Courage is the mindfulness focus word for the week, inspired by borage (Borago officinalis) in flower throughout my yard. Even though I’ve worked with courage as a focus word already this year, the borage plants and life events are calling me to revisit the concept.
Borage has a strong association with courage. According to Rodale’s Illustrated Herbal, Celtic and Roman Warriors drank borage wine to give them courage before battle. (1) And the word borage itself may be a corruption of the word corago or courage. (2)
Courage or not, the plant is lovely, with a sprawling, wildish quality. (Super tidy gardeners beware.) The edible blue flowers form a five pointed star and have a mild cucumber taste. They are a great addition to salads, and wonderful for grazing as you walk through the garden. Flowers can also be frozen in ice cubes for a surprise addition to summer drinks.
Borage makes a perfect companion plant as it attracts bees and strengthens the resistance of nearby plants. (Maybe it gives them courage.) It also reseeds easily and I’ve found that once I plant it I don’t need to plant it again.
In my last entry on courage I was focused on being aware of courage in myself and others as a basic mindfulness practice. I’m feeling a need this week to go deeper with that intentional practice by asking myself how I can develop more courage to meet some life changing challenges. How can I move from observing and noticing to observing and kicking it up a notch? And how do I find courage when I’m not feeling particularly courageous?
Certainly attention to self care and meditation will be part of the plan. Being rooted in the support of friends, family, and love will also help me move forward. And I don’t have any borage wine, but I have lots of borage flowers for inspiration.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” Bob Marley
This is week 27 of my mindfulness focus word experiment. To learn more click here.