When I teach mindfulness, the first exercise I give is red-light practice: View red lights as an invitation to pause, breathe, and be. Rarely are we told to "stop and take a break," yet red lights do just that. They remind us to pause. Three breaths of awareness can make a big difference. Often, students say, "I wish there were more red lights."
I sit in a prison meditation circle with women, most of whom are incarcerated for drug use. One of these women, typically quiet, chose to share at the end of group: "This is our chance, in this crappy place, to really know ourselves. When I first got here, I had no idea what I liked and enjoyed. All I cared about was using drugs. Now I care about knowing and understanding myself. Prison is our chance to make new choices." This was a powerful statement.