I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, as a first-generation Caribbean-American. My dad was from Jamaica and my mom was from St. Lucia. I was the third of four girls raised with both my parents and my grandmother in a Brooklyn brownstone. My parents figured out it was cheaper to buy a little home near Amish country in Pennsylvania where extended family lived than it was to send all of us to summer camp. I became the only kid I knew with a summer home. That little house in Parkesburg, PA was the backdrop for many wonderful family memories.
Meet Trish Ahjel Roberts
Life hasn’t always been easy, but each lesson I have learned has taught me the path to a juicy life’s journey!
I’m committed to sharing the 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness with 12 million people.
You’re invited to the journey.
(You’re in the right place.)
After a traumatic assault when I was only eight, I went on to become valedictorian of my fifth-grade class. I attended P.S. 161 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and then a small Catholic Junior High School in East New York, Brooklyn called the Robert F. Kennedy Incentive Program. RFK was probably the best education I ever got anywhere. That school no longer exists, but I am part of their small alumni community. A strong primary education and lots of curiosity empowered me at a young age.
From High School to Marriage
I was one of only a few Black students at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. I was just beginning to unpack my childhood trauma in those days and frequently cut classes. I dropped out of high school in my junior year and started working full-time as a clerk typist for an alarm company in Manhattan where I met my first serious boyfriend. With prodding from my parents who didn’t want us to “live in sin,” we got married when I was eighteen. We separated after nine months of physical violence, emotional and financial abuse.
A Young Writer
I graduated from the Metropolitan College of New York in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I was devastated by the death of my older sister, Cathy in 1993. She suffered from sickle-cell anemia and struggled with both her mental and physical health. She was an Ivy League graduate and extremely successful businesswoman before she passed and was kind enough to leave me a small inheritance. I used it to buy my first desktop PC with the intention of writing my first book. In 1995, I wrote the #sexyfunnysmart novel, Chocolate Souffle and mailed over one hundred letters to publishers. One publisher wrote me back praising my work but said it wasn’t for them. I gave up on writing and took a job as an Account Executive at a telecom firm. In 1997, I married my second husband. In 1999, I earned my MBA from Long Island University.
Divorce and Single Parenting
In 2000, I visited a yoga studio for the first time while pregnant with my daughter, Kayla. In 2001, I moved into my first house with my husband, was one of many employees who survived the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and filed for a divorce. I thought it would be the worse year of my life. I didn’t know there were plenty more challenges ahead. In 2003, I quit my corporate job before being pushed out. That was my first experience with significant institutional racism, but I wasn’t organized or connected enough to pursue legal action. I took a director’s role at a local college for a year before deciding to take a chance with entrepreneurship. I opened a ladies’ fitness center franchise in Brooklyn in 2004.
A New City Awakens New Ideas
After reluctantly closing the fitness center and selling my home in Brooklyn, I moved to Atlanta, GA and started working as a Financial Advisor in 2007. In 2010, I visited the Kadampa Meditation Center in Georgia for the first time after reaching a low point in my life – neither my job nor my relationship was working out. I began to meditate and study Buddhism. My relationship with the world was changing. I was learning to find peace no matter what was happening around me. I took another devastating loss when my mom died from breast cancer in 2011. She and my dad had been married for fifty years. In 2012, after years of going back and forth, I committed to a vegetarian lifestyle.
A Hard Left Turn
I went vegan and launched Black Vegan Life™ on Meetup in 2014. In 2015, twenty years after writing it, I published Chocolate Souffle in honor of my mom who loved the story. The cover features a flower from her garden. In 2018, I was in a horrific car accident while my daughter was in France. My car was hit by an 18-wheeler and took a hard left turn into the median and was totaled. I was unharmed and somehow both traumatized and inspired. That accident moved me to think about the direction of my life. I decided to get my yoga, coaching and TEFL certifications. I even took a French class. I didn’t know what was next, but I knew I had to get ready. Life didn’t stop throwing things my way. I lost my sweet pup, Digby in December 2018, and my dad was hospitalized in January 2019 with heart failure that would ultimately take his life.
Mind-Blowing Happiness is Born!
In 2019, After years of working as a financial advisor with many unhappy, but wealthy, clients, I quit my corporate job to work for myself and share what I’d learned studying Buddhism, yoga and coaching. In 2020, I wrote three self-help books: the e-book, Mind-Blowing Happiness™ Guide to Self-Care; the self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings; and the inspirational journal, 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness: A Journal of Insights, Quotes & Questions to Juice Up Your Journey. In 2021, I hosted the first Passion Quest 6-Week Coaching Series for Women Only. I’m currently working on a new book about releasing anger, scheduled for release in 2022.