Elodie, welcome to the Santosa Sanctuary Team, we’re so pleased you’ve joined us. First things first – Elodie is such a beautiful name, where does it come from and what brought you to sunny Scotland?
Thank you! I am very grateful for this new opportunity that life is offering to me and to become part of the Santosa Team.
'Elodie', has a Greek root meaning “fragile flower”, which I like very much.
I decided to come to Scotland to reconnect with my mum and sister who were living in Edinburgh for six years. I was single after many years of relationships, so after my journey in India learning about Yoga and Holistic therapies, I decided to plant roots where my mother and sister were. A mother’s love is one of the strongest loves in this life, and at that time I needed that. Reconnecting with my little sister Ophelie, was also very important to me. She is becoming a young woman and it was time for me to be back in her life too. It was an important choice, and I am very happy I made it.
Your work supporting children in schools must be hugely rewarding. Describe a typical day?
I am a pupil support assistant with children diagnosed with a high level of autism and learning difficulties. It is very rewarding but also it is a job that requires a lot of patience and energy. Compassion, love, patience, and respect are, in my opinion, the keywords for this job.
These children show us a reality that we are far from imagining and have remained totally pure inside.
My days are always different. We are surrounded by various activities and emotions. A typical day will be to guide the kids to become more independent and to help them in communicating their needs.
Which aspects of your holistic therapy practice do you draw on to help support your work with children?
I believe that many children are born with a particular trauma. One could be the separation with the mother just after birth. Autistic kids are basically having difficulties most moments of their lives because they cannot communicate, cannot be understood, etc. The holistic approach I use, relies on the idea of releasing trauma through a series of tapping, EMDR, mantras, positive thoughts and Reiki.
The key child I work with is responding very well to this time with me and the therapies. Slowly it has created a special relationship, a deep connection of trust. I can feel the difference between him with me and with the others in the group. For example, after a first session he was able to sit for lunch without any resistance. Now it is just a normal moment of the day for him sitting at the table for lunch, we can feel he is more relaxed. Mondays are usually a bit more difficult because he has been away the whole weekend, but one session and things become slowly back to a certain inner peace.
What is your standout moment working with children?
Well, I have two standout moments to be honest.
One is when this deep connection is created with the child, the eyes connection, this pure love that comes from them and they try to communicate, at that moment I wish I could do telepathy!!
The other would be when I was pushed, pinched, and kicked, that was a terrible day. I was doing OK until the moment when you just let go and you are not strong anymore and cry. Cry because you are mentally, physically, and emotionally tired. You still love them because you know that they don’t mean it, so I keep going on with my day.
Where is your ‘go to’ outdoor space here in Edinburgh, that supports and nurtures you in your journey of helping others?
I would say it’s the various public gardens of Edinburgh or the Pentlands. I need often to go into the forest, into nature to recharge. I feel revived when I walk in the forest, it gives me strength, power, and a sense of stability.