About The Soft Road

Melanie And Neil Kirkbride in New York City.

The Soft Road is a platform for personal and cultural transformation that helps people and groups thrive in creative action. On The Soft Road we set out an experience of life that unwinds stress, unlocks creativity, develops intuition, and builds resilience. These inner resources create a foundation of stability and adaptability that deepens over time and brings greater ease to every day.

The Soft Road approaches this transformation by doing different things,
not simply doing the same things differently.

The Soft Road is especially focused on empowering those who are pursuing new realms of potential and expanded capacities, not only for high performance, but also for an enhanced way of living. Ever-present stress is known to limit the development of increasingly sought-after skills including empathy, collaboration, and critical thinking paired with creativity. By engaging both intuition and intellect, The Soft Road helps to strengthen the links and harness the sustained benefits of wellbeing for positive growth, achievement, and innovation.

Founded by Melanie Kirkbride and Neil Kirkbride, The Soft Road offers a modern context for meditation, applying the benefits of a daily practice at the centre of an array of relevant and relatable tools and information. Together Neil and Melanie leverage the powerful combination of their leadership and coaching experience with their mastery of meditation in the ancient Vedic tradition—as teachers and practitioners in both worlds.

Melanie Kirkbride

Melanie is an expert in personal transformation and professional development. For almost two decades as an advisor and coach, she has brought wisdom and guidance to thought leaders around the world. People are drawn to her warmth, insight, and unique breadth of knowledge: her experience of life.

Melanie is a natural teacher, writer, and speaker who has followed a path of empowering others. She has sought out Masters, learning directly from pioneers in a wide range of integrated fields, including business, communication, meditation, psychology, yoga, and ayurveda. Her passion is the understanding of authentic human behaviour, particularly in leadership.

In 2000 Melanie established her own successful executive coaching practice in Sydney, Australia, working internationally with leaders and influencers. In 2014, after two years of study, she spent four intensive months in the Indian Himalaya to complete the highest-level qualification as a master teacher of Vedic meditation, integrating the benefits of this tradition into her coaching.

As a coach, Melanie has repeatedly witnessed that no one is immune to the experience of pressure, overwhelm, exhaustion, or anxiety. More than ever before, she believes that people need deeper foundations to thrive in the presence of such constant demands.

The Soft Road was born of Melanie’s desire to create a new platform that could address the needs of this time—a source of inspirational, practical, and ongoing support to contribute to the raising of human consciousness.



“My driving belief is that we each have all we need on the inside. It’s my gift
to introduce people to themselves and help them know their power fully.”



Neil Kirkbride

Educated at Oxford University in mathematics, Neil had a successful 30-year career in the worlds of IT & Banking. As a General Manager in Australia’s leading bank, he led large teams and pioneered some of the industry’s most innovative ways of providing service in the evolving digital age. Neil also developed and implemented leading edge change management practices for divisions of over a thousand people.

Neil’s effectiveness and success come from his authenticity and insight. He has combined his business career with a curiosity to gain knowledge through experience, journeying both geographically and spiritually. Leveraging intuition and intellect together, he combines powerful applications of modern leadership best practice with wide-ranging teaching and wisdom.

A major contributor to Neil’s perspective is his Vedic meditation practice. In 2014, after 2 years of study, he left the corporate world and travelled to the Indian Himalaya for four months to complete his intensive training as a master teacher of Vedic meditation.

What makes Neil’s teaching and mentoring particularly powerful is his ability to demonstrate the relevance of this enduring knowledge and practice in multiple modern arenas. The Soft Road is the natural outgrowth of Neil’s interest in creating and using practical techniques for innovation, creativity, adaptability, and expansiveness to help people have their fullest and richest experience of life.



“I love to look for the patterns in the world around us – to see how everything is connected,
and how we can use this naturally occurring phenomena to live with ease and flow.”



Experience of Life

The Soft Road is founded on the belief that positive change and creative action come from each person’s own Experience of Life. We all have within us what we need to unlock our potential in a rich response to the world around us. In this ongoing and refreshing state, there are no longer stressful situations, only stressful responses to situations. And those responses can change.



Experience of Life is an insight-based trajectory that we teach on The Soft Road, to help people raise their consciousness and reorient to a challenging world with less stress, clearer discernment, and more enjoyment.



Experience of Life is the state of being by which we come to know that happiness is not the absence of demands, but rather the ability to meet demands with stability and grace.

Demands are ever-present in every walk of life, at work and at home, and the art of coping has become a multi-faceted industry. Yet many people, especially influencers and disruptors, are seeking to do more than cope and compete. They want to change how community is built, how business is conducted, how fast innovation can be born, how to approach any challenge with a reservoir of ease and energy.

Where a lifestyle is selective, representative, and sometimes striving, an Experience of Life is expansive, expressive, and ultimately easing. Where life experience is retrospective, that which has happened to you – one’s Experience of Life is the process, never-ending, of growing and moving forward along a journey. It sets the journey to be the goal, not the means to an end.