Could Pilgrimages Be the
May 28, 2021
I hope you have been doing okay, making sense of our new world order as things open up again. This past week, I had a progressive birthday celebration.
I began celebrating last Friday by climbing Mt. Baldy, near Los Angeles. A ten thousand, sixty-four-foot mountain. I had been looking for the right time to do it. I had been daunted by the steep areas with dry scree, not being overly sure-footed and a tad afraid of heights. However, my fellow Explorers Club buddy, Kevin Lee, guided me up and let me hold onto his shoulder when I was scared. He even made me hot chocolate and pasta primavera before we hit the summit! Afterward, I thought what a prophetic metaphor for life. That climb spoke to the challenges I know are ahead of me and the need to have faith that I will be safely guided.
Jump to Sunday morning. I went to the beach on a Happiness Walk. As I walked, I deeply breathed in the refreshing ocean air. I appreciated the sound of the waves crashing against the shoreline rocks, enjoyed the warmth of the sun, and then started to think about all things in life that create feelings of joy, peacefulness, and fulfillment. As I said to myself that I felt happy, I looked down at my toes on the exact word happy, and there was a white feather. For those spiritually inclined, this is a symbol that angels are around. And I certainly do feel very blessed.
My invitation to you is to climb your mountain or go on a happiness walk and notice what happens.
Stay safe. Stay well.
P.S. Please share 8 Good Things with your family, friends, and colleagues. It may brighten up someone’s day. Perhaps, even help somehow live life a little better.
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 email@example.com. This newsletter comes out once every three weeks.
Six Tips for Socializing After
With the rollout of the vaccine, some people are getting vaccinated, others not. There are so many awkward and uneasy feelings around socializing. This article offers up several thoughtful suggestions. One, move gently and mindfully. Two, focus on your habits, what is comfortable for you. Three, ask, don’t guess. Find out the others.
A NASA Astronaut’s Lessons on Fear, Confidence and Preparing for Spaceflight
Life lessons on managing risk and fear from a woman who has logged more than five million miles in space, Megan McArthur. So just how does one find the balance between knowing the reality of risks and feeling prepared enough to accomplish what needs to be done? It is all about how you prepare to take your mission’s pilot seat. You do it by breaking down your training into bite-sized pieces. Taking this micro approach builds up you and your ability to get things done. You develop skills to take on the challenges you face, which means being ready to quickly learn in real-time.
The Happiness Paradox: 5 New Perspectives On How To Be Happy
Happiness is the one emotion that can universally unite us. However, if you pursue it too hard, you may not get it. Why? Because we often focus on what we do not have to get what we do want, which often leads to feeling frustrated or disappointed. Instead of dwelling in the “don’t have,” look to rejoice in what you do have. This lesson was one I, thankfully, learned early in my journey. This article offers some good insight into shifting your perspective on happiness. One, you will have ups and downs. Two, you will reach happiness your way. So, let go of comparisons. Three, happiness is a choice. That is the way I see and live it, for sure. Find out the other two.
Know Your Love Language? There Are Also 5 Apology Languages —
Apologies and forgiveness are so crucial to our emotional wellbeing. However, did you know there are five distinct ways to express an apology? They are expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting, and requesting forgiveness. It is worth considering what you need when feeling hurt. How do you want someone to apologize to you? It makes a big difference in how you process and accept an apology. Included is a quiz to find out your Apology Language. Mine is expressing regret. I want a sincere apology with no story attached. Just say, “I am sorry,” mean it, and we are good. This was a profound lesson I learned several years ago with someone close to me. We had a caring, however, challenging relationship. All I ever wanted was for them to simply say, “I am sorry.” No, “you misunderstood.” No, “I do not remember saying that.” When they finally said those three words, ALL was forgiven. I needed them to take emotional responsibility for some things that happened between us. Two months after this exchange, they passed away. Gratefully, I felt we were square with one another.
On the Link Between Great Thinking and Obsessive Walking
Charles Darwin, Henry David Thoreau, and Toni Morrison all share one thing in common. The love of walking. Me too! Turns out there are significant cognitive benefits to getting out from behind your desk and stretching your legs along a path. Darwin claimed to do his best thinking when he was on what became known as his Sandwalk. He had a circuit that he walked five times and would keep track of by putting a piece of flint on a mound he passed. He did this to keep his train of thought free from interruption. Cut forward to the more present-day, Steve Jobs was well-known for his walking meetings. Look at the impact he had on the world. Moving forward again, research in 2018 showed that walking as little as ninety minutes per week can reduce the rate of cognition decline over time. Also, one’s memory recall tends to be better than those who are more sedentary. I often take notes as I walk and think. I find walking to be a very productive time. (Thank you for the article suggestion Dr. Anthony Howard.)
Could Pilgrimages be the Next
Right about now, many are feeling the need to make journeys that reconnect themselves to our world. They want space and time to get beyond the same four walls they have been living in this last year to reflect on their new normal. I have been guiding pilgrimages for several years to the Holy Land in Israel and along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. This article talks a lot about the latter pilgrimage. I think walking the Camino is such a serene and uplifting experience. Every person I know who has done it talks about how transformative the experience is for them. It is the kind of journey that is healing and puts things into perspective.
12 Best Places to Travel in June
A little inspiration for those ready to venture beyond their hometowns this June. Crete, Greece, is at the top of the list for vaccinated international travelers, and Yosemite National Park, California, for domestic U.S. travelers.
21 Hollywood Movies That Will Inspire You to Never Give Up
Recently, someone in my Insight Timer meditation circle asked for movie suggestions that were beautiful and had some learning, like Forest Gump. I recommended The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith, Rocky with Sylvester Stallone, and Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee. This article includes these films and more. A great list to keep on hand for those times when you could really use a shot of inspiration.
I am guiding LIVE meditations on the Insight Timer app. Come sit with me! You can also follow my meditation circle.
For those new to meditation, check out The Mindfulness Movement documentary featuring Dr. Deepak Chopra, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and other renowned meditation leaders.
I write video content for a mindfulness productivity app, Centered. This app is a tool that helps you do great things. Use it to organize your weekly tasks. You can listen to music from your Spotify list as you work. Their daily videos offer productivity tips, inspiring quotes, and mindfulness techniques to get you into the zone and realize your potential. No one is going to write the next great novel while endlessly scrolling through their social media feed. Check it out.
I hope you read the National Geographic article I mentioned above. It will inspire you to take this pilgrimage. We have thoughtfully curated a transformative journey covering the last 100 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago’s most popular route, The French Way. We also chose this route because it is doable for almost anyone, no matter their age. Though you have to book now to hold your place. It will be really popular this year. One, because people are traveling again. Two, it is a holy year, which only happens once every eleven years when St. James’ feast lands on a Sunday. This is when the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela opens a special door for pilgrims to pass through and have all their sins forgiven. Who does not want plenary absolution?!
Two of the hidden gems of Africa are Zambia + Malawi. We have partnered with our Experience Specialist Mike Varndell to curate and guide a photographic safari. This trip combines everything you want in an African adventure through a mindful lens. Indeed, an inner and outer journey you will always remember. Please join me for this unique small group sojourn.
SUPER Special Guest Invitation | Now – December 31st, 2021
If you want to visit Zambia + Malawi this year. However, the November dates above do not work for you, I have an amazing offer for fourteen nights! The caveat is that you have to book the trip by the end of May for travel anytime this year. Here is the itinerary. Email me for more details.
Nothing says African safari more than the Kenyan bush. Truly, an awe-inspiring sensory landscape that is humbling to experience. The most iconic way to do it is to move every few days and set camp like the old explorers, except with more creature comforts. We are offering an extraordinary photographic mobile safari camp experience that can be curated to your desires. This adventure is perfect for families and small groups.
I was meant to visit this place, then COVID-19 hit. This private game reserve is a place I have heard of for quite some time and was looking forward to finally experiencing it. I had done a limited series for Discovery’s Animal Planet in the general area of Sabi Sabi. The show followed three former Navy SEALS and a Green Beret as they taught rangers in the Greater Kruger Area anti-poaching strategies. While I was near Sabi Sabi, I never made it to the lodge. I will get there on my next trip to South Africa.
Sabi Sabi has been around for forty years and is one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World. You can imagine how fantastic it would be to visit.
Special Guest Invitation | Now – June 30th, 2021
Stay four consecutive nights, pay for three
Singita is another one of those iconic African lodges. If you want a memorable safari experience and all the creature comforts, this place is for you.
Special Guest Invitation | Now – Dec 14th, 2022
Stay five nights, pay for four
Complimentary one inter-lodge flight per person
Minimum two nights in each lodge
The newest island resort is opening in this remote part of the world. I am so excited about Patina’s unveiling. I have been watching this resort being created from afar for over a year. It is the most unique place I have seen in the Maldives. Their clean, sophisticated modern design is where minimalism meets the environment in a balanced way that is in harmony with each other.
Special Guest Invitation | Now – December 20th, 2021
Sojourn Explorers is happy to curate a Maldivian experience that is the perfect post-COVID getaway. Here is one possibility.
This pioneer’s adventure to the North Pole in a modern airship is getting a lot of attention. It is one of the most extraordinary and unique travel experiences you will ever have in your life. Many travel dates are already sold out! The airship has eight cabins and can accommodate up to sixteen passengers.
Between May 17th and Thanksgiving, 2020, I walked 1000 Charity Miles for Stand Up To Cancer. I took to the foothills in my Los Angeles backyard. I hiked almost every day to support patients and caregivers with COVID-19. On Christmas Day, I pledged to walk another 1000 Charity Miles. So far, I have walked over 700 miles.
My fundraising page remains open. Every donation is meaningful to those in need. Bless you for caring.
31 Vintage Images from the Nat Geo Archives that Take You Back in Time
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” ~ Mr. Rodgers
“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” ~ Karl Barth
Stay safe. Stay well.
PhD, Conscious-Centered Living | MFA, Film
Emmy-winning TV Producer | Happiness + Mindfulness Teacher
Transformational Travel Council Advisor + Herald
Seven Continent Marathon Walker
Explorers Club Member
Scare Your Soul Advisor
Every three weeks, we bring you eight big ideas to help you live better.
Each edition selects topics that reflect The Sojourn Experience’s desire to serve the greater good, both inwardly and outwardly. We are a conscious-centered company with three portfolio brands. The first is Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, which focuses on the art and science of happiness and mindfulness. The second is Sojourn Explorers, which curates transformational travel experiences to extraordinary places around the globe. Part of the money for each trip goes to nonprofit organizations we support. The Sojourn Media Group looks to create 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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