Author Archives: annie zirkel


There's something about being responsible for another human being that makes most parents prone to fear. Add a child struggling to master a skill - from toilet-training to reading to dealing with stress or being self-motivated to get a job –  and fear can ramp up to over-blown worry and pressure for them to 'get it'.

Sadly, the fear itself can have a negative impact on a child's success so parents take note. If your child is struggling to learn what you think they should (or even if they aren't) here are 3 essentials to remember: ...continue reading

life preserverIt can be triggered by the seemingly simple task of picking out what clothes to wear or bigger challenges like decluttering your space, doing your taxes, finding a job, or planning a wedding.

Whether from circumstances that are forced upon you or – as is often the case – from saying ‘yes’ to too many things, being in overwhelm feels like drowning in the ocean. In fact the official test for overwhelm is to take a deep breath. If you swallow water, you’re in it. ...continue reading

Wooden bridgeFirst, this is what Seth said:

"One of us is wrong...
and it's not me."

That's the way every single conflict begins. Of course it does, because if it didn't, it wouldn't be a conflict, would it?

...[But] The thing that's worth addressing has nothing much to do with the matter at hand...We cure disagreements by building a bridge of mutual respect first, a bridge that permits education or dialogue or learning. When you burn that bridge, you've ensured nothing but conflict. ...continue reading

pocketful front cover lgLast fall, I heard about a small little book that promised to help the reader quickly shift their thoughts to be more positive and happy.

I bought it.

But when it arrived, it wasn't just the size that threw me, but that there were no quick tips on how to do those quick shifts. Disappointed that I didn't get the book I had expected, I thought, maybe I should write it then.

My intention was to create a very simple little instruction guide with a little wisdom and a few tips on how to catch and change one's thoughts and shift them so we could become less stressed, less angry, more relaxed, calmer and happier. ...continue reading

Tearful_heartDear Annie,

What are the best things to do to overcome a recent separation from a married man. I was deceived by all his promises and one day he just left. Only to find out that he is with a second mistress.

It's been 6 months now and I am still sending him messages and asking him to give me a second chance because I am still longing for his presence and company. How can I get over him and move on?

Your insight on this would be highly appreciated. ...continue reading

Bully_movieWhat doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I believe this is true with bullying. Taking on a situation where someone is trying to take you down can make you feel stronger. Unfortunately when you aren't successful - whether due to skill, wit, strength or being up against too sophisticated a foe - it can kill you. It can kill your spirit, your sense of self worth or in extreme cases make you think that killing yourself is the only answer. That is why we all need to take this issue seriously.

Recently, I went with my 18 year old son to see Bully a newly released movie that attempts to shed some light bullying and its effects. Here are my thoughts: ...continue reading

bald_beautifulDear Annie,

We have this little cousin 7 years old that has brain cancer and she is getting chemotheraphy every week. She is starting to lose her hair and we do not know what to do or say to make her feel better. She says that she does not want to lose her hair and cries. Please help us and let us know what to do.

~ At a loss over child's hair loss

Dear At a Loss, ...continue reading

happy posterDoes money buy happiness? Well, yes and no!

Money can buy things that give temporary pleasure but because we are adaptive creatures by nature, things only bring fleeting joy.

However when money is used to help you survive – food, shelter, safety – or when you are using it for experiences or to help others, it effects your happiness levels more deeply.  ...continue reading

Happy_posterIf you are lucky enough to have seen Happy: The Documentary by director Roko Belic, you've already learned some powerful - and surprising - findings about what truly contributes to happiness. (If you haven't seen the movie, I hope you do. Its strength lies in finding happiness even when the world does not cooperate.)

The movie has so many inspiring ideas that you might not know where to start. So here is a list of ideas to help you on your journey. But don't get overwhelmed - just pick one that you can see fitting into your life and get started. (You are always welcomed back for another): ...continue reading