Head High, Soldier!

If you want something, go get it! Nothing in life is free!!! But you’ve heard all this mumbo jumbo before. Yet I repeat for the people who don’t realize how simple it is to invest in the path which you want your life to follow; The path which would bring you more happiness. Why depend on luck? That’s not even an option for me since I might be the most unlucky as hell person to roam the earth. There is chance, but even that doesn’t last forever. Go ask any high roller. Work for what you believe in and always believe in yourself. Head High, Soldier! Stop mopping around, unwrap your head from all that negativity and pessimism, and throw life into your future, one breath at a time. If you want more work, then you better be someone people want to work with. Not willing to change yourself? By God, I hope you have brilliance and brains… No matter, Head High, Soldier. Hit those notes, dash that work, reach the heights, live the life.

Sit on your arse, fine. But the fruits of your actions will cause your destiny to dry up like the remains of a cracked lake. You look into the vast bed of nothing, seeing the weeds and wonder how something so vast could all of a sudden shrivel up like the skin of an ancient being. No rain, love. No action. No change. Don’t even act surprised when you see your dreams walk away on shaky twig legs, barely able to make it out of the room before they snap into a cloud of ruins. You could try to run and salvage, but if you let them take those first few steps away from you, something tells me you’re already too far to catch up. The sloth on the sly holds you in its grip. Principles baby.

Isaac Newton’s laws of motion were first set down in his Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis in 1687. The first law states that an object will stay at rest or move with a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.
The second law is the one that tells you how to calculate the value of a force. Force (measured in Newtons) is one of the fundamental physical properties of a system and comes in many forms. You might feel it as a push or pull (a mechanical force), while it is the value of your weight (the gravitational force of the Earth pulling on you) and can be seen in the repulsion or attraction of magnets or electric charges (electromagnetic force). A force might be the result of any number of fundamental physical interactions between bits of matter but Newton’s second law allows you to work out how a force, when it is present, will affect the motion of an object.

Where’s your force? Chaos and nothingness. If you want to create something already envisioned in your mind; the job that would make your life financially easier, making your significant other happier, taking that vacation to paradise (the list can go on and on), everything will take some effort on your behalf. EFFORT. It doesn’t take a brain scientist to figure that much out. But the hardest part for human beings (in my opinion) is how much do you really want it? Where’s your force soldier? That is the ultimate divider. Do you feel a pit in your stomach when you think of your dreams because you haven’t yet reached them? Do you break out in a cold sweat when you’re so close to touching them, palms clammy as hell? Does the image of your destiny stay within your vision day and night?

I do/it does. And it pains me. But it makes me stronger in the sense that I not only know what I want in life but I can feel it. I sleep so little and I’m fine with that because my soul won’t rest until I get the thing I want in life. If I fail? Fine. So be it! But I’ll be DAMNED if I fail because I half-assed this thing called life.

Head HIGH, Soldier!! You’ve got dreams to pursue. You’ve got your own wishes to grant. Feel like taking a nap? Okay pussycat, when you’re done don’t forget that the work you left behind, just like my boy Newton said, is either collecting a layer of dust or has converted to untameable chaos. Choose your weapon.

I choose fire.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

📸 : Ivan S Harris Photography

Aimee Cebreros

Aimee is a unicorn. A mythical, magical human being of a creature who should not exist and yet does. She is not the first Miss Heiva San Diego and certainly not the last..But Aimee is different.

About 8 years ago I decided that I wanted to create a beauty pageant for young blooming girls who embraced the Tahitian culture and the Pacific Islander community. There’s not just one type of person who goes for things like this. The Pageant type? I mean.. Girls who like dressing up, getting there makeup done, and WINNING! Does that really make them all about the pageantry? No. I say that because I ran in a pageant and at the same time I was a manager at Autozone, knew how to change my own oil, and drove a Kawasaki Motorcycle. Was I a pageant girl? Not the usual, but that didn’t stop me from winning. Maybe the dividing factor lies in the vision of seeing yourself with that crown and the elevation which comes with it whether it be prestige, a scholarship, or the networking. Maybe the imagination is the dividing factor for those who run for titles and those who say things like ” Oh no, that is sooo not me. I could never be someone like that” As if a pageant Queen were part Pariah. They’re not. They do it because they have a certain belief in themselves whether they want to play the cunning and confident or the sweetly humbled.  Manifestation baby. Of course not everyone wins(which KILLS me!), and I always walk away with my heart in the grips of these darling beauties with perfect manicured nails. It’s not that I necessarily think that every one of them should have won…because if I’m to be honest there are some that are better for the role as an advocate for the islands than others. What gets me everytime is when I see how much they want that title, how much preparation they put into their cultural costumes, the love and assurance I see in their families eyes as they suffocate their beloved with words of assurance. Some years, there are girls who won the crown who nobody expected…

ENTER AIMEE. She distanced herself from me more than the other contestants I would say or maybe I distanced myself from her? She was kind, but she wasn’t overly kind. She was always aware of her surrounding, independent in her own right, and yet everywhere she went her mother followed(Not a fussy I’m your mother and you will WIN damnit! but more of a mother and daughter two -is-better-than-one package deal. Their bond was their strength). I like to talk with the girls to get to know them because I want to assure them that they will be fine no matter the outcome. They need that assurance sometimes because walking into a room of contestants getting ready to be interviewed is like walking into a force field of nerves. You can feel it, almost taste it in the air. So I made my rounds and aimee was the last one, sitting on the ground daintily playing with a necklace and getting her affairs in perfect order.

She smiled at me and I had to blink at the brightness of  her perfectly shaped teeth, how vivid her bright her lips stood against her pale ivory skin, and how lovely she could make the word “Hi.” sound. hmm.. An event/pageant coordinator will succeed if you can correctly read other people. You have to understand how they feel; if they’re enjoying themselves, if they’re anger, sad..you name it. When you figure that out it’s easy to smooth things out or change factors to make those who might be sad happy(Although sometimes no matter what you do some people are just fine with being stuck in their own miseries).  So I tried to read Aimee. She smiled at me and her radiance left me at a disadvantage. I looked up at her mother who was flashing me an equally expensive million dollar smile. Who are these people and how can they be so cool, calm, and collective? Especially when some of the other contestants look like they’re about to be thrown into the fire. I could tell from the way she walked, how when she was surrounded by others she had an air of confidence, as if she was the true competitor and they the spectators ( she probably had no idea either), and at the same time she expected nothing. If she would have lost the title, no tears would have left her eyes. New things would come, different opportunities, but she would not be affected by any of it. Aimee just had that persona that no matter where she went in life her blue prints were signed by God carving out a true path in success. I didn’t know of this at the time of course. If I’m to be honest with myself I think I tried to steer clear of her because her aura shook me. I was unsure how to proceed with someone who needed no proceeding. This girl didn’t need me! We needed her.

The pageant passed on and there were more than a few girls who ROCKED it from the get go. But there were two girls who everyone had their eyes on, and Aimee was one of them. I was mingling with the audience when they called her name out. That smile was like the first ray of sun after a thousand days in darkness. Brilliant is an understatement. Her family calling out her name and crying definitely set the tone. How much happiness lay in that moment I will never be able to measure but I’m sure it could be felt all the way from Mexico, the land where Miss Aimee had come. Because of the distance that lay between us I didn’t know what to expect from her as the new Miss Heiva San Diego title holder, but I will ALWAYS had an  open mind when working with people. And I found out what’s it like working with Aimee soon enough.

Aimee; winner, beautiful in pictures and even more stunning in person, going to school to pursue higher education, organizing food and clothing runs to people who are in need in Mexico, never far from her family who adores her like the princess she is, a friend to everyone, always willing to help, has never once said no to any of my request as a advocate to the culture, has never once said no when I needed her the most. I know. I am really tooting this girls horn, but I just can’t help it. Like I said before, to succeed you have to be able to read other people, and when I read Aimee her syllables are loveliness, her verbs are marked with the inks of greatness, her every word is placed in perfect precision so that the whole of this young girl will only rise, rise, rise, Somehow changing things so that the Heiva San Diego is no longer helping her to go forward, but instead the girl herself is helping us to go forward. That’s the kind of advocate I had been looking for all along. The kind of person that I didn’t think existed because people had their own agendas, wants, and needs and were only willing to go as far as they deemed.

But unicorns really do exist. Their skin glows even in the shadows. Even when the winds pick up there is never a hair out of place. When they walk into a room: Magic. And the most magical part about them: the core of their being, a heart uninfluenced and inflamed in beauty.

If you ever see a unicorn you better take a picture because they are making moves.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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