Shift – A New Board Game For Empowering Yourself

By Nicole Casanova in Product Reviews on October 21st, 2007 / No Comments

Six years ago, Nicole Casanova was at one of those proverbial crossroads in life. However, her mid-life crisis came at 26. Having been successful at a very young age in the San Francisco dot.com arena, she was becoming the victim of burnout. Nicole decided to take a step back, leave her slick six figure career, and give herself space to decide her next move.

After much reading and soul searching, Casanova became aware that her thoughts and actions were making her life unhappy. The former South Beach party girl who gave excess a new name and made it big as a dotcom darling, finally realized that instead of being victim of the world, she was actually responsible for her experiences. She wanted to help others make the same realization, that their thoughts created their reality, in a fun, interactive way. Armed with the knowledge that both the Game and Self-Help industries were growing markets, Casanova created and self-published the board game, Shift.

Her goal was to create a fun way for all people to see why they do what they do. Using content from Buddha, Gandhi, Marianne Williamson and a stand-up comedian, players start to see their behavior through insight and laughter. The result: one small shift in thought can shift your life. For example, how do you respond to a request for even more of your time? How can you say “No” and feel good about it?

The Shift Game
Can a game change your life? If it’s about love, fear and you, it just might. Shift is an empowering board game for 2-6 players. Shift is different. It is a celebration of life in a box. Combining universal principles from great minds such as Buddha, Gandhi and our very own stand-up comedian, Shift lets us look at ourselves and our thoughts through laughter and see that our thoughts create our reality and that one small shift in thought can shift your life.

Another way to work your mental muscles now available, Shift Keynotes and Workshops for your next meeting. Check it out at: www.shiftthegame.com/workshops

The Shift Story
I’ve been asked many times what was the motivation behind my idea? At 25, I met Dorothy Divack who was a major proponent of the lessons in A Course in Miracles. As the daughter of a Catholic Italian father and a Russian Jewish mother, I had my judgments about organized religion. However, The Course and the discussions that ensued were more similar to my philosophy courses in college than to any sermon I had heard. Plus, Dorothy conveyed the Course’s teachings in a no-nonsense New Yorker way.

Ten years of actively destroying myself through any and every addiction, couldn’t muffle a voice within that said, listen. It was exactly what I needed to hear and the way I needed to hear it. I was finally open to listening and what I heard resonated with my soul.The Course said that I was responsible for what I created. More importantly, the Course said that we are all perfect, whole and complete. Until then, I was pretty sure that I was just victim of the world and that I was unlovable or not good enough depending on the situation. I attended Dorothy’s intensive Excel training to untangle your personal mythology and went to her Monday night meetings where each of us shared how we applied our daily lesson from The Course to our lives.

It was the application of the lesson to everyday life that really made the concept stick for me. I learned to witness my thoughts, to see what I was thinking in the moment, and saw my experiences as a direct result of my belief about what I was. For example, when I felt not good enough, you could bet I was buying the next round of drinks and when I felt I was love, I was at peace and centered. I started to see all of my experiences as gifts that held some lesson for me. At 26, I confounded everyone when I quit my mega high salary dream job. I was selling internet advertising during the boom and let’s just say I was in the right place at the right time. However, the long hours and the large paychecks still had me questioning “What’s the purpose?” I had read every self-help book and studied all these eastern principles and knew that it was time for me to make my contribution.

I wanted to distill all of these universal principles into something that people who weren’t lighting incense in Boulder or Berkeley could experience. Knowing that I was at choice and that I could choose my reality was the single most important thing I had learned in my life and I wanted to empower other people with that same knowledge. I wanted people who were in their twenties or who lived in Iowa to be exposed to that message and knew that to hear it, they’d need it to be hip and different than most New Age products. It took about six months for the concept to show up as a board game. And it took another three years or so to get the game dynamics right. I was trying to create something that conveyed these lofty principles in a really fun and cool way and getting down to simple was actually quite difficult.

Last September the game was incredibly complex. The dynamics were so cool that no one could figure them out. Also, I had spent forever trying to come up with language that didn’t offend people. I had had so much resistance to the words Love and Fear that I had done everything from look into Kanji symbols to try to make up new words to make them less threatening. Eventually I settled on the state of Oh No! instead of fear and Oh Yeah! instead of love.

When I play tested back in San Francisco with my Monday night Course in Miracles group the first thing they said was, “Where’s the Love and the Fear?” They also said, “Create the game in its highest form and it will attract on its own merit.” I actually cried during that play test. Here I was designing a game to teach people to make their decisions from a place of love, abundance and gratitude and I was making my decisions from a place of fear.

Since I made that shift, I’ve had incredible fortune. I was blessed with brilliance and speed in the form of a Ms. Kristen Werning. Kristen’s creativity and commitment and her willingness to sit at my side until the wee hours keep me pumped with endless gratitude. And, with Charlotta Janssen’s unwavering belief in this project (she has kept the dream alive for about three years now) and her amazing contribution of the best art I’ve seen this century, we have cruised. We have designed an entirely new game whose objective is to move from Fear to Love. Everything is different, the game dynamics, the look and feel, the language… everything.

I am so thankful to all of the people that kept my vision alive and am grateful to my team, Kristen Werning, Charlotta Janssen, Dorothy Divack, Jeff Wozer, Derek Scruggs, Scott McDaniel and now Joyce Kinde for their belief and dedication to this project.

I knew that this was my life’s purpose and trusted the form would come. It happened to show up as a board game. I hope you get some insights into what makes you tick.

I am thankful to have this opportunity to remind us of our truth. The truth is, we are all love. We are all connected. And, we are all perfect, whole and complete.

Shift is printed in the USA on 100% recycled fiberboard. Shift’s mission is to tell as many people as possible that they are loved. Five years from idea to publication that mission is being accomplished.

More About Shift:
Can a game change your life? If it’s about love, fear and you, it just might. Shift is an empowering board game for 2-6 players. Shift is different.  It is a celebration of life, in a box. Combining universal principles from great minds such as Buddha, Gandhi and our very own stand-up comedian, Shift shows us why we do what we do.  Shift lets us look at ourselves through laughter and see that our thoughts create our reality and that one small shift in thought can shift your life. Another way to work your mental muscles now available, Shift Keynotes and Workshops for your next meeting.

For more information on Nicole and Shift:
Visit www.ShiftTheGame.com or call 1-866-SHIFT01. Nicole writes a blog that describes how she chooses to play the game in her real life every day. There’s also more information on Nicole’s history and her purpose for creating Shift.

Try the demo at: www.ShiftTheGame.com
Come Play at the Next Shift Circle: www.shiftthegame.com/shift-circles/

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