The Next Level

09/01/2022 02:06 AM By Lisa Anderson
Breaking Social Norms
Johnny Del Valle
Johnny Del Valle
Story & Photo by Lisa Anderson

The Next Level

Life Coach Appreciates Hard Lessons

The interview is coming to a close, and the final question is asked: “Is there anything else you would like to add?”

Johnny Del Valle takes a breath before stating, “I would like to tell everyone that the truth that sets you free is the honesty you keep with yourself. It’s not really out there for you to find. Nothing is hidden, and there are no secrets. It’s all inside of you.”

Finding Truth Through Trauma

Johnny was born and raised in New York City. His mother was Brazilian and Puerto Rican, but she passed away when Johnny was just 2 years old. His grandfather was friends with the pastor of a local congregation in New York, and Johnny was adopted by the pastor. “My biological father is still in my life. That’s pretty amazing. We reconnected when I was an adult. He went through a lot of struggles on his own, and then he reached back out to me when I was in my twenties. I already had kids, so he had grand-kids. He started being part of my life, and we found a very strong bond. I talk to him almost every single day, and the kids call him Grandpa Banana,” Johnny chuckles. “He used to bring bananas around all the time.”

Johnny was doing well for himself in New York as a high-end event designer. His clients included celebrities and politicians. “Unfortunately, after 9/11, that kind of business wasn’t profitable anymore, and we moved out to Tampa.”

He was married and ready to start a new chapter in his life. He continued to design events but not on the same large scale as in New York, and he started a cleaning business.

Things Fall Apart

Then, one day, it all just seemed to fall apart; it was a domino effect. First, he lost some of his contracts, then his marriage came undone, and finally, the local ministry he was a part of no longer felt it was appropriate for him to be involved due to his failed marriage. “It caught me by surprise. I really didn’t know. I had my head down, taking care of my family, and just working as hard as I possibly could. I didn’t know what was coming for me.”

Johnny had been helping his adoptive father get a Hispanic Christian radio station in Ocala. “When this series of events happened, the only other place I really had to go was in that small, little broken down studio that I was building for my dad. That was the only thing that I had left. Everything else was gone.”

Slowly, Johnny started to find a way to get back on his feet. “I had this notion that I was doing things in the right way. When you do things in the right way, you feel like things should go right. This was the first time I learned that, sometimes, when you do the right thing, things don’t go the right way, because that is the right way. I don’t know if that makes sense.

“I had a lot of things in my life that I didn’t know were stopping me from the next level of abundance, and that’s why these situations happened to me. I can see it clearly now, in hindsight.”

Starting Fresh

Those situations led Johnny to Ocala and to meeting his wife Yamy. They were married in 2013. “That’s the year my mom passed away. My wife left everything in Fort Myers. We started fresh.”

Johnny ended up purchasing an old synagogue, just off of Baseline Road, about four years ago. “That’s when my dad got ill. I stopped every project that I had, and I didn’t do anything. No radio station, very small efforts in podcasting. I kind of disappeared for about two years. I learned a lot about mental conditions and about how our spirit works. I saw [my dad] go through so many things. If I had the ability to cure him, I would cure him. That’s how passionate I was about trying to make sure that he had everything he [needed]. He suffered very highly with dementia and had a lot of issues with family members. They didn’t believe that he had it.”

Johnny felt like his life was spiraling out of control, again. It was only a few months ago that he started recognizing another shift in his life and is now using the building to build a community of like-minded individuals. As a life coach, he loves to witness this process with his clients. “It’s incredible how divinely things just open up in relationships and connections, and I just love helping people. I’m passionate about seeing people smile and get fired up about something that they are trying to do or accomplish. I’m just having a blast doing that right now.”

For Johnny, it has never been about the money, the car, or the house. Oh, he admits he likes to have those things, but it has never been his endgame. “The end goal is always peace and security.”

Despite all the trips and falls along the way, Johnny keeps stepping up to the plate. He wants to help people, he believes everything has a purpose, and he is always seeking peace and security—even when he is fortunate to be living it. Those moments he appreciates the most.
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