Speaker, program presenter, and mentor-coach

My name is Annie Gyg (pronounced “jig”). Drawing on my personal life experiences — most significantly those acquired in the mentally, emotionally and physically challenging role as primary caregiver to my adult daughter during her mental health crisis and addiction — I now guide others wanting to achieve the awareness, authenticity and attitude that can enhance the quality and duration of their life.

It was a painful process being a caregiver to my daughter during her illness. But by overcoming large and scary obstacles (primarily my beliefs and ways of thinking), I was able to not only survive the experience, but flourish from it.

A significant part of that flourishing came from developing a better-than-ever relationship with my daughter that could only happen with me first developing a better-than-ever relationship with myself. Ironically, I — the caregiver — had to heal as much as my daughter.

Rachel Naomi Remen says it well: Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you — all of the expectations, all of the beliefs — and becoming who you are.

Complementing this and a whole whack of other personal life experiences, I have leadership training and practice accrued over my 40-year corporate career, research into relationships, and my certification training and experience as a professional life coach.

What’s in a name?

When I was a child, my now departed dad used to call me “Annie Get Your Gun” (after the popular 1950 musical western). I loved that nickname and shortened it to Annie Gyg, adopting it as my pen and stage name.

Hitch your wagon to a star

Image adapted from professorpotts.com.


To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson in his 1862 essay “American Civilization,” you’re a wise person to hitch your wagon to a star in order to borrow the power of the elements to serve you in your efforts. 

hywtas (HI-wa-tass), acronym of hitch your wagon to a star, is what I call the umbrella under which I offer my services. The name was born out of my belief that the power of the elements is not found out there somewhere, but rather within your authentic, unique self. You’re empowered to be happy and live a fulfilling life once you connect to your internal power source. Through training, speaking and coaching, I assist people who want to connect.

hywtas … or just stay where you are.

In addition to Emerson’s words, the following two quotes figure prominently as guiding light in living my purpose:

“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free” — Michelangelo


I feel this speaks to the necessary, ongoing work of carving away limiting beliefs, thoughts and behaviours, as well as the expectations of others, to release your pure, authentic self. By doing so, you can take flight and become an angel to others.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” — George Eliot


This serves as a reminder to me that regardless of what stage of life you’re in, no matter what has gone before, it’s never too late to hitch your wagon to a star and make the rest of your life the best of your life. That way, whether you’re 17 or 71, you can offer the best of you — rather than what’s left of you — to others.

Designations and memberships

Complementing my diploma from Life’s School of Mistakes and Painful Learning, I hold the following designations and memberships:

And above all: Mom.

Photo date – 1991

I’m mother to three daughters and a son, mother-in-love to their partners, and live simply — immersed in nature — near Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

“Each new season grows from the leftovers of the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.” — Hal Borland