Morning Musings

Made-a-move #29: Putting ideas into writings to share.

Building on last week’s posting, this week I decided to work on developing my ideas for compiling information on Emuna, Bitachon and Kavana.  I especially delved more into the concept of Kavana – heartfelt concentration and mindfulness.  Instead of mechanically reciting morning prayers, I went to the beginning of them and really thought, and wrote, about their meaning.   I didn’t get to far… I ended up writing three pages of notes on just the first 12 words that are said when first waking up in the morning.  I’m not including all of them here, but here are a few of my ‘morning musings.’

In this crazy age of running around and constantly doing there are increasing messages from the ‘self-help’ industry advising us to take a break to recharge ourselves – to live life with more mindfulness and purpose, to live life with “an attitude of gratitude,” and to think about where we are, where we were, and where we want to go.  One technique I’ve heard from several sources (including John Maxwell) is to use affirmations to start the day on the right foot… “Just for today I will…”

These suggestions are all encompassed in a spiritual way in the Modeh Ani prayer that, by Jewish tradition, is said first thing in the morning when the person first wakes up and opens their eyes.

Modeh Ani Lifanecha — I give thanks to/ before You

Melech Chai Vikayam — King who is living and eternal

Shehechazarta bi nishmati — For You have returned within me my soul

Bichemla rabbah emmunatecha — with compassion, abundant is Your faithfulness.

With these 12 (Hebrew) words, we start our day with gratitude to, and an acknowledgement of, a higher power that exists and is a constant force in this world – a point of stability in our ever-changing surroundings and circumstances.  A force that is not distant, but close enough to be talked to directly and referred to as “You.”   That our soul that infuses us with life was in safe-keeping with The Creator while we slept and He now entrusts us to have it back, take good care of it while we are awake, and use the life it gives us to the best of our potential.  That regardless of the mistakes we have made on previous days, He does not hold that against us and has faith that we will live up to using the gift of life in good ways, and towards our purpose, today.

When we know that someone (whether it be parents, employer, friends, etc) has faith in us, we don’t want to disappoint them.  We want to do things that will prove that their faith and belief in us was well placed.  It makes us more conscientious of what we are doing – especially in front of them.

By saying the Modeh ani prayer with kavana, we can carry these awarenesses with us into this day.  We can thereby live our life (Remember that quote from a few weeks ago? – “How we live our days is how we live our lives.”) with more gratitude, stability, compassion, faith, integrity, and purpose.

Wishing you a great, successful and meaningful day!

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