8 Good Things


5 Reasons to Keep Traveling Now Despite Fears about Coronavirus | 6 Mar 20

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Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.

To keep getting 8 Good Things, please add explorer@sojourn-intl.com to your email contacts.

Hello!

I hope this edition of 8 Good Things finds you anticipating spring like I am! The equinox is on the 19th of this month! If you are wondering what happens on the spring equinox, it is when the sun in the northern hemisphere shines directly on the equator, that day and night are about equal. It marks the beginning of longer days of sunshine. What else is notable about this spring equinox is that it is the earliest one in over one hundred years! Usually, it lands around March 20th or 21st. I have been feeling an early spring coming on, and now I know why. Happy Early Springtime!!

8 Good Things is a curated newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. If my thoughts about an article or video interest you, please click the ‘source’ button (e.g., WASHINGTON POST) to learn more. 8GT reflects the spirit of the three brands that make up The Sojourn Experience: Sojourn Explorers, Picture Happiness: Take a Shot and Sojourn Media. If you come across stories you would like me to consider sharing, please send them to explorer@sojourn-intl.com. This newsletter comes out once every three weeks. Please make sure to scroll all the way down to see my upcoming trips and programs.

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15 Reasons to Keep Traveling Now Despite Fears about Coronavirus. This may be an article that you do not agree with in total. However, if you love to travel and are now afraid because of the virus that is hitting so many countries, this is a worthwhile read. It is written by two Transformational Travel Council colleagues and founders of Explorer-X. I think they bring up some valid points, drawing from sources like the New York Times and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The main takeaway is that if you are healthy, stay vigilant about your hygiene (e.g., washing your hands a lot), and stay informed about where it is safe to travel, you should be able to still roam the world. This statement from Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, matches my sentiment: “I just want to echo again that the risk is low—the risk is low. I encourage Americans to go about their life. That includes travel to California, Oregon and the state of Washington.” I also include an article that lists confirmed novel coronavirus cases worldwide.

CNN

2What is Transformational Travel — & How Can We Do It? Whether your sojourns are keeping you a little closer to home these days, or you are still out there exploring distant lands, this is a relevant read because transformational travel does not end when you unpack your suitcase once you return home. Your journeys inspire you to keep doing things that are positive and impactful in your everyday life. In past issues, I have mentioned that I am part of a new travel collective, the Transformational Travel Council. It is a global group of like-minded tour leaders, tour operators, accommodation proprietors, and other industry professionals who are concerned about and committed to the travel experience – that it is purpose-driven and meaningful. Transformational Travel has been a growing trend over the last couple of years. Why? Because people are yearning for a richer travel experience. The article puts it well, “We [the travel industry] must respond with a global shift toward regeneration, reconnection, and repurposing.” This article gives a snapshot of what all this means, and how it can make for a profound, lasting experience while traveling or on a retreat.

Email Email Email
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3 A Concert Violinist on the Metro? A friend of mine recently reminded me of this surprising 2007 video (thank you, Dan Funk.) World-famous concert violinist Joshua Bell planted himself at a metro stop in DC and played classical music for forty-three-minutes. Only seven people out of one-thousand-ninety-seven passersby actually stopped and listened. We get so caught up in the busyness of our world. Rushing to this appointment, that lunch, or whatever is next that we can miss so much. One orchestra ticket to see this maestro could cost you four hundred dollars, and here all these people missed out on a free up close and personal musical experience. Think about what you may be missing because it is not part of your schedule. If you are not too busy, take two-minutes and thirty-six seconds to listen to the music. There is a more in-depth Post article as well.

NPR

4How to Be Good. What we can learn from a therapist, scholar, monk, and CEO about being our best selves. I like one scholar’s read of what ancient Greek philosopher Plato had to offer, that goodness is the same as happiness. In a nutshell, we have natural desires of the body, the emotional desire to connect, and the desire to understand what is best to do. Our goodness is in how we express these desires. Though answering the question of how to be good is varied, simple, yet complicated, and a life-long pursuit. This article offers nine suggestions: 1) Be kind. 2) Pay attention. 3) Ask hard questions. 4) Put challenges in perspective. 5) Hold yourself accountable. Find out the other four suggestions, and get more detail on the ones already mentioned.

5 7 YouTube Yoga Practices to Finally Relieve and Release Your Back Pain, Tightness, and Tension. A few months ago, I was exercising in my living room. I rolled over from my back to get into a sphinx pose on my belly and felt something tweak in my lower right back. Since then, it has been bothering me. Not in a debilitating way, just in an annoying way – especially when I sit for too long. I can feel the compression in my back. As a result, I have turned into that person who carries around a special cushion for sitting in chairs. Believe me, it helps. So, now I am hyper-aware of articles, books, and videos that can aid in saving your back. If you have back issues, maybe these resources will work for you as well. First, a series of videos. Second, a useful book, Treat Your Own Back. The real takeaway of the book is that you can do exercises for your back. However, the key is being mindful about your posture. Something that I am finding to be true as I work to alleviate my back pain.

65 Ways Posture Can Help Improve Mental Health (SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN). A companion article to the one above. It focuses on why you want good posture. Use it as motivation, whether you have back pain or not. Here are three of the ways that posture can do more than have you walking tall: 1) Improves your mood. 2) Improves blood flow to your brain. 3) Helps you make friends – believe it or not. The article also gives tips on how to develop good posture. The infographics toward the end are terrific. And, I dare you to take the “2-inch Wall Challenge.” I made up the challenge after reading one of the infographics about how to test your posture – scroll down to the green-colored infographic section.

7Mindfulness Talk + Meditation: Journey of a Thousand Miles. As many of you know, I teach meditation and have started recording free guided sessions for the Insight Timer app. This short talk was inspired by my one hundred and twenty kilometer walk along the Camino de Santiago in Spain last September. By listening, you will learn about being present to the sights, sounds, and smells around you in your everyday life. I hope you enjoy it.

Email Email Email
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852 Books for 52 Places. An article for the globetrotting armchair reader. Also, for those who are like me and enjoy reading a book set in the country you are visiting. Some classic books on this list: The Pearl by John Steinbeck, set in La Paz, Mexico; Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway, set in the Bahamas. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, set in Minorca, Spain. Plus, a companion travel guide for the books mentioned in the article, 52 Places to Go in 2020.

Thoughtful

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure.
You don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it”

~ Kobe Bryant, 1978 – 2020

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Lakers 24’s Oscar-winning tribute to basketball.
Best Animated Short 2018

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Best Possible Self

Take a moment to imagine your best possible life in all areas;
relationships, family, career, health, hobbies.
For fifteen minutes, write continuously without editing yourself
or worrying about spelling and grammar.
Hint: Let go of any perceived challenges,
envision a bright future, and be specific.
Why this works: Thinking optimistically about the best version of you,
helps you learn more about yourself and your desires.
Time Required: 15 minutes Frequency: 1x/day for two weeks

Upcoming Sojourn Experience | May 31st – June 10th, 2020

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11-Day Pilgrimage to Istanbul with Loyola Marymount University Lecturer of Modern Greek Studies V. Rev Father John S. Bakas, the Dean of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Los Angeles
This trip includes luxury accommodations, most meals, all transfers, expertly guided sightseeing tours, entry fees, and domestic flights.
Visit: Istanbul, Izmir, and Cappadocia

Words from Past Pilgrims

“If you’ve got the chance to travel with Maria, TAKE IT! Every detail is expertly executed, the food will be superb, and you’ll be well informed at every destination!”

“I feel truly blessed to have taken the journey with you at the helm Fr. John — for always lifting us up, encouraging us to be our best.”

“Inspirational, mystical, spiritual, powerful, peaceful, magical, and full of love and blessings.”

“A trip of a lifetime! A dream come true! Thank you! The best experience — new friends, fond memories.”

Sojourn Programs

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Happiness: The Art of Life Balance
As a longtime television producer, stress was my middle name. I have spent more than a decade studying what to do about it. Now, I teach the habits of successful happy people. I have put together a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined anytime.

Happy Weekend!
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More | +800-869-0538

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Maria Baltazzi
PhD, Conscious-Centered Living | MFA, Film


Emmy-winning TV Producer, Certified Happiness Trainer, Transformational Travel Ambassador

About
The Sojourn Experience is a conscious-centered company with a portfolio of three entities. Sojourn Explorers curates transformational experiences to extraordinary places around the globe. Part of the money for each trip goes to nonprofit organizations that we believe in. Through Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, Maria helps professionals uplevel the quality of their thoughts and habits. She designs Happiness programs and workshops as well as leads retreats. Finally, Sojourn looks to create media partnerships with writers, producers, and directors to get their projects sold to production companies and various platforms.

Special thanks to Astrid Martin, article and video content research, and Michael Tobias, editorial review and formatting, for their ongoing contributions to 8 Good Things.

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Sojourn, Inc. 7095 Hollywood Blvd 843 Los Angeles, California 90028-8912 United States +1-800-869-0538

Join for more 8 Good Things
  • Before opting into our newsletter, please take some time to review our Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.