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Meet Melissa Center and Tanny Jiraprapasuke of Whole Self Systems

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Center and Tanny Jiraprapasuke.

Melissa and Tanny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Just over a year ago, I (Melissa) was screening a short film I made called R.V at the National Women’s Political Caucus “Summer Spritzer” event here in LA. R.V is a narrative short about the threat to women’s reproductive rights that has screened across the US in addition to the Women Deliver Global Conference in Vancouver, CA.

As luck would have it, I met Tanny at the event. She was moved by the film and introduced herself to me. After lunch at Urth Cafe DTLA, it was clear that we had common interests, values, and complementary personalities. Tanny had spent years working behind the scenes in Hollywood and in corporate settings where she saw firsthand how destructive toxic communication can be. She knew she had to make a change and so after being accepted with a full-ride scholarship, she decided to enroll at Harvard, where she got a Masters in Buddhist Studies. Her goal was to somehow use her gifts to impact others professionally.

I, on the other hand, had been promoting R.V, seeing directly the profound impact storytelling could have on people. At the same time, I had experienced incredibly destructive behavior & communication personally & professionally.

A lightbulb went off in my mind – why not put our experience and expertise together, and create a solution for the problems we were witnessing and experiencing among leaders in the professional sector. And so, Whole Self Systems was born: A conscious communications company that trains changemakers and purpose-driven teams how to maximize their human capital through the intersection of Empathetic Storytelling Technique™ & the deep wisdom of Mindful Practices.

Has it been a smooth road?
Most definitely not!

Starting a company from scratch is never easy. First, we’ve had to do a lot of inner-work to truly understand our worth as female entrepreneurs. Secondly, we’ve had to get really clear on who we want to serve. Though our skills are truly beneficial for anyone & everyone, we have to be selective about who exactly we are serving – women who value social impact, who most likely suffer from anxiety, and seek to rewire how they show up as authentic leaders.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Whole Self Systems – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Through our groundbreaking process of Empathetic Storytelling Technique™ & the deep wisdom of Mindful Practices, we train changemakers and purpose-driven teams how to maximize their human capital. In simple terms, we get at the root of your internal turmoil so you can be a more compelling storyteller.

Story is built into the fabric of human-to-human communication. Once you understand story, you not only can communicate in a way that resonates deeply with your audience, but you can build the muscle of empathy and truly understand your audience.

There are many companies out there that coach public speaking, “self-confidence,” or “mindset.” Our process is unique in that we address both our client(s) inner challenges in addition to outward performance in a way that is efficient, clear, creative, and ultimately joyous!

We are proud to be working with clients who now feel more connected to their authentic selves, free from debilitating anxiety, and empowered to communicate in public settings with vulnerability & courage.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I (Tanny) have called Los Angeles home for all of my life. Born and raised this wondrous city, I admit I’m completely biased. What I love most about our city is the celebration of dreams. I know it’s a cliche, but different than the Hollywood dreams, I am talking about the immigrants’ dream. I love LA because it gave my parent’s the opportunity to create their American dream. This city welcomed my family and numerous other immigrant families with open arms. The open-minded nature of Angelenos is why dreamers like my dad and I can dare to trek the rocky path of an entrepreneur.

As an Angeleno, LA is the best… of course, there is one thing I really don’t like about this city, and that is the lack of convenient public transportation. Unlike other metropolitan cities, LA is completely reliant on driving cars to get from one place to another. You can say we are a car culture city. With the increase in traffic and the environment on the brink of destruction, we need better public transportation to get more cars off the road. Sure some people will say, “get an electric car!” That’s a solution if you can afford it. Since most of us probably can’t, a better solution would be better public transportation.

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Image Credit:
Diana Marten

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