Sliding into DMs and letting the sunshine in
I’m really bad at doing nothing. Especially when I’m actively trying to do nothing. And I’m not talking about meditation, because that is a form of doing nothing that right now just feels pretty aspirational. To me doing nothing is the idea of waking up on a Saturday morning and not trying to plan my day within 30 minutes of opening my eyes. To make a cup of tea, get back in bed, reach for my book and allow myself to lounge without a timeline, not feeling like I’m “wasting the day.” Giving my brain and my body the indulgence of an open agenda without feeling an urgency to fill it.
Doing nothing is not a naturally restorative state for me. To me, doing nothing means I’m missing opportunities to get more work done, make more plans, pick up a new hobby, get in better shape (the list, unfortunately, goes on). I go back and forth between feeling like I’m a victim of my own complacency and embracing the fact that what I’m doing is enough and that I’ve done things in my short 28 years that people could only dream of doing in a lifetime. I have a stable job that gives me incredible work-life balance and travel flexibility and this reality makes me incredibly grateful. But the nature of my work is not “me.” I’ve had this feeling in my gut for a while and didn’t really know how to address it because while I fear complacency, I fear unpredictability more. Stability is not something I’ve taken for granted in my life and I allowed my gratitude for a steady income and a great living situation to take priority over how personally fulfilled I feel during my days.
Maybe my inability to do nothing stems from the fact that up until a month ago, I hadn’t yet found my “something.” It could also be that about a month ago it was almost my birthday, when we are programmed to have a bit of a breakdown (see Annie’s April newsletter for details). I was hit with this overwhelming wave of despair that I was settling for a complacent existence to avoid the stress of the unknown. It was in the midst of this tidal wave (which can most accurately be described as me lying in bed, still in my pajamas, scrolling Instagram and mumbling something to my ever-patient partner about how I’m meant to be doing something more with my life) that I realized nothing was going to change unless I chose to do something different. Because as much as I was filling up my days with laundry lists of things to keep busy, I wasn’t pushing myself in any new, meaningful directions.
So I did what any young women does when they’re having an existential crisis: I kept scrolling Instagram, hoping my perceived problems would fly out of my brain. Except this time, I did things a bit differently. This time, instead of just staring at all the of wellness and clean beauty accounts that give me such joy, feeling regretful that I didn’t try to establish myself in an industry I truly care about, I slid into someone’s DMs. Sun Collective’s DMs actually.
I found myself at this magical little shop on a random evening about a year ago with one of my friends who lives on the Lower East Side. The shop owner, who I now know as the Earth angel Annie, gave us the warmest and most sincere welcome. She was seated at the back table with one of her sellers, choosing crystals for the shop. After maybe five minutes, I was telling Annie about the latest anxieties that were keeping me up at night (she just has this effect on people). I felt her compassion radiating around me. And when I left the shop that night with a beautiful new treasure, an amethyst surrounded by blue agate, I knew that the positive, calming energy I felt from that crystal was in equal parts from the wonderful woman who sold it to me.
So, just as I was about to let the wave of anxiety swallow me whole, laying in bed and pondering my purpose on a weekend morning (as one does), I stopped scrolling: ‘When that light just hits right.’ And there in my Instagram feed was a photo from that beautiful little shop, the front window decal creating a playful shadow on the wall: SUN COLLECTIVE, in all caps. Not being one to engage much in direct messages, something pulled me to message Annie and see if she was interested in collaborating on some marketing strategies for the shop. And even more unbelievable to me, she actually replied. The same day in fact. And suddenly, the sunshine came flooding in and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Today is Annie’s birthday. Let’s send this ray of sunshine, the heart and soul of Sun Collective, a whole lot of love and light today <3