When Megan Lundahl’s mother, Terry Lundahl, introduced the idea for the local story slam called Tales of Our Lives, Megan was already involved with the Women’s Fund of Door County but had been wanting to spearhead a new project — one focused not on fundraising but on storytelling.
At its heart, Tales of Our Lives is grounded in community connection and healing. The event invites community members to listen to stories shared by a group of chosen storytellers, most of whom live in Door County.
Tales of Our Lives provides performers with both the space and the support to share their stories and often to grapple with difficult topics. Sometimes Lundahl is asked why it’s so important that these stories be shared, especially when they can be uncomfortable to tell and to hear.
She says that women particularly benefit from opportunities to share their stories because they often put their own needs and desires behind those they care for and don’t take the time to properly care for themselves.
“When we tell our stories, it is healing for us,” Lundahl explained. “When we hear stories, it connects us to one another, creates empathy and lifts up the women and girls in our community.”
The audience can build communal empathy and, hopefully, leave the story slam feeling more connected to the community as a whole — a principle that’s integral to the Women’s Fund’s mission statement: When she thrives, we all prosper!
This idea is consistent with other aspects of Lundahl’s life as well. When she was elected to the 21-member Door County Board of Supervisors in 2016, she was its youngest member and one of just six women. She recently finished studying for her master’s degree and is working on rolling out her own practice as a wellness coach. It’s a lot to take on, and the Sevastopol School graduate credits her strong support system as essential to maintaining her balanced — albeit busy — life.
“I am supported by a plethora of strong women. I don’t have just one mother; I have mothers whom I glean wisdom from,” Lundahl said.
As co-owner of The Pearl of Door County, she focuses on creating space for individuals to care for themselves so that they can better care for those around them.
“This is something I’m really focused on: helping people to create space for themselves. That always comes down to empowerment,” Lundahl said. “When we help people out, we need to be sure we are helping them out but not disempowering them, and then empowerment can become self-sustaining.”