Awaken Your Inner Cowgirl: The Woman You Want To Become

By on August 2, 2011

By Joy Silha –

Who is the older woman you don’t want to become? I’m guessing she is judgmental, stoic, stuck in her ways and reluctant to change. But change is what keeps us young.

So why do many women go kicking and screaming into change? Because it’s scary, we don’t know the outcome, and we’re not quite sure we can make it through.

That’s why I believe in an Inner Cowgirl – a woman who faces life head on and rides her own trail, even if she gets bucked off and has to climb back in the saddle.

But awakening that inner cowgirl takes guts. And I mean that literally. In order to overcome the fear of change, you must listen to your gut.

Many women spend a lifetime trying to please everyone, so they’re not in touch with their gut feelings, their instincts. Instead, they’ve got everyone else’s voices in their head. But listening to your gut means listening to your body.

It means paying attention to how you get tense and how your body stiffens when something is not right for you. We all know that feeling of meeting someone and wanting to run away as fast as we can. Your stomach twirls, your jaw tightens, your neck creases and your back aches. That’s your body, your “inner cowgirl”, telling you to stay away from that person, that job or that choice, because it’s not right for you.

I remember when I was in my 30s and wanted a relationship. I was meeting a man for lunch and as he strolled over to my table, a voice inside said, “Stay away from him, he’s trouble.” My jaw clamped down and I felt tense through lunch. But did I listen? No, of course not. He was handsome, successful (or so I thought) and charming. So I jumped into a relationship with him only to discover that he wasn’t honest and his charm and success were a facade. I overruled and ignored my gut feeling. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen anymore!

One of the ways I help women pay attention to their gut feeling is by using horses in my coaching. I guess you could call it the “cowgirl way,” although this work is on the ground – we’re not riding. When women step into a corral with a horse, the horse mirrors what they’re truly feeling. Fear shows up right away, and so does “pretending,” “pleasing,” and “dominating.”

Horses don’t lie, and it’s hard to ignore what a 1,000- pound animal shows you. While working with the horse, you become congruent – your body communicates what you’re feeling, and very quickly the horse shows you when you’re trying to “please” and when you’re being authentic. You find your personal place of power, you trust your gut feelings and the horse “joins-up” – he follows you at your shoulder. It’s powerful and the experience has long-lasting effects.

I had a client we’ll call Jennifer, who in her 50s was afraid to make big changes. Every time I suggested she pursue her real dream, she’d tell me it was impossible. I finally invited her to join-up with a horse. As the horse mirrored her fear, she learned to trust her instincts to find her place of power — the place where the horse would follow. Within weeks, she pursued that big dream, more confident in her choices.

It’s true, horses are magical and mystical, but they can also be our partners in self-discovery. They help us find our “inner cowgirl.” Once we connect with our body sensations, our gut feeling, change is easier. The fear drops away. We have confidence in our choices and find courage to take that next step. We take the reins in our hands and lead our lives. And by trusting our guts, we become a gutsier woman – the woman we want to be – independent, alive, open and willing to ride a new trail.

Joy is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, with a unique niche: “Awaken Your Inner Cowgirl,”. A cowgirl is a woman who follows her heart, bucks the rules and always gets back in the saddle! I sometimes use horses as a partner in my “Coaching with Horses” specialty. Horses are magnificent animals that touch our souls and show my clients how well they are communicating, leading, or partnering, and where they have confidence or self-worth issues. I help women find their soulful, meaningful, “cowgirl” voice!

I have been a marketing consultant and I am a coaching columnist for SAGE magazine of the Albuquerque Journal. To see my website and blogs, go to http://www.awakenyourinnercowgirl.com/.

About Joy Silha

Joy is a certified Martha Beck Life Coach, with a unique niche: “Awaken Your Inner Cowgirl,”. A cowgirl is a woman who follows her heart, bucks the rules and always gets back in the saddle! I sometimes use horses as a partner in my “Coaching with Horses” specialty. Horses are magnificent animals that touch our souls and show my clients how well they are communicating, leading, or partnering, and where they have confidence or self-worth issues. I help women find their soulful, meaningful, “cowgirl” voice! I have been a marketing consultant and I am a coaching columnist for SAGE magazine of the Albuquerque Journal. To see my website and blogs, go to www.awakenyourinnercowgirl.com.

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Awaken Your Inner Cowgirl: The Woman You Want To Become