Summer Solstice | 23 Jun 17

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Here is this week’s 8 Good Things. This newsletter is my year-long weekly gift containing everything from articles to books to quotes to videos that are meant to be helpful, inspirational, aspirational, informational, and just fun to read! Please make sure to scroll all the way down to see our Upcoming Sojourn Events! Two trips: Sailing and Hiking the Greek Islands and Walking the Camino de Santiago. Also, this August, I am launching a 90-day program, Happiness and the Art of Life Balance. Please contact me for details.


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1) A cool picture of the sun. This past Tuesday and Wednesday were the longest days of the year – Summer Solstice. Though what exactly is it? “Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5° north latitude. In 2017, this occurred at exactly 12:24 am (Eastern) on the 21st.” Here are seven other things to know about the longest days of the year.

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2) Did you know? Antarctica is the only area on our planet that is not owned by any country? 90 percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents 70 percent of all the fresh water in the world. However, as strange as it sounds, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches. Although covered with ice, Antarctica is the driest place on the planet with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi Desert.

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3) Fun history. Happy Birth Month Josephine Baker! This American singer-dancer was more than just a famous entertainer; she was an activist as well as a spy for the French Resistance during World War II. So, what were her spy trade secrets? She used invisible ink to hide notes and maps in her sheet music, and tucked sensitive photographs of German military installations in her undergarments!

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4) From my library. As we move into summer, my thoughts most definitely turn towards traveling and exploring. This classic is one of my favorite books about being on the road – Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Time Magazine calls this book “An unforgettable trip.” The New York Times exclaims “Profoundly important…full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.” I say just read it and enjoy the stimulating intellectual ride.

Picture Happiness: Take a Shot

“Your legacy is every life you touch”
~ Maya Angelou

5) In a commencement speech, Oprah shares the wise words given to her by Maya Angelou. “We have no idea what our legacy will be, so for that reason it’s important to live our lives with substance throughout our lives.” Listen to Oprah’s inspiring speech.

6) “Optimism isn’t about being oblivious to the bad stuff. That’s denial.” Having optimism goes a long way, from success to love to living longer. Here are five facts about looking on the upside of things.

7) A new scientific study shows that yoga and meditation does more than relax the mind and body. “[It] can actually reverse stress-related changes in genes linked to poor health and depression.” Read more.


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8) Astonishing medical news from the Cleveland Clinic. They are getting closer to developing a non-toxic pill to replace chemotherapy. This new pill still must go through a couple more tests before being considered a cure for cancer. However, to say the least, this is really encouraging news! Learn more about the science and the journey here.

Upcoming Sojourn Events

Los Angeles, July 29th. I am leading a Prayer of the Heart Retreat: How to Meditate, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm at the Huffington Center. Admission is my gift; donations are your gift. Details: Picture Happiness Facebook Page. Please RSVP to happy@pixhappiness.com.

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Program Launch, Happiness and the Art of Life Balance,
Tuesday, August 15th.

I am committed to helping those who sit in the overwhelm, constantly feeling out of time, and always stressed. As a longtime TV producer, I have been there many times over. And have spent the last eleven years studying what to do about it. My promise is to get you out of the crazy and into the happy. To do that, I have put together a 90-day program. It is designed to be an on-going curriculum that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined online anytime. You will learn to manage your day-to-day world in a way that is sustainable while experiencing both group and individual support. Please contact me for a complimentary consultation.

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Greek Islands, September 15th – 23rd, 2017.
If you romanticize sailing and hiking the islands in the Aegean, then come along with me. Explore, meditate, do restorative yoga, energizing breathwork, eat great food, dance. Find your inner Zorba. Opa! Learn more. *the trip cost includes my Happiness and the Art of Life Balance program.

“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying
has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea.”

~ Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek

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Camino de Santiago, Spain, September 26th – October 3rd, 2017.
This pilgrimage has long been on my travel ‘hit’ list. For years, I have heard inspiring stories about it. We’ll stay in quaint farm houses, 17th-century stone-made mansions. Eat well, drink well. Pray, meditate, breathe. Of course, walk. Go home happy. Learn more. *the trip cost includes my Happiness and the Art of Life Balance program.

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

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Maria Baltazzi, Purveyor of Happiness and Conscious Living


Founder of Sojourn Explorers and Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, Emmy-winning Producer, Seven-continent Distance Walker, Fundraiser

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

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