man running from shadow
Photo from Silas Manhood Photography Ltd

“There was a man who was so disturbed by the sight of his own shadow and so displeased with his own footsteps that he determined to get rid of both. The method he hit upon was to run away from them.

So he got up and ran. But every time he put his foot down there was another step, while his shadow kept up with him without the slightest difficulty.

He attributed his failure to the fact that he was not running fast enough. So he ran faster and faster, without stopping, until he finally dropped dead.

He failed to realize that if he merely stepped into the shade, his shadow would vanish, and if he sat down and stayed still, there would be no more footsteps.”

~ Thomas Merton*

The assumption to go faster and push harder to overcome something is ingrained in so many of us. But does it really work? What would happen if you tried  different approach?…

Of course, you won’t know unless you experience it for yourself.

Today, take time to slow down and consider other possibilities, beyond your habitual thinking. Find your middle ground.


*Merton, Thomas. The Way of Chuang Tzu (Second Edition) (p. 155). New Directions. Kindle Edition.

43 comments on “Flight from the Shadow

  1. This running only leads to stress and continued negative stress leads to invalidity of our mind. I agree so much, Val ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Beaming Light and commented:
    Gentle Reminder…thanks to Val at

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The Way of Chuang Tzu — a constant companion on my bedside table. 🙂 H ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A great story, a simple message. Nice one, Val.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is exactly what I needed today…thank you, Val. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Following your advice today…after running really fast the last two days 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I love Thomas Merton Thank you, Val

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Slow down
    You move too fast
    You got to make the morning last
    Kicking down the cobblestones
    Looking for fun and feeling groovy . . .

    Good post, Val.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. What a lovely and calming message, Val. Attitudinal shifts are a wonder, aren’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the story, Val. Sometimes we just don’t see the obvious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very true! Life awaits with magic beyond habitual thinking!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I used to run, run, run from my anxiety… stay busy, never sit down, stay in motion. Now I sit down or lay down and do my breathing exercises, read a book, or read blogs. A quiet walk works too. My Mom-in-law runs around to outrun anxiety. It’s exhausting emotionally and physically. Powerful story.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! It is exhausting to keep running away from what we think we cannot face. I’m so glad you are enjoying taking a break and breathing well 💛


  13. In this life, in our culture, stopping to actually view our shadow, sit in it and contemplate, slow down and do nothing but breathe, is one of most difficult tasks we can ask of ourselves. I keep trying…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This is so true Val. I spent the first 40-something years racing against myself to catch the next thing (whatever that might be), only to find myself exhausted and empty.

    I’m dedicated to spending the next 40-something years resting and enjoying the journey rather than the potential rewards further down the trail.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great point – the older I’ve grown, the more I like sitting in the shade. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Very good medicine for me right now, Val. Sending huge blessings ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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