Mini Paardjes. Zen Living in The Netherlands

Mini Paardje. Zen Living in The Netherlands. Mini_Paardje_Zen_Living_MaryEllen_Malinowski_2014

It was a journey of a lifetime. One I waited an eternity to experience. There were so many "ifs" with this trip. Should I go? Is it really a necessity to travel so far to see the Koi in The Netherlands and will it really make a difference for business? For Zen Living I know it would give me a new perspective, and yet what I discovered was not only a sense of a culture that embodied a Zen lifestyle but it gave me the gift of re-discovering my own self.  So the night before... I packed my bags, grabbed my business materials, passport and some cash and took that leap of faith to the airport. After waiting for two hours, an eight and a half hour flight, a two hour train ride, I finally walked into a land where the heart lives. I found a light that I never experienced before.... where the line between dusk and dawn never ends. A magical ethereal light that cast a heavenly glow upon everyone and everything. I traveled  for the Koi and I found so much more.  I found bike rides and historic churches, I found fresh tulips and canals, I found love, family, friends, laughter and smiles, and I found Mini Paardjes.

Zen Living lives everywhere. It is the interpretation of the finest and purest quality that rises about the plastic gimmicks and false pretenses that seems to cloud the purity of our own well being. Bikes, solar energy, historic windmills, fresh tulips...and the appreciation of the simple and precious gifts that exist right in front of our eyes. I rode a bike for the first time in twenty four  years... what have I been doing for twenty four years that I could not take a moment to ride? That day in Zevenaar, I rode eight miles with my friend who still to this day said he will never forget my smile and how happy I was on my bike with the basket. This is when I began to discover that with every push on the pedal I was becoming closer to not finding the Koi or new business, but I was finding me. I was experiencing a new Zen Living that I had never felt before. There was so much to discover now, and while riding we passed a pasture of miniature horses, and I completely surrendered.

The historic churches, the hills, the water and the people have left and ever lasting imprint on my heart. In the next few weeks I will continue my series on Zen Living in the Netherlands with beautiful photography and insights that truly reveal the essence of this small yet innovative country.

I always loved horses... and still do. I rode for many years and had the honor to photograph Jacqueline Kennedy's ponies before the family sold Hammersmith Farm. I always wanted my own horse, but responsibilities and commitments always had precedence over desire. I discovered so much about myself in The Netherlands, and today I found this one image of the Mini Paardjes while editing through over 800 images. It is a connection and a deep understanding of who you are that rises above all the chaos. With no pre-conceived "should be", just the all knowing that you are exactly where you need to be. I found more than Koi in The Netherlands, I found me. My thanks and gratitude to my family and friends in The Netherlands and the people that touched my heart.  Thank you for the light that guided me home.


Love and Light... M



Photos copyright 2014  MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int'l

Zen Living by design Magazine | Spring 2014

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