Tap Into It
We asked 30 people who we admire to each interview one person they admire. That’s the concept behind the Interview Issue presented by Design Within Reach.
Artist and songwriter Gizzle chose radio and television host and author Devi Brown
I don’t have anything that’s saying you can’t do this.
Gizzle: You’ve been a radio and TV personality, A&R, supportive wife to a professional athlete. Now you’re on your way to becoming a spiritual guru. Could you explain what your key is to being able to successfully adapt and flourish in each of these roles, and in different cities and environments?
Devi Brown: You know, that’s a good question. That’s like a multi-layered question. I don’t want to over simplify it, but I think for me, my whole life has pointed me in the direction of staying open to whatever adventure comes. It’s kind of how I was raised, it’s kind of how I was forced to be. Growing up I was raised by a single parent, I’m an only child and at every significant juncture and schooling, me and my mom would usually pick up and move. I lived so many places in Southern California and it kind of was like a case study in discomfort because it taught me I always had to be reintroducing myself to people. I always had to, no matter how uncomfortable I was, I never had anyone to fall back on to kind of get me through that or to give me a pep talk. I had to teach and force myself to adapt to every situation that came and to be the fullest version of myself possible because I spent a lot of time alone.
I think for me that was my foundation. Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I was going to see the world. I didn’t know in what capacity, how I’d support it, any of those extra pieces of the puzzle. In my mind, there’s never been a thought to say no to anything. It’s never even occurred to not jump at opportunities no matter how different they seem. No matter how much people around me might have an opinion. I’ve always felt like, if it resonates with my spirit, I’m going to do it.
When I first made that big move and left LA, it was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life because I left everything I was so comfortable with. I had the opportunity to do radio in another big market and I was like, I don’t have kids, I’m not married. I don’t have anything that’s saying you can’t do this. I figure if it finds me, it was meant for me so I usually will find a way to make it happen.
After a few years of working in entertainment I felt like, my life is poppin’. I’m having fun, but there has got to be something else.
GZ: Recently you’ve been very into your spirituality and you started your own company and released a book called Crystal Bliss. I was wondering, what sparked your interest to start exploring your spirituality? Then dive into the market space?
DD: My mom always had really interesting friends and stories to tell and you know, no matter where we lived we were having adventures on the weekends. That kind of lent itself to me always being really inquisitive about the world that I lived in, and really inquisitive about my place in it and who I was. When you’re an only child you tend to spend a lot of time reflecting inward, I believe. Revisiting things that sparked your interest as a kid, you forgot about for a few years and now they have a more significant role in your life.
I think that was always a really big piece of me, but then after a few years of working in entertainment I felt like, my life is poppin’. I’m having fun, but there has got to be something else. You know, I was kind of like checking things off my list of what I was taught meant success but I said you know, I’m getting all of these things accomplished, why don’t I feel as happy as people always said you’d feel if you got the promotion, if you got the car, if you got the house, if you got the man. Why I don’t I feel more ecstatic? I kind of started diving into that feeling, which connected me with a deeper level of who I was. It really connected me with a deeper desire to have an impact in the world and to tap into my purpose more deliberately.
From there, I kind of started on my spiritual journey, which first led me to meditation, which changed my entire life. Then led me to just lots of different resources. Some of them you know, ancient Vedic texts—some of them you know—newer books or crystals. All these different things aided me in my journey. I found that the more that I changed me and the more that I grew into myself, the more people wanted to know about it. The more you take on the role of transitioning from a seeker to being a guide, to being a teacher.
At that time, I was still working in radio so my listeners are asking me questions all the time or engaging with me on social media, wanting to know more. When you have peace it’s kind of like a magnet where people are just really, really attracted to you because they want that peace. It was kind of a natural transition for me to want to launch Karma Bliss. I wanted to have a place where I was able to share things that mattered to me and share things that had been useful to me in growing myself. From there I just started receiving more opportunities that were aligned with that desire.
GZ: You said “tapped in” earlier, and I really like that phrase. How do you feel that’s been instrumental in your success as a professional? Being able to really tap into the spiritual side of things and finding the ultimate love for yourself so to speak.
DD: Yeah, oh God. It’s really one of those things where when you do that, everything else falls into place. You know, whenever people ask me questions about career or ask me for advice or different things for like outward success, I always tell them if you choose to dive into yourself. If you choose to do the work and figure out deeper layers of who you are and what makes you tick and what matters to you, every single thing else from career to love to opportunity, it all falls into place effortlessly. Versus if you’re chasing a career goal, you could be running in circles for years and everything around you is falling apart. When you work on yourself and invest in yourself, everything else becomes so simple.
My desire wasn’t just for clicks and hits or ratings.
I think for me it’s like you know, before I kind of really dived into this journey I was experiencing success, but it didn’t feel fulfilling to me. Versus when I started diving into myself and really walking on this path, everything I did felt more important. Everything I did felt like I was using all of me. I feel like it allowed me to become even better at radio or hosting or interviewing, because I was connecting on such a deeper level. My desire wasn’t just for clicks and hits or ratings. You know, even though a lot of that comes, my desire was more for connection. You know, realizing that at every moment we’re each a teacher and a student. I wanted to learn as much as I could from everyone I talked to. Be it my listener or a celebrity in the studio. I wanted to also share the things that I’ve learned.
GZ: You talked a little bit about Karma Bliss already but could you go into just a little bit on the thought processes behind it?
DD: You know, conceptualizing it was really easy but to be very honest, entrepreneurship is so incredibly difficult. You’re second-guessing yourself all the time. You’re really having to learn things on the go, and quickly. You realize you know, pretty fast that things don’t always go as planned.
My vision for Karma Bliss was, I wanted to create an online space to connect people to different tools that I was finding useful. Also, a place to share some of my beliefs, some of my teachings and really kind of expand that online commerce into more speaking opportunities, book opportunities, TV opportunities. Just kind of really solidify myself in that space, to be able to merge my two worlds of interests, which are broadcasting and self-discovery.
We’ve been in existence now for a little over a year, maybe like 14 months. The process of it hasn’t been easy. You know, at first, it was really great. We had a lot of attention and a lot of success. Then it lulls because you have to, you know, also learn marketing.
You have to learn ecommerce and you have to learn how to connect people with what you’re offering. That part has been a challenge because I’m not used to that. I’m used to being talent. I’m used to being able to show up, do what I do, collect a paycheck. Also having to learn all the other facets of what makes people buy into a brand and how to find your tribe, so to speak. That has been—it’s been challenging.
GZ: For you, what is the key to harnessing and understanding the magnitude of your own power?
DB: Yeah, that’s a really good question. It’s a really deep question. I think it’s really been understanding that as much as I grow, I’ll never be done. I think once you get out of your mind that your self-growth and self-discovery has an ending point, or a time where you can say, “Ah I completed that, now I’m this,” life becomes so much easier, because you’re kind of detached from anything that happens and you are just remaining open to the universe and whatever it brings to you. For me, that has been one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned. That’s been one of the things that keeps me in a constant state of evolution, because I know that my work is never done. I know that as long as I’m on this planet, nothing will ever be perfect. I’ll never be fully completed, but my goal is wholeness, not perfection.
I think also realizing that I’m going to constantly be experiencing obstacles and pain, because that’s what life is made of. We all are, but if you choose to utilize pain as a catalyst to level up, because it’s next version of who you’re supposed to be, as opposed to something that keeps you in a bitter or unfair mind frame, you really become unstoppable.
GZ: What is the best piece of advice that you were never given?
DD: I think something that would’ve really aided me in knowing when I was younger, and brought in a lot of peace, and just kind of focused purpose, is learning how to flow with life. I think if somebody kind of gave me the analogy of life being like water, it would’ve really clicked for me and helped me a lot, because life is all about your flow.
Life is all about being able to maneuver, and realizing that even some of the most difficult things you’ve experienced are never personal, and they’re never meant to harm you. That everything in your life is really an opportunity to transcend, to level up, and to become the highest version of yourself possible.
GZ: What’s next for Devi Brown?
DB: What I would like to do is really find a way to combine these two aspects that have been such important parts of my life, which are broadcasting and self-discovery. I’m coming out with a lot of online content and podcasting, to kind of blend those two worlds and hold space for that.
But there’s a lot of conversations happening in broadcasting, whether it’s terrestrial radio, or television, that is just so obsessed with celebrity and forming opinions, even when you’re not fully versed on what you’re talking about. That can be really dangerous, because not everybody knows how to ingest that type of information and not everybody has the reasoning skills to take all of that on. It skews the way they see the world, and it skews the way they see themselves.