Harriet Ray is a Surrey-based writer, poet and spoken word artist (AKA a poet who enjoys a mic!)
Her poetry covers relatable themes embedded in universal topics such as mental health, relationships and self-empowerment.
She writes for fun and therapeutic release, and is driven by the purpose of helping herself and others with their mental wellbeing.
According to Harriet, “I write the words I need to hear!”
As well as performing at various London and Surrey open mic events, Harriet shares her work on Instagram @her_royal_rayness
This World Mental Health Day Harriet has kindly shared her poetry with us as she feels that if just one other person benefits from reading or hearing one of her pieces, they’re worth putting out there!
In the midst of all the rubble,
Surrounded by the dark,
The faintest flicker of light appears,
For hope to make its mark.
It’s only when things crumble,
And we’re forced to look around,
We see that hope grows best within,
Unstable, shaky ground.
What makes hope extra special,
Is the time it comes to view,
Emerging in our darkest hour,
With the power to pull us through.
When it comes to our emotions,
We should honour and own them all,
In the wildest of waltzes that is this life,
They’re part of the rise and fall.
There’s strength in vulnerability,
Which starts by being open,
These 3 words: “I’m not ok!”
Can be the bravest ever spoken.
Reach out for help if needed,
Trust that you’ll make it through,
For the one, reliable constant,
Is the same, resilient YOU!
Time’s a Healer
They say time is a healer,
To mend our broken parts,
But when our time is cut so fine,
It causes broken hearts.
For all the good things time brings,
It can also lead to pain,
When waiting for the storm to pass,
It can prolong the rain.
The secret here is patience,
And a little hope,
For time moves only forward,
Please don’t let go of the rope.
Hang in there,
Take things in your stride,
Often time is needed for you to reach the other side.
And finally – a little thought piece she wrote for World Mental Health Day in 2020.
When we feel a cold coming on, we recognise it, voice it and start tackling it straight away.
We accept it’s happening and face our predicament, comforted by the knowledge that ‘listening to our body’ will see us bounce back to full strength no problem!
Before it becomes too much, we openly tell friends, family and colleagues: “I think I’m coming down with something,” and engage in acts of self-care like warm baths, postponing plans and reaching for the remedies.
We flag our physical ‘vulnerability’ with no shame, and give our bodies the best chance of survival by addressing issues and nipping things in the bud before they escalate.
We also rarely blame ourselves and opt for self-love and compassion over self-loathing and judgement.
I don’t know about you but whenever I get a cold, my (seething) response is always: “who bloody gave this to me?!” instead of going hard on myself.
As well as going easier on ourselves, when it comes to bodily health, we’re generally comfortable with and accustomed to what needs to be done.
Whenever our physical wellness takes a dip, we take the reins and follow familiar routines to aid our recovery.
For example with colds, let’s not underestimate the relief of vocalising our suffering and swigging a ‘preventative Lemsip’ (placebo or not!) to make us feel like we have a sympathetic ear and SOME control over our ordeal 😆
We also embrace seeing a Doctor if we need expert intervention and additional support.
With mental health struggles more common than seasonal colds AND occurring all year round, let’s AT LEAST apply a similar approach to caring for our minds like our bodies.
Think of seeking help as your ‘preventative Lemsip’ 🤗 only it’s better, as talking truly works, every time 🧡
Thank you Harriet for your inspiring words. Happy World Mental Health Day!