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Archive for November, 2010

So it all started with Oprah, which most things these days seem to start with…

My mom was watching the show last year on a rare day off from work and comedian Steve Harvey was the guest.  He was promoting his new book about  relationships and specifically about how women are going wrong- seriously wrong.

So, as you may have already guessed my mom started listening a little more intently and with her kids in mind as Harvey answered  questions about love, sex and dating.  I mean, sure this was supposed to be a day off Olympic planning for her, but maybe she could use this time to help US move from the singles event to pairs 😉

Now, I wasn’t watching the show, but my mom felt so inspired to share his thoughts that she declared at dinner that we need to hold on to our cookie  (what?) and followed up with passing along his book for us to read (my mom bought and read a book about dating?).  Oh, this will be interesting…!

So I read it, and I’m going to paraphrase the sh*t out of it but here is the main concept of this book (taken from Oprah’s website):

Though a woman might want many things from a man, Steve says men only need three things: support, loyalty and sex. Or as Steve calls it, “the cookie.” “We’ve got to have your support. Whatever adventure we’re out on, whatever pursuit in life, we need your support. Then we need your loyalty. That’s your love. We’ve got to know that you belong to us,” he says. “And we’ve got to have a cookie. Everybody likes cookies. That’s the thing about a cookie. I like oatmeal raisin…but if you’ve got vanilla cream, I’ll eat that too.”

So he goes on to describe how women give their cookie away too early – all of it!  It’s  the 2010 version of “The Rules”… take your time, have a life, make sure your guy knows he’s what you want, and hold on to your cookie for at least 90 days.  Yes guys, I’m being serious.   Three. Whole. Months.

So The Cookie started to get a whole bunch of floor time at our family dinners.  It was explained, debated, accepted, rejected.  My friends thought it was impossible, my brother declared he was a cookie-monster 😉 , my sister said that this was archaic dating behaviour and we’ve moved so far past this as women, and I decided to try it out. The Cookie was now an intricate part of our daily life and yet I wasn’t ready for what came next…

A couple weeks later we all went out for some drinks at a bar downtown, and as a new guy offered to buy me drinks and attempted laughing at even my cheesy jokes, my sister (sitting beside him on the other side) started a conversation that I only jumped into at the end.

her: “you know, you won’t even get her cookie for 3 months – she’s all talk…”

him: “what’s a cookie?”

her: “her COOKIE… she seems all fun and carefree but she’s like a…a…. she’s a double chocolate chip cookie”.

him:  “those are awesome!”

her: “no, they are the cookie that looks like everything you want and are SO bad for you.  And you buy it, and it’s way too sweet and you can only take a bite before it gets to be too much”.

And there she had declared what kind of cookie I was – Double Chocolate Chip

In her mind, the cookie that never truly satisfies…. but that’s just her opinion, which is what the beauty of the cookie is – everyone has different tastes!

So fast-forward a week and we have all declared what kind of cookie each of us is, and why.  And if you are reading this you are, no doubt, going to find a cookie that perfectly describes how you are in a relationship.  And it’s yours to keep or to give away, to hold on to, or to rebake to become a new kind of cookie if you so choose.

The Double Chocolate Chip:  It’s a lot, a whole lot.  Fun, a little sinful, and you never know exactly what it will be like.

Chocolate Chip Cookie: (mae) Great balance, but has a wild side.  Classic, yet all satisfying – not a daily treat but could be a weekly indulgence!

Oatmeal Raisin:  (jenna) this is the betty crocker of all cookies.  Wholesome, hearty, the kind of cookie that will send you on your way with a packed lunch.  It’s a classic but you aren’t sure if it’s a treat or not…

Mulitcolour Smartie Cookie: (stacy) Hmmmm… who picks a smartie cookie?  Someone who is in for a crazy ride!  Someone who never knows what they are going to get but wants the adventure and all the randomness that goes with it.  But it’s an awesome cookie and almost impossible to find 🙂

The Ginger Snap:  (sally) This is a cookie that you love or you hate.  It has a cult following – I mean, if you love ginger snaps, probably no other cookie satisfies.  In fact, you may not even like cookies but there’s something about a ginger snap that transcends the cookie label!

Oreo:  My personal favorite.  A little of everything.  And full of layers… it can be eaten all together in one bite, or slowly savoured, or separated into it’s different layers.  Chocolate or vanilla satisfies every mood. And dunk it in milk and it’s a whole different cookie.  This one keeps me interested…

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip:  (Lola) This is the one that I aim to become.  That I hope I’ve already become.  Classic awesome chocolate chip with a little wholesomeness.  Or another way to describe it is a double chocolate chip toned down… the 30 year old version to a 20 year old cookie 🙂

The breakfast Cookie: (hanna)  So this one is not a treat, even though you love it.  It’s the healthiest cookie there is. You could have it everyday, and you do.  But it takes awhile for you to acknowledge that you are actually eating a cookie.

The Power Cookie: (Farrah) This cookie isn’t kidding around.  It puts you in your place… it’s always in the zone.  While you may mistake it for a breakfast cookie, the power cookie is a challenge.  The extra protein, nuts and chocolate make you wonder if you can handle one in a sitting. This gives you something to chew on between bites and for some crazy reason, you keep coming back for more…

The Vegetable Cookie:  (harminder) Is there such a thing, you may ask?  Well, I declared that it exists and while I’ve since backpeddled to try to dub it as carrot cake or zucchini loaf, the truth is that as I hurled my accusation at my friend Harminder (that he is a vegetable cookie), I will never redeem myself for it 😉  And in a lot of ways he is a vegetable cookie.  He is massively good for you.  So good for you that every single friend of mine wants a vegetable cookie.  And since there are no others that I know of yet, he’s got a lot of work to represent this kind of cookie. But you marry this one.  Because, I mean, it takes guts to be a cookie that doesn’t include sugar!

So since this has all happened (over a year ago)  I’m pretty over being double chocolate chip.  I agree with my sister that it’s just a special occasion cookie and I’m more interested in being at least a weekly treat! So I think I’ve progressed, or am trying to progress to a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie.  Wholesome (just a little), with the chocolate that I’m known for and that adds a little adventure.

And as for the 90 day rule – I kind of get it.  There’s no question that  getting to know a person helps us make better decisions, and as soon as you throw in too much intimacy too soon (any kind of intimacy), it can cloud things.  But to declare a time frame seems artificial.  It seems contrived.  I think the 90 day rule is more about self awareness and growth as a potential couple than anything.  It’s so that we have time to see the ingredients behind the label of the cookie.  Cause what looks like a chocolate chip cookie could be carob, and we all know that the savoriness of vegetable cookies could be masked with a little apple or orange flavour.  But it takes time to figure it out.

So what kind of cookie are you right now?  And the question is, does it serve you?  Like, are you attracting the kind of cookie you want with the kind of cookie you are being?  Bring on the oreo 😉

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I’ve been so lucky this past 2 months.  I get to walk into a gym everyday with the 2009 CIS Volleyball coach of the year, and  a group of girls that range from academic all canadians,volleyball all-stars, and team captains who have just won three national championships in a row.  And I get to be a part of creating a team with these unbelievably talented, unique human beings.

And you’d think it was easy, right?  Like, take 18 of the best, smartest volleyball players in the country, a coach with 26 years of experience, trainers who are innovators in their field, assistant coaches who are well practiced in the art of teaching and inspiring, all of whom exemplify excellence and want to win volleyball games and it all works out…. right?

Well, I don’t think that’s all there is to it. And maybe for the seasoned coaches that may be reading this, that is an obvious statement.  That the best teams were not your championship teams necessarily, that there was something beyond the obvious that makes a championship team.  In fact, it seems to me that the higher the caliber of the people on the team, the more complex and detailed the creation of that team needs to be.  There are no “yes-men” on the team… because you can’t be that way to get to the top. There is nobody that doesn’t know how to win. There is nobody who is not self-aware.  There is nobody that hasn’t been a leader on a team… and you put it all together and it doesn’t just exponentially increase the leadership, awareness, and success of the players and team.

What it does is exponentially increase the POTENTIAL of the team.

And what is potential?  It’s not real (yet), and it’s not the goal.  I actually used to love when somebody said that I had potential and as the years passed I started to hear something very different as the words came out of their mouths.  I wondered why I still had potential.  I realized that the key is in accessing this potential – finding ways to get it out and to express this possibility on and off the court.

A great coached shared a quote with me that I want to share with you:

“A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable”.

So, a team isn’t all of their potential – their potential is just how high the ceiling is on their capabilities.  What a team is, is commitment to a common purpose.  It’s not just the sum of 18 players and 4 coaches.  It’s the brand new created vision of what they want to do together.  And it often means putting aside some personal goals and visions for the greater vision of the team.  OR, for the seasoned athlete and coach, to reframe some of the personal goals to fit into the common vision, because there isn’t anything that will destroy a team faster than a player that does what they need to do outside of the vision and goals of the team.

Take one situation:  Player X wants to be a starter (obviously!).  And they aren’t because the coach believes the team will be more successful starting Player Y and using player X as a substitute.

Many athletes have been in this situation and here’s where I think a champion is created… in how they use this situation, which is obviously contrary to their personal goals.  They have two choices.  Either A.  Continue to contribute to the team, use each opportunity to learn and perform and be creative to find ways to stay on the court, including learning how to be the best sub ever (and considering that it’s not who starts the game that’s important, it’s who ends it)… or B. Get frustrated because you want it to be different, you want the coach to see your perspective and you don’t think it’s fair.  Performance and connection to the team suffer and you just solidify your position off the court.

I’ve been in both situations, and it’s awfully hard to swallow personal goals in the pursuit of a team goal, but it’s the only way a team will reach their potential.  So in becoming a part of the team, the commitment is made to the common vision.  No matter what feelings or thoughts come up.

It’s not much different in a relationship, is it?  I mean, I’m sitting here writing about coaching and playing and really getting how this truly applies to everyone.  A relationship is a team.  I mean, it has to be in order to exponentially increase potential.  Common goals and visions have to be created together (and I stress TOGETHER as there is no power in each person individually doing this.  It’s why teams vote for captains and do goalsetting sessions together – you can’t tell people what their goal is or they are not invested in it or accountable to it).  And after, each partner needs to do what they need to to to manifest that vision so that it doesn’t stay as potential.

And I think that the stronger the love, the stronger the two people and the larger the vision, the more complex this becomes because of the raised roof on what is possible.  Because it’s not 1+1=2, or at least, it doesn’t have to be.  And it may become 1-1= 0 if we kill off the other persons part of the vision. Or it could be 1+1= 2 (to the power of x), which really has no limit  (I can’t do complex math symbols on here- sorry math people!!)  And if we can’t get past everything we think we need or perceive, no matter how much it makes sense to US individually, then we may as well be a part of an individual sport because putting the team ahead of the individual means that we may be on the bench for a game every once in awhile and just trust that the process will make us stronger.

One thing that I say to the teams I work with is that if each person takes care of each other and doesn’t worry about themselves, then the payback is massive.  It’s perhaps even 17-1. You’ve got 17 people who’ve have your back, rather than just 1.  But in order to do that you truly have to give up taking care of yourself because you now have 17 people to contribute to.  And it’s the same with relationships.  Is it possible to truly stop worrying about ourselves in order to become the best teammate possible?  And know that we will be taken care of, and maybe in a different and more powerful way than we ever thought possible? I’m not sure if that is realistic but I have a hunch that’s what it’s all about.  That’s the next level of love, of commitment, and of excellence. And I think it would be really cool to see what that’s all about.

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