Home   Joyful Families   About Us   Workshops   Writings   Services   Products   Links   Contact Us  

"Creating Joyful Families" Workshops

CalendarSlideshowReport on Joyful Families Workshop  |  Comments and Appreciations


The 2007 "Creating Joyful Families" workshop is scheduled for 28 July – 3 August, 2007, at the Findhorn Foundation, Forres, Scotland.

The Foundation also offers a "Family Experience Week" during the summer. People often ask what the difference is between "Creating Joyful Families" and the "Family FX." To help you decide which of the two programs might be most appropriate for your family, click here.

It is absolutely necessary to speak with us before booking, to understand the commitments of the workshop. Contact us via telephone in Scotland at 44-(0)7749727964, or email us to set up a good time for a telephone call. After speaking with us, please sign up through the Findhorn Foundation website: www.findhorn.org. Or, phone the Bookings Office at 44 (01309) 691653.


Please view our slideshow from the Joyful Families Workshop in Findhorn, Scotland:

Best Quality (13MB, suitable for high speed internet connection)

Lower Quality (2MB, suitable for slower connection)

CREDITS: Photos by David McNamara, Where We All Belong, words and music by Raffi with Michael Greber (Troubadour Music). Please see Raffi's website for information about buying his "Where we All Belong" CD to benefit Earth Charter.

(Quicktime required – click here to download Quicktime).

Our Report to the Findhorn Community on a typical "Creating Joyful Families" Workshop

This year’s “Creating Joyful Families” workshop: Six families, four languages, five nationalities, two translators, five focalizers, at Newbold, with kids between four and thirteen, all working and playing intensely for a week together! That is just a glimpse into an exciting, challenging, deeply-fulfilling week for both the participants and the focalizers.

The workshop encourages the adults and children to participate as equals--soul meeting soul-- so the activities are created to be valuable at a non-verbal level and, at the same time, work deeply in the life of the family through the insight that they offer. There are a lot of drawing, playing, singing, dancing, role-playing, communication activities, and story telling, this year all in simultaneous translation of four languages! It sounded like the U.N.

Because of the intensity and complexity of the week, we worked with five focalizers and two translators: Alexandra, Erin, and I, along with ex-members Giles and Clare Chitty, with Mie Nishimura and Benj Borseth, who originally joined us as Swedish and Japanese translators and ended up taking huge responsibility in leading activities and facilitating families’ processes.
Through the week we guided the families into an examination of who they are as a family and how they would most like to function together.

Empowerment of each family member allowed the families to explore new and sometimes better ways to play and work together. Building upon the experience of spiritual unity of the family, we then encouraged each family to take an active step together towards contributing to the world: from planting a garden in the sand of Saudi Arabia or cleaning up a riverbank in England to practicing the newly-learned “Way of Family Council” skills together regularly.

While morning sessions gave kids and parents an opportunity to interact and explore together, evenings began with story time, led by Erin--which became so enthralling no one would miss a session--and then carried on to deep personal sharing by parents on their own struggles, joys, and questions about family life. Tears and delight, pain and joy were shared in equal measure, all held in a sense of blessing and transformation.

The Newbold family provided a superb home for us all for the week! The food was carefully thought through to meet the desires of kids and parents, the spaces were wonderfully clear and open and inviting, the Newbold family was gently patient, helpful, and accepting.

I think its safe to say that all of us were really thrilled with the outcome, the sense of joy and fun and transformation for all the families in the challenging areas of their family life. and inspired by the spiritual guiding Presence of the angel of “Joyful Families”. For Alexandra and me, perhaps the very best part was working together with our daughter Erin as co-focalizers, and seeing her so masterfully and gracefully lead the group of twenty-six people!

Love and blessings,

—David & Alexandra McNamara

Comments/Appreciations for “Creating Joyful Families”


During the “Creating Joyful Families” Workshop our family was able to create something very special and heartfelt which touched me very deeply. We learned so much about each other, what we all needed, and how to go about getting those needs met. The three boys all felt that (my wife and I) really came to understand and give them what they need. I know that the memories and feelings of that week will be with us as a family for a long, long time, perhaps forever.

—English dad of 3 children: 13, 10 and 7

Thank you for so many beautiful and touching memories that I now carry in my heart. The week was healing in so many ways and on so many levels, both for our family as a whole and to my relationship with my husband. It was truly a joy to be part of a group of people with so much compassion and kindness. Thank you for creating such a safe and transformative experience.

—Swedish mom of 3 children

Our six year old daughter still talks about the time of the workshop. She loved to be with the other children, both younger and older. Being part of a group like that and being totally accepted was a wonderful experience for her.

—German single mom of a six-year old daughter

Our overall score for the workshop was 150%. We are communicating more and enjoying each other greatly. We did a family council session the other night, and plan to continue it as a new family tradition. It is a wonderful way for every one of us to know we are deeply heard and understood. Our twelve-year old daughter is more motivated to work around the house, and has started cooking for the first time. She has been even more a joy to be around ever since the workshop. She and her mom are getting along so well. I have really gotten in touch with a need to contribute to the planet, and am focusing on this for my next career. All in all - a great workshop, well worth the time and expense.

—Father of a twelve year old girl

David is quite profound in his ability to articulate and help us experience the sense of unity in the family. The idea of an Angel of the family makes lots of sense, but it is wonderful to experience it fully, there, in the room with us, bringing a sense of blessing and strength and wisdom for our little family.

—Single Mom of a five year old boy








© All writings are copyright 2004 by David McNamara and Alexandra McNamara. All rights reserved.


  Back to Top  

Home   Joyful Families   About Us   Workshops  
   Services   Products   Contact Us    Links