8 Good Things


Music: How it affects your brain, changes your mood and helps | 07 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!

These days the world is changing so fast and furious between each edition of 8 Good Things. Last week, in particular, was no exception. In one morning (Pacific Time,) NASA launched its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover to go in search of microbial life. Meanwhile, on earth, we said good-bye to Civil Rights Hero Congressman John Lewis. That was Thursday, July 30th. On Sunday, we brought back astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, fondly known as the space dads, from the International Space Station. In some sense, these events brought full circle the history of the Selma March in '65 and the lunar landing in '69. It brought a punctuation to monumental historical moments in the US, along with a giant leap into the future.

The funeral of Congressman Lewis was like a civil rights history lesson with a resounding rally for every American to vote. I think Former President Obama's eulogy was his most inspiring speech ever. It was a tribute that underscored John Lewis' NY Times Opinion Editorial about his hope that this generation will finally enable peace to triumph over hate and violence.

Astronauts Behnken and Hurley successfully flight tested the first commercial space rocketship, bringing in another kind of hope. Hope that a broader range of people will be able to go into space, not just test pilots, engineers, and scientists. It opens the door to things like medical research that can only be done in a weightless environment. And who knows whether months from now, we will be learning of possible life on Mars. Also, traveling right now are eleven million names of people who signed up last fall for a 'boarding pass' on this unmanned journey to Mars.

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All so inspiring, exciting, and humbling.

In other updates. I am now 500+ CharityMiles into my journey. I am walking 1000 miles for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), raising money to support cancer patients and caregivers with COVID. I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring me. I have a GoFundMe page that you can access through my CharityMiles Pledge page. You can sponsor me for as little as ten cents per mile.

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.

A final comment here. As we start to see international skies re-opening, we will be highlighting places to check out under our new section, Sojourn Getaway Specials.

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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1These Are the 25 Most Romantic Islands in the World, According to Travelers. Travel + Leisure did this island survey pre-COVID. However, the thing about romantic islands is that they are often more remote and have fewer crowds, which is perfect for post-COVID travel. Listed at number three are the Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean, about 1000 miles east of Kenya. When I went there years ago, I flew through Nairobi. It was idyllic, and commercialism had not really set in there. One of my fondest memories is getting picked up in a small fishing boat by a restaurant owner I met while dining one evening. He and his chef met me on the beach at my hotel. We went out to a secluded nearby island, where we caught fish. It was cooked with simple ingredients: olive oil, lemon, a few herbs, and baked over a hot coal grill in the sand. Ah, to be there now. When people start traveling internationally again, they will most likely be looking for less crowded destinations. I think you will find some wonderful inspiration in this article.

Email Email Email
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2Music: How It Affects Your Brain, Changes Your Mood and Helps You Focus. Insightful article on the many ways music impacts us. I am sharing this one because many find it distracting working at home during these COVID days. Partners, kids, animals seem to always be around. One way to keep focused is by listening to an alternative sound, like music, while wearing headphones. It seems music can make you smarter as well. Have you ever heard of the ‘Mozart effect’? Research in the early 90s showed that students listening to ten minutes of a Mozart piano piece before doing an IQ test scored remarkably higher than those who did not listen to music.

3This Moment Offers a Chance to Rethink Our Relationship With Time. Arianna Huffington expounds on how right now is when we can assess what physicists call our timescape – the past, present, and future happening all at once. Have you, or do you, feel that you are the victim of time famine, where there is never enough time. Or, blessed with the exact opposite, time affluence? We are here with an opportunity to use this forced slow down period to take control of time instead of it controlling us. Slowing down is not to say that you become less ambitious. Though it is to say, you can shift your perception to feel less anxious about how you move through your days. You do this by consciously creating moments in your day to recharge so that your focus, productivity become overall better, clearer, perhaps, even making you wiser. 

4Five Ways to Encourage Safe Behavior During the Pandemic. The other day I went to mail a letter at a post center. A few folks were lined up outside, waiting for their turn, all wearing masks. A passerby came along, not wearing a mask. A lady in line gave him grief about it. He responded by saying that the coronavirus is a hoax. Hers was, “Yeah? Well, my dad died from it.” I heard another story where a man at a convenience store was shot because he told someone they should be wearing a mask. And there are other similar stories. Is it really that hard to wear a mask that will protect both yourself and others? This is a relevant article on how to deal with those who seem unimpressed by COVID. One way to encourage safer behavior is by expressing gratitude. This is what I do, especially when I am out hiking, and I see someone put on a mask as they approach me. I think it makes a difference. The big takeaway from the article is that we are one family trying to fight this virus. Appealing to this fact by saying “thanks,” role modeling, reminding others of our shared humanity are all things that are scientifically proven to be effective — and so easy to do.

5John O’Donohue, The Inner Landscape of Beauty (2008.) A timely, timeless interview with Irish poet, theologian, and philosopher before he passed away in his sleep at the age of fifty-two. His poignant thoughts on how the “inner landscape of our lives” intertwine with what we know and see that shape where and how we see beauty. It seems particularly relevant these days. [Thank you, Jake Haupert]

6Women Around the World on Life in Lockdown. During this time, it is reasonable to feel disconnected from the world, especially from people. This article taps into the ‘Women Who Travel’ Facebook community to share some of their stories. We may live in different parts of the world, though we share similar feelings.

7On My Birthday What I Would Tell My Younger Self. A piece I wrote about embracing both the lightness and darkness of being.

Email Email Email
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8Birth of a Phenomenon – An Oral History of Survivor: Borneo. Recently, the television show Survivor celebrated its 40th season. A journalist reached out to ask me some questions about being one of the original producers on the series. It was kind of kick to go down memory lane. We talked about many things I had not thought of in years. It also brought to mind a little known bit of Survivor/Amazing Race trivia. When Survivor was in pre-production, I suggested Phil Keoghan to be the host. It came down to him and Jeff Probst, and we know who won. Though just a few weeks later, CBS offered Phil the hosting slot on Amazing Race. He now has a new show on the same network. It took him ten years to launch! It is called Tough As Nails, and I hope you have the chance to tune in to it. It is a show that celebrates essential workers, honoring the hard-working men and women who keep our country running. I love the cast. This show comes around at a time when we can use some uplifting content on network TV. It airs Wednesday nights at 8 pm.

Sojourn Getaway Specials

Mpingo Ridge Lodge | Tarangire National Park | Tanzania
Tanzania is open to travelers. I love this lodge. It sits on a ridge overlooking the bush. Watching the sun setting from your balcony as you hear sounds of elephants trumpeting in the distance is a slice of heaven. Tarangire National Park is where you come to see large herds of elephants and weirdly stunning baobab trees.

Special Guest Invitations | August, September 2020

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.

 

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 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 online course, Happiness: Art of Life Balance.

Thoughtful

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
~ Maya Angelou

The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Gift of Time

One, think of someone you care about.
Two, what can you do for them that asks
only the giving of your time.
Three, plan the gift and when to give it.
Four, do not tell the recipient what you are doing ahead of time,
nor how much time you spent doing it.
Why This Works: Giving time is giving kindness and love.
This gesture makes both you and the other person feel good,
which strengthens your relationship.
Time Required: Varies Frequency: As you feel inspired

! Amazing
A Decade of the Sun

10 years. 20 million gigabytes of data.
425 million high-resolution images of the Sun.
A new time-lapse video marks a decade of operations for the
Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) mission.

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.