8 Good Things


Dealing with Challenging Emotions During Challenging Times | 17 Apr 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!

I hope this edition of 8 Good Things finds you safe, healthy, and in good spirits. These last couple of weeks have been a Holy time for those celebrating Passover and Easter. This weekend is Easter, or Pascha, for those of the Eastern Orthodox faith. I am sure, for most, it was the first time sharing their worship and holiday meal in a virtual world, yet with hearts still connected in spirit. Through these days of “staying safer at home,” the outpouring of kindness, appreciation, and generosity has been heartwarming, comforting, and perhaps a vision of a post-COVID-19 world we could all aspire to live and thrive in. I, for one, would love to exist in a gentler, more consciously awake world. In this edition, my team and I tried to find items that would uplift you. We also saught to give you some unique and special ways to armchair travel the world. From our hearts to yours, I hope you enjoy this read.

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 Close to Home: Here Are 5 Inspiring No-travel Experiences. Transformative adventures you can have without leaving your home. Livestream California poppies in bloom, do a virtual space tour of Orion Nebula with NASA, or hangout via a live cam with some elephant seals along the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington.

2On April 22nd, Earth Day Goes Digital. This very day marks fifty years of celebrating our planet. There will be twenty-four hours of virtual activities. It is indeed a perfect day for a global hug.

3This Guide Takes You On A Virtual Cherry Blossom Tour Around The World. A unique and enjoyable way to see the cherry blossoms in distant lands. Note: use either Firefox or Chrome as your browser, not Safari.

4All the Museum Exhibits, Symphonies, and Operas You Can Enjoy From Home. “If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” The meaning of this saying is that if things are not going your way, then you adjust to the way things are – at least for the moment. In this case, while we cannot go to public venues to experience various events and tours, we can now bring them into our homes. Go online to check out Van Gogh paintings at the museum in Amsterdam. Virtually swim with jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Spend an evening on OperaVision watching the Royal Swedish Opera perform Madama Butterfly. Or, the one I like, going on an Instagram safari in South Africa’s Sabi Sands reserve.

Email Email Email
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5Dealing with Challenging Emotions During Challenging Times. The powerful mindfulness practice of RAIN explained. An article I recently wrote about this acronym for healing. R is for recognizing your feelings. A is for allowing them. I is for investigating your feelings. N is for nurturing them. I learned this practice from my teacher, Tara Brach.

6 How to Be More Optimistic. I am a great believer in the power of a positive mindset, which you can create. Here are four ways you can do this. One, visualize your best possible self. Two, accept the inevitability of disappointment. Three, argue against yourself. Four, put things in perspective.

Email Email Email
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7 Okavango: River of Dreams. From award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, a stunning documentary series about the wildlife around the famed Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa. I was granted permission to share the first two episodes with you. Hopefully, after watching, you will be inspired to donate to the Great Plains Foundation, which was created by the Jouberts. Their organization is and continues to be very active on the ground, working with local communities as well as doing anti-poaching patrols to protect wildlife areas in Botswana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Your support, especially during this time, would be hugely appreciated and will benefit the foundation's initiatives. You can learn more at greatplainsfoundation.com. Enjoy these episodes! Part 1 code: OKA2020pt1  |  Part 2 code: OKA2020PT2

8The Mindfulness Movement Film. Just released on April 10th, from Executive Producers Deepak Chopra, Jewel, and my friend, Rob Beemer, a feature documentary that looks at the growing number of people around the world who believe mindfulness is the key to creating a healthier, happier world. Mindfulness is a practice, a tool for the mind, that anyone can use to make the moments of their lives more meaningful, more compassionate, and more aware. The film features interviews with Deepak Chopra, Jewel, Dan Harris, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Daniel Goleman, and other leaders of this movement.

Thoughtful

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” ~ Ram Dass

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action Finding Silver Linings

First, think of five things that make your life feel worthwhile – this will help shift your brain toward a positive state. Second, think of the last time you were frustrated or upset. In a few sentences, describe this moment. Third, write three positive things about this moment. Example, you got a parking ticket. One, this teaches you to be more mindful of where you park. Two, you got a ticket instead getting towed. Three, a year from now, this will not matter. These shifts in thinking done over time, do add up to a happier mind. Why this works: Consciously looking at the bright side of challenging situations helps you to see life’s upside. Doing this boosts your sense of self-worth. It motivates you to go after your goals. Do this often enough, it will become your habit, increasing your overall enjoyment of life. Time Required: 10 minutes Frequency: 1x daily for three weeks

Levity

Coronavirus: Life Imitates Art as People Recreate Masterpieces at Home. Take the #gettymuseumchallenge! As we shelter-in-place, to help pass the time, the Getty in Los Angeles is encouraging folks to recreate iconic masterpieces with found bits at home and post them on social media.

Upcoming Sojourn Experience | December 12 - 22, 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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What unprecedented times we are living. The dichotomy of sheltering-in-place and social distancing — which I prefer to call social honoring — alongside the outpour of desire for virtual connectivity, is bringing up many kinds of diverging feelings. From isolation and loneliness to love and gratitude to everything in-between. We are afraid for our health, for our jobs and careers, for our economy. Yet have hope that it will all be better one day. We pray that the day when we can go back to work, meet at a bar or restaurant, see a concert, get on a plane, and simply just hug one another again will happen sooner than later. And this is where I hope I can be of some help.

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 free 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 Happiness: Art of Life Balance six-module course.

Happy Weekend! Maria and Team Sojourn Learn More

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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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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.