06 February 2012

February is "Love Month" at Cambridge Beaches

We live in a world where we are besieged with the negative, with wars and terrorism, with change and uncertainty and we are missing any real input on the essentials of our growth as human beings. Isn’t it true that the world could use a lot more love, especially now? Isn’t true that if we could reach past judgment and fear and be open to hearing, understanding and yes, loving, our fellow man that life would be different? How refreshing would it be to awake one morning and read that a nation declared love for its neighbors instead of war against them?
The act of loving, both the giving and receiving of it, is a truly extraordinary gift that we each have the power to possess and share. Love is a revelation that enlightens and inspires us. It gives us purpose and elevates our humanity and our consciousness to higher levels. We never forget reaching that place of feeling and knowing. There has been nothing I have experienced that is more wondrous or fulfilling.  Love replaces fear, jealousy, envy, greed and ego. It is the positive side of our lives.
But love isn’t easy. Love won’t always be smooth sailing. People have needs, desires and whims, which aren’t maintenance free. Neither is love.  It demands understanding, trust, flexibility, patience, maturity and perspective. Perhaps most important, love requires us to be in touch with who we are and in touch with the person whom we love. How else could love be real?  And essentially, it begins from us loving ourselves.
I’ve heard people say that they’ve lost at love in the wake of a failed relationship. What I suspect was most often true is that they believed love functions as a cure all, that it is automatic and requires no sustenance. Love is a state of mind and it requires conscious change in ourselves, in our thinking and in the way we emote and react. Love is not a static individual, standalone element, it is a representation of all that we are, where we are and where we are going. It cannot be “used” as a panacea for all our woes, it is not a crutch to lean on, it is a source of infinite light in times of darkness but it must be fed and nurtured.  It is not a bargaining chip, i.e., ‘if you loved me you wouldn’t,’ it is unconditional and the moment we try to impose conditions we dilute its power.
Love however, is the core in which we can evolve. It can be our base for growth and happiness and can lead us away from stress, anxiety, from frustration and anger.  The opportunity to live in love with another is one of the divine gifts we have been given. We have the ability to strengthen and grow the love we share with another. It is always within our grasp. Love, to be shared can be simply manifested with our significant other, partner or spouse, a simple but thoughtful gesture such as a note, dinner, flowers or spoken words can mean everything. Sometimes it is as simple as not opening the laptop or iPad, not turning on the television, not being a slave to our emails but showing that our significant other has value far and above all of those things, that we are prepared to set those aside, simply to be with and to celebrate with, our loved one.
Do you remember how good you felt when the love you shared with your significant other, partner or spouse was new? One of our core messages at Cambridge Beaches is that that feeling does not need to be a thing of the past. That the excitement, passion, the laughter and joy, the state of bliss that many assume is a thing associated with new relationships, is in fact readily achievable throughout our relationships. But it takes conscious effort, it takes a commitment to cast aside all of the other daily distractions and to just be with our soul mate. And that is the environment we are trying to create here at Cambridge Beaches. Space, a sanctuary to get off the rapidly spinning world, to say this is our time, to be alone together, to reach out and re-establish our connections, to rekindle and reenergize and there is February is the ideal time to recommit to that journey together and we believe there is no better place to do that than here at Cambridge beaches in Bermuda.
During our February “Love Month” and throughout the year, Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa provides an ideal environment to rediscover and reignite those feelings, whether you’re stealing away in one of our tastefully appointed water-view rooms, relaxing in our award-winning Ocean Spa or enjoying an intimate dinner for two in the Tamarisk Room. In February, Cambridge Beaches will celebrate love by offering special packages (accommodations and spa treatments) and, as ever, doing all that we can to create uniquely intimate, unforgettable experiences for our guests.
No matter where you are, my sincere hope is that you enjoy and grow in love. We’d love to hear from you. What do you and your mate do to keep your love feeling like new? Follow us on Twitter, join us on Facebook or leave a comment here.



23 December 2011

On New Year's Resolutions

Holiday dinners, parties and gatherings, gift giving and celebrating are in full swing, which means that a new year is just around the bend. For years it was during this time that I would develop my New Year’s resolutions—a list of goals that I would endeavor to achieve in order to become a better person or to cure me of some bad habit, real or perceived.  Part of me was continually focused on making myself a better person. I guess age and experience have contributed to me realizing the whole concept of “being a better person” is nonsense. The reality is that the best of me, and the worst of me is all part of me and by working to be a better person, I was acknowledging I was not a good person to begin with. If I am going to go through life thinking I am not a good person, I am wasting precious time. Yes, I have lessons to learn and, yes, I have things to discover about myself.   
But I am not going to live whatever time is left for me constantly thinking I am not good and I can be better.  I need to bring focus to the best there is in me.
Part of this urge comes from today’s apparently accepted norm of judging. We judge everyone around us and we judge ourselves. We are also inclined to seek the negative. There is some strange part of being human, for most of us, that demands we find the negative in those around us. Is it because it makes us feel more important, more right?  Is it because we have come to our own conclusions and feel they are right and, thus, anyone with a different view is wrong?  I am catholic and thus you, being a Muslim, must be wrong. Because, if you are not wrong, then I am and that is clearly not acceptable! Isn’t the reality that we have all learned to approach the important things in life from a different perspective but that we are all seeking answers to the same questions? And isn’t the richness of our existence in the diversity of our exploration and surely, each of our journeys is different. If we are all walking the same path, in the same direction, having the same things to learn and all having the same opinion then where is the richness of life?
We didn’t become the people we are overnight. Decade’s worth of events, ideas, experiences, habits, observations and relationships have formed each of us into who we are.  We all are possessed of qualities that make us special and unique. I have grown in my willingness and ability to communicate with my wife, my friends and my colleagues, for example. But I still experience frustration if people don’t see things my way. Many of us like to live in absolutes, the white and black, but the reality is almost everything is grey. There are always different values, different influencers and yes, even different truths for each of us.  
Of course we are not helped in this by either the media or the state of politics today. It is much easier to deal in absolutes, the Republicans, or liberals or conservatives are right and the Democrats or Labour are wrong. Again, surely the reality is both have good ideas and if they/we could just acknowledge this and cease the inclination to demonize our opponents, we would be better for it.  But we love to be part of a gang, and yes being in a political party, belonging to a club is, in my mind all part of the same syndrome of gangs. We want to belong to something, something that will make us special.
The reality is that we are special, we are unique and, as many religions suggest, we carry the divine within us. The good news is that we are fully capable of being loving human beings but we have to emerge from fear, take some risks and allow ourselves to be what we are and not try and conform to whatever everyone else thinks we should be. I firmly believe that it’s also good news that we are all works in progress. We just need to open the doors within us, give value to those amazing characteristics and stop trying to be what are not.
2012 is forecast to be a year of transition. Many within the spiritual world see this coming year as a time of emergence where light will start to triumph over the dark. And you know, all we have to do is start the process ourselves. So let’s try not judging, let’s try looking for the good in everyone. More important, let’s begin that search within and start celebrating who we are. Our ability to appreciate the intricacies and nuances of who we are, along with our capacity to love ourselves and others is a part of the beauty and the majesty of being human beings. When thinking about how to be a better person, I submit that celebrating both our qualities and shortcomings is an excellent starting point. We each have the power to begin our journey to betterment.
Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, an oasis of respite and beauty, is an ideal setting for slowing the world down and readying yourself for that journey.  From our suites with sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean to our award-winning Ocean Spa, the Cambridge Beaches lifestyle encourages mental, spiritual and physical wellness.
We would enjoy hearing from you about your goals for personal growth for the coming year. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or leave your comments here. 
Season’s Greetings!


23 November 2011

What Thanksgiving Means

Tomorrow, millions of people across the globe, including the United States, The Netherlands, Liberia, and other countries, will celebrate Thanksgiving. While the holiday’s origin differs by country –Canada’s first Thanksgiving was a ceremony held by English explorer Martin Frobisher, who gave thanks after surviving a long and brutal journey by sea from England, for example–Thanksgiving is a time for sharing in the happiness that comes from spending time with family, loved ones and friends. That, along with enjoying a bountiful Thanksgiving Day feast, is a reason to give thanks.

The times in which we’re living, fraught with war, financial turmoil, civil unrest, scandal and daily reminders of just how fragile our economic structure is, make Thanksgiving even more meaningful. I believe they serve to reinforce what’s most important—the people in our lives who mean the most to us. I am most thankful for my wife, in whose love, friendship and warmth I bask throughout the year.  It is also a reminder to us all of two essential truths.

We are all on a journey and if we spend our time frantically trying to “do,” to live in “buzz” and compete with the frenetic material world, we are losing essential elements of life. When we surrender to this we let go the truth of needing to be celebrate what we are and who we are with.

We only have a limited time in this life and by living in fear of what might happen, by swimming in the adrenalin, judgment and negativity constantly thrown at us by our leaders and the media we are wasting that time. We need to celebrate as we awake every day and hold that celebration through our conscious days. In truth, we all have much to celebrate!  

What are you thankful for? Who or what is most important to you? We would enjoy hearing from you here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

In the meantime, on behalf of the Cambridge Beaches family, I wish you and your families a joyous and safe Thanksgiving, and a happy Holiday Season!



28 October 2011

Creating Opportunities to Relax

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the word “relax” as follows: “to seek rest or recreation.” I believe that’s a deceptively simple definition. After all, the catch (isn’t there always a catch?) is having an opportunity to relax--but that much is up to us. Or is it, really? As I’m sure you could, I’m able to rattle off a laundry list of things that stand in the way of relaxing. There’s work. There’s having a social life--which can sometimes be an extension of work. There’s staying physically fit. And then there’s all of the “stuff” I have to do, running errands and such. ‘After I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do, I don’t have time left to relax,’ is what I’ve been told when I’ve asked people if they make relaxation a priority.
But it’s precisely for the reasons I listed and the limited down time they create that relaxing is so vitally important. Yes, having opportunities to relax is up to us.
I truly believe that relaxing must be a priority if we want to be healthy, happy and whole beings. But this doesn’t come without some effort. We have to make opportunities to relax. I often share my thoughts about relaxation and its benefits with our staff at Cambridge Beaches. I encourage them to relax and I’m happy to say that our team subscribes to the notion of relaxation as a priority, something to be valued and, indeed, cherished. This mindset, our mindset, is reflected in the Cambridge Beaches culture and lifestyle.  
While any resort destination would offer “relaxation” as a selling point, what makes us both unique and exceptional is our approach to creating opportunities for our guests to relax on their terms. This begins with our understanding that each guest has a different take on what relaxation means. We gently and intelligently engage our guests to learn from them what would make their individual experiences as relaxing, pleasurable and memorable as possible. Some are able to tell us straight away, ‘A, B and C,’ while others provide subtle clues during their stay with us.  Creating opportunities for our guests to relax requires us to strike a balance between being conscious of and intuitive about their needs.
If you’ve visited our Facebook page recently, you’ve seen pictures we’ve shared of some of our repeat guests who chose Cambridge Beaches for escape, sanctuary and respite in a frenetic world. The next time you create an opportunity to relax, we hope you will consider Cambridge Beaches.


14 October 2011

Relationships and Cambridge Beaches: A Shared Essence

Even though I have been in the hotel business for over 30 years, when asked, I say that I’m in the people business. I’m Michael Winfield, president & CEO of Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, and people lie at the heart of everything we do. Along with our staff, I have the pleasure of meeting new people from all walks of life daily. Whether they’re from the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, somewhere else on our ever-shrinking planet, or beautiful Bermuda, which we call home, a healthy majority of our guests are couples who are looking forward to at least a few days of well-deserved rest and relaxation.

But relationships require more than a few days here or there to be fulfilling, healthy, functional and fun(!). They deserve the same attention that we devote to other areas of our lives, namely our careers and day-to-day obligations. An unfortunate truth is that our intentions notwithstanding, many of our relationships suffer from chronic neglect. To be sure, that isn’t an indictment. It’s an observation about the times in which we’re living. Simply put, they’re stressful. We assume our relationships take care of themselves, that just being together is enough. But surely our relationships are as deserving of focus as everything else in our frenetic lives.

So many of us spend the better portions of our adult lives going somewhere, to school, to work, to the gym, to events, to pick up the kids, that when it’s all said and done we aren’t living. We’re existing. A casualty of this going somewhere existence is our relationships.

I often ask couples to close their eyes and think of the most romantic moment they can imagine. The male often fixates on an erotic experience while the female almost invariably thinks of quiet moments with her loved one where she is being valued, where interest is shown in her, where her opinions are being heard. In other words, moments where communication, where feeling is real and goes beyond the physical to address the mental and spiritual aspects of her being.

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the mental and spiritual aspects of your being and that of your mate’s. What does it take to fulfill them? What would it be like to sustain that fulfillment, to give unto it freely and bask in complete satisfaction—together?

What you’re feeling now is the essence of what Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, Bermuda’s Most Sensuous Address, is about. Sensuality, true, meaningful sensuality, is what couples who are connected with one another experience—and their relationships are the better for it. Everything about Cambridge Beaches’ setting, accommodations, dining, amenities and staff, is intended to gently encourage couples to experience and explore reconnection—on their terms. Sensuality is, being in touch with your senses, all of them, and sharing that with your mate.

From our Ocean Spa to our private coves and beaches to our Secret Garden, Cambridge Beaches is the antidote to stress and an escape from the ordinary.

I invite you to learn more about us by visiting our homepage. Please, “Like” Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @CBLoveConcierge and check our blog, “Reconnection,” bi-weekly, for updates. And please share your comments. Wouldn’t it be great if we could cause a change in priorities and give relationships equal billing in life’s journey?