For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
Nature leaves its signature everywhere.
In herbalism, there’s this concept called the Doctrine of Signatures. Essentially, it’s the idea that each plant has a signature—a clear sign—of its properties.
For example, yellow color often means it’s used for liver or gallbladder issues, a silver “moon-like” underside often means it’s used for feminine issues, like menstruation, and hairy, cilia-like leaves are often used for lung issues.
A plant’s essence is apparent in every aspect of it. And, according to many herbalists, if we pay close enough attention, we can see the patterns.
But it’s not just plants. All of nature leaves a signature. Even our nature. Whether we know it or not, everything from how we look to our handwriting to our personality to even our skills and abilities is imbued with our essence.
There’s an unmistakable mark—an imprint—of our essence on everything we touch. And that means we can use those exact marks to determine our essence.
In fact, that’s probably the best definition of Sacred Branding® I’ve ever seen. We’re simply mapping the imprints of our experiences, desires, gifts, relationships, jobs, and traumas to see our essence.
I remember back in herbalism school, my teacher made the most fantastic tea. I had to make it myself. So I got the exact ingredients, measured out the exact amounts, and followed the directions perfectly. I even made sure to cook it for the same amount of time.
And my tea tasted nothing like my teacher’s. I was so heartbroken.
So I went in to class the next time to tell her that my tea tasted nothing like hers.
And she smiled and replied, “Of course it tastes nothing like me. You made it. It tastes like you.”
It was the first time I ever encountered the idea that we leave an imprint on everything we touch.
But, today, I can tell with absolutely certainty when Garrett cooked something, His cooking is really diverse, and his flavor profiles and techniques might be totally different—but there’s something about all of his cooking that has a similarity. There’s a quality that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I know it’s his.
Just like how I can identify some singers within a second of a song—even one I’ve never heard before. Or how I can identify a writer by only reading a few anonymous sentences. Or how I can always tell when Garrett’s home by the sound of his distinct walk up the stairs.
Our signature is on everything. And we can’t help but share our essence with the world, even when we’re not even trying.
To be alive—to exist at all—is to express our essence. It’s why even the things we think we do a good job covering up can be so apparent to everyone around us.
And the irony is we’re simultaneously terrified of those unmistakable differences and doubtful that we have them at all.
On the one hand, we feel wrong and broken because we’re “too much” and “not enough.” Because we’re different from others. And, on the other hand, we don’t feel special or interesting enough. And assume everyone around us has that really special gift for the world.
It’s because we visionaries can see the world—others’ genius—with perfect clarity. But we can’t see our own. We only see the “negatives” of our unmistakability. The parts of us that actually feel like mistakes.
So we doubly punish ourselves for being geniuses. We feel unworthy and useless because we overlook our gifts. And we blame and shame ourselves for not being like everyone else.
And, all the while, our signature shows up everywhere.
How often is it that you say literally nothing at all and people tell you that you’re so Safe or Insightful or Powerful? Or maybe you are terrified and hardly ever take risks, but people tell you that you’re so Vulnerable and Courageous? Or you feel like your life is moving so slowly, but everyone around you says you’re Dynamic and Pioneering and Innovative?
Trust people when they tell you your genius. Because they can usually see it a lot more clearly than you can.
And that same ability to make people feel Safe without even saying a word is also why your biggest traumas were also moments when you felt Unsafe. Because it’s your genius, your sensitivity, places where you’re more sensitive to life. Of course you’re going to be more sensitive to issues of Safety and thus hold more desire, trauma, experiences, and yearnings around it.
It’s your genius, after all. Literally your “inborn nature.” Who you truly are.
Just like a plant is only yellow or hairy or tall because of it’s essence, you are all of who you are for those very reasons.
For most of my life, I hated my body. I was—and am—always so thin. In fact, I haven’t gained more than a few pounds since I was 13 years old! No matter how much I eat or drink, my body doesn’t change.
It wasn’t until I was looking at wedding pictures of myself that it dawned on me how linear my body is. My collarbone forms a straight line. My shoulders down to my feet form a straight line. Of course they do—part of my genius is Aligned. Even physically, that signature shows up.
It shows up in my inability to take action when something feels off—which was really, really frustrating for most of my life before I knew how to reflect inwardly. It shows up in my inability to compromise my values, even when I really, really want to. It even shows up in the exploration of shapes and sacred geometry in my work—all lines.
When we understand our essence, everything about our lives starts to make sense. And we can stop shaming ourselves for being unmistakable, unique geniuses. Every job we ever had—even the “bad ones”—makes total sense. And we take on new perspectives about our relationships.
And, because we know our essence is imprinted into every aspect of our lives, we can use those things to discover that genius in the first place.
We can see what makes us so unmistakable through mapping our various experiences, desires, traumas, gifts, relationships, and jobs.
We can see that none of it was a mistake. That none of us is a mistake.
That we are geniuses.
And we have an essence, a gift, that the world desperately needs.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Can you see your genius’ signature?
— Have you ever felt lost or confused about your life, like some jobs, relationships, or experiences just didn’t make sense? Have you doubted that you’re “on your purpose” or “on your path”?
— Have you ever shamed yourself for making mistakes? Have you ever felt like parts of you were a mistake? Have you wanted to change a part of yourself? Or wished you were different?
— What if you are unmistakably a genius, and your genius has a signature that can be seen in every single area of your life? What if, as a visionary, you’ve been able to see everyone else’s genius but your own? What if you could map your experiences and begin to see the essence behind all of them? How would that change your life?