A common misconception in Judaism has always been about waking up like a lion. Here I will clarify this.
First, as for “waking up like a lion,” watch this video:
This shows EXACTLY how a lion really wakes up, and teaches us two things that many Yeshiva students neglect to do: a) realize that waking up like a lion DOESN’T mean jumping out of bead and yelling “ROAR! I’m going to do the Avodas Hashem THIS VERY MOMENT! ROARRRRR!” and b) actually bathing daily (sic). Rather, one needs to get up SLOWLY and let the oxygen flow through the brain. Once a person is in that calm alert state can one serve Hashem. Doing what we think we should do will only result in dizziness and fainting (which could be the solution to the recurring Shacharis problem – people are so motivated that the faint before they can even leave the room 🙂 ) Think about it: when taking a test in school or doing ones work at work, do you do better in a nervous, “oh-my-gosh-I-gotta-do-this-now” state, or in a calm, serene, confident state?
Speaking about fainting (and Modeh Ani), I found the contents of this article online worth reading:
Disclaimer: The following story doesn’t have much base, and therefore serves as a very nice parable which COULD be true in a different scenario.
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, also known as Orthostatic Hypotension, is caused by the sharp transfer between laying down and standing up. Professor McMaron said that it takes 12 second 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 says 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 Thou hast graciously restored my soul to me; great is Thy faithfulness.’ The auditorium burst into a standing applause that roared throughout the auditorium.
This time, it was for the Creator of the World.