Nancy Torres, an early childhood educator and author of Say it With Me (Dilo Conmigo), sits down with Aden Nepom in episode 30 of The Changed Podcast. She shares her thoughts about cats, kids, G-d, and the power that pausing to breathe can have in changing our fears.

Nancy Torres is a childhood Educator, Meditation Guide, and author of, Say It With Me (Dilo Conmigo): A Dual-Language / Bilingual Spanish-English Affirmation Book for Children (of all ages) from Wheatpenny Press

She loves inspiring and supporting children in their academic and social-emotional development. A little about her background, Nancy Torres received a B.A. in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, City University of New York, and received an M.A. in Childhood Education and Special Education from New York University. Nancy speaks both English and Spanish and lives in New York with her husband and son whom they are raising bilingual.

She is funny, relatable, and spiritual, and her story about overcoming a fear of cats is an excellent example of how knowing fear is irrational doesn’t actually weaken the fear. Overcoming fear is motivated differently, and we discuss some of these motivators in this episode.

Takeaways from this episode

Becoming a parent is a profound motivator of change. When your choices are suddenly thrust through the realization that what you say and do will have a very specific effect on a life that you are responsible for developing… suddenly you find yourself doing things differently. For Nancy, this applied to approaching one of her fears.

Breathing is a powerful tool for combatting fear. The amount of time it takes to exhale, inhale deeply and exhale once more is much longer than you might think. Certainly long enough to pause mentally and reassess. Still alive? Tick. Still intact? Tick. Ready for this next cleansing breath? Tick.

Changing your relationship with your fears will open things up for you. What will it open for you? I don’t know! Your fear and overcoming of it will be specific to you! That being said, in the story of Nancy Torres and all the cats… or my own story of overcoming a fear of heights, I definitely see that whether big or small, knowing that you are capable of something you did not know you were capable of makes you capable of trusting yourself more deeply. Trusting your own strength and abilities is always a good thing. I’m reminded of another author, Amy Gentry’s story in episode 26 of trusting her instincts over fear (they’re different!) has served her well.

Affirmations are more than a silly SNL Sketch from the 1990s may have led some of us to believe. No offense to Stuart Smalley, but affirming for ourselves, and our children is a beautiful way to think about what makes us. Like many things, a little can go a long way, and too much of a good thing can be toooo much. BUT taking a moment to appreciate what is truly wonderful about you, that’s a practice worth adopting!

Nancy Torres had two Book Recommendations for listeners of the Changed Podcast (aside from her own)

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings, which takes on the topic of immigration and is recommended by Oprah’s Book Club. This book is available to order from Powell’s Books.

Where The Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens, is a story of a girl abandoned by the entire world, and how she survives. Order from Powell’s Books.

And of course… if you’re interested in purchasing Say It With Me (Dilo Conmigo) you can

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