Roshni Kavate

Roshni Kavate

Grief Healer

she/her

Fall 2021

Roshni Kavate (she/her) is an Artist, Healer, and Activist. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Cardamom and Kavate, a wellness platform dedicated to reclaiming nourishing practices rooted in ancestral wisdom for collective liberation. She believes grief is a portal to wholeness. Through rituals and storytelling, we can reconnect to our origins and be our wild selves. She sees the path to being whole as a radical art and political practice. The question that guides her is What is our grief craving? and how can we nourish and feed our grief?

Roshni earned a B.S in Nutritional Sciences from UC Berkeley, a B.S in Nursing from NYU with honors and Ayurveda Postpartum Caregiver Training from The Center for Sacred Window Studies. Roshni has over a decade of Nursing experience in both clinical and leadership positions working with diverse populations in New York City, Los Angeles and Oakland. Her work has spanned from working as birth doula, transplant ICU nurse, home health nurse and to an end of life nurse. Most recently she worked as a Palliative Care Nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.

Roshni's early childhood was marked by the grief her mother and ancestors experienced by living on the margins based on gender and caste. Similarly in the United States, as a Nurse, Roshni witnessed racialized trauma and its lasting impact on the health and wellness of communities of color. Combining her interest in art, wellness and advocacy she has launched a startup, Cardamom and Kavate to reimagine what it means to embody our freedom and live in our pleasure.

What excites you about your work?

I am excited about the freedom, the possibilities and uniquely intersectional ways I can connect the themes of grief, culture, ancestral rituals, food, art, social justice and wellness. I am being pulled to write more and document stories and recipes. I no longer feel I have to edit myself to fit into a limited view.

My work connects birth and death, and our constant rebirth. The grief groups I have hosted has ignited an urgency to build a larger community and create resources and books to help support people in their own life journeys. There’s also a sense of homecoming for me, what i am birthing is connecting my ancestral indigenous wisdom with my life experiences and my vision for the future.

What feels rich and abundant in your work right now?

My work feels rich and abundant in the conversations and ideas that come out of it continue to inspire me to dream big. The core of my work is how do we nourish ourselves and live in our pleasure bodies. Building on that connection and intention has brought so many wonderful friendships, connections and collaborations.

I am sensing there’s a strong desire to connect with authenticity, and creating opportunities through talks and groups has been very fulfilling for me.

Who do you dedicate your work to?

I dedicate this work to my grandmother, my mother, all the women in my family who came before me, who nurtured and sacrificed so much of themselves so i can be here today and have this opportunity. To all the families i cared for as a Nurse who opened my eyes and spirit to what it means to live, and die gracefully. Their wisdom has given me the fire and vision to launch and grown my wellness platform.

I deeply believe that healing and wholeness can be cultivated by reclaiming our ancestral wisdom and sharing an intentional and communal space. Our wholeness and softness can also be our activism.”

Who inspires you? Who are you learning from?

People who inspire me and who I am learning from: My dance teacher Valerie Chafograck for creating a safe space for embodied liberation for BIPOC bodies, Padma Lakshmi, Rowen White, Lauren Ash, Cathy Park Hong, Raeanne Madison of Post Partum Healing Lodge and Kimberly Seals-Allers.

Books:

In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan

Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America by Mayukh Sen

From Scratch by Tembi Locke

The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste, the Debate Between B.R. Ambedkar and M.K. Gandhi by Arundhati Roy

How can people reading this support the work you are doing?

People can support us by buying a copy of our first community cookbook Mending a Broken Heart to support Covid relief efforts in India.

Join our mailing list to be notified of upcoming offerings: 5 week Grief Group for Parental Loss and 5 week group for people navigating Pregnancy Loss with Ayurveda and Somatic Rituals

Invite me to speak on your podcast, feature me in events on your wellness platforms, publish my writing on your platform, connect me with editors and publishers, and share Cardamom and Kavate's work with your community.

Follow us on Instagram @cardamomandkavate.

What something you didn’t know, that now you understand differently with wellness?

I grew up with wellness rituals with food, rest and spirituality at its core. This was both my family culture and what can also be called as Ayurveda. I lost this connection when I moved to the US from India. By a certain point, my understanding started to mirror what I saw on social media and read in trendy blogs. There was an anxiety I felt about trying to achieve something that felt fleeting and capitalistic.

In my work as a Palliative Care nurse, I started to ask my patients who were at the end of their lives what advice they had for me. Their answer was overwhelmingly simple: eat home cooked food, sleep, laugh, don’t work too much and the world of social media is an illusion. I have come to a deep understanding that wellness is not performative, it’s our inner truth and vitality that comes with living with the rhythms of the season and nature. It’s being rooted in our culture and connected to other beings and our ancestors.

What is your own wellness practice? How do you find balance?

I love journaling every morning with a cup of tea. I love to swim in the ocean in the summer. I make time for pilates, or water aerobics most mornings. Starting the day with movement helps my nervous system, and can change my mood and energy to feel more capable and optimistic. I try to soak in as much sun as I can, and I find farmers markets to be soothing and nurturing.

My Ayurveda doctor has been instrumental in helping me realize balance is about being honest with our body and giving it the nourishment and rest it craves. That has meant eating home cooked meals and early dinners, unplugging from technology by dinner time, and winding down with restorative yoga or yoga nidra. I love at home Ayurveda facials and massages which takes me back to my childhood. At least once a week, I try to unplug and be in nature and make it to the pottery studio to nurture my artistic side.

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