October 11, 2011

I Miss The Fugees

The Caribbean influence, L Boogie’s tantalizing flows & stunning voice, the deep thoughts behind each and every word, the intention behind each and every beat...Fugees was such a brilliant group. I really miss them.

October 2, 2011

The GOOD Life: Nikia Phoenix

“…We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite pieces of writing in the world, Our Deepest Fear. I’m sure that most, if not all, of you are familiar with it as well. It is so easy to forget how much of an impact we are capable of having on other people’s lives. Even the smallest, most subtle, most unconscious gesture has the power to leave a lasting impression. The question is, what kind of impression do you want to leave upon others? How do you plan on shining your light?
I had the absolute privilege of interviewing Nikia Phoenix, a model & blogger from Los Angeles, California. Nikia is one of those rare people you come across who are just as stunning on the inside as they are on the outside. I am one of her blog’s loyal readers and I am always so inspired by the brilliance and positivity this woman radiates just from simply being herself. The manner in which she completely embraces who she is as a person which is something I know a lot of people, including myself, have difficulty doing is admirable. As she states in her bio, “Being a freckled-faced, natural-haired girl isn't easy. I've always felt different. Because of faith, I've been able to embrace who I am and prosper. God created me this way for a reason, and everyday I thank Him for that.” One of the most beautiful occurrences in life is when you are able to look at yourself in the mirror and love the person looking back at you. Nikia is a testament to this; she has liberated herself from the fear of being different and, in doing so, shines her light for others to see and be impacted by. 

What is your definition of a “good” life? Do you feel as if that is what you are living?
I used to think that a good life was about perfection, but I know better now. A good life is a happy life that still has its moments of anguish and strife to help you appreciate the brighter moments.  I think I'm living that.  
 How important do you feel it is for people to follow their passions, even if following those passions may not seem like a "secure" life choice?
There was a time, about a decade ago, when I focused more on security than passion. It drove me into depression. If you fight against the talents you've been blessed with, then that sense of security is just false. I still struggle with this myself, but I'm persevering. Don't be the starving artist. Profit from your abilities. Find the balance and I do believe you can be successful.

What are 3 personal characteristics that you possess that you feel have helped you in your modeling career?
Spunk, drive, and faith.  
 What aspect of your work makes you the happiest? Which aspect do you like the least?
I love working with really talented, humble people. Inspiration is infectious, so when you're creating with certain artists the possibilities are infinite. I do not like wasting time and talent on someone with a sour attitude. That bitterness will leave a bad taste in your mouth, and I can do without it.

Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew a few years ago that could have helped you along your life path?
I wish I had known that you need a really strong team to keep you going. You need a coach, cheerleaders, teammates and fans to keep you amped up for those tough times. You can't do it by yourself.
What is it like being a woman of color in the modeling industry?
 It's a challenge to be who I am in this business. The opportunities are limited. I've been turned down for jobs because of the color of my skin. But I think all women of color encounter similar situations. I feel like I have a duty to try my hardest and represent for us.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?  
Oh my goodness, I don't know. I hope that wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, I am content. All I really want is to be happy, fulfilled, and blessed.
If you could give someone a quote to live by, what would it be?
Know yourself. Love yourself. Be humble, because you didn't get where you are all by yourself.

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