Rodeo cowboys have fascinated me for a long time, and I have come to discover they know a lot about living upward.

Behind the scenes in the pen, I watched this rider mount the bull, carefully settling on his back, feeling the tension and mood of the animal. The cowboy was fully present with sharp senses and honed awareness. His body was alert and yet quiet, ready with an ease that would need to match the effort of the challenge.

The chute opened and out they came. After so many years of mental and physical preparation, the cowboy had nothing left to plan or predict. This moment of intense fear now required only his calm and steady presence. In a spirit of complete acceptance, he simply moved with the bull. He did not panic, nor did he resist. It took courage to ride this beast, and it took courage to surrender to his unpredictable journey and its outcome.

In watching their dangerous dance, I realized that neither the rider nor the bull was in charge. They had to work the challenges out together as partners in this wild and exhilarating adventure.

So if we want to live upward today and every day, this cowboy would tell us to follow his lead: think less, live in the moment, accept it as it comes, don’t resist, and do your best. Have the courage to surrender to what you can’t control, and remember you and the bull are in this together.

And when it’s over, stand up, dust yourself off and shout out with joy!