How to hack your cycle and own your period superpower
Our hormones are powerful. They can make us feel strong, moody, cranky, creative or sexy. They can make us bleed monthly. And they regulate the menstrual cycle, our untapped superpower. Every month, we have four hormonal phases that keep coming around. Each phase bears its own gifts. Once you know what these phases are (Dream, Do, Give and Take), you can predict them, plan for them, and use them over and over again.
The inspirational Lucy Peach is a folk singer, TEDx speaker and period preacher from Western Australia (WA). Having been an advocate for menstrual cycle awareness since forever, Lucy has unlocked the power of her own cycle to create music, which went on to win her WA’s Best Folk Act of 2016.
Going on to perform a play entitled ‘My Greatest Period Ever’, Lucy set out to educate and encourage women through science, stories and songs, to see their menstrual cycles as a blessing not a curse.
“It is my greatest wish that everyone with a cycle may feel more able to tune in to their hormonal changes and see them as a guide for self love, creativity, productivity and whatever the dang heck you want to do with your powers.”
And from that wish, a book was born… ‘Period Queen, Life hack your cycle and own your power all month long’ is a light-hearted, beautifully illustrated guide to becoming an expert in understanding the power of your phases, to plan your month to suit your mood and your body, and unleash your full potential.
We’re delighted to be sharing a sneak peek into Lucy’s book below. The extract explores the Dream phase, when we bleed. The phase when we should fill our cup to the brim with self-love, and dream deeply.
How to unlock your period superpower – the power to dream
DREAM – an extract from ‘Period Queen‘ by Lucy Peach
Imagine a queen who’s made it down the mountain that was her last month to a lush, peaceful valley. The sun is setting behind her, and her legs feel like lead as she takes slow, deliberate steps towards the entrance of a cave.
Fiiiinally, she thinks to herself, I’m so fecking ready for this. A warm fire crackles in the centre, and in the corner she spies a freshly made bed with a big, feathery duvet and chocolate on the pillow. She cries one happy tear and feels her shoulders soften — she’s home. The sounds of the outside world fade away as she sinks into the bed and into the softest parts of herself. She begins to bleed. She knows she has powerful intuition now and that the best way to prepare for the month ahead is to listen to it. She knows how to dream.
Welcome to your bleed. No, really, welcome! Particularly if you are currently menstruating as you read this (quietly ensuring the survival of our species and bleeding away the life-giving nest within you). Welcome. You made it.
This is the very beginning of your cycle, and where you’ll meet your first superpower: the power to dream. Maybe you arrived at this point a little bedraggled, but now you are here — back at the beginning of yourself. Know that Mother Nature wants nothing more than to hold you close, wrap you up in love and treat you with complete tenderness. Think of this Dream phase as the bedrock of your month because if you get this one right and bleed well, everything else will flow (quite literally).
What you are doing is no small thing.* To let go like this, the way we do almost every month, is not a chore to be rushed. Why would you rush when instead you could set yourself up for a good month and enjoy the beautiful benefits of this time?
That’s right. This is the perfect time to enjoy ultimate selfcare and press pause on life’s non-essentials.
Get to know your dream phase
There’s a very precious power to be harnessed in your Dream phase, but to get even a glimpse of it, just a mere whiff, you need to let it come to you in its own sweet way. It’s a quieter kind of power: the kind that can easily go unnoticed if it isn’t made to feel welcome. Intuition doesn’t waste itself on those who don’t care for it. If you want it, you will need to be patient, but it is worth it.
The more you can be kind and love the bejeepers out of yourself while you are bleeding, the more you will begin to understand (and to maximise) the inherent loveliness of the Dream phase gifts. As well as the belief that you deserve this treatment, you also need time and space, which isn’t always easy to come by. In fact, it can feel impossible to find at times. To future proof yourself, preparation is key. Do some scaffolding and planning for this phase, and once you’re in it you’ll find there are lots of special ways to take care of your Dream self.
Hopefully, you’ll savour this time. The cherry on the top is allowing your deep intuition to guide you. This is how you really crack the code of the menstrual power to Dream.
As your period comes to an end, you’ll feel the dreaminess lift and the bubbling urge to Do. For now, be patient with your sweet self. Go as slowly and with as much self-love as you can muster.
Next week will be different because when you are a cyclical creature, it always is.
If you are currently cussing at the page and hissing, ‘A dream, my ass. Bloody nightmare more like it,’ then you have my full sympathy. You might not always love everything about having a period, especially if you’re in pain.
Surrender to dreaming
When you stop fighting the ‘big slow’, you can accept it and, better still, you can actually enjoy it. I haven’t always done it this well myself. Before I learned how to period, mine would come and I would groan and think, Ergh, what a drag. Now, I look back with compassion at my younger self who told her body that it was a drag, and I practise as much loveliness as I can to make up for it. When you do this, your period can actually be great — so great it might even take you by surprise.
Listen to this: after pitching My Greatest Period Ever to a room of theatre investors, a networking session followed. Everyone had name tags and business cards, and talked animatedly over biscuits and tea. A young woman made a beeline for me and said, ‘I loved your pitch! And, um, do you want to know something really weird?’
I get this sort of question a lot and am always delighted by what people will share with me after all of four seconds. ‘Of course!’ I said.
She leaned in and whispered loudly, her eyes darting over my shoulders, presumably to monitor who might overhear: ‘Look, I know this might sound strange, but I just finished my period, and it was…’
I nodded and waited while she searched for the right words until her expression landed on incredulous: ‘… so nice.’ My whole period was really nice! I just relaxed and had a really good bleed and I wanted to tell everyone about it but I didn’t know who to tell. I didn’t know it could be like that.’ But now she does.
The beauty of having a lovely bleed is that once you know you can, you will expect to in the future. And so you should. It’s not weird at all to have a nice bleed. Rather, it’s weird that we would think it’s weird. Of course, you should have a lovely bleed and tell people if you feel like it. This is obviously a much better mindset than anticipating that your period or your body is going to be a drag. Nothing gets past your body — she’s always listening.
Honour the transition into dream
♥ Stock up on dark chocolate.
♥ Start drinking lovely herbal tea out of a favourite mug.
♥ Change your sheets.
♥ Have a long shower or a bath.
♥ Light a candle.
♥ Turn your phone off, and imagine turning yourself to power-saving mode, too.
♥ Have a nap and/or give yourself ten minutes to stare out the window and watch the clouds with your feet up.
♥ Avoid tight waistbands and wear a mumu instead.
♥ Go ‘under’ with a duvet and some ‘movie therapy’.
Dream phase essentials
♥ Hot water bottle, wheat pack or obliging pet
♥ Bleeding playlist to relax or meditate with
♥ Relaxing essential oils such as lavender, rose, chamomile and jasmine to rub onto your tummy/temples/wrists
♥ Warm dressing gown or some menstrual fashion that is floaty and comfortable
♥ Thick socks or Ugg boots
♥ Journal (to write in but also to read from)
♥ Eye mask
Tracking your dream phase
Given that you always know when you are bleeding, this phase should be the easiest to track. If knowing approximately when your period is due is all you keep track of for a while, that’s okay — you’re starting your understanding of your cycle at the best place. Use a journal or an app to note your Day 1 and pay attention to how many days you bleed for, and how you feel on each day. Your period might come on quite heavily or you could get more of a slow fade in, but the true beginning of your Dream phase is when you get actual blood (as opposed to any spotting for a day or two). If you do get spotting, definitely take that as a useful heads-up to start preparing for a good Dream phase.
Unlocking your superpower
Once your power is good and ready, it will arrive. The key to unlocking it lies in how you take care of yourself during this time (and in the lead up to it). Your needs on Day 1 will be different to your needs on Day 3, and your needs will be different to mine, so use the following suggestions for prioritising, setting boundaries and self-care as a guide. Enjoy exploring how you can create a regular practice out of making yourself feel precious…
Period Queen by Lucy Peach is out on January 7th 2021, published by murdoch books and available to preorder now.
Header image © Richard Berney
First Image © Liz Looker
Illustration © Murdoch Books 2020