The Creative Process

When things don’t go to plan…

Try as hard as we can to create projects or situations that meet certain criteria and timing, sometimes it just doesn’t work. It can get blocked or pulled from all directions. There could be the sense of being alone pushing large boulders up the mountain. Initially it may feel like a great challenge, however it soon becomes too hard and exhausting, and no one is enjoying it.

That is a good time to step back and take a breather. Let’s question the plan again…

Have you heard the saying, “Life isn’t happening to you, Life is happening for you”?

If Life is happening for you, let’s revisit the intention behind the plan. Did we lose track of it, or do we need to create something new?

Sound easy? Letting go of the old ideas or plan can be tricky, however it is better to let go of what wasn’t working, to move freely into the direction you do want to be going in. Whatever ideas are holding you to the old plan (fear of failure, fear of the unknown, etc) will need to stand aside for a while (if not longer!) so that the new plan can make itself known.

There are many stories of the best projects or plans resulting from a series of failures. Failures are the precious and frustrating stepping stones to wonderful discoveries and creations.

Failures are our gifts when we look at them as the stepping stones to our creative process.

Now its time for looking at what feels good for you and others on the team. What is your shared purpose – your ‘why’? What makes you feel good and what can you create in that space of shared purpose and feeling good?

My name is Kristi Shaw, and I am facilitating and developing Student Leadership Teams in high schools to address bullying for the Bullying: Not Our Future project. But really it is more than that… We are change makers. We are creating space for positive connections and belonging for healthy and fun relationships in environments that are safe and where we can all thrive. We are creating with a common purpose. Sometimes it can go pear-shaped, and sometimes it can be out of this world amazing.

We are in a Creative Process. Life is happening for us.



February is a Month About Love

Love on Valentines Day (14th) – Safer Internet Day (7th) – International Stand Up to Bullying Day (24th)


February is a month about love, kindness, and thoughtfulness.

Its a time of making connections, and reaching out to someone.

Yup, love is normally on my mind in February, however this year I seem to notice that most of the news is scary, and coming from many directions. With all that is going on in the States and around the world, it can be quite overwhelming and unthinkable. My daughter has been angry, “Look at what is happening to the environment – will the world even be liveable when I grow up?”

And then I got an email from my mother. She sent me a memoir that shared how the generation that were born in the 30’ and 40’s are the last ones who experienced the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War, etc. It made me wonder about who wrote this memoir – how come the civil rights and women’s movement weren’t included. My daughter and I both told my mother our thoughts.

Then my mother sent me another email. She sent me stories of how children were still being born, people found love, families celebrated special occasions, and neighbours and communities got together for shared meals and events. Life still goes on. Do you remember the bombing of the Boston Marathon in the States?

My mother said to me – that was a horrible thing to happen. Now keep your eyes out for all the people helping, all the people who care, all the people who are making a difference. There are more of them.



And it is true.



There are more people doing good things in the world. There is more love in this world. There are so many people who are creating solutions to significant problems, helping and standing up for humanity and the environment, and being the change they want to see in the world.

When you spend your time noticing that, there is the blessing.

February is a month of love. Let’s make each month, each year, and each moment we have a time of love and peace.

Our kids deserve it, we deserve it.

Author: Kristi Shaw


Cyber-bullying – helping to make our young people safer on-line

“Naked photos of girls and young women shared on Snapchat against their will – National – NZ Herald News…Nearly half of female students spoken to in a new survey said they had had an embarrassing photo put online against their will last year. The survey, by cyberbullying awareness group Sticks ‘n Stones, spoke to 11- to 18-year-olds from 10 schools across Central Otago”

Violence Free Communities is teaming up with Sticks ‘n Stones and Heart 4 Youth Trust to coordinate youth-led anti-bullying and youth empowerment initiatives in West Auckland. Massey High School is our first school so far, with almost 100 students trained as peer mentors, 12 Sticks ‘n Stones ambassadors, a Pink Shirt Day event, and more initiatives are being planned as we speak. It’s a great team at Massey High, creating some positive action against bullying at their school.