5 Ways to Nurture Your Creative Spirit | 27 Apr 18

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8 Good Things is a curated bi-weekly newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. It is part of my commitment to serving a greater good. Please let me know if there is something you would like to share with my readers. Content falls into three buckets. Sojourn Explorers is about travel and exploration. Picture Happiness is about conscious living. Sojourn is about photography, storytelling, and the entertainment industry.

Make sure to scroll all the way down to see my upcoming trips and programs.


1In Honor of Earth Month. The DNA of The Sojourn Experience, and specifically why Sojourn Explorers was founded, is to give back through adventure travel. I spent five years going to every continent, entering marathons and walking them as a way to raise money for causes I cared about. After I completed my last continent, Antarctica, I thought it would be fun to offer fellow sojourners the opportunity to travel with me while giving back. As a young company, one of the best, easiest, most transparent ways that I found to give back is through my membership with 1% for the Planet. It is as the name implies, 1% of my earnings goes towards addressing the most pressing issues facing our planet. I just returned from their global summit in Boulder. It was fantastic, so inspiring! Something shared with us that I am now sharing with you is 1% for Planet’s Earth Month Campaign, #360fortheplanet. This campaign is where you get to take action by exploring the planet, making a 360-shot of your world, and then sharing it on social media using their hashtag.

2A Selfish Argument for Making a Better World. It comes down to collectively working towards playing a bigger positive sum game. The more people who want what you want, the more likely you will get it. While admittedly you can poke holes in this argument, there are some interesting points to consider. I personally would like to be in a world where more people are researching cures for cancer, efficiently using resources for space exploration, and upleveling how people throughout the world live. The video below was done in collaboration with the University of Oxford Economist Max Roser and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is a seven-minute, fourteen-second watch.

3What We Can Learn From Sensation Seekers. “Sensation seekers crave new and complex experiences, even when they’re dangerous—but they can also teach us a few lessons about positive emotions.” Simply put, these folks want unique experiences because it feels good. We all want this at varying levels of sensation intensity. Some sensation seekers feel good jumping out of a plane, others not so much. Here is what you can learn and apply to your version of sensation seeking. 1) Going with the flow will enable you to feel joy in the moment. 2) Feeling the awe in whatever you are doing is good for your body. 3) Not enjoying something is not necessarily a bad thing, just different. The point is to expand your field of experience. Who knows, you may find out that you like it.

4What Your Favorite Kind of Vacation Reveals About Your Personality. “Your favorite vacation actually reveals more about your personality than you think.” Me, I am a number four. I like a good cross-country adventure. What about you?


5The 12 Habits of Happy People. “Learn the keys to maintaining a bright outlook.” The article puts forth that achieving happiness is easier, closer than you think. As one who has been studying Happiness for the past thirteen years, true that. I think it starts with the decision to be happy and then you take action. Everything listed is very doable and effective. Number two is a good place to start, focus on what you can control.

6This Is How Many Hours It Takes to Make a Friend. Supposedly, it takes fifty hours to consider someone a casual friend, ninety hours to become an actual friend, and two hundred before the two of you are close. If there is someone you like, I suggest logging in some hours sooner than later. Oh, one other thing, these hours do not correlate, thankfully, to the total hours spent talking. Silence is okay 😉


7Framed: The Adventures of Zion Man, the Story of the First Jewish Super Hero. Giving a shout out to my very talented friend, Director/Writer Brenda Lee Lau, for her internationally acclaimed, award-winning, live-action/animated film short. It is based on a true coming of age story, set during the Nazi era. The film stars Jaeden Lieberher (IT, St. Vincent, The Book of Henry, Midnight Special, Masters of Sex) and the voice of Ed Asner (Up, Elf, Lou Grant, Mary Tyler More). It recently opened the Tolerance Festival in Slovenia. Now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. Go, Brenda! You so earned this one, my dear.

85 Ways to Nurture Your Creative Spirit. These five tips are simple and work. I have employed all of them. Number three, “watch other artists create art” was the reason I chose to attend Art Center College of Design for my MFA instead of an academic film school. I wanted to be around other artistic disciplines. I still find it hugely inspiring to watch other creatives.


“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” ~ Maya Angelou. Love, love Dr. Angelou. Indeed, one of our national treasures was lost when she parted this world. One of my all-time favorite TV show interviews that I have done was with her. Afterward, Maya asked my entire film crew stay for lunch, where she gave us the most eloquent riff on what it is to be a human. The message being: if someone before you has done it,
so, can you. Wise words of encouragement to go after your dreams.

Sojourn Expeditions


Photographic Safari and Mindfulness Workshops
Kenya | Botswana | Inquire About Dates

Breakfast with hippos floating around in the background, simply idyllic, and there is so much more to experience. Africa has long been my favorite place in the world, and I love sharing it with others. Great Plains Conservation’s Wild Studio was started by award-winning National Geographic filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. Whether you are a pro or an amateur, you will have the extraordinary experience of photographing lions, leopards, elephants, and buffalo. The best part is that there will be a veteran wildlife photographer there to give you tips on getting great shots. Leave with a fantastic portfolio of your wildlife adventure. Please join the Wild Studio Team and me on a uniquely curated safari that will tap into your true inner-photographer. This journey can be experienced with a group of friends or as a solo sojourn. The choice is yours.


Greek Islands | Inquire About Dates
Take some well-earned time out sailing and hiking the islands in the Aegean Sea. Explore with me. Hike, swim, or hang on the boat. Meditate. Do restorative yoga. Eat great food, and do like Zorba. Dance! Opa!! Bring together a group of six friends and set sail on your very own Greek Odyssey.

Sojourn Programs


Happiness: The Art of Life Balance
I am committed to helping those who sit in the overwhelm, continually feeling out of time, and always stressed. As a longtime TV producer, I have been there many times over and have spent more than a decade studying what to do about it. Now, I work with professionals to help them get out of the crazy and into the happy (and yes, I still produce TV shows). I have put together a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined anytime. For a complimentary consultation, please contact me.


By Appointment
Offering personalized sessions in Restorative/Yin Yoga, Mindfulness, Primordial Sound Meditation, Prayer of the Heart Meditation. Available in-person, or on Skype and FaceTime.

Happy Weekend! Love,
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More About Us | +800-869-0538


Maria Baltazzi, Ph.D. Candidate
Purveyor of Happiness and Conscious Living

Founder, Emmy-winning TV Producer, Seven-continent Distance Walker, Fundraiser

Studies (partial list): Science of Happiness, Science of Thinking, Spiritual Psychology, Metaphysics, Primordial Sound Meditation, Restorative/Yin Yoga.

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Transformational Travel Council
North America Ambassador


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Sojourn, Inc. 7095 Hollywood Blvd 843 Los Angeles, California 90028-8912 United States (323) 661-6258