“It started with mammals, bugs and birds.” Lynn Kaplan is describing her evolution from educator – she once ran a successful business introducing children to wildlife – to Divorce Doula. Two difficult marriages, the challenge of fibromyalgia and then spontaneously rising to advocate on her own behalf at her own marriage dissolution set Lynn on a new course. A trusted advisor saw Lynn’s natural talent: “You need to study mediation,” she said. And Lynn found her calling. Perhaps the one that a beloved grandmother had always intended for her…
Lynn says her maternal grandmother was the very first female bank manager in the United States. And two generations of Lynn’s paternal forebears ran competing collection agencies. It all makes for a childhood spent honing advocacy skills. “I grew up negotiating,” says Lynn.
While navigating the terrain of contentious relationships is a natural match to her education and experience, it’s not all about girding for battle. Lynn also has prodigious nurturing skills. Her postage stamp sized urban front yard has a small hoop house for growing vegetables. She’s experimented with creating a friendly environment for bees and she once kept backyard chickens. With her own children coming along she fosters others in need of care, and home schools. It’s all about a passion for creating fertile ground for growth and change.
“I’m the eternal optimist,” says Lynn, who firmly believes in turning your obstacles into opportunity. And perhaps this is the most unique aspect of what she does for a living. As Lynn helps people to understand the process of a separation and divorce, she also coaches them to set goals and to reclaim aspects of their lives that they have lost sight of.
With compassion, circumspection and time, there is sometimes no ‘divorce’ at all but healthy, informed personal evolution. Herein lies the key to the title: Doula. Helping to give birth.
If we can think of our challenges to grow and change as something less than a struggle and more like a personal call to conscious evolution, we can all be encouraged to a larger version of ourselves and a new beginning on our life’s journey.
In times of crisis sourcing the right kind of help certainly makes life easier, but sometimes what is called for is a little hand-holding and perspective, someone to hold up a mirror and help us see an opportunity. “Life is not what they told us it was going to be,” says Lynn. “You just don’t know what it will bring.”
About Monica Renée Duncan
A periodical writer for over three decades, Monica is a regular contributor to 3rdimagazine.
“I’ve had many spontaneous and unusual encounters with the divine. For that reason, I have a passionate belief in the power and capacity of the human spirit to evolve. But every new level we attain begins with a first step, the recognition that we need guidance and help. The universe provides, when we ask.”