Joining Hands is an innovative, Brisbane-based social enterprise providing access to health and wellbeing services to homeless and vulnerable young people. Joining Hands was founded in 2012 by Kylie Lowe, Jill McKay and Mark Teis.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current job?
I am many things and wear many hats in any given moment!
I am a vivacious lover of life in all of it’s big encompassing beautiful perfect mess.
I am a Mumma to two incredible young women who are my greatest teachers.
I am a self-proclaimed wild woman living sober.
I am 10 years on thriving post Breast Cancer.
I am a connector of human beings.
My three biggest hats in this moment are:
- Being a Solo Mumma
- I am Founder and Director of social enterprise, Joining Hands. We are supported by both Individual and Business Supporters (aka our GiveBack Ambassadors) who contribute so that we can provide access to wellness to homeless and vulnerable young people.
- I am Program Co-ordinator and Facilitator at Logan Women’s Health and Wellbeing Centre – running 5 week programs empowering, educating and inspiring women who have been through adversity to transition into employment, training, volunteering or start their own business.
What is your goal/ what are you passionate about?
My goal is to ensure that those in pain and suffering have access to the tools, education, strategies, services and right people to empower and inspire them to live a life filled with joy, love, connection and purpose.
I am passionate about human beings feeling a sense of connection, purpose, love and having a safe space to share their stories and feel deeply heard.
I am driven to ensure that all of us feel like we have an opportunity to live a great, epic life and that anything truly is possible.
I am passionate about youth homelessness and social justice.
I am passionate about sober living and what this has created for me.
I am passionate about raising strong, aware, tender, clever, assertive young women to navigate the world.
What are the most challenging things about your life?
Living post cancer is both a gift and a challenge.
I am always super mindful about my health to the point sometimes when I think it is actually creating stress not taking it away!
Being a solo mumma and Founder of Joining Hands often leave me with a sense of overwhelming responsibility. Meditation always helps me as it shifts my perspective when I am entangling with a not so healthy mind narrative.
Finances can be a challenge being the sole breadwinner and having my own business. This year things have settled and I feel like I am really just beginning.
My fast paced mind, never ending ideas and desire for constant change and moving forward. I have worked on going slow and resting over the pat 8 months and this is serving me well.
What are the most rewarding things and what achievement/goal are you most proud of achieving to date?
Witnessing my girls grow into amazing young women who have a strong sense of who they are and owning their space.
Facilitating the BE Ready Program and watching the life changing impact this has for women who have been through adversity moving into employment, study, volunteering and starting their own business.
Growing an idea and vision into Joining Hands which has now provided over 4000 wellness sessions to homeless and vulnerable young people.
Being alive and living a big, full, epic beautiful life.
How do you find balance?
I prefer the term integration! There is no real normal in my life and it is a juggle. A wise friend said to me imagine you are juggling many balls and two of them are made of glass and cannot be dropped no matter what as they will shatter. These two ‘balls’ are my girls and my health. When my girls and my health thrive, I thrive.
I have really slowed down this year and choosing to be a wild woman living sober has created so much expansion and clarity for me in 2018.
I ensure I have space for ‘me’ days, I am really focused on ensuring I get at least 7 hours per sleep per night, eating clean, movement, socialising, dancing, retreating and when I remember, meditation!
I am also passionate about strength training and fitness and just taken up surfing again which is my super happy place!
Do you have any mentors or people who inspired you to follow your dream?
I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible women (and men) who inspire me to be the greatest version of me and to continue moving forward especially when I feel like quitting.
My girls inspire my every day to create a world that I would like them to be part of and to show them that anything truly is possible.
The amazing women that I am blessed to work with who move through great adversity, lean in to discomfort knowing that this is the way forward to creating the life they truly deserve.
AND the courageous, resilient young people who experience homelessness that I am privileged to meet and support, inspire me every single day.
What is inspiring you at the moment (reading/ watching/learning)?
I am back in the ocean and have engaged a surf coach! So learning/re-learning to surf.
I originally started in 2009 post cancer (was a bucket list ticket item!) and was obsessed for years and then let it lapse in the last few years. I was on holiday recently and was in the water with my board feeling useless and lacking in confidence. It was in that moment that I decided that I wanted to be able to surf and surf well and the solution was to find a coach. So I did and have had 2 lessons and having a blast. In the mighty ocean, everything dissolves and nothing else matters.
Do you have a message for women over 40?
That yes the cliché is true….. life begins in your 40’s!
It has been an interesting year for me turning 46 in April this year. This ‘number’ felt so close to 50 and I realised that I was not living to my full potential and that how I was living in that moment was not how I wanted to show up at 50. This is another reason for my strength training, clean eating, surfing and sober living.
I want to age with strength, salt in my hair, an abundance of wealth, good friends around me, daughters who are thriving and the sense that life is just beginning.
What does the future hold for you?
I am super curious, excited and inspired for what the future holds for me.
I have a book and a new business bubbling!
My future is filled with family, friends, surf, dance, music, travel, truth, freedom, speaking and creating a movement of wild women living sober!
To find out more about the impact Kylie is making please visit her website.
If you are interested in becoming part of the Giveback Ambassador Program please click here.