Here’s How Menstrual Cycle Awareness Will Help You Love Your Period
Claire Baker is an Australian women’s coach living in London, who teaches women how to find their flow by living in sync with their menstrual cycle. In her own words, “Hating on your period is so 1993.” Claire believes that living in tune with the body’s natural rhythms is the critical piece missing from the conversations about women’s wellness. I was lucky enough to sit down with her and ask her how she got into this work and what one thing any woman can do to care for her period.
You are a woman’s coach, what does this mean?
I’m a qualified health and life coach, and I work with women. More specifically, I work with women at the intersection of coaching and menstrual cycle awareness. It’s my belief that we need to take our cycles into consideration when setting personal intentions, crafting plans to achieve goals, and curating a creative, purposeful and well-nourished life.
How did you become interested in the cycles of the period?
I stopped taking the contraceptive pill in 2012, and at that point I’d been on birth control for 10 years. I couldn’t believe how different I felt off the pill! Experiencing the natural rhythm of the female menstrual cycle for the first time in a decade completely blew open my mind and heart. I was suddenly four different women a month! But I clocked very quickly that rather than this “inconsistency” being a weakness, it was in fact a superpower that I could use to my advantage—with awareness of it, of course.
For me, it was like going from black and white TV to technicolor, and it very quickly became a primary focus with all of my clients. I couldn’t understand why more people weren’t talking about this! It was so obvious to me that a woman’s self-care, calendar, creative expression, social life, and certainly her sex life would shift week-to-week in alignment with her natural hormonal changes.
What does period coaching entail?
It all begins with awareness. We spend lots of time exploring what menstrual cycle awareness tools and templates will be best for her, before exploring each of the four phases of her cycle, and uncovering the superpowers and vulnerabilities that she possesses in each phase. We use this information to optimize the intentions and goals she has for her life.
My focus has always been on optimizing self-care and wellness, because when we feel good, we do good work in the world. My style of coaching is about knowing your cycle and yourself intimately, becoming the authority in your cyclic self-care (rather than following rigid, linear plans and structures) and showing my client how to use this flow to easily and harmoniously create what’s most true for her.
What is the single best thing a woman can do to take care of her body?
Know herself. Self-authority is essential in this time of information overload. It’s conflicting, confusing, and comparison-inducing out there! I believe in self-care that is sovereign: knowing what we need (on each day of the cycle!) and trusting ourselves to deliver that.
What is the single best thing a woman can do to take care of her period?
Adopt an attitude of curiosity.
Here’s a few questions to kick that off:
- What do you believe to be true about menstruation?
- How do you feel about bleeding?
- Where might these beliefs have come from?
- What was your first period like?
- How would you like to feel about your period?
- How much blood do you lose each period?
- What colour and consistency is it?
- How does it feel to look at your blood?
- What might it look like to love having a period?
See where those questions take you!
When you began taking stock of your own period, what did you notice? As you’ve delved further into this work, what has changed?
Menstrual cycle awareness has positively impacted every single area of my life. It’s given me a framework to discover who I am, and to lose the self-judgment I used to carry around constantly. (It still pops up from time to time, particularly when I’m premenstrual. That’s the phase most women tell me their inner critic goes WILD! But again: with awareness, you can manage these critic attacks, rather than have them rule your life.)
Self-authority is essential in this time of information overload. It’s conflicting, confusing, and comparison-inducing out there! I believe in self-care that is sovereign: knowing what we need (on each day of the cycle!) and trusting ourselves to deliver that.
I feel at ease in my skin now, and I mean that in two ways: from the perspective of drastically improved body image, as well as an overall sense of contentedness within myself. I’m better at setting personal boundaries and making decisions, I know how to bring creative projects to fruition in accordance with my cycle, and I also realized that I do indeed have a libido!
Wow, and just so much more. I could talk about improved relationships, better energy levels, healing years of hormonal acne…for me, life’s just better with this self-knowledge.
What is your hope for women as we move forward in this changing world?
That we continue to rise and remember our cyclic nature. And this is for all humans: we’re cyclic beings, whether we have a menstrual cycle or not. We can all benefit from adopting the cycle’s medicinal balance of having agency and letting go, of being productive and resting; the yin and the yang, the inhale and the exhale.
And we will, and we are.
Download Claire’s free menstrual cycle awareness resources at thisislifeblood.com/free-love