One of the questions I mulled over was how to maintain calm in the midst of chaos. What sparked this dialogue was this feeling within me that I no longer possess control of my life. Of course, that is merely an illusion. What I tried to articulate to a friend, though not very well, was the realization that I'm in discordance with my own spirit.
What I'm slowly coming to consciousness about is that I'm doing things which are not in line with my heart's desires. I'm working a job which drains me, living in an area which doesn't feed me, feeling pulled into patterns of behavior which are not my own and leave me feeling emotionally zapped.
My comment to a friend was that I believe I'm creating my own "hell" by falling into the illusion that I am trapped or stuck here. My hunch is that there are avenues of exit all around me but because my mental construct is closed, I prevent myself from seeing them.
But how to open them? Consider Einstein's famous quote, "You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created" and it was suggested that I look for spiritual solutions to some of my life's dilemmas. (Just as a caveat, my life is full of blessings and is moving towards much good; however, there are areas in which I would like to see more creativity and passion, namely, my career and natural environment.)
After a discussion of what I enjoyed about organized religions, especially Catholicism (mysticism and a deep sense of history and communal activity) and what fed me (prayer, meditation and community), I arrived at the decision to spend more time in meditation, at least twice a week. In these meditations, I will work to calm my mind, discuss principles of Buddhist Dharma and deepen my connection to my spirit and those around me.
This doesn't solve everything right now, but it is a step in the right direction. Whatever it will be, I know it feels right because my heart opens and says, "Thank You."