No Strings Attached
Written by Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
August 22, 2019
“I can’t fail, because then everyone will know I’m no good.”
Like a streak of lightning piercing the darkness, Mardi Kirkland’s starkly honest answer to a friend’s gently phrased question shocks her out of a torpor she never knew she was in and starts her on a quest to rediscover her sense of self. Equal parts memoir and self-help book, Kirkland shares her hard-earned life lessons using the unique insight gained from her own personal journey, chronicling an escape from the soul-crushing world of corporate drudgery to the joys of being your own boss and the wonder of discovering, accepting and loving yourself along the way.
My Hay House Internet Radio interview is finally going to air! I am inviting you to listen to it. It’s short – less than 10 minutes.
Tune in this Friday, February 1, at 1pm PST – 2pm AZ time.
WHO'S PULLING MY STRINGS?
BalboaPress (194 pp.)
$33.95 hardcover, $14.99 paperback, $3.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-4525-9274-9; June 24, 2016
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.
No Strings Attached
Written by Leah LeMoine
Issue: July 2017
After reading dozens of self-help books to process and heal from her own identity crisis, Scottsdale real estate agent Mardi Kirkland decided to pen one of her own. Who’s Pulling My Strings? (Balboa Press, $14.99) chronicles Kirkland’s journey from a “proud, invested victim,” an insecure corporate climber always on the brink of a meltdown, to a “grateful creator” of her life as a self-possessed professional, mother and grandmother. Her candid recollections of her rock bottoms and her ruminations on her personal growth are relatable for anyone who has struggled with the ruthless demands of self-consciousness and perfectionism. You’ll cheer for Kirkland when she finally cuts her “puppet strings” and emerges as her true self.