“Let us be grateful and joyous even though we know the facts” is a prayer that a friend of mine heard when he was volunteering with a Lutheran community project recently. The prayer has stuck with me.  There are so many “facts” nowadays that inspire less than gratitude and joy that I welcomed the reminder that everything is connected. More than that, gratitude and joy, love and kindness, are actually internal and external antidotes to events that seem disheartening and outrageous. They strengthen and inspire us, create resilience, so we can “face the facts” so to speak.

This post gives a few links and thoughts that I hope will inspire and delight you, bring smiles to your face, and lighten your heart with joy and gratitude for being alive, for being human, for living on this earth. It is indeed, “in spite of it all”, and because of it all, a Wonderful World!  May this rendition lift your spirits. OK, now that your heart is open, be sure to Take in the Good, savor it, let it soak into all your cells.  I’m doing that right now.  It really changes the chemistry.

I just took a deep breath, and relaxed my body, and looked out at the trees and ocean, across at the orchid my daughter and granddaughter gave us for our anniversary.  Yummm. Are you ready for 10 Random Acts of Kindness That Will Make You Smile?  There are some beauts, and enough material to bring smiles for days to come. And tears too.  People are so amazing, glorious, mysterious, funny, sweet. And so are many creatures in the animal kingdom.  Are you inspired by music?  Check this out about the perfect pitch of Blue Whales!. Like to dance?  Enjoy!  I play it again and again, dance around the house, and I smile a lot 🙂

And one last piece.  I almost thought it was too long.  But I’d marked it as very moving, so I watched it again, and I was in tears.  I recommend you take 6 minutes to watch this Portuguese film called Momentos.  It fits beautifully into the theme of this blog:  Gratitude and Joy in Spite of Knowing the Facts.

There are so many benefits to smiling, gratitude, joy.  What about taking a piece of paper and writing some things that bring a smile to your face?  Rick Hanson says, “Smiling a few more times each day may not seem like much, but it will send wonderful ripples through your brain, body, mind, and relationships.”

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, andgrowth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

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