Episode 78

April 23, 2024


Episode 78 - Michael Overlie - From Trauma to Transformation: Michael's Journey to Self-Awareness and Healing

Hosted by

Drew Deraney
Episode 78 - Michael Overlie - From Trauma to Transformation: Michael's Journey to Self-Awareness and Healing
From Caving In To Crushing It
Episode 78 - Michael Overlie - From Trauma to Transformation: Michael's Journey to Self-Awareness and Healing

Apr 23 2024 | 00:24:53


Show Notes

This episode:  From Trauma to Transformation: Michael's Journey to Self-Awareness and Healing. 


Here’s what you’ll learn about:

Personal growth and self-awareness after a traumatic event. (0:00)

  • Michael Overlie reflects on past experiences, identifies with three men in different stages
  • Michael struggled with self-awareness, blaming others for their problems, until his brother's death led to a transformative realization.
  • After his brother's death, Michael began to see himself more clearly, recognizing his own flaws and working to improve himself.

Vulnerability, self-esteem, and helping others. (4:38)

  • Vulnerability and acceptance build confidence and emotional resilience.
  • Michael discusses self-esteem, confidence, and healing through service to others.
  • He shares his journey of realizing the need for self-care while helping others.

Healing through dog companionship for men dealing with grief and trauma. (8:37)

  • Michael shares his personal story of healing and transformation through energy healing, inspiring others to do the same.
  • His journey from suicidal thoughts to helping others heal is a testament to the power of unconditional love and support.
  • Michael explained to a woman why her husband's behavior of going straight to the basement with his dog after work was a good thing.
  • Michael has had similar conversations with other women, with the response often being a need for time and space for their partner to relax without pressure.

Helping men with mental health through dog companionship. (13:00)

  • Women begin to realize their husband's behavior was not ignoring her, but a selfless act to decompress and be with his kids.
  • A man who didn't have enough money or resources to understand his situation was paired with a dog to help him stop feeling hopeless and open up his own doors.
  • Michael shared stories of deep acceptance and its relief to the soul, encouraging listeners to embrace their true selves.
  • Michael advised young entrepreneur Michael to "try it, figure it out, and ask for help when needed" in business.


To learn more about Michael’s mission, go to his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-overlie-529057208/

Or his website at http://www.savetwo.org/ 


Michael’s Bio: Michael Overlie

Michael is a Canine-Partnered Men's Guide who helps Fathers and their sons heal their wounds and radically improve their relationships utilizing their dog as a catalyst for healing through love.


About your host: I'm Drew Deraney, the proud father of three children. For most of my life I've been concerned with what people thought of me and how I was supposed to act. I learned not to be my authentic self and instead became a people pleaser, a man wearing a mask.

In a 9-month span a few years ago, I endured four faith-shaking life events that caused me to question my existence.

I became determined to find a better way to live. Through intense self-reflection and awareness, I realized that in order to be happy, I must adhere to my standards of honesty, integrity and truth and needed to break free from the belief system that was anchored in me for close to 50 years.

I found my purpose and my mission in life. I've now become the man I know I am meant to be. My mission is empowering men ready to make a change to do the same.

My men's group and one-on-one coaching provide a safe space for men to share, without judgement, and transform. My male clients learn to release their inner greatness and stop self-sabotage, the #1 roadblock keeping them from reaching their goals.



Website: https://profitcompassion.com/

Email: [email protected]

Free Webinar: Supporting Men to Tap Into Their Natural Power Through Self-Discovery Registration Registration


Men’s Group Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/771474359577?aff=oddtdtcreator

Book a Coaching Discovery Call: https://link.mavericksystems.online/widget/bookings/netweaving/connect30

Pick up a copy of Drew’s book: https://amzn.to/40dsbyR

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Speaker A: Welcome to from caving in to crushing it, the podcast for those who find themselves immersed in adversity and choose to write their story instead of having others write it for them. I'm Drew Duraney, and I'm your host. Today's guest is Michael Overly. Michael Overly is a canine partnered men's guide who helps fathers and their sons heal their wounds and radically improve their relationships, utilizing their dog as a catalyst for healing through love. Enjoy the show. Michael overlead. So good to see you, my friend. [00:00:45] Speaker B: Are you kidding me? I'm the lucky one today. [00:00:48] Speaker A: This is awesome. This is awesome. So I always thank the people who've introduced me, and I believe you. Were you. Was it John, or did John WymAn, you introduce me to him, or he introduced me to you, or. It was Anka. I think Anka Herman introduced us. [00:01:08] Speaker B: It was Anka. [00:01:09] Speaker A: She was talking about dogs and her new podcast, and she reached out. Yes, that's how. So, Anka HerMan, thank you for the introduction to Michael Overly. I always like to pay it forward. People are introduced. So, Michael, so in life, and I'm sure this resonates with you, in life, we grow up, and we're being told if we do a plus, b plus, c plus, d, then everything's going to turn out great, right? Life is linear, isn't it? It's a straight line. And we know that we were sold a bill of goods, and it wasn't malicious by our parents or their parents, but generations of generations, they just hand down this optimistic outlook because they want the best for you. Inevitably, something gets in the way of that linear path, and we have a choice. The first is, some men don't even notice. It's a choice of opportunity, and they don't even see it. Some see it and run away or don't want to face it, but some see it and say, okay, bring it on, and I'll be stronger man for that adversity. And I see you as one, as the last one, the man who said, you know what? There's a better life for me. I'm going to take this adversity. I'm going to turn into an opportunity. So what I'd like you to do that defining moment, either that tap on the shoulder or the two by four upside the head that finally told Michael Overly, and he listened. Michael, there's a better way to live, dude. Do it. You think of that moment, my friend, and, yeah, all right. I'd love to hear it. So tell us your story. [00:02:45] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, real quick, I love the three men I can look back and see myself as all three of them at different times. [00:02:56] Speaker A: Yep. [00:02:56] Speaker B: Absolutely right. [00:02:57] Speaker A: That's just fascinating. [00:02:57] Speaker B: It's just gotten. There's some steam coming out over here. [00:03:00] Speaker A: I got you. [00:03:01] Speaker B: Yeah. So. Oh, my God. [00:03:04] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:03:05] Speaker B: Life was. Life was not fun, man. It was not enjoyable for most of it. I chased the relationship with my dad for decades, decades, trying to make him proud of me, wanting him to approve of me, accept me, love me, you know, all those things that I couldn't get from him. He's just not capable of that. But I couldn't realize that seven years ago. Seven years and a week ago, I had my awakening, and it was. I got hit by a damn freight train in life. It was the death of my older brother. [00:03:49] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. [00:03:50] Speaker B: So he was. Bobby was my hero, man. He was my older brother. He was the one man in my life I could really count on. He was my solid, no matter where we were in the world. And when he died, man, it took me out. Deep grief. Deep grief. And one day, I found myself, like, I had to lie down. I was lying and rolling around in pain and sobbing uncontrollably. It was like this. I was terrified. I was actually terrified. I know what the fuck was going on. And once I calmed down, my breathing started, normalized. My dog crawled up. It laid across my chest and just. Just loved me. And what came from that moment was the realization of how I'd been showing up in the world all these years. You know, different versions and intensities and all of those things. But all of the crazy stuff I did to try and be someone that I wasn't because I thought I had to be that way. I didn't like that guy. I saw who I was, how I was showing up, and I'm like, oh, this changes today. We're starting now. And it's been challenging, right? All those years of conditioning, programming, however you want to look at it. But I've been. I've been hammering it, man. I've been going at it, getting into the most deep, shameful, hurtful places I've been able to find and working on those things. I couldn't dive into that right away. I had to, like cave diving. I had to work my way into it. [00:05:32] Speaker A: Time, right, absolutely. [00:05:33] Speaker B: But, you know, it's funny, you. You said something about, you know, this is what people tell us life is supposed to be like. [00:05:40] Speaker A: Yes, the straight line. That. Nice. [00:05:41] Speaker B: And then this is what I found. [00:05:44] Speaker A: The squiggly line that. Yeah, yep. You're going circles left right up and down. That's what. [00:05:49] Speaker B: Back and forth and round and round. [00:05:51] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:05:52] Speaker B: That's so funny when you said. Well, you said that, but it was amazing to me how unaware of myself I was. [00:06:02] Speaker A: Yeah, right. [00:06:03] Speaker B: I was good at blaming everybody and everything. And the drinking problem, getting arrested, bad marriage, bankruptcy. I'm sure there's plenty more. But you get the point, right? I was just. I had no idea who I was. [00:06:19] Speaker A: Did all that stuff happen before your brother passed or after your brother passed? [00:06:22] Speaker B: Oh, before that was all. Before that was decades of living like that. I was shit. I was angry. I carried a gun for a while and. Yeah, yeah. So after Bob died, it was like, you know, I miss him terribly, but it was the best gift I ever received in my life because it woke my ass up. [00:06:43] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. [00:06:44] Speaker B: I thank him every day. I think I miss him and I love him, but I thank him because that allowed me the opportunity to see what I couldn't see. And it was funny. I went through a bunch of shame afterwards. Can everybody else. Can everybody else see all this other crap? Well, of course they could, but. Oh, yeah, it's just fascinating. [00:07:05] Speaker A: So after you started to. Well, give me one example of what one thing you did that you think was impactful in your change from a weaker man to a stronger man would be. Ooh. [00:07:21] Speaker B: Oh, God. Great question. So the ability to be open and vulnerable about what was actually going on with me was that was by far the largest, most powerful thing I could have stumbled upon. And, you know, no one said, hey, you need to be more vulnerable. And I was just vulnerable. But I started. Or looking for ways to try and express all the stuff I didn't know how to express. I didn't have a vocabulary for it. [00:07:54] Speaker A: Well, you mentioned stumbled upon, because I know that for most men, I'd say all men, when you do start being vulnerable, what's going to be very important are the individuals to whom you're being vulnerable, because if you are vulnerable to the wrong person and they do shame you, and you've used that word shame before, that'll put you right back into your cocoon. And so when you said stumbled upon emotional vulnerability, can you recall how that stumbling happened? [00:08:31] Speaker B: I knew that I needed to not just express all of my feelings through anger, so I wanted to find out what else I could do. So I started reading. I was voracious. [00:08:47] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:08:48] Speaker B: You know, all kinds of self help stuff, spiritual stuff. I'm like, I don't bring it on. Right? I mean, somebody's got to have the answers. I'm looking for. And what it. What I started to pick up were tools, right, and skills that. That I was never taught, that I didn't have, and that. And they started to accumulate and expand upon themselves. And I guess we could call things happy little accidents. All of a sudden, the universe would go, well, here you go. Here's someone that can help you with your next level. [00:09:20] Speaker A: Unbelievable. So when. When you started to be emotionally vulnerable and it was accepted, well, you started to gain some confidence in yourself. [00:09:33] Speaker B: I started to gain a lot of confidence in myself. [00:09:36] Speaker A: It's interesting how that works, right? [00:09:38] Speaker B: Yeah. But it. It wasn't like. It wasn't like I just floored. It went zero to 60. It was. It was a progressive thing. I've never really thought about this way. Yeah, I started to get a lot more confidence in myself, and then I could be even more open and more vulnerable, and that's. That's when I learned, like, okay, you know, that we got buried treasure here. We got to go find it, right? [00:10:02] Speaker A: Right. Yeah. And I think that that is actually. I know that is the best way to learn is you talk about self esteem and confidence, and that just doesn't happen. You have to do some kind of massive action and have success doing that action and then celebrate the victory in order to start feeling good about yourself. So you had multiple iterations of this. When did you realize that you could. You've now started to heal yourself and you're helping yourself. At what point did you go into service for others? Because I know what you. I know what you do now. And you're going to tell people at some point soon, the servicing others. How did that transition happen? [00:10:50] Speaker B: Well, it's interesting. I've had so many positions where I was direct care, hospital level one trauma, you know, operating room, surgery centers, those things. So I always wanted to be of service to try and help people. I wanted to help. I was a rescuer, man. You know, I'd rush into the fray. I didn't realize that I was the one who actually needed all the help, but I was doing. I was helping them in a blind attempt to help myself. I didn't know what I needed. [00:11:20] Speaker A: What kind of work did you do in the healthcare center? [00:11:23] Speaker B: Oh, I worked in emergency rooms, emergency departments, um, trauma centers, stroke centers. [00:11:28] Speaker A: Okay. [00:11:29] Speaker B: Um, yeah. [00:11:30] Speaker A: Well, it's interesting, you. You just mentioned that because a lot of individuals who go into the healthcare setting to help others are in need of help themselves and don't realize it, and there's a lot of transference. Right. You transfer what your needs onto. Yeah. And I'm. I'm one of them, too. I was in healthcare for 24 years. So. So with that, knowing that, how did that get you to do what you're doing now? And I do want you to start telling us what you're doing now. [00:12:01] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, for me, it points back to this compassion and capacity I had for others. Now, what I've had learned to do, and I'm still doing my work. Drew, don't be fooled. I'm not like, hey, we're all good. I have a coach, right? I was on a coach before you and I got on this call. I have the capacity now to take better care of myself. [00:12:27] Speaker A: Good. [00:12:28] Speaker B: And what I do now is help others learn how to do the same. [00:12:34] Speaker A: Beautiful. [00:12:35] Speaker B: So, you know, no one's coming. No one's going to come knocking on your door saying, we're here to rescue you, right? [00:12:40] Speaker A: No. [00:12:40] Speaker B: So we have to. We have to learn to put out our own flyers. Then we have to learn to make the place safe again. Then we have to learn, you know, go down the list. But if we don't have someone who already has those skills to help show us that stuff, you know, we go back to fumbling around in the dark. [00:12:56] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:12:57] Speaker B: So what I do is amazing. I love it. [00:13:00] Speaker A: Tell us what you do. [00:13:02] Speaker B: I love it. I get to work with guys and their dogs to create better relationships across the board in their life. [00:13:09] Speaker A: Wow. All right, cool as hell. Let's dive into that. How did that start? [00:13:14] Speaker B: Well, go back to the death of my brother and what that. What my dog did for me right after that, that period of deep grief. [00:13:23] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:13:23] Speaker B: That day where I had that awakening, that dog just. He gentle, calm, little pit bull mixed from a dog fighting ring. [00:13:31] Speaker A: Right? [00:13:31] Speaker B: He had every reason to be angry himself. Crawls up, lays across me, just hammers me with love. And I was like, what the hell, right? What is this about? So I started getting all these energy healing modalities because my dog showed me. [00:13:44] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:13:45] Speaker B: That's crazy. [00:13:46] Speaker A: Unbelievable. [00:13:48] Speaker B: And then one day I went, well, what did all my other dogs do for me? What was going on? I mean, I traced all the way back to when I was twelve and I was suicidal and my dog, Sage, kept me from doing something stupid. [00:14:00] Speaker A: Wow. [00:14:02] Speaker B: My dad had left the family and we had just moved to a new city about six months before. And he's like, all right, see y'all. And somehow in my teen brain, I got it. I got it stuck in there somehow that he left because of me. [00:14:14] Speaker A: Because of you. Yep. That's that's a common thought. Yeah. Okay. [00:14:17] Speaker B: So, yeah, so I started. I started going places I shouldn't have gone. And. And that dog sage, he could sense when I was in a real funk, and he'd come find me, and he's like. He's like, all right, come on. We're gonna. You know, he grabbed me or lean on me or whatever it was, and he kept me going. [00:14:33] Speaker A: Unbelievable. [00:14:34] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:14:35] Speaker A: They can sense. Dogs can sense that energy, huh? [00:14:39] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. [00:14:40] Speaker A: So, sage got you out of that, and then. And then you started noticing it. So what made you think that? Okay, it helps me, so now I want to help others. You started taking care of it, right? You had the capacity to take care of yourself. So helping others, how did you. How did that become a profession? [00:15:00] Speaker B: Well, no, again, the dogs. In my version of it, the dogs play a direct part, and I realized, oh, my God, if I'm starting to notice all these other things that dogs are doing for people, why aren't others seeing this? Right? So it's this sense of not enough that we all have underneath everything, right? Our self worth is shot. We just don't realize it. The dogs are constantly reminding us in a myriad ways of how we're worthy of it all because they're just there, man. They're just. They keep showing up no matter what, and they give us this unconditional love, people, up top. [00:15:37] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:15:38] Speaker B: So I got to do this. I got to help other people see this, because they have this amazing partner in healing right next to them. [00:15:47] Speaker A: Right. [00:15:48] Speaker B: So, that's. That was the catharsis for the whole thing. [00:15:53] Speaker A: So. So do you find the dog and link them up with the man, or do you. How do you. How do you help the man? Like, heal by being with the dog. Like, how do you. How does it start? Give me the whole step by step process. [00:16:11] Speaker B: So, there's two versions of this. The first is my business, dogs and men, and that is working with guys who have their own dog already, this established relationship, this bond, this. This safe being that they can do and behave differently than they can with their own spouse. [00:16:32] Speaker A: Okay. Gotcha. [00:16:34] Speaker B: I also have a nonprofit called save, too, where I can pair a guy with the dog and help create this other situation for him in his life. [00:16:43] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. I love both of them. So, I have a question once before in one of our conversations to go to that first scenario where the guy already has the dog. I believe you told me once that a man's wife called you and said that she was, like, upset because he would come home and go right downstairs to the basement with the dog. And you explained to her why that was a good thing. Can you tell that story? I love that. [00:17:14] Speaker B: Yeah. So, successful guy, but he was at his wits end. For whatever reason, he'd come home and he would, like, avoid his wife and kids. So she wanted to know. She's like, I need help. I don't. I don't know what to do. He's, like, hiding, literally hiding from us and avoiding us. So I started to explain to her, you know, how most of us are raised, what that looks and feels like, and then when. When we get to overload point, every single tiny little thing someone asks of us is too much, right? All the other pressures, all the other expectations that were just on overload. The dogs are safe. They're not asking him to do a damn thing. They're not. They don't give a crap what time he got home or what he drives or how big the house is. None of that. Nothing matters except just being with them. [00:18:06] Speaker A: Right? [00:18:07] Speaker B: So for him, that was his safe space where he could just. He could catch his breath and relax without anybody bugging him. Right. Giving him a hard time. Even if that wasn't the case, that would be his perception. I need time, and this is not the first time I've had this conversation with a woman, and this is a response I get. [00:18:27] Speaker A: Oh, she got the aha moment. [00:18:31] Speaker B: Yeah. It's this. This simple awareness that we would never look in that direction. [00:18:38] Speaker A: So she was able to realize, number one, it's not her that he's pissed off at. It's not really ignoring. It's actually a selfless thing that he's doing because he knows if he's on overload, he gets to decompress and then come up and be with the wife and the kids. So then did she start embracing that behavior after that? Do you know? [00:19:02] Speaker B: Well, and she was able. She embraced his behavior. Yeah, she embraced her own behavior in response to the whole thing and was able to just take herself down a couple notches, which brought her immediate relief. [00:19:15] Speaker A: Oh, beautiful. [00:19:16] Speaker B: Right? Because, I mean, if you don't know, we make up all kinds of crazy stories about wire or how something happened right? Now that she had this awareness, she's like, oh, I love that. Immediately, her compassion for him end up even further. [00:19:33] Speaker A: See, I love that you don't know what you don't know and give her credit for calling you because she. Right. Because she thought you may be able to give her some insight, but good for you to be able to explain it to her in a way where women will start to realize that when you and I, when we help a man in their life, we end up helping them, too, you know? So. All right, so other scenario where you pair up the man, the dog with a man. Give me. Give me a feel good story of how you were able to do that and how it helped the guy. [00:20:10] Speaker B: So this is typically instances where maybe somebody doesn't have enough money, they don't have the wherewithal, they don't have the bandwidth to understand it fully. So I don't just run out and get a dog and say, here you go, buddy. There's this guiding and coaching that goes on so that there's an understanding that you're bringing this sentient being who's here to help save your butt into your home, and you have to make sure everybody's taken care of, right? Absolutely. But what's fascinating is how quickly these guys will soften. I mean, sometimes it's like someone maybe who's long term homeless, but off the streets. I work with a housing catalyst here in Fort Collins. They get people off the streets into permanent housing. They can have animals there. [00:20:56] Speaker A: Wow. [00:20:57] Speaker B: Oh, it's amazing, right? Sometimes they don't have their own animals. Sometimes they do. It's the capacity. It's like someone starts to open his own doors, right? He's in this tiny room, and that dog or cat, well, he's opening another door now. I've got a little more room. [00:21:17] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:21:18] Speaker B: There's a lot of physiological responses that happen when we pet an animal, but it's more than just that, right? It's more than the oxytocin and the serotonin levels and the heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure. That's all great. That's great data to collect. [00:21:33] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:21:34] Speaker B: But it's this deep acceptance by an animal. They don't, again, they don't care what you look like, how thick your glasses are, if you got any hair. This automatic, deep acceptance brings such a relief to the soul. Right? Like, I don't know who I am. Nobody knows who I am. No one could ever tell me my life, who I am, worthless. I'm this, that, and the other. Instantly. There's so many that can hold that space for him like nobody else could. [00:22:00] Speaker A: Yeah, it is unreal. You're right. You're right. Thank you for sharing those stories. Those. Those are amazing. I could talk to you forever. At this point, the audience certainly has gotten to know the essence of Michael Overly. And, folks, I know you're going to want to reach out to Michael, especially with this whole dog thing, because I'm sure it resonates with a lot of you. Michael said you can email him directly at [email protected]. So Michael. Men.com. That'll be in the show notes too. So, Michael, thank you for that information. I have two final questions for you. Yeah, so I'm going to give you the opportunity to sit down with young seven to ten year old Michael, and you want to give him advice about life. What are you going to tell him? [00:22:52] Speaker B: Oh, man. Oh, I'm going to tell him that no matter what anybody does or says to him, he's okay. He's gonna be okay. [00:23:02] Speaker A: I love it, I love it, I love it. All right, different hat. Now you're sitting down with seven to ten year old Michael, the entrepreneur and young businessman. You wanna give him advice about business? What are you gonna tell him? [00:23:20] Speaker B: Keep trying. You'll figure it out. And if you need help, ask for it. [00:23:25] Speaker A: I love it, I love it, I love it. All great advice. [00:23:28] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:23:29] Speaker A: Well, Michael, I want to thank you for not only coming on the show, but for coming into my life again. Anka, thank you. There's a reason why people meet up with people at different parts of their lives, and I'm glad you're in it, my man. Keep doing what you're doing. You're an awesome human being and you're providing wonderful value to the people around you. So keep it up, man. [00:23:52] Speaker B: Thank you, brother. Thank you so much. So good to have you in my life. [00:23:55] Speaker A: You too, man. Alright, everybody, take care of yourself and be well. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed the episode, please subscribe and give us a review to help others find it. I'd like you to answer this question. Are you living the life you want to live or are you living the life others want you to live? I'd like you to think about that for a second because I strongly suggest you live the life you want to live. If you want to learn more about what I stand for and my services and how I'm able to help many men get out of their own way, please go to my website at www.prophetcompassion.com. Feel free to also email [email protected]. Dot I'd love to have a conversation with you. Take care of yourself and choose to write your own story instead of letting others write it for.

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