What I’m Learning From Candy Crush [My (unorthodox) spiritual teacher]

candy crush

“The moment I let go, the miracles started flowing. And, suddenly, there were pops and sparkles and fish giving me thousands of points again.”
~Nicole Justine Cavanaugh

Okay. I did it. I finally downloaded Candy Crush, after attempting to stay above the craze.And now I’m addicted.

But here’s the thing. For those of you who know me well, you know that while I may download sparkly, popping, exhilarating games that have things like smashing lollipops and dragons crying over no lemonade in the lake (okay, okay, I also downloaded Candy Crush Soda), I also download spiritual lessons wherever I go – and that includes seeing  the spiritual lessons in this amazing game.

You may be laughing (totally fine) because, well, it IS funny. How can Candy Crush teach me anything about life?

Well, the first lesson is: if you want to find a lesson, it will appear. That has to do with your mentality. Candy Crush can be “just a game” – or it can be your spiritual teacher. I’m going with spiritual teacher here, because that is how I choose to look at life.

Here is what this colorful game has taught me (and it’s only day two):

  1. Play is essential. Without play, we are lost. We become stagnant and cold, our delight stripped away from us. What appears to be childish and insignificant due to social conditioning is, in fact, what feeds us and keeps our spirits lush and wonderous. If you aren’t playing everyday, what are you doing with your time? Working hard so you can play “one day”? Why? Play now!
  2. Allow yourself to be delighted. When the candy starts popping, the lightning sears and zaps across the board, and the fish come in and give me thousands of extra points for what appears to be no reason whatsoever, I am utterly delighted! There are so many colors, sounds, and things going on that I just sit there, staring at the screen in awe, a smile spreading across my face. Now, here is the lesson: the first time, this reaction came naturally. But by level 20, I was like, yeah, yeah, let’s get to the next level, and I started ignoring this delight. I caught myself. Why am I in such a hurry? I wondered. Which bring us to…
  3. Enjoy the journey. Even with Candy Crush, it’s easy to get focused on getting to the goal – NOW! And in keeping my focus on the goal, I miss the delight and joy of all the colors and pops and sounds. You’ve undoubtedly heard “life is a journey” and you might agree or dismiss this. But stop and think about it. More of our lives are made up of the “little things”. So if we are spending our time, energy, and focus on the “big things” we miss out on all the delights along the way. Which is what we are often searching for in the big things. Blows your mind that you might be missing – right under your nose – exactly what you are searching for, huh? Start looking around and really seeing, with fresh, delightful eyes.
  4. Keep learning and celebrate your progress. Some levels, I am naturally good at. Some, I totally suck at. I get frustrated and want to just win the level and move forward. But why? When I stopped to look at this within myself, I realized this was a pattern in my life, to want to skip over the foundations of learning, to be perfect immediately. (Yes, our patterns follow us, even into Candy Crush. Everything is a mirror. Yay.) So, I’m using my interactions with Candy Crush to practice patience and learning. Instead of getting frustrated that I missed the level by one jelly (and believe me, it’s frustrating!), I am deciding now to give myself a pat on the back if I get down to one jelly and celebrating that that was better than the three from the round before (you goal is to have zero jelly).
  5. And finally…Let the Miracles Flow. I noticed that I began to tense up, stressing out if I was seeing the “right” moves – what if I missed something?! What if I screwed up?! What if blew it?! And then, I was like, dude, Nicole, relaaaaax. Let the Divine in and trust in a miracle. You don’t have to work so hard. The moment I let go, the miracles started flowing. And, suddenly, there were pops and sparkles and fish giving me thousands of points again.
Look within yourself. Do you really need to work yourself to the bone to get the credit of having done whatever it is you are doing? Or would you rather surrender and let the Divine do the work, so you get to relax, enjoy the sparkles and pops and the abundance flooding into your life?
So, the lessons here are: You don’t have to work so hard. What you need to do is play more. Enjoy the journey, delight in everything that is happening around you. Step into full surrender, trusting that miracles are meant for you.And then you will….Crush it!

Until next time…

With love and light,
Nicole Justine Cavanaugh