Who’s Pulling My Strings?

How I Learned to Free the Puppet and Feel Safe to Be Me

by Mardi Kirkland

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Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 24/06/2016

Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 194
ISBN : 9781452592749
Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 194
ISBN : 9781452592725

About the Book

When Mardi Kirkland resigned from a corporate management career to start her own business, she told herself she was a macho woman who could accomplish anything. Suddenly instead, she was confronted with a far stronger belief about herself that threatened to sabotage her every move. While this awareness was shocking, she realized it had been running the show most of her life.

While wanting to be an authentic person, she, instead, was consumed with thinking and saying what she thought others wanted to hear. She had no clue what being authentic looked like.

Willing to do "whatever it takes," Mardi embarked on a personal journey to discover what had gotten her to this place, to heal her wounds, and create a new life based on self-love, acceptance, and joy.

"Who's Pulling My Strings" takes the reader beyond theory and lists of things to do to change your life. It shows you what it will be like to take these life-changing steps, and what to do when obstacles seem to be blocking your path.

As you travel with Mardi on her journey, you feel like she is also your companion on the expedition to your inner universe, understanding your fears, encouraging you to touch your core and find your heart. Mardi talks with you as if the two of you are sitting in your living room having an intimate conversation.



A woman seeks to free herself from the lingering effects of a tumultuous past in this debut memoir. When Kirkland confronted a change of career--from territory manager of a Fortune 100 company to beauty consultant with Mary Kay--she confided to a friend, "I can't fail...because then everyone will know I'm no good." It was a shocking revelation, and she began seeking answers that would help her achieve a sense of emotional wholeness. She first explored her childhood, during which she says her authoritarian parents taught her to fear a harsh God; she realized that this ultimately stifled her positive energy and convinced her she was "no good." She writes that these feelings led her into two failed marriages in which she felt "unloved and unlovable," and that they also motivated her to seek success as a way to cover up her insecurities. However, this book focuses less on her emotional trials and more on her recovery. Drawing on information from various workshops, books, and personal experiences, she details her coping strategies, such as studying her past and its consequences, reframing unhealthy thought processes, validating and exploring negative emotions, and learning to forgive others. One of the memoir's most appealing qualities is Kirkland's excitement as she shares successes in her healing process. The book could have been trimmed down, as it repeats many ideas in different chapters. Overall, though, it flows very easily, offering astute commentary and excellent imagery. Readers may find that not all the coping strategies resonate with them, particularly the unconventional ones, such as having conversations with different parts of oneself or considering how one's birth story affected one's later life. However, there are many insightful ideas that readers may find beneficial, such as using criticism to learn about oneself and finding compassion for wrongdoers by considering their upbringings. Although Kirkland's specific background is unique, the principles she shares are universal and worth a read.

An engaging collection of coping principles for soul-searching readers.

About the Author

If graduate degrees were given in imprisonment in caring what others think of you and doing whatever it takes to become free, Mardi Kirkland would have PhDs in both subjects. A mother, grandmother, real estate agent, and life mentor, Mardi currently lives a joy-filled life in Scottsdale, Arizona.