MY NAME IS SHIRLEY

Being afraid is human, but staying afraid is a choice.

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Hi, I’m Shirley Maya Tan. I’m a blogger for the Huffington Post UK, and have also been published in the Elephant Journal, The B-Side, New Straits Times and other well-known mags/blogs. I’ve had wonderful opportunities to interview or work with extraordinary individuals who have guided, inspired and driven me to break free of my limitations, people like Julie Gray, Cindy Gallop, and Tony Meloto. I’m also a Malaysian single mother, which plays an essential role in shaping my writing and this blog. It is an intimate, authentic and revealing portrait of my quest to live fearlessly in our complex contemporary society.

Long story short; I left behind a lifetime of entitlement, outlandish egotism, negativity, insecurity and selfishness, masked by material pleasure, to face the challenge of reinventing myself into who I am today. (You can read a little bit about those dark times here) And what finally got me out of my self-imposed stupor was the realisation that I had allowed my pretense of a fabulous life to mask my innermost fears – that I wasn’t good enough, that I was afraid of change, that I was hollow and empty inside. At the lowest ebb in my life, a burning question appeared, like an avenging angel in the darkness – What would I do, what would I be, if I were not afraid?

Be Fearless. If you make only one resolution this year, let it be to live boldly. Rather than cautiously test the water, dive straight into life with freeing abandon. Imagine the person you want to be and live the life you want to live. Believe in yourself. Embrace your beauty. Discover a new passion. And whatever you do, wherever you go, don’t be afraid to make a splash.

Which brings us to the here and now. This is where you’ll find the all-new, real Shirley, where I talk about everything from single motherhood and dating as a middle-aged Asian divorcee, to sexuality, spirituality, identity and discovering the sheer joy of fearless living. My belief is that living life to the fullest isn’t necessarily about doing crazy things like cliff diving or scaling a treacherous mountain, but by facing personal, day-to-day demons and exorcising them once and for all. The Art of Fearless Living is, essentially, taking small steps to break through self-imposed barriers, restrictions and limiting beliefs that stop you from experiencing your authentic self. It’s about inspiring you towards uncaging your own greatness so that you can make an impact in your life and those around you in a way that is wholly and uniquely YOU. It’s a guide for you to mobilise your courage, compassion and conviction to show up, in all your beauty and magnificence, AND TAKE YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD.

You can start off by reading these posts:

Or jump right in by subscribing to my blog for weekly thoughts, reflections, musings and stories, or getting daily inspirations while hanging out with like-minded individuals on my Facebook page or Twitter feed.

And together, let’s learn how being afraid is human, but staying afraid is a choice. So go ahead, and be fearless.