31 Aug 2022, 16:12

Why you should walk barefoot (draft)

power of positivity Scientists-Explain-What-Happens-To-Your-Body-When-You-Walk-Barefoot

I declare walking barefoot is a starting point.

It’s one of many starting points on the journey to self discovery. Who are you? Why are you here (on earth)?

For most people, wearing shoes has become the norm. Taking off the shoes allows one to experience a whole lot of sensations! Per area, there are more nerve endings on our feet than on our hands.

Hundreds of people have joined my barefoot walks. For those who have forgotten what barefooting is like, taking off their shoes outside results in a lot of Wow! There’s so many sensations!

Then after the mind calms down a bit, we can remember “oh that’s right! I have feet!” Then expand our awareness: “oh yes I have a body!”

Then go a bit more subtle from the physical body: wow not just physical sensations, I have emotions! Then, ooh emotions! How do I deal with them?

Then we learn a bit and discover emotions are like a guidance system for living. They help us navigate the world when used properly.

Feel angry? set a boundary.

Feel sad? it’s time to grieve.

Feel guilt? it’s time to apologize.

Feel fear? time to dive in deeper into the emotions.
Is it fear based on a real external thing? get more info or run away! Is it fear based on an old story? Is it mixed with excitement? You might just be onto the next best thing in your life. Go for it! (See Pressfield’s book Do The Work)


but wait, there’s more!

Awareness of our body and emotions is nice, but what about just using our body the way it’s designed?

Humans have taken to standing, so we need to balance. Your feet are a big part of that.

Do you cover your eyes to read? Why cover your feet to balance? Allowing your feet to give your brain info about balance is great.

Allowing your feet to actively maintain your balance is even better.

Set your toes free! Let them wiggle and explore the world. Let them do their job of telling you where you are and how you’re standing.

That way they grow strong and keep you living longer.


People who can balance on one foot for more than ten seconds LIVE LONGER.


Yeah when you’re 80 years old, lose your balance and fall over, you might die right there, or at least probably going to break a bone, which tends to break the spirit being held up in bed with busted hip or whatever.

Simple solution: take off your shoes now! Allow your toes to actively balance!

Start wiggling those toes. Like building muscles, strength improves over time.

Can you play rock paper scissors with your feet? It’s not just a funny game; it can help you live longer!

12 Jul 2022, 09:52

Explore your world with Barefoot Rob

2022 07 09 Barefoot Rob presenting at KSGG in Yokohama, Japan

This was such a fun event! I spoke for 30 minutes and did Mystery Box game for 20 minutes wow!

2022 07 09 1657363889304 2022 07 09 1657363889660 2022 07 09 1657363889821 2022 07 09 1657363889890 2022 07 09 1657363889941 2022 07 09 1657363890009 2022 07 09 dinner after speech

2022 07 07 jennie claims mystery box 2022 07 07 jennie inspects mystery box

22 Jun 2022, 11:30

How long have you been carrying your path?

Like many people I know, I’ve got a TODO list about 25 miles long (40 km), tangled up in knots in my head, stacked on my desk, on shelves in various places, waiting patiently in my inbox.. Plus all the things I should be doing, (like this newsletter) but haven’t, for an untold number of reasons.

The main excuse for not writing my newsletter these days is that I should be working on my “real” work. I haven’t yet replaced my “real” work with my heart-centered work, so my real work gets in the way.

I’ve been carrying this real work with me for years and years, like a heavy rock that weighs me down.

Just today I heard an idea from Miki, one of my friends who I’d also like to call one of my mentors as well. This came from one of her ancestors, so with respect to Miki’s ancestor, I will share with you:

"What you let go of becomes your path."

By releasing things that take mental / physical / financial space in life, we can release ourselves to move forward. Instead of carrying these things like old rocks, we can put them down so they become paving stones for our path forward.

Have you been carrying something that has outlived its service in your life? Does putting it down make sense, but cause anxiety for you when you think about it?

Let’s talk, in a deep coaching conversation. We’ll explore your situation deeply, giving you ample time and space to get clarity on how to move forward.

Love and Blessings

  • Rob

22 Jun 2022, 11:27

Synchronicity story

Hello You!

Just a moment ago I had another amazing synchronicity just after doing morning prayers.

A couple years ago, I bought padded foam flooring to put around my desk area, ostensibly to protect the wooden floor, but also to catch my computer mouse when it falls. (It’s a Bluetooth trackball mouse so when it falls, the ball rolls across the floor to a far corner while the battery and battery cover each go their own direction, leaving me crawling under my desk to retrieve the pieces.) The padding was supposed to keep the mouse from causing such a commotion, interrupting my flow, etc.

The padding never worked. I cannot remember a time it actually kept the mouse from hitting the floor and doing its part of increasing entropy in the world.

Just a moment ago, after doing my morning prayers, I hit upon the idea of putting the single remaining piece of padding where I can stand on it while praying. In doing so, I bumped the mouse from its perch and it landed right on the padding. The ball fell out but stayed right there. The battery even stayed in its case.

Wow. That’s the first time that’s happened! I guess God approves of me staying in touch more frequently. It was like the universe said “Yes, I encourage prayer.”

Over the past few weeks I have been showering the universe with gratitudes and receiving a shower of synchronicities in reply.

I’ll keep it short for now; I plan to stay in touch more frequently (weekly!?).

blessings - Rob

PS: if you’re in Tokyo, I’m co-facilitating a visionboard workshop this coming Sunday in Shinjuku from 4pm - 8pm. 8800 yen. https://portrait-of-your-soul.peatix.com/

13 Jun 2022, 07:47

Rob Nugen Barefoot walking event in Town News May 2022

May 2022 Town News article about Barefoot Rob Nugen's walking
event in ShinYuri Art Park

(image credit: 中島なかじま崇雄たかお)

2022 june article town news barefoot rob nugen

2022 june machine translated article town news barefoot rob nugen

28 Jan 2022, 07:57

Bold Life Tribe promo

Have you been distracted, disorganized, and unproductive during the pandemic?

Do you see your income and relationships are suffering?

What would it take to get fully invested in your life?

What’s holding you back from living up to your full potential?

Bold Life Tribe 2022 starting February 6 (Monday) at 7pm JST


27 Dec 2021, 14:11

Why walk barefoot? (unshod.org)

From http://unshod.org/

Overview of
Take Off Your Shoes and Walk
by Simon J. Wikler D.S.C.
   (Doctor of Surgical Chiropody)

For easier printing -- The full extract

Introduction  by Thomas Hale, Jr., M.D. Director, Albany Hospital Albany, N.Y.

. . . practically all shoes worn daily by men and women in our Western civilization have little relation to the shape of the human foot . . ."

. . . most adults' foot trouble would either not exist or would be much less bothersome if properly-shaped shoes had been worn during childhood or, better yet, if those people had gone barefoot . . .

How Shoes Cripple Our Feet

. . .  I asked an older physician on the hospital staff what he thought could be done to cure foot trouble. "Foot troubles are chronic conditions people have had for a long time," he advised. "You'll waste your time trying to find their cause and cure. Be content just to give people all the relief you possibly can." . . .

. . . I could no longer doubt that poor feet contributed to poor posture and associated illnesses . . .

. . . as I traveled about the interior of the island where many of the people are habitually barefooted, I was amazed to find that they all had straight, undeformed toes, unlike the shoe-confined toes I had seen and treated in the United States . . .

. . . I read a number of studies which, together with what I had seen, proved to me that habitually barefooted people do not acquire our foot troubles . . .

. . . Besides having sturdy toes and muscular feet, the people who were constantly barefooted did not have fallen arches . . .
Image1.gif (5849 bytes)

. . .  His toes were being forced together in narrow shoes . . . He tired easily, always wanted to be carried, and fell frequently when walking . . . his toes [were] so weak he could hardly bend them . . .

. . . Remembering the healthy feet and strong toes of the people who were constantly barefooted, I suggested the child wear no shoes for the rest of the summer . . .

. . .  an amazing thing happened. He finally stopped leaning on his arches; he started to walk straighter and more normally . . .

. . . Most people continue to acquire permanently and unnecessarily deformed feet simply because of the evolution of a fashion which started a hundred years ago . . .

The History of Foot Trouble

. . . There is no record of foot troubles in Biblical times comparable to modern foot ills . . .

. . . The seeds of foot trouble were first sown, however, in the Renaissance . . .

. . . The introduction of the elevated heel and the pointed toe marked the beginning of modern foot disabilities . . .

. . . This class could afford hand-made shoes. Soon, their children's feet were being molded to resemble the tiny, delicate feet of aristocrats . . .

. . . In 1858, Lyman R. Blake invented shoe machinery that could attach soles to uppers . . . Within five years, shoe manufacturing had developed to a point where everyone could afford to wear the shoes of an aristocrat . . .

. . . Never in the history of mankind had a population so willfully and so innocently disfigured a vital part of their body . .

. . . In the 1880's . . .  a new sickness -- exhaustive chronic fatigue-which was afflicting portions of American and Western European populations . . .

. . . About 1915 a wave of reform began to take place . . . people had only to squeeze their toes into a space about one half the proper breadth. While this was an improvement, it was not great enough to prevent deformation of the feet . . .

. . . Grandmothers with gnarled toes would scold their grandchildren and insist no one could possibly walk without support in their shoes. Yet, those who disregarded that advice are the ones who have the better feet today . . .

. . . If a lesson about foot trouble can be learned from history, it is that we are at the mercy of the latest shoe styles . . . fashion has dictated a return to the pointed-toed shoes of fifty years ago . . . As a result, the bunions and compressed toes of our grandparents are again being formed in children's feet . . .

The Shoe Industry and Foot Health

. . . Every child who wears present-day shoes has his feet distorted to some degree . . .

    . . . I spent a day in such a shoe store observing the operation.

    "How can you sell these corrective shoes," I asked the owner. "You insist on the necessity of 'arch cookies,' 'cuboids,' 'metatarsal supports,' and so on-yet from the continuous complaints of customers, you know that these supports are of no help to the feet. How do you justify this?"

    "It's a wonderful living," the owner commented. "Besides, I always instruct them to do certain exercises. They never do them. When they complain too much about their feet, I say, 'Well, did you do the exercises?'  That usually shuts them up." . . .

    . . . Dr. Lee Bivings, a pediatrician from Atlanta, estimates 99% of new born babies have perfectly normal feet - and in his clinic more than 6o% of these same, shoe-wearing babies have acquired foot disabilities at six years of age . . .

Preventing Children's Foot Trouble

. . . You would not think of keeping your baby from moving his hands and wiggling his fingers. You would not swaddle his hands and fingers. Why, then, swaddle his feet and toes? . . .

. . . the baby should play barefooted in a play pen. When he starts to creep and crawl on the carpeted floors, he should be allowed to crawl barefooted . . .

. . . Infants' feet do not have to be protected from the cold nearly as much as some adults think. Babies need no more protection for their feet when crawling on a cold floor than they do for their hands . . .

. . . Be firm, and find a store where the shoe in your child's size is flexible through the arch . . .

. . . Shoes that have raises inside them are also likely to have other arch support features, all of them deforming . . .

. . . Mothers must be prepared to have uninformed shoe clerks protest vigorously at their insisting on wider shoes . . .

. . . It is not enough that children's feet be free from deforming shoes - foot health also depends upon going barefoot in order to develop agility and strength in the feet 

. . . For toddlers, shoes should be worn outdoors only during inclement weather and indoors only for infrequent dress-up occasions . . .
firststeps.jpg (11065 bytes)

. . . Your child will have straighter, stronger toes and denser muscles on the bottom of his feet. You will be amazed to discover that other children's toes will be skinny and weak, even gnarled . . .

. . . Moreover, children's toes are deformed without their feeling the slightest pain . . .

. . . Children whose feet are healthy do not need a shoe for support; they need a shoe only for protection . . .

. . . If you had the occasion to examine as many feet as I have, you would instantly be able to detect those who have had the opportunity to go barefoot as children . . .

Care of Fallen Arches in Children

. . . Imagine putting heavy leather mittens on an infant's hands from the first months of life, leather mittens which fit snugly, so that the child's fingers are pressed together so tightly he can hardly move them . . .

. . . Babies appear to have flat feet because of the thick layer of baby fat present in every infant's arch . . .

. . . A fourth misconception is that it is not good for a child to have short, square feet, as he will surely have fallen arches. Actually, that is how undeformed feet should look, but since children's feet are so commonly deformed, even most doctors hardly ever see a normal pair and the myth continues . . .

. . . treatment for the young child is very simple, and can easily be carried out at home. Simply put aside all his shoes and stockings and allow him to walk barefooted . . .

The girl was wearing such stiff arch-support shoes that she could not possibly move her feet inside them . . . . The little girl had begun to cry at night because of pains in her legs . . . I advised the mother to discard her child's shoes and let her walk barefooted at all times . . . By the end of the sixth week, she stopped having pains in her legs at night. . . . , and her feet had become much more muscular and sturdy . . .

. . . Third, the child must be given the opportunity to go barefoot for a part of the day, preferably three hours a day . . .

Sweating Feet

. . . Accumulated sweat is accumulated waste which decays on feet which are covered . . . The barefooted child whose feet are soiled with dirt from lawns or floors of the house, would in this sense have cleaner feet than a child who has worn a shoe and stocking all day . . .

Barefooted Children Have Better Feet

. . . children who had the opportunity of going barefoot a great deal, had less deformed toes, greater flexor strength, more ability to spread the toes. They also had denser muscles on the bottom of the feet; greater agility than those who had never gone barefoot . . .


Barefoot to

Parents for
Barefoot Children


11 Nov 2021, 18:44

A few rules that help light my path

A few rules that help light my path:

  • Walk with kindred spirits. I walk barefoot. Most people don’t. That’s fine. but if I’m not accepted for how I show up, it’s best to not work together.
  • Seek your own inner guidance. Feelings are a well-honed natural guidance system for life. Hear AniKiko’s “Follow the Whispers
  • Play hard. Beastie Boys said “My work is my play cause I’m playing when I work”
  • Do the right thing. We are playing a long game. Prioritize long term thinking over short term gain.
  • Get N’Sync. “You don’t have to be alone.” Work with a partner. I tend to spiral off course otherwise.
  • Be selfish as needed. It’s OK to take care of yourself. If I am not feeling well, I cannot safely support others.

10 Nov 2021, 17:12

I was afraid to be a man

I was afraid to be a man.

In 1997, I attended ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure in Texas. That was the start of my personal growth.

At age 27, I still thought of myself as a boy. I did not want to grow up. I didn’t want the responsibility. Or the conflict.

I had seen adults in my life always unhappy in various ways, especially in relationships.

I realized I needed a community where I could feel heard.

Since then, 2 things have happened:

I moved to Japan and subsequently started a peer counseling group for men who share about their struggles.

While attending the group, I have seen men move from…

🔻 Being unable to leave the house →🟢 Feeling in control of life, working full time, and proud to be able to take care of his family again.

🔻 Unable to cope in the darkness of depression →🟢 Functioning on their highest level
🔻 Shame-induced suicidal ideations → 🟢 Living courageously again.
But I didn’t expect this…

Women have started to ask if there’s a group they can join.

People began asking me, “Rob, I want to do it, but my partner isn’t interested.”

“How do I get them to understand? … to really hear me?”

I didn’t have a good answer or easily accessible resources for that.

But now I’m putting together a training on exactly that. Soon I’ll be doing a mini workshop

“How to have one clear and safe conversation to feel heard & get what you need. Without drama.”

All the details are coming next week!

Email me, call me, find me if you think you’d like to attend.

08 Aug 2021, 09:59

Reconnect with the natural world

Rob in tears listening to Frederick Marx

I burst into tears while listening to Frederick narrate the forward of his new book Rites of Passage: Everyday Rituals of Healing And Transformation.

The passage was in the Foreword:

... if I share some of what I know, and do it in a good way, recognizing my teachers,
calling out their names as I stand wobbly on their shoulders to sing to the horizon
they have opened for me, I will fulfill some of what my own life has called me to do.
Maybe it is incumbent on me. These are the things I have to teach.

His words spoke to a deeply known, carefully hidden part of myself, a part of me who feels afraid to teach what I know!

Here is one thing I know. Humans are part of the natural world. Computers and email are in a different layer, removed from the natural world by the concrete jungle.

When was the last time you physically contacted the earth? Today? This week? This month?

If you are in the concrete jungle called Tokyo, join me to physically connect with the natural world this coming Saturday for a walking meditation in Ikuta Ryokuchi Park. (500 yen)

While writing this email, I went out into the rain to Lin’s garden plot. It’s summer but I felt comfortably cool, protected from the sun by clouds. The earth felt soft and welcomed my footprints. Grasshoppers, however, jumped away as I approached. I could feel rain drops on my back as I cut grass (with hedge shears). Picking up handfuls of cut grass, I felt smaller pieces adhere to my skin via rain…

With all my heart, I encourage you to go out and connect with the natural world. Take your shoes off and feel the grass as best you can. If there’s no grass, be creative! Hug a tree; caress leaves; smell flowers.

If you actually do it, please write me back to let me know how it went. With your permission, the best replies will appear in my future Tinyletter emails.

blessings always
- Rob