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How To Fall In Love With Your Period

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I got my period when I was 14 years old and I did NOT know what was going on. I started bleeding and thought I was dying. Menstruation (among many other things) was a taboo topic in our household, and unfortunately not something we ever spoke about. So I had to turn to the sealed section of teenage magazines to get my info (keeping in mind, this was before Doctor Google was around!).

I covered the bloody evidence on my undies by wearing loo paper or binning my undies throughout my flow. Until one day, my mum caught on (how do mums seem to know everything?!) and all of sudden pads and tampons were appearing in my bathroom draw. I had so much shame and guilt around this sacred and special ‘coming of age’ time in my life, and I didn’t understand what was going on with my body.

Then, from 14 to 18 years old, I experienced debilitating periods where I would be hunched over in agony, sometimes even passing out, vomiting, getting diarrhea, missing days of school and downing as many painkillers as I could just to get through the excruciating pain. I used chemical laden toxic pads and tampons, which I would leave in overnight and all day at school because I was so embarrassed and didn’t want to face what was ‘down there’. Then when I hit 18 years old, I didn’t want to fall pregnant so I went straight on the pill. I loved it! My skin cleared up and I could skip my period whenever I had a party or event. #Winning! Or so I thought...

Those who have read my book Mastering Your Mean Girl will know that at age 24 I hit rock bottom, and my health and happiness plummeted. It was then that I learned the repercussions of the pill and what it was doing to my temple. From then on I decided to stop taking it, assuming that everything would instantly right itself. Oh how ignorant I was… I didn’t get my period again for almost two years! According to my good friend Dr Nat Kringoudis (a natural fertility expert), ‘The pill takes your hormones offline. It can numb you, making you feel detached from your own body.’ Once I heard this information, I made it my mission to get my absent period back naturally, to chart my cycle and to fall in love with my body and my flow. I also made a promise to myself to honour my body as the temple and incredible giver of life that it is.

These changes didn’t happen overnight. It was a journey, and one that I’m still on. But holy Shakti has it been a worthwhile ride! Connecting with my internal cycle has been life changing and has allowed me to fully embrace who I am and what it means to be a woman. It has been truly profound. If only this taboo topic was talked about more in schools!

The path to healing was a gradual one. During the time before my period came back, I became devoted to nourishing my beautiful body and treating it like the temple it is. I vowed to never trash my it again, and I was so deeply committed to honouring my vehicle.
My first period back was the celebration I had longed for when I was 14. I danced around the house, amazed and in awe of the wisdom in my body. I was so grateful, I vowed that moving forward, I would always honour my cycle as the divine gift that it is.

Bleeding is a divine gift which represents health and fertility.
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Together with nourishing my body The Glow Kitchen way, meditation, and getting out into nature as much as possible, there are 4 other ways that have helped me fall in love with my cycle. They are...

Charting

The best way to become more connected to yourself and your cycle is by charting your period. You can do this manually in your diary, or by using an app like I do. Some great apps are Period Tracker, Clue, Natural Cycles, The Daisy, Kindara and M Cycles. I am sure there are plenty of other great ones too, so have a little search and pick the one you like best. I personally love and use Period Tracker, and really find joy in connecting with my body and charting my cycle. You can make notes about anything you like — the foods you are craving, your moods, any relationship conflict, what’s working, what’s not working... Soon you will start to see patterns (or cycles) more clearly. You will see when you feel more sensual, when you are more intuitive, and when you are most likely to be a bit short or even snappy. Once you’ve chosen your preferred method of charting, get started today and enjoy becoming deeply in tune with yourself.

Use Hannah Pads

Hannah what?! Hannah pads are reusable menstrual pads that are healthier for your body, your wallet, and the planet as a whole! Made from certified organic cotton that is unbleached and undyed, they’ve got no nasties in them and are safe to sit against that delicate area. I love using these as much as possible. If I am at home all day, these are my go to. Then, once you use them, you pop them in the wash. These are so great because you aren’t stopping the natural flow of blood. It wants to come out, so let it! By using moon pads, we allow our body to do its natural goddess-y thing without popping something up there to hinder the flow.

Get a Juju Cup

Something else that has connected me deeper to my body and cycle is using a juju cup. A juju cup is a small, flexible cone-shaped cup that’s made from the highest quality medical-grade silicone. You use it in the same way you would a tampon, however, a juju cup collects the blood rather than absorbs it. It’s healthy for you because it doesn’t contain any harmful substances like chlorine, fragrances, BPA or bleach (like many sanitary products do except for TOM). It’s also hypoallergenic and is so much cheaper than disposable products (if you take proper care of your juju cup, it can last many years and save you hundreds of dollars). I also love the environmental benefits. Did you know that during your lifetime, the average woman uses over 10,000 disposable sanitary products? These contribute to landfills and pollute our waterways, so a juju cup is a great option for this reason too.

Switch To Organic Products

TOM Organic are my favorite single-use sanitary products, because they are made with pure organic cotton which is better for you and the environment. You do NOT want to be putting products which are covered in bleach and toxic chemicals inside the most delicate part of your body. Honour yourself and your body by making sure you are using products that are going to serve you. (I also love that by supporting companies like TOM Organic, we can vote with our dollar and show big corporations that we demand more for our bodies and the planet.)

It’s eye-opening for me to look back over my journey with my body and my cycle. In my teens and twenties, I hated my body so much — I trashed it, didn’t respect it, and viewed my period as an enormous hindrance. But those days are long gone. I now love my temple! I am so grateful to be healthy — including having a regular cycle — and every day I express that. Bleeding is such a beautiful part of being a women. It represents health and fertility and we should celebrate it more. I had a friend whose husband would give her a gift on the first day of her flow. Things like a rose he picked from the garden, a new pair of underwear or her favorite organic tea or raw chocolate. When I heard about this, I loved that they would celebrate this beautiful gift together. I now do something similar on my own. On the first day of my period, I really up my self-love and self-care. If I can, I take the morning off, stay in bed, take myself to the park and lay in the sun with a book and my journal, I sip tea on my balcony and I just BE. I allow myself to sit on the couch and do — wait for it… nothing!

So beautiful, has this post about periods inspired you?

If so, it’s time to love your body and love your flow. It’s time to master your Mean Girl and quit the body shaming. Our daughters (and future daughters) are watching. They need us. They know when we look in the mirror and scold ourselves even if we don’t say it aloud, they can feel it. So if we want to lead by example and teach them how to love their temples, we must walk the path first and lead by example. You can do it!

Are you ready to commit to loving your temple and flow, once and for all?

Sign this sacred contract to declare your promise:

I, [NAME], commit to treating my body like the temple it is. I promise to honour my body and celebrate my flow. I will master my Mean Girl and quit hating on my body and flow. If I catch myself being mean to myself, I will gently shut the door on my Mean Girl and return back to my truth — love — as quickly as I can… without any judgment!

This I promise.

[Sign name]

Finally, I’d love you to share with me in the comments: What one thing are you going to do, during your next moon, to honour your beautiful temple and the divine gift of your period? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Let’s start a divine list of ideas that we can all come back to for inspiration and motivation.

And if there’s a woman in your life who you know could do with a potent reminder about how amazing her temple is, please email it to her or share on your socials. (Imagine the ripple effect we can create if EVERY WOMAN in the world falls in love with her period?! Let’s do it, ladies!)

And for more epic advice of all lady things make sure you pre-order my next book Open Wide The Radically Real Guide To Deep love, Rocking Relationships and Soulful sex.

Comments (57)

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    • Cara
      October 24, 2017

      Hi Melissa

      I use Alisa vitas app called flo app! I'm considering using one of her courses to help get back into my monthly cycle, like you I was on the pill and since I have been of it, my period hasn't gone back to the usual healthy regular cycle. I would love it, and think other listeners would really benefit from you having her on your podcast. Just a suggestion!

      Love x

    • Amy
      October 24, 2017

      Thank you Mel for this beautiful read! I went on the pill about a year ago when I met my boyfriend out of fear of pregnancy. I always vowed to never take the pill, but it was because of fear that I did. It still doesn’t feel right to be taking it and my boyfriend supports me 100% to come off it as he has the same beliefs as me. How did you go about coming off it? Your post makes me even more determined to go back to my normal cycle xx

      • October 24, 2017

        That's so great you have such a supportive partner honey, I am so happy for you. What do you mean by, 'How did you go about coming off it?' I just stopped taking it then started meditating, eating healthy, limiting stress, getting sunshine, looking after my temple, surrounding myself with beautiful people and played and laughed every day. That's the best soul medicine ever. xx

    • Belinda
      October 24, 2017

      Just imagine the divine timing of opening your blog this morning and reading it, on the first day of my new cycle! Also imagine, I was on the pill for 15 years before struggling for 9 years through infertility, a miscarriage and menopausal symptoms all through my 30's. I am lucky if I get one period in 3 months and so I do feel grateful to get it as it represents I still have a chance at being fertile. A few weeks ago I decided again that I needed to start nourishing and looking after my body again after a stressful time and I have been rewarded this morning with your blog and it's divine timing to remind me of what a gift it is and today I will celebrate. Thank you for sharing the most intimate stories of your life with us. Sometimes it's easy to forget that you weren't just born the beautiful goddess that you are (well you were, but you know what I mean- it's a choice everyday to do the things that help you become the best version of yourself and it helps to be reminded that you have done and continue to do the hard work to be who you are and how healthy you are, it doesn't just happen)
      Thank you beautiful Mel ❤️

      • October 24, 2017

        Thanks for your kind words angel. It's a daily commitment to show up and I am deeply committed. xx

    • Emily
      October 24, 2017

      Hi Melissa,

      Funny how the universe throws us just what we need. I have a very similar story of shame and quilt around my period when I was younger. and society continues it on into our adult lives.

      I decided to "quit my pill" a few months ago due to the side effects that were unknown to me when I started taking it a few years ago. But like an addictive drug I have been too scared to actually quit, but I am 100% committed to giving up that "safety blanket" this moon cycle. And replenishing my gut and all the lost nutrients and honoring my temple.

      So thank you for those handy links!

      Much love

      Emily

    • Caitlin
      October 24, 2017

      This post showed up at JUST the right time for me! I've just ordered my own menstruation cup and am eagerly waiting for it to arrive! It's always been uncomfortable using a "wad of cotton" during my period but I had never thought about the chemicals or how much it dries you out! Can't wait to start loving my flow and treating my body with much more care. Thank you
      Love Caitlin x

    • Sophie
      October 24, 2017

      I loved this post! Your podcast with Dr Nat Kringoudis inspired me to do what I had been thinking about for a while - get my contraceptive implant removed! It took only 2 months for my natural cycle to return and only 5 months for my body to establish a continuous 28 day cycle which I now track in an app. I love it! I feel so connected with my body and my skin is glowing for the first time in 10 years! I have used a moon cup for over 3 years and have not bought a sanitary product since! So grateful for the work you do in helping us to celebrate these beautiful bodies of ours and encouraging us to love rather than resent our flow! X

      • October 24, 2017

        Pleasure angel. So proud of you for taking inspired action for yourself. Your rock! xx

    • Alicia
      October 24, 2017

      Hey Mel, I absolutely love watching your journey & am so inspired by your ability to connect ~ You my dear have a gift & you are kicking ass at it, conquering fears & totally inspiring and educating many
      I can competely relate to not knowing why I was bleeding & very awkwardly discovering at boarding school that I too had begun bleeding @ 15 without even knowing what ‘mensturating’, fertility & monthly cycle meant & for me that was really daunting & so confusing & it made me feel horrible. Hearing you express your vulnerability reassures & re-iterates to all your tribe that this is a topic that really does need to be added to curriculum & be shared schools & alongside sex education. Youth need to be properly informed and be aware & understand just how amazing our bodies truly are & what we’re capable of & what we can do to nourish all facets of our life. I love that you referred to TOM products & ‘Nat Kringoudis’ as she’s guru & powerhouse with all things hormones & our fertility. I only pray that Life coach movement brings about an even bigger ripple for this & next generations so we can all learn about active living, how to have peace through presence & consume wholesome intuitive nutrition which can & will bring about radical change in this world & one that we need to all become aware, educated about so we have choices & can live abundantly. Thanks for sharing Mel ! Love your work & your ability to do

    • October 24, 2017

      This is just what I needed to read in this very moment - confirmation and permission to rest when I bleed. Thank you. I got my period yesterday and rested not because I gave myself permission but because I physically and emotionally couldn’t perform as I had planned to. Today I gave myself permission, as 6am I text my Barre instructor and said I couldn’t make it to 6:30am class and was resting with my period. Then I went back to sleep until 9am!! (which I haven’t done since I was jet lagged over a year ago!) Now it’s 10am and I’m sipping tea and reading this. Divine timing... So thank you, Melissa. As I coach I know the importance of resting during our cycle and in yin phases etc. yet sometimes it’s permission and support of other women in our collective tribe that we need to really truly allow ourselves to do so. I’m resting more this morning and will get into my creative work this afternoon. From the bottom of my heart, thank you xx

      • October 24, 2017

        Pleasure angel. I got my moon today and woke at 5am but then went back to bed until 8am and lay there until 9:30am it was bliss. Rest when you need angel. xx

    • Lia
      October 24, 2017

      Hey Mel, thank you for the beautiful post. I went ten years without a period due to a combination of stress, digestion issues and being under-weight, I even became a Naturopath in a quest to heal myself. But ultimately, all the knowledge in the world couldn't help until I truly started accepting my body and nourishing it - like as you say the temple it is. I was always frightened I would never get my period back and it would affect my fertility forever, after 2 years of looking after myself properly I regained my period and it gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment in a way. Slowly I made further progress, and recently fell pregnant naturally. Just thought I'd share my story in a nutshell as this post resonated with me so much. Thanks for being a beautiful soul and always living to inspire others. X

    • Allison
      October 24, 2017

      This is genuinely beautiful. I have never completely trusted, believed or honoured my body the way it deserves (especially when it comes to its natural cycles). After recently losing a baby to miscarriage I have felt anger & frustration towards my body; mad that it seemingly couldn't do what it is made to & has done perfectly twice before. This article has helped in (along with various other realisations) that my body really is a temple that has its own deep intuition. I pledge to respect, appreciate & honour it for all the glorious magic that is it, whilst I trust the universe will have my back. Thank you for this article xx

    • Emily
      October 24, 2017

      This is so inspiring Mel.

      After having a baby the first thing that was rammed down my throat was what type of contraceptive I’d be using. I was talked in to having the implanon which did all manner of crazy things to my hormones and I ended up having it removed, only to find myself taking the pill again.

      I’d love to start charting again and allowing myself to get in touch with my body, but have not through fear of getting pregnant.
      It’s a funny old situation, but I’ve got 5 pills left in my packet and I’m thinking this will be the last time. I will just have to be careful.

      I can’t wait to get in touch and tune with my cycle. Thanks for this insightful blog post.

    • Li
      October 24, 2017

      Great post! I am currently BF but I have already purchased a JuJu for when my period returns. I am so excited to start on this new path and not allow these harmful chemicals near my body anymore. Thanks for your honesty on something no one wants to talk about xx

    • Simone
      October 24, 2017

      Love this post! Thank you Mel I’ve learnt heaps. Now to order some Hannah pads... xx

    • October 24, 2017

      Melissa yu had an interview with Nat about two years ago and suggested Natural Cycles. Since March 2016 I am hormonal free (no pill or other method) I use my knowledge of Natural Cycles and Take Charge Of Your Fertility. No pregnancy over here :) Everyone was sceptical but I love it. And my partner too :) I love how my body changes during the cycle.

      My main goal is to take more care.

    • Amanda
      October 24, 2017

      I'm going to give myself a massage with essential oils.

    • October 24, 2017

      Yes!!! Haha i 100% did a gratitude happy dance when i first got my period back after coming off the pill... i remember running out and joyfully sharing the news with hubby and his friend - and since connecting with my cycle, i have never felt more deeply in love with my body and how it works!! Even now, throughout pregnancy, i am so familiar with those moon times and recognise why my body and emotions feel certain ways even without the normal flow!! Love that you are sharing this message xx

    • Bel
      October 24, 2017

      Hi Mel,

      I've lost my period and haven't had it in over a year. What are some of the specific steps you took to regain your period?? Any suggestions would be amazing!
      P.s Love your podcasts and books- changed my life ❤️❤️

      • October 26, 2017

        So glad you love them sista. I would reach out to Dr Nat as she is the expert on this topic. xx

    • Hannah
      October 24, 2017

      I absolutely love this article! To honor my flow and femininity I got a beautiful tattoo of the moon phases on my back. It reminds me how wonderful it is to be a woman!
      Since a couple months I start using a OriganiCup and it is a life changer! I don't have to worry about it anymore + all the benefits for the environment and my wallet are amazing!
      I also love the idea of the small gifts or other ways to celebrate the start of a new period! I am really going to incorporate this in my cycle!

      XOXO

    • Kristen
      October 25, 2017

      I got off the pill (after 10 years on) about 3-4 years ago. I found Lara Briden's period repair manual insightful and she also provides a list of suggested supplements to take which I took some of. My period did come back regularly after a few months, but my hair kept falling out for what felt like forever - probably 6-9 months after I got off the pill. Still need to work on loving my period, but so glad to not be putting unneeded hormones into my body.

      http://www.larabriden.com/period-repair-manual/

      • October 26, 2017

        Thanks for sharing honey, I will check out Lara's work. It should awesome. xx

    • Jo Haire
      October 25, 2017

      Thanks for sharing! There really isn't enough chat out there about what's normal and what to expect when experiencing time of the month. I was late to getting my period due to having coeliac disease and being severely under weight and it has taken me a while to get used to having a regular cycle and the mood swings that come with it. I use My Calendar period tracker and it is great to see why I am feeling a certain way at different points in my cycle and then be ok with the process. Love the advice about TOM organic products. Do you have any advice about contraception? Another topic that isn't discussed enough. Thanks

    • October 26, 2017

      YES!!! You know how much I love this conversation babe. Such wonderful tips here that can facilitate enormous healing. Let's keep waving that period positive flag high! xo

      • October 26, 2017

        I talk about it in Open Wide too honey, you are going to LOVE it. Right up your alley. xx

    • October 26, 2017

      My parents gave me a gold necklace to celebrate my first period when I was 14. When I was 16 I asked my mum if I could go on the pill and she said no. She'd been reading about its harmful effects and was prepared to trust me to take responsibility for my body. I have never been on the pill in my entire life and have always worked with natural charting methods. I'm 34 and have had two children, both planned, and to this day I've avoided all hormonal contraceptives. I don't say this to brag, but in gratitude to my mum for being ahead of her time. Thanks for your work Melissa - you are a trailblazer like my mum!

    • October 26, 2017

      I totally agree that self care is super important during that time of the month. If possible, I lay in bed, meditate, put essential oils and hot water bottle on my tummy and drink tea, and it really helps. However, if I’m at work when my period starts, that’s when I’m usually in a lot of pain. I rarely take painkillers or any medication but this is the one time I can’t go without it. I really hope that one day I can.

      • October 27, 2017

        Hi angel, Have you asked if you can work from home on your first day?

        • October 30, 2017

          I'm a beauty therapist so unfortunately that's not an option :(

    • Mel Denman
      October 26, 2017

      Hey beautiful!
      Thanks for the beautiful read :).
      Iv had such a similar journey with my period. Pill at age 16 and at age 24 (and living a very healthy life) was diagnosed with unexplained high blood pressure. I decided that rather than going on medication for hypertension, to let my body be free of anything unnatural; particularly the pill and see whether that made a difference. Surprise surprise, no period! Of course devastated because I'm desperate to have children one day. After 2 years off the pill, slowly and gradually my period came back into my life :). I now track her and when she arrives, my boyfriend and I always celebrate (even if just with an extra cuddle) because to me (us) it means that my body is working how it should. The feeling of relief and PRIDE in my body that you also mentioned is unlike no other feeling. BONUS - my Blood
      pressure is normal now too. The pill is a scary beast.

      Thanks for spreading this story and message, Mel. It's so so important. Love xx

    • Sammi
      October 27, 2017

      I really enjoyed reading this post and so much of it resonates with me although I have endo so going off the pill and charting and using meditation (which I do now) won't help the debilitating effects of the disease I have. I really want to get off hormones and be in touch with my body more but I feel trapped. My contraceptive options are also very limited due to side effects.

      Would love to hear from others that have managed their endo without synthetic hormones.

      • November 1, 2017

        Hi Sammi, have you reached out to Dr Nat? She is amazing and looks after women in similar situations to you all the time. She is amazing. Reach out to her and let me know how you go. xx

        • Sammi
          November 13, 2017

          I looked up Dr Nat and recognised her - I had looked her up ages ago and didn't pursue it. Thank you for bringing me back to her!! I will contact her and keep you posted. I'm having a procedure this week and have decided to stop taking hormones, I want to start fresh and help my body. Thank you for this post, it's really helped me make important decisions in my life xx

        • November 13, 2017

          Pleasure angel and please keep me posted on how you go. Sending you so much love for your procedure. xx

    • Cath
      October 28, 2017

      Thank you Melissa for your article on this issue. I’d like to come off the pill and I appreciate all your suggestions, but what is your advice about other forms of contraception if you don’t want to fall pregnant?

    • Allie
      October 29, 2017

      Hi Melissa, amazing post! I was relieved to hear your story. I too have battled excruciating pain to the point where I can't talk... vomiting, diarrhoea, sweating, passing out on whatever floor is available in public or private. One day I was caught driving and almost had a crash as I was vomiting out the window and blacking out. I honestly can't even find words to describe the pain. I'm frankly terrified of going off the pill because that and pain killers have been the only thing that has made that time of month "manageable." I'd love to know how you dealt with the pain side of things when you transitioned off pain killers and the pill, and whether it is still as bad or eased off? Thank you xxx

      • November 1, 2017

        Oh Allie, that sounds horrible. I would highly suggest reaching out to Dr Nat and book a session with her, she is amazing and can really help support you transitioning. This doesn't have to be your reality. I now only sometimes get slight lower back pain, but other than that nothing. So if it's possible for me it's possible for you too honey. Reach out to Nat and keep me posted with how you go. xx

    • Ida-Sofia Vihersaari
      November 3, 2017

      At the moment I'm waiting for my periods coming back. They have been gone for ten years now. The long and hard eating disorder took it's price which I'm still paying. Now I'm healing my body and mind in natural ways and I hope my periods will come back some day. You gave me so much support through this post Mel. <3
      - Ida-Sofia

    • Haley Moeller
      November 5, 2017

      Hi Melissa
      I feel like this is the post I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been So interested in getting off the pill ever since listening to you podcast with Dr. Nat Kringoudis. What are your suggestions for learning how to sync your cycles up with the moon cycles? Are there any good reads you would suggest?
      Thank you so much!

      • November 7, 2017

        I am not 100% sure of books on connecting with the moon cycles, but I talk about it in my next book Open Wide so make sure you check that out. xx

    • Lani
      November 6, 2017

      Hi Mel, any recommendations for dealing with the pain? Currently experiencing everything you explained even needing to go to the bathroom. Hot water bottle helps but not enough to be productive at this time. Thank you

      • November 7, 2017

        Hey Lani, there are so many factors that could be contributing such as, food, stress, your environment, sleep and exercise so make sure you have all those area's in balance also. Are they area's you have considered yet?

    • Kayla
      November 9, 2017

      I have read so much up on the pill and want to do nothing more than come off it. It's The only unnatural thing I put in my body. But I have this crazy fear of getting pregnant if I do. I for some reason think charting my cycles and using condoms won't be enough, especially because I do shift. Work. How do I overcome this fear?

      • November 13, 2017

        Time to master your Mean Girl honey. Remember your thoughts create your reality and if that's what you believe then that's what you will create. Have you listened to my podcast with Dr Bruce Lipton yet? I highly recommend you listen to that now and let me know what you think. xx

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