The Experiment: Day 137 ~ Watch Me Rise! On The Four Year Anniversary Of The Fire…

I can hardly believe it’s been 4 years, and the truth is I wasn’t sure how or if I would make it. It wasn’t just the house burning down, and my 4 beloved parrots whom I had hand-raised and had for 20 years dying in the fire, or the life I’d built for 15 years and finally coming to my Dragonfly Cottage and making it a delightful, magical, cozy home — it took many years to find all the things that made it my dream home — and there was also a lifetime of memories here too in photographs and files, books written, so much — and losing all my financial security in the aftermath, having nothing to hold onto, to believe in, to imagine, everything, in every imaginable way, was gone. That night of the fire wiped out a whole life and finally there was nothing left but the fire and what came after it, and what came after was bleak, heart-breaking, paralyzing. As time went on I didn’t see how I could go on, or why? What was left? And the night the Mobile Crisis Unit was called last Spring I didn’t know how I could go on and I didn’t care. My descent into darkness was complete. I was finished. Or was I?

The truly amazing thing about being human is that while we are still alive there is always at least a slim thread of something that keeps us tethered to life, something we hold onto even if not consciously. In the midst of the deepest darkness there is still just the tiniest spark of light. For those who are no longer able to find even that tiny spark suicide seems to be the only reasonable answer. They let go, they move on to the other side by whatever means they decide on, and it is done. And the sad thing is that there are more and more suicides. How can we help? What can we do? Well, first of all we don’t try to help other people unless or until we take care of ourselves first. Yes I had a good therapist, I was on medications that were carefully managed, they helped when I was critically mentally ill, but these things just helped me hang on, they kept me alive, but they did not help me live. That was up to me.

After the fire it was my daughter Rachel that stepped in and took charge. She helped me find a clinic I could to to because I no longer had insurance, she helped find government programs through which I could get therapy and other help, she helped me figure out and manage what little we could find for me to live on, she was my help, my comfort and support, my angel. She saved me, she helped me hold on, and she was the one helping me through many months last year of utter darkness when I cried my way through the days and could barely hold on. It was she with me that terrible night last spring. She is the one who called the mobile crisis unit, she went with me to doctor’s appointments, she was constantly there for me. I am quite certain I would not have made it without her. I don’t see how I could have. If you don’t have someone to help you, well, you must, even if it’s calling a crisis line, do whatever you have to do. But finally you wake up each day in your own skin. Finally, as I said, it’s up to us.

The turning point for me was doing a 30 day blog challenge in September, and I tried hard, I wrote most days, but not all. I was writing but without purpose or direction. On September 22 something in me began to wake up, just a little bit, but there was an inner calling. I knew I had to take action, had to begin, some way, somehow. I started this 365 day experiment that day. I was depressed, I was afraid, but I knew something had to change. I wish I could convey to you, really help you understand, and feel, with what trepidation I began. I knew one thing, that I had to search for happiness, that it wasn’t just going to find me. Even if it was one tiny bit of something each day I had to look for it and I had to write it down, here. I had to show up and I did not have a choice because if I gave up on this I was giving up on everything. I started and I continued on, today is the 137th day. There are still days it is hard to show up but I’m here and I’m going to be here. In the beginning many days I had to make myself show up, it wasn’t easy, I was afraid, how could this work and even scarier what if it didn’t work? Then what? The one thing I knew for certain was that it was up to me and by God if I didn’t honor my commitment I would end up with nothing. And if I didn’t know anything else I knew that that was no longer an option and that if I fell down some dark hole it would be my own doing.

And you all know everything that came after that, this blog experiment growing by the day, the change in diet that has created miracles in my life, and the realization, finally, that all you have to do is keep showing up. As Emerson said, and I shared yesterday, “Do the thing and you will have the power.” I have done the thing, and I am continuing to do it, and I don’t know what will come next but I know for certain that I am indeed rising, a little more each day, that by showing up for life, and trusting it, and doing my part I have become powerful. The Phoenix has risen. she continues to rise, and oh, the view from up here is amazing!

The Wild Woman rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of her life, to become the heroine of her own LEGEND…

I read this quote this morning and I thought yes… YES! I have risen from the ashes of my life, from the experience and memories of the fire. And who I am, who I am becoming, is a person who didn’t exist and never could have before the fire. Living through the fire and the aftermath has made me stronger. From here I am building a new life, I am writing a new story, and I am the heroine of my own legend.

I am here, this is now, watch me rise!

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”

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. Sarah Dunkley says:

    Oh Maitri I really needed this today! I’m looking up at you from my deep black hole and I see the beautiful Phoenix you are! Your words are a comfort and are so inspiring. I know I need to show up more and find the spark in me that hasn’t totally fizzled out! I am still grieving the life I once had and took for granted. I see you coming out the other end and I know I can do it too… I just need to start. Thank you Maitri. X

    • Oh Sarah honey YES! you CAN make it! If I can make it I swear to you anyone can. If you knew the whole story of my life you’d be amazed that I am still here, but I am and I WILL be! Yes, we can make it through the worst of things, one step, one baby step, one breath at a time. And keep coming back here, and comment and I will answer you. And if you ever want to do a Comfort Call and really talk that’s what I’m here for, but I will always answer you here with an open heart. You are not alone honey. You are going to make it, somewhere inside of you are the seeds of a whole new glorious life. I can see them, I know they are there. Every day when you wake up say out loud, “I choose to me happy, I will make it, I am ALIVE!” and just feel the rush of energy and goodness flowing through your body. It is magical, alchemical, life-changing. And as I always write, “If not, why not? If not now, when?” Indeed. I am sending you love and a great big hug. You are going to ROCK this thing, I promise you that…

  2. Maitri,
    I remember how difficult the other anniversaries of the fire were for you. What a relief for you to experience this one in a very different way. Of course you will never forget what happened but, as you say, you now feel able to move on in your life, to write a new chapter. I am very glad that your phoenix has risen from the ashes to find joy in life again.

    • Thank you so much Joan, it has been harder than I ever imagined something could be, and I could never see how I would come out on the other side, it just seemed impossible, but here I am, finally coming out into the light, feeling hope and joy and looking forward to my life ahead. This is such a tremendous gift there is really no way I can fully express my gratitude but I had to talk about it, celebrate it, and in the midst of it all I sit here smiling and am filled with joy. Right now, in this moment, the fire was raging and would all night, it started about 7 pm and went into the wee small hours of the morning before they could get it all out. It was a night that seemed to have no end and the grief and depression seemed like it would go on until the end of time. Once there was a fire, now it is a new day, and it’s time. God knows it is. Thank you for being here with me honey, it means so much to me.

      Blessings and love to you dear Joan…


  3. oh such happiness
    that once you couldn’t have dreamed
    but here, here it is!!

    YOU made it happen
    you rose and blossomed into
    your magnificence

    i celebrate you
    and your unfoldment daily
    inspiring us all!!!


    • Oh Katya honey thank you so much, it IS such a triumph! And honey, you have been with me down through the years through so very much. Remember talking to me as I drove the UHaul back across country from California after the terrible debacle with Letty? Lord have mercy I never thought I’d make it, nobody thought I could make that trip cross country alone after such a terrible thing but I DID! And I made it through the fire, and I have made it through so many things in my life. I am truly a Phoenix, rising again and again and again, each time stronger, and you have been there to see it all. Thank you my darling beloved friend, thank you for being there and being you. You have made my life sweeter, easier, saner, you and our friendship are woven into the tapestry of my being. I see threads of Ka through everything.

      I love you honey, so much…

      M. xoxox

  4. Claudine Denert says:

    You are such an amazing woman, Maitri…
    KANJER !
    Big, big, big hug…

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