In my mid twenties, I experienced a debilitating streak of migraines just after accepting my new job at a big tech company. I was ecstatic to have a job which would make me financially independent from my parents and would allow me to live the life I had dreamt of since childhood. Everything seemed to be going well, except for the daily presence of migraines which slowly took over my livelihood. No longer could I get in my morning workouts, nor could I lounge in the fluorescent lighted coworking space. My evening hours after work went from exercise, art classes and socializing to laying in bed with no light nor sound and an icepack on my forehead. Every approach I tried from prescription migraine meditation to various diets to essential oils and antihistamine and xanax did nothing to banish the ever present threat of immense pain in my head.
Then someone suggested I enroll in the free meditation classes offered at my workplace. Being raised a Hindu, I had grown up with the praises of meditation and its healing values but I had never actually bothered to formally learn the methods. Through my meditation studies, I discovered that of the formula for health, I was addressing exercise and healthy diet but forgoing an essential element. The holy trinity of health, composed of mind, body and spirit, I was in severe need of developing my spiritual practice. There was only so much I could do with regulating my emotions and cognitive behavioural therapy. In order to keep making progress and advance my studies, I had to open myself up to a Path which allowed my spirit to grow and a way to connect to the greater Oneness of the universe and all of its inhabitants.
Once this realization took place, I fervently engaged in theosophical studies in order to find a Path that would be most in line with what I was searching for: Spirituality. I considered my upbringing of Hinduism, and while I live my life by many of its religious tenets, the intertwining of the caste system and patriarchy based misogyny made immersing myself in Hinduism less tantalizing. I read about many other faiths, still coming across the lack of gendered egalitarianism which prevented me from a wholehearted embrace until I came across Wicca. As a child of seven, I had flirted with the Wiccan Path and its alluring aspects of witchcraft, spells and strong female figures whose power stemmed from within rather than a male counterpart. As had happened then, I was again drawn to the way in which all genders are celebrated and revered and the empowering nature of directly communing with the God and Goddess. I found that my desire for spirituality was finally sated with the knowledge that Wicca could fill the hole I had had for far too long in my life.
As a practicing Wiccan, my daily meditations were complemented with offerings to the God and Goddess, a healthy and kind community, and a teacher in the form of my High Priestess. Through regular classes, I learned cognitive behavioural therapy and how to truly feel the connection between my energy and that of the surrounding world. I was taught that in order to truly serve the God and Goddess, I must exude kindness and mindfulness in all aspects of life-including myself! I had been struggling with self doubt and crippling anxiety which led to tension migraines but with the realization that self work included spirituality, I began to make headway to a healthier life. I acknowledge that just finding spirituality does not instantly solve all my issues, but it provides a well trodden path to finding the cure for my ailments. As I continue this journey to better my health through spirituality, I am grateful for finding Wicca and I encourage you to find the Path that is right for you!
By Gita Nallapati, AAW Member