Mind Matters: What do you choose?

Mother Earth, mothers, grandmothers, Mother Nature, the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadaloupe, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Tara, Quan Yin, Kali, Pele—on and on, all over the world, we give at least lip service to honoring the feminine.

All over the world, we connect to the primal force that generates life, be it Mother Earth or ma-ma, or the Divine Feminine in some form. While we venerate this source of life on the one hand, we fear its power on the other. And so, whether objectified as sex objects, or maligned as second-class citizens, or worse, as non-entities, women and girls are dismissed, dis-empowered.

Studies show that where women and girls are able to flourish, the whole community thrives. Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state acknowledged this in her work around the globe. Non-profit organizations such as MADRE, understand the importance of protecting women — mothers, and in turn, their children — to create a just world.

I know sexual harassment and sexual prejudice first hand. In grade school, I remember how girls were to defer to the expertise of boys. The boys cornered the future after all. In high school, my friend, a girl, won the popular vote for student council president. However, the principal, a conservative priest, was a one-man electoral college, as it were, and he “gave” the position to the boy who was running. Ironic how history repeats itself, eh?

In the Catholic, all female college I commuted to, young women were to garner their M.R.S. degree, as well as their B.A. however, when the student council president — who was a senior when I was a freshman — got pregnant and did indeed get married (perhaps it was a “pre-conceived” marriage), she was forced by the nuns to resign from her elected position. It was not fitting to be both pregnant and have a place of leadership and power.

Ah the beat goes on. In graduate school, professors could make comments about a woman’s “seductive” ways or her “hysteria.” The woman was to blame no matter what. The workplace was no different. It was there that I was informed that even though I was more qualified for a promotion, I wouldn’t get it. I was told, “You’re married; you don’t need it.” The promotion was given to the “family man” instead. Of course, I couldn’t get a mortgage or a credit card on my own either. “After all, you could get pregnant any time and there goes your earning capacity. You don’t count.”

So why am I re-counting all this now? Because the veneer of civility and progress towards equality of the sexes and acceptance of diversity has been stripped away with the results of our recent election. The forces that despised progress toward higher consciousness, and conscience for that matter, as well as change for the good, are pushing for change back big time. White supremacy and demeaning of women and the feminine principle go hand in hand. Quite frankly, I fear not only for anyone who is other than white, I fear for anyone who is other than “white male.”

It would not be great again to go back to the 40s or 50s or 60s — or even the 70s — for me. I remember those times. They were not great for minorities — nor were they great for women and girls.

Will we go forward with all the progress in consciousness we have made? Or will we regress into a dark change back? Ask yourself that question. What do you choose?

* Kayta Curzie Gajdos holds a doctorate in counseling psychology and is in private practice in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She welcomes comments at MindMatters@DrGajdos.com or 610-388-2888. Past columns are posted to www.drgajdos.com. See book.quietwisdom-loudtimes.com for information about her book, “Quiet Wisdom in Loud Times: The Rise of the Wounded Feminine.”

** The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to: editor@chaddsfordlive.com



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About Kayta Gajdos

Dr. Kathleen Curzie Gajdos ("Kayta") is a licensed psychologist (Pennsylvania and Delaware) who has worked with individuals, couples, and families with a spectrum of problems. She has experience and training in the fields of alcohol and drug addictions, hypnosis, family therapy, Jungian theory, Gestalt therapy, EMDR, and bereavement. Dr. Gajdos developed a private practice in the Pittsburgh area, and was affiliated with the Family Therapy Institute of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, having written numerous articles for the Family Therapy Newsletter there. She has published in the American Psychological Association Bulletin, the Family Psychologist, and in the Swedenborgian publications, Chrysalis and The Messenger. Dr. Gajdos has taught at the college level, most recently for West Chester University and Wilmington College, and has served as field faculty for Vermont College of Norwich University the Union Institute's Center for Distance Learning, Cincinnati, Ohio. She has also served as consulting psychologist to the Irene Stacy Community MH/MR Center in Western Pennsylvania where she supervised psychologists in training. Currently active in disaster relief, Dr. Gajdos serves with the American Red Cross and participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts as a member of teams from the Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Now living in Chadds Ford, in the Brandywine Valley of eastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Gajdos combines her private practice working with individuals, couples and families, with leading workshops on such topics as grief and healing, the impact of multigenerational grief and trauma shame, the shadow and self, Women Who Run with the Wolves, motherless daughters, and mediation and relaxation. Each year at Temenos Retreat Center in West Chester, PA she leads a griefs of birthing ritual for those who have suffered losses of procreation (abortions, miscarriages, infertility, etc.); she also holds yearly A Day of Re-Collection at Temenos.Dr. Gajdos holds Master's degrees in both philosophy and clinical psychology and received her Ph.D. in counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. Among her professional affiliations, she includes having been a founding member and board member of the C.G. Jung Educational Center of Pittsburgh, as well as being listed in Who's Who of American Women. Currently, she is a member of the American Psychological Association, The Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the Delaware Psychological Association, the American Family Therapy Academy, The Association for Death Education and Counseling, and the Delaware County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Board. Woven into her professional career are Dr. Gajdos' pursuits of dancing, singing, and writing poetry.



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