20 Apr 2018, 10:30

meetings before Toastmasters tonight

10:30 Friday 20 April 2018 JST

Several meetings today, including with men’s group and Soness and others.

13:33 Friday 20 April 2018 JST

So far so good! Good feedback from attendees and should be meeting with Soness soon. Wanna ask her how to prepare for Toastmasters meeting tonight.


Walking on stage, you immediately notice something .. off. Rob is barefoot! Was it a mistake? Did he lose his shoes? Turns out he has gone barefoot as much as possible for 15 years.

He talks about authentic speaking, being vulnerable with others.

“It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s worth it.” Is he talking about going barefoot or talking about being vulnerable?

Then you realize he is talking about emotional honesty in a men’s circle. “What is a men’s circle?” you wonder. “Some kind of club?”

After founding Tokyo Men’s Group, Rob started a group for women.

“The methods work,” he says. “I know from experience my relationship with my wife has improved. My relationship with everyone has improved, by looking inside at the dark corners of myself”

“What is he even talking about?” you wonder, but he looks excited, saying something about lowering the suicide rate in Japan.

Pretty lofty vision, but could it work? Could speaking about problems really help them?

You settle in for the talk, and soon find yourself wondering at the possibilities. What would it be like to have a mission in life? What would it be like to have support in completing my mission?

After all the speakers, you head home, but still can’t stop wondering about that barefoot guy. What was his name again? You get out the bio sheet and read.

Rob is American living in Tokyo. He walks around barefoot as an example to let people be themselves and not worry about what others may think. Starting personal growth work in 1997, he is now the representative in Japan for The Mankind Project (mkp.org), founding and leading two peer counseling circles here.

He listens patiently, allowing his clients time to feel and be present in the moment. He models being vulnerable and imperfect. “The key to happiness is letting myself be me.”