Its just a phase

SUB ROSA, OR, WHY JOURNALLING IS GOOD FOR YOU

Heathers, 1988
Heathers, 1988

It’s Just a Phase is an intentionally quiet space; a place to gather thoughts, reflect and plan. It is not a social platform. The reason for this relates to the ideal of sub rosa. Literally translated from Latin to ‘under the rose’, denoting something that is done in secret.

‘What we do is secret.’ – Darby Crash

Transparency is a notion that is foisted on us; something culture has moved toward simply because of endless opportunities for self expression via social platforms and online. Rob Horning posits that the opportunities to post outweigh the things we can confidently share about ourselves. The dopamine cycle of sharing for likes is addictive, so we start to share curated content, or worse borrow from our future selves: ‘the push towards a self-concept of perpetual becoming would seem to thwart subjectivation as a kind of social control. But the more we construct identity through these means of social media, the more we self-assimilate into the incentives built into them, which is to turn all experience into more and more strategic expression.’

When we move into the headspace of ‘content creator’ subconsciously or otherwise, the temptation to over-share is always looming. Byung-Chul Han writes in ‘The Transparency Society’, ‘Total transparency imposes a temporality on political communication that makes slow, long term planning impossible.’ This applies to us too. Once we start to talk about our hopes and goals, the seed of intent that is still nebulous and unformed is out in the open – the energy has sprung a leak.

Research from NYU, led by Peter Gollwitzer, found that goals shared publicly risk widening the intention – behaviour gap ‘when other people take notice of an individual’s identity-related behavioural intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.’

To go back to the analogy of the rose, think of over-sharing like gifting someone a rose bud; not yet opened or formed. The bud could die, be nurtured into bloom by it’s new owner, or worse – you could be handing over a bunch of thorns.

Where to begin?

In a world over-wrung with content, we’re all used to parsing data, sharing it and quickly digesting it before scrolling onto the next thing. Having a practice to slow down and reflect might feel foreign to begin with.

Carl Jung wrote, ‘until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate.’

A personal practice like journalling gives form to the subconscious. Self-inquiry and contemplation can help us to move through blocks and yield discernment. Journalling is a salve and unlike a dopamine hit the results are long term.

Tracking the phases of the moon opens up the idea of repeating patterns; the cycles are never exact but they are consistent. In that consistency we have a canvas in which to relate to, to understand our own experience of the world. We can also start to shape it through intentional action, better yet, informed by our inner knowing.

What is sub rosa for you? Use the journalling feature in It’s Just a Phase to give structure and find prompts to keep track of your own patterns, intentions and where you’re committing your energy.

 

Writing about the past and the future

Writing about past events can help to find perspective, come to terms with outcomes through reframing and consolidating information. Writing by hand is proven to have better wellness results stimulating a connection between hand and brain. If you are looking at past events through the lens of astrology, you can consider where planets were in the sky, or particular celestial events (like full moons, eclipses and such) to remind you of where you were at a particular time and what patterns have reoccurred since. To learn about these mundane events, subscribe here to receive an outline of these patterns each month.

Writing about the future is just as important. A study conducted at Southern Methodist Univeristy recognised that while reflective writing is cathartic, ‘writing about life goals was significantly less upsetting than writing about trauma and was associated with a significant increase in subjective well-being’. Writing about your future self, or possible self can give an insight into what action is needed and helps with motivation, while this study found that writing about a possible optimistic future leads to positive expectancies.

We can help

For more ideas on what to journal or celestial intel for the upcoming month, consider our Future Field Report subscription. It is a guide for the themes of the month, and provides structure on reflection, writing about goals and praxis. With so much content to consume, create your own. These zines are designed to be generative, so you can create a keepsake for yourself each month.