In a world where it’s easy to fade into a false sense of purpose and identity especially with the proliferation of online “realities.” As women, the proclivity to hide behind social media profiles, other people’s expectations and “our past” have become far too prevalent. Since the beginning of time, primarily women have been the conduits and carriers of layers of pain. Tonya Joyner-Scott has answered the call as a catalyst to snatch women out of darkness(pain and prison of the past) and escort them into light (an illuminated present and future).

Tonya is a global leader and influencer, successful entrepreneur, and sought-after speaker who serves faithfully alongside her husband Dexter. In whatever capacity she serves, from motherhood to ministry, the fruit of her life is always evidenced by genuine love, kindled compassion, open authenticity, and unequivocal integrity.

What was your vision behind the Shine project?

My vision for Shine was to create a movement globally for women to know their worth and their value regardless of what they have experienced in their lives.  As we live, we often keep things hidden out of fear of judgment and ridicule.  We don’t realize that sharing and exposing past hurts, mistakes and disappointments, are actually freeing and brings about healing for the soul.  In other words, it brings healing to our mind, our will and our emotions.  To put it simply, “Exposure brings closure.”

Sharing our stories helps the one sharing and the one listening.  Through our stories, other people find strength and healing.  It feels good to not feel alone and to feel understood.  I want my sisters throughout this world to know that regardless of what they have gone through in life, they should walk upright and let their light Shine constantly before all people, always.  No light is ever hidden. Light overpowers darkness.  This movement is one for sisters all over the world to turn on their lights by sharing their own stories and walking upright in their purpose.  I want my sisters to Shine!

What are your thoughts on the timing and release of the book anthology?

The timing couldn’t be better.  We’re in a time where a lot of exposing is going on.  It’s nothing to turn on the news and hear how women are coming forth to expose things they have gone through and have kept hidden for years.  I’m grateful for that.  My husband (Dexter) has been saying to me so much over the past 2 years that this is our time.  He lets me know often that he has my back, but it is time for me to step forward and truly walk in my gifts.  He tells me that our family cannot move ahead any faster, without me stepping into myself.  This is why Shine is so important.  There are too many sisters not living the life God intends for them, because they are hiding behind past hurts, failures, mistakes and the list goes on.  Excuses are made constantly as to why we shouldn’t, couldn’t or can’t, because we’ve grown comfortable and become addicted to the pain.  Many don’t know how to release and let go, because they have identified with what happened to them more than identifying with the person God created them to be. This would ultimately break the chains of bondage attached to them from the situation(s) they had gone through. 

What makes this anthology different from other similar published works?

This project brought the women together in a more intimate way.  Having the opportunity to come together, during the process, they drew strength from one another, and it was so beautiful to see and experience.  We were able to witness their transformation before our very eyes.  For example, things like, their conversations began to change from victim to victor. Their demeanor changed. Their confidence increased.  Their healing has gone deeper and they are walking in another lane of their purpose to help other sisters—shine. 

Since Shine is a movement, it is not to end with just one book, there will be more.  We also filmed a documentary where 11 of the ladies spoke on camera about their abuse, infidelity and drug use for example.  We have a vision for 1,000,000 sisters to share their stories.  We want people to meet others or even as we are with our families and friends; we want them to be mindful to let everyone out there know that they are to Shine!  Regardless of what they have gone through, we want them to know their value, know their purpose, know their worth and to let their light Shine!  Give them a bracelet! Give them a shirt!  Let’s bombard this world with our beacon of lights!

As you carried this vision to “full term” – what was the journey like for you?

The journey has been amazing!   I knew that this book and these powerful stories would have an impact, but I would have never imagined that it would have been distributed to over 30 states and Europe in less than one week of its launch. 

One thing I want all visionaries to know is this: when you have a vision, you have the what, but you may not know the how.  It doesn’t matter.  Write it down and act. Your taking action will release next steps as you move forward.  Fuel this vision with faith, hope and love and receive the manifestation thereof.

How do you plan to transcend from a vision to a movement?

Actually, it has already started.  Visions must be communicated to bring them into being.  Sharing the vision to a group of people who also have shared beliefs and values, and who also rally together to see the vision through is what creates the movement.  This is happening now.  No one can do anything alone.  It takes a team to move any vision forward and that is how this movement has started.

What impact do you anticipate Shine making throughout the world?

I expect Shine to make a HUGE impact throughout the world.  I expect Shine to be a mantra and release healing and forgiveness throughout this world.  I look forward to seeing Shine as a household name and when people see it, they will know what it means. They will know its purpose.

What’s next for Shine?

Next steps…

Let’s join forces even more.  We want people to be a part of our Shine Mastermind Group. Look forward to seeing live conversations, virtual conversations, a podcast, and more. Also, we’re planning an official book signing and launch celebration for the contributing authors. And our team is preparing to launch the next campaign to identify another group of powerful women who will be a part of the next volume of Shine.

This movement has been a long time coming, but it’s finally here.

Where can we purchase a copy of the book? How can we connect with The Upgraders?

You can purchase Shine through Amazon or here

The Upgraders:

Instagram and Facebook.

Featured Image by Fashion Prodigy (Tailiah Breon)