How to be Unreasonably Happy … in Spite of Everything

Renee Miereanu is a Master in Neuro-Linguistics, Counselor, Master Clinical Hypnotherapist, Happiness Coach, Relationships Coach, and Tobacco Cessation and Stop Vaping Expert.

Founder of The Breathe Center, Reneé Miereanu began her private practice on the Big Island, Hawaii, living there for 14 years, after studying at university in Los Angeles, California. She continued her education, personal counseling, and coaching in Seattle, also for another 14 years. She now resides and works in Ashland, Oregon. She has been providing these services for over 30 years.

Renee utilizes multiple techniques with her clients including NLP, clinical hypnotherapy, guided meditation, self-hypnosis training, self-esteem enhancement, stress management, 12 step support, tobacco and vaping cessation, weight control and women’s issues. Additional methods are Interactive Guided Imagery, Gestalt Coaching, Behavioral Modification, and Advanced Ericsonian Hypnosis, Inner Parts Dialogue, cognitive and transpersonal techniques combined with coaching.

Renee also created the successful tobacco cessation method, Breathe®© that assists people to easily stop smoking and using chew tobacco. Her expertise is in stress management, insomnia prevention, weight control, sports performance, couples counseling, internet/porn and other addictions, fears and regrets and much, much more.

 She creates customized approaches for each individual client to transform their problems into strengths. She specializes in Neuro-Linguistics which is considered an advanced and sophisticated method of hypnotherapy and she is a gratefully a Happiness Coach and guide for indelible peacefulness and healthy change in her client’s lives.

Renee works in order to “communicate directly with the subconscious” in order to transform negative beliefs and behaviors. “Some of our notions, perceptions, and presuppositions don’t serve us,” she explains. “We become trapped by our own thoughts. My work is about assisting people to get out of their own way,” she says. “Supporting people to create real, lasting changes in their lives is my greatest joy.”

Hi Renee, thanks so much for speaking with us today and for being a part of the LocalsGuide!

I am grateful for this opportunity to be recognized in this gorgeous forum created for so many of us in business here. The LocalsGuide is such a wonderful addition to our precious Rogue Valley community. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak with you and your readers.

Renee, please begin by telling us a little bit about your background and training.

Well, I am always looking for more education and experiences. I’ve studied with some of the most amazing teachers over all of these years. I find that working in my business as well as being of selfless-service is what makes my heart sing. One particularly awakening, where I absolutely knew of a connection with ALL That IS, for about 8 hours, on a deserted, double bay beach in 1984, changed my life and mind forever!

I was born on the East Coast, grew up in Texas, moved to Los Angeles, California mothered 3 children … now they have children. Managed a jewelry store, sold and designed jewelry and also co-owned and co-managed a Tropical Fish Store we named “Saks Fish Avenue” to support my family.

I was nationally certified with the American Council Hypnotist Examiners as a Master Hypnotist since 1982 and still hold that certification today. I relocated to the Big Island, Kailua-Kona Hawaii. I lived there for 14 years. I started my therapy and counseling private practice with individuals as well as groups and held a license with the State of Hawaii Department of Health as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.

I also had opportunities to travel in the world and took many educational trainings in my field as well as met and studied with Christian, Tibetan Buddhist, Hindu, Siddha Yoga, Huna Ho’O’PonoPono and Mystical Kabbalah teachers in Putaparte, India and Maui, Hawaii, Israel, Egypt, B.C. Canada, Seattle and Los Angeles. I also participate in a two-year certification with a local, truly gifted teacher in Gestalt and Psychotherapy.

Of course, as I did my work I also took hospice training and volunteering. I was hospice staff for 3 years before I moved to Seattle, Washington. I then became a Washington State Registered Counselor and certified as a Washington State Registered Hypnotherapist. I have also been a chaplain volunteer for Asante Hospitals in Medford and Ashland Community Hospital for close to 7 years.

Tell us about your prison experiences.

Because it’s important to me to freely give of my time in service, as well as have a busy therapy practice, I volunteered in a full-security prison for a total of 11 years as a sponsor in Washington State Penitentiary’s full security men’s prison. I also took in-depth training for volunteers from the Washington State Prison System for rules and regulations regarding working with inmates, administration, and guards each year for the entire 11 years.

I participated in monthly 12-Step meetings for 6 years. Then began my 5-year facilitation of two-day group Gestalt Seminars, offered quarterly, entitled Love and Forgiveness. My mentor and author Leonard Shaw, M.A. worked for three decades doing this workshop in prisons. I co-facilitated with him for two years. He then retired after my two-year training and subsequently passed the mantle of facilitator on to me. I taught the workshop for an additional 3 years until 2009 when I moved to Ashland.

As you might try to imagine, this powerful seminar was done in a circle with inmates and their families, wives or girlfriends, if they chose to invite them. Under our guidance, we began the seminar with art therapy and other group exercises. And then we placed two chairs in the center of the circle while inspired men who volunteered to do the work on themselves, experiencing their crime, in the now moment, and then moving to the other chair to dialogue as their own victim’s experience. At times family members would literally do the work with them or other inmates would play roles. Amazing healings of forgiveness occurred.

Most of our students were in prison for life sentences with, or without, the possibility of parole. Their crimes included murderer, gang violence, drug offenses, drug dealers and three strikes offenders. Most of their crimes were done under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. We also worked closely in cooperation with the prison staff, warden, and correctional officers.

I loved serving these prisoners, certainly not condoning their past behavior, but assisting them to release self-punishment so as to be loving contributors in their community and live more productive lives as they served out their sentences. They loved and respected Leonard and me and demonstrated that by their work in the seminars.

I sponsored many volunteers from outside the greater Seattle area communities who were more than welcome and dedicated to come into the prison. Of course, they first had to attend day-long training with the prison staff and go through security checks to be able to volunteer.

I moved to Ashland and began my Counseling/Hypnotherapy/ NLP practice in October 2009 – and have continued in practice. In November 2013 I began as a one day a week volunteer as an all-denominational Spiritual Care Chaplain at Asanté Rogue Valley Medical Center. I have served in this role for over 800 hours and almost three years until August 1, 2016. I’ve also volunteered at The Rogue Valley Manor as a chaplain. I am now and continue to volunteer as a chaplain at Asanté Ashland Community Hospital for the past three and a half years. These have been very precious experiences of opening my heart into unconditional love as I was being with dying or gravely ill patients and their families. This has taught me more about many different religions and also about people who have none. But most of all, I learned to appreciate Life and to be grateful for each moment and each person with whom I encounter.

Here I go, dropping names: I met Tibetan Lama Dechen Yeshe Wangmo and Lama Tarchin Rinpoche and young Anam Rinpoche when he was still a monk. Met Mother Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi “the hugging saint” in the year 2000 and continue to hold her as my Spiritual Mother. Sister Ignatia, Mr. Bill Wilson, R.A. Masters, Mooji, Brené Brown and Dr. Gabor Maté continue to raise my awareness to live in the now as much as possible.

What first brought you to Ashland? And why did you decide to make this your home?

I came to Ashland to a workshop to continue my education in Gestalt therapy 10 years ago. While here for several days, as I walked around the town, I fell in love with our beautiful Ashland and the warm and wonderful residents and instantly decided to move here from Seattle to work in my private therapy practice, and start my life, here.

You had a very harrowing experience this year. Please tell us about it.

Yes, on March 28, 2019 I was feeling really weak and tired and had been for a couple of weeks. My dear friend Liz called me to check in because she hadn’t heard from me in quite a while. I told her how I was feeling and she suggested I take my temperature. I reported 101.7 and she immediately told me to get dressed warmly (it was snowing) and she would take me to AACH ER. I told her no, my primary care physician (at the time) said she thought I had the flu and to go to bed and was not willing to see me in the office. Liz insisted on taking me to the hospital so I reluctantly obliged my sweet friend’s wishes. Turned out I had bacterial spinal meningitis and was very, very sick. All I could do is not worry about myself and take the illness one day at a time; sometimes one minute at a time. I am so grateful to the many friends who prayed for me and came to visit. The pronominal nurses, doctors, and staff were amazing, loving and brilliant caretakers who saved my life for a total of 9 days. I then was medevacked to OHSU Medical Center in Portland, and on day 13 of my hospitalization, I had brain surgery to fill a small hole in my deep sinus cavity that had opened and caused the infection in my brain and spinal cord. My daughter and best friend were there with me for 4 days.

I realized just before the operation that I could certainly die. I figured if it was my turn to be gone I was willing to do it peacefully. And if it wasn’t my time, then I have a lot more good work to do. They filled the hole!!! I then stayed for another 5 days and was sent home. It’s been a long 4 month recovery, but somehow, I have emerged into my pretty much healthy self.

What I learned is to be delighted with this blink-of-an-eye human life each day. To surrender to every day (as much as possible) into unreasonable happiness, watchfulness, and loving kindness to my fellows. Of course, because I’m not a saint, I forget from time to time. Nonetheless, I am grateful to be alive!

Renée what do you see as the foundation of continuous happiness and the power of being in the Now as much as possible??

“The Mind is a very effective tool. We can use it to create both hell and heaven, It’s about choice.” ~Amma

I was thinking about happiness. I mean, I was really thinking about happiness and it seemed to me that it is a natural instinct for everyone to strive for happiness. To attain it most of us think if we keep looking for something to make us happy we will then be happy. Including looking for the right person to love and love you, the right car, buy the right house, eat our favorite ice cream, have enough sex, etc.  Certainly, if our relationships are not going well, our financial situation is not optimal, our job is not serving us, or whatever we are not happy about, it seems that all these external things determine whether we are happy or unhappy. So, I asked myself this question, “Is that actually true?”

So, I thought about it a lot and concluded that when we rely on external things, we are absolutely giving our power away. We tend to create happiness when persons, places, and things are going well, and experience unhappiness when they are not. Think of the power our significant other; friends or your parents have over us. If they say one little (or big) thing, then our happiness evaporates away in seconds. Everyone who has important input into our lives seems to have huge control over us, thus external forces determine our happiness. Not only people, but also random events like the economy changing, harsh weather, or other occurrences that are completely outside of our internal control, affect our happiness.

I say, be happy for no reason as much as possible. Just BE happy. That is what unreasonable happiness is – to choose to be happy in spite of it all.

“The mind is the source of all suffering, and it is also the source of all happiness,” says Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. Thoughts are powerful things. At times, they can make us into our own worst enemy. Chronic anxieties or dependencies, self-limiting beliefs, and self-defeating behaviors can hold us back from living the life we want. But a problem that’s rooted in the mind can also be solved through the mind. That means that we can harness the power of thought to create positive change in our lives.

Let your internal state be the part of you that determines your mood. You cannot control those external factors but you have a huge input into your internal emotions, thoughts, and feelings. This is not to say that you push away your emotions or feelings. It is to say that the duration of most of our feelings can change.

Happiness does not have to be a very high, high because when you experience that high, high; in reverse you may also have very low, lows. As you look back in your life you might notice that this seesaw effect of high-highs and low-lows go together. Many of us love that intensity of being very high and then being very low.  That’s called “drama addiction” but I’ll write about that at another time.

I knew someone who very consciously said, “I want to live with the intensity of life and not the mediocrity of a boring emotional landscape.”  I say there is a place without very highs and very lows to choose to be in an emotional middle ground. This place is without the great highs and lows that not a boring emotional landscape. There is a place of peace and happiness. It may be time to choose safe and enjoyable adventures such as camping, sailing, skiing, boating, hiking, zip lines, lakes, and ocean beaches and maybe to travel to unusual places. Attend a great film, play, or concert. Even though we do not consciously know it, we choose to create our emotions 100%. When we are aware of this fact, we are more stable and less likely to be knocked off balance by external forces. Consider not going for extreme emotional intensity but going for stability and lots and lots of fun in life.

I have spent time with Buddhist teachers as well as wonderful Hindu teachers. It seems like these people are rarely moved from states of happiness because they are grounded and strong in themselves and in the consistent experiences of “now” moments. They have encountered the knowing that external circumstances do not shake them out of calmness. Their lives are full of sincere, yet peaceful laughter and smiles and their joy just is.  It just is a fact that cannot be disputed because there is stability in the eternal NOW moment. We all are capable of practicing joy no matter what is happening around us!

Be unreasonable happy, yes choose to be happy for absolutely no reason at all. And it won’t take years of sitting in meditation to do that. Learn the Breathe Method of Eastern Philosophy for the Western Mind that I have been learning and sharing for many years. Why not practice this new way of thinking for yourself? Remind yourself to call me for either private sessions or register for my class.

Renee, please talk about the transformations that you have observed in thousands of your clients over your 30 years in private practice.

This is the biggest thrill to observe in my business and my life. Not from ego, but from presence. People are perfect exactly as they are and it is a daily practice, (not necessarily to sit in meditation for no more than 5 to 30 minutes), but intentionally, with compassion, non-judgmentally watching the thought processes to intentionally be loving and accepting of your Self. It is about the teaching of being comfortably aware of your moment by moment thoughts and re-directing them into acceptance. You may recognize this quote by Bill Wilson, “Acceptance is the answer to all of our problems today. Unless I accept my Life completely on Life’s terms, I cannot be happy.”

Renee, tell us about how you work with couples to have a more loving connection rather than competition.

This happens in all sorts of relationships. When there are long or short term intimacy couples unconsciously regress into sibling rivalry or mother/father issues. Many people do not realize they are following a pattern of what they did or what their parents did. When I work with couples, as well as organizations and businesses, I assist to bring people into an awareness of these unconscious patterns so they can be more grounded, have healthy boundaries and become stronger within themselves. To be more giving and less taking for themselves … without becoming doormats or bullies. A lot of this is about learning how to move into the now moment as often as possible rather than begin stuck in the past or being fearful of the future.

How about retired couples? What can you do for them?

When folks are newly retired they are usually not accustomed to being with each other 100% of the time. They have been busy working, possibly raising children and have gotten used to being “the boss” of their individual lives and coming home in the evenings to gather with each other and their family. This all changes upon retirement.

Sometimes the working partner doesn’t know what to do with him or herself, so they try to take on the life of their spouse. Some feel neglected by their “busy” spouse. That might not work out so well.

Some couples just need a few sessions of coaching to make new agreements with each other and learn new and easy communication skills to create more harmony into their golden years. I love assisting them so they can enjoy their lives and blossom into retirement together, learning to love deeply and find more love with an imperfect person perfectly.

“The past has disappeared forever and the future is imaginary, all that exists is this now moment.”?Please explain this statement. 

This is where unreasonable happiness is found … NOW! In our brain we make up all sorts of fantastical stories that create what is known as “stress”. Stress is such a generic word, but when we find and work through the thoughts and incidents from our past that cause the “stress” then we find more ways to calm and peacefulness. Not boredom but exciting and healthy ways to live our lives.

The trails to stress are your deepest fears. Stress is suffering and when we suffer we miss the beauty of Life. We all have the right to be happy no matter what is going on in our lives, in our country, in our work, the planet, the government, etc.

So, one of the keys to Unreasonable Happiness is to be entertained by your mind/brain’s thoughts instead of believing it and suffering in it’s made up stories … because the brain is not designed to be happy. This work is gently re-parenting and retraining the mind to be happy. Yet, it’s important to feel everything and not suppress your feelings. In this work you will be surprised to see, feel and hear yourself sustain the “suffering” of the mind in shorter and shorter duration so that more Unreasonable Happiness occurs.

Will you share some recent client’s testimonials about your work with us?  

I am eternally grateful to the benevolent people who have graciously given me permission to publish their testimonials.

 “Renée surprised me with logic that helped me to overcome and improve issues that I’ve had for 20, 40 and 50 years … and for good! She explained in easy-to-grasp ways that my issues did not magically appear and to understand they don’t just magically disappear by trying to do this work by myself. Again, I want to emphasize that although her techniques are called hypnotherapy, they are not magic or hocus-pocus … although sometimes they felt magical.”

~ Doug Fergus Songwriter and Performer, Ashland

“I have always been a gal with a rather pessimistic view of life … Easily agitated, excitable and prone to worry and depression. I have utilized talk therapy many times over the years with no major or lasting improvement. I am happy to say that Renée Miereanu’s unique trainings; knowledge and personal insights have been a gift – one that is changing my life for the better. 

I am especially impressed with her recorded guided meditation CD entitled I Love MySelf Always. Listening to her melodic voice, calming words and detailed verbal imagery has allowed me to begin my day with a much-improved attitude and converts a negative outlook into a more positive one. Best of all, I fall back asleep quickly if I awaken in the middle of the night! 

I am very grateful for Renée’s experience and counseling expertise.” ~ K. R. Thielges, Medford  

“I have worked with many therapists, in a variety of circumstances over the years and frankly I have to say that I have not held most in high regard. That is, until I had the opportunity to work with Renée Miereanu. Renée’s methods were nothing less than impeccable and extraordinarily effective. Her sensitivity and precision in getting to the roots of my issues were simply masterful and her ability to keep me on track and in integrity in the process was also extraordinary. If you’re having problems or looking for a therapist who can gracefully assist you in uncovering and addressing your core issues I highly recommend Renée. She is a rare gift in this field and I’m profoundly grateful to have found her and to have had the opportunity of working with her.” ~ Merrill W., Ashland

“To say that my time together with Renée has changed my life would be an understatement. Truly, I haven’t been quite the same since but in the best and most welcomed of ways. For many years I stood upon the precept of myself looking across the vastness completely bewildered. I could not make heads or tails of what I seemed to be looking at. She has greatly helped me make sense of it all and gave me tools that I continue to make use of every single day. Thank you for showing me the light through your love, patience and understanding. I am extremely grateful!” ~ Jessica K., R.N., Medford 

“My time spent with Renée was life changing, she helped me find new inner strength and confidence, and she taught me how to live in the moment. I feel like a new person. I have a clear mind and I am thriving both in my personal and professional life. People tell me, ‘I can see it in your eyes … Whatever you are doing, keep it up!’ Renée was a gift to me and I am so thankful to have found her. I highly recommend her!” ~ Stephanie R. Former Nursing Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, Medford

“We often thank The Universe that sent us to you for couples counseling, Renée.” ~ S. E. Smith, Oregon

“I am a true believer! Renée has helped to restore my sense of self-worth and confidence. She has taught me to recognize my negative, self-defeating behaviors, rearrange my thinking, and pursue the things I want in my life. I now feel more positive and empowered. Thank you, Renée!” ~ Hilary E., Medford

Renee, you have a specialty in working with addictions? Please say more.

From drugs and alcohol, vaping and nicotine addiction, to internet and drama and misery addiction and many more: healing these addictions is about learning how to cope with emotions and acceptance of the Self just as you are and caring for yourself and others just as you are now.

I offer a 30-minute guided meditation available for sale for only $25.00 entitled, “I Love MySelf All Ways and Always”. If you want to know more about it please call or text me.

Renee, you have a deep dedication to your work assisting your clients in changing their lives forever and for good.

Yes. I have been practicing unreasonable happiness sometimes well, and sometimes not so well, in my life and in my work. I’ve surrendered to be “Perfectly Imperfect”. It is important that my clients really desire to change, otherwise, my high percentage statistics of client’s success go down the tubes.

Please talk about what “real love” is and how you came to learn this for yourself?

There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of definitions of love. I will mention only two here:

“When I am with you, I get in touch with the beautiful, capable, lovable parts of me.”

~ Ken Keyes, Jr.

“Lust is about getting (and that of course is completely fine) and Love is about giving when you love an imperfect person perfectly.”

~ T. Harv Ecker

I learned so much about unconditional love from the late, great and beloved Reverend Laurence Blight when he was my boss and the Lead Chaplain at Asante Rogue Valley Medical Center. He said, “… real love is about GIVING not getting. When you work with gravely ill or dying patients and their families, it is never about you. Do not visit them with your agendas regarding spirituality … I trust you will always be present and loving with whom you do your work.”

Larry’s instructions were so much about unconditional love. I have so much gratitude for the precious experiences volunteering in the all-denominational chaplaincy there. Because of my experiences with my own addictions in the past, I am also dedicated to assisting folks with all sorts of addictions.

I realize that behind everyone’s eyes is the purity of Life … without including the stories I told myself about them. That is unconditional acceptance (love) in this Here and Now Moment for me. Being of Selfless Service to others has been one of the necessary avenues to Unreasonable Happiness for me and I suspect for countless others.

Renée are there any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers?

I promise to witness your process and your advancement, to help create a safe, supportive environment for you to hear your truths. I will lovingly challenge you to take responsibility (not blame, merely the ability to respond) for your experience and your actions. Encourage you to release the held emotions that are no longer serving your personal growth. I will assist you in transforming negative beliefs about yourself into positive beliefs and actions. And I will instruct with inner parts-work, the utilization of self-hypnosis and daily self-talk. I always encourage unconditional love of yourself and others in your life.

We all have access to vast inner resources that can be utilized to transform our problems into strengths. The unconditional love of the Self is a true door to positive change. Supporting people to make those changes is one of the greatest joys of my life! I fully endorse confidentiality and professional conduct standards.

I invite you to call for appointments or inquiry. I promise deep learning and lots of fun!


Sending love and blessings,

Learn More:
The Breathe Center
Ashland, Oregon, By Appointment Only, and

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