Key to True Happiness

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‘You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.’

Inspiration. Sometimes it can hit you in the face, or come to you in a dream. Some people call it being in the zone. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s refers to it as the flow “A state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” For Makara Adkins, it is a way of life and the key to true happiness. The youngest of four, she was raised in a series of small towns in British Columbia. With a Caribbean and Irish, and English background and being the only biracial family at the time, she found it came with its own set of challenges. Born with bright red hair made her a target for relentless teasing, and created a deep desire in her to fit in. She hid behind the mask of a perpetual class clown and wise-cracker, who stirred the pot whenever she had the chance. Always feeling the need to prove herself and shine, you could find her regularly doing one-act plays at family gatherings.

Her interest in art came at a very young age, her father a painter, and writer was a constant and significant influence in her life. One of her first childhood memories was her father laying down newspapers on the kitchen floor and surrounding her with paints. Her mother a free-spirited hippie, one of Canada’s first black models, is where she contributes her empathic heart, and love of adventure.

Craving a bigger platform for her creativity, she moved to Toronto at the age of eighteen. It was the Christmas season, no different than any other holiday time a mixture of parties and celebrations going on around town. After sifting through a series of downtown clubs and bars, her and a friend casually strolled into a party. She couldn’t help but notice the glitz and glam and array of beautiful people. A gentleman approached her and asked her if she was a new face at the agency. Not sure what he was referring to, he then asked if she modeled. As it turned out she had stumbled into a top modeling agency’s Christmas party and a new phase of her life. She remembers feeling like an imposter in the beginning and looking over her shoulders when people told her she was beautiful. As time went on her confidence grew. She found modeling was the perfect platform for this evolution to occur. In the span of fifteen years, she worked on national campaigns, editorials, and commercials. Modeling was taking her around the globe to China, Italy, France, Greece, England, America, and Switzerland. She attributes her experience in fashion to teaching her how to sell an image, idea, or concept in a matter of minutes. Even amid all the glamour and travel one thing never changed her never-ending desire to express herself and tell her story. She recalls a friend calling her for New York. “ You won’t believe this! I am looking at your face right now. You are on a Nike billboard in Times Square!” She remembers thinking not bad for a mixed girl from the mountains.

Refusing the limitations of others, she never understood it when people say you can’t do something and loves to challenge the no-sayers. When she first moved to Switzerland she rented out an art gallery across from Art Basel with the hopes of capturing the overspill of people from the worlds largest art fair. Capitalizing on the existing traffic flow, she knew they would come and see her paintings. A success, she made enough money to support her for the year, till she could repeat it again the following. She can be often heard saying. “There is nothing that a person can not do. If there is an example of someone doing it, then it is possible. You only restrict yourself through negative selftalk, fear, and doubts”. Raised with the mantra that anything is possible and just being you is enough, she believes we all have great potential. We just need to tap into and let it flow into existence. Waking up in a state of gratitude and giving to others is her life motto, and is very excited about what is to come. After retiring from her modeling career of fifteen years, the natural progression was acting. She began studying Toronto. She knew the best way to learn is to immerse yourself in the industry. She applied for a stand-in job on the hit television series Suits, NBC, where she stood in for the actress Megan Markle, and Gina Torres. Following two seasons there, she went to The Flash, CW’s hit number one show. With eyes wide open and a sincere desire to learn, she observed what camera lenses they used, and lighting setups. She introduced herself to directors, producers, and writers and asked to hear their stories about how they got to where they were. She soon realized shadowing actors was a great learning experience for a performer. She got a better understanding of how a production is run, the different crew positions, and how each role was essential to tell a story was invaluable. A massive dreamer and constant visionary, with a vault of endless ideas, and energy that needed an outlet, lead her to turn to an industry where she could express herself. No longer satisfied saying the thoughts, words, and ideas, written by others, she began writing. She wanted to relay her unique experience by combining her natural wit, unique cultural perspective, and proven ability with handling scripted material. When life took a turn, and she lost both of her parents, she was propelled even more to share her story. All in the hopes of helping others who have gone through the same experiences. Her dream is to inspire people to continue living their dreams, even in the face of life’s biggest adversities.

A recent trip to Sayulita, Mexico was the catalyst for her first novel. The synchronicities and people that she encountered propelled her to begin to write her story. What was originally a fictional novel based on actual events, took her on a journey to find out the truth. A memoir. The events in Sayulita were showing her parallels with her past and present. It is a story about her facing one life’s biggest challenges, letting go of thought patterns that no longer served her, and the most significant journey of all, learning to love herself. The irony being that through looking from an outside perspective, she found what truly lied within. She recommends everyone try it.
A cross between Eat Pray Love and The Glass Castle, her novel, takes you on a journey of self realization. She covers topics of growing up with a parent who struggled with addiction and a father who fought with mental health issues, and loss. A sometimes raw, and tear-jerking page-turner, it is difficult to put this book down. A story of Psychics, love, heartache, loss, spirituality, manifestation, and universal laws that takes you across the globe, Makara hopes by sharing her story she can show the connectivity of humanity. This journey of going within has aligned her with her life purpose, inspiring people through her art and creativity.
There’s a Buddhist saying, “We become the stories that we tell ourselves.” If this is true, the future looks bright for Makara.

Makara Adkins @arrowofevestudio

Photos: Brianna Goldie @champagne_estate

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