By Natalie Kilgore
BYU students can reduce stress by tapping into different means of expressing their creativity.
That is what Pam Mayes will be presenting in her lecture, “The Way of the Creative Woman,” the second of a three part lecture series entitled, “A Soulful Journey: Mind, Body and Spirit,” put on by Women’s Services and Resources.
Mayes, a former college English, psychology and humanities professor, has had her own private counseling practice for over 35 years.
She has learned creativity can be taught, she said.
“The creative act is something that brings people closer to God, and women often times miss the opportunity to experience this act,” Mayes said.
If students took time each day to concentrate on things other than the stresses in their lives, they could begin practicing their own form of creative therapy, she said.
From reading to drawing to writing, Mayes said all forms of creative acts can aid in relieving stress, as well as other problems college students commonly face.
Music too can aid in other things besides simply relaxation.
“Music is an extremely important way of helping students deal with chronic depression,” Mayes said.
Although some students may think creativity is a gift given to a certain few, Mayes said creativity is something that can be learned.
“There are a million reasons why we don’t become creative. People don’t trust themselves enough to like what they create,” she said.
Once students feel comfortable creating something that represents them, learning will take on something that is exciting and memorable, Mayes said.
The lecture’s focus will be to define what creativity is and how to get past the blocks that prevent it, she said.
“My intent is to move people into experiencing the creative space and trusting what comes to them is unique and important,” Mayes said.
Jessica Hansen, 20, a junior from New Orleans, majoring in elementary education, said she has seen the effect tapping into her own creativity on her own life.
Hansen said she likes to paint and read in order to give her the opportunity to think about her life.
“Those activities allow me to enter into the world of thoughts and ideas and philosophies. They enable me to make better sense of my own life, it’s like James Joyce said, ‘in the particular is contained the universal.'”
Although Hansen has a passion for differing creative activities, she said she agrees creative acts are not for only “right-brained” thinkers.
“I think that the mistaken thought that creativity is a gift for the rare few is a myth that has long needed to be dispelled,” she said. “In reality, everyone possesses creative ability. We are creators.”
The lecture, which will be Nov. 16 in 3223 WSC at 11 am, is for all interested students, said LaNae Valentine from Women’s Services and Resources.
Valentine said the soul is usually the part of students that gets neglected.
“I think being creative is part of taking care of your soul,” she said.
Valentine said she hopes the lecture will inspire people to be mindful of their creative parts and take advantage of them.