Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Allergies and Art: Pushing the Edge

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This week I embarked on a new allergy therapy that is able to help with food allergies. It is the only treatment that is available for those of us allergic to foods as well as all the plant pollen, dust and animals in our lives. Of course it isn’t covered by insurance but that is a different blog post entirely.

What does it have to do with art you ask? Well, actually more than one would think. It is about pushing the edge always and seeking excellence from yourself and the world around you.  

I do very well managing my food allergies when I am at home. I rarely go out to eat and I am obsessive about making sure I have safe food with me all the time. However, I travel quite a bit and that is where everything gets bad. No matter how careful restaurants are with my food I end up getting sick. The main culprit is oils. Most restaurants, unless we are talking 4 Star and up, don’t realize that the oil that is labeled ‘olive’ oil is cut with other oils. In fact it usually says 100% olive oil on the label. If you want to read more about it google ‘olive oil scam’ or go here. Then there are those restaurants that proudly proclaim we use vegetable oil. I generally want to slam my head on the table at that point.

Anyway, in addition to numerous foods, I am allergic to all oils except pure olive, grapeseed, peanut and avocado. So, every time I travel I come home sick. I actually lose 4-8 days after every trip just getting back to ‘normal’. I could quit traveling all together but my travel is usually to teach. Teaching is what I was born to do. So, I am always pushing the edge, questioning the status quo, by researching, reading forums and seeking alternative medical treatments. That is what led me to a unique allergy treatment that works for food allergies, LDA.

It is scary to go off all of my current antihistamine meds that have been keeping me finely balanced on the edge of ‘ok’ but nowhere near excellent health. It is stressful to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for an alternative treatment that isn’t covered by insurance. One that other doctors dismiss out of hand. But, I am an artist and that means fear and excellence part of my daily routine. 

cliff wall oregon

To be an artist is to face scary every day that we go to the studio to push the edge. If we aren’t pushing the edge we are just making the same old thing. We get stale, boring and are bored. We aren’t reaching for our own personal level of excellence.

These are the questions I ask myself with every piece of artwork:

  • How can I make this better?
  • How can I make this more me?
  • How can I drive this forward to excellent?

Actually, I ask those questions of everything I do…

Except for housework…usually I ask myself “how little can I do”?

What questions keep you driving forward?

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