Buddhism Buddies (Nikki, GCLA, Ep.4)

Telling Eva and Kelly about my dad coming to LA (when we were at the spa) was kind of pointless. I had already made up my mind on how I was going to handle the situation, however I wanted to share with them my nervousness, and my sense of confusion regarding whether or not I should call him “Dad”. It’s always great to hear someone else’s opinion- whether or not you take their advice.

I was so excited when Denyce came to me for advice. She has gone through a lot, both personally and with her career, in the past year. I try to support my friends in any way I can, even if it is just to listen. But I was happy I got to share my experiences with her, with hopes that if any of it resonated, I could potentially change her point of view.

I became a Buddhist seven years ago. I was looking for some sort of practice that was spiritual and healing. I went to a temple with my friend to try it out, and from that moment I said, "this is for me." Ever since, I have been practicing, chanting, and teaching others the Buddhist philosophy. Buddhism, to many, goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy and way of life. It is a philosophy because “philosophy" means "love of wisdom" and the Buddhist path can be summed up as: 1. to lead a moral life; 2. to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions; and 3. to develop wisdom and understanding. When I chanted for a miracle, I didn't have anything specific in mind. I wanted to just be blessed with whatever was meant for me. It was obviously to meet my Dad, which was so amazing to me.

I wasn't ready for Jason to meet my Dad because I didn't even really know him myself. I wanted to get to know him and experience the miracle I was blessed with. Even if my Dad was in my life, there is a time and a place when you introduce your boyfriend to your parents. Jason and I have a wonderful friendship and he is very understanding. Jason actually agreed with me and felt that it was important that I build a relationship with my Dad and get comfortable with it before I introduce them. He understood how uncomfortable the situation was, and told me whenever I was ready, he would be there for me. Jason and I met on a business trip in China, we both were there doing Chinese Fashion Week as featured designers. We spent 15 days together, working on the show, doing press, and visiting factories along with a group of five other American designers. And the rest is history!

Talking to my Dad in the park was really nerve-racking, it was so strange to have him come visit me in L.A. and to see him face-to-face alone. It’s interesting to learn about someone who is your biological parent- to see how many similarities you have even though you didn’t grow up with them. We have a lot of the same facial expressions and gestures. I find it incredible to learn about a parent at this age- discovering all of their personality traits and feelings can be very delicate. I didn't really get all the answers I wanted in the park, but he was here for a few days, so I had plenty of time to learn about him. I was happy with how the conversation went, we are building our relationship and it takes time. I’m not going to get all the answers in one day.

I loved Denyce's film at the Pan-African Film fest, I was so proud of her like a momma. I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear, to see her in her career environment being honored for her work was just amazing. I got to see her light up so bright and it was such a positive night. I definitely see a new beginning for her!

My friends inspire me because they are so unique in their own ways. Each of them have different talents, interests, and goals. Eva influences me with her drive and her "get it" personality. She certainly knows where she wants to be in life and is on the fast track to getting there. Kelly has such a hidden talent: she is an arts and craft major! She is a true artist and painter with an amazing cartoon style. And Denyce, wow...she is a true Renaissance woman, photographer, re-toucher, make-up artist, cook, actor, builder - simply amazes me!

I like to create unique environments that are serene, grounded, and sleek. I like subtle sensuality, and try to accent spaces with distinctive pieces and eclectic finds while adding a sense of timeless style. I tend to mix modern lines with a chic touch that aligns perfectly with a dramatic fashion-fused vision. My concept is to always include some aspect of fashion in all my interiors.

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