“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day 80] Why You Should Live As If Your House Just Burned Down…

I have to tell you that any sooner and I could not even have posted that picture, but today it feels right.

I want to tell you that I don’t mind the fact that even though I started a 365 Days project it has stretched out because in the end there will be 365 days but through life, chance, and circumstance they have not been consecutive, BUT, I am going back to daily posts now that I have caught my breath even if I only have the wherewithal to say Heidy Ho and leave a picture. It is now a point of honor. And unless I am ill or some unimaginable thing happens, well, I will be here.

I also want to say something about time. People are so time oriented and of course in many ways we have to be. But I also know that time collapses and expands in ways we cannot see with the naked eye so in that sense I am right on course.

As to the title…

You really should try to live as if your house burned down. Of course nothing can prepare you for the real thing but this is something I have given a lot of thought to since the fire. In one fell swoop and in a matter of seconds your life is changed forever and everything you thought you knew doesn’t hold true anymore and things you cherished and thought were so important just really aren’t — I feel sad about some of my belongings, the things from my mom or family members or dear friends but life will go on without them, however, my sweet birds, well, I don’t know when or how I will ever stop crying over them, even though I know they are flying free in the heavens. I have seen their spirits, I feel them around me, I know that they are okay, but as in life when someone dies their spirit has been set free in the most beautiful way but it is the ones left behind who suffer their absence, so, too, my sweet babies…

And it almost sounds like a cliché but it is truly only a cliché if you haven’t lived through an experience when you could have died, many tell you they don’t know how you didn’t, and those beloved by you did die, the thing about how short life is, how ephemeral, how it could all be gone in a flash, well, it is true, frighteningly so… and… freeing, and cleansing, and it throws open the doors to possibilities you wouldn’t, or might not, have entertained before.

There were things before, in my business, that I was afraid to do, but now I’m all like, HELL YES!

There were ways in which I didn’t fully appreciate who I am, my strengths, what I was capable of. The night of the fire after an explosion, an incredibly fast moving fire, and thick, toxic black smoke almost down to the floor in a couple of minutes I got myself, 4 pugs, and Miss Scarlett, my grey parrot, out of the house, got them to safety and went back through the garage to the street to hail the police and fire engines. In a little caftan (and nothing else) and barefoot, and it was cold. For nearly 2 weeks in the hotel I had no clothes but that caftan. I lived in a hotel for 4 weeks having to walk 4 dogs outside several times a day around people and traffic and more and I think all of that is pretty damn good for a woman who is agoraphobic. I made it through, with a lot of help from my loved ones and the dear people at the hotel, and though I have done some real backsliding since I got in the rental house I did what I had to do when I had to do it and I feel proud of myself, and that has empowered me to do even more in my life. I will no longer label myself agoraphobic. I can sometimes leave the house even if rarely. I will build from there. I have a life to live and work to do and by gum I’m going to do it.

It would seem that I am one kickass woman.

I am not the same woman that I was before, and I couldn’t be the woman I am today had I not just been through everything I have been through. Of course I would never wish that experience on anyone and I wish my 4 parrots that died were still with me but I am glad to be who I am today and I know that I will have a completely different life because I went through that horrendous experience. Fire burns away the dross. There are many lessons it is possible to learn while grieving, and in my case, quite literally, that which didn’t kill me has made me stronger.

I have started to rev my engines and I have gotten back to work. Changes are on the way, something big will be announced soon, and I am rocking into this new life with a deep sense of gratitude. As I referenced a couple of posts back, the haiku by Mizuta Masahide (1657-1723)…

“Barn’s burnt down –
I can see the moon.”

… the moon is glowing overhead and I can see my way into a whole new life. The future looks just grand from here…

What would you do if your house burned down? Past specific loss of things in the fire, how do you think you would feel? How would you be changed? Don’t wait until your house burns down to discover all that is waiting for you, all that is possible. Don’t wait until your barn burns down to see the moon.

I send you all so much love.


Lest it appear that everything is hunky dorey and I am over it all I assure you that I am not, but one must move forward one step, one moment, one day at a time and that’s what I am doing, still, one will be broadsided by things that catch them unaware. I uploaded this post, went and fed the dogs, and we walked outside for them to go potty. As I stood out there with them all of a sudden there was the shrill siren of a fire engine going down a street somewhere very near here, tears sprang to my eyes and the sound took my breath away. This is a journey, there will never be a destination for any of us in our lives until we are no longer here on earth. I am walking this journey as mindfully as I possibly can. I will make it through…

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Beautiful post Maitri. Have been following your posts and you have been in my prayers. Thank-you for sharing.
    Lots of love to you,

  2. too much beauty to be sad

    amen sister — and you know what you’re talking about, for sure

    sending hugs xo ka

  3. Star, thank you so much, it is lovely to meet you…

    Your kind words mean so much and I really appreciate your prayers, they mean more than anything and have helped me through this difficult time. I’m so pleased that you stopped in and took time to comment. I hope you come back again soon.



  4. Thank you so much sweet sister Ka, so so much.

    And yes there is just too much beauty in the world to stay sad. The hard days come, but alongside them daffodils bloom. There is balance in everything.

    I love you Ka…


  5. Such wisdom and encouragement, too — thanks, Maitri. Your spirit and courage is an inspiration. And spring is finally here, too.

  6. Ah Lisa honey thank you so much. If I have written anything that is a help to you I am blessed. And yes, Spring! Isn’t it exciting! 🙂

    And I want to see some of YOUR garden pictures!


  7. A beautiful and thought provoking post as normal Maitri, you have been like a Phoenix rising from the ashes and you have risen to forge ahead with a new, different and maybe improved life.

    Life changing events happen to us all some bigger than others, I went through my own in 2000 with illness, it made me sit up and smell the roses and accept that life is for living, ‘things’ are nice but my husband and dog are worth so much more.

    Thinking of you daily you have been so brave, take care with your angels hugs xx

  8. I was looking for you last night. I hadn’t heard from you for a bit, and I was concerned. Nada in my inbox, nothing on FB.
    Then today, here you are again! 🙂
    Good to see you.

    Blessed Be,
    Victoria oxo

  9. i wish i could tell you how much comfort and inspiration i receive from your posts. Your journey and your one step at a time example has become an example for me to consider in my own life. Thank you Maitri – you have certainly proved yourself to all of your followers (and i am delighted that you are no longer calling yourself an agoraphobic)
    i am trying to learn not to say “i can’t afford it”

  10. Maitri, I’m going through a life-changing event right now. I received a diagnosis of Bipolar I and I’m still trying to not let that define me. I don’t want to tell everyone because of the stigma associated with it, but I think you would understand. Your posts are giving me courage to keep going, emphasizing the need to keep calm, have structure and move one step at a time. Thank you so much!

  11. Teresa Myszka says:

    Maitri, ” just when the caterpillar thought it was done…..it became a butterfly”
    Kudos to you for your courage and strength of spirit in journey.

  12. Maitri, It’s so good to hear you talk so positively while not denying that it is a process and there are dark moments. As you know, I have PTSD and one of the things I’ve learned on my journey is that the more empowered you manage to be after a trauma, the less you are likely to suffer PTSD to the point of incapacitation. There will be “triggers” like the fire engine sound, and they are excruciating, even if you quickly get on top of them. So help yourself to a big hug from me whenever one hits. You have so many friends that love you and think about you – because you reached out first and loved and thought about us. You are an amazing lady; just because you are you. And you teach others how to be in the present moment, while acknowledging the past and having hope for the future. And that is the rarest gift I have seen.

  13. Maitri,

    I just wanted to tell you how much your posts inspire and encourage me. You are definitely one kick-ass woman! Love to you, Trish

  14. just wow Maitri <3 (((((((hugs))))))))) and yes. you ARE kickass! xo

  15. Fist pumping, yes shouting, kick-ass woman indeed. And, of course, there will be hard days, sweet hours, wrenching minutes. And you will carry your new self through them, holding a light to all of us on the journey.

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