My first blog post EVER is dedicated to my friend and “employee” as he used to love telling everyone I was his boss as I was less than half his age.
Tom has left this planet, but not without leaving a large dent. It still seems surreal that he won’t be in the studio when I get there on Monday mornings, listening to rock music and doing tai chi with the aroma of palo Santo lingering in the hallways.
Tom Gilmore and I took our 200 Teacher Training together, myself 22 and Tom 62, with two very different paths and plans for our training. I sat down next to Tom after being yelled at for being late to our first class (ehh) because I couldn’t find parking and also because I just moved home from San Diego and you were just never on time there.
I could only talk about what I know about Tom, and it was mostly revolving food and yoga of which he LOVED both. Tom embraced anything I did at the studios, with love, and support. He would come early, teach, talk to students, have breakfast or lunch, and would enjoy every second if it. He went with the expansions, the construction, and even the half a dozen stray cats that constantly find a temporary home at Nearme.
Too many people go to yoga, but not enough people live the “yoga” Tom loved everyone, he was always present in the moment, he listened, he lived by example with no judgement, and truly was so modern and sincere yogi. Human conditioning of friendship does not stand in Nearme, age, society, status, looks do not have a place in the space. Toms class was one that really experienced this identify, because it didn't matter any limitation or experiences, everyone was treated the same.
Tom supported the Yoga festival as well since the first one, and continued to be there every year. Last year Tom showed up at NEPA yoga festival, and walked up the path to the Meditation area knowing this would be his last festival. No one else did, we all thought he was slowing down, but he did not tell anyone that he was terminal. After he taught his class he came down and sat on a lounge chair and we all kept asking him what can we do for you, thinking he was just tired now. But he truly was just being present in the moment of the people running from class to class, the children laughing and splashing in the pool and slides, Myself running around like a lunatic and getting pulled in every direction, and he was taking it all in. As I think about this now, how I wish I sat down too, and just took it all in.
About a month after he passed, Tom came to me in a dream and explained to me the next level for this event. As much of my expansions, this wasn't a shock for me. My dreams are very strange and vivid, this one was no different. I dreampt I was late to meet Tom at the Moosic Studio, so I started my way there on shoes with wheels, and crutches to help me get there( I was recovering from a broken leg). I was in front of a home I drive pasted daily and a HUGE cardinal came and landed on the house, it had navy blue around its eyes, and was singing "Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu"
I didn't know what it meant, so when I eventually got to the studio, Tom was waiting outside and told me he had to show me something on the computer. I thought that was funny, but he pulled up the meaning of "Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu" and said that All beings must be happy in order for us to find happiness as well. He explained this is the next key of "connection through abundance." With that, he said he had to go, and I said ok well I'll see you soon though. And with a heavy heart he said but don't be upset if you don't. My response was don't talk like that. I'll see you soon!" and he left. He left, but not without leaving me with important information
I woke up crying, I knew it took a lot for him to get me these words. For the first year, I felt extremely connected to the joy in the process of creating this event. And to be honest I felt that last year might have been the last year for NEPA Yoga fest, if it wasn’t for Dr Omanand Guruji who waited for me to tell me a story. Im excited for him to be back this year. (maybe my next blog will be about this story)
I have never felt like I was able to give 100% to this event, I just didn’t have enough help and time and control of my own actions and choses to say no. This event is bigger than I am, and I needed to see that. So many of you come year after year, as one of your favorite events of the year. I am so thankful for you who tell me this. Everything you bring a burst of energy and drive into me.
Thank you Tom, Thank you to my staff, Thank you friends, Thank you previous supports, Thank you current supporters, thank you too all the vendors, and the teachers, and Montage Mountain for welcoming us, Thank you ALL who help make this event great! I couldn't do it without all of your help and support. See you all on June 10th & 11th