Morning Blessings: Elul: Modeh Ani
“I gratefully thank You, O living and eternal Caned, for You have returned my soul with in me with compassion: abundant is Your faithfulness!” “They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:23)!” A person is as a new creation each morning. And just as the evil inclination appears first at the formation of a child, as the verse says: “Sin rests at the door (Genesis 4:7),” so too, immediately upon a person waking from his sleep, the evil inclination jumps to attach to him to cause him to sin. The person must be zealous to grab on to the holy side of his soul. Therefore, immediately upon waking he must picture in his mind the letters of the Neshama: N-S-M-H, combined with the letters of his own name, (If his name is Yaakov: Y-A-K-B, he should picture Y-N-A-S-K-M-B-H) and in this way he is able to take his soul and join it to its holy roots. (Ohr Tzaddikim; Hanhagot Adam, Chapter 1)
The month of Elul is the month of teshuvah and the month of extra closeness with God. We can take advantage of the special Divine Emanations of Elul immediately upon waking up, picturing the combination of our name and Neshamah, and using the declaration of Modeh Ani to attach our soul to its holy roots.