Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast

95: Crafting Clarity from Understanding in Our Stories with Valeria Elliot

February 22, 2024 Lyvita Brooks Season 2024 Episode 95
Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast
95: Crafting Clarity from Understanding in Our Stories with Valeria Elliot
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever considered how the twists and turns of your personal journey have led you to where you stand today? Sit down with Lyvita Brooks and her storytelling coach, Valeria Elliott, as they embark on a poignant exploration of the essence of our personal narratives and their profound impact on our lives. This episode isn't just a chat; it's a deep dive into the heart of our identities, spotlighting the significance of understanding and sharing our stories—not as exhaustive life summaries but as a tool to learning more about self and how we can help others.

This episode elevates the art of the elevator pitch to an essential skill for anyone looking to leave a lasting impression. Whether you're seeking to captivate potential collaborators or simply longing to express your journey with more clarity, our conversation offers invaluable insights. As you listen, feel the warmth of encouragement to write your own story.  So, join us—pause, reflect, and be inspired to articulate your life's narrative with the same conviction and clarity shared in this soulful exchange with Lyvita Brooks and  Valeria Elliott.

Resources Mentioned on the Episode and suggested reading & social media handles:

 

Calls to Action:

·        Sign up for The Me Project Academy Newsletter for resources on decluttering your mind in order to grow in Christ, academy news and new releases of the podcast. 

·        Website: www.hangingoutwithjesuspodcast.com

·        support@themeprojectacademy.com (for comments)

·        YouTube Channel: Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast

Thanks for listening. I pray this episode was a blessing to you. Leave a comment or rate this episode . Then pass it on. Share this link: https://lyvitabrooks.com/

Lyvita:

Welcome to Hanging Out with Jesus podcast, where we built up the broken hearted by bringing interviews, inspiration, information and tips on how to break the chains of anxiety, fear and discouragement so you can complete the mission God's called you to do intentionally and daily. For more resources, including our free newsletter, visit HangingOutWithJesusPodcastcom or click the link in the show notes. Hi, I'm Labita, bible teacher, author, founder of the Me Project Academy and your host. Thank you so much for joining me for this week's episode. My prayer is that this message challenges you to get out of whatever ruch your in and begin spending time with the Lord. If you haven't already, I'd love for you to go ahead and subscribe to that, to this podcast, so you can get the latest updates from me and you don't ever have to miss a new episode. This is episode 95. I will be discussing with my storytelling coach, valeria Elliott why should we write our story Interesting, huh? That discussion and more is coming up after updates in the Me Project Academy.

Lyvita:

You may need your calendar for this. There are three things I'd like to invite you to join me. The first I'm going to teach a Bible class for five weeks in March called Facing the Unknown. Now I've talked to you a little bit about this last month. This is going to begin March 1st to the 29th. It's going to be from 6.30 to 8.00 pm on Friday night. You got to register, so this way I know how many people will be attending and it's free. So register at TheMeProjectAcademycom or click on the link in the show notes. Number two now for my book lovers, writers and Creatives, february is Library Lovers' Month. February 7th that was World Read-Allow Day. Well, we probably missed it, unless you listen to the last episode, but on the 12th I told you that I'm going to be putting up a picture of books on a shelf and then I'm going to post it on hashtag library shelfy day. That's library S-H-E-L-F-I-E day, so I hope to see some of your pictures up there.

Valeria:

So let me know.

Lyvita:

You can contact me at support at TheMeProjectAcademycom. Third, the book I wrote with my mother's poems and reflections Y'all guess what? The one that's called Nuggets for Thought your Mother and Daughters Collection of Poems, reflections and Flash Fictions of the Life they See it has won another award. We are finalists in the Can Excellence and Marketing Award, y'all. So pick it up If you get the chance. It's also on the ebook so you can find out more about that. And when you do, make sure you write that review. If you are new to this podcast, welcome. If you want more information about what we do in the Academy, make sure you subscribe to our email community. The link is in the show notes. Now come walk with me where we intentionally and daily hang out with Jesus.

Lyvita:

Lord, thank you for allowing us to be in your presence once again and together for such a time as this, to talk about developing our story, which has been especially designed by you. I have invited Valeria Elliott. How you doing.

Valeria:

I am great, I am so good. Some of you may know me as Ms V the Storyteller, so if you see me and you'll see oh wait, a minute, that's really I'm the same person. Ms V the Storyteller. Podcast. Ms V the Storyteller, or my birth given name Valeria.

Lyvita:

Now, saints, we're going to be talking about our story. We're going to talk about the day, the importance of it. We're going to talk about how to even get started in writing your story. And I'm not talking about your biography. I'm talking about a story where you can say, in less than two minutes, you can say in less than seven minutes, valeria, why is it important that writers, even musicians and artists, why is it important that we be able to tell our story quickly?

Valeria:

Well, the main reason is when you know your story, it helps you to understand why you're wired or the way you are. Most people, when you say something about their story, immediately they think about their job or what they do as an artist, a writer or a doctoral lawyer or whatever. That's a benefit of your story. Your story is things that happen to you in the past that made you make decisions, think certain ways. All those things crafted you into the amazing person you are today. If you were not to be a lawyer or a writer or actress or anything, you would still be that person. So that is your story knowing who you really are.

Valeria:

For instance, my story is losing my voice early, at the age of six. That shaped my life. It literally shaped the decisions that I made in my life, my self-esteem. It shaped a lot, but then I overcame those things and now before you, you see the amazing woman that I am. Because if you roll the film back or if you go back to chapter one, you will see a whole different person. So that's why I take people back and I'm like, okay, there are some things that happened back then that made you the way you are. If you are a first child and you have siblings. That made you a leader because you had to help your parents raise those little ones.

Valeria:

If you are abused, that made you think a certain way about yourself and the world. Because of what someone did to you, you have a different way of seeing other people. So going back and for some people it's kind of hard, especially if it is something difficult, like abuse or something difficult but it also helps you to understand who you are. So that is why it's important that you know your story, not just for other people but for yourself. I'm telling you I understand me a lot better Because I thought something was wrong with me.

Valeria:

I felt something when I went back and God said I want your story. I was like so I thought that way. That's why I was that way. But if I had never gone back, I wouldn't have realized that there's nothing wrong with you, you're all right girl, you are fine. So it is so important that you know your story and that's what I try to do is help people to find and I call it your fingerprint story because it's uniquely yours, it's only yours, you're the only one with that fingerprint, you're the only one with that story you may have gone through the same thing as somebody else, but your experience is totally different than the other person because of the characters in your story, because of the people, the way you thought is different, so it makes it your fingerprint story.

Lyvita:

I like how you say your fingerprint story, because there are things in our past that may have broken our heart or may have caused us to fear where, when it comes down to doing our writings or even being a good artist, those things can hold us back. So if we know our stories, then we can take those particular things and use it to our benefit, because God takes all of us, every piece of us, and uses it for his glory. So we shouldn't be allowing what we consider to be the negative things of our lives to hold us back.

Valeria:

Right, we use them as stepping tools. Right, we use them as stepping tools. For instance and this is a great example for me as being someone who lost a voice, who stopped talking at the age of six, for 18 years not talking Although there was a negative experience for me because I went through a lot when you don't talk and you are fluffy, shy and an introvert and all that people are mean. However, I've overcome that, but I'm drawn to those people, those quiet people. They need me because I can go to them. I know what they're feeling. I know what they're thinking.

Valeria:

So that negative is now positive, because I know I can spot them a mile away. Oh, I'm going right over to her. Hey, how you doing. You know you're not going to sit in this corner by yourself. I'm going to be your friend today and that's what I do, because I know how it feels. I know, to be somewhere and not to feel like you are part of anything. You're just there because somebody made you come and you don't want to be there because you don't feel good about yourself. So I be lying to those people. I will go to them and I will be their friend. I will talk to them just so that they can feel good about themselves. So that's something that I've learned and I've turned it into a positive where it was a negative for so many years.

Lyvita:

Oh wow. Can your story change, like in different seasons?

Valeria:

Yes, your story will change, because the more you get to know about yourself and understand who you are, your decision making will definitely change, the decisions that you make, the way that you think. It's going to change, because you understand why, for me, losing my voice is. Now I'm better at making a choice, meaning I don't always lose my voice. It's a choice, meaning sometimes you just don't need to say anything, like God fight your battles. So that's a choice, whereas before I never talk, so I wasn't going to say anything anyway.

Valeria:

But now if I choose not to talk, it's because it's not even worth my breath. That person is not worth my energy. God will fight my battle and I'm making a choice not to talk. Now there are times when I need to speak up and I'll say what I need to say, because I no longer have lost my voice. But I have to do it in a way that is, they can receive it without me attacking them, without me coming at them in a negative way, and I want to come to them in a way that they will receive what I have to say. So just making sure that you know I know the reason why I'm making that choice, because if I didn't know myself, then I would be still not talking.

Lyvita:

Oh right right right and I like how you said that because of your experience, you're not able to help others, and that's one of the things I know as Christian writers and musicians and artists. We do want to help others. We know that God has given us these gifts and talents to be used not just for us but also for others, and I like how you, how you, how you if you see someone in the corner.

Valeria:

Yeah, I'd be lying to you. But the thing about that is, if I hadn't done the hard work and forgave people and went back and did some things that I needed to do to get some help to understand meaning, you know, I had no self-esteem because people were always mean to me. You know, I turned it to a cusser out. I was cussing people out. When God gave me my voice back and I prayed and I asked the Lord to give me my voice back. I was cussing people out in the name of the Lord and so I had to go back and ask the Lord to give me a medium, because I didn't want to walk around being so angry, but I had to go back and do some forgiveness. I had to go back and forgive people that mistreated me, the bully who kept ramming me into a locker and physically bullying me. I had to forgive him. I had to forgive my parents for certain things that happened to me. And once I was able to, you know, do that work and get my heart.

Valeria:

Right now, when I go to somebody who feels that way, I can authentically help them because I've done the work, because if, let's say, you're a musician and you see someone and they are like, just like you, but if you're still broken broke people can't help broke people. So you are drawn to them and they're gonna be just as broke as you. They're gonna be a great musician, you can teach them the technical part and all those things, but they're gonna be a broke up hat mess, just like you. But if you are healed and you are, you've done the work and you see that thing in them like, oh my God, they're going in the same road that I went through. But I went down that road but I got myself together, then you would be a great mentor to them and you would be able to go and help them.

Valeria:

You're just like I was at that age. I know what you're going through, I know how you feel. I don't want you to make the mistakes that I've made and let me share with you my story of how I overcame those things and then you'll be able to help them. But you gotta do the work, you gotta go back, you gotta find your story and you have to do where. If it's healing that needs to be done, heal. If it's forgiveness, forgive Whatever those things you need to do so that you're healthy in helping other people and not gonna broke their hat mess. Trying to help somebody and turning them into a broken hat mess.

Lyvita:

So how do we start developing our story?

Valeria:

Well, one of the major things you do is you have to go back and you have to think there is something significant in my life that happened. There are some things that happened to me when I was growing up. Usually it's about six, seven or eight. Things start to happen, like, for instance, for me, my dad was a yeller. He yelled all the time and by the time I turned six years old it started to really affect me in a way where I just didn't want to be yelled at anymore. So I was like just don't talk, don't say anything. I mean he could just be yelling, but you just. But I learned how. I taught myself how to take what people are mean to me just don't say anything. And that taught them how to treat me, because now I can say anything I want to her. She ain't gonna say nothing. I can lie on her like my siblings did, because I wasn't gonna say anything, I wasn't gonna fend for myself, I'm just gonna be quiet. I taught myself that. So it's a lot of things that happened because of that. I had no self-esteem. People mistreated me, bullied me and all of those things because of that. But I went back and I was like that's why. Now you can understand, when you lose your voice, how many negative things can happen to you by one choice.

Valeria:

If you are a older, if you're the oldest like my sister, is the oldest her experiences because to this day she still thinks she's in control and she's the boss of us. Because my mom, when my parents divorced and my mom had to work, she was the oldest, so she was put in charge over us. So because of that, the way that she thinks she still likes to tell people what to do, she still likes that. But that started back then when she was a little girl and my mom put her in charge over us. Now my brother I have a younger brother because I'm number three is four of us. He hated that. He absolutely hated. So when he had children, nobody was in charge, nobody told anybody what to do and see, his decision came from back there because of her actions. It made him make a decision that when he became an adult he was not everybody's in control of themselves. You know what you're supposed to do and what you're not supposed to do. That his oldest son. No, you don't tell my kids what to do. I'm their father. You are not their father. So because of that now you see what I'm talking about.

Valeria:

When you go back and things that affect you when you're younger, it makes you set up in your mind and you make those other decisions based on what happened. So you got to go back and think about those things. Was it a divorce? Was it, you know? Or maybe because you was raised in a loving home? You had a mother and a father who loved you, so now you just love on other people.

Valeria:

But because your heart is so nourishing and loving, people have a tendency to take advantage of you, because you see the good in everything, even bad people.

Valeria:

You see the good. Oh no, she and you make excuses for people's bad behavior because you were raised with so much love and all that, and it's nothing wrong with that. However, people will mistreat you or people will use you because of your heart, because you have such a kind and loving heart, but it's because of your parents, and so that means that you have to do a little bit of work and say, yes, I want to keep my kind and loving heart, but I don't want people to walk all over me. I don't want to make excuses for bad behaviors when somebody is, you know, acting a certain way, I need to say, okay, well, what they doing is not right. God, you need to help them, and there are people that you shouldn't be around because of the way that they are. But you have that loving, kind heart and you're just like, oh, they'll be okay and they'll be all right. Nope, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Valeria:

Right, so now you see what I mean. You go back and you start thinking about those things and you'll get it. You're like, because I was teaching one of my class and when people get it like you did when I was, when we were doing our session.

Valeria:

You got it. You was like I know what it is. I know exactly what it is and when you start your journey, god would give it to you. And one of my classes, one of my students well, quite a few of them. They were struggling with this and I call it finding your why. And she was struggling. I mean, she was really struggling and I gave them an example and I gave them my example. When I gave them my example, she said I know exactly what it was. She was the oldest of six children and she said I know exactly why I'm the way that I am Because my mom put me in charge of all those kids and everybody came to me. She has multiple businesses. Yes, she has more than one business.

Valeria:

Yes, everybody comes to her and she's a leader because of back then, wow. And then she started to think about it and she was like that's why when I was in high school that happened, or that's why when I was in college, the same thing, because my mind is always I'm in charge, I have to fix it, I have to take care of everybody, because back then so that is when you start you go back and it really does help you.

Lyvita:

So it can, it can help you also find your call oh yeah, it really does.

Valeria:

It helps you to go back and, oh and God, he'll reveal it to me. To you, because the God had to tell me that I was going to be a storyteller and that he wanted me to help people find their stories, and all that. God revealed that to me. However, when I look at my past, I see that I was already doing this, because when I taught school, I used to make up stories all the time. I remember one day a parent came to me and asked me where she could buy the book, because the kids like the story that I made up so much. Every time we had story time because I had the little ones I had.

Valeria:

I went from kindergarten up to the second grade. Every time, you know, they were always asked for this particular story and I was like what story are you talking about? And she started doing and I put action to it, so the kids come home and things like their mouth and their ears or whatever. And she said you know the story with that. And I was like oh, ma'am, that's not a book. I made that up. She said what? Every night, he wants me to read the book. And I was like and then God was like okay, that's what you used to do. But then when you moved on, whenever someone came to you for advice, you always shared a personal story with them to give them examples, and I was like you know what I used to do? I did that all the time. It's like my office was always that door, that when somebody had an issue or a problem, they would come to my door and they would tell me their problem and I will always give them a story, not facts, and you know you need to do this, this, this and this. I was like girl when that happened to me, because it happened to me. Let me tell you what I did and they remember and they learn from it. So I understood how powerful sharing stories is. But God had to show me that you've always been doing that.

Valeria:

Baby, that's a part of your life your great grandfather instilled in you because he used to tell us stories, riddles, rhymes all the time as little kids. He put that in you and you loved it. You started to love it because every time you saw him, you would ask him can you tell me a story, or can you tell me a riddle, or can you do this every time you saw him. That's what you did. You always wanted to hear it and so and then he all got also showed me he was like you always like to hang around older people, because older people tell you stories. You would sit with your grandma, you would sit with your aunties, your great grandfather, and they would just tell you stories and you just absorbed it. So God showed me this is who you've always been.

Valeria:

You just didn't know that this is the direction that I wanted to take you. You can see how, when you go back, it's like oh my God, I've been doing this my whole life and not knowing so. Even when I was a cosmetologist, I graduated fast I was still a storyteller. When I worked in the school system, I became a teacher I was still a storyteller, All of those things. And that's why I say your profession is not really who you are. It's a benefit, because God showed me all the way through you. If you're a leader, you always going to be a leader, yeah, no matter where you work. So that's who you are. That's the part of your fingerprint story.

Lyvita:

So, so, so creative. We've learned here three things Knowing your story is a reminder of who God's made you to be and that it is powerful. Your story is powerful and knowing your story can lead to your calling. And knowing your story means you also have to hang out with Jesus in order to get the truth, because perspective is everything, it is everything. So do you have anything you want to add to that?

Valeria:

Well, one of the things I want to make sure that you understand when you write your story. If you're someone who, every time you sit down to write your story, you start talking about your profession, it is something that you really need to go to God and ask God, because what you've done is you've lost your identity as who you are, as a person, and not your profession. This weekend, I had a meeting with a potential guest. She's going to be on my podcast and we were talking, and so I asked her. I said well, she has something personal about yourself.

Valeria:

She had the hardest time. She couldn't do everything circle back to, around to her profession, which she did and I said to her I said you have a hard time separating the person from the profession. She's a doctor, not a physician, but her, you know, she's a doctor of, I can't remember what it is, but anyway and she started to cry because she didn't. She was like, oh my God, you are so right, because every time, the whole conversation always led back to her work, her job, and I said you need to be able to separate the two, because if you were no longer working where you worked indeed, what you do, you do you would still be the person that you are. So you got to make sure that you can separate the two and say to yourself like LaVita, you know your story, you understand why you are the way that you are, because we got there.

Valeria:

We got there and she understood it. She was like that's, that's right. That is why and you can, that's your fingerprint story. That is who you are, but it didn't have anything to do with what you do for a profession until later when you became the educator and all that that came later. But all your decision making skills and all that was driven by your fingerprint story. So you got to be able to separate the two. So I'm going to try.

Lyvita:

I'm going to try my elevator.

Valeria:

Your elevator pitch. Elevator pitch is when, let's say, you're on an elevator with a potential investor, you have a business and you need to sell that person something. You don't want to get up there and tell them all your letters behind your name and all that stuff. What you want to do is you want to give them a lot of a sentence to a person personally about yourself, to make an impression so they'll remember you. Because 900 people come at them all at one time telling them, oh, I got this great investor or I got this and whatever. They don't make an impression because they're used to hearing it.

Valeria:

But when you share your a little bit of your fingerprint story and you go on there and you say when I start out, why I can talk from the age of six until I was 23. That's left an impression on somebody. Immediately they're like what? And you're talking to me now? Yes, that's why I'm talking to you. So you share a little bit of yourself and then at the end, like that last sentence or your last two sentences, is what you share, what you really need. So elevator pitch is like two minutes tops from the floor to I don't know the eighth floor and you need to be able to get in and quick and out. So that's what she's talking about. An elevator pitch is something you just you got to be able to pitch it, but you want them to know something personal about you, to leave an impression and to make a connection.

Lyvita:

I'm going to read mine. Okay, mine is still working progress.

Valeria:

When you read your, did I do mine right after, so they can see this. Okay, okay, okay.

Lyvita:

Okay, I'm an only child, birth from the love of college sweetheart. I grew up surrounded by educator, social workers, entrepreneurs and church boys, brought up by my mom, a creative, peak PE teacher, who was my inspiration and competition. There lies the complexity of. Hawaii.

Valeria:

That's good, oh, that's good. But because in her hook I always say a hook, her hook, like my hook, would be me losing my voice at the age of six. Her hook is when she said I came in competition with my mom. If you were, if somebody told you that, that that's a hook, because you're, like you're good, hooked on that one sentence. She was in competition with her mother. I want to know more. That is your hope. So when I say I lost my voice at the age of six and didn't get it back until I 23. That's a hook, because now you want to know. But you standing in front of all of us talking, you teaching us a class, you doing all that, what? That's a hook. People wanna know more. So I'll do my elevator pitch.

Valeria:

I'm like, listen, when I was six years old I stopped talking and I did not get my voice back until I was 23. And let me tell you, I went through some stuff physically bully. People talked about me. They would talk up down to me at like I didn't exist. I had no self esteem. But when I became 23, I became a Christian and God gave me my voice back.

Valeria:

Now it wasn't all way in a good way, because I went from not talking to custom people out and I realized that that wasn't good. Even because of all those years that I was not talking, all I encountered was negative stuff, people mistreating me and talking to me in a kind of way. So I became those people. But I went back on my knees and God gave me a medium. Now it ain't always 50-50, because you catch me on a bad day like anybody else, because I might come up, but without cuss words. But the non-talker, I don't let her out unless it's by choice. And then God said I want you to be a storyteller. And now I'm a storyteller and I help people and I need you to help me to be able to help other people. So that's my elevator pitch.

Valeria:

Wow wow, I'm with you. I want to know more. And my story it depends on my audience. Who I'm in front of I may share more or less. It just depends on where I am Like. I may share the complete bullying story or I may breeze over it, depending on my audience. How can people get in contact with you?

Valeria:

So my podcast is Ms Vila's Storyteller Podcast and on my podcast what I do is I have women entrepreneurs who come on to share their stories and what that does is it helps us to. It encourages us when we see that other people have been through some of the things that we've gone through and that we've come out. But if somebody is going through something that we went through, it encouraged them and inspires them to move forward and they can learn tips and tools, how we overcame whatever we went through. So it's a great platform for women to come on and just share stories and tell people their hardship, things that they've been through. But also it helps them to be able to share, to get it out, because we may know our story but if you don't tell your story, what's the point? So that I also coach and do one-on-one coaching. I have one online classes and all of that is on my website is MsVTheStorytellerco. Is that simple? You can follow me on Instagram, facebook, also on TikTok and on LinkedIn, and all of that is MsVTheStoryteller podcast. I mean MsVTheStoryteller.

Lyvita:

Okay, so, saints, take some time to carve out time to write your story today, and if you need help, you know who to contact. I'm gonna put Valeria's information in the show notes. So, valeria, can you pray us out?

Valeria:

I'm sure, father God, please bow your heads or close your eyes. Listen. If you're all driving, don't follow that instruction. You're looking at the video. Why are you driving? Don't do that, okay, just do whatever you need to do. But anyway, father God, we just thank you, lord God, for LaVita, for sharing her gifts and talents with us. We thank you, lord God, for giving her this platform to utilize to help people, to encourage people, to lift people up. We thank you for her listeners. To help her listeners to understand the creativity is so important and knowing our stories is so important. So, father God, I pray for those anyone who's out there that's gonna start their story that you will drop those things on them, bring memories to them so that they can understand who they are. We pray these and all blessings through your son Jesus Christ's name. We pray amen.

Lyvita:

Amen, amen, amen. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, then please consider subscribing to the podcast, Rating and Revealing it. This helps in moving it forward to being heard by more believers. Also, if you haven't done so, get your free Twice in Month newsletter to keep up with new releases of the podcast and the Me Project Academy activities that we discussed earlier All focus on helping you decolor your mind, make sense of your heartaches and improve yourself. Talk so you can go and do what God's called you to do. All this and more can be found, including my contact information on hanging out with Jesus podcast or the show notes. So until we meet again on the airway, intentionally and damn, hang out with Jesus, Shalom, jesusfloodcom.

Introduction to Episode
The Me Project Academy Updates
Episode Begins
Lyvita and Valeria share their stories
Conclusion