Welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break #30, where we are pleased to welcome Tessa Jane Miles as our guest!
Our Coffee Break series is your chance to get to know members of our diverse OMS community. In each episode, you’ll join Geoff Allix for an intimate chat with a different member of our global community. Our guests will share their personal stories and talk about their challenges and victories, large and small. We hope you find common cause and a source of inspiration from the stories of these very special people.
As always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tessa Jane will paint your day in colors galore discussing how she uses art to raise awareness about MS. We hope you enjoy this episode’s conversation with her, coming to you straight from Devon in the UK.
Tess Jane's bio (in her own words):
My name is Tessa Jane, and I am an artist. My best days are the ones when I forget I have MS. My body tingles with the joy nature bestows – the birdsong, the warm light, or fresh wind on my face. I have an inner glow of happiness and capturing that and applying it to paper, cloth, or any surface which continues that delight, taking me to a world of imagination and beauty. It’s a release.
Following the OMS program has brought me more of these days. Learning to be mindful, present, and to meditate has reduced stress and lightened a heavy heart. I walk amongst trees, or around my garden. I float in water, or I draw and create. Gardening, writing, sewing, and knitting are all mindful activities which help to reduce stress and lower life’s adrenaline. I watch and listen to birds, taste my food, and listen to the rhythms of the day.
I look for small joys on the bad days. A steaming coffee cup. The light on a golden leaf. Or frost patterns on a car roof. A warm fire or a bowl of tasty soup.
Being part of OMS and belonging to an OMS Circle is a comfort blanket. They have become my family and will help shoulder the weight, give good advice, and make me laugh about the detritus that living with multiple sclerosis brings. My walks, creativity, and time in nature is my mindfulness. I’d like to encourage you to find your ways of being present. I’ve pledged to raise £10,000 for 10 years. I can’t do it alone but can with help and support from friends and family. Not all of us can run, but many can write, whittle, knit, sew, crochet, or paint. Join my 10 for 10 campaign and get in touch to find out how (see links below).
- Tessa Jane, welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break. We’re so pleased to have you on our program. The purpose of this series is to better get to know some of the diverse members of our community from around the world, and today you’re in the hot seat. You and I are neighbors in Devon, and part of the same OMS Circle, so a very special welcome indeed! Can you tell us a little about your day-to-day life?
- When were you diagnosed with MS? Can you provide some context on that? When were you diagnosed and how did you initially deal with it?
- At which point did you come across the OMS program? How was that experience for you? Why did you decide to start following it?
- How do you feel the OMS program connects with people of varying abilities? For example, how might someone who faces more physical challenges relate to the program?
- Can you share any insights from obstacles you may have faced in adopting the OMS program, how you overcame them, and how this experience might help others?
- Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about your art. Can you tell us a little bit about your background as an artist, and your relationship to art?
- You’re a big proponent of using art to raise awareness about MS, and moreover people with MS using creativity as one of the tools to boost mindfulness and manage their condition and their health. Can you share a bit about how you see that working?
- Putting that theory to work, you’re involved in a very special event happening in May, I believe – the Delamore Arts exhibition. Overcoming MS is a charity partner for this event as well. Can you share what this is all about, and how it represents your philosophy about art as healing in practice?
- Going a bit deeper into the creative rabbit hole, I understand you’re quite interested in brain scan-based AR. That sounds futuristic! What is that all about and how does it relate to your linked interests in art and MS?
- Tessa Jane, thank you so much for being on Living Well with MS Coffee Break and allowing our community to get to know one of its own a little better. One last question before you go, and it’s a bit of a tradition in that we ask it of all our Coffee Break guests. If you tap into your experience with MS generally and OMS specifically for a nugget of wisdom that would help people ease into and better adopt the OMS program, what would that advice be?
Tessa Jane’s Links:
- Check out Tessa Jane on Instagram here and here, all about raising MS awareness through art.
- You can follow Tessa Jane on Twitter here.
- Have a look at Tessa Jane’s art on Facebook here and here.
- Find Tessa's JustGiving page here.
- Learn more about Delamore Arts.
Coming up on our next episode
On the next episode of Living Well with MS, premiering April 27, 2022, please join us for a very special conversation with Mathew Embry, an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker and advocate for people and families dealing with MS. After being diagnosed with MS in 1995, Mathew is currently symptom-free of MS and freely shares the science-based strategies he uses to control his MS through MS Hope. You won’t want to miss this inspirational interview!
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