The Meaning of Borboleta

A few terms...

//Mindfulness:  the ability to maintain a moment-by-moment sense of acceptance and awareness of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and environment.  Letting the past and the future inform the present, but not control it.

//Slow Living: is the art of curating a life built around meaning, quality, and fulfillment. It is a voluntary simplification of how we live each day to create a deeper and wider sense of well being.  

The name borboleta was given to me by my grandmother Edith Maria D’Almada Remedios when I was a teenager.  It means butterfly in Portuguese.  My restlessness reminded my grandmother of how a butterfly jumps from flower to flower.   She would tenderly tap my nose and say “borboleta” as I kissed her and ran out the door to my next thing.

I like to think that a butterfly is mindful, as it gracefully floats from petal to petal.  When it flies, it feels the cool crisp air along its face, and when it lands to eat it tastes and experiences the goodness of its meal, feeling nourished, full, and thankful.  I imagine that it can sense and feel its place in existence and embrace its true nature, maybe even delight in it.  Humbled by its caterpillar beginnings, the butterfly relishes in the beauty it has grown into.

Well, this may be true for butterflies.  It may also not be true for butterflies.  Regardless, those daily experiences are not always that magical for people.  At least, not for me. When I was given that name, borboleta, I spent my day jumping from the next thing to the next thing. Anytime discomfort occurred, I changed it, quickly, as to not feel sadness, anger, or hurt.  This method ultimately failed me because I was only going wide, never deep.  It seems like we are trained, even from childhood, to distract ourselves from truth and seek efficiency and survival.

I think of borboleta as an informant from my past, but also a hope for my future;  that I can be humbled by my beginnings and continue to grow and transform by going deep into everyday, simple experiences.  When I eat, I want to feel full and nourished.  When I move, I want to experience the air on my skin.  I want to sense my humanity and delight in it.  

borboleta is about several things. In its roots, it is about living in a more slow and mindful manner to develop a sense of wellbeing as an individual and as a community.  It is about Yoga in the small and large sense: connecting our breath to our body, connecting our values to our actions, simply connecting and being.  It is about local food and the farmers who nurture it and how we nurture them.  It is about movement and respect for our bodies.  It is about the quiet and forgotten moments.  It is about wandering and finding. It is about cooking, craft, and recipes.  It is about late meals and good friends.  It is simply an exploration of daily joys.   Cheers!