Me Connecting The Dots – Do what you love…

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Beyoncé: Entertainer, Business Woman, Mother and Wife (The Mrs. Carter Show 2013/2014)

Hello everyone,

Last Thursday (20.03.2014) I went to the Mrs. Carter Show in Antwerp, Belgium. I also went to the concert last year. A lot of people asked me: “Why are you going to the same show again?” A few reasons: great voice, great dancer, true entertainer, cool outfits, spectacular show and she has a message (and it was a different show with new songs). At the end of the concert I just felt empowered and full of energy. You will understand when you have visited a show of her. ;)

IMG_5435

With songs like ‘Run the World’ and ‘Flawless’ and her entirely female band, Beyoncé shows her feminism. These are lyrics from Flawless which were projected on the screen:
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful
Otherwise, you will threaten the man
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is most important
Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are
Feminist: a person who believes in the social political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

Besides being a true entertainer, she is also a philanthropist. She supports different organizations and has set up ‘#BeyGOOD’. #BeyGOOD is working with partners to make a difference in the lives of others. During the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, fans were asked to bring donations to each venue, so they would become eligible for a seat upgrade.

She inspires me because she is not only an entertainer, but also a businesswoman, mother and wife at the same time. She is doing what she loves, motivates others and fights for causes like gender equality. And she knows that she is a role model. While other celebrities can’t wait to visit a coffeeshop once they have arrived in Amsterdam, Beyoncé chose to visit the Anne Frank House (museum) before she hit the stage.

Beyonce Anne Frank House

Finally, to the people who asked me which show was better, 2013 or 2014: I can’t choose because both shows were truly spectacular. And yes this year was a different show where she performed a lot of songs from her latest Visual album and here voice was Flawless. However The Mrs. Carter Show 2013 in Antwerp will always be special to me because she was ill the day before and had to cancel that show. When she talked about it at our show she got teary eyes, you could feel that true emotion. It made us feel a bit closer to her and it showed that she is, like everyone else, just a human.

XO

:) Helen

Song of the Day: Halo – Beyoncé (Sportpaleis Antwerp, 20.03.2014)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_1IaHSv_jk

Beyoncé apologizes for canceled show (SportpaleisAntwerp)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCKkD792cA4



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No more International Women’s Day!

Hello everyone,

Today it’s International Women’s Day. It is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements. It is also an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments, and more importantly, for looking ahead to the untapped potential and opportunities that await future generations of women. |Source: United Nations|

Much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent years. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN.
Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.

I think it’s good that we are paying attention to these subjects every year. But I hope that there will be one day with no more International Women’s Day. Which means that we do not have to recognize women for their achievements as something extraordinary anymore! No, it’s normal that women can have great accomplishments. Which means it’s normal that women have all the same rights and opportunities as men! Which means there is equal pay for women and men for equal work!
I’m waiting for this day to come. I know it will!

Many people, organizations and brands are celebrating this day with inspiring videos and images. To conclude and celebrate this day, I want to share some with you.

Every woman should be able to follow their dreams! – L’Oréal

President Barack Obama

Women Dreams Obama

Women make it happen! – Kiva

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton IWD

Happy International Women’s Day!

:) Helen


Song of the Day: Run The World (Girls) – Beyoncé


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Last year in my twenties…

Hello everyone,

Next week is my 29th birthday. Which means that ‘three zero’ is nearby…
I don’t know what it is, but it just feels like getting old and really stepping into the grown up world. I’m even a bit scared of it. But luckily I still have one year in my twenties.

I guess the feeling of being scared of 30 is because I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything yet. In an ideal world (my ideal world) I would be well on my way to a fulfilling career at my dream job, have a stable relationship, and know what I want in life. In reality I am single and I’m doubting my career choice. The problem is that I don’t even know what exactly my dream job is. Something in Cosmetics? Fashion? Food? Entertainment? I’m working in the Food industry right now, so defining my dream job is not only about which industry to work for. I feel like I am missing something in my current job, but I can’t tell what exactly…

Why does my ideal world look like that? Is it the expectation of society that we should be having a nice job and a relationship by our thirties? Or is it the clock that’s ticking (as a woman it is a nice age to start thinking about having babies)? Somehow, I feel an internal pressure to hurry up because 30 is around the corner. It’s hard to explain, but I feel the urge to start working on something meaningful, something big…
It also doesn’t help when one subject always pops up at family gatherings: “Don’t you have a boyfriend yet?”. “You’re a woman, career is not that important, starting a family is the most important thing in life.” I totally disagree with that. I think that we should be able to have both: career and family. I hope that one day I can accomplish that.QLC

I start to wonder, am I in a so-called Quarterlife crisis? “The quarterlife crisis (QLC) is a period of life usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.” Experts describe a QLC as a sense of panic that your life, career, relationships, etc. isn’t where you want it to be. |Source: Wikipedia|

It sounds very familiar to me. Apparently two thirds of young adults experience this. So I’m not the only one. I guess I really should not be complaining. There are so many people in the world that don’t even get to make their own choices in life. And in the end, 30 is just a number. I should be happy that I’m getting older and have a life in front of me to chase my dreams.

2014 Will be a year where I’ll try to let go of my expectations of what (my) adulthood should be like. It doesn’t matter that some of my friends are getting married, having babies or starting their own business. I should not compare myself to others. Life is too short to daydream it away wishing you had someone else’s. Twenty nine, I’m ready!

:) Helen

P.S. Thinking about accomplishments, I have to congratulate the Dutch skaters who have already won 17 medals after
just one week at the Olympic Games. Today, the Dutch women dominated the 1500m speedskating by becoming
1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th!
Society_Levo


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Do what you love – The first steps

Hello everyone,

After getting inspired to spent 10 percent of my time on the things that I love, I decided to sign myself up as a volunteer. I always had the idea to get involved with charity when I have built a career in the commercial industry. But when I was thinking about my life and what I wanted to do, I thought “why not start now?”. I love children and they are the future. I think that every child should have the right to education, a carefree childhood and basic necessities such as food and health. That’s why I have decided to contact UNICEF.

There was a vacancy on the website which I applied to. A week later, I had an interview at the UNICEF store in Breda. It turned out that they needed volunteers for different positions. I decided to help with organizing events and writing articles. Now I am officially signed up as a volunteer and I am excited to start my first project. mandela_Education_UNICEF

I have also signed myself up for piano lessons. It’s something that I always wanted to do, but never actually took action. And when the years passed by, lack of time and the thought of being too old to start learning to play piano were holding me back. But last year I realized that you’re never too old to learn something. And I wanted to start doing something that I love. So I bought a digital piano and had my first piano lesson.

My teacher is a very talented piano player and his way of teaching is a little different. He doesn’t use any books, but creates his own material. At the first lesson he asked me: “what music do you like?” Alicia Keys was one of the artists that I mentioned, so he wrote down the music notes of Fallin’ and told me this would be the first song to play. I don’t know if this is the right method for me, but for now I enjoy learning to play. Digital Piano

There are still many things that I would like to do, but I know I have to take one step at a time. To remind myself of all my dreams, I have created a mood board. I did this with a friend. We used a lot of magazines and I even surprised myself with things that I have put on it. It was a lot of fun to do and I would recommend it to everyone!

:) Helen

P.S. Happy 60th Birthday to my inspirator Oprah Winfrey!
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

baby-steps-to-big-dreams

Song of the day (I want to learn to play in 2014): Read all about it – Emeli Sandé