How Hope Can Keep You Happier and Healthier. If you think hope is Pollyannaish optimism, think again. Hope can actually be a motivator to get the insurmountable done with an upbeat attitude. This article offers ways to build hope. Here is the other benefit of having hope. It leads to a longer, more qualitative life.
A Global Dictionary of Happiness. Fifteen different ways to culturally experience happiness around the world. We have all heard of the “hang loose” Hawaiian Aloha experience. Though what about Kalasarikannit, which is Finnish for “partying alone.” Something many have had to do this year. Find out the other thirteen ways of practicing happiness. Some may surprise you. Others inspire you. [Thanks, Michael Bennet!]
How to Take Your Winter Workout Outdoors. For those in cold climates that still want to get outside during these next winter months.
You Can Watch the New York City Ballet’s Performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ at Home This Year. The New York City Ballet happened to film its highly praised production of this holiday classic at Lincoln Center pre-COVID. They are now streaming it from December 11th – January 3rd. The performance features over fifty dancers, sixty children from the School of American Ballet, and the sixty-two piece New York City Ballet Orchestra. Sounds like a splendid way to spend a holiday evening at home.
The 10 Best Books of 2020. If you want to curl up with a good read during the holidays, here is the New York Times editor’s pick for fiction and nonfiction this year.
The Best of Netflix’s Charmingly Bad Holiday Romcoms. And here is something for those who prefer to sit in front of the TV to enjoy some mindless escapism — no judgment ;-).
National Geographic Reveals Its Best Destinations for 2021. The coming year’s travel list is focused on sustainability, family, nature, adventure, and culture. One of the places highlighted is Greece’s first underwater museum off the coast the Alonissos island. Here adventurers can explore the remains of a 2500-year-old Athenian merchant ship, either by sea or virtually. I have been to Alonissos, and it is genuinely one of my favorite islands in the world.
Should You [Fly or Drive] This Year. If you are trying to figure whether you should travel for the holidays and do you fly or drive, try answering the questions in this interactive article to find out.
I have recently started doing guided meditations and talks LIVE on the Insight Timer app. I would love to see you online! You can also join my Insight Timer Meditation Circle, where I recommend playlists, offer inspiring quotes, and let you know about upcoming sessions. Meditation is our wellbeing silver bullet.
Over the past few months, I have been writing video content for a new mindfulness productivity app, Centered. I also use it and love it. The app is designed to help you reach a state of Flow while you work and stay there. You can use the app to organize and focus on your day’s tasks. You can listen to their relaxing music as you work or bring in your own playlist. At the start of each day, the app offers videos with productivity tips, inspiring quotes, and mindfulness techniques to improve your workflow. Let me know how you like the videos! Check it out.
Scubaspa | Maldives If you are up for holiday travel, here is a dreamy floating resort in the Indian Ocean. It combines the best of diving with a luxury spa experience. The water in this part of the world is sublime, and the temperature is lovely year-round.
Special Guest Invitations | Through December 2020 Fifteen percent discount if you book travel forty-five days before arrival, including 2021 trips booked now.
If you travel December 19th through 26th, save up to $1870 per person. *Only one promotion applies.
Kuria Hills Lodge | N. Serengeti, Tanzania
Magnificent wide open spaces, teeming with elephants and big cats. On my last trip to Tanzania, I saw more wildlife at Kuria Hills than any other camp, which is saying a lot. There was an abundance of wildlife throughout that trip, though this location in particular. We had a chance to see a family of cheetah cubs, so sweet.
Special Guest Invitations | Through March 2022 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.
Also, click this link for an article that lists the African countries open for tourism and their entry requirements as of October 18th.
Camino De Santiago | Spain September 19th – 28th, 2021
Taste what it is like to carry the pilgrim’s symbol pointing you toward Santiago, a scalloped shell on your backpack, and wish others who are also following “The Way,” a Buen Camino. This is a thoughtfully curated transformative journey covering the last 100 kilometers of the Camino’s most popular route, The French Way. This route is doable for almost anyone, no matter their age.
Picture Perfect Holistic Safari | Zambia + Malawi November 8th – 19th, 2021
I have partnered with our Zambia + Malawi specialist to curate and guide a photographic safari that combines everything you want in an African adventure through a mindfulness experience lens. Hope you will consider joining me for this unique small group sojourn. It will give you something to look forward to next year. According to research, even planning a trip can boost your mental health.
Arctic Quest | North Pole Launches 2024
I am super excited to be offering this pioneer’s adventure to the North Pole in a modern airship.
A great gift idea! Charity Checks is a beautiful way to give during the holidays. The organization was founded by fellow Explorers Club member and award-winning writer Lisa Sonne. It is simple to do. You order the charity check in any amount (and get the tax donation.) The check gets sent to a loved one, friend, or business colleague. They choose the charity they want to support and send them the check. One hundred percent of the amount on the check goes to that charity — what a heartful gift to give this year.
I am an advisor for a courage movement called Scare Your Soul, and sharing our newest project, called “Lost and Found in 2020.” It is so powerful and timely given what is happening in the world. Until the end of the year, people are invited to share personal stories about life during Covid-19. These stories will be featured in a free e-book. There is a great contest too! The top ten entries get to be recorded by you or a professional actor. Your entry will also be part of an audiobook! Please join this wonderful project. Here is the link: www.lostandfoundin2020.com
Amazing 2020 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar.
Picture Perfect See the Best Wildlife Photography of 2020 Smile!
The Art and Science of Happiness in Action Eliciting Altruism With “Out-group” Members
One of the most significant barriers to altruism is group difference. We feel less inclined to help someone if they do not belong to our group. There may even be some hostility toward outsiders. Instead of seeing the differences, look to what is similar across group boundaries. Regardless of political, cultural, or religious beliefs, we all have the shared experience of being human and have common wants and challenges.
Why This Works: Reminding people that we are connected, seeing victims as real people rather than a statistic, and acknowledging our common humanity can go miles to replacing obstacles to altruism with feelings of compassion.
Time Required: Varies | Frequency: As much as you want
“To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue. These five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.” ~ Confucius
Stay safe. Stay well. Maria and Team Sojourn Learn More
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 Media 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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