8 Good Things


Every Day You Live, You Impact the Planet | 28 Aug 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 and healthy and managing to enjoy what remains of this season. Are we already bumping into September? Even though most of us are staying close to home, my goodness time has flown. Though I know, many are missing travel. I know I am. So, I am highlighting several ideas to consider for those wanting to venture out, or if you just want to vicariously travel through words. There is an article about life lessons from Sir Richard Branson, one of my favorite socially conscious entrepreneurs. Tips on keeping healthier and happier. A list of memoirs by Black authors. And some pearls of wisdom from the beloved Dr. Jane Goodall. Keep scrolling down after the articles to see our Sojourn Getaway, details about a new online mindfulness course I am offering, and other fun and useful links.

I also want to share here a video that showcases some of the current COVID-19 research being done by a forward-thinking university in Israel, Technion. More than 50 labs focus on vaccine research and therapeutics, personal protective equipment, diagnostics, and assistive technologies for healthcare providers. You may find the six and a half minute watch worthwhile.

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Finally, the latest update on my 1000 CharityMiles walk for Stand Up To Cancer. As of this writing, I am 662.92 miles into my journey. I am walking to support patients and caregivers with COVID-19. Your donations are meaningful. Even pledging one-cent per mile makes a difference. I am grateful for everyone’s support. The easiest way to sponsor this walk is to go to my GoFundMe pledge page.

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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1Here’s How To See Auroras — From The Great Lakes. It turns out you do not have to go all the way to Iceland or the Arctic Circle to see these otherworldly Northern Lights. If you are in the Upper Midwest or want to travel there, you just may have a chance to see this annual phenomenon. If you are really fortunate, you may see the aural oval in Chicago or Cleveland, where I was born and lived until I went off to college. Peak sighting conditions are on a clear night with no full moon lighting up the sky. You want as little light pollution as possible. I only glimpsed these lights once when I was producing a television show in Alaska. It was spectacular to see.

2Why Is Anyone Going to Disney World Right Now? I think the answer speaks to places we are missing and willing to visit during this time. As many feel the pull to venture beyond the walls of our homes, we can do one of three things: take part in the re-opening of places we love, adapt to how we experience places we love, or keep waiting for places to have an ‘all clear.’ This article points to people willing to take measured risks to return to places where they feel a sense of security and happiness. For some, it is Disney World. For others, it is our public beaches or national parks. What Disney fans talk about is the fantasy park being associated with memories that feel good. It reminds them of a time and place where they felt a sense of joy. Such a place like Disney World becomes a blissful touchstone, their happy place. While Disney World may not be your brand of happiness, I think the idea is valid for wherever you are longing to go and why. We want to be in physical places that tap into our inner happy place.

3The Best Road Trips To Take In The U.S. Before You Think About Going Abroad. While many of us are not traveling around the world right now, or even getting on planes, that does not mean domestic road tripping is off the table. Here are some ideas on how to still enjoy what is left of the summer. At the top of the list is a journey through my current home state of California. The drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, especially the farther north you go, is stunning. Its winding roads are fun in a sports car or on a motorcycle! Though I am opting for a van road trip before the winter; camping, doing some photography, and writing will be a welcomed change from looking at the walls of my home in Los Angeles. I can feel the soothing negative ions now.

49 Essential Steps for Planning a Family Trip During COVID-19. Top three recommendations: read up on travel restrictions, check-in with your doctor, and know everyone’s risk status.

Email Email Email
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5Seven Life Lessons From My Dad. I have long been a fan of Sir Richard Branson, appreciating how he has used his brand, his name, and his wealth to do good works in this world. This is a daughter’s reflection on her dad as he turns seventy. The top three life lessons: always be present, respect everyone’s right to be who they want to be, and when you feel you can’t, know that you can. Find out the other four. Btw, this is a man who has shown that fun, work, good works, and family can co-exist. It is not about work-life balance. It is about work-life integration.

6How Hope Can Keep You Happier and Healthier. Amidst the daily and ever changing uncertainty, many struggle with keeping their sights on hope, though it may be the very antidote you need. Especially during the moments when you worry about your industry, your business taking a long time to come around again, if it ever does. Two of my primary sources of business are not happening now; television shot on location and international travel. However, what keeps me buoyed? My attitude of gratitude and hope. This article defines hope as “a can-do attitude and a belief that we have a pathway to our desired outcome.” I agree. If you are low on hope, know that you can intentionally develop it. Here is how: one, watch or read a motivational speech. Two, engage with a religious or spiritual community. Three, forgive — this is a big one. Four, choose a “hero of hope.” Perhaps think Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi. All modern leaders of hope and change. Take inspiration from their lives for yours.

Email Email Email
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78 Memoirs by Black Authors that Celebrate Joy and Help Paint a Fuller Picture of the Black Experience. These authors share a powerful and inspiring outlook on the Black experience that we do not often read or hear about, Black joy. These are books that are inspiring for any reader. Pulitzer Prize finalist and poet Elizabeth Alexander writes about her journey to hope after her husband's sudden death in The Light of the World. Megahit American TV producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes shares her opportunities and challenges in Year of Yes. Baltimore Ravens' lineman John Urschel recounts how he got his PhD in mathematics at MIT while playing ball in Mind and Matter. Find out about the others.

8Every Day You Live, You Impact the Planet. Just when you need inspiration about purpose, Dr. Jane Goodall appears. In conversation with the head of TEDTalks Chris Anderson, Jane tells the story of her formative days working with chimpanzees, how she transformed from a revered naturalist into a dedicated activist empowering communities around the world to save natural habitats.

Sojourn Programs

L.O.V.E.S.   |   Coping With Uncertainty   |   7 – 8:15 pm
Wednesdays: Sept 16th, 23rd, 30th + Oct 7th

This 4-part online course uses the basic principles of mindfulness toward coping with these uncertain times. Each session will cover at least one of these topics: mindfulness of the breath, mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of thoughts and emotions, mindfulness of events and situations. The intention is to create a safe container where you can practice mindfulness and express what is on your mind using the acronym L.O.V.E.S.: L. What is the status of life right now? O. What are the perceived obstacles or opportunities? V. What are your victories? E. What will elevate you? S. What kind of support do you need? Suggested COVID Cost: $45. If finances are a concern, pay what you can. All are welcomed. No one will be turned away.

 

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 pandemic self-care.

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

When you download the PDF, you can enroll for free in my self-paced online course, Happiness: Art of Life Balance.

Sojourn Getaway Special

Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp   |   Tanzania
One of the most spectacular places for viewing African wildlife is in the Ngorongoro Crater. It is the dry season through October. Typically, it would be the busiest time of the year. Though, as you can imagine, things are drastically different this year. Suppose you are willing to get on a plane. In that case, I suggest staying at this cozy tented camp, set in a beautiful acacia forest. This location is excellent for giving you a headstart in the morning to see wildlife because you are already in the Crater, instead of driving to it like most of the other camps in the area. 

Special Guest Invitations   |   Through March 2022


Twenty-five percent discount for stays of four nights or more.
Fifty percent discount on the second night of a two or three-night stay.
First child (5 - 15yrs) sharing a room with one or more adults is complimentary.

Honeymoon Special

Groom’s first night is complimentary. The bride enjoys a fifty percent discount with a minimum five-night stay.

 

! Adorable

Underwater Diver has been Playing with wild seals for twenty years!
[Thank you for sharing, Gary Fiset!]

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Creating + Recalling Positive Events

One, choose something you enjoy doing alone
and set aside time during the day to do it.
Two, choose something you enjoy doing with others
and set aside time to do it.
Three, choose something you find meaningful and
set aside time during the day to do it.
Four, at the end of the day, write about what happened
during and after each of these activities.

>

Why this works: Doing a range of activities can help from getting used to doing the same thing over and over, giving you less satisfaction. Also, combining different events that bring you happiness will improve your overall happiness versus merely experiencing one kind of happiness. Finally, when you look back on doing these activities, you are more likely to store these experiences to call upon at another time when maybe you could use a boost.
Time Required: one or two days    Frequency: as you feel inspired

Thoughtful

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter,
and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds
its morning and is refreshed.”

~ Khalil Gibran

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, Seven Continent Marathon Walker

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.