Extra Time is our intergenerational project in which we explore the county’s rich, grassroots footballing heritage, sharing our own stories and revealing many more through documents and items held in Suffolk Archives and county museums.
Sessions are delivered in primary schools, residential care homes and other community settings, with participants working together to create unique and exciting artworks to illustrate what they discover.
In one session, participants were invited to take part in a guided meditation.
Having first gone through a series of relaxation exercises, they were asked to imagine themselves seated in a football stadium.
The game is over, the last of the spectators has just left, and you are all alone with the sights, sounds and sensations of the match.
We invite you to take part in this mediation in your own home.
All you need is a comfortable place to sit and 20 minutes to take a little Extra Time for yourself.
Extra Time guided meditation
Jen Johnson, an experienced dancer and meditation teacher, has recorded the activity for you to enjoy in the privacy of your own space.
Listen to Jen’s voice as she guides you gently through the relaxation exercises and then locates you on the football terraces, savouring the final moments of an exciting football match.
Or read through the meditation below if you prefer.
So, to begin, we invite you to find a comfortable position in your chair.
Please feel free to position yourself in a way that is most comfortable for your body.
Settling into your position, moving your head, perhaps moving your shoulders, rotating your ankles, and just allowing yourself to sink deeply into your chair.
Close your eyes or keep a soft focus, just let the light peep under your eyelashes.
Sensing your body sinking deeper and deeper into the chair.
Relaxing your arms, your hands, your wrists, your shoulders, your neck, and just make any final adjustments before we begin.
Let’s begin by bringing your attention to your breath, allowing your breath to flow naturally in and out of your body.
Just being a witness to your breath.
The gentle movement in and out of your body, listening as the air moves through your nostrils, the sound of gentle waves on the ocean.
Breath flowing through your nose into your throat and down into your lungs.
Taking the breath down deeper into your belly, as you breathe in and out.
Taking a long, slow inhale and a long, slow exhale.
Just taking the air into your lungs and deeply into your belly.
Noticing how the air feels on your face, on your hands, and the tips of your fingers.
Noticing any areas of your body that feel warm or cool.
Feeling your clothes touching your skin. How does this feel?
If your eyes are closed, can you see the insides of your eye lids or the light, peeping through your lashes?
Do you see colours, shapes, or patterns?
Is there movement or stillness? Light or shade?
Now, listening to the sounds around you, the sounds outside of your room.
Just letting these sounds float around your body.
Hearing the sound of your breath flowing through your body.
Notice any sounds within your room, letting these sounds float around your body.
And listening to the sound of my voice; the tone and the spaces between my words.
Now bring your attention to your right shoulder, your right elbow, your right wrist, your right palm and the back of your right hand.
Bring your attention to your left shoulder, your left elbow, your left wrist, your left palm, and the back of your left hand.
Bring your awareness to your heart centre.
Imagine a warm amber light flowing from your heart centre, filling your body with warmth and comfort.
Let this light flow to your right side.
And now the light flows to your left side.
And the light fills your heart centre.
Warm amber light, filling your heart centre.
And now feeling this warm light flowing down through your right hip, your right
knee and down into your right toes.
Warm, healing, comforting light filling your right toes.
And now feeling this warmth running down from your left hip, down to your left knee, your left toes filled with warm, healing light.
And now feeling all of your body filled with warmth and beautiful healing light.
I invite you to let your mind sink deeper into silence.
Just rest your awareness on this unique moment.
Now see yourselves sitting in the football stands.
The match has just finished.
The players have left the pitch and the last of the spectators are leaving the ground.
You watch them as they disappear from sight.
Now, it is just you.
Just you sitting on the wooden bench, your mind alive with the excitement of the game.
You can still hear the hum of the crowd, the roars of excitement and the groans of discontent.
That football hum buzzing in your ears slowly fades.
The air is still warm and you sit in silence looking out towards the pitch.
Look at the colour of the grass.
Look at the line markings, the areas of mud.
The shiny goal posts, the white of the goal nets, the way the net hangs from the posts.
Look at the pitch. What else do you see?
Now, look towards the tunnels.
Can you still see the shadows of the players as they left the match?
Look deep into the tunnels, imagining the rooms beyond the tunnels, imagining the benches and the click of the football boots on concrete.
The smell of the dubbin.
Can you sense the silence of the players waiting in anticipation?
You bring your gaze once again to the spectator stands, empty and vast.
Lines of benches growing darker as the light drops.
You see the occasional scarf, left draped over the seats.
Dropped in the excitement.
Remembering the faces of the spectators, the expressions, the shouts and screams of delight.
In your mind, you see the goals scored, replaying the match in your mind, hearing the sounds of the crowd.
Can you sense the excitement in your stomach?
The air quickly becomes cooler on your skin and you wrap your scarf around your neck and breathe in the fresh early evening air.
In the distance, you can hear the noise of traffic, people, a distant dog barking.
Still sensing the excitement from the match, it’s now time for you to leave; to return home.
It’s time for you to come home.
You stand and slowly walk towards the exit.
It’s time to come home.
Now, slowly bringing your awareness back to this room.
Taking deep breaths in through your nose and release the breath through a softened, opened mouth.
Taking lovely deep breaths and slowly beginning to move your toes and fingers.
Slowly beginning to move your wrists and ankles.
Slowly bringing awareness back into the room.
You may want to take a big stretch, stretching your arms and fingers out.
Continue moving gently, fingers, wrists, ankles.
And, when you are ready, in your own natural time, you can open your eyes.
And I welcome you back into your room.
And if you have any paper and a pen to hand, perhaps you want to write down or draw anything that you felt during the meditation.
It may be a word, a sentence, a sensation, a colour, an emotion.
And what did you hear?
Did any sounds come alive in your meditation?
And can you remember how you felt, sitting after the match?
And any other observations or thoughts that may come up, write them down on a piece of paper.
And thank you for joining me for this Extra Time meditation.
You will need
A quiet place where you can be comfortable and uninterrupted
Twenty minutes to listen to the activity
Pen and paper for jotting down anything that occurs to you – but only once you’ve completed the activity.
If you would like to share any thoughts or images prompted by this activity, we’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download activity guide
Extra Time Meditation Guide
If you’ve enjoyed this DIY activity and would like to make a donation to Suffolk Artlink please visit our CAF Donate page here https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9780#!/DonationDetails. Every penny will help.Download pdf (2.03 MB)