Meet Lucy Peach, the incredible Australian folk singer, songwriter, TED talker, actress, sexual health educator, Period Preacher and recently the author of “Period Queen”. There is absolutely nothing Lucy cannot do! Her 2021 book is a practical and hilarious guide about how understanding our menstrual cycles and hormonal phases can unlock both creativity and productivity and transform our lives and relationships (yep, it’s pretty much a superpower!)
Lucy reminds us that in a world with apps, algorithms and industries committed to helping people find balance, our most incredible tool is right with (or in) us. In doing so, Lucy’s words echo what the American feminist journalist and social-political activist Gloria Steinem wrote more than 40 years ago- in a different world that menstruation would be a lot easier to understand and navigate through. Unfortunately for us, patriarchal structures have categorised this natural process under elusive silences, code words and a general culture of uncertainty. Lucy has a simple solution to finding direction and stability- understanding your hormonal cycles. Lucy’s book is an easy guide to owning your untapped power.
In her attempt to shed fresh light on the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle, she confers new terms on each one- ‘dream’, ‘do’, ‘give’ and ‘take’. And just like that, the phases assume a brand new meaning- one that helps you live by your inner cycle and free yourself from being ‘at the mercy of your ovaries’. The book offers insightful tips (with illustrations!) to help manoeuvre through these phases using the best route for one’s body.
The first phase, or the dream stage, begins when the menstrual bleeding starts and ends when the bleeding stops. From getting to know the phase better and tracking it to understanding and managing pains (What is your pain telling you? What does your body really need?), this punchy section has it all.
Lucy describes how the next stage- the do phase or the pre-ovulation period is when you will find yourself with a lot of energy. Rising hormones (mostly oestrogen and a slight bit of testosterone) will do that to someone! The book takes you through the different ways of understanding and tracking this phase, along with a healthy dose of suggestions on unlocking your superpower. But that’s not all; Lucy acknowledges that not everyone will feel equally active and might want to step back from ‘doing’. She says that the key is balance, and she’s here to help you reach it.
In the third phase, the give stage, or from day 14 to day 20 or so, menstruators will find themselves at the peak of their ovulation. As the book puts it, “the job of this phase is to seek out the joyous pockets of life and milk them for all they’re worth”. This is an important phase and Lucy makes sure we understand it by offering a variety of tips, ranging from quick maths to physical signs that often go unnoticed including, but not limited to, cervical positions; slippery, stretchy cervical fluid and basal body temperature.
The final take stage begins around day 21 of the menstrual cycle and ends the day before the period arrives. During this time, hormones dive to start preparing again. It is also the time for the ‘dreaded’ PMS. Lucy claims that finding balance and understanding the phases of the cycle can help one understand the symptoms to forge a deeper connection with the body and decode all the ‘cryptic’ messages it tries to send to us.
The pages are laced with to-do’s, relatable vignettes, and tips to prepare for each stage, making it a book you will find yourself quoting from for days to come. My only contention with the book, if any, is the ‘self-help’ tone it assumes. While it is a fantastic read for young readers starting their journey to understand their menstrual cycle, it might come off as condescending to older readers. Although, with that being said, it is undeniable that Lucy is skilled in the ability to pass on years of experience in easy, digestible chunks of information and does this with humour and effortless charm. This capability translates into a lovely book to cosy up with to start a very interesting journey. In fact, to borrow words from the author herself, “We’ve channelled solar power, wind power and even tidal power, now it’s time for us to channel menstrual power“.
Here’s your chance to pick up this funny, entertaining and engaging book to hack into your cycle!
By Muskan Soni
Eco Femme Ambassador