Katie Olmstead

People love to see a list of credentials. I can tell you that I graduated cum laude from Smith College with a BA in developmental psychology. While I learned a lot as an Ada Comstock Scholar, life experience has taught me much more.

I learned many lessons from being an at home parent to two gorgeous now-adult daughters: respectful interactions, careful listening, paying attention, honoring individuality.

I learned about creating space for speaking from the heart and even more about the value of listening respectfully through groups that I developed and currently run at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, called “Small Group Ministries.” I have seen the transformative power of giving someone space to tell their story,  and having it heard and received by others.

I learned a  lot through twisting my knee in a modern dance class over a decade ago. Four surgeries and a lot of rehab later, I continue to live with chronic pain and its horrible counterpart, limitations. It is my constant work to live well, vibrantly, with joy, right along with the limitations.

I have learned that what matters is showing up: be present to hear another’s story, the hard parts as well as the joys, and hold that gently.