Inner Cowgirl

What is your Inner Cowgirl?

It’s the place where you are authentic, where you are truly YOU. It’s finding the freedom to create a life of meaning and purpose for yourself. It’s connecting with your true self, sometimes by connecting with nature and animals around us.

I call this part of ourselves our Inner Cowgirl. It’s the curious part of us, the part that wonders what life is possible for us. It’s the part that wants to be free and independent, making choices from what we truly want, rather than what we “should” or “must.” It’s the part of us that is natural, that has yearnings and desires to be who we really are.  Beneath all the voices that tell us who we should be, it is that voice that says “I am uniquely me.”   That is your Inner Cowgirl.

I am enchanted and inspired by the Rodeo Cowgirls of the early 1900’s. These remarkable women were self-sufficient, thrived on independence and adventure, and always, always, always lived the life they chose.

The Rodeo Cowgirls, and present-day cowgirls live by some basic principles. Here are a few that I find inspiring:

  • Being authentic and comfortable inside your own skin.
  • Being free to live your own life.  Being a leader in your own life.
  • Blazing or traveling your own trail.
  • Being proud of who you are and the life you are living.
  • Living a life where work seems like play.
  • Looking forward to each day.
  • Getting back in the saddle after a fall or setback.
  • Cherishing friendships and partnerships.
  • Loving, trusting and respecting nature, horses, dogs and other living creatures.
  • Communicating and connecting through energy and intention, without saying a word.


It was Will Rogers who coined the term “cowgirl.” He was referring to little Lucille Mulhall, a shy, 90 pound girl who could rope eight running horses at a time. She grew up on a ranch in Oklahoma in the early 1900’s and chose to follow her father’s way of life rather than be sent to boarding school in the east. So, while Lucille could play Chopin on the piano and quote Browning, she was also one of the best riders and ropers around. Lucille even impressed Teddy Roosevelt when she roped a wolf in response to his challenge! The prize? An invitation to his inauguration!

In the early 1900’s Lucille was part of a group of daring young women known as Rodeo Cowgirls.

From around 1900 to the 1930’s, the Rodeo Cowgirls were women who partnered with their horses and loved to perform, compete and travel around the country. At the time, the country was transitioning from a rural to an industrial age. The East represented a Victorian, more city way of life, while the West represented adventure and the unknown, the place to reinvent and build a new life. These cowgirls grabbed onto that ideal and lived a life they loved. They competed in Rodeo and performed in Wild West Shows, doing daring tricks and performances. They symbolized a freedom of spirit, being true to who they were.

These cowgirls were one of the first women in professional sports and they competed directly with men! And when they won, they were paid whatever the men were paid! They inspired and entertained many, and their courage and freedom is their legacy today. These women epitomize the Inner Cowgirl.

(For more stories about these cowgirls, see Joy’s blog)