Today we would like to introduce you to Katrina Grihault in our People of Gran Canaria section. Katrina has her own business. She is and English teacher and she owns The Soothing Sanctuary. She is also an empowerment coach, and Reiki & EFT specialist.
Highlights from the Interview with Katrian Grihault
Where you are from?
So well, I’m originally from Jersey, the original Jersey, not New Jersey. People get confused.
How long you have you been on Gran Canaria?
And I came to Gran Canaria in 2002 the first time, I went back home for three years. And then I came back in 2006! I’ve been here ever since. I did a bit of a Shirley Valentine. I’m not gonna lie, I came to the island for love.
Many people come to Gran Canaria for Love
Love is a super powerful emotion and I just think it’s actually my belief that is the engine to everything. So, I don’t feel any embarrassment about having done that, I’m actually quite proud of myself because I left an awful lot behind. I just followed my instinct and said that I’m going there!
DO YOU ENJOY LIVING IN ARGUINEGUIN?
I do, it has got so much going for it because it’s like a little holiday town. But it’s also really residential at the same time so it’s got a really nice atmosphere.
What was your first impression?
This is probably gonna sound really, really snooty. However, my first impressions weren’t great! When I first moved here, and we were looking for an apartment to move into, I was, I’ll be honest, I was very shocked by the condition of the apartment.
I’m from Jersey and so the standard of living is incredibly high and so the comparison for me was a little bit of a shock. It took me a long time to get used to. But that’s sometimes the case, as with myself, not everyone falls in love with the island straight away.
What was your first job when you when you got here?
Well, I was quite lucky actually, in comparison to a lot of people because, as I say, I did a Shirley Valentine. So I moved here to be with my partner, we already had a child together and so I literally just slotted into his life. He already had a business and so I worked in the office,
I say worked because I didn’t speak Spanish and so literally, they just needed someone to have the door open to the shop. If somebody came in, I would just call him and he would speak to him on the phone, sit there reading magazines and eating.
What was difficult to get used to?
To be honest, so the paperwork was not such a difficulty for me because I had people that helped me. And I think that made such a difference and that has made, that has influenced some of the decisions I’ve made going on from there.
I think for me, it was the the culture. It took me a long time to adapt to the differences in the culture because I was fully immersed in Spanish life, I didn’t really have many English friends at the beginning. So that immersion in the different culture, the different expectations and you know, the family structures and how it all works, was yeah, it was challenging! was challenging.
What do you do for a living now?
Yes, The Soothing Sanctuary is my baby, I consider it to be my soul’s purpose. I’ve always loved helping people and this is just the perfect way to help people. So, there’s the Reiki side of things which, selfishly every time you give Reiki, you get Reiki. So that’s always great so I’m always feeling really zenned out, which is awesome.
And then the EFT and coaching so what I do with that is I help people bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. For me, from my perspective, that gap is bridged by doing the inner work, unless you look inwards, that is really where all the answers are. Because, when you are looking outwards, for validation, for purpose, for all of those things, you’re basically giving the keys to your kingdom to other people and other things.
So something happens to take that away, you’re completely undone. So to be able to build that strength, that strength of character and have all that resilience, when something from for when the rug is pulled out from underneath you. That’s really apparent, that is the inner work. So that’s where I focus my my energies with people.
Are your client mostly British? You speak Spanish as well?
So yes, Spanish also, yes. More than anything, with the Spanish I do EFT workshops and sessions and with the British well I’ve got international clients. So I’ve got coaching clients in the States, I’ve had coaching clients in the in Australia. I’ve got clients all around the world, but mainly it’s here and in the UK.
What can you recommend people to do or go?
Yeah, I tend to stay away a little bit from the touristic areas and where there’s lots and lots of people and because I deal with the public all the time to do my work and such like and I’m, I’ve never been very comfortable in crowds, I’m quite an introverted person in that respect so I tend to go a little bit off the beaten track, and the shabbier the restaurant, the better!
So I could give you some amazing places. I don’t know what it’s called. There’s a place in Montaña Blanca. (Note from author: Asociación de Vecinos de Montaña Blanca).
I have got two favourite bars. So one is in Arguineguin. So I found out with the girls for drinks. Obviously, we’re quite restricted at the moment. So if I’m out with the girls for a drink, obviously we are quite restricted, my friend Vicki’s got a bar. So that’s that’s our favourite haunt here, which is the Escondite.. And if I’m out with my other half or on a little bit more of a razz then I like to go to the Devil’s Pub in Puerto Rico.
What are the MUST SEE’s of Gran Canaria?
No, no, I think everybody should go off the beaten track and it’s something I always encourage people to do. I have to be on the island for almost 15 years again now. And I’ve seen more of the island the last two years than I did in the previous 13.
Absolutely must see’s, there are so many Roque Nublo. It’s an absolute must! So we tend to go off the beaten track. We’re lucky because my other half’s got the van and so we just go to like all different kinds of places.
What do you love most about living here?
The thing I love most about living here is the freedom! You can make plans for like three weeks time and you know that you can be outside! Pretty much yeah.
And even when it rains though! This is it. Like the probability of it raining and ruining your plans is like so slim and, if it does it is really fun anyway, you just get off with it anyway! It’s not like when you are in the UK you like oh, let’s not make plans because you don’t know what the weather is going to do.
Just the freedom we have to make plans in advance. Like yeah we’ll give it a couple of weeks and well we’ll go and we’ll take that walk or whatever, you can just plan to be outside any given time.
The freedom to be outside and the diversity, it’s like do you fancy being in the countryside? Go for it! There’s plenty of it. Fancy being in the mountains? Go for it.There’s plenty! Fancy going in the woods? Go for it, there’s plenty and that’s something amazing to see as well. And then the beach, any type of beach that you could possibly imagine we’ve got them. And I just love, love, love that about the island.
What are your plans for the future?
Well really COVID has done me a lot of favours because it forced me to really just stop and take stock because I was feeling quite burned out before and there were a lot of elements in the way that I was running my life and my business that weren’t serving me properly and they weren’t serving my clients properly.
Interview and transcript by Nicky Hobson