Paralympian, intuitive healer, coworking space owner, business success coach and more. Elle Steele shares her unique view of of the world including how to maintain a positive mindset in the face of difficulty.
Tell me about Elle growing up. What did she want to be when she “grew up”?
Haha. I love this question, because I look back to when I was growing up and I am very different in so many ways. I was very angry, quick to jump to conclusions and didn’t express my thoughts or feelings a lot, for fear of being different. Living in constant pain and with a disability in a family of people without disabilities was very challenging. I wanted to be a Paralympian, and probably before that a mermaid, or something magical. I spent my life playing with My Little Ponies and venturing into other worlds in my mind.
How much did those early dreams shape who you became?
So much, I became a Paralympian at 17 and also competed for Australia for 13 years as a swimmer and for seven years I played National Level Wheelchair Rugby. All of those moments where I didn’t feel enough fueled me in my sport and created this out of control determination in me. I am a compassionate, resilient person and so much of this in part of what I do for work now as a coach and healer.
Who were the people that shaped your version of success and did that change over time?
I think my parents had a really good influence on my idea of success, but it has definitely changed over time. I am completely ok with my own version now being what I live instead of the success that I know my parents wanted for me, but then later realised was actually making me unwell. I am so blessed to have supportive family and friends who see success as happiness with some old school security like, making a wage and having savings dabbled in.
How do you define success these days?
When I’m happy and when I can make money in my sleep after creating something that brings me joy. It’s important to me that I can work anywhere, from a freedom perspective but also because then it means I can put my most important ‘job’ first, managing my disability.
You have a lot of incredible talents. You call yourself a Business Success Coach, Paralympian and Intuitive Healer… how are they all connected? What did being an olympian teach you about business and life?
Haha. Yes, I like to be unique. It taught me about working under pressure, about working towards a goal and not getting what you’d planned. I am a better person, business owner and coach because of what happened in my Paralympic career. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The major catalyst for me beginning my business was a shoulder injury, where no one knew what was wrong and then when it was my only chance to make the Athens 2004 team, I missed out by .03 of a second due to a bathers malfunction in my qualifying race. These moments have shaped how I see the world and how I work with clients now when ‘things’ keep going wrong. I am grateful for so much, even all 35 operations.
I can’t not ask: What was it like being in the 2000 paralympics?
It was incredible, a whirlwind! I was only 17, so I’m not sure I could really conceptualise it all while I was there. There were some HORRIBLE team dynamics, but 21 years on, I am healing from that. Highlights definitely were, everything was free, I got to race the best athletes in the world and well, you never forget something like the Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
You’re an intuitive healer. What does that mean exactly?
It means that I can see and feel your energy and I’ve been taught by Energy Healers and Source (The Divine, Universe, The Angels, whatever you want to call it) how to realign and restore you back to your optimal energy frequency. In life we’ll pick up on energies that can make us feel blah, or we’ll be holding onto past life patterns, or limiting beliefs, all of these things have energies attached to them. So, I use my intuition and my skill as a healer to help people heal and move through these moments.
You’re currently writing a Young Adults novel. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I have ALWAYS wanted to be an author but never thought I had the skills to do it. My Mum worked in publishing and I never showed her any of my writing until about 18 months ago when she just found some in a random cupboard. Since then, she’s been helping me write my first YA novel. It has a protagonist with a disability and it’s fantasy. I’ve never seen that combination in a book before, so I’m excited to see where it goes.
You’re always very positive and upbeat, even when reporting on a recent surgery! How much does your mindset play a part in the way you live your life?
Mindset is everything. Our brain thinks a thought, we then can grab onto that thought and create an emotion, then with that emotion, you’ll react in a particular way. None of my medical situations have been overly joyful, but they have given me a new lease on life, less pain and some amazing stories. I am always grateful for the opportunity to grow into myself even more.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to shift their mindset to a more positive and proactive place?
It’s ok to feel the feels, once you’ve felt the feels, then ask yourself, how can I move on from this with love? I’m not here to spiritually bypass emotions or struggle, when you go through harder times you learn resilience and how to stay true to yourself, every moment in our life has a purpose, it’s what we choose to do with that purpose that's important.
Tell me about life with a mobility aid. What’s a few misconceptions that you wish would disappear?
I love how people say ‘It must be so hard to be in a wheelchair’ and my response is ‘for me it would be harder without one’. My dream for people with disabilities is that one day, people without disabilities will understand that life with a disability isn’t ‘less than’. You make your life how you want it to be and having a disability has got NOTHING to do with that. The world has decided that having a disability is a weakness and it’s only ‘harder’ because the world isn’t built for us.
How can people work with you?
I have a new program about to start on Valentine’s day called Rich Witch, it’s all your witchy goodies melded with all your need-to-knows about being a successful business owner. I have a six-month membership called The Forest which is closed at the moment but will re-open for 2.0 around June or July. I also do audio email intuitive readings and have one-on-one energy healing sessions, you can find all the details at www.iamellesteele.com
And, if you’re looking for a space to work, I co-run a coworking space in East Brunswick called The Space @thespace_co.
How do you pause and remember your essence if you have…
2 minutes: I call in Archangel Michael and ask him to flood my energy with white light clearing all that isn’t my own.
15 minutes: Tapping with Gala Darling - she is next level and I have followed her for years.
1 hour: Go for a swim or get into nature.