Meditation Teacher Megan Monahan's Advice on Breakups + Talking to Your Ex



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Megan is the modern meditation teacher. She knows when to talk mantras, but she also knows just when to crack a joke. After years in the music industry and a few life events that caused her to re-evaluate her purpose, she turned to meditation to heal. After becoming certified at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and working with them for five years, she returned to LA to begin teaching meditation privately and at Unplug meditation studio. You can follow her on Instagram @megmonahan.

HER FIRST HEARTBREAK
“My dad was an alcoholic so I grew up completely terrified that I would marry an alcoholic, like my mom did and my grandmother did. A lot of what I heard when I was young had to do with not ending up in that situation. So I waited awhile before I let myself fall in love. I told myself I was not going to let myself fall in love until I knew that I was strong enough to leave that person if they weren’t right for me. So I did that. And at the age of 21, I fell in love with this amazing English football player - very charming, very kind of enigmatic, huge personality. And he was a really amazing alcoholic as well, of course. So of course I needed to attract that to go through that story myself, that fear, that conditioning. So I fell madly in love and started fighting the gut feeling that was telling me ‘This is not okay, this is not what you deserve, this is not what you want in a relationship.’ I let myself do some things - picking him up at the bar and paying his bar tab at 2 am - that I wouldn't do now. I definitely went down the rabbit hole. What I do know now is that I was doing some amazing spiritual work in the midst of all that dysfunction; work that was absolutely necessary for my evolution."

HER MOST RECENT HEARTBREAK
“My dad passing away a year and a half ago. There ended up being a duality to that heartbreak because my heart was very much cracked open and filled with this unconditional love and forgiveness and acceptance, but at the same time it was just full of sorrow. The last romantic heartbreak I had was another alcoholic. He was the last one in my list of karmic stories that were being replayed over and over. And luckily with him I learned the lesson that I needed to learn and I have yet to attract another one since. And that’s amazing. I think that’s really important. Especially with romantic relationships, we tend to attract the same person in different bodies until we work through what were supposed to work through."

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ON THE POWER OF MEDITATION
“My meditation practice is what constantly fills me up. It is what allows me to navigate my life not constantly looking for the external charge, not looking for the relationship to complete me, not looking for that validation. I know at my core that I’m good and I’m whole and I’m lacking nothing. I very much enjoy a relationship - whether friendships or romantic - but I know that I have everything I need in me. It takes away that attachment to holding on to those romantic relationships. We do that a lot. We latch onto it very tightly and then when it leaves we are left with this big hole. I miss them and I’m sad when something reminds me of them, but at my core I know I’m good and I feel that."

RESETTING THROUGH MEDITATION
“I used to look at the world really cynically. I used to look at the world as what’s wrong instead of what’s right, and meditation is really the thing that reset that for me. Instead of looking for the grievances, I look at what I can be grateful for. When you’re going through a break up it's really important to notice all of the blessings in your life and to have gratitude for all of the things that you do have. Spend time with the people who want to be in your life instead of spending all your thoughts and energy on the one person who doesn’t."

THE STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES
“When you break up with someone it is very easy to create a story around it and to indulge in whatever thoughts you’re having and usually it’s not the positive ones. Usually it’s the negative ones that we obsess over. Right? We don’t obsess over the thought that ‘I know I’m going to be ok and it’ll be fine.’ That’s not the thought we obsess and focus on. We focus on ‘I really miss them’ and ‘What went wrong?’ and ‘Why aren’t we together?’ So meditation really gives you an awareness around all of that, which really helps improve your mindset."

ASKING FOR HELP
“It took me a really long time to be comfortable asking for help and letting people know what I needed. And I found that if you’re just really upfront and direct with people about what you need and you communicate with them, you give them the opportunity to say ‘Yeah I can do that for you!’ or ‘No I can’t’ and people do that. Then there’s none of that resentment that builds up when you’re afraid to ask for help when you’re going through something and you need a hand or you need a hug. So I very much utilize my relationships when I’m going through a break up.”

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TALKING ABOUT YOUR BREAKUP
“You have to be really careful with how much and with whom you talk about your break up. I think that there is that tendency to walk around telling that story over and over and over to people because it feels good. Every time you say that story you’re just reinforcing it. And if you’re talking to a friend you’re also getting their take on it and their conditioned way of looking at things. So I think that can really set you back. I’m really careful. I have a few people in my life who will look at the situation with me and give me a higher consciousness response.”

TALKING TO YOUR EX
“I also think it is really hard to not give into those little impulses when you miss them. So you send them a text or you end up drinking one night and your guard is down and you end up calling them. That stuff is really hard when you’re trying to create that separation. I think moving forward takes a certain amount of space, especially at first. So I think you must find ways to not do that, not to give into that momentary impulse. It’s just a thought and it will pass."

HER BREAKUP VICE
“I tend to withdraw when I’m in pain or dealing with something. I tend to retreat. I’m not that person who is staying busy and going out. I very much go to that space of ‘I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to do anything.’ And that’s probably my biggest vice. To conquer it I just force myself out. I reach out to the people in my life and say ‘I’m not doing very well, can you take me out?’ Sometimes you just have to move through it. Where your attention goes is where you energy is going to flow, so if you’re constantly thinking ‘I’m so miserable, I’m so lonely’ that’s how you will continue to feel. If you’re able to say ‘I’m going to go out and choose to find things that will bring a smile to face,’ even if you think that is all bullshit, after you say that over and over one day you’re going to actually say ‘Oh yeah I’m okay today, how did that happen?’”

A REASON, A SEASON, A LIFETIME
“I’m not one to think you should definitely be friends with all of your exes. People come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime. I think sometimes people come into your life for a season and that’s it. Just because you were dating someone for 5 years doesn’t mean they need to continue to be a part of your life. You don’t owe anyone anything. Especially if you’ve been with someone for a while, even in a friendship. We have this idea that just because we’ve been friends with someone or we’ve been dating someone for a long time even though they’re toxic or not good for us we should keep them in our lives because they always been there. You get to ask yourself in these relationships ‘Is there something in this relationship that is serving me and helping me be better?’ And I haven’t found with very many exes that that’s the case.  I have a lot of friends, I don’t need my exes to be my friends, you know? I do have some exes that I’m friendly with but none of my exes are my confidantes because we’ve never had that intimacy other than in a romantic relationship. It’s hard to go from that to just being friends. And I’m really careful to not let men take up that space in my life. If I’m trying to attract a new relationship, I don’t want this roster of exes taking up that space, energetically speaking, to get a little ‘woo woo’ on you.”

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FOLLOWING EXES ON INSTAGRAM
“I do not stay connected with my exes on social media. What am I? A sadist? No, absolutely not. No, I don’t need to see that you’re having an awesome time with that new girl who looks like me. And also everyone’s life looks amazing on Instagram. My life is epic on Instagram. No one sees the days that I’m a mess, so no I don’t need to see him being super happy and okay. I wish them well but I don’t need to see all of the wellness."

FAVORITE SONG ABOUT HEARTBREAK
"Shake It Off by Florence and the Machine if you’re ready to move on. Drop the World by Lil’ Wayne is really amazing if you’re really angry. Anything by Jessie Ware if you want to cry."

IT LEFT FOR A REASON
“I get that what I’m about to say is way easier said than done. My friend always says to me ‘What is meant for you will never miss you.’ And I think that’s true. When you break up with someone, especially if you’re not the one doing the breaking, it’s that sense of ‘I really wanted this’ or ‘This felt really good.’ I have trust that the things that are supposed to be in my life will and I won’t have to hold on that tightly to anything that is supposed to stay. You give the relationship attention and you nurture it and all of that stuff, but in terms of it staying in my life, I very much believe that if it doesn’t stay in my life, it left for a reason. I get to learn from it and I get to grow from it."

Photographed by Ellen Huerta.