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Strength, resilience & value

Life empowerment coach Erika Mariaelena Robinson is on a mission to turn people’s pain into power

Erika Mariaelena Robinson is on a mission. The empowerment coach helps people to break through the obstacles that are holding them back, increase their self-confidence and transform their negative self-talk into positive action. She does this by openly sharing her story of abuse and by letting people know they can turn whatever their pain looks like into power.

“The good news is that trauma is not the thing that happens to you. Trauma is what happens on the inside of you as a result of your experiences, which means that you have the power to embark on a healing journey that affords you the opportunity to learn, to grow and change the narrative,” said Robinson.

She speaks from experience.

“In my case, my journey has given me permission to step into my greatness – authentically and unapologetically.”

Robinson’s new normal is to check in with herself first. When making a decision about her life, she determines whether it is serving her. If it’s not, she said she has learned the power of saying “no”.

“This is huge for me because I was in many ways a people pleaser – always putting other people’s needs ahead of my own. I’ve learned to speak up and own my voice – speaking more freely and confidently about the things that matter to me.”

She admits she is a work in progress, but said she now feels far more grounded and attuned to her needs. This she said has allowed her to focus on things that are important, to be present and show up 100 percent.

“I now do more of the things that fuel me and give me energy and less of the things that drain me. The positive ripple effect of my heightened self-awareness has been incredible in all areas of my life. I set boundaries and I carve out time for daily self-care, which allows me to be more effective at work and more present in my relationships.”

To get to her actualization, she had to hit rock-bottom which she said was realizing that she was stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage.

“I looked at myself in the mirror and I felt sad about my existence. I felt like crap, to be honest.”

The option for her at that time was to either continue to dig herself deeper into a hole or take steps to climb out.

“As I stood in the bathroom, I could hear the voices of my mother and daughter [Luna] on the outside of the door and I knew that they deserved to have the best version of me, so I decided that I needed to go on a personal development journey which led to my breakthrough. What’s interesting about hitting rock-bottom is that most people know exactly when it happens.”

She set out on a self-discovery journey.

“The journey highlighted that I needed to confront my trauma that was caused by years of childhood sexual abuse because this was the root of all my underlying challenges which included things like self-doubt, self-sabotage, low self-esteem, low self-worth and more.

“To be honest, believe it or not, prior to this, I had convinced myself that my childhood experience had absolutely no impact on my life. It was easier for me to make up a story in my mind that I was ‘fine’ because I refused to believe that this person still had power over my life.”

Robinson said one of her greatest transformations happened when she learned the power of forgiveness.

“I reached out to my abuser only to let him know that I had forgiven him and that I would be sharing my story to help others heal.”

She said she never needed to confront him, but that, for her, reaching out to him was more about her releasing the weight she had carried for years.

“I understand that hurt people, hurt people, so my wish is that he receives help, so that he does not hurt anyone else in the same way that he hurt me.”

For years, Robinson said she also suffered through another type of pain which she described as a “toxic” relationship with her work.

“In the 16 years that I owned and operated Da Glass Kitchen, I never felt fulfilled or even thought it was my purpose. I started the business with the idea of someday earning a residual income and having a team run the business. Well, this never happened and throughout the process, I became physically and mentally burnt out and resentful because I rarely spent time with family and even less time with myself. Over the years, I’ve been able to shift my perspective and let go of my resentment, replacing it with gratitude because so often I am reminded of the beautiful and meaningful memories many of my customers experienced throughout the existence of the kitchen.”

Robinson said she was able to use that experience to learn and grow and ultimately find fulfillment.

Her life’s work she said is to coach people to break through the obstacles that are holding them back, increase their self-confidence and transform their negative self-talk into positive action.

At the onset of her self-discovery journey, she also remembers looking for a message.

“It just so happened that the messengers that I resonated with were [motivational speaker] Lisa Nichols, [life coach] Jay Shetty and [motivational speaker] Vishen Lakhiani. Their message gave me hope.”

And the person she is today: “The Erika of today feels alive. I know what it is to be free; to simply be me. I feel motivated because who I am and what I do are in alignment with my values, but for that to happen, I had to go through a process of meeting myself and befriending myself for the first time. I feel light, and I enjoy deep connection within my relationships. Prior to hitting rock-bottom, I felt clueless and disengaged. I operated from a place of dissociation, which means that I was highly disconnected and detached from my emotions and my environment.”

Robinson has been practicing as a life coach for 18 months.

She received certification online at The Jay Shetty Certification School.

Since then, Robinson engages with books and activities that contribute to her growth and overall well-being. In addition, she has a coach whose main role is to help her uncover her blind spots.

“Self-discovery looks different for everyone. For me, it has been an awakening out of unconsciousness to consciousness. It’s been about honoring my feelings, honoring my past, and understanding my conditioned patterns of behavior. My self-discovery allows me to now make decisions that are more in alignment with my authenticity.

“I do this by openly sharing my story of childhood abuse but, more importantly, by letting persons know that they can turn their pain, whatever that pain looks like for them, into power.”

Robinson considers this her life’s work.

“Listening to their stories is a gentle reminder that my efforts were not in vain and they help me to accept that I was in fact fulfilling my purpose – and that it is also OK to move on because there is no rule that states that we have only one purpose in life. My coaching helps you to change your mindset as you turn your pain into power by recognizing your strengths, resilience, and value, so that you may embrace your past to create the life that you desire.”

As a parent, she practices conscience parenting – which means holding a space for her daughter to freely express herself, feel validated, seen and heard. And also, giving her tools to help her navigate through her emotions.

“Luna is going to inevitably be faced with hurdles, some will be like mine and others will be different, so my job is to help her nurture her inner voice, so that she is aware of her needs and honors her feelings.

“My default was to become a helicopter parent, so I found myself hovering over her based on my own fears. I’ve since released that parenting style, so that she may develop into the human that she is meant to be.”

Curious about working with Robinson and wanting to see if you are a fit, the empowerment coach offers a complimentary session that can be booked at The call is designed to determine where you are feeling challenged and how Robinson can support you in achieving your desired goals.

Robinson can also be reached at 242-376-6822 or via email at: or Instagram at: Erikamariaelena and Facebook at: Erikamariaelena.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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