You may know her as a wife, mother of three, minister, human resources manager and Mrs. British Virgin Islands 2019 and 2020, but now you can add yet another title ‘Author’ to Shondrea Turnbull’s stack. Shondrea recently launched “Power of 30”, a self-help guide teaching women how to ‘find their purpose’ and achieve overall health and wellness.
“Power of 30” helps you refocus and gives new perspective on reaching your transformation and purpose,” says Shondrea.
I first met the author when I was a co-host of the social media talk show, “On Another Note”, where she came as a guest to talk about “Power of 30” to us, a panel of women and representation of who her book was written for.
I was already very happy to interview her for this feature, and I knew I would walk away feeling inspired, but Shondrea certainly peaked my interest when she told me “Power of 30” is for “women like us”. I think I speak for all women when I say: “Yes!”
She said that the target is for women between ages 25 to 45, who are at the stage in life where they have a dream but don’t know how to fully realize it, or have a goal but not the confidence to get there. This includes go-getting women who need guidance, women who feel like they are alone, and women who have experienced unresolved trauma.
Shondrea also highlighted those women who are thinking about starting their own business, leaving a job, losing weight, or leaving a relationship, as she says these are specific stages at the cusp between society having expectations on you, and you having expectations on yourself.
Shondrea’s inspiration for writing “Power of 30” came after she gave birth to her oldest daughter. Just like many first time moms, Shondrea was not happy with how her body changed after pregnancy and childbirth, and wanted to get her body ‘back’.
“I lost the sense of who I was as a mother, a new wife – My body was jacked up,” says Shondrea.
She was living in Washington, DC at the time and was eager to get fit by doing extreme things like going to bootcamp at 5:00 a.m., while still having a newborn. Shondrea says she soon accepted that she was overthinking it all and realized all she had to do was 10 minutes of movement, 10 minutes of a bible study and 10 minutes of quiet and peace; the core components of the “Power of 30”.
Shondrea also shared with me that God wrote Power of 30. She said that during the first lockdown caused by the pandemic, she began reading her book “like she didn’t write it”.
Shondrea explained that a number of things that she wrote started jumping out at her, like she was seeing them for the first time. That experience, she said, proved to her that “Power of 30” was “definitely inspired by God”.
As a Christian woman and graduate of the Howard University School of Divinity, this influence lends itself to the prayers and devotions aspect of “Power of 30”. Also, while she grew up in a suburb outside of Chicago, Shondrea attended a boarding school in Indiana, which she says she took a lot of her early foundation from. Shondrea said the school’s curriculum was holistic and focused on developing the whole child.
Purpose of “Power of 30”
“It’s for women who need help finding their purpose in life. It’s knowing that God is always connected to us – God is still here. It’s about using their whole self to move them towards the direction of their purpose, while strengthening their mind, body, and spirit,” says Shondrea.
To that end, the author also alluded to the connection between a person’s physical and mental health: “There is a connection between feeling dissatisfied about your body, and how it can impact other parts of your life. It’s all connected. Sometimes when we are trying to get into shape physically, we forget the mental aspect. Even if you lose 10 or 20 pounds, if you’re mind hasn’t caught up, you’re still looking in the mirror and thinking like the person you were 20 pounds ago.”
Shondrea emphasized joy as an important element of anyone’s health. “This is part of your primary food,” she says. She explained that the things that nourish your spirit, mind and soul are primary food. These include the relationships we have, the spiritual connections, financial affairs and other things done to bring about happiness. Secondary food, according to Shondrea, is what you’re putting in your mouth, and noted, “Your primary food will affect your secondary food. It usually determines the type of foods we choose to eat.”
Movement and Affirmations
Dancing from the time she was three years old back in Chicago, Shondrea began in church and explored many genres including African, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and modern.
Shondrea was able to incorporate dance into “Power of 30” by applying the count words applied in dance to the workouts outlined in the book. She explained that instead of counting three jumping jacks (1-2-3), “Power of 30” encourages the use of words in the form of an affirmation like “God is Love”.
“I found that it’s good because it reinforces the devotion that you just read, and makes it real for your body. It helps you push through the workout more, compared to if you were just a number count.”
Shondrea says this system, that she used while training for the 2019 Mrs. Globe pageant in Shenzhen, China, is different because it is useful in “strengthening the spirit and body” and can be added as a compliment to an existing workout routine.
Liturgical dance, the incorporation of dance movements into worship, is a passion to the author. She started a liturgical dance group while attending American University, and another when she went to study at Howard University. More recently, Shondrea was also able to showcase her dance talents during the Mrs. Globe pageant, and presently leads a dance group at Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church.
Men and “Power of 30”
Shondrea says Power of 30 can be beneficial to men who may want to further explore the book after seeing the changes in their partners when reading the book.
“It may be natural to inquire on what’s happening, and the changes their wives or girlfriends are making may start to catch on.”
“Sometimes women feel powerless or that we don’t have a voice, but “Power of 30” shows you how you can inspire change in your household without ‘forcing’ it.”
To that end, Shondrea says this method applies in her household, in her marriage to Dr. Mike Turnbull, who she says was inspired to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Shondrea’s “Power of 30” Dream
“My overall goal is to spread the idea of holistic wellness – the mind, body and soul connection that we all have.”
Shondrea also says her dream is to have “Power of 30” be an integral part of bridging the gap between the spiritual community and fitness community.
“I see so many people, in BVI and abroad, who go to the gym every day, their secondary food is amazing, but they are suicidal or depressed, have low confidence, or are mean, nasty people – but the body is banging.”
Shondrea says those people need “grounding” and “spiritual strengthening”.
Conversely, Shondrea noted there are persons who are ministering or are leaders in church but they don’t take care of their bodies. They may be severely overweight or are not taking care of themselves physically in other ways.
“We need to unite the two communities,” she said, adding, “Creating that balanced approach to life, where more people can show up more ‘whole’ to each other.”
Pilot for “Power of 30”
Shondrea started a pilot of 15 women when developing “Power of 30”. The group of women would meet at the Pier Park to share their experiences with the “Power of 30” strategy over six months. Shondrea noted that many of the women saw results which not only included weight loss, but also improved physical relationships, successful pregnancies, and job promotions. Some of these testimonials can be found in the book.
Shondrea is hopeful that once it is safe again to gather, that she will create a “Power of 30 Circuit” where women can sign up to be part of the group, which she says will be a safe space to open up, and share devotions.
Plans for Future Books
I felt like I was asking a question with an obvious answer when I asked Shondrea if she had plans for future books. Of course she does. Being inspired by the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book series, Shondrea already has her sights on more books, each with a very specific focus. Namely, “Power of 30 for Work”, “Power of 30 for Family” and “Power of 30 for Relationships and Marriages.”
“There are lots of things in the pipeline. I am really interested in seeing how people resonate with it.”
Wellness Advice for Women
“When women within ourselves are whole, when we are focused on our wellness, we show up for ourselves and we love ourselves more. It resonates with other people – children, coworkers, spouses. It helps create a better world because you’re showing up with purpose every day, with confidence.”
Shondrea also says “Power of 30” can be used as part of women’s wellness journeys, adding, “Once you have the book, it’s a very personal journey. But, in addition to having the book, turn within. When you’re in a stressful situation, take a breath, raise your hands and plug in, tap into yourself and to God, to get the power to keep going. Plug in, remember that you’re connected, you’re not alone. In the midst of the drama and discourse, know that you are enough. Remember that connection; it’s never severed.”
She said this is especially timely considering many of the happenings in the world that are out of our control, which can lead to depression and poor mental health.
“With all that’s going on in the world, remember we always have a voice; no one can take away our voice even if they try. We don’t have to feel powerless, and people can find their power; they can reclaim their power. Embrace your power; we have it in us.”
Shondrea reassures women that it’s ok to be well-rounded.
She explains, “I don’t like when people are put into boxes and given labels as to who they are supposed to be,” which is why she promotes the aspect of holistic health.
“You can be a professional and poet. You can be a singer and sexy. There are so many elements of womanhood that we dumb down because we try to fit into society’s so-called box of what we should be like. It’s not what holistic health is about. It’s about enjoying life, living abundantly. What it looks like to you may not be that way for me.”
Also, along with all the other golden nuggets, Shondrea leaves readers with one of the affirmation from “Power of 30”:
“I am connected within. I am connected to others. I am connected to God, and God is connected to me. Today I am empowered.”
In wrapping up our interview, Shondrea says, “Just remembering that holistic connection that you have can get you through any situation, and I dare say, any situation!”
Go to www.shondreaturnbull.com, a website with resources on leading a holistic lifestyle, blogs from the author about her own journey, options for booking Shondrea for speaking engagements, and of course, info on purchasing Power of 30.