My interview with Amber McCrea started and ended in the same afternoon.
It didn’t feel that way. We exchanged questions over Facebook messenger with such mindfulness that time didn’t weigh in much. Before I knew it, we’d wrapped it up. Her insights and observations could’ve filled another post.
I’m unsure who to credit or blame, but this stuff is intentional, somehow.
Rather than try to explain it, I’m just thankful for the opportunity. She’s embarked on missions to make further connections and create magic elsewhere, too. I have a feeling that magic will do some kickass things out there.
She’s one of those friends who is hard to categorize because she’s everything good.
(I’d even have forgiven her, in all her goodness, if she was a hustler. Or giants fan.) Amber brings incredible insight and awareness – and has made a huge impact on my life. Please give her a warm CD welcome on #GirlsRock.
Eli: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Amber: A teacher through and through.
Eli: What was it about teaching that appealed to you?
Amber: Lol. Well, I hate to admit but when I was little it was definitely fun telling people what to do. Now I see it was preparing me to lead by example, not boss around.
Eli: I love the honesty in that! In your mind, what’s the biggest difference between the two – being bossy or being a leader?
Amber: A boss is someone who does not jump into the fire and face the flames with you but yells commands from the sidelines … A leader is right next to you in the fire the whole way giving you the tools to fight your battle but not alone.
Eli: That’s a huge difference. Can you remember early on, trying to be that leader?
Amber: I definitely began as the boss … as I grew. I naturally took charge and people followed, slowly transforming into more of a leader than a boss. The main reason was I think this was so – I was not afraid of getting dirty, working hard, and my perfectionism led the path. My heart was in the right spot but I didn’t have the tools or knowledge to really lead. But about four years ago, I had a paradigm shift and that all changed. As I gained tools I could truly begin to lead in the true sense I feel what a leader means.
Eli: What tools did you acquire that started you on a road to coaching?
Amber: Hmmm, it’s hard to pinpoint because this journey is a progression… And it’s more like the tools led me to coach… I learned myself, I learned why I feel the way I feel, how to work through my emotions, thoughts, and problems, how to let go of expectations, love and release fear, I learned about triggers and how to deal with them… You know what .. in a nutshell, I began emotionally focused therapy with my counselor. From there I connected more to my -ing ( holy spirit, inner guide, still small voice … whatever you want to call it) which led me to books such as Spirit Junkie, where I learned about releasing fear and manifesting peace.
Man, that was a tough question because I feel like it was a spider web of things that led me to where I am.
Eli: I like the questions that make you think. And I’m loving your answers so far.
Amber: It definitely made me think 🤪 and I love how it’s making me think about my journey in a different way.
Eli: It’s all a progression, isn’t it? Tell me about how Guts N Gristle came to be.
Amber: Well about three years ago, a friend invited me to an all women’s workout group called Curvy Girl. I fell in love and was dedicated! I went and worked it until an opportunity presented itself and I took on a coaching role not just participate. I taught for a year or so, then motherhood and life called me to take a break. I continued my health journey, learning about holistic nutrition, my body, mind, and spirit. All along the way, people reached out to me wanting to know how I could help them achieve what I was doing.
After seeing results with people, spirit laid it on my heart to begin this. I could not think of a name and was toying with things like perfectly imperfect, beautifully broken. … but my mentor said no, “you are Guts N Gristle “! I see where the spirit is leading Guts N Gristle but it’s all about the baby steps so this is where we are now.
I am in school for holistic nutrition and a few other things. My goal is to offer people a different way of doing and thinking. Guts N Gristle is an outlet or one-stop-shop for your whole self.
I also have a certification as a vaccine education specialist. Learning about vaccines led me down a whole road of holistics. Which is how that part of my journey began.
Eli: Where do you see spirit leading Guts N Gristle?
Amber: Expanding to workshops featuring mind body soul. Workouts, counseling, meditations … Online options, inspirational speaking … But… I have no expectations, I just follow where I am guided, whatever will be will be. I am just an intercessor … a conduit for giving messages. My job is to keep learning myself and sharing my story.
Also, food, teaching people about food and how it can be fun cooking.
It’s not about being “healthy” because each of us is designed differently, so teaching each person how to give their specific body what it needs. For example: Delayed food allergies, (meaning kale is healthy, but if your body sees it as an irritant, it’s not healthy for YOU) not something people talk about but the cause of so many everyday issues, that have become the “norm” just as fatigue, migraines, eczema and so much more.
Also, I feel led to share what I have learned about the mind from emotionally focused therapy and all the books and leaders I have followed. Incorporating that into working with people.
I use those tools to lead, and, in turn, teach people how to use those tools. Changing the mind, which changes our world.
Eli: What has been your biggest challenge in this endeavor so far?
Amber: Reprogramming my brain. Taking responsibility. It’s always all about us, never about other people. It’s not about people offending us it’s about learning why I’m offended … Any time a trigger occurs, it’s about what’s going on within us, not about what the other person did.
Eli: That must translate well into everyday life, right?
Amber: Yes! Especially parenting. They are the real reason for the shift in my life. I was on a mission to connect with them on a different level.
Eli: How has that gone?
Amber: Saved my relationship with my children and changed my life. I have so much more peace in my life and it’s given me a chance to see my children in a different light and give them an opportunity to be themselves. Again being a leader, not a boss. I am able to homeschool both children when I thought I would never be able to do that.
Eli: Awesome. Is there anything I haven’t asked about that you feel is important to know?
Amber: I can’t think of anything except my life motto is … it’s all about the baby steps.
Eli: I agree! Last thing: What advice would you give young women about self-care?
Amber: I would say learn yourself… Learn what makes you smile, what brings you peace, what makes you feel uncomfortable, what Sparks joy and sets you on fire. Learn your body, how do you feel after you eat foods after you do things you love when you do things you hate… What happens to your body emotionally physically and mentally. Always ask yourself ” how does this make me feel?” Then do more things more often that make you feel warm and fuzzy! Do more things that make you happy, that make your heart smile… Learn you 🥰
📧 Email: gutsngristle(at)gmail(dot)com