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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Henderson

The Power of Storytelling: Valeria Elliott's Inspirational Journey

Updated: Mar 9


Empowering Voices
Mrs, V, the Storyteller

In a world where voices can be drowned out by adversity and silenced by fear, there are individuals who rise above, finding strength in their stories and courage in their vulnerability. One such individual is Valeria Elliott, affectionately known as Mrs. V, the storyteller. Her journey from silence to empowerment is a testament to resilience, faith, and the transformative power of reclaiming one's voice.

 

Valeria's story begins at the tender age of six when she made a conscious decision to stop speaking. Growing up in an environment where her father's yelling dominated the household, she found solace in silence as a means of avoiding conflict and punishment. What started as a coping mechanism soon became a pattern, as Valeria carried her silence into adolescence and adulthood.

 

Throughout her formative years, Valeria faced various challenges, from bullying in school to feeling marginalized and overlooked in her interactions with others. Despite the internal struggles and emotional turmoil, she maintained her silence, believing that her words held no value or significance.

 

It wasn't until high school, when confronted with physical bullying, that Valeria found the courage to speak up. In a pivotal moment, she challenged her tormentor with a poignant retort, realizing the power of her voice in reclaiming her dignity and standing up for herself. However, this newfound assertiveness came with its own set of challenges as Valeria grappled with anger and bitterness, leading her down a path of negativity and confrontation.

 

It was a moment of reckoning at a football game, where Valeria's behavior mirrored the same hostility she had experienced in her past. Confronted with her own reflection, she realized the need for transformation and sought guidance through faith. In a heartfelt prayer, Valeria pleaded for the return of her voice, not as a weapon of retaliation, but as a tool of compassion and empowerment.

 

Through her journey of self-discovery and spiritual growth, Valeria emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience. Embracing the power of storytelling, she found healing in sharing her experiences and empowering others to find their voices. Whether through her podcast, coaching services, or public speaking engagements, Valeria's mission is to inspire women to embrace their unique stories and find strength in their authenticity.

 

As she continues to uplift and empower others, Valeria's message remains clear: no matter the challenges we face or the obstacles in our path, our voices matter. In a world that often seeks to silence us, it is through the act of speaking our truth that we reclaim our power and inspire those around us.

 

In conclusion, Valeria Elliott's journey from silence to empowerment serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit. Through her story, she reminds us that our voices have the power to shape our reality, uplift others, and create meaningful change in the world. As we navigate our own paths, may we find inspiration in Valeria's journey and embrace the transformative power of finding and sharing our voices.


Transcript of Episode:


Michelle Henderson :

We are honored to have the incredible Valeria Elliot, better known as Mrs. V, the storyteller. So Mrs. V faced adversity choosing to silence her voice at six and regaining it at 23. Her journey involves overcoming bullying, pain, and finding solace through faith. Today she uses her voice and the gift of storytelling to empower entrepreneurs and help women rediscover their voices. Her story is a testament to resilience, faith, and the transformative power of finding one's voice. So I am so excited to bring her on stage. Let's do it and see about and listen to her inspirational story. Hello. Hello my dear. How are you today?


Valeria Elliott :

Hi, Michelle. I am so excited to be here. I'm telling you I'm about to pop. I am so excited. Thank you guys for having me.


Michelle Henderson :

Absolutely, absolutely. And I want to start first with the phrase that you love to say on a daily basis, which I absolutely love it, and let's hear about your story. But it said you say what I have to say is important if not to others. It is important to me to say it, and I absolutely love that because that is empowerment, girl empowerment. So can you tell us about your childhood story and where


Valeria Elliott :

It all began? Began? Well, my story is at the age of six, I decided to stop talking. My dad was a yeller. If anyone has had a father or a parent, that's a yeller. It can be overwhelming. And my dad, he yelled all the time, and apparently I was the shy, timid little girl coming into the world, being fluffy. And one day my dad was just yelling at me. I was standing in the hallway and my dad, I'm looking up this 6-year-old and this man is just coming down at me and I'm like, what is going on? And I told myself, do not say a word, just be quiet. And I didn't open my mouth and I'm just looking at him and I am quiet. And all of a sudden he got quiet and he just looked down at me and he just walked away. So in my 6-year-old mind, it worked. If I don't say anything, I'm not going to get in trouble and it's going to be great. So I continue. And that was the beginning of me losing my voice. I wouldn't say anything. I mean, it was good in one aspect, but it was bad in the other aspects because when my siblings realized that I wasn't going to say anything, of course they told on me. They were older, and I didn't fend for myself. I just didn't say anything. Well, overall it was a good thing because I stopped getting into trouble. Well, this went on in the elementary school, middle school, high school, for overall, I wasn't getting in trouble. I mean, my mom, she got a note home a couple of times saying that I wish her daughter would speak up for herself or I wish she would raise her hand and participate in class.But to me, that wasn't bad because there were people getting in trouble for talking too much. So I was the opposite. I'm like, Hey, I'm not getting in trouble. This is great. But it wasn't until I was in high school that I got physically bullied. And what was amazing, that was the time that I did speak up. We were in class and this boy was joking me, I'm fluffy. I'm not saying anything. So I was his target that day. And he started joking me about my weight and someone took over my body. I don't know who it was, but somebody jumped at me and made me open my mouth. And I turned around and I looked at him and I said, you know what? I could lose weight but ugly. You cannot lose that. And he lost it. I mean, he was so angry. And he waited for me. And every day after class, he waited for me. He ran me into lockers until finally my teacher came to my rescue and saved me. That's a whole nother story for a whole nother day. So shout out to all the teachers that protect people like me, love you all. But then, absolutely, I moved on to, I thought, I'm out of high school now. It's going to be great. I don't have to worry about it. Adults were just as mean. They were just mean as the kids. They would talk across me. Whenever I would even try to say anything, they would cut me off. And I really believed what I had to say was not important, so don't say anything. So I stopped talking, and I mean, I'm telling you, going through all those years, it was rough. It was very difficult. I cried a lot. I'm telling you, I had a ocean full of tears in those 18 years.

And when I turned 23, I gave my life over to the Lord and I asked God to give me my voice back. I said, please give me my voice back. And God did it. However, it wasn't the best of ways. I turned into what I call the cusser outer. I was cussing people out. I was getting you before you got me, because for 18 years, that's all I encounter was people being mean to me and bullying me. So I became that. I morphed into them. So I'm like, oh my God, I'm cussing people out. And one day I was at a game. It was a football game. And God, I'm telling you, God shut down the entire stadium just so I could hear myself in the way that I was talking to this man. And I was nasty to him. I was cussing him out, and I heard myself and I said, oh my God, I have now turned into the people who bullied me, who mistreated me. And by the time I got to my car, I was in a full blown ugly cry. I was bawling. And that night I got back on my knees and I asked, God, please give me my voice back. But not in a way where I'm hurting people. Lord, I don't want to go back to the serrata. I definitely don't want to go back to the non talker. Please give me a happy medium. Now, honestly, I can't say I'm 50 50 because you catch anybody on a bad day, and God only knows what happens. But I make a purpose every single day to make sure that when I do speak up, I do it out of love and compassion for people. I season my words if I can at the moment. I will take a pause. I will go to the bathroom, pull myself together and come back and address it. And I never let anyone make me lose my voice again. So I season words and I've taught myself how to use my voice in a positive way.


Michelle Henderson :

And I honestly believe that God gives us tribulations. He gives us situations that we learn so much from. And when you were telling the story, I was just seeing, I was thinking of God just hugging you and embracing you, especially as you finally found that voice of yours, even though it was in a negative way, you learn through that and you learned how peaceful it can be when you forgive not only yourself, but also the people who were mean to you. Now I've got to ask you a question. If you were able to time travel and actually talk to your younger self at age six, what would you say to her?


Valeria Elliott :

The first thing I would tell her is stop being afraid. Because that came out of fear. I had a fear from my father. So that was what it was. I introduced myself not only to losing my voice, but to fear and to fear people. And I would tell her, I don't want you to be afraid. You're stronger than what you think you can. Do it. Open your mouth and use your words. Use your words. Because I was a preschool teacher and I was an elementary teacher. I worked in the schools. And that's what we tell kids all the time. Use your words when they point and they wanted something and they of age where they can use their words. We're always saying, use your words well, like sex. Use your words. Say something. Even if you do get into trouble, it's going to be all right. You go to jail if he kill you, so he not going to kill you. Open your mouth and say something. So yeah, I would tell her to use her voice and to stop being afraid.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, absolutely, absolutely love it. And I love that you use storytelling to help others heal, because that's what healed you as well. Yes. So how do you help entrepreneurs create their business through storytelling?


Valeria Elliott :

Well, what I do is the first thing that I do is I help them to find their why. And finding your why is so important. You have to understand why you do what you want, why you do what you do. Most people, if I ask them their story, they tell me their bio. Every time they'll tell me what they do for a living, I'm like, no, that's what you do for a living. I can read your bio. I want to know about you. You read my bio a little bit of what I, but when I shared my story with you, now you know of me. Now you understand why I do what I do, why I use my voice to help people to find their voices, because I lost my voice and I know how it feels. So when I see a woman losing her voice, because women lose their voices with their marriages, children on their jobs, we do that all the time to keep the peace.Our husband come in the house and he's in a bed moving and all that. And we'll, I don't even feel like dealing with him. And we don't say anything. Even if he's tearing into us, we silence ourselves to keep the peace. And I am like, no, I'm not going to do that. I am not going to do that. So when women, I want to help them to share their story of how powerful they are when it happens. So I always take them back and I say, think when you were a child, there was something significant that happened to every one of us that changed the trajectory of our lives, whether it was a divorce, whether it was being bullied, whether it was a drastic move in our life. There was something that happened to us that kind of changed who we were. And it could be a good thing. It could be like, your mom remarrying this great man. Well, that's something you could share it. Sometimes it could be positive or a negative, it doesn't matter. But I always take them back. And then when they go back and they start to remember, they'll say, oh my God, that's where that came from. Because as adults, we don't think about it that often, but when somebody pulls it out of us, we go, oh my God. And that's what was happening. I was just sharing with Michelle before we air, I was at a conference that is exactly what was happening. I was teaching. And the women, I had them to go back, and some of 'em were just crying because they forgot about those things. But that is why they were the way they were. And some of them were still that same child and they hadn't gotten over it. And so in order for us to be able to share our story, sometimes we have to go back. We have to forgive and heal. And that frees us to be able to share with others. And so they were coming up and they was like, I need you to help me to find my story because I love your story. And that's what I share every time I go somewhere, every time I share with them my story, because I want to connect with them. I want them to understand why I am so powerful. And that is my why, because I lost my voice. Once we find out why, then we go back and we find those stories that impact our lives. We craft them together. And that is our, I call it your fingerprint, your story that is uniquely yours. Nobody else has been through the way that you have, but is your story.


Michelle Henderson :

I absolutely love it. And I cannot imagine you at the conference and everybody just listening to every word that you're saying because you are just so comfortable in telling stories again, and you can just see God speaking through you as well. And that's what I need to ask you as well. So you are able to find a relationship with God that really helped you get over this trauma of yours. So if somebody comes to you and don't have a relationship with God, or they don't have that spiritualness about them, because to me, I feel like it's nice to have somebody to listen to even and have that relationship with. What do you ever talk to them about God and having the relationship with him?


Valeria Elliott :

I would use a story. Listen, stories have been around since forever. That is how you learn about grandma, grandpa. That's not around. That's how you learn about Aunt Sally because your parents tell stories. We tell stories all the time. When we're dating, we go to a restaurant and how do they learn about you? You share stories. You share stories about your family or your ex-boyfriends. That's how we learn about each other. So that's what I'm saying. Why not use it in your business? Why not use it to help someone to Christ? So what I would do for that person is I would share with them my story to help them to understand, especially the part about the casado, because people put Christians in a box and they make us perfect. We are not perfect every day. We're trying to get better. And in the Bible, perfect didn't mean perfection. It means mature. You're growing, you're getting better. And so I would go to them and I would tell 'em my story, and I would say, listen, I am not perfect. So don't think when you become a Christian that you're perfect. It is a daily struggle every single day. And I would share them the story of when I became a Christian, the day that I gave my life to God, I would share with them what was going on so that they can see, when they look at me, they can say, oh, I'm thinking that she all perfect, but she just shared with me that she used to cuss people out in Jesus' name. She used to do that. And it makes me real to them. It brings me down. And so now as we have conversation, they're more open to receive what I say instead of me going on them, you need to be a Christian. You need to accept this Lord. People are turned off from that. But when you embrace them and show them your natural self, how that you struggle on a daily basis, that it's not going to be easy. But with God, all things are better. So I would share my story. To answer your question, I would give them my story and just to open up that trust and that communication between the two of us. And then we would be friends. And then as our friendship developed and open up more, then that person would be more accepting than deflecting and walking away, because I've hammered it into them. Oh,


Michelle Henderson :

Right. Oh, I totally agree. And I absolutely love that. And I love that you said that. Yeah, Christians aren't perfect at all. We're not. And it's one of those things that's like sometimes you get mad at God, like you get mad at your dad. That type of thing is that kind of relationship. And to me, the more tribulations I have in my life, the more that I can talk to God and tell him, what are you doing? Are you doing this to me?


Valeria Elliott :

But that's developing a relationship with God. You are getting a relationship, and that's what you need. You have to have your own personal relationship, not what your pastor say, not what somebody else to say because they have their own personal relationship. So yeah, you get mad because when I was out of town this weekend, I got lost for two hours. I was hot because I'm like, look, Lord, I'm on a mission for you and you got me here. Lost, dropped around for two hours, but God, in his loving way, he said, turn your phone off, turn it back on. Re-put the address in because the phone had gotten overheated. And so the GPS was messed up, and I turned it off, turned it back on, put the address in. It took me right where I needed to go.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my gosh. See, that is awesome. And I love, and whenever you told me about the teachers standing up for you for that bully, that God kind of whispered in their ears saying, you need to protect this lady. And probably some angels as well to protect you,


Valeria Elliott :

Along with my mother calling. My mom called the school, and she, my mom, you don't mess with her children. She called the school. She called the school and the principal talked to him, but he still was my savior. He jumped in before he was about to take me out and kill me. He just swooped him up.


Michelle Henderson :

Right. Got him


Valeria Elliott :

Off me. So to this day, he is Superman to me.


Michelle Henderson :

Yeah, well, oh my goodness. Okay, well, let's go ahead and talk about your podcast. Podcast. Oh my gosh. I just absolutely love it because you give other people opportunities to come onto your podcast and tell their life story or their story. And it's called Miss v, the Storyteller podcast. So tell us about it.


Valeria Elliott :

Well, this is a part of my story. When I have more time, when I'm somewhere, I shared it after God gave me my voice back, God said, I want you to be a storyteller. I'm like, you have the wrong house. You picked the wrong person. And then when I realized that I was the one, I became a storyteller. Then God, with his sense of humor said, I want you to have a podcast. And I'm like, you want me to do what? Are you kidding me? You have the wrong person. Somebody who didn't talk. You want me to have a podcast? And God was like, yes. So in the beginning he said, I only want you to share your personal stories. Your stories are going to help people. So I shared all personal stories. Those are my stories. I ask questions at the end, I give my thoughts.

And then he said to me, I want you to have guests on the show and bring the guests on the show and allow them to share their stories and talk about your story so that you can make a connection. And people can see that we all have gone through things together, but we've all come out of it. So if someone is going through something that we're talking about that they can see and listen to us and say, okay, oh, she came out of that. How did she do it? And we give wisdom to women to help them to know you can get out of this. So we talk about stories, sharing our personal stories, and then hopefully we can empower and help others that may be going through what we've gone through.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh, I love it. Absolutely love it. Now let's talk about your website. I went to your website and it's named after your podcast. Okay. Ms. V, the storyteller. What's your story? What coaching services do you still offer?



Valeria Elliott :

So what I do is I have 1 0 1 for entrepreneurial women. I help them to find their stories to share on their podcast. When they go on podcasts. Like I shared my story in the beginning. I help them to find that story, craft that story so that they feel comfortable and telling in entertaining way without boring people. So I have one-on-one clients that I have. As a matter of fact, two of the clients, the story that I helped them create was for keynote elevator pitch. I call it elevator pitch. And it is three stories. Now they want to write a book because we've pulled out, yes, we've crafted in them in a way they love the way I operate. But then I teach online classes for those who I needed one and done help me to begin to find my stories. I do. And then I have a six week chorus that I'm so excited about.

It teaches you about storytelling, the craft of storytelling. That's the entertaining way to be able to share your story in a way that's compelling, a way that is entertaining. People don't get up and go to the bathroom or look on their phones that they're engaged. And then I teach you how to find your store. I teach you where to share your story and all that. So that's like a six week course. So I'm putting content out there because I want people to start to use this tool in their business. If you have a client that you want to turn a no to, a yes, share a personal story, get on their level, talk to them from your heart and tell them that story and that no will turn into a yes because that person can trust you because you've opened yourself up. You are vulnerable to them. People want to get and just push stuff at people. Like listen, this is a whole new world reality tv. You have social media where everybody is just popping up and being real and authentic. That's what you do. Use this gift of storytelling as a tool in your business.


Michelle Henderson :

Absolutely. Now, is there anything we did not talk about that you want to make sure is in this episode?


Valeria Elliott :

I want to make sure that any woman that is out there who has lost their voice, I want you to get your voice back. If you're a Christian, I want you to pray and ask God to give you your voice back because that is one of the things that the enemy likes to take from us, our voices, because he knows that God has given women wisdom. We are some smart people, and God has given us the voice to use because words are so powerful. What's the best way to stop you from being who you are is to take where your voice. So I want you to get your voice back. I want you to start speaking up for yourself again, just like I have to. If I need to take a pause and go to the bathroom and pull it together, pray, ask God to help whoever it is I need to address to receive what I have to say, season my words, help my attitude. Help me to forgive them, help me to be able to be in a space where I can share with them. And never ever let anyone silence your voice.


Michelle Henderson :

Oh my goodness, you heard it from her. And you can just tell you're so passionate about it. So that's why God gave it to you. Yes.


Valeria Elliott :

Use your voice.


Michelle Henderson :


Alright, are you ready for the last question?

Valeria Elliott :

Yes.


Michelle Henderson :

Alright, let me bring on the will. And I know you being a school teacher, you'll love this.


Valeria Elliott :

Yes.


Michelle Henderson :

Because I taught school as well. So that's the educator in me is bringing on this will. I thought, oh, how much fun. So here we go. Let's see. Let's see. Oh my gosh, I already asked you. Okay, so it's so interesting because a lot of times whatever we're discussing usually is with the question. So if you were able to go back in time and it doesn't matter what time, where would you go or when would you go and why?


Valeria Elliott :

I would probably go back to middle school. That was the most difficult for me because middle school, lemme tell y'all, middle school children, they are some mean people. Ooh. They mean they just


Michelle Henderson :

Mean they are.


Valeria Elliott :

And I used to work in middle school for three years and I'm like, I don't like y'all. Y'all are different. Brie, where you come from. Because they were so me. I mean because I was the type of person that the kids loved me. They would come up to me all the time. They would always want to talk to me. I would go to school in my office door and somebody would be standing at the door. So I had, as you can tell, I have that bubbly personality. Then the kids told me, but I hated bullying because I went through it. So I would go back to middle school and I would say, listen, telling me, you better start talking up. You better start speaking to yourself. As a matter of fact, I want you to be a snitch. I want you to tell on her because I'm sick of that girl.

Every time you turn around, she is threatening you and you don't ever say anything. Open your mouth. I would go back to middle school because I really believe had I started to really love myself and understand that yes, I'm different, but I'm still beautiful and told myself positive things. By the time I got to high school, it would've been a whole different world. I would go back middle school and I would talk to her, look girl, open your mouth. Say something. I wasn't a fighter. Be a snitch. Be an anonymous snitch. Go to the office and tell the principal that this is happening and beg him not to say that it's you and nip that stuff in the bud. So yeah, I go back to middle school, girl, open your mouth.


Michelle Henderson :

I absolutely love that. My mother was a middle school counselor for years and she said I loved it because they needed me. And I'm going, yeah, I


Valeria Elliott :

Can understand it. They're bullied. That's where they learn how to bully. They perfection. That's how they learn how to be a perfectional. Bullier is in middle school. Because every time I think about it, I get chills and my heart goes out. The kids in middle school, because it's so hard. Even now, it's like a whole different world with social media. You get bullied online and I pray for those kids. They need it.


Michelle Henderson :

Absolutely. Absolutely. Alright, so where can they reach you, my dear? If they go, oh my gosh, I need to talk to her about creating my why and my storytelling. Where are they going to reach you?


Valeria Elliott :

You can go to MisVthe storyteller.co. CO, like company http://msvthestoryteller.co/. I didn't forget the M. People keep saying no, it's co CO. Oh, well


Michelle Henderson :

Good to know. And I will put that in the show notes as well. But no, that's a good point because even if they see in the show notes, they may think it might be a typo.


Valeria Elliott :

Yeah, but


Michelle Henderson :

That is a very good point.


Valeria Elliott :

Cause I'm different. I'm different, I'm unique, I'm different, I'm not. Everybody else be different, be unique.


Michelle Henderson :

And you heard it from her guys. Alright, so I hope that you enjoyed this episode and because it is so important to speak your truth and as women sometimes we are shut down and speak your truth. Just know your unique self and find that courage and your strength. I'm going to say that saying one more time that you like to repeat daily. I love it. What I have to say is important. If not to others, it is important to me to say it. Say it. Say it. Say it. Alright, well thank you guys and I will see you next week and thank you so much for being on this show. Thank you guys.

 

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