Jenna Dewan has learned a lot about herself in the last two years.
After going through a few major life changes, she’s learned she’s stronger than she thought, more open and mindful, all of which she’s sharing in a new wellness book, Gracefully You: How to Live Your Best Life Every Day.
Dewan, 38, says after being approached by publishers a few years ago, she decided to give writing a try because the timing was right and they said she could pretty much write about whatever she wanted.
“It started as a poetry book,” she tells PEOPLE in the latest issue, eventually deciding she wanted to cover a few more subjects like physical and mental health, motherhood, meditation and nutrition. “It became a little bit of a lifestyle book, with some tips about things that I’ve learned in life, so then it turned into some memoir and some personal stories,” she explains. “I wanted to write about the things that are important to me. The spiritual side of myself, this presence that I love to connect with, it’s really and truly my very hippy self,” she adds with a laugh.
In Gracefully You, Dewan details how she’s come to live her happiest, healthiest life — lessons learned through years of trial and error, life as a dancer, and more recently how to overcome unexpected life obstacles, like the end of her nearly nine-year marriage.
For more about Jenna Dewan and her new book, Gracefully You, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
“It sort of ends with the thought of, ‘If I had gone through what I’ve gone through in the last couple of years, what would I want to read? That’s what I thought. I get this question all the time from women, they’re like, ‘I’ve started my life over and want some advice.’ And so I thought, you know what? I want to share a little bit of my life.”
She adds: “It’s how I made it through, and what’s important to me in life, and how I found that. And when you are going through a rough time, how to have the strength to know that you’re going to come out of that, and you’re gonna come back into the light, so to speak.”
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The dancer and actress notes that she chose her words carefully, because she hopes her daughter Everly, 6, reads it one day.
“I always think about how to be respectful. I’m not the only one involved in this, even though it’s my story,” she says. “And I also think of Everly. I want her to read this one day. I want her to see all the things I do, to feel that it was done with grace and with maturity and eloquence.”
It should come as no surprise to know that Dewan, who is expecting her second child with new love Steve Kazee and stars in the upcoming Netflix series Soundtrack and the Fox dating show Flirty Dancing, is in a better place than ever before.
“It was a hard journey of growth and change, and ultimately now I can honestly say that I’m living in a very joyful new place in my life, and I’m happy about it,” she says.
Dewan’s book, Gracefully You: How to Live Your Best Life Every Day, hits bookshelves on Oct. 22.