Dear Heart,

Always think positive. No matter what they say, what they think, how much they discourage you.

Always think positive. Because your beautiful and I see your light even in the darkness. NO. Especially in the darkness.

Always think positive. Even when you’re your own worse enemy, when you don’t want to get up out of bed, when you want nothing else but to run from the world. GET. UP. And own it.

Always think positive. Because I believe in you.


Lindsay Reva

Because I love you

Shores, Wash Away My Bad

Yesterday I did a photoshoot with the Photographer Extraordinaire Ivan S. Harris. I was skeptical about it since I have a MOUNTAIN of work that awaits me. Who do I think I am to wear a mask of makeup and try to bat my eyes for the camera? I can sense my work waiting around every corner, ready to pounce. Not to mention I’ve been eating a lot of chocolate lately. I don’t mean a few pieces of itty bitty squares. More like a chocolate bar that weighs 2 pounds (They actually sell them at Marshalls!). Oy, sexiness left me when 10lbs extra strutted into my life like a too loud diva. But we had already set a day and I already pushed back a shoot with him earlier in the week. Flakiness had no right to add itself to my busy agenda. So I went, feeling half-ass even in the steps I took as we walked to the La Jolla Shores barefoot.

When my feet touched the sand something marvelous happened. For a second I become a child again and remember when my father used to take us to the beach every weekend to run wild in the sunlight. How free I felt in the cool waters. How he used to carry me on his shoulders when I was too tired to make it back to the car. How he would take us to eat afterward’s at my brother and I’s favorite spot. They were glorious, they were paradise. The paperwork and neverending emails were momentarily forgotten. When I reached the chilly waters, I actually twirled like some new-aged Marie Poppins. Sea air filled my lungs.

Then we shot. I tried to bring back those memories as Ivan aimed and pulled the trigger. Still waiting to see how the pictures turned out but here’s one he sent me from the batch. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not the reminisces or workload can be seen. Either way, I hope in your own world of work, work, work, or kids, kids, kids, or bla, bla, bla that you find a place that reminds you of happiness till you attain it. Happiness, always my lovelies. 


Lindsay Reva

Ivan S Harris Photography

Why Did You Start The Heiva San Diego?

So many times people have asked me why? Why do this? Why didn’t you do that? Why!? Why!? Why!? Most of the time I give them the It’s none of your damn business look. But there is one question that without fail hits me like a Deer in the illuminated tunnel of oncoming headlights.

Why did you start the Heiva San Diego

When those words leave their lips, memories pour into my brain as if it were yesterday that I stepped barefoot onto the To’ata stage, feet raw from dancing for weeks on concrete, my stomach screaming from nerves, and a thousand electric currents pulsing throughout my hearts’ core. Oh yes, that is a question that makes me not only remember, but makes me feel.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Heiva San Diego, it’s a Tahitian Cultural festival and Dance Competition that takes place every year in August located in Sunny San Diego. This year the dates are August 11 & 12 and it’ll be the 8th year that my family and friends have put together this gathering and event. Every year I hope to bring Tahiti to San Diego. I fail in some aspects, in others I succeed. No matter the outcome, I keep trying.

So why Lindsay? Why did you start the Heiva San Diego?

As a child, I grew up around my mother, aunties, and grandma talking about the Heiva I Tahiti (Check it out!). It was something to gossip about on a tiny island where everyone knew everyone. Almost every single woman in my family had danced in the Heiva. I could imagine them as young women full of life up on stage. Then there was my older cousin Vairani. She was the most beautiful person I had ever seen and when she performed on stage with her hair long and crimped hair,  makeup and red lips, she was transformed further into something untouchable to my young awkward self. Her skin turned to gold. Her hair was spun silk. And even that stank attitude she always gave me because I was her little cousin dissipated. She was no longer the prettiest one in our family to my mind, she elevated into Vairani, Island Goddess.  OMGAWWWDDD I was such a twerp! You better believe that after I saw her up on that stage I would have done anything for her (This probably made her despise me even more!) I followed her around like a pesky mosquito while she tried to smack me out of the way (and she was real smooth not to do it in front of the adults!). But I didn’t care. She was Goddess. Goddess’ can do whatever the hell they want! That was when I was a young chump. Eventually, I grew up to be an older chump.

As I matured my memories of my cousin never faded. I remembered the way she smiled on stage and how infectious her joy was as she swayed and moved in ways I couldn’t. I would never forget how beautiful she was. There’s just no way in hell I could erase the impression of the costumes, colors, and sounds as the drum echoed across the courtyard into the waters that made the island a paradise to most and a prison to others. Every time I saw bright red lips, my inner bitch would shake her head and comment. Sure can’t rock it like Vairani. No one can rock it like my cousin did when I was young, impressionable, and wanted to be just like her older cousin with the perfect everything…Nobody!!!

Then I hit rock bottom. Not really rock bottom…Let me restate that; Teenage Rockbottom. It involved teenage heartbreak to a guy who I was better off without. I stopped eating and I didn’t want to see anyone. 20 lbs lighter and disappeared from my usual group of friends, my soul searched for something else to cling onto and somehow I stumbled upon Healii’s Polynesian Revue (HPR ). They were doing a performance in a parking lot. BAM! Just like a magical abracadabra, my lost teenage soul who felt soooooooo damn ugly after being dumped by her good for nothing boyfriend, saw the red lips, the bright costumes, and heard the drum beats that made her blood hot as if she were standing in the middle of a summer storm. I went through highschool uncommitted to everything and anything(except douchebag boys) but at that moment I tugged on my father’s sleeve and looked him in the eyes with an expression that meant Business. “I am going to dance with them.” He probably liked the ways my eyes lit up with fire..but he might have hated that he was going to pay for my dance lessons. Thanks, daddy! So I dance, and the more I dance, the more I fell out of love with scum bags, and back into love with myself. I felt beautiful on stage. The dances made me part of something that I had never experienced before. I learned about other islands as well as my own and more importantly, I formed bonds with others that made me stronger. My hula sisters.

Slowly and surely I wanted more. MORE! MORE! MORE! More dance…. but especially more of Tahiti. Healii’s was mostly Hawaii. They were wonderful, but my soul searched for something that my younger self had seen; Ori Tahiti. When I turned 18 I found an opportunity impossible for me to pass up; Competing in the Heiva I Tahiti. The competitions of all competitions, which my mother had even participated in when she was my age. I WAS ALL IN, BABY!

For months I trained with a small group of girls in America and it went a little something like this: Watch video’s of a Tahitian dancer and memorize the dances. That sounds so easy. NOT! I lost about 15lbs in the first couple of months. We trained every day like dogs doing moves that normal human beings just don’t do. During training..our hips could NOT lie. Instead, they SANG TRUTH, louder and louder as the days passed.. well you get the point. When it was time to finally go to Tahiti and meet the group that we were joining things only got harder. Dance, dance, and more dance..Oh and BTW when your finished dancing, you better dance in your sleep (which is exactly what my dreams made me do!) It was so damn HARD, but every single second was pure BLISS. Even the blisters on my soles felt worthy. Finally, I had found something in life that I was willing to work hard at. Yet, when it was time to actually perform the dances, I would have never expected what happened…

My hair was amazingly big and puffy. My lips were fire-truck red. The costume I wore fit perfectly. I was ready. We were ready. Vairani, you better watch your back..I’m bringing it! And together the beats took their toll and we stepped on stage as one. At that moment I could feel the heartbeats of everyone standing beside me. Their breathes were rhythically aligned with mine. The crowd looked at us and I did not shrink back. Together we were brilliant with our flaws and all.

That night we didn’t win first place. I can’t even remember if we got second or third.. but that wasn’t the point. There were over 100 dancers who had learned the same routines as me and I could feel every single one of them besides me that night. We were one and the same MANA. Their power was mine, and mine was theirs. Happiness swept through my soul like a dove through the blue sky and I knew that after this night never again would I be the same. I had danced as my mother had danced. I had become what Vairani had once been. I had reached something that seemed untouchable. I competed in Heiva I Tahiti.

So Lindsay, why did you do it? Who do you think you are bringing the Heiva to San Diego? 

I created the Heiva San Diego for one reason. That feeling that swept through my body as I stepped on stage with my new brothers and sisters. I wanted to share that feeling of camaraderie, passion, dedication, and mana with the world. Not everyone can go to Tahiti. Some people don’t even know the difference between Tahiti and Haiti!!! But if I can bring part of Tahiti to America, maybe I can show them my hearts addictions. And if it’s only one person who can believe in what I believe, it’ll still be worth it. Tahiti will always be worth it.

In the beginning, only my mother believed that it was possible. Nowadays, there are some people who talk behind our back and shake their heads. I care not! One day soon, San Diego will see why Tahiti and the islands are utopias, paradise, Eden, and better than  Sweden.

Why did you start the Heiva San Diego? 

Because this is what I was born to do.


Lindsay Reva

📸 : Ivan S Harris Photography

Words, Don’t Let Me Down

How many of us say one thing and do the exact opposite? Everybody. No? Not’re an exception? Well then, do you shift things around so that it’s not as far away from what you had originally set out to do? Same damn thing!!! You said you would do one thing, and you didn’t do it at all. My brother never commits to anything. You ask him if he wants to go to a birthday party and he’ll respond with, ” We’ll see what the weathers like.” You ask him if he wants to hang out and he’ll reply with a, ” Can I let you know later” which usually means right before its going down. But I respect it completely because at least he’s not breaking his words. Sure, getting him to attend a family get together can be tricky as hell, but you can’t break a promise that was never given in the first place.

I bring this up since someone I care about does it to me ALL THE DAMN TIME. I wait for them to call because we had a rendezvous…and the hours’ roll by, on and on and on. It’s not that they’ve forgotten about me. Okay no, they’ve forgotten me completely or found something better to occupy their time. Let’s not make excuses; That’s life! What they choose to do is fine and dandy, I won’t hold it against them(or maybe I will secretly). But that will never be my life. If I say I’m going to do something, I better damn well do it.

No, I will not settle for never committing nor venturing down the endless road of unfulfilled words. They won’t leave these Cinnamon tinted lips. Text messages and emails are not discounted either. If you commit, you committed. Dr.Seus knows what I mean by,  I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.

TRUTH! Live up to your dreams and plans. Say you’ll do it, and actually do it. Say you’ll make it, and make more… When I tell my family and friends that I will be there for them, by God I better be there! And when I say I’ll get something done… Then I better pull up enough momentum to knock it out cold. Television, I despise you. Couch, your comfort is lethal. Instagram, you will be the death of me.

I want to be a person of my WORD. I will be a person of my WORD. Procrastinators and bullshiters stay the hell away from me. I’ve got things to do and WORDS to fulfill.


Lindsay Reva

Photo by Poeiti Bordes

Motivation, wherefore art thou?

I searched and still, I found none. Motivation, Motivation my darling, where the hell have you gone?

For hours I drove aimlessly until I found myself in a nameless town, full of faceless people. Zombie-mode to the 1000th degree. No one knew me and even if they did they probably wouldn’t recognize my face with that lost-for-all-eternity look smeared all over. Tired from the stop and go traffic I pulled into the nearest parking lot. On the left was an eggshell white church, on the right sat a liquor store. I chose the path least sinister (okay, let’s be honest I went to the liquor store first to grab a bottle of Coconut water).

Nothing mattered, spiritually I was lost and I could feel the streams of indecisiveness running over every inch of my body. Work held no interest for me. That was saying a lot since work had the same bearings to my life as chocolate to my tastebuds; A necessity. But on this day of efforts for trying to make a better life,  I ran right into the wall of I Don’t Give A Damn ( I swear Officer, it came out of nowhere).  My core beliefs which had once stood straight like a rose reaching for sunlight suddenly bent from too much weight and wind. The realization alone wilted me in sadness. All I had in my visions were wants of escape and getaway to exotic lands where I knew no one and could never be found. My imagination drift away to No Mans Land. Is that how I ended up in this nameless town?My soul must have dragged me here and how easily I had given in. It made me feel weak, so unlike the savaged believer that I had built myself up to be. Lindsay McNicol meet Lindsay McCoward (The goddess in me shrinks back as I type these words). YUK!

What was this? Loneliness…Naaaaaaaaa. I’ve been solitary for too long to care about that. Had someone planted a seed of doubt way back when and only now the roots were strong and thick like Python snakes ready to attack? Or was this my past-self catching up to my present self (someone I hoped I would never see again)? Hatred and Love, Ignorance and Experience meeting in a face-off of who should rule body. You see, it’s simple; I had been born a damn fool. Aren’t most of us? That’s why schools exist and babies don’t walk out of the womb with PhDs. That’s why we teach our children to brush their teeth, brush their hair, learn to ride a bike, bla bla bla. Because it’s not something we were born to do but learned to do. The only problem with me was that I hated learning and closed my mind off to the world because I had ZERO belief in myself. Too shy, too ugly, too modest, too wrong, too much of everything that amounts to NOTHING. These words would float in and out of my mind everytime an idea came to fruition, and words had always been the pedestal holding up my endeavors. They could either stand an inch from the ground or higher than the empire state building, way way way past the wisp of clouds in the sky, past the stars, never coming in contact with black holes. It took me ions to figure that one out. So slowly but surely like the lonesome ant who carries a ginormous leaf to God only knows where, I slung momentous words over my shoulder to my long awaited kingdom. The Bible, self-help, world travel, the greatest minds man had created were all at my disposal between pages. All I had to do was open my eyes, try not to get papercuts( I failed) and follow them. An EPIC awakening soul search soon began. At least that was a pinch of how I felt when I brushed against Hemmingway, sipped tea with Thoreau, laughed with Loti, argued with Austen, walked with Bronte, Traveled with Swift, conversed with Kafka, and unfathomably more likeminded and nothing of the like minds authors. As I read the lives and characters of others, symbols and scripts stuck to my spirit like superglue only this time I had the power to cut off the bad ones. The key to my prison of ignorance was simple…

WORDS. Thoughout that pilgrimage of paperbacks, I came across a sentence so simple and astounding I couldn’t forget it even if I tried. Those words have gone through my mind every day for the last 5 years. To this day they tire me not. If I ever forget it, I’ll put money down that it’ll eventually make it’s way back like a lost cat that you had given up on and yet has never given up on you and your Chicken Of The Sea beastings.

” I will greet this day with love in my heart.”

Those lovely words I had read in a book by Og Mandino called ” The Greatest Salesman in the World.”  Such a simple quote yet it had jumped out from the faded pages and latched on to me so that it wasn’t just a way to start the day but a promise, a command to never, ever give up to the despairs and tragedy’s that yesterday shucked at you. With these words repeating inside my membrane daily, I would accept that tomorrow had something better to offer and yesterday ‘s failures had to be passed up like bones left out for the savages. Yet, sometimes it can be so easy to fall into that trap that leads downwards to the bottom of the pit. How many people look up at a Grey sky and complain about rain clouds or how much nicer it would have been if the sun had shone a little brighter? Look farther into the clouds. Can you not see mansions and towers in shades as lovely as the faded eyes of an old woman or the same subtle faintness of a white feather that feels so lovely when brushed against the skin by your hearts Beloved? Can you not imagine what it would be like if you were surrounded by lightness and wisp so close to the sun?  I commanded myself to greet each day, each moment with love. Suddenly there existed no dull grey skies and I had transformed into the Pure of Mind, Pure of Heart. This wasn’t just true for what my eyes saw either, but also how I portrayed people. I had to love my enemies just as I had loved my Bestfriend (and I love her like Kanye loves Kanye!!). When that came into play, I also saw a difference in my life. Better things started to appear like magic. My enemies, I had judged wrongly because now I could see the light in their eyes. I don’t know what kind of God you have, but mine would have winked back at me with approval. But it sure didn’t happen overnight. Repeat and after the millionth repetition, start over.

Love Love Love. Thankful Thankful Thankful.
So now I sit in an empty church alone and I can feel the coolness of the atmosphere settling on my pretty bones. Tears run down my face because of the doubt I feel shamed for and the struggle that my mind drags me through all because I had forgotten one simple acceptance: To stop thinking about how much better life could be and to greet this day with love in my heart. I finally remembered that when I looked at Mother Mary’s chiseled wooden face. It reminded me of someone. Someone who I had met in a terrible situation and had hated immediately because of their coldness. But that was before…Before I had turned all my enemies into my family. I had to try and try again yet eventually I could love her and when I looked up at Mother Mary’s soft eyes and heart shaped face I saw those similar features. The words hit me like the tail of a stingray and my ignorance and worthlessness drained of my blood. I left my tears on the churches dark-stained wooden floors and got back into my car like a drifter or the wind.

Why was I searching for motivation when I had everything I ever needed in life right there in the depths of my being. Brilliance nodded her beautiful head back at me.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.

I write this message for anyone else who might be fighting their demons as I do or needs some sense of direction. Motivation. Words. Purpose. Whatever it is you need, just know that you probably had it in your soul the entire time. It’s just a matter of time before you find it and if you’re like me who’s willing to go look for it; Keep your eyes on the hills of goodness.

And for Gods Sake, read a book!


Lindsay Reva

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