8 Good Things


Masks, No Kissing and ‘a Little Kinky’: Dating and Sex in a Pandemic | 10 Jul 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!

Our latest edition of 8 Good Things

For those experiencing summer, how is it going so far? Here in
Los Angeles, we are seeing more people out and about. Restaurants are opening with outdoor seating. More cars are on the road. Mostly, folks are wearing masks. I am hearing a lot of talk about using mall parking lots as drive-in movie theater venues. We continue to live in strange and uncertain times. On that note, a friend recently sent an email to me with a message from a friend of his. It reflects how, right now, if one is going to endure a pandemic, compared to an earlier generation, this could be a much better time in history. What do you think?

"Imagine you were born in 1900.

When you're 14, World War I begins and ends when you're 18 with 22 million dead.

Soon after a global pandemic, the Spanish Flu appears, killing 50 million people. And you're alive and 20 years old.

When you're 29, you survive the global economic crisis that started with the collapse of the New York Stock Exchange, causing inflation, unemployment, and famine.

When you're 33 years old, the Nazis come to power.

When you're 39, World War II begins and ends when you're 45 years old, with 60 million dead. In the Holocaust, 6 million Jews die.

When you're 52, the Korean War begins.

When you're 64, the Vietnam War begins and ends when you're 75.

A child born in 1985 thinks his grandparents have no idea how difficult life is, but they have survived several wars and catastrophes.

Today, we have all the comforts in a new world, amid a new pandemic. But we complain because we need to wear face masks. We complain because we must stay confined to our homes where we have food, electricity, running water, Wi-Fi, even Netflix! None of that existed back in the day. But humanity survived those circumstances and never lost their joy of living.

A small change in our perspective can generate miracles. We should be thankful that we are alive. We should do everything we need to do to protect and help each other.

This message should reach everyone. Please help me spread it." [Thank you, Mike Pack + Jim Vernes]

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One more thing before going onward, I broke 300 miles on July 5th. I am walking 1000 miles for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), raising money to support cancer patients and caregivers with COVID-19. Less than 700 miles still to go. I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring me. Some news on this front! I connected directly with SU2C, and they set up a GoFundMe Page that you can access either through my CharityMiles Pledge Page or go directly to my GoFundMe Page. It is super easy. Now, anyone can sponsor me for at little as one cent.

One thing to note. On the CharityMiles Pledge Page, they will calculate the per mile donation amount based on the miles I have yet to complete. However, on the SU2C GoFundMe Page, you can make a donation for the entire 1000 miles. Thank you for your support! Every dollar and cent counts and is greatly appreciated.

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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1Black-Owned Hotels Throughout the World. Stay at one of these properties and support Black hospitality owners. Remember the movie Green Book, inspired by a genuine need to list where Black Americans could stay in 1936? The places listed in this article are far and away more luxurious and welcoming. Many of the hotels and resorts are throughout the States and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and South America. If you know of other places to add to this list, Conde Nast would love to have that recommendation. Email shauna_beni@condenast.com.

2Photos Show Famous U.S. Attractions in their Early Days, and Now. As we start to venture out, travelers will likely stick closer to home. Not always by choice. There are and will be international travel restrictions by several countries for a while longer. However, for those of us in the U.S., thankfully, we live in a land that has lots to see. We thought it would be fun to show you the early days of some of our country’s biggest attractions. The trivia that goes along with the photos is fun too. Walt Disney World in Orlando is almost the size of San Francisco! Times Square in New York is THE most famous attraction in the world, hosting up to 450,000 pedestrians in a single day. Lady Liberty’s torch was covered in 24-karat sheets one hundred years after it arrived on our shores from Paris. Have fun checking out the other attractions in this article.

Email Email Email
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3Masks, No Kissing and ‘a Little Kinky’: Dating and Sex in a Pandemic. Are our sex lives now becoming 50 Shades of Gray? Maybe. If you are single, finding alternative ways to engage in sex could save your life. This article addresses a genuine concern. We need companionship, physical touch, and intimacy, even if it means wearing a mask (as researchers from Harvard recommend.) 

45 Ways to Give Yourself the Love You Deserve During Social Distancing. This article was written back in April. However, with coronavirus cases resurging in many areas, we thought this was worth sharing. You may find yourself spending more time at home again. Actually, it is still recommended that if you can stay at home, to do so. Some things you can do to make yourself feel better. 1) Giving yourself an orgasm was listed as one way. Refer to the above article. 2) Draw a relaxing bath, light a few candles, play some soothing music. Find out the other three.

54 Ways to Feel Good on a Hard Day in Lockdown. Right now, about a third of all Americans are showing signs of clinical depression and anxiety. No small wonder why. However, if you can manage to stay emotionally buoyed, your resilience will go up, helping you to bounce back when things seem hard more easily. One way to do it is by accepting that negative things in life do happen. Though accepting it does not equate to stewing in it. This article offers four ways you can learn to turn a negative day into a positive one. One is to set aside time to take care of your mind, body, and spirit. Find out the other three. 

63 Secrets of Resilient People. A New Zealand resilience researcher shares three ways to overcome life’s challenges. Yes, you can rise up to face adversity head-on! You can learn to navigate the tough times. 1) Understand that sh*# happens. Suffering is part of existing. It is a shared human experience. 2) Place your focus on the things you can affect or change by learning to turn toward the good. 3) Ask if what I am doing is helping or hurting me? This single question gives you some control over your decision-making. The TED speaker and mom learned these strategies after losing her daughter and close friend in a car accident. However, they are strategies that can be applied to any stressful situation, including now. I have used these many times over the years to significant effect.

TED

7This Awareness Exercise Will Help You Expand Your Comfort Zone. The key to this awareness exercise is to keep open to growing. Once your brain registers, “I know what this is,” your comfort zone becomes your container, your edge. No more growth happens until you allow your thoughts and feelings to keep expanding. Stay open and be in a “witness mindset.”  As a mindfulness teacher and practitioner, I agree.

Email Email Email
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8See Heartwarming Moments Between Animal Dads and Their Babies. Moms usually get most of the attention when it comes to parenting in the animal kingdom. However, many dads do their share too. Emperor penguins sit on eggs, guarding their nest. Silverback mountain gorillas carry their young on their backs. Often, fatherly roles are species-specific. Though what seems to be universal, no matter your species, is if mom and dad are bonded, dad is likely spending time helping to take care of the little ones. Some sweet images to wrap up this edition of articles. [8GT Note: We were not able to get this in for Father’s Day, though still wanted to share it. We love the photos.]

Thoughtful

“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it,
move with it, and join the dance.”

~ Alan Watts

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Finding Perspective

One, think of a challenging experience that you are
currently dealing with during this time.
Two, try to understand your feelings by using “you,”
“he/she,” “they,” and [your name] instead of “I” or “me.”
It may also help to see yourself from a third-person’s perspective.
Three, spend three minutes reflecting this way. You are attempting to look at the situation from a clearer vantage point.
It could help to write your thoughts.
Four, use this third-person self-talk during challenging situations
to help you confront what is going on and are not so overwhelmed.

Why This Works: The linguistic shift from “I” and “me” creates a cognitive shift that self-distances you from the situation. This helps you deal with negative emotions more constructively.
You do not feel as caught up in them.
Time Required: 5 minutes Frequency: As needed

! Levity

The Typewriter
(a concerto for orchestra and solo typewriter)

This is brilliant and hilarious.

Sojourn Programs

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 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.

When you download the PDF, 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, 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.