11/24/2014 12:25 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2015

Thanksgiving: The True Meaning of Thanks

Blasius Erlinger via Getty Images

Although it may seem unusual to take notice of writing projects during the season of Thanksgiving; sometimes things happen for no apparent reason, and this "noticing'' occurred for me as I reviewed my past projects and contemplated future endeavors.

Authoring books from the seed of an idea to the completion of the last chapter in many ways has mirrored and paralleled my own life transitions. Some of those transitions I was thankful for, and some I wasn't. I now know that the "changes" were and continue to be progressions that life brings and that I have a choice of whether to struggle with them or to stretch and grow. I am appreciative of and grateful for all of it.

Through the inevitable fits and starts of any creative project, I have continually reminded myself to practice what I preach and put what I've learned in 30-plus years in the field of women's health into action, learning from women I respect personally and professionally. Adopting a flexible stance when an original concept didn't materialize. Taking a break and getting away when ideas seemed to languish. Starting all over, more than once, even when certain obstacles seemed insurmountable. Mining my own family history for inspiration and finding it again in my grandmother's journals and in the memories of my grandfather's deep pleasure in and satisfaction with all of the stages of life. We all progress along with life's admixture of challenge, joy and pain.

As much as my professional role centers on helping women who need support and information about their hormonal health, the continual learning and growth I take from their examples brings a rich reciprocity to my own experience. Again and again, I see women on their very individual journeys through physical, emotional and spiritual changes, and I hear about the value of their life experiences, the grace that comes with a deepening understanding of our own wisdom and power and the need to let go of parts of our past, no matter how difficult, in order to move on. Media images notwithstanding, I see women who demonstrate the true definition of beauty in their happiness and their strength. I am thankful for being allowed the privilege of learning from them.

I have realized that I can let these years of change pool around me and stagnate -- and they will if I don't celebrate this point in my life and recognize that these changes are mine both to learn and to gather strength from. It strikes me that our conscious choice to embrace change results from a fundamental and innate process of moving from struggle to resolution. The questions we ask and the truth revealed to us come from the same place: our powerful intuition, our connectedness to our own spirits, and the sage and perceptive messages spoken in the gentle language of our own hearts. And, I am grateful at this time of Thanksgiving.