A day in the life of Lorraine Downes: Meditation, gratitude and the joy of tango

Meditation, keeping moving and the joy of tango stop Lorraine Downes dwelling on the sadness that lingers after the loss of her husband, Martin Crowe.

I am woken every morning… at 5.30am by some very cheerful birds outside my bedroom window. I drift in and out of sleep and get up between 7am and 7.30am. Before my feet touch the ground, the first thing I have ready by my bed is my MitoQ supplements, which I take with squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, and I say a prayer of gratitude for everything I am blessed with in my life.

I’m not a big breakfast person… so I have my one coffee of the day and toast with either a savoury topping of sliced tomato and pesto or peanut butter or Vegemite, or if I am feeling like something sweet it’s raspberry jam. I then light a candle and do a meditation where I connect to my heart source. This is a vital energy connection for me, as it allows me to see all of life in a positive light.

My first look at my phone is… Instagram or Facebook while eating breakfast.

Early morning is spent… on getting my body moving. I choose from a yoga class, a dance fitness class, a weights/cardio class, a walk in nature (either the bush or beach), and then it’s done. I then spend time in my office doing emails and client follow-ups, or if I have client meetings, I head out to meet them.

At lunchtime… I am always really hungry as I last ate around 7.30am, so I like a chicken wrap or a caprese or haloumi salad with roasted veges, or an omelette with red pepper and feta cheese.

By 2pm I’m… with my clients in their homes, editing their wardrobes, or shopping with them, or if I’m not working with clients, I will be doing house upkeep inside or be out in my garden pulling weeds and raking leaves. I quite like this as it is another form of moving my body and being out in nature.

Most days I’ll… call my beautiful mama and catch up with her and see how her day is going. I love my mama and cherish our phone chats together.

Some days I’m… sad, as I miss the beautiful love that my late husband Marty and I shared. On a day like this I allow myself to feel my sorrow but I don’t stay in that heart space too long, as I know Marty wants me to be happy and not feeling sad. So the next day, I consciously make my heartfelt connection with life with love and joy again.

At 5pm I’ll be… preparing dinner, as I like to eat dinner early. I turn on the TV and have The Chase on in the background, as it’s a fun personal challenge to see if I can answer any of their questions. I like to watch the first 15 minutes of news on TVNZ 1 to get an update on what’s happening in New Zealand and the world and then I turn it off, as that’s usually enough for me. When I eat dinner, I like music playing.

Evenings for me… are all about chilling. I start this process by lighting candles and having my diffusers with aromatherapy oils flowing, as this creates an ambience of total peace in my home. I have done this since I was 19 and it works for me. I also love watching a good drama or documentary on Netflix. But sometimes I’ll… head off to a tango milonga, which is my passion. I dance tango at least twice a week, in the evenings. I put on my tango music as I get ready, to get me in the mood. I’m so grateful for this as I don’t need a partner to attend, and I dance this beautiful soulful dance and it makes me feel alive. I return home feeling happy and ready for bed.

I’m in bed by… around 10pm to 10.30pm on a normal night. If I am dancing tango, it’s a little later.

My bedtime routine is… really important because you are preparing yourself for a different realm, which is sleep existence, and it’s a really important one as it’s when your inner body is rejuvenating. I know a lot of people find sleep difficult and that’s why the prep is so important. So I don’t have stimulants like coffee, TV or social media an hour before I want to sleep.

I have a diffuser with lavender in my bedroom, I take a shower or bath, and I read from a spiritual philosopher such as Eckhart Tolle or Wayne Dyer. Before I know it I am reaching to turn off the light. Lastly, as I turn off my light, I think about what I want in my life as that is what I will take with me mindfully and soulfully until I wake. So your thoughts are not about what happened in that day, but what you want in your life.

When the time feels right… I will have a dog, one day. At the moment I don’t have a pet. I had bad experiences at a young age with cats, dogs and horses, but I do know that most animals love their owners unconditionally and are wonderful company.

The one thing I would like to add to my daytime routine is… time for Spanish. I really want to learn to speak Spanish, which will help me with my love of tango and dancing in my beloved city of Buenos Aires. So, I need to be more disciplined and find a space for a daily practice lesson of Spanish.


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