Michelle Garcia never felt destined to become a police officer. For 20 years, she patrolled the streets of Arizona, responding to calls both haunting and humorous. The lessons she learned in the Police Academy stuck with her through every interaction and have been carried on to her new career as a meditative yoga instructor, a different kind of right to remain silent. Michelle is the host of her own podcast, “Live with Meaning.”
We met Michelle on a humid Monday night when she arrived at our podcast meetup group, one of the few faces to brave the searing temperatures of a San Francisco Indian summer. We never expected such a calm and lovely face to announce she used to be a police officer. Immediately, we knew we had to have her on.
Michelle is a wealth of stories spanning her career path as a waitress, a grant writer, a secretary, an officer and- for the last five years of her career- a detective. She told us stories that sang with laughter and stories we’ll think about for years to come. She spent 12 weeks in the Police Academy and learned, through the swim-or-sink mentality, how to take on someone coming straight for your throat. We couldn’t get her to do the police voice (as a mild-mannered rebel, Jenn had high hopes of being commanded, “You have the right to remain silent! Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law!“), but we believe it when she says it’s terrifying.
A great number of accidents could have ended her patrols prematurely, but she made it all the way to a clean retirement. Many people have Michelle and her fellow officers to thank for their safety and peace of mind. She even told us about a young addicted prostitute whom Michelle treated like a regular person whenever they interacted. Years later, the young woman- now sober- approached Michelle to thank her for being so kind and so thoughtful every time they spoke.
Michelle now hosts a motivational podcast called “Live with Meaning.” Check out her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She’s got some genuinely great tips for feeling good about your life!