One of the problems I have with Law of Attraction is that at times it seems to be a philosophy about living at the leading edge of individualism rather than collectivism. Viewing the world’s suffering as “contrast” is useful advice for detachment but can seem to point to extreme selfishness. I was outside sweeping the deck in the sunlight and I just had an insight, however. If you are truly living in abundance, you will be more generous, not less. Here’s a metaphor:

You know how when you have a dark crumbly decadent cake and it’s so rich that you simply must share it with someone else? Or perhaps you have too many oranges and you don’t think twice about giving a few to someone else because you know it’s more than you can eat and they will go bad otherwise. True abundance is when you realize you have more than you could ever use, so when someone brushes past you, you simply offload a little of that extra abundance on to them without a second thought. Here you go. I have so much of it, I literally can’t carry all of this abundance. Please take some, isn’t it delicious?

In recent days I have felt professionally lonely. A “loner among loners,” I labeled myself. I often think it’s sad that high school and college kids are using social media to interact with people far away when they are embedded in highly social institutions in the real world. Then I realize that I am the same. My children attend great institutions (teams, activities and their schools) and I keep my interactions with them to an awkward minimum, even though I am so grateful to them and feel so blessed to have their support of my children. For some reason I persist with this outsider mentality, even among creative and self-defining adults. What is that? Is it ego? Not ego like “I am better than you” but ego like “I am different from you, I am a struggling ARTISTE.”

When I complain about money, I similarly want to be clear that I understand how rich I am, as an American, as an Oaklander, as a home owner, as a mother and partner. I simply have a cash flow issue. Lacking flow I shut down. Yet I try to use that desperation to diversify and find new ways to make money. I have gone into debt before, and certainly have debt now, and don’t believe debt in and of itself is good or bad (it just is), so I have released judgments about that (without debt, for example, I would not be blessed with this house). But debt is not an option anymore (I love these letters we get in the mail with fake loan checks in them, and on the back in fine print it explains that the interest is a mere 215% — you read that right). Making mo’ money is the only option.

Back to professional loneliness. I saw a video recently where a successful author described hiring a “babysitter” to come to his house while he wrote. Another wildly successful blogger described looping certain movies in the background while he wrote so that he felt like he was with other people. The irony there is that when I worked in an office, the people drove me crazy. But I do think there is a real productivity component to being around other people who are working. Basically, a coworking situation is like a gym, but for work productivity. Everyone knows that 0.01% of people who have exercise equipment at home actually use it. The advantage of the gym is that it’s a social arena where you can draft off of other people’s momentum. Interestingly, I do go to the gym, and have often thought that, like our house, it’s a cost we have never failed to pay. That in itself is a proof of Law of Attraction: there are things we simply assume we will never fail to pay, and the house is one of them, so the money always comes, often in very surprising and last-minute ways. Of course, that dramatic cycle is not ideal.

Perhaps I am punishing myself right now. A woman I know only somewhat had texted me a month back “can I come raid your closet?” because she wanted to do a photo shoot and “you have such great clothes.” I told her all my clothes come from the San Francisco Ross (just look for the glittery stuff), but I was not direct and should have said the request made me uncomfortable — here I am talking about abundance and generosity, and faced with an opportunity to be generous, I did not do so. I did text back and forth a bit trying to make it happen, but she never seemed to understand that I was not available on weekends, only weekdays, which is when she works her good-paying job. A failure to connect on several levels: I see her as more financially solvent than me, she sees me as more fashionably gifted, each sees the other as having abundance to offload, I guess.

I also recently came across a fantastic workshare situation. I even went and sat and banged out some work for an hour there and loved it. Why have I not gone back? Well, money is one reason.

On the upside, gas is so cheap. So going anywhere is not a problem. I guess I want genuine collaborative interaction with people, and probably on my own selfish terms, and instead the only interactions seem to be transactional and on their selfish terms, as in “you have something — clothes, skill, time to watch my child — I need, so I’m calling you.” Of course you have to give to receive. So I should do that. I should give to someone that which I wish to receive. Lord, I am just complaining right now.

I should be clear that I am not searching for friendship. I long ago realized that I am a terrible friend to humans (as in, I do nothing to sustain it. If having human friends simply meant feeding, petting, walking and brushing them, I’d be great at it). But I am great at doing activities with people — being on sports teams, for example. Also, if you have work for me to do, I am great at that, assuming I don’t feel demeaned by it, in which case I won’t do it. Finally, I have learned that all-purpose social media is not a substitute for human contact. It’s like diet soda: not what it purports to be, unsatisfying, and ultimately it eats away at your bones.

Another thing I have been doing is cleaning out my house following the minimalism principles of the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The only negative there is that going through anything that reminds me of the past has a tendency to make me sad. I think of the time passing and wasted and bam there I am spiraling down. On the good side, I am giving back. Books and books, fabulous clothes and shoes, really nice stuff, all going to charity. The irony is that most of this happened just prior to the woman calling to raid my closet, so she could have actually gotten some cool stuff from me. Actually I have identified at least one thing that she could use. Perhaps I’ll tell her to come get it. Unfortunately that will start the merry-go-round again where she’ll want to come on the weekend and that won’t work.

Perhaps this loneliness is a ricochet from my peak experience in Ventura. After the great gig with PMO, we crossed the street and there was a bar there with two bands playing on two different floors. One of the sweet guys in PMO said, hey, you should sit in with them. I did, even though I had no mic, and it was perfect. Exactly what I had said I wanted to do on the way down to Ventura. The next day I woke up early and ran on the beach, then swam in the pool and sat in the hot tub under the swaying palms. On all levels, it was fabulous. And I had managed to have enough money on my credit card to eat and even buy a Ventura sticker for my car. I realize that sounds very sad-sacky but it’s the truth, and in fact it’s a blessing.

Before the show in Ventura, I was talking with a man who is part of the Ventura music festival. He told me that every year he comes up to San Francisco and sees certain street musicians while his wife shops in Union Square. I loved this because one of my habits or compulsions is always giving money to street musicians. My family does it too, since they know how I feel about it. Well, this man took it to new levels. He saw a guy, pretty messed up, on the street playing a broken guitar. But he could see that the guy knew how to play and was good. After watching him for a bit, he asked, “Hey, would you like to fix that guitar?” The guy said, “Yeah, but who has money for that?”

“I’ll fix it for you, can you tell me where there’s a music store?

“You’d do that?”

He said yes, and he and the homeless guy walked half a block to a shabby downtown music store with a dusty, picked-over selection of guitar strings. He bought the strings and the shop installed them on the guitar for the homeless musician, who went back to the grimy sidewalk happily strumming his guitar. The Ventura man told me about another musician, a Caribbean steel pan player with an Irish-sounding name (if memory serves), whom he’d watched for years on Powell Street or thereabouts. I thought that was so cool, and frankly I have never heard a story like that — a San Francisco tourist who comes for the street musicians.

I don’t know how to wrap up this little rant but there you have it. Mind dump complete. And I do feel better because in the course of writing this I found a little of that elusive flow.