I love how social media connects me with the most fascinating of women. Skylar Liberty Rose and I met on the social platform Clubhouse during the pandemic and from there we connected on Instagram, up until today.
Skylar is a writer and coach who helps women embrace their 40s and 50s with joy and confidence. She feels (rightly so) that we need community as women, especially in midlife when we are going through so many changes.
She is originally from London but moved to NYC at 40 to be with her husband, Leon, after two and a half years of long-distance love.
She loves the spark and creativity of the city but also finds that she’s much more drawn to being in nature as she moves further into midlife.
Skylar Liberty Rose offers coaching for midlife women
If you or anyone you know is struggling in midlife, Skylar invites you all to join her community You To Bloom, a safe place where midlife women meet twice a month. There are guest speakers, and there are also informal calls where Skylar leads with a meditation followed by an insightful conversation.
“It’s a place where you feel proactive in addressing the things that need to be addressed in your life, whether it’s finances, relationships, or nutrition,” Skylar said.
She also has a flagship program, Visible, which is self-paced and helps midlife women to understand what is behind feelings of invisibility. Skylar lifts the lid on their struggles, from invisible woman syndrome to highlighting the ways in which the media can give us a distorted view of what’s attractive or acceptable.
Lastly, Skylar offers an audio course called Spark, which is about helping women to get their spark back, to get rid of all the noise, the layers that we accumulate by midlife.
Because she enjoys audio so much, Skylar also leads meditations on the meditation app Insight Timer.
“It’s all about empowerment. Meditations to help women feel grounded and centered,” Skylar shared. She started doing longer meditations, up to 25 minutes and now she is focusing on shorter 5-minute meditation sessions, that can more easily fit into anyone’s busy schedule.
The AHA moments that helped Skylar decide to address midlife matters on social media
I told Skylar that I did not feel that I was in midlife in my 40s. In fact, I haven’t started feeling that I’m in midlife until my late 50’s. For that reason, I was interested in knowing what prompted Skylar to start addressing midlife issues in her 40s (Skylar is 48 at the time of this interview).
“I just felt a little bit disillusioned with social media,” said Skylar. “I started feeling a sense of disconnect between my place in the world and social media.”
She took a 6-month break from social media in 2019 and while figuring out what she needed to do next, she kept thinking about “telling the truth.” She started a new Instagram account in 2020 that was a diary with her daily musings, before the pandemic.
“It was helpful for me, processing and creating, and that Instagram diary ended up being featured in the National Women’s History Museum, even though I had barely any followers.”
At the end of 2020, Skylar visited the doctor to inquire about perimenopause symptoms at the age of 45, and he told her she was too young for that.
A female doctor later told her to find information online about her symptoms: fatigue, sleeplessness, and more frequent visits to the bathroom, to name a few, … and Skylar asked herself whether that was the proper way to treat midlife women in perimenopause.
Another pivotal moment was when Skylar caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror from an “unflattering” angle, where she noticed sagging skin and wrinkles.
“I can’t let anyone see me from this angle, I don’t even want to see myself from that angle,” Those thoughts went on for some minutes.
She caught herself shortly after and told herself she hadn’t gone through so much in life to sit there and be ashamed of her own reflection.
“And how exhausting to have to be aware of the angle at which one is sitting, right?” she asked.
Those two things combined with her reaction to visible signs of aging gave her the push to coach women to embrace the passage of time, instead of focusing on creativity which is what she had been doing up until then.
I shared with Skylar my personal experience of realizing what my midlife body really looked like and how I decided to overcome that by sharing the pictures online.
Skylar made me realize I am not alone in struggling with the changes that aging brings on.
In the end, we agreed that most of us have the same struggles as we get older, and being vocal about it helps us all.
We also discussed online trolling and how we both deal with it, which is basically realizing that the nasty comments we get online have little to do with us, and a lot to do with the mentality and reality of the people spewing out the insults.
An unexpected health challenge turned Skylar’s life upside down
A year and some ago, Skylar Liberty Rose would face an unexpected challenge that continued to shape the way she shows up on social media and in life. Skylar was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor upon visiting a doctor after months of vertigo and vomiting spells multiple times a day.
“One of the things that came of this was the realization of the importance to advocate for ourselves, especially when it comes to medical matters at an older age,” said Skylar. “We have to trust our experience.”
She was misdiagnosed a number of times, but in the end, an MRI uncovered that she had a mass in her brain. It all happened very fast, and a week later she had surgery.
“The recovery from that has given me a renewed appreciation for my body,” Skylar said. “There is a softening that happens in midlife, which is a very broad time of our life, but I don’t talk to my body in a mean way anymore. There is much more compassion now. It’s been humbling.”
Skylar doesn’t discuss her recovery every day on social media, but she does want to use it as an invitation to others to practice self-compassion on a daily basis.
I told Skylar about my own close brush with colon cancer some years ago and how I had to advocate for a colonoscopy that ended up saving me from surgery later on. So far I’ve had six colonoscopies, and I can’t express my gratitude for each one of them enough.
We also talked about how we both try to be relatable and as open as we can on social media, including showing ourselves and even our homes the way we and they are: imperfect.
It really is rather liberating not to have to put up a front after having been so concerned about what others thought of us in our youth (both Skylar and I suffered from disordered eating when we were younger).
I invite you to watch or listen to the YouTube video embedded in this article, with our full conversation, to be inspired by Skylar’s story and her beautiful British accent and person.
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