Checking out – are we sowing the seeds of our own dementia?

Checking Out – are we sowing the seeds of our own dementia?

Checking out – are we sowing the seeds of our own dementia?

Checking out is a concept that I had never heard of until around eight years ago. I had for many years been suffering with memory problems, for example:

  • Remembering yesterday was always a struggle and I couldn’t retain anything in my head.
  • I would have to keep checking my diary to remember what I had organised for the day.
  • I would go to a room to get something and when I got there, no idea what it was I came to get.

I started noticing these symptoms in my forties but they were probably prevalent long before that. Since my teens I had been a regular drinker of caffeine and of alcohol. I would drink caffeine all day and then switch to alcohol in the evenings, seven days a week. I didn’t view myself as dependent on either of these substances, I just ‘enjoyed’ them.

In 2007 my daughter gave me some audios to listen to of Serge Benhayon presenting the Ageless Wisdom and in it he talks about what alcohol and caffeine really do to the body and he also introduced me to the concept of checking out, what it was, and how it can sow the seed of dementia if you allow checking out to develop too much. At this stage I had not met Serge Benhayon or done any of his courses, but what he was presenting felt true to me.

I had no doubt that the alcohol and caffeine were harming me deeply and I made the choice to cut them out of my diet for good.

The checking out information also felt like a possible truth. My mother and grandmother had both suffered with dementia and my mother’s psychiatrist had warned me that I was therefore in a high risk of developing dementia myself. I chose to try the Gentle Breath Meditation® and to see if that helped me in any way. I found that it helped me immensely and so I committed to spending ten to fifteen minutes a day meditating.

The other thing that I discovered was that because I had felt beyond any doubt the harm that it was doing to me, giving up alcohol was simple and I had no cravings whatsoever. This surprised me because I had always experienced cravings in the past when having a break from it.

Six months after making these choices I one day realised that my mind was clear for the first time for a very, very long time. It was as if a fog in my head had cleared and I could see clearly once more.

Checking out is something most of us spend a lot of time doing without even knowing we are doing it.

So what is checking out and why is it so harmful for us?

To understand checking out it helps to understand presence first because in essence it is our presence that we are checking out from. Conscious Presence is being completely with ourselves in what we are doing whilst we are doing it. The mind and the body are working together in union, so as Serge Benhayon puts it: what we are thinking we are doing and what we are doing we are thinking. In other words, no extraneous thoughts are coming in to distract us.

For example, walking in presence, we are aware in our bodies of our every movement and of feeling our feet as they touch the ground and we are also aware of everything around us. If a thought comes in about something that happened yesterday or perhaps about a meeting next week, this triggers us to “check out” from that presence and therefore we no longer have the mind and the body working together as one.

When we check out, could we, as Serge Benhayon has suggested be sowing the seed of our future dementia? Could dementia be the loss of the ability to be present, to the point that we are no longer there?

Or to put it another way…

Is dementia where we check out so much that we cannot check back in again? Once I learnt what being present felt like, I realised that I was actually living checked out almost all the time.

  • I couldn’t drink caffeine and be present; it changed me into a more racy, on edge person.
  • I couldn’t drink alcohol and be present; it numbed me.
  • I also realised that I was using television to numb myself rather than be present.

And so the problem was very much larger than I had thought and I could see where it was going to lead if I didn’t start making different choices.

From my own experience and view I can state that it is very possible to come back from living in a predominantly checked out state and thereby reduce the chances of becoming another dementia statistic.

The Gentle Breath Meditation® and Conscious Presence are the tools that will assist us with this. This Developing Conscious Presence Gentle Breath is a great place to start and to learn more about conscious presence and how to incorporate it into our daily activities.

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HealingDementiaConscious presenceAlcoholCaffeine

  • Photography: Leonne Sharkey, Bachelor of Communications

    For Leonne photography is about relationships, reflection and light. She is constantly amazed by the way a photo can show us all we need to know.