world leads me to my inner wisdom/vision, in this case it was like my own personal screen was the top of the tent. I am kind of glad no one could see the goofy smile on my face, or the tears that spilled when I realized the colors were all around me even with my eyes open.

Here is the prayer I gave in the darkness of the Inipi:

I ask the ancestors, guides, angels and loved ones to help me release everything that has held me back. To provide closure on the life lessons I have learned thus far, and to illuminate my next step. I ask for guidance, support and clarity. I especially ask for wisdom with the words I will write. I thank you for the healing, the insight, the support, patience and unconditional love I have been given on this night and throughout my lifetime.

After everyone shared their individual prayer(s) we replied with “Mitakuye O’yasin,” meaning “all my relations,” or “all are related.”

I went in with no expectations and left feeling as if I had experienced exactly what I needed. I know the others felt the same way. It may not have gone the way our host Paul had originally planned it, but we all learned that the beauty of surrendering to life as it is, is where the magic happens.

The whole experience; the meditations, the sweat, the quiet time away from electronic devices, making new friends, each piece was necessary to make me feel complete. I felt as if pieces of me came back and filled in the voids. When I left the sacred ground, I felt whole. Calm. Steady. Right.

If your spirit calls you to The Higher Haven Retreat Center, go. Experience it. It could be exactly what you need as well. Paul is doing another winter sweat on Saturday, Feb. 23. Click here for details.

*Inipi is a purification rite and is necessary in order to help the vision quest seeker enter into a state of humility and to undergo a kind of spiritual rebirth. The sweat lodge is central to Inipi. Prayers offered there draw on all the powers of the universe — Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

*Chanupa The sacred pipe and ceremony are at the very heart of the native people's culture as they travel the Red Road. Smoke coming from the mouth represents the truth being spoken, and the smoke coming from the pipe, a path for prayers to reach the great spirit.

Fearless In Faith

I was lucky enough to be able to meditate in the woods today, and in my favorite magical spot despite the intermittent precipitation that fell from the sky in great wet globs. (I thought it was rain, but it looked like hail and felt like s-n-o-w). The protection of a large poncho kept me warm and dry as I hunkered down on a fallen log and tuned in. When I drew my oracle card this morning it told me who to call into my meditation to give me some direction, and they did not disappoint. This is what I heard:

People will have you follow rules they themselves have made, or been taught, because they are afraid to trust their own way. Do not fear following your inner guidance; it will never lead you astray. Ego, fear, greed, hate, or a need for power will lead you down the wrong paths. Believe in your goodness from within and listen to your higher self. Do not be afraid to do it your own way.

I have been struggling with what comes next for a while now. Loving the life I have created, cherishing the peace in my life— I still yearn for the elusive “more”. I came across this post I had written over four years ago now and it fit well with my message this morning, and just in case someone else needs to hear it, I am sharing.

Words from 2014……

Finding my faith again, my spirit.

That part feels so much better. I have connected with God again -- in my own way. And this time, it is good enough. No one will be able to tell me it isn't enough, or it isn't real. Because on that point I am fearless in my belief that what I believe, how I talk to God, how I pray, what I believe to be truth --is perfect. For me.

I don't look like you and I am not you, I am only me. And that means it is okay to find my unique path. My direct line to the creator, the universe, the Great Spirit is perfect just the way it is. I don't need you to okay it. To even believe it. Please don't judge me and make me feel bad for what I believe. We are all on our own unique journey to make sense of what we are taught and what we really believe.

I have stood firm in my beliefs (even as I continue to figure them out) to those who judge my version of faith simply because it is different than theirs. And they have walked away.

Nearly all of my life this kind of abandonment would have left me feeling like I had done something wrong, that I wasn’t good enough. Now I see that letting the wrong people into my sacred space might have been a miscalculation on my part--but it has also taught me a valuable lesson.

Some people are not ready to stand in their truth. Some are actually more fearful than I am. We are all at different points on our journeys to faith, no one is farther than anyone else ---just in different places. Some people will leap ahead only to have to stop and backtrack, some will plod slowly forward making progress, and some will stay in their endless loop, repeating lessons -- staying safe.

I will find my own path and I will be fearless in my faith.

I Believe...

The question shouldn't have shocked me all these years later, but it did. I was taken back to another time, when I was an awkward school kid living on the west side of GR. A place where the next question after what is your name? was what church do you go to?

There was a moment of panic before I answered the person on the phone last week, as there always used to be. The truth never seemed to be the "right" answer when I was a kid. It always led to more questions, judgments, and often left me feeling like whatever I believed wasn't good enough.

Back when I was that little kid I thought it an odd question to ask someone what church they went to -- as going to church in my family was for big holidays only--otherwise we were up north at our cabin in the woods on weekends. Church was only a small part of who I was, so when I answered I was truthful and said I rarely went to church as I was out of town. That answer was clearly not the "right" one as I received so many of the oh you are one of those kids looks, I eventually began answering instead with the name of the church I rarely attended, First Park Congregational Church.

Unfortunately that only led to more questions like 'what denomination is that'? Are you a Christian or a Catholic? To little me, this was confusing. Church to me was a stale, old, scary place that smelled like old ladies perfume and where I had to sit still and quiet and try not to fall asleep through a bunch of mumble jumbo. I never liked it there. When I was old enough to get up and leave the main room for the kid classrooms partway through the service, I often got lost if I didn't have someone to follow. It was terrifying to my little self to be lost amidst the musty old smell and endless identical doors. The only part of church I even remotely liked was talking to people (my cousins and grandma in particular) after church in the big open room where they served punch and cookies.

What denomination was I? Clearly I needed to ask some questions because I didn't know what that meant. I made it a point to ask questions, and anyone who knows me knows I ask a lot of questions if I don't understand something.  I asked for years actually. In high school I made it my mission to try as many of the local churches as I could to find one that seemed to accept me as I was, and that seemed to make sense. As I learned what denominations were, and saw how many different faiths, churches, and variations of beliefs were out there, I got overwhelmed with all their crazy "rules". Every time I thought I'd found the one for me, it didn't take long for me to realize that something was off.

We can't do that on Wednesday night as we have to go to youth group, no I can't play on Saturday as it it our day of rest, or it isn't right to mow your lawn on Sunday.

Well I can't go to the movies or listen to that kind of music, but I do it secretly.

Our church thinks dance is evil so we can't have a prom at our school, but our parents have a private party for us instead where we get to dance.

You have to accept Jesus Christ into your life or you will go to hell like (so and so). Do you want me to help you accept him into your life right now?

You must always pray before you eat.

Please wear a hat to church or you aren't allowed in. No, don't t wear a hat to church or anything jean-like, you have to wear your Sunday best.

I can't play on Sundays we have to go to church at least two times.

Please join us for communion, no--you can't have communion in our church unless you are confirmed.

Say the lord's prayer like this, not like that.

It is time to kneel, now stand, now sit. Oh, no we don't stand up for that part here.

It was all so confusing to me, and so unnecessary to go through all those rules just to talk to God.

My church is, and has always been, sitting under a tree, preferably in the woods, appreciating the natural beauty and getting as close to my Creator as I could. To let my mind empty of worry, fear, everything unnecessary and to just be, listening to the sounds of the forest and the voice of my higher self, the godlike part deep inside me. And to hear the voice of the God who lived in heaven outside of me. I knew how to do that. In my own way.

I didn't know how to navigate the unusually difficult organized religions of the city I grew up in. Over the years my answers to the eternal questions about my faith changed to announce up front that I was a Congregationalist and I attended First Park Congregational Church. I didn't say (only on holidays) or (that nature was my real church). I also didn't explain about the denomination or what other congregationalists believed, and most kids never asked. Maybe because I said it so matter-of-factly they thought they should already know what it meant. For those that were persistent, I told them it was similar to being a Lutheran because someone told me that once. I never told people I still didn't really know what it meant and how it was different from what they believed, or why it mattered.

I truly believe that my individual beliefs should not make me feel shame when asked if I am a Christian, whether I answer it yes or no. But by the clenching of my gut when I am asked to explain my beliefs even today,  I realize I have old wounds that I need to continue to work through. 

I hate should-haves. But I should have immediately said I wasn't going to answer the "Are you a Christian?" question to the person on the phone last week, not because I am ashamed of my answer but because it didn't matter in the context of what we were talking about.

You do not need to judge me, categorize me, pray for me, save me, or avoid me based on what I believe. I will not get you into anything "bad". How can I? I am just me. I believe what I believe and encourage you to believe what you believe, and if it isn't working for you, ask some questions, learn, grow, open your mind and find something that does.

Recently I helped open a little art studio called Soulistic Sisters because in finding other like- minded, open-hearted women who loved to create things, I found my tribe. My support. My circle. Their acceptance gives me the encouragement I need to keep asking questions, to keep learning and growing into the best person I can be. At our studio, we promote acceptance, diversity, and choose to empower each other, while being open to explore new things together. I have finally found the safe space and fellowship I needed 45 years ago when an impressionable and shyly unconventional girl was growing into her true self.

Our studio is not religious, nor does it exclude you bringing your religious beliefs to the table. In fact, all three of us who partner in Soulistic Sisters come from very different backgrounds, yet we wish to be inclusive and welcome any and all perspectives. We love to learn, and want to continue our growth in all directions.  Your perspective, your beliefs should we ever choose to talk about it, are completely respected around our table.

It isn't about what you believe. It is about who you are.

So person on the answer your question (fully) now that I have time to think, here is what I believe.

I believe...

in a higher power, in God, in a creator.

in myself.

a piece of God lives within each of us.

in little and big miracles.

in prayer.

in the power of silence.

in honesty.

in LOVE.

in treating others as you wish to be treated.

in angels, fairies and signs from the other side.

in the power of music to inspire.

that dance has the power to heal.

in your right to believe as you wish.

in my right to believe as I wish.

in the beauty of nature.

in the power of positive thinking.

in leading by example.

in curiosity.

in the importance of finding balance.

in the necessity of every person finding their center.

in your unique beauty.

in my unique beauty.

you have the right to your beliefs and I have the right to mine.

in acceptance.

in truth.

that finding your creative side is a key to greater happiness.

happy is a state of mind.

yoga is a gateway to your higher self.

learning keeps your mind alive with wonder and awe.

the warmth of the sun is regenerating.

in the power of trees to heal me.

in setting intentions.

it is never too late.

Spiritual Not Religious

Photo Credit: Terri Spaulding

All of my life I have been very quiet about my spiritual beliefs. I think I learned from a young age that living in West Michigan without a deep connection to a specific religion or church was somehow a cause for shame. Maybe it came from so many years of people wanting to change me/fix me/save me by converting me over to their beliefs when they found I didn't have a powerful church connection of my own. Not one to blindly follow anything, I actually tried many different churches searching for one I felt at home in, but I always found "rules" and reasons that I could not wholeheartedly follow. Eventually I just stopped trying, yet continued to believe in God in my own way. 

Recently I have been more verbal about my spirituality and a friend, who also grew up in GR, sent me something they had written years ago explaining their answer to the age old question of: Are you religious? Imagine my surprise by how beautifully this described my feelings on the subject as well. Although my friend's story is not exactly mine, it is mine in so many ways.

My friend has graciously allowed me to share this with you in hopes it may help others let go of  long-held beliefs that what they believe is somehow not good enough. There is great power in knowing you are not alone. Thank you friend --you rock!


Am I Religious?

It depends. Religion, in my view, is a ritualistic means to a spiritual end and church is simply organized religion. Spirituality, on the other hand, is a quest for enlightenment, the search for truth. It is a personal and purposeful journey, one unencumbered by ritual. Although I’m not religious in the traditional sense, spirituality influences everything I do. It is the foundation of my character and it defines who I am.

I attended church as a child and at various times as an adult but my spiritual journey accelerated after an epiphany I experienced while traveling between C and D concourses at O'Hare airport in 1995.  Most of the people between the concourses were on the moving sidewalk. I was not. Everyone, including me, was putting one foot in front of the other. Yet those on the moving sidewalk were getting farther, faster than I was.  For some inexplicable reason I thought that spirituality (religion to some) was like that. Once you make a conscious choice to get on board, to accept that there are forces in the universe that defy explanation, you will be thrust forward. At that very moment, I simply surrendered a portion of myself and the result has been a clarity that wasn't there before. More order, less confusion. More peace, less angst.  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't actually experienced it myself. In fact I waited many years before I even shared it with anyone because I didn't completely trust it. I do now.

Here is what I believe.

          I believe there is a spiritual impulse in everyone. A desire to comprehend the order of the universe and the kinship of mankind. All religions attempt to bring understanding to these complex issues. None have done it adequately for me. As a result, I don't belong to a church or denomination though much of what I believe is rooted in Christian principles, absent the dogma and perhaps with a pinch of the metaphysical. Although I believe in an omnipresent force, I don't believe that God (however defined) guides our daily lives and helps us choose between Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies in the morning. However, I do believe there is a natural order to the universe and the culmination of your life's experiences determines your place in that order. Like a profession of faith in the traditional sense, you cannot fully appreciate the order of things until you accept that you are not self-derived, self-sufficient, or self-sustaining.

Spirituality is a process that requires both contemplative persistence and intellectual surrender. Little effort is needed to believe that life is mostly random happenstance. Tremendous effort is needed to comprehend what cannot be logically explained. Neither effort has any meaningful return unlike the surrender I described above, which pays immediate dividends if it is sincere, passionate and unconditional. When you accept that forces exist in ways that defy explanation, you are no longer burdened by the need for empirical evidence that all life is connected and all lives are purposeful. You simply accept it because in your heart you know it to be true. You embrace it and it embraces you. Some call it faith and others call it fate. It's all the same to me and it doesn't matter how you get there. I respect anyone who commits themselves to spiritual endeavors as long as it goes beyond blindly accepting whatever they are told. Commitment to a ritual without conviction of the heart nets you nothing. To simply go through the motions of religious practice without the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment is both pointless and ultimately unrewarding. I don't believe you can ever experience heaven, or nirvana, or self-actualization, or whatever you seek without an honest, cognitive exploration of your individual spirituality. Although my definitions might differ from others, I can say without hesitation that I believe in God, I believe in prayer, I believe in faith and fate, and I believe we are all connected by a force that must be engaged but can never be fully understood.

So whenever I’m asked if I’m religious, my answer usually goes something like this……

  • I believe you are religious not by proclaiming it, but by living it. That your actions and the thoughts that occupy your mind, day in and day out, on this earth, in this time, are more important than any profession of faith.
  • I believe you are religious when you stop deluding yourself that you are self-derived, self-sufficient, or self-sustaining, whether you believe in creation or evolution, or neither, or both.
  • I believe you are religious when you hold some hope beyond the present, some self-respect beyond your failures whether you believe in an after-life or not.
  • I believe you are religious when your heart is capable of boundless joy because you are driven by the notion that life is a gift and should be treated as such. 
  • I believe you are religious when it is your impulse to seek out the good in all things because you passionately believe it exists in all things.
  • I believe you are religious when you have an abiding gratitude for all you have received regardless of your circumstances or the circumstances of others.
  • I believe you are religious when you can look beyond the whole of mankind and see the splendor of the universe and a purpose in your own heart.
  • I believe you are religious when you have done all that you can to know your own heart and then, in confidence, entrust yourself to a force that is much larger than yourself.
Setting Sail to New Beginnings

The red dragonfly who often leads my way... a sign of transformation and growth.

What is the acceptable title for the journey I am on? A title that won't have fervent members of the religious community throwing up protection by declaring that they are if that is reason to back away from me.

I consider my transformation from stressed out, overachieving control freak, to peace-filled yoga instructor as one of personal growth, and have referred to it often as a dedicated effort to uncover the best possible version of me.

But someone just acknowledged my transition as a spiritual quest.

And yes, I do believe that fits.

I have spent too many years feeling as though I lacked an acceptable faith.

While I have never lacked a belief in God, or a relationship with Him, I struggled with thinking that because I never found an organized religion who's rules worked for me, my way was not "good enough".

I think I have gone over that mountain now-- I accept that what I believe is okay. Better than okay; it is perfect for me. Especially now that I feel good about it (and myself) from the inside.

I fully acknowledge that I am a student of spirit, and do not have all the answers, in fact I am on a quest for definition a quest, is a search or pursuit made to find or obtain something. And as I grow in spirit and strength, I still feel the need as I have since I can remember -- to watch what I say, to choose my language carefully so that others do not judge me. I know I am not the only one.

Lately I have found more and more like-minded souls who share in the belief that we are all on our own journey and we must embrace what works for us, or we won't grow. Yet I wonder when I will have the courage to fully let go of what others think of me and my beliefs, and let my light shine bright.  To be able to finally stand tall in the face of judgment from those who consider my "woo woo" beliefs too different from their long held beliefs to be comfortable with me.

My whole life of growing up in GR has been like that when it comes to organized faith. If it wasn't "their way", it was wrong. I was wrong. Excluded. Not good enough.

I no longer believe that rules get you to God. Faith does. Believing in yourself first and then something greater than you does.

Don't judge; be curious. Don't compare; remain open. That is my plan.

No one has all the answers, and if they think they do, well that is another story entirely.

I'm on a spiritual quest. I am happier than I have ever been. I am more comfortable in my own skin than ever before. And I am confident those who truly love me right now, will love any changes I make in myself along the way.

11 Months Down, One to Go

I spent yesterday cleaning -- and I don't mean just the surface layer kind of house cleaning. I cleaned cupboards, countertops, closets, and drawers. The kind of cleaning I don't do enough of because it creates an even bigger mess in the house as I move from one room, one floor or one cupboard to the next emptying, sorting, stacking, restacking, and discarding "crap".

So much built up junk, where does it even come from?

In the course of my cleaning I ran across the new year's resolutions I made last January. I had intentionally kept my list simple so that maybe for once in my life I wouldn't feel as though I failed when I only accomplished a small portion of it.

I only made only two resolutions last year and one was just a word, call it a year long intention, that I would apply to all areas of my life. (I'm thinking after my experience yesterday that you wouldn't know it by the state of my cupboards and closets) but my word was to SIMPLIFY.

And, I have, in so many areas of my life. I scaled back on my possessions, my commitments, my responsibilities, my worries, my expectations of myself and others, everything I could simplify about my life I attempted. In doing so I gained a sense of freedom, an internal calm "space"  that made room for a whole lot of personal clarity. That clarity gave me the energy to tackle some things I secretly had been beating myself up about.

And all that led me to this week's question.

Question of the Week #48 / What Have You Done Differently This Past Year That You Are Proud Of?

I want you to reflect and focus on the things you managed to do differently this year, and not what you didn't get to.  For some of us that isn't easy as I immediately feel the need to tell you the resolution I did not accomplish-- clearly I have some personal work yet to do there... (Resolution number two was to cook more and to create another recipe book --- and that is definitely not happening in 2013).

Personally what makes me so proud it completely overshadows any niggling thoughts about what I didn't get to... is my personal growth in the last year, specifically my spiritual growth.

So take a moment to reflect on what you are proud of so far this year about yourself and your own growth. Then realize you still have one more month of this year to go...there is still time to take a step or two forward---if you feel you need to. Finish the year with some pride in your heart for yourself, I promise it feels really good.

Here is what I have done differently in 2013 that I am most proud of.

  • I faced my fear of failure and tried many things that pushed me out of my safe zone. Like substitute teaching where there were new, completely different and not well defined rules in every classroom I walked into. (Talk about leaping out of your comfort zone).
  • I was able to take control of the mean voice inside and allow myself to make mistakes, change my mind, say "no" to other people's requests and ask for help, after first admitting that I had self inflicted wounds I needed to heal from.
  • I gave up the worry that ate me up inside and in its place I was able to cultivate so much gratitude for everything around me, especially my connection to nature and trees and water, that I was able to reclaim my spiritual side.
  • I stopped attempting to control my world and gave in to allowing it to happen. Thus experiencing for maybe the first time since I was a kid, the sense of living life with ease and joy, the sense of floating with the current instead of paddling against it.

My friends I encourage you to Reflect. Recharge. Begin anew if necessary, and reclaim your personal pride and power. Today is a new day filled with endless possibilities.



Is it Time to Change Your Channel?

Did you know that all energy vibrates at a frequency? And your thoughts and feelings are what determine your personal frequency?

Within each of us we hold the power to attract good things into our lives. And all it takes to attract good things is to think positive thoughts. Conversely, if we let our negative thoughts rule our heads, we will begin to attract negative things. Becoming aware of the patterns and paths of our innermost thinking is a key ingredient to begin steering our life in the direction of our dreams.

I do not mean to insinuate that this process is easy, far from it, in fact. From experience I have learned that it isn't easy to change old habits and thinking patterns when you are aware of them. Imagine then, how impossible it would be for those who fail to pay attention to what they are really thinking. Getting out of a negative spiral is darn near impossible if we are sabotaging ourselves with second guessing, perfectionism, doubt, fear or criticism. Staying out is even harder.

In the past when things haven't been going my way --- say a new job is stressful, an old boss just doesn't get me, or I feel out-of-place amongst a group--- things always seem to get way worse, before they get better. Little did I know that I was in control of the speed at which good things began reappearing in my life, all I needed to do was control my own thoughts.

If you attract back to you the very things you think about, then even saying negative things out loud can call more negative to you. For example:

  • I hate my job. More reasons to hate it come at you.
  • No one here likes me. More dislike is directed at you.
  • This is ridiculous. More ridiculousness comes your way.
  • I can't do this. More things you can't do come across your path.
  • I don't want to be here. More reasons pile up for you to want to leave, even things you once liked about your job.

Wherever your innermost thoughts are going they send out a vibration (a frequency) that attracts more of the same. Take a look around, are things going exactly like you wish them to in your life? If not, maybe it is time to re-examine what you are actually thinking about.

Question of the Week #34/ What is your Frequency?

Are you attracting what you want into your life? Try making positive changes in the way you think and see if positive changes begin happening. If you simply pay lip service to your new thoughts and don't really believe in them, or deep down think this crap won't work --then it won't. Your negative inner voice will steal the show. So make sure you can believe what you think.

This week I had the awesome experience of leading a vision board workshop at Gilda's Club.I have never been more inspired by a group of women. While I sometimes have a hard time answering the dreaded question "Who inspires you?" I found my answer there---real, authentic, regular everyday women telling their stories, baring their souls, expressing their fears and finding hope for their future. What a moving thing for a facilitator to experience.  There is no greater feeling for me.

Once upon a time it was only in my wildest dreams that I thought I could make a living using my natural talents to help people find whole body, mind + spirit wellness. Now, with positive thinking, it has become my life. Positive thinking = positive results.

Do you wish to begin operating at a higher frequency? If so, it is never too late.