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‘Good Fortune has its roots in Disaster’ – Lao Tzu

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By Sonu Shivdasani

This crisis, like most crises that we have been through, whilst more severe, will eventually end. Can we learn from this crisis to collaborate as a world and solve global warming? This is the big looming crisis that will unfortunately not end, and which will just get worse and worse.

I have been fortunate enough to have experienced many crises during my lifetime. My choice of the word ‘fortunate’ is deliberate. The Chinese word for crisis is two characters: ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. According to Lao Tzu, the Chinese writer and philosopher, ‘Good fortune has its roots in disaster’. And, over the years, I have come to understand these words and have realised that these crises are opportunities to learn, grow and develop. Certainly, we have no control over the hand that we are dealt, but we have total control on how we play it.

I have realised that if we consider a crisis in a positive way, we can always find an opportunity to learn and develop and make our lives more enriching as a result.

Let me share with you, a recent personal experience. In October 2018, I was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. The doctor asked me whether I understood the gravity of the situation. I maintained a brave face and just focused on documenting what he said and thinking of further questions that I would need answers to. However, once I had left the clinic, and was comfortably seated in the taxi home, I could not hold it anymore and broke into tears.

The first three weeks after the diagnosis was a difficult time. There was a lot of uncertainty. I felt that the ground had been removed from below me. However, this ‘Cancer Crisis’ gave me the opportunity to pause on everything else. I emerged from this traumatic experience three weeks with a clear action plan, and was considerably wiser about health and wellness.

When my doctor declared that I was in remission, I realised that I had gone through a six-stage grief cycle. The psychologist George Kohlrieser depicts this so well in his book Hostage at the Table: 1. Start an attachment; 2. Create a bond; 3. The bond/attachment ends for reasons; 4. One is pained by the loss/grief; 5. One forgives the situation; 6. One starts again.

The memory of when I first learnt of my predicament is still vivid. When I reflect on that day, I wonder what I was crying about. Was it the fear of death, or was it another loss?

Now, 18 months later, I realise that I was crying about the loss of the status quo. My usual reality of how I would live, eat and generally exist, was undermined by this illness, and would never return. During those three weeks, I grieved the loss of my usual daily reality. I realised how my lifestyle and the way I lived needed to change.

I eventually accepted my new reality, and forgave this loss. I created a new bond with this new reality and this new way of living. I gave up past guilty pleasures such as a love of red meat, ice cream and sweets in general. I extended the time in the gym from 30 minutes to an hour three times a week. I was stricter about creating breaks in my life. I reduced my traveling and also started to practice intermittent fasting. I started to enjoy my new lifestyle and diet and became attached to it. In a way, I created a new bond with my new reality and thus overcame this grief.

To some extent, many of us in the midst of the current coronavirus crisis are adjusting to a new reality and going through a similar grief cycle. There is a hollow emptiness, an uncomfortable feeling. We miss our daily routine that we can no longer enjoy because of this lockdown. In a way, we are grieving the loss of the way we used to live in the past.

Climate Crisis: The crisis that will never end but only get worse

While the current global health emergency will end, unfortunately, this hopeful scenario will not be the case with global warming. It is an ongoing situation which will affect each and every one of us. And it highlights our interconnectedness.

Climate experts believe that we are near a tipping point of no return. Some believe we have already passed it. We already have 400 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. Even if we reduced our carbon emissions considerably and followed the targets established in Paris in 2016, we will still hit 500 parts per million.

Even if we were to slam on the brakes and turn around, we would not be able to because nature itself would continue the global warming process as a result of feedback loops, such as methane escaping from below the Arctic and the Antarctic, less reflection from glaciers that have disappeared, warmer seas emitting CO2 rather than absorbing them and so on.

The warming planet has already killed more people today than the current global pandemic that has brought us under siege: In 2003, the European heatwave killed as many as 2,000 people a day and 35,000 Europeans died. In 2010, 55,000 people died during a Russian heatwave in which 700 people in Moscow died every day because of the heat. In 2016, during the heatwave that besieged the Middle East, temperatures in Iraq broke 100oF (37.7oC) in May, 110oF (43.3oC) in June, and 120oF (48.8oC) in July. Temperatures seldom dropped below 100oF, and only at night. We survive in a very fragile ecosystem that we are undermining. Our actions to date have already caused more death, misery and disaster than Covid-19 ever will.

This pandemic will end but the important question is whether the bond we have with the way we live and our daily reality has been sufficiently broken, and whether we can attach ourselves to a new reality and a new way of doing things; or if we will just go back to our old ways.

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was originally published on Linkedin by Sonu Shivdasani. Sonu is the founder and CEO of Soneva, which owns luxury resorts Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand.

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Unwind and Explore: Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa Invites Families to a Rejuvenating Summer Escape

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Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa, an all-pool villa haven nestled amidst the breathtaking natural seascapes of the Indian Ocean, invites families to embrace the joy of relaxation and the spirit of adventure this summer with a slew of experiences designed to inspire playful discoveries and foster tranquil reconnections with the mind and body.

Fun for All Ages

Budding adventurers and creative little spirits alike can discover new adventures at Krakengiri Kids’ Club, one of the largest kids’ clubs in the Maldives. Led by a multilingual team of certified childcare professionals, young guests can engage in an exciting array of daily activities that combine learning and play.

Upstairs, Re:Fuel, a rooftop lounge for teens, hosts engaging milkshake-making workshops and fun family movie nights under the starry Maldivian sky.

In June, the resort offers a Holiday Camp for teens, who can personalize their wellness experiences as follows:

  • Pick up new sports such as tennis, pickleball, and badminton on the multi-purpose court with the hotel’s resident Sports Animator
  • Work out with a personal trainer at the fitness center
  • Try aerial yoga for beginners, yoga for better sleep, breathwork, and meditation with the resident yoga practitioner
  • Enjoy a restorative massage in the overwater treatment villas of Amingiri Spa.

The experience is available at USD 150++ per person for a combination of any two 30-minute sessions.

Restful Retreats

Amingiri Spa introduces Water Connect, a private in-villa pool experience guided by a certified water shiatsu specialist. The gentle movements and targeted massage techniques melt away tension and create a deeply relaxing sensation akin to being cocooned in the womb. The serene escape is available between 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm at USD 150++ for 30 minutes.

Starting in June, guests can indulge in a brand-new Sleep Wellness menu designed to ease the mind and body into a state of deep and rejuvenating slumber. Guests can choose to unwind with a calming signature massage on the spa’s Skye Deck, bask in the timeless glow of an evening hammam ritual in the modern hammam room, or embrace tranquility with an in-villa session incorporating guided meditation, yoga, and breathwork.

Exclusive Offer

Guests who stay a minimum of four nights enjoy the added value of a half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers with Maldivian Bliss. This offer is available for stays through to December 20, 2024.

From May through to September 30, 2024, children stay and dine free: parents staying with two young children ages 11 years and below in an Overwater Suite with Pool and any of the Two-Bedroom Beach and Overwater Villas will also enjoy the half board meal plan and complimentary shared roundtrip speedboat transfers when booking Maldivian Bliss. Hilton Honors members enjoy full points for their stay. Terms and conditions apply.

Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa is part of Hilton Honors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly on the hotel’s website will have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and the Hilton Honors app.

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Maldives Madridistas: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands Nets Exclusive Football Camp Partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation

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Younger guests at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands can embrace new patterns of play this summer at an exclusive, Maldives-first Real Madrid Foundation football camp. From 4 July – 12 August, a youth coach will lead a comprehensive Real Madrid Foundation programme of daily soccer sessions for ages 5-9yrs, 10-14yrs, and 15-17yrs. The coach will be joined by an elite player ambassador from UEFA’s all-time no. 1 ranked football club toward the end of the programme.

This summer’s inaugural Patina Maldives x Real Madrid CF Foundation football camp is the first edition in an ongoing partnership, with additional future football camp dates to be confirmed. Led by a licensed Real Madrid Foundation coach, sessions will focus on developing each participant both individually and as part of the group, in order to ‘Play The Real Way’ – the training methodology that combines play, as well as sports values.

Sessions will take place on a new, purpose-built 6 a side astroturf pitch located near the Fari Marina Village at Patina Maldives.

All participants will receive an official camp football camp shirt, shorts, socks, drawstring bag, sweatbands, and cap; while those completing a minimum of four days’ coaching will also be presented with a Real Madrid Foundation participation certificate.

Real Madrid Foundation football clinics at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands are priced at USD195++ per child per session for guests of the resort. Bookings are also open to guests from neighbouring resorts, from USD250++ per child per session.

Rates at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands start from USD2,054 (approx. GBP1,620) per night based on two adults sharing a One Bedroom Pool Villa including daily breakfast, complimentary Guest Benefits, tax, and service. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information and reservations, please visit https://patinahotels.com/maldives or contact reservations.maldives@patinahotels.com. For more information on Pathways, please see here.

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A blissful island Easter celebration at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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Experience unique and enriching getaways at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, as the luxury resort unveils exciting benefits for family getaway packages launching this season. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the ethereal charm of the Maldives.

Nestled in the pristine Raa Atoll, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives seamlessly blends eco-friendly architecture with contemporary sophistication, complemented by the untouched, rugged beauty of the Raa Atoll. Situated amidst miles of untouched marine life, Alila Kothaifaru invites guests to reconnect with nature in the most extraordinary ways. With spacious villas and private pools, guests can truly experience the essence of a getaway where luxury and adventure harmoniously coexist.

Surrounded by azure skies and the turquoise waters of the Raa Atoll, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives offers an idyllic setting for a family escape during the Easter break. Here, guests can unwind in luxurious, nature-immersed surroundings, embark on exciting adventures together, and indulge in unforgettable wellness and culinary experiences.

During Easter weekend, Play Alila will delight young guests with a diverse range of festive island-inspired activities, including Easter egg decorating, arts and crafts, face painting, and more. For those seeking relaxation, Spa Alila offers enticing packages for parents and children to enjoy quality bonding time.

For the adventurous souls, do not miss the chance to join our Sparkling Underwater Egg Hunt. Hidden throughout one of our nearby dive sites, these eggs hold a special surprise. The lucky diver who discovers the egg with a unique mark will win an exclusive clutch made of Swarovski crystal valued at EUR 1,800!

Embark on an Easter journey to remember at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives. Explore all of the Easter events and activities at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives here 

Family Getaway Package

  • Booking Period: Until 30 October 2024
  • Stay Period: Until 25 December 2024

Experience a family holiday rich with memorable moments. From nature walks to energetic beach activities, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives’ offerings extend to the whole family. Indulge in a host of fun adventures together, or relax while your children participate in creative indoor and outdoor activities. Enjoy special family welcome amenities upon arrival, return seaplane transfers, daily full-board meals, and a special offer on wellness treatments. Experience the beauty of our island while creating lasting memories to be treasured!

Stay with us during the Easter period from 25-31 March 2024 and be treated to a wide range of festive island inspired activities such as Easter egg decorating, arts and crafts, egg hunting around the island and underwater, wellness offering, and many more!

For more information and reservations, please contact kothaifaru@alilahotels.com or visit alilahotels.com

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