Report of 16th “Curious Souls Get Together” meeting!

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Dear Friends,

On the evening of November 30,2016, we met at the beautiful Nola Restaurant, in Galata Istanbul. The weather was cold and gloomy so I did not expect many to show up but contrary to what I expected, we were a nice group of approximately 25 Curious Souls!img_2294

We first had some free time to catch up with friends and meet with the ones who were there for the first time.img_2196

Later we started watching the first TED Talk that I selected for our group. It was a talk of Graham Shaw who asked the question “Why is it that so many people think they can’t draw? Where did we learn to believe that?.”

In this talk Shaw explains that drawing can be very simple and he guides everyone to draw cartoons speedily. While watching the talk, we had paper and pens ready and our group followed Shaw’s guidelines! Outcome was surprising! Almost everybody drew fantastic cartoons and some of them even looked quite professional to me :-)).

At the end of the talk, Shaw explains how a simple act of drawing can have the power to make a positive difference in the world and asks us to consider how many other beliefs we have about our incapabilities can be shattered if we only try.

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Our discussion on this subject was moderated by Ms.Eda Altan, who asked us wonderful and clever questions that spiced up our discussions. I would like to thank her for her contribution! We had a lively discussion! She even brought a beautiful Picasso painting that she drew some while ago, when she was inspired to challenge her belief that she could not draw anything except for stick figures! In fact, she said, it was quite surprising for her to realise that she could draw!

I wonder, whether this talk inspired anybody in our group to challenge their limiting beliefs about their capabilities or not? It inspired me a few!

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The second talk we watched was another interesting talk by a man called Michael Roach, who, while studying at Princeton university, went to a Budist monestry in Tibet and stayed there for 25 years. He was then sent back to New York by the monks, as a test, and was asked to form a diamond business and earn 1 million dollars in one year. He only had 7 dollars in his pocket. The monks wanted to see whether he learned the things they taught. Roach not only made 1 million dollars but also sold his company to Warren Buffet for 250 million dollars a couple of years later. In light of this experience, Roach says that it is possible to realise any wish, if you follow a precise 4 step formula! I suggest that you watch this talk to discover about this formula and share your views with me; do you agree or not?

You can guess easily that our discussion on this subject was also very interesting! Some expressed the view that they believed in his formula and wanted to give it a try, and some said that he was already an exceptionally clever person with the right resources and it was not the formula but his personnality that created the success. In any case, it was interesting to be informed of such a formula that has positive effects on people, and, who knows, that may even be true!


After this second talk, we ended our discussions there; yet we continued the evening with some more chat before leaving! It was nice to note once more that at the end of each Curious Souls’ meeting, everybody connects, even thought they maybe from different countries and different backgrounds!

Thank you, dear participants, for joining me at this event and I wish you all wonderful days, until we meet again!

If you would like to the rest of our photos for this event, click on this link!

With my kindest regards

Isil the Curious Soul 🙂

Curious Souls Get Together -15th meeting!

Dear Curious Souls,

On May 8,2016, Sunday, we met at Sircaci 14 in Yenikoy Istanbul. It was Mother’s Day and the traffic was surprisingly much more challenging that it could ever get. I later learned that President visited Tarabya, just next door to where were, and this now explains to me why the traffic was so horrific!
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The first TEDTalk we watched was was the talk of Maz Jobrani with the title: “A Saudi, an Indian and an Iranian walk into a Qatari Bar…” Mozrani is an Iranian-American comedian that is the founding member of a group called; “Axis of Evil Comedy Tour.” During our discussion, we shared interesting anecdotes on our own experiences of cultural differences especially the funny differences like how many times you need to kiss when you meet a friend :-). Here is the talk:

The second talk we watched was Dave Isay‘s talk with the title: “Everybody around you has a story the world needs to hear.” Dave Isay is the winner of TED Prize that is given each year to an idea or a wish and in this TED Talk, he explains how he founded the organisation called StoryCorps and how he came up with the idea. He gives touching examples from the stories recorded, explains how StoryCorps has evolved into the single largest collection of human voices ever recorded and voices his vision to make it global. Here is his interesting talk:

The third video I selected for our group was an interesting performance with the title: “The dancer, the singer, the cellist … and a moment of creative magic.” It was not possible for us to watch the video with full concentration and clear sound (we were meeting in a restaurant-cafe) so please watch it now, at your own places where you can watch and enjoy without distraction:

The last video we watched was the interesting talk of Amanda Palmer with the title “Art of Asking.” Amanda Palmer is a singer, songwriter, blogger and provocateur who clearly pushes boundaries in both her art and lifestyles and she made international headlines when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter, instead of $100.000 through her 25.000 fans who pre-ordered her albul called “Theatre is Evil.”

You can guess that our discussion on this subject was also very interesting.

After watching the videos and our discussions, those who stayed at the venue for some food and catching up with friends, had a chance to listen to the beautiful Italian songs that our friend, Mumtaz Unel, who sang beautiful Italian songs for us.

I would like to thank all participants for joining me at this event and also specifically thank Mumtaz for giving us the pleasure to listen to his wonderful music!

With my kindest regards!

Isil the Curious Soul 🙂

Announcement “Curious Souls Get Together”-15th Meeting:

Dear Curious Souls,

I would like to inform you that we will be having our 15th meeting at the beautiful venue, SIRCACİ 14, in Yeniköy. Please check the map below for directions.


As you know, at our meetings, we watch 3 or 4 very interesting, mind-stretching and entertaining TED talks ( and after each talk, we have an exchange of views to share our own ideas.
Sircaci14So, if you are fascinated with new ideas and new ways of looking at life, if you have an insatiable desire to learn more, if you get immense pleasure in listening to inspirational stories of great minds and if  you are filled with appreciation for great talents; then it means you are a “Curious Soul” and I then, invite you to join us at our 15th meeting?

Get  ready! …as you will  experience the flourishing of diverse ideas; expand your horizons, express yourself,  grow together; and while doing all this,  will definitaley pass an enjoyable time together :-))

So,  while I impatiently look forward to seeing you all, I wish you, a very pleasant week ahead.

With my kindest regards.

Isil the Curious Soul 🙂

STARTS : May 8, 2015, Sunday 16:00
ENDS : May 8, 2015, Sunday 19:30
ADDRESS : Köybaşı Cad. No: 14 Yeniköy / İstanbul
TEL :  0 (212) 299 5016
MEETING POINT : At the venue (meeting venue is approximately 5-6 km away from the closest metro stops. You can then take a taxi from there to Sircaci 14)
FEE : 20 TL  (inclusive of 1 glass of wine or corresponding drink)


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Brunch and the Report on the 1st meeting of “Curious Souls’ Philo Cafe!”

Dear Curious Souls,

On Sunday, August 2,2015, we met for a brunch at a beautiful garden. Leilani who is an “Emotional Fitness Coach” and who is the owner of the company Global Ideations opened her garden for us. I would like to thank her very much for this kind invitation. 20150802_12594120150802_124315

We first enjoyed our food in the garden and we chit-chatted among friends. As everybody brought food, we had a very rich variety of food on our table. We were about 25-30 people and some were newcomers. Weather was beautiful and so were our conversations!


Marc Sautet in one of Philo Cafe meetings!

After we finished our food, I proposed to have some exchange of views around a topic; like they used to do (and still do) in Philo Cafes. I shared information about Philo Cafes that were formed by a philosopher called Marc Sautet in Paris in the 1990’s. Marc Sautet pioneered to bring people together in public friendly forums where they could discuss various ideas ranging from Santa Claus myth to truth, to beauty to sex to death. People were relaxed in these meetings, drinking coffee while they were carrying on conversations in a fun and exciting manner. Anybody could join meeting, from cab drivers to housewifes to top CEOs. One of the things that I found interesting about Philo Cafes that at these meetings, they were deciding on the topic of discussion at each meeting; not before.20150802_140729

So I proposed to do the same and asked our group to come up with topics that can be interesting for us to discuss. At first impression, relationship issues seemed like the most attractive topic to our group, because before we even decided to proceed on the topic, discussions started carrying on :-)) I could heard a member say, “we didn’t decide on the topic, the topic decided on us!”Au8VgNvEMa_ClR1Up7o-atY-TM55UzlcEaEzbYPxn4kc

Yet to see what other creative ideas we could come up with, we made a brain storming session and went around a circle where all of our members, very spontaneously, had to come up with a question that we could use as a framework for our discussions. Outcome was really interesting! So many different topics were proposed. Interestingly, there was none relating to relationships 🙂

20150802_163408Finally, taking into account the strong points of our group, we decided to set the following question as the basis for our discussions: “What experience, what learning or which failure in your life, was the most transformative for you, that made you the person you are?20150802_145007

Wow! Outcome was simply fantastic! We listened to stories that were so nice, so sincere, so courageous and so interesting! We were not aware that such stories existed among our group! Some stories seemed almost like fiction-only possible in films! Some seemed brief yet with so many lessons inside. Some were like action films :-)) life saving or quite dangerous at times; and exciting! I thought that they were all very courageous. Stories made us laugh wildly or in a few minutes later, brought tears to our eyes. 20150802_14224220150802_142225They surprised us and connected us! We learned deeply and appreciated every one of them. At that very moment, I remembered a quote by a TED speaker, whose name I cannot recall unfortunately, that said: “There is hardly anybody in this world that we cannot learn to love if we hear out their story.” I think it was true for our group!AusyHeeQ5QwgMg1wFysbck8-J6knvgw8mMhsuedh2HAd

After all those personal stories and a lot of talk on transformation, we received a brief information on what Leilani was doing in her company as a “Emotional Fitness Coach” and especially on her “Come Back to Life” seminar that is due to start soon. Leilani explained us how transformations can be planned and actualised much more efficiently that we do in our lives. If you are interested and if you also would like to “Come Back to Life,” then I suggest you to contact Leilani 🙂20150802_163007


Divya seriously pursuing the responsibility of finding the right sized little rocks to put on papers so that they would not fly away :-))

I think it was around 5 pm when I was leaving Leilani’s garden. I had a pleasant smile on my face and lots of new ideas in my mind. I was very pleasantly surprised by the intensity of the connection achieved at our meeting and the stories shared. I hope to repeat such meetings.

I would like to thank you for being a part of this wonderful day.
See you soon!

Isil the Curious Soul 🙂