Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

I took a short time off from blogging to prepare for and attend The Examined Life Conference: Writing, Humanities and the Art of Medicine.  I met many wonderful people on this adventure.  My trip was made even more special by an invitation to speak at a Life Design’s Class and a dormitory.  When I take the opportunity to speak to groups, it always leaves me with a lingering awe over how my message is received the same way by various, completely different communities.  All these events were rewarding in this surprisingly similar way: I had eighteen year-old students and doctors alike wipe their eyes and tell me how much they appreciated the lessons I offered.  On the plane ride home, I read the same reaction through thank you notes people went out of their way to write and deliver.

Examined Life Conference program 2013


This was the information provided in programs to offer an understanding of why I was there to speak.

Information regarding my presentation.

Information regarding my presentation.

After the conference registration and welcome, I was in the the first set of presenters.   We went around the room for introductions when, lo-and-behold, I heard a name and recognized the voice of a dear college friend.  She drove four hours to surprise and support me.  Afterwards, we were able to spend a few hours catching up.  What a wonderful surprise!  It was a great gift and a special way to start my three-day conference.


Wonderful surprise visitor to my Examined Life Conference presentation

Wonderful surprise visitor to my Examined Life Conference presentation


My week ended far too quickly.  While listening to other presenters, I learned more about writing and how it can fit into the medical world to heal and help individuals grow.  I met amazing people who had wonderful hearts and strong spirits.  These are people who are destined to make a positive change in the world.  I heard some beautiful poetry and even received one by email.  Thank you, Susanna, for leaving me awed and speechless with your words that truly struck a chord in my memory.  Abbi shared lessons of challenges and growth she built from an unimaginable heroic story.  You are a strong, wonderful woman Abbi.  Heather left me excited to see what she started writing, inspired by what I shared.


If I met you and we chatted for a while, thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with me.  I hope I left behind lessons others can grow from as their lives evolve.  I know there were many seeds planted within me this past week.  To the students I met, to the individuals I chatted with from planes to hotels and to all those in between who spent time learning and speaking with me, thank you for a week that left my spirit overflowing with ideas, hope and gratitude.




"I'm leaving on a jet plane.  Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh...I hate to go." -John Denver

“I’m leaving on a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again. Oh…I hate to go.” -John Denver


Comments on: "Honored To Have Presented" (10)

  1. You’re a strong, wonderful woman too.

  2. What a pleasant surprise at the convention of your college friend! It’s amazing how the brain can recognize voices and not faces. This demonstrates the complexity of our brains. You are Always a leader, an inspirer, and a beautiful spirit! Sharing your journey will continue to help others along a similar road. Take care and stay safe, Edie

  3. I’m so blessed by all that happened at the conference and is yet to come for you! Thank you for sharing, for being you!

  4. Congratulations, Tara, on a triumphant week. Triumphant for you, triumphant for everyone who heard you. You look lovely in the photo, and the last photo of you leavin’ on a jet plane is a great great capture.
    You were missed, but how can we complain? You were off doing your important work!

  5. To Tara’s Community of Friends: I had the pleasure of hearing all three of Tara’s Iowa City presentations and can attest that the town is still buzzing. In fact, many are demanding she speak in a bigger venue the next time she is in town. You would have been very proud!

  6. Oh my goodness Dave. What can I say but wow? Wow and thank you so much! I could not have reached even a small portion of these people if you had not been there to support me every step of the way. Thank you, Dave, for the numerous opportunities you have opened for me. You are a wonderful teacher and friend.


Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: