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Crystal Healing Helped Devi Brown Manifest A Life She Loves

"Transformation can only come through pain or restlessness."

BOSS UP

Devon “Devi" Brown is all smiles as she strolls into the slightly crowded Hollywood vegan restaurant Café Gratitude.

Her attire is casual — a simple pair of blue jeans and a white tank top — and she's radiating positive energy despite us having to switch lunch locations at the last minute. It turns out that this is one of her favorite spots, a coincidental, yet optimal choice given our impending conversation about vibrating higher.

"I love the menu. Like saying, 'I'll have the I Am Incredible,' or the plate that asks 'What are you grateful for?'" Brown says, referring to the restaurant's affirmation-themed dishes. She pauses to carefully snap a photo of her "I Am Liberated" pasta kelp noodles — a perfect selection for someone who has, herself, become free in mind and spirit thanks to her discovery of meditation and the power of crystal healing.

“I usually keep a little pouch with me at all times with whatever kind of energies that I want to attract at that moment," she confesses. “I have a lot of crystals that are great for focus, spontaneity and sporadic luck…and also good with discipline."

Her face lights up as she explains her love affair with crystals, and why, despite having a successful career as a radio and television personality, she's finding a greater purpose through her newly-launched lifestyle brand Karma Bliss, a site that educates and gives people the tools to connect deeper with themselves by unlocking their true power and potential through meditation, journaling, and crystal therapy.

"People who enjoy crystals believe they all carry a multitude of energies, and in a very sacred and spiritual way aid you and surrounds you with the kind of energies to manifest the things you're looking to manifest," says Brown. "If you have them and think of what it stands for, just the way life works you're changing your thoughts so you're changing your life and attracting things in, so I keep them tucked in my purse all the time."

Courtesy of Karma Bliss

While there are many who talk the good energy talk, Brown is a testament to the fulfillment that accompanies knowledge of one self and desire for continuous growth. Growing up in Los Angeles, Devi always had a fascination with transformation. As an only child to a single mother she describes herself as someone who was always deeply self-aware even if she didn't quite understand what that meant. She didn't go to church but she had encountered spiritual people throughout her lifetime — family friends who practiced Buddhism, chanting, or meditation.

“I was always into meditation, but I also over thought it. I didn't think I'd have time; I thought it would be hard and I didn't know how. I always would find myself to coming back to asking someone I knew who did it what it was like."

She was curious but the fear that stemmed from her lack of understanding made her shy away from the practice until years later when she began dealing with her own internal struggles. Her constant relocating throughout her childhood and into adulthood left her feeling a sense of instability.

“As women we don't give ourselves enough love and care and acceptance for the fact that I might be all over the place inside because I'm all over the place," says Brown. “Moving across the country is one of the hardest things you can do, especially alone. Even if it is for an amazing opportunity and for a lot of money, it doesn't matter. You're out of your comfort zone; everything is new and different. You have to put yourself out there to meet new people. You don't have your normal safe places."

Shortly after relocating to New York to co-host The Sway In The Morning Show and MTV's Hip Hop POV, she met NFL offensive tackle player Duane Brown and within a year the couple had married. “When we decided to get engaged it was such a strange, transformative time. We met within a few weeks of me moving into New York and I had just started working on a morning show and doing TV stuff and hitting the pavement. At that point I had been away from home a year and a half [from L.A.], but I knew that I loved him so I said I'll take the risk; I'll take the jump."

Courtesy of Devi Brown

The leap was worth it, but admittedly uncomfortable as the newlywed gave up her job to move with her husband to Houston. The transition left her battling with her purpose in life as she assumed the role as a wife to a pro football player.

“At least the first couple of months I didn't have a job title," Brown says. “All of a sudden now I'm somebody's wife and living someplace that I didn't necessarily think I was going to be. It was uncomfortable. It was tough. But what I really started paying attention to was this feeling in the absolute restlessness. Every day I would wake up feeling like I needed to escape and that's a terrible feeling to have, wanting to escape but you have no idea to where. I was very restless and through that restlessness I got really sad because everything I thought I was working towards had been paused. Transformation can only come through pain or restlessness."

"Transformation can only come through pain or restlessness."

Despite her unfamiliarity with the Bible, Brown surrendered her feeling of idleness and prayed for revelation. The answer came in the form of a 10-day meditation retreat with mind-body healing expert Deepak Chokra. It forced the self-proclaimed nomad to be still and to dig deeper within herself. The experience was transformative, and Brown began incorporating it into her lifestyle, picking up more healing practices such as crystal therapy and journaling and attending a number of meditation retreats. But as Brown began her own ascent into self-enlightenment she noticed that as a young person of color she was often the minority in the room.

“I was like I want to be able to share this with people. Your story, your journey is not to be hoarded, the whole point is to complete that circle and share it with another and helping them to unlock whatever they have. I really wanted to create something specifically with helping young professionals to remember to invest into their spirits and their souls through the chaos and through their accomplishments. None of it means anything if you're a wreck of a person inside."

Running her new business Karma Bliss, while fulfilling, has certainly been no easy feat for the new entrepreneur. As the midday host for Houston's 93.7 The Beat, Brown often finds herself running from one job and diving right into her venture, burning the midnight oil as she processes orders, updating the website, and packages her thousands of carefully hand-selected crystals that help the user manifest everything from emotional healing to physical vitality.

"There are so many different kinds and it really depends on what you're trying to attract more of in your life," Brown says. “I really love having crystals throughout my house. I keep a ton by my front door hidden behind our mail carrier because I want to make sure that people with bad energy are not coming into my house or that their energy gets checked at the door and they can claim it when they leave."

Transitioning into being her own boss has required Brown to create her own definition of balance. It's not, as she has discovered, being the perfect wife and career woman a hundred percent of the time, it's realizing that having it all means having the things you want, but not all at once — and being okay with the unexpected outcome.

“I freed myself of that have-it-all desire and mentality because the truth is we're just people. We're just human beings. Having it all is not my goal. Some days I'm going to be an extraordinary wife — I'm going to blow people away with relationship goals and I'm going to be shining in my wifedom. And then other days I'm not going to be able to talk to my husband except for the five minutes right before we go to sleep. And I'm going to be killing it as an entrepreneur."

The 31-year-old credits being whole individually to the foundation of their healthy relationship and staying connected. "A relationship ,no matter how good it is, will never complete you. That's not what it's supposed to do. It's supposed to stretch you; it's supposed to challenge you. You are supposed to experience love but it's not supposed to complete you. There's a huge difference between being ready for a relationship and being lonely. You may think it feels the same because you may think it's a longing for this person or that person; it's deeply different.

"Loneliness is an invitation to fall in love with you, not a warning sign that you need a relationship."

A few years ago Devi shared on her personal blog that she didn't want her marriage to define her, and she's worked tirelessly to ensure that she continues to shine without the title of Mrs. “I was already eight years into my career so that piece of me was so complete and fine-tuned like a well-oiled machine. I don't have time to allow my identity to be wrapped up in his accomplishments because I am so firmly locked into my destiny."

To those who may be struggling with their identity in their marriage, she offers this advice. “I think it's a great opportunity to start looking at our challenges and depression and those restless feelings or insecure feelings as what they're supposed to be, which is warning signs. If you notice that you're feeling jealous or insecure it just means you're out of balance. It means be more gentle with yourself, pay attention to that feeling, and find more things to feed it. Because it's a warning sign, it's an invitation to 'let's get you right'."

Devi has made it her mission to help others unlock the things that keep them from living freely. It's not about a paycheck, but having a passion to help others through their pain and become the highest version of themselves.

“We all end up wherever we're supposed to be in time in the process, but if you can give someone access to tools to help heal them and serve them where they're at, how amazing is that?

To find out more about Devi Brown and her new line of crystals, give her a follow on Instagram: DeviBrown, or visit karmabliss.com.

Originally published in October 2016

Featured image by Porterhouse Los Angeles via Devi Brown/Instagram

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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