What Do You Actually Do? Claire Baker by Ilsa Melchiori


Describe what you do in 5 words or less.
Guide women home to themselves.

Now expand…
My work centres on the menstrual cycle; I believe we need a greater understanding as
individuals, and in the collective, on the shifting rhythm that women who menstruate
experience each cyclic month. I teach women how to flow with these changes, across all
areas of life, rather than working against them. I’m particularly interested in the emotional,
spiritual, and creative aspects of the menstrual cycle, recognising that our self-care
practice is deeply rooted in both. I deliver this work through 1:1 coaching, writing and
publishing eBooks, and teaching various live workshops and online courses throughout the


What has your career journey been like?
Surprising! I would not have believed you five years ago if you told me this is what I’d be
doing today. I trained as a health coach in 2013 after previously studying and working in
both the arts industry and business management roles. It’s been an organic step-by-step
transition since graduating and delving into self-employment, as I’ve uncovered more and
more about what I feel most called to focus on in my work.

Best part of your job?
Freedom of time is one of my highest values. I’d say I work more hours now than I ever
have before, but I treasure the fact that I can work around my own cycle. That’s a real
privilege; being able to create a ‘job’ that is truly aligned with my own creative rhythms. I
deeply believe in the conversations that I’m having right now through this work, and it’s
really exciting to see the change that’s beginning to happen in the world of menstruation
and rising period positive culture and to be able to play a part in that.

Worst/hardest part of your job?
Admin is never much fun is it?


What does your typical workday look like?
I wake up around 7.30 - 8 am and will get outside as soon as I can for a walk, or a yoga
class if I’m up a little earlier (which doesn’t happen so much in London!). I always give
myself a couple of hours to exercise, have breakfast, do some journaling and check in with
myself before diving into work. I see clients every second week, so if it’s a coaching week
then I’ll sit down for those Skype sessions at home, otherwise, I’m writing content, and I
tend to spend these creative weeks out of the house in a cafe or co-working space.
I don’t have an office (or a desk), so if I’m at home I’m just moving between the kitchen
and my lounge room floor, sometimes even my bed! I’m really structured when it comes to
what needs to be done in a week, but on a daily basis I’m much more free flowing, and
that works for me. I try to finish around 6 pm, but some days it’s earlier or later than that.
I’m currently experimenting with a 4-day working week, which does mean my working days
tend to be longer, but it’s worth it for a long weekend every week!

What percent of your time is spent on work that pays the bills vs your own creative

Ha! Honestly, over the past year (since moving to London) this ratio has slid much further
away from my own creative projects, but I can see balance slowly beginning to restore
itself. It comes in seasons for me; sometimes I’m devoted to my creative writing and
exploring new mediums, but the truth is that the work that pays the bills so often takes
priority. It’s also hard to discern the difference between the two sometimes; I’m currently
thrilled to be working on a book that most likely won’t bring in a great deal of income (even
when published), and while it is certainly a ‘life goal’ for me, it also isn’t the same as writing
short stories for fun on a lazy afternoon. Many of my arty projects end up becoming apart
of the courses I teach or used on my website or social media. I always try to set aside
time for ‘Claire’s Creative Time’ but it inevitably embeds itself in my work. I think that’s
okay though!


What are your favourite apps to use for work?
I use Satori for everything coaching related, iCal for scheduling, Adobe Creative Cloud,
Wordpress for blogging, Instagram is my favourite social media app (though I love
Facebook groups), Self Control for blocking said social media, MailChimp for email
communication and course delivery (as well as Soundcloud and Vimeo for course content
storage) and I use Pages and Dropbox to write, store and share my work.

What is it like working for yourself?
It’s genuinely been a life-changing experience being self-employed; it’s forced me to be
more accountable, responsible, and more socially conscious. I absolutely LOVE it and
cannot imagine working for someone else again. I’m a bit of an introverted hermit, so
working alone suits me. The older I get the more I recognise my own sensitivities and
strengths, so being able to create my own working environment is the biggest gift. I very
rarely miss working in a team, and if I do need feedback or idea workshopping, it’s easy to
reach out for that.

What is your current work playlist?
Bonobo, Ryan Adams, Michael Kiwanuka, Banks, Four Tet, Fleetwood Mac, Father John

Best career advice/tips you could give someone?
We’re living in such an exciting time in history, where so much more than we can even
imagine is possible. If you feel a call to a project, just really go for it. This all sounds so
cliche doesn’t it? But it’s true: hard work and devotion are gifts in themselves.

Can you tell us about your next project?
What I am most committed to seeing manifest is a published version of my eBook Adore
Your Cycle. I just want to hold her in my hands! (And smell her pages!)

What is your next step/move? Any future dreams/goals?

I think I’m going to move to Ireland next year. I love London, but it’ll be time to move in
2018, and I’m not ready to come back to Australia yet — though I am running a retreat in
Victoria next year! I’m very very grateful that I can take my work with me like that. :)


4.3 Just a Moment of Truth by Ilsa Melchiori


I will never be the perfectly put together fashionista.  The immaculate beauty guru.  I will always have a stain somewhere on my clothes, I will never have perfect makeup and my hair will rarely be 'done'. There will probably always be at least one dirty dish in my sink. Most importantly, I'm not going to hide this.  I like it when things are just a little bit 'off'.

I am working on juggling everything in life right now.  I choose to do this blog and I will keep choosing it.  Just give me a moment to re-balance my spinning plates.

Share your new endeavours in the comments below.