It’s not what you do. It’s how you feel.

I’ve got a bone to pick with Yoda.

I know, I know. Yoda is kind of a big deal, and he’s gotten a lot of press for saying this: “Do or do not, there is no try.”

We could go on for a while dissecting exactly what those words meant, but let’s go with this take: You either do something or you don’t.

In this interpretation, trying is not doing — and accomplishing something is the only measure of success.

And this, my friend, is where Yoda and I take different paths.

There is Value in the Process

Yes, I absolutely think there is value in accomplishment.

And. There’s also immense value in the process and in the trying.

Because it’s not just the things we do; it’s the way those things make us feel along the way.

The more we can bring of ourselves; of the things that light us up; of the things that make us feel good into the process?

The more we can seek value from the trying, and not just the doing. 🙂

A fresh experience reminded me of this…

Being Truly Present

We recently went through a rough patch with our toddler when it comes to sleep.

I won’t lie — it was a hard pocket. I had gotten pretty accustomed to a routine that included easy bedtimes, and suddenly every night became a battle.

A few nights in, I took a deep breath and stepped in to truly be present in the moment with her.

In being mindful of and listening to her cues, I was able to come up with a pretty creative and, quite frankly, fun solution to help her regulate her distress around sleep: I zeroed in on her favorite toy tea set.

Instead of telling her to take a big belly breath in and out, I had a little tea party and had her blow on the imaginary tea so that it would cool down and she could drink it.

Sip, blow, repeat.

Inhale, exhale, repeat.

She may be less than 2 years old, but that’s old enough to start learning how to intentionally breathe. And with each big, beautiful, deep breath, her sympathetic nervous system calmed down.

I don’t know exactly how many breaths she took or how long I stayed with her because those metrics didn’t matter.

What mattered is that I brought the things that make me feel most alive to the process: presence and creativity. And when I did, I got the greatest reward: connection.

(And, she fell asleep. Win!)

It’s How What We Do Makes Us Feel

I said it before, but I’ll say it again: It’s never the things that we do; it’s the way that those things make us feel.

Yes, we sorted out the sleep issues. But more importantly, we did it in a way that feels good, creative and fun. Things that I value.

Sorry, Yoda. Do or do not, I’m all about the trying; the process.

For me, presence, creativity, and connection make me feel successful and alive…and that’s what I want to bring to everything I try.

Your turn.

How do you want to feel? What core values do you need to stay grounded in to feel that way?

Think (and journal!) about these questions as you close out this week:

  • What are your core values?
  • What makes you feel successful?
  • What makes you feel alive?

Then share with me in the comments below.

And remember: Whether you’re moving, meditating, or making things happen — what matters more than doing (or not) is how you show up, and how that makes you feel.

With love –
Erin

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3 Responses to It’s not what you do. It’s how you feel.

  1. Nicole says:

    I think of it a bit differently- it doesn’t mean you must succeed or accomplish what you’ve set out to do. It’s the mindset. You’re either going to do something or you’re not. In trying, you are DOING it. Even if you fail, you’ve still done something, you’ve still taken action. Try doesn’t exist because you either let the fear and uncertainty keep you from doing the thing, or you do it. At least that’s my perspective on that quote! I love your take though- it’s okay to try. Totally agree with that. There is definitely a process sometimes that is necessary to accomplishing what we want. Thank you for the reminder to check in with how I want to feel! That always helps to guide my day. Much love <3

  2. Jean says:

    I want to feel like I have brightened my life and some else’s every day. When I makedecisions I try to make them for the highest good of all concerned. I am already so happy and so blessed and I want to share that with as many people as I can through the classes I offer locally – line dancing and laughter. Thank you once again for keeping me focused on what makes me happy.

  3. Cindi says:

    In answering the questions I find I wrote 6 pages in my journal. To much to put here, what I can share is my core values are all about Jesus and doing the tasks He puts before me. Helping others is huge I choose my day by who I can be of service to and that’s why I’m involved in the many group activities I’m in. It’s why I’m a doTERRA Advocate. Success to me is helping someone feel better in every area of their life. I’m a Stephen Minister in my church, part of 3 small groups and I think I choose these things because doing them makes my feel alive. Fully and totally present. In learning more about who I am in Christ by take part in all He offers me. He gave me opportunities to help and He gave me the strengths I need to accomplish my tasks. I’m so grateful for His faithfulness. For gives me so much purpose. Every new day is a new adventure. I have joy. Who knew retiring was going to be so much fun.