8 Good Things


#BlackStoriesMatter: TV Programs You Can Stream Now | 19 Jun 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 Sojourners!

Much has happened in the world since our last edition of 8 Good Things. In one weekend, we collectively seemed to have revisited the best and the worst of the sixties. The murder of George Floyd was both reprehensible and incomprehensible. The riots, the protests, the outrage that poured out across our cities, and throughout the world in support of Black Lives Mattering. At the same time, in the same breath, we launched a new era of space exploration with two NASA astronauts taking the first commercial aircraft to the International Space Station. The hope, the optimism of citizens being able to go into space, for me, was exhilarating. The extreme emotions of these simultaneous events were, and is, a lot to hold. That on top of the fear, isolation, and uncertainty that COVID-19 has already brought us over the last months.

At the coronavirus's outset, I encouraged that we spread a pandemic of love and kindness in the coming days. I believe this even more so today. I am now adding in compassion and education for a socially just world. Yes, we one hundred percent need and must address the inequities for African-Americans right here and now, though we need to do this while still remembering other generational inequality. We still need to take care of Native Americans, Latinos, Asians, Jews, Refugees, Women of all color and nationalities. The list goes on and on. Indeed, everyone matters. Let us use this time to raise the “collective consciousness” bar.

In this edition, my team and I tried offering resources to navigate this moment as well as a bit of levity and escapism.

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One more thing, I am continuing my 1000 mile walk for Stand Up To Cancer, raising money to support patients and caregivers with COVID-19. This week, I broke two hundred miles, under 800 miles still to go. I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring me. You can do so for as little as five cents. It is super easy.

One. Go to my pledge page and enter a per-mile amount.
Two. I walk a 1000 miles.
Three. Once I complete my end of the deal, you will be contacted by email for your credit card details.

Click here for my PLEDGE PAGE

I want to thank those who have sponsored me so far, including the Transformational Travel Council and Wanderwell Travel Insurance. Your support means a lot.

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., NEW YORKER) to learn more. If you come across a story you would like me to consider sharing, please send it to explorer@sojourn-intl.com. This newsletter comes out once every three weeks.

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1#BlackStoriesMatter: TV Programs You Can Stream Now. As storytellers, we have the ability and responsibility to educate, motivate, inspire, and create awareness. Here are films that are suggested by the Academy of Television Arts and Science.

American Masters is honoring the memories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many other lives lost to police violence and racism. Below are some of their programs that amplify Black storytellers and shine a light on Black cultural figures in American history.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise focuses on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos, and her own words.
Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart profiles the author of Raisin In The Sun (the first-ever Black woman to author a play performed on Broadway), explores her complex life and influences that shaped her childhood, future art, and activism.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am on June 23rd at 8/7c on PBS and PBS.org/tonimorrison.
• In 1959, Miles Davis was unlawfully assaulted and arrested by two New York police officers outside a jazz club he was performing in — PBS and Netflix subscribers can watch Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool.
13th (Netflix)
16 Shots (Showtime)
American Son (Netflix)
Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (PBS)
Burn MotherF*cker, Burn! (Showtime)
The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 (Amazon)
Clemency (Amazon Prime rental)
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (Netflix)
Dear White People (Netflix)
Fruitvale Station (Tubi)
The Hate U Give (Hulu with Cinemax)
I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
Just Mercy (available free during June on all digital platforms)
King in the Wilderness (HBOMax/Hulu)
Selma (available free during June on most streaming platforms)
Time: The Kalief Browder Story (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix) [ARRAY 101 provides a learning companion and field study lesson, intended to be a catalyst for conversation and change.]
A series of videos on race (New York Times)
• Netflix has launched a collection of film and TV content for U.S. subscribers, which highlights "powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience."

Additional Anti-Racist Resources. Here are articles, podcasts, and more that explore the potential to reduce prejudice in society and ourselves.

2Launch Recap: NASA and SpaceX Fly Astronauts to the Space Station. If you read the opening to this edition of 8 Good Things, you know how I feel; this is a historical moment to be excited about and applauded.

Also, ‘Space Launch Live’: SpaceX Coverage Hits Ratings High For Discovery and Science Channel.

3Serengeti. Now for a little escapism. I recently watched Discovery’s heartwarming series set in the Tanzanian bush. I loved it. It is the story of a year in the life of some of the most iconic African wildlife. The six-part series unfolds as a dramatic story narrated by Lupita Nyongo. I have made many trips into the bush to watch lions, elephants, zebra, wild dogs, baboons, cheetah, leopards, and this story captures what I have experienced. The cinematography is both stunning and surprising. Its footage creatively inspires me. A lot of love and thought went into the filming of this show. The use of music is inspiring, as well. While you may not be able to get to Africa any time soon, this is an armchair journey well worth the watch.

Email Email Email
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4Too Much Alone Time? Tips To Connect And Find Joy While Social Distancing. The longer we are staying at home, the lonelier, more anxious we are feeling. That is because we are wired for connection. Even though things are starting to open up, we will still be practicing physical distancing for some time. This article offers creative ways to feel more connected. Here are three ideas you can do online: 1) Connect with real-time activities. 2) Participate in art projects that you share. 3) Become a citizen-scholar, volunteer tutor.

NPR

53 Breath Techniques That Could Save Your Life. Or, at Least, Make You Feel a Whole Lot Better. This is an article I recently wrote. As we move forward, surviving this moment and the ones to come, sorting out and making sense of the world, we all need to be taking some deep breaths.

Email Email Email
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66 Distance-friendly, No-touch Greetings Used Around the World. As we consider venturing into the world again, we will be rethinking how to greet each other. There is the mutual “air hug” that many of us are already doing, myself included. Though how else can we warmly greet one another? I like how this article looks to other cultures for inspiration — Japan’s bow. Or, Southeast Asia’s namaste, prayer hands to the heart. Hawaii has the shaka, “hang loose” sign. Find out the others, along with some unexpected backstories of these greetings.

7The Post COVID-19 Future: Transformational Travel Transformed. As I am writing this (June 3rd), I just heard that Tanzania is opening up to travelers. We are seeing other destinations, resorts, and cruise lines releasing dates for reopening as well. Our world has and is changing, so how will travel change? In the industry, there is a growing felt sense that we will be more thoughtful, more mindful travelers. We will want trips that offer ways to grow, self-reflect as well as improve the places we visit. We will wish for locations to be observant of COVID practices. We will want to engage with other cultures. We could very well be trending towards “renewal tourism,” where people will go to places with a greater appreciation and a sincere desire not to rekindle the over-tourism we have seen in the past— to no longer look at a destination as a commodity to be used, instead it is to be respected and preserved.

815 Hot Springs Around the World That Are All About the Natural Views. A little inspiration for when we can travel again, especially if you are longing for a spa getaway, though not ready for crowds. Try going natural! I would love to plunge into the pool that Marc Anthony gave to Cleopatra in Pamukkale, Turkey! Though, truthfully, you may not be able to go into all of these hot springs. However, you could still enjoy their natural beauty.

Thoughtful

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.
It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”

~ Joseph Campbell, A Hero With a Thousand Faces

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Active Listening

This is a good practice anytime, especially when there are misunderstandings or disagreements.
One, find a place to talk where you will be uninterrupted.
Two, invite an open conversation.
Three, paraphrase what the other person has said.
Four, when appropriate, ask questions.
Five, express empathy by trying to understand the other's feelings,
whether you agree or not.
Six, use body language that shows that you are engaged,
like eye contact, nodding.
Seven, avoid judgment. Simply take in the other person’s perspective for what it is, even if you disagree.
Eight, avoid giving advice. Wait until you both have spoken before problem-solving.
Nine, take turns speaking, following steps three through eight.

Why this works: It helps prevent miscommunication and hurt feelings. The listener better understands the other person’s perspective. The speaker feels heard. Ultimately, active listening strengthens relationships.
Time Required: As long as it takes
Frequency: As many times as you need

! Levity

Looney Tunes Cartoons: Dynamite Dance
HBO Max is bringing back Warner Brothers Animation’s Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
As we head toward the 4th of July, I thought this would be a fun throwback to cartoons of another era, circa 1940s.

Sojourn Programs

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As a way to stay inspired, resilient, and happy, I am offering donation-based online courses.

Mindful Creative Writing Salon | Through June
Fridays, 12:15 - 1:30 pm Pacific Time. Suggested donation, $12 for each session.

Being Resilient Practicum | Ends June 27th
Saturdays, 10:30 - 11:45 am Pacific Time. Suggested donation for the series is $40, $10 for each session.

All are welcome. Sessions via Zoom. Donations are not required, though much appreciated.

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Part of The Sojourn Experience's mission is to help our community cultivate a healthier mind, body, and spirit. While we are all staying a social honoring distance apart, I would like to share some other offerings to support your at-home self-care.

First is a downloadable PDF guide and recording to my Love, Gratitude meditation practice. Two things we can all use a lot of right now, and always.

Second, you can enroll for free in my online course, Happiness: Art of Life Balance.

Stay safe. Stay well.
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More

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


Emmy-winning TV Producer, Happiness and Mindfulness Teacher, 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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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.