Several years ago, a friend and I went to the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. As you probably know, San Francisco is sex-positive mecca, (or a den of debauchery, depending on your viewpoint), and the Folsom Street Fair is sort of our Kink Pride Day.
So off we went in full leathers, drinks in hand, weaving our way through thumping techno, writhing bodies, drag queens, leather daddies, damsels in distress, and impossible heels. Among many, many other things. Mark my words, if you can think of it, someone has developed a fetish for it.
I love a good freak show. And Folsom Street Fair delivers. My eyes nearly popped at the imaginative costumery! I saw fabulous feathered headdresses, skin-tight leopard print and latex body suits, chain mail and patent leather platform boots, scantily clad women with pig noses, masters with slaves on leashes, spectacular tattoos, drag queens dressed as nuns -
“Penis,” said my compatriot.
“What?” said I.
“Penis. Didn’t you see it? It was right there.”
“Right here on the street? With all these people all over the place?” I said.
“Yep,” he said.
Some people are braver than I will ever be, I mused.
And on we went. We had lunch and listened to a band. We checked out various vendors. I saw men in top hats and nose rings, queer pirates with epically long beards, half naked Indian-pirates, bras made out of soda pop tabs, faces covered in glitter-
“Penis,” quoth my friend.
“Again?” said I. “How do I keep missing them?”
I decided I would make extra effort to see some penises. We continued on. I saw transgendered folks in bootie shorts, green hair and cat ears, impossible piercings, Hello Kitty underpants -
You guessed it:
This happened at least 20 times. And I never saw one.
So then – several years later, there I was, reading a book on exploring our money mindset (“Get Rich, Lucky Bitch” by Denise Duffield Thomas, which at first peruse is a little too “Law of Attraction”-y for my tastes, but reviewers swear she’s got all kinds of practical exercises so I am giving it a chance) and the author suggests we do an exercise where we write down all the ways we do bring in money. Every time money comes in, write it down. In this way, we see that we already are better at manifesting money than we realize.
And it popped into my head: “Just like the penises!”
We can be surrounded by abundance, whether it be penises or money or love or whatever, and if we are in our tapeloop of lack, we don’t even notice it. We filter things out ALL THE TIME. We can’t possibly process all the information our brains receive, so we develop selective attention. And we decide what we will let in based on what we expect to see. So, if we have already decided “I’m always broke” we are not likely to notice the ways in which that isn’t true. We end up seeing what we are already attuned to, constantly affirming all the ways in which we are broke, unloveable, unlucky, or whatever, and not even noticing the wealth, love, luck, or whatnot that is all around us.
This is why gratitude practice is so important! It helps us to tune into the parts of our lives that are glorious! Parts that we may well be taking for granted.
I went to the Folsom Street Faire expecting to see some fabulous drag. And boy did I! My friend, who was at the time exploring his attraction to men, saw a sea of penises.
The verdict is still out for me with this “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch” book. The Law of Attraction has issues, as far as I am concerned. But still. It isn’t total bullshit. (It is partial bullshit, which is the most deadly kind of bullshit, but that is another blog post). Remembering the penises helped me to remember that we really do see our lives through selective filters. “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves” Robert Anton Wilson always said. And it helped me remember how often we can improve our lives just by consciously taking note of the awesome that is already in them. And the more awesome we see, the more we attune ourselves to other opportunities for awesome. Instead of habitually seeing everything that sucks, and turning into a big curmudgeon that no one wants to hang out with, you start seeing opportunities for more of what you love. This is how the Law of Attraction makes sense to me. And this is why I am going to give Denise’s book a chance. Because maybe my judgements about the Law of Attraction are just that – judgements. Perhaps there is some value I can glean from it.
So what have we learned here? Start seeing that which we want more of in our lives. It may already be there more than we think.
Also – if we are seeing nothing but scuffed shoes, empty coffee cups, and gum on the cement, and our friends are seeing penises – maybe we need to set our sights a little higher.