With a background in early childhood education, Alex Bowles developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by both children and adults, and the importance of connection and self-care. Her work in complementary therapies allows her to use her passion for woman’s, children’s and whole family health and wellbeing. Through Shine Naturally, she supports and facilitates natural, healthy solutions for body, mind and soul.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I love being of service, the kind of service where you share what you love. For me this means nurturing and empowering people of all ages to embrace who they truly are and live their life to the fullest through gentle, yet powerful, sessions.
I noticed in my ‘old job’ as an early childhood educator, how children naturally know how they feel and what they need, and how connected they are in their relationships – to self, to others, and through nature. As an example, one day when my daughter was four she announced, “Mummy, I think I lost my magic!” and when I asked her what she needed to do to get it back she replied, “I think I need to go into the forest and sit in a tree for a while.” So we did! And it helped me to recharge at the same time.
Many of my clients have lost this connection to nature and to themselves; they’ve forgotten they have the ability to listen to their bodies. I truly believe our bodies know what they need to heal, or to solve a problem. We just need to listen. Throughout my training, kinesiology stood out as a truly powerful modality, enabling me to communicate with my own, or my clients’ bodies’, unconsciously. I learnt to listen to its wisdom without being distracted by the conscious mind and its tendency to run stories and programs that are outdated and unhelpful.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started by working a few hours a week at a local yoga and holistic healing centre and began seeing clients in the evenings and weekends at home, whilst still working as an early childhood teacher. During these early days I also had my own little people, Isla and Arlo, and once my youngest turned two I felt comfortable to again set up my clinic at home, so that I could work whilst being close to my children.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
To be honest, my biggest breakthrough was the start – actually starting my own business whilst having a full-time job, building a house, my husband being away a lot, and starting my own family! My vision, my dream, began before my children were born and I was able to continue my training, see clients and even started teaching during pregnancy and the early years of my children’s life.
I owe a big thank you to my husband who supported me on the many family holidays, where he came along to spend time with the kids while I was on a course. He and my children received many balances during this time (and still do), and working on my children and myself showed me how powerful and gentle kinesiology treatments really are. Receiving balances during pregnancy prepared me and my children for birth, helped me work through birthing fears and disappointments, and nurtured my connection to each of my very different children in our own unique way.
Communicating with my children’s needs from this early stage included settling their stomach aches, testing for potential food intolerances, and working on my own inner child lessons – those that become activated by becoming a mother.
Building my own business showed me how far I have come in my own life and how resilient I am. I’m living my dream to work with mums and bubs, families, and especially men and women embarking on their journey of parenthood.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
It can be difficult to be a (working) mum. I believe it’s not so much about balancing work and family, it’s about finding time to be ME. Not a wife, not a mum, not a… whatever role I am in, but me. However, it’s been a work in progress to clear the guilt around putting myself first. My biggest critic is the voice in my head, so I have been re-educating this voice to be more compassionate to myself.
On days where I fill my bucket and look after myself, I can cope much better with any challenges that come my way. Setting clear boundaries is also important, as these can blur when working from home. I set aside set time for checking my phone and email for messages, time to reply, and time to be offline with my family.