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OUR LAGUNA:Taking charge in the new year

January 26, 2007|By BARBARA DIAMOND

The feminist program presented Jan. 18 attracted many newcomers to the Woman's Club of Laguna Beach.

At least half of the 50 women in the audience who came to hear author and clinical psychologist Marion Jacobs speak on "Choices and Changes" were not members of the club.

"It just sounded like an interesting way to start the New Year," said Claudia Mellin.

Three of the newcomers tucked $35 into the envelopes provided for membership dues that night. Others took the envelopes when they left the clubhouse.

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Some of them didn't even live in Laguna.

Peggy Carey, whose husband owned the Chevron service station on Legion Street, lives in Irvine. JoAnn Leuck lives in Laguna Woods. Both heard about the program from Berta San Miguel.

"I read the article ["Female bonding," Coastline Pilot, Jan. 12] and just started calling around to get people interested," San Miguel said.

Anne Johnson, chair of the annual program of special interest to women, welcomed guests and introduced Jacobs.

Jacobs' talk was based on her book: "Take Charge Living — How to Recast Your Role in Life in Six Acts."

The book is about choosing to change and the tools one needs to overcome one's resistance to change, even when change is desired.

It was all about us.

One member of the audience asked what people can do about family members who need to make changes.

"This is not about changing anyone else," Jacobs said. "But if what they are doing is frustrating you, you should be doing something different."

What about the reluctance to express emotions instead of just being a good listener, another asked.

Decide what you want to say, advised Jacobs, then announce that you have something you'd like to say. But first you have to get the floor.

"Everybody wants to make some changes, so why do New Year's resolutions fizzle so quickly?" Jacobs asked rhetorically.

"The problem is that everyone wants change to happen quickly. When that doesn't happen, we get discouraged and say I can't do it.

"Most, in fact all the self-help books I have read have a lot of good advice: go do it. If it was that easy, you already would have done it."

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