Thank you for joining me on the journey of 40 days to a Better You. If we infuse each day or hour with purpose and passion, we can realize our deepest dreams. Life will not pass us by but we will cherish each moment of every day.
Today, I want to share with you a gift: 12 Seconds to a Better You. When we arise in the morning, we have a choice. When the radio turns on in the morning to awaken us from our sleep, do we view it as an alarm clock and snooze or as an opportunity clock to seize the beauty and blessings of the day?
The first words we recite upon arising impact the essence of our beings and our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Judaism teaches that the gift of speech separates us from the animal kingdom and enables us to emulate G-d. The very first words uttered by G-d in the Bible are “Let there be Light!” What do we exclaim upon waking? Our very first words are ‘Thank G-d, I am alive!” There is more…
G-d works in mysterious ways. The following story illuminates the secret of our 12 second formula.
In a United States convention of neurologists from all over the world, one of the main topics was the phenomenon of people fainting upon getting up from bed (when they wake up from sleeping.) One of the speakers was Professor Linda McMaron of Great Britain and she gave a lengthy speech regarding her study on this issue. She elaborated that after many years of study and investigation on this subject, she came to the conclusion that the fainting is caused by the sharp transfer between laying down and standing up. Professor McMaron said that it takes 12 seconds for the blood to flow from the feet to the brain. But when a person quickly stands up upon waking up, the blood gets “thrown” to the brain too quickly and the result is fainting. She suggested that each person, even one that does not have a tendency to faint, upon waking up should sit on the bed, and count slowly till 12 to avoid dizziness, weakness, and/ or fainting. Her speech was rewarded with loud applause and enthusiastic feedbacks.
Another Professor, a Jewish religious man, asked permission to speak. He said, “By us, the Jews, there is an old tradition, thousands of years old, to say a prayer of thanks to the Creator of the World for meriting us to wake up healthy and whole. The prayer is said immediately upon waking up, while one is still on the bed and sitting down. There are 12 words in this prayer and if one regulates himself to say it slowly with concentration, it takes exactly 12 seconds to say it….12 words in 12 seconds.”
He said the prayer slowly in Hebrew: Mode Ani Lefanecha Melech Chai Vekayam, Shehechezarta Bi Nishmati Bechemla Raba Emunatecha—“I thank Thee, O living and eternal King, because You have graciously restored my soul to me: great is Your faithfulness.” The auditorium burst into a standing applause that roared throughout the auditorium. This time, it was for the Creator of the World. “
Imagine that every day, before waking up the first seconds when we open our eyes, we say these words, Modeh, our thanks to G-d as the creator of the world, Ani, G-d is counting on I, G-d is counting on me. And as we say at the very end of the phrase Rabah Emunatecha, great is not my faith in you, but great is your faith in me.
Tomorrow morning, when you arise, recite the prayer Modeh Ani. You will not only feel so grateful for being alive but greet the day with a renewed sense of Divine Purpose. After all, G-d loves you and is counting on you to illuminate the world with Light!