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 🙂



Report of the 11th “Curious Souls Get Together” meeting

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Dear Curious Souls,

On October 12,2014, Sunday, we met at the Istanbul Sailing Club in Fenerbahce for our 11th meeting.  We were approximately 50-55 curious souls together and the beautiful, sunny weather simply made everything much better! İstanbul yelkenyelken

First of all, we had a delicious brunch together :-))           20141012_104659

Our meeting room looked like this, before we started…CIMG1816

…and like this, after we did :-))CIMG1824

The first TED talk that we watched at our meeting was the interesting talk of Ben Saunders on “Why did I ski to the North Pole?” In this talk, Ben Saunders explains with detail how he prepared and realised his solo ski trek to the North Pole and why he attempted to do this.

My friend Matt Krause moderated our discussions on Ben Saunders’ talk. Matt was indeed such a perfect person to moderate this talk as he also realised a similar extraordinary project; he walked all accross Turkey on foot (Check out his web site: Naturally, questions poured out to him and the main one was “why did you do it?”


I would like to thank Matt very much for his moderation!

We then watched the enjoyable and informative talk of Kelly McGonigal on “How to make stress your friend!” From Kelly McGonigal, we learned that stress can kill you but only if you think that it is harmful to your health. If you don’t, it is even helpful.

Rasih Bensan was the one who moderated our discussion on this topic and I would like to thank him for his contribution.


That was the end of our discussions. Yet, it was not all! Previously, I hinted the group that I had a wonderful suprise at the end of our meeting and indeed here it was! My friend Mümtaz Unel, who has a wonderful voice and who also was the the commodore of the Saiing Club for many years, gave us a delightful concert.


Here are the songs that he sang for us:

“Dos gardenias para ti”,
“Orfeo negro” and,

I would like to thank Mumtaz for this beautiful concert and also for assisting me a lot while I was arranging Istanbul Sailing Club to host our meeting.

Then came the end of our meeting. We spent more than 4 hours together and I hope everybody enjoyed the meeting as much as I did. I suspected that this was the case as I could see broad smiles on the faces of all Curious Souls when we were saying good-bye :-))

With my kindest wishes to you all.

Isil the Curious Soul 🙂