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

13 Jan 2020, 21:41

Great Past Lives Memories workshop

This officially counts as my second of 24+ workshops this year. Past Lives Memories was a great success! Three people attended, and it is the first time I actually turned a profit on a workshop. (Previously I have lost money on room or materials or both.)

The workshop went really well and I got good feedback from the participants. Special thanks to everyone for attending!

07 Jan 2020, 23:09

started a newsletter

New Year + New Decade, leading 24 workshops in 2020

My goal for 2020 is to lead at least 24 workshops. Two per month should be doable, right?

I currently have 4 different workshops available. Three are very clearly in the same genre, though they may not seem that way from the outside.

  1. Barefoot Walkshops. This is where it all started, when my student Yuna took off her shoes during our walk before my first eye gazing workshop. The idea is simple: take off your shoes and walk around outside! This allows the nerves in the feet to get some much needed stimuli, especially if they have been cooped up in shoes all the time!

  2. Eye Gazing. Perhaps this is where it all started, when my friend, life coach Rin, asked me what workshop would be most exciting for me to lead. It took a while to come up with the answer, but when it came, it was like BINGO this is it! The idea is simple: sit with a partner and look into their eyes. Just breathe. No need to say something witty. Just be present with what comes up for you.

  3. Shadow Work® practice. In October 2019, I took the 8 day Basic Facilitator Training for Shadow Work® in Sugar Land, Texas. From their website, https://shadowwork.com/

    Shadow Work® is a way of transforming parts of your character that you’d like to change with compassion and understanding, and offers an effective technology for balancing these diverse parts.

Along with facilitator Mark Wild, I led one Shadow Work® practice workshop in December 2019, and plan to do more.

The above three workshops are all designed to bring awareness to the participants. Physical awareness of the body starting with the feet, mental and emotional awareness through the eyes, and inner awareness of our inner voices.

  1. Past Life Memories workshops allow participants to experience a grander world that they may find familiar. I lead participants on a guided meditation which reconnects them to a familiar place. I keep the wording loose enough to have exploration, and clear enough to provide guidance. Participants have a chance to reflect and write about what they noticed during the meditations.

Coming up in January, I plan to lead a barefoot walkshop on January 11th, and a past life memories workshop on January 13th. I will likely lead a coffee and chat workshop with Yuna on January 25th. In February, I have planned an eye gazing workshop for February 23rd.

Currently I am using Facebook and Meetup for my events:

Also planned for, let’s say, the first quarter of 2020: a more comprehensive website, featuring a schedule of events! https://www.robnugen.com/ currently has my blog and my journal. I want to add pages for Schedule, Contact, About, and maybe other pages.

Love and Light - Rob!

Sign up for more content like this https://tinyletter.com/barefootrob

05 Jan 2020, 22:42

Everyone is faking it

Ever feel like you don’t know how to do something? Or feel like everyone else knows what they are doing? I feel like that sometimes, and I have a secret to share. Everyone feels that way sometimes.

I was just listening to stories told by my mom and her sister. They told us stuff I never knew about their parents, my grandparents, “Granddad and Monner”

In particular how strict Granddad was. He apparently told Madeleiene “once I figured out how to be a father, you all had grown up.”

Granddad was great for me and my brother, but he didn’t have everything figured out when he was raising his kids.

Just do your best, take time for yourself when you can, and that’s enough.

31 Dec 2019, 23:12

Eye Gazing benefits

eye gazing benefits

There is an ancient practice known as eye-gazing, whereby two participants stare into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time. When eye contact between two people is initiated and maintained, an invisible energetic circuit is established which is known to induce euphoria, visions, past life experiences, and even remote viewing. From here it is possible to reach higher states of consciousness. The saying ‘eyes are the window to the soul’ has much more meaning than we may realize.

28 Dec 2019, 15:27

Guided by Goodness

Today I saw a woman feeling frustrated with a small child crying. She was griping at him as he was crying.

I watched for a bit from a distance as she was like しょうがない!ママ 一人からしょうがない!(It’s too bad! I’m alone, so too bad!)

I sighed and walked away. I could hear him crying so I turned back, praying for some insight on how to help. I saw her riding the bicycle, but then she stopped and got off to engage the boy again. I found myself walking toward them.

I put my bag to one side and gently walked up to her. I put my hand between her and the child in his bicycle seat.

I invited her to breathe, and I just held her with my eyes. I reached out and held her hands for a bit. I hugged her and she seemed appreciative.

After about 30+ seconds of hug, I reached my hand back and gently touched the (coat sleeve) wrist of the boy, who was still crying.

After a bit, I held both of their hands at the same time, intending to act as an interface to help them reconnect.

I said in Japanese 私の日本語は下手ですけど、怒ってることを聞こえます。 (my Japanese is bad, but I can listen to your anger.) In English I said “I can handle it. He is very small.”

I gave her my card and invited her to bring her anger to me.

I hope I helped her reconnect with her goodness as a parent.