What makes you a Wild Woman?
I don’t know whether I’m a wild woman. As I consider your playful question and what the word “wild” means, what comes to me is: untamed, undomesticated, uncontrolled, feral, rowdy, disorderly, radical. I can embody any number of these qualities some of the time, but none of them all of the time. Well, except for feral. I’ve never been quite that wild.
What is your wildest dream?
Alas, my wildest dream went up in smoke when Sam Shepard died in July 2017. The contents of my now defunct dream are very personal so I’m not saying. (Thank you for respecting my privacy.)
That said, a close second for wildest dream follows in the heels of Sandra Bullock’s character in Miss Congeniality, who wished for world Peace, which we’d experience if we woke to our real nature. But there’s no reason anyone must wait to know the reality of unconditioned peace right Now, which is more real than a dream. Now, that’s wild!
What has been your most wildest experience?
When I was 19 years old, I vividly remember walking along and suddenly a thought appeared that startled the daylights out of me: Who would I be without my social conditioning? That thought was a revelation! While I couldn’t understand or live the question at the time, my world was forever rocked.
This, and other out-of-time moments, unfolded within my deepest being, radically altering my perspective. So, my wildest experiences would not have looked “wild” to any observer; they were so interior. Except for that time in the bright yellow Cadillac with whatshisname. But that’s a different story!
Who Do You Look Up To? Who is your Wild Woman?
It was Sister Jane Pelowski, a Medical Mission Sister in Philadelphia, who planted some of the most fertile seeds in my life. She introduced me to grounded, authentic spirituality, starting back in 1993. While Jane took great interest in people and the socio-political environment, she was entirely unfazed by trends, and never focused on reputation or image management to gain approval. She was, in that way, one of the most radical people I’ve ever known.
Jane pointed to (and embodied) the reality of unconditioned Love, for instance, and to the power of Now long before I’d heard of Eckhard Tolle. No matter how much meshugas I brought to the conversation, Jane met me with humor, fierce clarity, truth and love. She was a gentle powerhouse (this description would make her cringe).
Like the rest of us, she was subject to the idiosyncrasies of personality and the challenges of living in community. However, her dedication to contemplation took Jane beneath the surface layer of things. From her, I learned to meet “what is” and use everything as a springboard for deepening in the Understanding and Love we’re here to share.
Thank you, Mandy, for taking the time to ask these questions and bring your own love of inspired storytelling to the world! Avec amour, always! Krayna Castelbaum