8 Good Things


The Complete Guide to Safari | 24 Jan 20

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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! Happy Friday!

I hope this edition of 8 Good Things finds your year off to a fantastic start. I am very optimistic not only for this year, for this decade as well.

Last year ended very well! From September through December, I made one major international trip a month. I led a private tour walking the last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago in September. I went to a travel conference in the Azores in October. November blessed me with a trip to Tanzania to look at safari camps and lodges. Finally, in December, I took a group of twenty to the Holy Land. Each journey was magical in its own right.

However, the most unexpected turn of events happened at the end of the year. I was offered a generous production deal with Pilgrim Media Group, a Lionsgate Company. I was brought on non-exclusively to create and executive produce adventure program content. I am beyond excited about this new relationship. After stepping back from producing for a while to pursue other endeavors, like starting The Sojourn Experience, I feel it is once again a great time to be in television making adventure-related shows.

8 Good Things is a curated newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. The format is based on your feedback. (Thank you!) In this edition and moving forward, under the Picture Happiness: Take a Shot section, I am including a guided meditation that I have recorded for the Insight Timer app. Also, I am adding a new section toward the end of the newsletter: The Science of Happiness in Action. These will be science-backed activities that you can do to increase your level of happiness. I hope you enjoy our slightly re-imagined format. I am now sending this newsletter out once every three weeks instead of two. One last thing, please make sure to scroll all the way down to see a sample of our trips. I have some exciting adventures coming up this year!

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1 The Complete Guide to Safari. As those of you who know me, Africa is my place in the world. It is where I feel the age of the earth in the most primal, sensual, stirring of ways. I always tell people who want to visit that continent to 1) just go! and 2) go big! Spend the money, you will never regret it. It changes your life, indeed. It sure did mine, and know of others where that is the case as well. So, here is a terrific guide for your safari questions. What I like about it is that it makes a point to highlight that many safari companies are building lodges with sustainable materials. They recruit from the local communities to work as staff, are involved in anti-poaching and other conservation efforts. The safari lodges and camps genuinely want guests to come and learn about the land, the wildlife, so they are inspired to become better stewards of it. Long gone are the heralded days of the White Hunter, thank goodness for that! One note in the article that I completely agree with is to avoid trying to DIY your safari, especially your first time. It is complicated and time-consuming to figure out. Go with a knowledgeable specialist for the best places to stay, and who also have the contacts to the best guides.

2Here's How Long You Should Take Off to Feel Productive at Work Again, According to New Study. Eleven to fifteen days of vacation seems to be the magic window of days, even better if you travel internationally. However, the statistic the amazes me is that one-third of all American workers have not taken a vacation in over two years. That is so mentally unhealthy, especially if you work in an office with no windows. I say this not because I want to curate a trip for you. I mean it because it will make you a better version of yourself. Research studies will back this up. Take the time to destress, recharge, gain a new perspective on life, and create healthier work boundaries. Make 2020 your year to travel!

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3 How to Live an Intentional Life with Purpose. This week we celebrated Martin Luther King Day, a man who had a dream that changed the tide of our country. Dr. King was a man from humble beginnings. He could have stayed in Atlanta, continuing to sing in the church choir. Except, he could not really do that. Why? Because he had a vision that was bigger than him. That vision, that purpose drove him to heights that I am sure those around the young Dr. King would not have ever imagined. Not when you are an African-American born in 1929 in the South. The point is that many of us have a dream, though never realize them because we do not know how to manifest them. I wrote this article about manifesting your goals last year. I thought as we are both at the start of a new year and a new decade, I would share this again. I sincerely hope you find it helpful.

4Silent Wisdom Meditation | What Do We Really Want. As a companion to the above article, about manifesting your dreams, here is a meditation I recorded. It encourages an introspective reflection on the things you really, truly want in life. When you meditate, you may want to have something near-by to write down what comes to mind, maybe even some action steps, when you are done. Happy Manifesting!

5 How Two Apples a Day Keep Cholesterol at Bay: A Brace of the Fruit Daily for Eight Weeks Can Lower ‘Bad’ Cholesterol by Up to Four Percent Study Finds. This article made me sit up and pay attention. Over a year ago, I was diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure and put onto medication. To say the least, I was shocked. I exercise. I meditate. I eat pretty well. Though I was under a lot of stress, honestly, and it was wreaking havoc on me. Virtually overnight, I took salt off my table. I became even more conscious of my water intake. I stopped eating white sugar and started drinking decaf coffee. I then did a follow-up with a cardiologist, who told me to throw away my medication, which I gladly did. However, what remained was a vigilance to taking even better care of myself, and it has made a world of difference. So, when I read an article that tells me that eating two apples a day will relax my blood vessels. That doing so will help lower my risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure; I am taking note and sharing it with you all.

6 How to Stay Motivated in the Winter Months. While in the northern hemisphere, we are still in our cold months of the year, try not to let the temperature crush your fitness goals or undo all the work you did to get in shape during the summer months. Read this 5-step article as inspiration. 1) Use a smart training platform. 2) Buy the right cold-weather gear. 3) Do indoor strength training. 4) Use the time to cross-train. 5) Set achievable goals.

7How A Month Without Mirrors Set Me Free. Actor and writer Zosia Mamet tells how a month on the road without mirrors impacted her perception of self and ultimately freed her mentally. In a world where your image is your meal ticket, this was a brave article to write. An honest admission to what it is like to feel imprisoned by the felt thickness of your skin. Maybe we should all get a little taste of freedom from mirrors for a while.

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8 Oscars 2020 Predictions and Snubs: Parasite, Joker, The Irishman, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Well, because it is awards season. My vote goes to 1917. I thought it was brilliantly done. Seemingly in two shots, however, that is not true. It was shot across sixty-five days. So the camera had to stop filming sometime during the day. I thought the performances and the camera choreography were amazing. What I most liked was that I felt I was with the soldiers on their impossible mission. Who gets your vote?

The Science of Happiness in Action
Three Good Things

For one week, every day, write down three things that went well for you, along with why you feel that was the case, big or small. It may be helpful to do this before going to bed. The act of writing will bring attention to the positive that is happening in your life. This practice teaches you to remember to notice and savor the good things that are around you. It will help to rewire your brain to tune into the positive versus the negative, encouraging a mindset of gratitude.

Time Required: 10 minutes Frequency: 1x/day

Thoughtful

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
~ Maya Angelou, Writer, Poet, National Treasure

Sojourn Experiences | Inquire About Dates

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For years, I have been producing large and small-scale television shows around the world. Today, I also use my producing skills to curate tailor-made adventures.

Unforgettable Africa | Kenya | 12 Days
In partnership with Nomadic Africa, private luxury safaris

Camino de Santiago | Spain | 8 Days

The Joys of Maldives | South Asia | 9 days

*Pricing varies based on the number of guests and time of year.

Sojourn Programs

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Insight Timer App | Silent Wisdom Meditations
As many of you know, I teach meditation. Last year, I started recording meditations for the Insight Timer app. I hope you will enjoy the free guided sessions. Why meditate? It is scientifically proven that it helps to increase your overall well-being, and you can do it anywhere! Meditation is about as close as one can get to a wellness silver bullet. Please follow me on the Insight Timer app.

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Happiness: The Art of Life Balance
As a longtime television producer, stress was my middle name. I have spent more than a decade studying what to do about it. Now, I teach the habits of successful happy people. I have put together a program that can fit into anyone’s schedule and can be joined anytime.

Happy Weekend!
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More | +800-869-0538

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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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Sojourn, Inc. 7095 Hollywood Blvd 843 Los Angeles, California 90028-8912 United States +1-800-869-0538

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.

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.