The 2016 Fall Conference
will convene September 22 – 25, 2016.
More information will appear here and
Registration will open before July 1
The 2015 Fall Conference is archived below.
2015 GSV Fall Conference: Trusting the Wild Mind
GSV 2015 Fall Conference
Trusting the Wild Mind:
Confronting Discomfort in Our Search for Safety
September 17 - 20, 2015
at The Mountain, Highlands, NC
Four Days: $398.90
Five Days: $489.64
My Dearest Brothers,
After many months of planning I am excited to announce that registration for GSV’s 26th Annual Fall Conference is now open. Many of our brothers already have the conference on their September calendars. Others are more spontaneous when deciding if they’ll attend. In whichever group you belong, I hope to see you at The Mountain. While it’s fresh on your mind, I encourage you to register today!
When thinking about the times I have joined together with my tribe – the brothers of GSV – I discover memories of the most transformative and heart-opening experiences of my life. The many men already at work on the 2015 Fall Conference share my commitment to creating a space that allows and encourages personal growth and community connection. Spiritual discernment and the intention to co-create a safe space for heartfelt communication guide the formation of our upcoming gathering: Trusting the Wild Mind: Confronting Discomfort in Our Search for Safety.
Over the next few months you’ll learn more about the theme and our keynote speaker (he studies propellers because they can make themselves invisible). You’re going to find out about our intentional conversations that were prompted by our community chats, workshop opportunities, and other fun activities for our gathering (including a hat and wig social!). Watch your email for updates … and please consider registering today! We have in the last ten years never fallen beneath the anticipated number of attendees; early registration will assure your spot!
Are you willing to trust the wild mind? Come explore the edge of your comfort zone, engage with your tribe of amazing brothers, and possibly uncover your authentic voice.
Convener, 2015 Fall Conference
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About the Wild Mind
My Dearest Brothers,
Not long ago I wrote to let you know that registration for the GSV 2015 Fall Conference had opened. In just two months we will join together again at The Mountain to continue the work that was started more than 30 years ago at Running Water Farm. The previous ten months have flown by for me; I guess it’s true that time flies when you are having fun. The greatest gift for me in this time has been the visioning and planning and sacred space I have shared with so many of you as Trusting the Wild Mind: Confronting Discomfort in Our Search for Safety has evolved from concept to the transformative experience I hope you will share with me.
Wild Mind is the primal instinct to live, to celebrate, and ultimately to embrace the truth of our being. Wild Mind is the root of our peace, the fierceness of our passion, the wellspring of our joy, and the voice of our power. Stand hand-in-hand in our sacred circle of men who love men. Together, with whatever willingness is possible, we can consciously lean into our discomfort and have the authentic, honest conversations that our souls crave.
Like all the work of GSV, this endeavor may be a stand-alone experience for some. For me, Trusting the Wild Mind: Confronting Discomfort in Our Search for Safety is an intersection of ideas from our previous three fall conferences; it continues the arc of Storytelling as a Spiritual Practice (2012), The Kingdom Within (2013), and Waking Up in Community (2014). This year, come and be present with the stories you carry about comfort and discomfort. Come explore the intimacy of self-trust and unravel this idea of feeling safe. Come explore the story of yourself, the story of community, and the story of how, to the extent we can (or are willing to) release any suffering over being safe in ourselves or with one another.
Todd Humphrey, 2015 Fall Conference Convener
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2015 Fall Keynote: Buddy Wakefield
I embraced an opportunity to experience the spoken-word artistry and storytelling of Buddy Wakefield at an event in Greensboro during his recent World Tour. I wrangled Thunder Zumbach into joining me. I was immediately enamored of Buddy’s authenticity, his openness in sharing his story, his passion for language, and his willingness to be comfortable in his discomfort. The World Tour stopped in Tampa where I encouraged Tim Flood to experience this delicious dance of words and emotion. When I checked my knowingness (in my own dance with Wild Mind, doubting myself plays its role), Tim said, “YES.” Thunder said, “Oh my, YES!” (I figured spirit was saying “YES.” Who has a world tour and stops in Greensboro?)
Most importantly, Buddy said, “YES!” I truly believe if you join us in September you will too! Click on the link below for more information about Buddy, our keynote speaker for 2015, and for highlights of the program for the GSV 2015 Fall Conference: Trusting the Wild Mind: Confronting Discomfort in Our Search for Safety.
About Buddy Wakefield
“Buddy Wakefield aims to cause a disarming de-haunting of accidents. He is pursuing a career in judgment suspension but sometimes wants to blend in so badly he forgets his purpose and worries that everyone else is doing it right, or wrong. He once sat on top of the whole world and told it jokes about the ocean until everybody crumbled into tattoos of bakeries. It smelled good. Felt right. We laughed. So much. Sometimes, he studies propellers because they can make themselves invisible. Buddy has collected enough humongous titles to be crushed under their weight. There are no stunt doubles performing the accidents in his work, or the bursts of beast in his behavior. There is a recurring theme in his nightmares where he wakes up only to realize that whatever supposedly awful thing was stalking him was really just trying to help. His interests include cephalopods, chopping wood and untrembling, unless trembling is imperative to a successful dance move.”
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2015 Fall Conference: Conversations About Discomfort and Safety
In addition to the two sessions by our Keynote Speaker, Buddy Wakefield, we have four conversations that will be moderated by members of our tribe. The topics are derived from conversations at conferences over the past few years and from online postings that generated significant interest. You’ll be able to attend two of the following conversations:
The Discomfort and Safety of Surviving
with host Scott Dillard
Since the advent of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, many of us have lost a good number of friends, family, and partners. Some of us have carried on our lives as we witnessed the passing of those we loved and also worried for our health at the same time. Still others have wondered, “Why them and not me?” It is a sort of survivor’s guilt that makes us wonder about our own mortality, the fairness of life, and how we continue to live with loss.
We will engage in a conversation that seeks to honor those we lost, those we carried for, and our own sense of self in these most trying of times. This is more than a chat. We will do some writing, some sketching, some storytelling that uncovers the emotions we each feel as survivors of the plague. Come prepared to share at our own level of comfort and to contemplate the shared sense of community that living through this has meant.
The Discomfort and Safety of Aging
with host Joe Kiser
As I move from one decade to another, I have experienced many changes on many fronts...and backs. How I experience life has evolved. Emotionally, physically and spiritually. From wild to mild and back to wild again. As my body, mind and spirituality evolve, I am presented with opportunities to embrace, deny or adapt. Additionally, questions have arisen for me. What responsibility, if any, do i have for the next generation? What, if anything, can I offer to future generations?
During this session, I will share some of my experiences and the impact of my decisions and reactions. I would also like to hear the experiences and expectations of others.
The Discomfort and Safety Around the Gender and Sexuality Continuum
with host Greg Hummel
Man, woman, straight, or gay. Do you remember when these were our only options? For some, these identifiers are enough. But for many of us, these labels are limiting and leave us left out of the conversation. At a time in history when women like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox are creating (much needed) ripples in our social fabric, we sometimes find ourselves struggling to keep up. Come join me in confronting our discomfort around gender identity and sexuality. Together we can create an even safer GSV environment and a safer world.
The Discomfort and Safety of Victimization and Oppression
with host Hunter Flournoy
Join us for a discussion of our experiences of victimization and oppression, and how we perpetuate these experiences even within our own community by oppressing each other, and projecting the role of oppressor onto each other. Explore how we can step off of the drama triangle and empower ourselves and each other.
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2015 Fall Conference: Variety Show
Thank you for registering for the upcoming 2015 GSV Fall Conference, positive anticipation is rising daily. Can you hear the drum roll? The rustle of yards of fabric?
We in the entertainment committee certainly can, and are inviting you to sign up for the 2015 talent show. Performance art is a form of healing, of growth, of sharing and bonding with brothers and as the conference theme suggests, this may well be the wildest show ever!
Some of you are visual artists, not performers. We’re looking for several visual artists to do signs announcing the different acts. Can we count on you? Let us know.
For the performers, the sign-up sheet will be posted on the bulletin board of the Commons Room (behind the dining room). Please sign up ASAP to assure a spot and please keep in mind the following:
- Acts must be no longer than 6 minutes. After that, a swarm of stage faeries will make you disappear, it won’t be pretty…we promise.
- Attending rehearsal is mandatory; no act can appear without rehearsal.
- For piano accompaniment, please send your sheet music to David Berger in advance firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule one-on-one rehearsal time upon arrival.
- If you’re using a musical track, please present it to the sound tech at rehearsal.
- Acts work best when enhanced with costumes, props, music, and movement. Keep this in mind as you prepare your material.
- Freedom of expression requires that both performers and audience keep an open mind and a sensitive heart; we ask that everyone be mindful of this.
See you at the Mountain!
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