Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Fort Worth, where I live, is a unique city for several reasons. We’re the 16th largest city in America, but you’d never know it. It feels so much smaller.

We probably have the only water garden in the world. You read that right – it’s a garden of water and not flowers and it’s amazing.

Our downtown is named Sundance Square after the famous Sundance Kid. During the great cattle drives of the late 1800’s, Fort Worth was one of the major stops on the legendary Chisholm Trail. Cowboys on the trail would drop their cattle off at the Stockyards up the road and then visit downtown Fort Worth for the saloons, gambling parlors, shooting galleries, and dance halls. The Sundance Kid and his partner Butch Cassidy were frequent visitors to the area, then known as Hell’s Half Acre. So were Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, well-known participants in the “Shootout at the OK Corral.”

We still have the Stockyards as a major tourist attraction. The original pens have been turned into unique stores and restaurants. Riscky’s, for all-you-can-eat ribs, is a regular stop when friends visit from out of town.

We have more horse shows in Fort Worth than any city in America, in the Will Rogers Equestrian Center, and it’s not uncommon to see people riding horses in the Stockyards and on some major city streets. We also have the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. That’s where I took a friend on Saturday.

We were greeted by a docent. She definitely enjoyed telling us that too many people narrowly define “cowgirl.” Surprisingly, we can consider ourselves cowgirls if we are bold women who display extraordinary courage and the spirit of pioneers as we blaze our own trails. That’s why women artists, musicians, scholars, and ranchers from the west have been inducted into the Hall. Sandra Day O’Connor was honored last year and we enjoyed the special exhibit in her honor.

So, what about it? Do you know any cowgirls? Are you one? Have you blazed your own trail? Displayed courage? The spirit of a pioneer? Would you like this to be one of your identities? Make it happen!

One aspect of an authentic and healthy life is intentionally taking the time to encourage others. Encourage someone today by telling her she’s a cowgirl. Enjoy her reaction and then explain your comments.