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  • Writer's pictureMisha Bogart-Monteith

The Self-Preservation Zone

“In a moment of care, I feel as if I’m basking in the warm sun. In another, when some ache or chill or tiredness comes on, it sends a cold shock through my system. Anytime the weather shifts, I know.” - Angela, SP Dominant Instinct⠀ ⠀ Each instinct has a specific feel in your body when it comes online--an arousal and excitation pattern. When this happens, your perceptual field and focus of attention (literally your line of vision) becomes co-opted by that instinct. Russ Hudson calls this the instinctual “zone” of each drive. As we are deepening our understanding of each variant and identifying our dominant instinct, it is important to actually experience each instinct in our bodies; we need to move out of the abstract ideas of these drives and into the immediate awareness of them in order to begin to inquire and understand how they are serving us. ⠀ ⠀ The zone of the Self-Preservation instinct feels physical. Life is taken in through the five senses. Am I comfortable or uncomfortable? The focus of attention is on the physical form and external atmosphere as well as on the concrete world of objects: the quality of light, the dust on the mantle, the clutter of a sink full of dishes, the hum of cicadas. ⠀ ⠀ The SP zone is tuned into your physical and psychological boundaries as a separate organism from others, sensing where your personal energy ends and another’s begins, feeling your own outline. We were hanging out at a dinner party the other night and an SP friend noticed her attention was preoccupied with massaging the glands in her neck. She disclosed that she was feeling anxiety about potentially being sick.⠀ ⠀ Home may feel like an extension of your being and organizing your library or cleaning your car can feel as satisfying as taking a bath or working out. It’s a tending to--both of the home and the body--the way a gardener cultivates their plants. This awareness, however, extends outside of the actual home dwelling, since SP instinct cultivates and preserves the home and body everywhere you go. What does the Self Pres zone feel like to you?

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