25 Apr 2020, 20:55


(under construction gif)

There are some moments in life that are so hard to (live in) and
navigate. Recently I have been through a fair share of those moments.

The stress and confusion that those moments cause me stops / has been
stopping me from taking action and from any attempts of problem
solving. It may sound like a cliche, but the reality is that it makes
me stuck.

Rob's patience and attentive listening creates a safe space for me
to open up and helped me to gain insight into the "tangled mess"
of my feelings.

Patiently guiding me through, peeling layer by layer, Rob helped me to
focus on myself and my feelings, and to create more clarity about how
the life stresses had affected me.

Rob created a safe and open space where I could talk through some
overwhelming feelings, which are difficult to talk about, or even to
think about, in a daily life.

I would recommend Rob to anyone who is willing to open up about their
struggles, and who is open to receive gentle support to untangle
emotional messes that are caused by living this thing called LIFE.

Create your own safe space to grow.

11 Apr 2020, 04:53

getting myself out there

Originally published https://tinyletter.com/barefootrob/letters/getting-myself-out-there

"Done is better than perfect."
- Mark Wild

Japan has finally begun to take this COVID thing seriously. There has been some physical distancing as people move social connection online. I have used my newfound time to offer more workshops than I originally planned at the beginning of the year. I have not added all of them on Meetup, but most of my events are nestled in my friend Oren’s Quarantine Activity Guide.

In my most recent newsletter, I wrote the following:

A huge part of this business is "getting myself out there" which I
hate with a passion.  I just want to stay holed up ... not facing
anyone who might say "no" in any sort of way.

Maybe this counts as my big "thing to learn" this year.

To help me “get myself out there,” I have hired Freya after doing a first session with her in March. Since then I have struggled, having great resistance to doing the simple steps she has outlined, steps which I have heard many times on how to get a business started. (I’ve been at this for a while!)

I finally finished the first step yesterday morning, and then agonized over the next step. Ask people for help.

So following the wisdom of my dear friend Mark Wild, “done is better than perfect,” I have woken up in the middle of the night, realizing I can start by sending the following to you, my favorite peeps.

drumroll Now presenting….

my first Market Research Survey questions, designed to help me understand how to best support my clients!

  1. How would you describe your current work situation?
  2. How is the atmosphere or energy at your workplace?
  3. How satisfied are you with your current job?
  4. What is your favorite aspect of your current job?
  5. If you could change anything in your workplace or job situation, what would it be?
  6. What comes up for you when you think about making this change?
  7. How might your life be different if you could make this change?
  8. What keeps you from making this change?
  9. If you could get any help making this change, what would it be?

(Edit to add: I have hired a business coach as an accountability buddy and one of the first tasks is to create a Market Research Survey and send to people who I think are in my niche of potential clients.

I will keep the raw data to myself, and I hope to use the answers in aggregate to help plan my business promotion.  I personally will search the answers for recurring themes and refer to those themes (that I can address) in ad copy for my business.

For example, if most people use the word boonfarkle in their description, I may use that word in my ad copy.  “Are you working in a boonfarkle?”   But I won’t say or share “N% of people are working in a boonfarkle” (for any value of N).

end edit)

Tada! If you send me your answers to the above questions, I will happily offer a one hour session to help you find your inner strength to make this change in your life!

As we are in a midst of pandemic-powered global change, let’s bring your authentic self to the world! Register for a discovery session on Calendly. https://calendly.com/robnugen

 love and light
 - Rob!

10 Apr 2020, 14:01

Connection workshop on Friday morning

I enjoyed leading the first Connection Circle on a Friday morning, as part of Oren’s Quarantine Activity Guide for April 2020. This was the fourth or so time I have led the workshop, and great to see all new people in attendance.

The list below was my agenda, with the numbers being minutes on each bit. 2 hours worked out quite well!

  • 2 Ground rules
  • 5 Grounding
  • 15 Check in (name location feeling)
  • 3 Time + mindfulness = joy
  • 20 Three rounds of gratitude
  • 15 How have you spent your time recently?
  • 5 break (get writing utensils)
  • 25 Healing the past visualization (while connected to the present)
  • 15 If anything, what might you want to change about how you spend your time?
  • 10 (optional) What new opportunities have you noticed?
  • 10 Set SMART Stretch for self

Next circle will be 9:30am - 11:30am Tokyo time Friday April 17th. Enjoy deep connection with like minded people in the safe setting of your own home! must RSVP to join!

30 Mar 2020, 17:30

Great connection circle on Zoom

So far today 2 people have let me know they will attend the connection circle I plan to lead tonight. Neither of them have attended before; I look forward to a great meeting!


It was a great meeting! Six people total, including myself. Here’s what we did.

Join our upcoming events via Tokyo Sōl on Meetup!

28 Mar 2020, 20:51

Simple online workshop for support during lockdown

Japan has finally started its lockdown related to COVID-19. Let’s use this opportunity to connect with each other in a meaningful way.

First, connect with your family and those who you live with. Have those conversations you’ve been meaning to have. Express your love and appreciation.

If there’s no love or appreciation, or no one with you, use the internet for connection. Here is a simple outline of an online workshop that worked well via Zoom. We did it with about 6 people each time. Zoom breakout rooms with 2 or 3 people per room gave time for deeper connection.

  • grounding (e.g. Simple grounding, breathing energy up from earth)
  • ground rules (e.g. the agreements we use for MKP Japan)
  • check-in (how are you feeling now?)
  • round and round and round with gratitude: “What are you grateful for?”
  • (in breakout rooms) what is best case, bad case, worst case scenario for you personally, + what will you do if worst case happens?
  • round and round and round answering the question Who else are you? As things change, who else are you? what other talents do you have to offer?
  • check out (how are you feeling now?)

Join me on Meetup for more workshops like this.


14 Mar 2020, 08:39

Unpopular Opinion: Covid-19 News is Exaggerated

Do you remember how many times “terror” was mentioned in the media after September 11th, 2001? Do you know how much concern has been spent on protecting us from “terror” vs the number of lives that have been lost to “terror?” (0.05% in 2017)

"News, by definition, is something almost never happens.  But
that's not the way our brains work.  If it's in the news, if it's
talked about, if we hear about it a lot, we confuse that with it
being common."

  - Bruce Schneier, 2017 (1:50 in the video below)

Boeing 737 Max got pulled from service because air travel is super carefully controlled and super safe (we have to live 188,000 lifetimes to die once in an airplane). Terrorism isn’t even on the above list as a possible way to die in the US in 2017.

And yet, the risk of dying in a plane is far more likely to happen from non-terror (red line) than terror (gray line)

So with all that in mind, I look at the Covid 19 spread numbers and do not understand what all the fuss is about. In my understanding, influenza is a pandemic every year and no one really worries about it.

This NY Times article compares influenza and corona virus.

Influenza kills 0.1% of its victimes and apparently the corona virus is twenty or thirty times as deadly as influenza.

Okay fuck. I see. If 3% of the population die this year, that would be pretty significant.

Y’all better start washing your hands, and don’t touch ya face.

03 Mar 2020, 22:49

Marching Right Along
"... The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives
valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because
there is no effort without error and shortcoming ..."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

Review of my first sold-out + interpreted eye gazing workshop:

I learned a lot during my first workshop which was both sold-out beforehand, and interpreted during the workshop itself. It was an eye gazing workshop with the point being that “eyes are the window to the soul.”

What I learned: many of the attendees wanted to eye gaze with me.

I was surprised by this because one main point of the workshop is that we are all equal and equally beautiful inside. Gazing into another person’s eyes can be like a mirror for what is inside of the person doing the gazing.

"So why do people want to sit with me?"

Rob Nugen, 2020

As workshop time started winding down, people started speaking up, wanting to sit with me. Upon realizing how important this was to the participants, I ended up feeling an overall sense of shame by the end of the workshop, apparently having “let down” some/any of the participants.

Oh, and I just realized I forgot to have anyone take pictures of the workshop for social media.

Speaking of social media

In the past month, I have hired a business development duo and plan to start leading new series of circles in Tokyo as part of The Bold Life Brotherhood™. I have not set any dates yet, but I will be leading some practice playshops/games for Bold Life Brotherhood Tokyo once I get the content sorted.

A huge part of this business is “getting myself out there” which I hate with a passion. I just want to stay holed up in my little space to make my marble track and draw art, not facing anyone who might say “no” in any sort of way.

Maybe this counts as my big “thing to learn” this year. (As if learning from leading 36 workshops isn’t enough haha)

Upcoming workshops

My friend Jacob asked me if I have a reason to send out these newsletters. “What’s the big picture plan?”

Basically these newsletters intend to follow the ups-and-downs of my leading 36 workshops this year. These newsletters also offer me a safe way to begin putting myself “out there.”

If anything, I write this newsletter with hopes to inspire people to take tangible consistent steps toward their highest goals, to encourage anyone feeling fear+excitement about something: Go for it!

I’d love to hear about your exciting project or what scares you about getting started.

Love and light

20 Jan 2020, 14:11

ups and downs

One of my main concerns when advertising has been to not annoy people. Part of me says I should not mention the events I post because advertising is annoying. If I annoy people, they will leave me and I will be alone. Likewise, if someone says they will attend a workshop, I don’t want to bug them with a reminder.

How do you see event promotion and repeated reminders? How often is optimal?

Great experiences in the past week-ish:

  1. Jan 10th: I canceled a day of computering and went to a local park and tie-dye studio where they do indigo dyeing. The studio had just closed for the day, but I met Chiaki and Ryosuke who were friendly and funny. We went to a nearby art museum together!

  2. Jan 11th: After enjoying walking barefoot with Masa, Mark, and Shinobu, we drank tea in a cute cafe called Butter.

2020 jan 11 rob masa 65

  1. Shinobu and I are planning a monthly show and tell for artists in an intimate setting. She came up with a great name:

Your Art Matters

The first event will be on February 8th. https://www.meetup.com/Tokyo-Sol-barefoot-more/events/267844657/

  1. Jan 13th: Ma and Madeleine joined me at the Folkhouse museum near Mukogaoka Yuen.

2020 jan photos of houses

Ma and I enjoyed tie-dyeing handkerchiefs at the indigo dyeing studio. I told the guides/instructors I would come back many hundreds of times.

2020 jan francois with ghost

We visited the nearby art museum as well.

2020 jan sitting on hands

  1. Jan 13th: Great Past Lives Memories workshop with three participants.

  2. Jan 25th: Yuna and I will be hosting a coffee + chat meetup on January 25th. Already 4 people have said they will attend! https://www.meetup.com/English-coffee-more/events/267921145/

In other news, for the past few days, my productive streak seems to have waned; I have not been doing my morning routine to start the day. I felt shame and sadness at my inability to speak Japanese well enough at a meeting on Saturday.

Fortunately, I got to reset my brain and emotional state yesterday at SOGO’s weekly workout in Yoyogi, then reconnected with Lin on Sunday afternoon.

How do you reset your brain? Email me at rob α𝐭 robnugen.com or send a comment

Thank you for your love and support.


14 Jan 2020, 18:07

Hot tears are relaxing

I am sitting on the train with hot tears drying on my face. Feeling relaxed after a good cry on the way to the station. Riding my bicycle along the same route that I walked with Ma and Madeleine multiple times while they were here brought the emotions forward.

Sadness is the emotion of loss. I need time to grieve the loss of having my mom here with me. Now I’ll have her on Skype but no hugs or carrying bags or overhearing her and Madeleine sharing notes and photos about their day.

After allowing myself a wet sniffly slobbery cry, I feel super chill and strangely warm even though it’s cold. Maybe it’s my new jacket that Ma gave me from the back of Jon’s closet. But definitely feeling relaxed after a nice cry. I don’t have to hold all those emotions in.

Tomorrow will be a new day as I head back to work, but for today just cry and cry like no one’s looking.

Allow yourself to cry if you need to.

21:35 same day

On this same subject I had a great cry in my men’s group today. Tears gushing, sobbing, deep gasping breaths. Gratitude for the men supporting me.


14 Jan 2020, 01:01

Great time at indigo dye workshop

Ma, Madeleine, and I enjoyed a great day walking through the old Japanese houses, speaking with some of the volunteer guides as we enjoyed spectacularly clear blue skies and crisp fresh air. It’s a natural haven just 30 minutes from Shinjuku, the busiest train station in the world.

2020 jan photos of houses

Great to see the New Year’s decorations and we received some hand-made souvenirs: grasshoppers made of grass, and mice made of paper!

The indigo dye workshop was amazing fun. I told the staff I’d come back hundreds of times. It was a bit of a challenge to understand the Japanese, but we had a great time dyeing and created some beautiful handkerchiefs!

2020 jan francois with ghost 2020 jan tie dyed