Jeff Bezos Wins Exploration Award, Eats Lizard Meat | 16 Mar 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.


1Jeff Bezos Wins Exploration Award, Eats Lizard Meat. I just came back from the Explorers Club annual dinner, always a highlight of my year. The energy charge, the inspiration, the awe I feel when I am amongst this extraordinary group of explorers is, to use a pun, electric. This year included, and was made even more inspiring, by the Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Award going to Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos.

2One more article on our space award winner. Bezos Say He’ll Spend ‘Amazon Lottery Winnings’ on Space Travel. One of Jeff Bezos’ missions is to lower the admission price into space so that we can explore the solar system. How? By making reusable rockets. And just for the record, I would love to one day go into space.


3In celebration of Women’s History Month.Who Was the Most Powerful Woman in Ancient History? The answer, Cleopatra. However, from warrior queens to high priestesses, there are more than a few women omitted from history books. Though what I really found interesting about this article is its look at the use and definition of power, as in soft power, the power of influence, which many women have had throughout time.

4The Origins of Women’s History Month. Did you know? It started in my home state of California in 1978 when a group of women got together for a week-long celebration of our gender’s contributions to culture, history, and society.

5Study: 1 in 4 Non-believers Turn to Prayer in Crisis. My faith is my bedrock. I pray and meditate every day. It seems prayer can help non-believers find solace and hope as well. A new study reveals that one in four atheists or agnostics pray when faced with a personal crisis. This recent news piece is worth reading and watching. It might surprise you.


6Hollywood’s Once and Future Classic: Why it took 54 Years to Turn “A Wrinkle in Time” into a Movie. First, it is still one of the most frequently banned American books along with Catcher in the Rye. The second reason was perhaps a casting issue. “‘I wasn’t just casting for actresses. I was casting for leaders — icons,’ Film Director DuVernay says of choosing Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey, and Reese Witherspoon to play Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit, respectively.” Candidly, the reviews for this film are okay, not great. Though I still think it is worth noting given the effort it took to make, and that it is a $100 million sci-fi film made by an African American female director. It is time to step into the fifth dimension, to go way outside the rules of time and space.

7Box of Butterflies. Congratulations to my friend! Actress, Producer, now Author, Roma Downey launches a new book and web series that shares a collection of touching and personal stories, offering encouragement and hope. “Whether it’s finding purpose out of pain, the importance of everyday kindness or embracing each moment as it comes.” The message: be a blessing both in your own life as well as in someone else’s.

8Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds. If you love TED Talks as much as I do, and public speaking is something you aspire to do, then check out this book from public speaking coach Carmine Gallo. The author breaks down and gives you a step-by-step path to creating great presentations. I think what it really comes down to is good storytelling.

I wrote “Reaching for the Moon”
because I wanted to tell kids that all of us have a moon,
a dream, that we can strive for. Even if you don’t attain it,
you can at least try.
~ Buzz Aldrin

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.


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 out on the boat. Meditate. Do restorative yoga. Eat great food. And dance! Opa!!

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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