Now, in the concluding stage of “A Path through the Jungle” by Professor Steve Peters, stage eight presents the grand finale.

This section, emphasizing robustness and resilience, echoes the concept of responsibility—how to respond capably. Here, it’s not a matter of assigning blame. Instead, responding capably involves being prepared and ready.

It’s about preparing ourselves daily before we step out into the world.

I love the words shared with us by Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha the ones for saying each day as your day starts even before your eyes open.

Noting to that if you’ve got a mirror nearby, look at yourself and reaffirm the beauty that you are.

Using a phrase like “it is what it is,” often referred to as a ‘stone of life,’ has become common for me after reading about it. I’ve realized that altering this phrase to “it is what I make it” could be more empowering. It serves as a reminder to engage my rational side and stick to the plan. Essentially, the goal is to prepare the ‘computer’—the logical part of the brain—with well-rehearsed information so that when the ‘chimp’—the emotional responder—reacts quickly, it is provided with this information, reassured, and can calm down instead of getting agitated.

It’s important to remember that the ‘chimp’ is always trying to be a good friend and protect us.

We examined the components of the mind referred to as human, chimp, and computer. Additionally, we discussed the ‘stone of life’—a set of sayings ready to be input into your computer in case of an event.

Furthermore, you can program an ‘autopilot’ into your computer for automatic responses to certain triggers, like the impulse to eat spiders. For instance, if you were to get food without consciously deciding to, an autopilot could remind you to sit down and bless your food before eating. With this reminder, you would then have the choice to continue sitting down or not.

Then there are gremlins and goblins; gremlins are a snag or little phrases or terms that actually wind things up, add to the reactions of the Chimp, making the situation more harmonious. We can remove a gremlin by creating new information for the computer and replacing it. Goblins, however, can be hard to shift and may still linger in the computer, so we learn to navigate around them.

The next step is to maintain all of these, particularly the computer daily, by taking time in the morning to reset it, and at night, reflecting to check if any gremlins have snuck in or if goblins have been addressed. If they have, you can use some of the other tools from earlier in the book, such as expressing the chimp, letting it all out to a trusted advisor, yourself, or journaling. Then, look at what’s there minus the emotion and apply reasoning and logic. Use your stones of life and the other tools to find peace within yourself, irrespective of what’s happening. If you don’t find peace within, turn to your troupe. Your troupe are your key supporters, and these people will be different for each person.

A section that resonated with me highlighted the significance of support and the acceptance of reaching out when one is struggling. It’s important for others to understand when someone is exercising their ‘chimp’—an analogy for emotional response—and that we should not engage with this behavior, but rather allow space for expression without repetitive analysis, followed by strategies to return to a rational state.

Managing stress is also well-addressed, particularly in stage seven, which reminds us that while some aspects are within our control, others are not. The focus is on releasing the need to control everything, accepting our discomforts, and understanding how to alter our responses or thoughts.

Stage eight offers a poignant example called ‘the fridge door,’ illustrating the impact of praising young people solely for their achievements rather than for who they are. This can lead to a dependency on external validation. Therefore, it’s crucial for parents, caregivers, teachers, and colleagues to appreciate individuals for their inherent worth, not just their accomplishments.

As we conclude this piece of writing, it’s crucial to acknowledge that if you’ve applied only parts of the book and haven’t seen results, it’s probable that it hasn’t been fully implemented. It’s like missing a digit in a mobile phone number; the connection can’t be made. I’ve realized that I must revisit and examine the foundations of life and the truths I rely on to ensure they truly provide comfort. This refinement is an ongoing process that fosters greater peace of mind and self-appreciation.

Elaway De’Ye’Ng Li’ta

G. Dalby-Ball
Learning Centre for human Development