Today we raise our fists high and put our hands together in celebration of our Feature Girl Warrior, the fun-loving, flamboyant, straight-talking author, entrepreneur, filmmaker and inspirational speaker, Devina Kaur. Living life to its fullest, Devina the eccentric butterfly, shares her relentless optimism with the world to empower herself and others to love themselves. Born and raised in rural India, she fought to reconcile her traditional upbringing with her ambitions. After a lifetime of being told she was too fat, too loud and too ambitious, her world fell apart in her 30s when her arranged marriage ended. Thirty years of desperately trying to be the person everyone else wanted had resulted in loneliness, depression, and dating addiction. While looking for purpose and meaning, Devina embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her to start the Sexy Brilliant Global Revolution. Seeking a genuine connection to real people, she would meet potential dates, friends and business partners in unconventional places. Fearlessly jumping into new educational and business ventures, she built on every success and failure as an opportunity to learn more about herself and her many talents. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Devina quickly learned that the dating scene was just another superficial construct where potential dates portrayed themselves as they knew others would find attractive, not as their true selves. Finding traditional online dating a bore, Devina turned to Craigslist for more genuine connections. She committed to deconstructing the formality of dating and “keeping things real.” When meeting a new person, Devina would always affirm that she was not just, “Okay.” She was, “Always sexy. Always brilliant.” The words she spoke would determine her frame of mind, and ultimately, the kinds of people she would attract. With every new connection and adventure, Devina uncovered her true self, and she realized that the only way she would have true and lasting love in her life was to love herself first! Thus, the Sexy Brilliant ideology was born, developed and shared around the world. And on top of all this sexy brilliance, Devina has recently been recognized as Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of the Year! And to that we say a too fat loud ambitious YES!
What makes you a Girl Warrior?
I’ve travelled through a lot of darkness to get here. I’ve experienced heartbreak, depression and the challenges of single parenting – all with very little support or funding. I’m a 100% self-made businesswoman who has created a brand that personifies the Girl Warrior spirit. It’s about self-awareness, which starts with self-knowledge, including not running away from our darkness, in my case my addiction and mental health issues, and is continuously manifesting through radical self-acceptance. Being born a woman is a privilege. Everything I do with the Global Revolution of Empowerment honors all the women warriors who came before me. I’m the torchbearer of our sexiness and our intelligence!
What is Sexy Brilliant? Tell us the story behind this concept?
Sexy Brilliant is an attitude, an affirmation, and a way of life. It comes from many years of being single and a dating addict. After the end of my arranged marriage, I was so lonely and insecure that I wanted a man to save me. Whenever a person would text me, “How are you?” I would inevitably reply “Always Sexy! Always Brilliant!” The more I said it, the more it became who I am.
During my darkest days, when I had only had 10$ in my pocket, had no food to feed the family, and was severely depressed, it became a powerful affirmation that boosted my self-esteem and made me feel good. Every time self-doubt reared its ugly head, I would repeat the mantra. This gave me the necessary confidence to move forward with life and recover from setbacks more quickly.
Persistently telling myself that I am Sexy Brilliant grounds me, and keeps me more in the present moment. And, it just is.
When will your book, “Sexy Brilliant” be completed and could we expect to see more?
Even though I consider myself an accidental author, I’ve really enjoyed writing the “Sexy Brilliant” series. My learning disabilities have made it a bit more challenging to write and express myself clearly, but I’m thrilled that the first book in the series will be published early 2020. It might be the world’s first ever X-rated self-help book but I promise you it will be a fun, light read, with a lot of SEXY BRILLIANCE in it!
Why do you call yourself an accidental author?
Being authentic, which comes from deep self-knowledge, also means accepting our shortcomings! First of all, unlike many people I do not have a natural talent for writing. Plus, English is my second language, which makes creative expression a greater challenge. But despite my learning difficulties and doubts, I have always said, “When in doubt, doubt the doubts.” I believe that once we’ve made up our mind about doing something, the right people will come to help make our dreams come true. Trust the Universe and always keep faith over fear!
You were born and raised in India. How did that compare to The States/North-America? What brought you to Hollywood?
I spent the first 20 years of my life in India and I moved to Canada for my university studies. In India, I grew up very constrained by what others expected of me, and I allowed this to form the basis of my self-confidence… or the lack of it.
I always felt that I was too much: fat, loud, ambitious… just too much Devina to fit into the narrow cultural role defined for me by other people. When I arrived in North America, I immersed myself in my studies and work. I accumulated over nine degrees and certifications and I continue to believe strongly in life-long learning. After my arranged marriage ended, I jumped into the dating world with the same passion. I wanted to meet everyone, feel everything, and experience all that life has to offer. For the first time, I felt that I could be myself: big, beautiful, sexy and smart. In India, I felt that I had to conform. In Canada, and most developed countries it’s all about standing out and embracing our originality.
So here I am, sharing my authentic self and always keeping to the brand promise of the K.A.U.R. ™ process: K – self-knowledge; A – self-acceptance; U – unveil; and R – release.
You are very real and very brave on social media. Tell us a little about that?
One of my followers recently sent me a message, sharing how she has struggled with breaking away from a strict family upbringing, and how the roles that were imposed on her from childhood had been getting in the way of being her true self, until finally she was diagnosed with a major depression. I realized that there are millions of us out there carrying false images of ourselves that can destroy happiness. Why can’t we all be Sexy Brilliant? Why are we suppressing our true selves? Why do we uphold these cultural bonds that keep us in a negative and destructive place?
Sexy Brilliant ™ is a Global Revolution of Empowerment from the inside out! That means having deep self-knowledge and practicing radical self-acceptance. By radical I mean that no part of oneself is the enemy – including the depression, the fat side, the ambitious side. The more we practice self-awareness, the more empowered and authentic we become!
What’s it like being a full-time single parent and a successful businesswoman? How do you find the balance?
Honestly, parenting is the most fun and the most difficult job ever! I see my children as my most important teachers. However, being an immigrant and having no family around for support is hard but I look at everything as a gift. To stay healthy – physically, emotionally and spiritually – it is vital that I parent myself first!
To those who are struggling, I recommend self-knowledge as the key to success, in life and in parenting. As a social person, I have built a large network of single parents and neighbors who are always willing to help with babysitting. When I quit investment banking, and walked dogs for a living, I often took my little ones with me, as it was the only way I could earn money at that time. But the most important lesson I learned through that experience is that no situation in life is permanent!
What advice would you give young women today about body image and being happy in their own skin?
YOU ARE LOVED. Self-love is the ability to unconditionally love ourselves, no matter what, regardless of the culture we were raised in, the language we speak, our shape or the color of our skin. Always, always, always continue to be your own favorite person! Radical self-acceptance means accepting that you are perfect the way you are and that the body is a divine gift. The journey to more self-love is LOVE itself.
Sometimes we might be going through a rough patch, the skin does not look right, our friends bailed on us, and we are lying in bed at 3:00am watching our entire life disintegrate online. But our social media experience does not make us who we are. Our culture does not define us. Our past might have been a big part of our life, but today we can choose to be Sexy Brilliant, and that means letting our own light shine and loving ourselves first!
Self-love = True Love!
If a bioflic were written about your life, what would it be called?
Eccentric Butterfly. Eccentric – because you have to be crazy and willing to give up everything to help others. Butterfly – because evolution is constant. Just like a butterfly spreads her wings, we can too!
To discover more about the #SexyBrilliant Devina head over to her website: https://www.devinakaur.com/
For more on her Top 25 Canadian Immigrant of the Year award check this out:
Devina is very active on the following social media platforms:
Instagram at: @thedevinakaur https://www.instagram.com/thedevinakaur/?hl=e
LinkedIn at: http://linkedin.com/in/thedevinakaur
Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/TheDevinaKaur
Twitter at: https://twitter.com/thedevinakaur
Snapchat at: sexybrilliant
Subscribe to her YouTube channel: http://YouTube.com/c/SexyBrilliant
Use #SexyBrilliant to find more!