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Our second annual Bear Your Soul was amazing! We set out to create a unique experience for men of all shapes, colors and sizes, and we succeeded beyond our expectations!  It was a weekend of connection, fun, feeling sexy, growth and learning. Over  50 men came together to share 3 days of workshops,  discussions, parties, dances and more! I can recall many moments of connecting with many of the men, hearing their stories, helping each other see our light and forming a true brotherhood and community. We celebrated our spiritual, social, emotional, and erotic selves as a whole and found deeper connection with one another. I am so very proud of all of the men who attended, our volunteers and all of our staff!
It began Thursday for the early bears with a wine tasting reception led by Mike Hands, a Southern Style feast, and a showing of Bearapalooza: The Movie. Friday, the early bears enjoyed morning Yoga, and later a massage exchange led by Tim Cooley, an energy healing led by Sunfire, and Kundalini Meditation led by Mike Hands. As the rest of the Bears arrived for dinner Friday they got their welcome bags with Bear Your Soul hats made by Mountain Bear Crafts.

Friday night we had a great opening circle and then got ready for Kendall Kelly's one man show "Clothes Get in the Way". Kendall did most of the show in the nude as a way of getting to a real place of vulnerability and used music , spoken word, and a jump rope to take us on a journey through body shame, survival, growth and ultimately acceptance. Dave Dietz then led everyone in a relaxing guided cuddle pile experience. Some of us explored in a kink space while others used the hot tub socialized into the night !

Saturday was packed with workshops, starting with a Yoga in the morning. Xavier Shadowdancer offered the guys a lesson in the different styles and history of the art of belly dance. Later in the Day he gave his full on Belly Dance workshop. I am so proud of the example he offers to the men. It was such a pleasure  to see men of different body types delighting in their sensuality and movement.

Kendall Kelly teamed up with Wil Fisher to turn his one man show into a workshop to help the guys talk about their own body history and get a dialogue going about how we look at ourselves as men. Kendall has really made a transition in the past year from being an entertainer to having a unique voice and purpose as an artist and facilitator. Wil Fisher also offered his workshop "The Man Question". He breaks down assumptions about masculinity and allows the guys to define for themselves what it means to be a man! Martin Swinger is a man that inspires me as a songwriter, a facilitator and a human being. He led two musical workshops that allowed the guys to express their spirit through music.

I am so proud of Justin Birdsong. He did his research and put together a workshop that helped men think differently about health and wellness for bears, and he was also a wonderful co-host for the weekend. My husband Jay was also a wonderful part of the hosting trio. The three of us led the centerpiece workshop of the day "Loving Our Bear Bodies". I will confess I was nervous, as most of the men in attendance wanted to take the workshop, but as a team, the three of us led the energy where it needed to go. I watched a group of about 40 men drop their judgments and support each other with touch, appreciation, and affirmation, transforming erotic energy into love. It was a beautiful moment to witness, and I was honored to be a part co-creating it!

After a full day of workshops, we got into our lounge-wear, union suits, and funderwear, reclining on pillows to share our gifts of song, poetry, humor and more in the talent salon. There was so much much talent on display. After the salon, Rick Schnetzer spun the tunes as everyone got fun and frisky for the Big Bear Dance & Play Party. It was so great to see everyone cut loose, be proud of themselves and let go of shame. Dave Dietz set up a woodland photo op, and everyone just really had a great time! Sunday morning, Martin, Jay and I put on an intimate brunch concert, then we all got together for a very emotional closing circle! I was overwhelmed by the bravery, love, kindness and honesty of the men who attended Bear Your Soul 2014!

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We are expanding Bear Your Soul into a summer camp experience, Aug 6-10, 2014. This will enable us to have a longer experience, and add use of the clothing optional pool, the mud pit, hiking, outdoor barbecues, body painting, tribal bonfires and more. It will also enable us to open the land up for tent camping. We will be bringing back some of the facilitators and adding some new activities as well as an outdoor Bearapalooza concert! Check it out at:

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