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Meet Melissa Barayang of A Certain Softness in Mid City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Barayang.

Melissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been known as a super sensitive person for as long as I can remember. I often found it hard to articulate my thoughts and emotions and would empathize with situations to the point that I was drowning in it. I always thought of my capacity to feel deeply as something I had to change or hide in order to get through life.

I started my professional career working in the buying departments of various fashion corporate offices. Because of the demanding and competitive nature of the job, it further proved that sensitivity was a weakness so I continued to shut out that part of myself. I was stressed and burnt out all the time but was always choosing to ignore my body. I was constantly having panic attacks and was sick more often than not.

What pushed me over the edge was a painful virus that left me bedridden for about a week. The doctors told me that it was caused by a weakened immune system due to stress and that it woke up the dormant virus. After I recovered and went back to work, I vowed to myself that I would never prioritize my job over my well being again. I would no longer ignore my body. That week alone was enough of a wake up call.

That was the year I started to explore my own creativity and was the first time I allowed myself to dream. I completed my yoga teacher training which introduced me to a deeper connection to myself and my intuition. I left fashion shortly after to explore different career options while teaching yoga in the evenings. I was taking baby steps towards a life that felt more aligned with my values. But that meant a lot of trial and error. Finally after a lot of soul searching on my own, I found an amazing meditation mentor, Charlotte Nguyen, who helped guide me deeper into my personal healing journey. Charlotte really shifted my perspective of what I thought was possible for myself and I am so grateful for her guidance. I then started working 1:1 with my own clients to help them start their meditation practices. After working with my first client ever, I felt so aligned and fulfilled. I knew that this was my calling. I realized that when used with discernment, my sensitivity is my gift and could be used to help others.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road at all. I think a big part of starting your own business is getting out of your own way, So much of our struggles are not only ours but are intergenerational.

In my work, I speak a lot about my parents immigrating to the US because I’m learning just how much of my identity is attached to it. They chose “the land of opportunity” in hopes of their children living out the American dream.

Starting this business goes against everything that I was taught as a kid. For me, its mere existence is a radical act. To opt out of the “American dream” (and the stability that comes with it) that my mom worked so hard to provide me with has presented a huge internal struggle to say the least. Everyday I have to remind myself that I’m not just building my business, I’m building my legacy- rewiring my brain to believe that I have freedom over the way I choose to live my life; that I’m worthy of living out my dreams and experiencing joy through my work.

As I’ve evolved, A Certain Softness has evolved with me. It is an extension of me. Every time I stop playing small and show up for both myself and my business, I’m healing the wounds of my ancestors.

Please tell us about A Certain Softness.
A Certain Softness is a mindfulness meditation coaching business that specializes in destigmatizing mental health in the Filipinx community and other communities of color. I help individuals step out of self-limiting beliefs and into emotional empowerment so that they can live full and inspiring lives. In order to see the deepest transformation, I work 1:1 with individuals through mostly a 3 or 6 month mentorship.

What I’m most proud of is helping my clients remember their softness by deepening their compassion for themselves and for others. This is the softer part of ourselves that is tender, gentle, and kind. These qualities can be our biggest strengths and are the qualities that the world needs more of right now.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’m a firm believer in the idea that everything turns out the way it’s meant to. I’ve gained enough wisdom to know that everything is happening for us, not to us. Because of this trust, I honestly don’t think I would have done anything differently. I’ve made many mistakes. Went down several different paths but the sum of all my choices got me here, to this point in my life. To have the honor to be interviewed for what I believe is my life’s purpose.


  • Single Sessions: $147
  • 3 Month Mentorship: $1,197 with payment plan option or $1,147 if paid in full
  • 6 Month Mentorship: $2,397 with payment plan option or $2,347 if paid in full

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Zaldy Lopez

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