This Is Why I'm Broke

This is why I'm broke

I have always struggled with money.

My whole life. Growing up, I would spend every dime I had as soon as I earned it.

When I was deep in my addiction to alcohol and food, I was spending thousands of dollars a month to get my fixes.

It was insane. And it all led to a life of misery, poor health and empty pockets.

Once I finally quit drinking and the dust started to clear, I saw just how bad my situation was. And I decided to file for bankruptcy. That was bad. But then it got worse.

I found new addictions to spend money on. Outrageous Amazon orders. Putting more money than I had into my business.

Money has always been a struggle for me. And it’s funny, it doesn’t matter how much I make, I never have enough. How is that possible?

I used to think the answer to all my money problems was to just make more. But I keep making more and keep having less.

Something is broken. And it’s time to fix it.

Recovery has taught me a lot of things about life. One big thing I am learning right now is all about my beliefs around money. I wanted to share some of the myths about money that have made me broke. Maybe some of these sound familiar…

Money Myth #1: Money Is Evil

I have recently started to realize that I view money as evil. Evil people have all the money. People with money do evil things. Therefore money is evil. I didn’t think about this on a conscious level, but deep down in my gut that is what I always believed.

I don’t want to be evil so therefore I don’t want to have any money!

I would do a lot of things to make sure I stayed broke because broke people are the good people. We are the one in the trenches doing the good work. Not sitting up on a hill looking down on all the peons.

This obviously is not true, but I think a lot of people operate like it is. We want to believe that we are the good people. We need to justify our bad spending behaviors so we tell ourselves that only evil people have money.

The truth is money is not evil at all. People are selfish and sometimes selfish people do bad things with their money, but the money is neutral. Matter of fact, money is helping a lot of good people do great things. Money is saving lives. Just imagine all of the amazing things you could do for people if you had some extra money lying around.

Money Myth #2: Once Broke, Always Broke

I’ve heard this one my whole life from a lot of the people around me (these are of course broke people, by the way). They say things like “Broke people can’t get ahead” and “ Only the rich can get richer. “ Or my favorite is “It’s impossible to get out of debt. You might as well just get another credit card.”

That is the exact kind of thinking that got me into this financial mess!

Debt sucks, no doubt about it. And that is exactly why we need to get out as FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. But in order to get out of debt, we have to actually DO SOMETHING! You can’t keep doing the same old things and expect new results. You have to make sacrifices. You have to make changes.

You have to increase your income and decrease your expenses. It’s simple math but it’s hard work.

It is so worth it once you have the sweet taste of freedom. Any of us can do it. If you are reading this, shaking your head, and saying stuff like “You don’t understand. I’m different. I’ll never get out of debt.” You are lying to yourself. All you are doing is justifying your poor spending habits.

If you want to be free, you can be. That’s all there is to it.

Money Myth #3: It’s The Government’s Fault

This is one of my favorites. People want to believe that the government is holding them down to control the wealth and keep it for themselves. And I bought into this for a long time. Mainly because I didn’t want to have to blame myself for my money problems. It is much easier to blame the government.

The truth is we are free to do whatever we want to do with our money. We have the same opportunities as anyone else. The government actually has a lot of policies in place to HELP us succeed.

We are making choices on where to put our money. And as long as we choose to spend it on liabilities instead of assets, we will continue to be broke. The government doesn’t care how we spend our money. They have their own money problems to deal with.

Money Myth #4: There Isn’t Enough Money To Go Around

This is maybe the most common myth. Another name for it is “The Poverty Mindset.” We believe that the world is a scary place and everyone is out to get us. The rich people are hoarding all the money and we are only left the scraps. There is no way we can ever have the money we want. Only lucky people get rich, and we’re not lucky.

Does any of that sound familiar?

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We believe what we want to believe. And then we develop the habits and behaviors that back up those beliefs. We create spending habits that prove we are meant to be broke. We surround ourself with broke people so we can prove that it’s impossible for anyone we know to be wealthy.

The truth is you are choosing to be broke. And you can change it today, but you have to change your mind. And you may have to change some of your friends.

Money Myth #5: I Don’t Deserve Money

This is the hardest one to get over and it was a big one for me. I was full of resentment, fear, and shame and I felt like a piece of crap. And pieces of crap don’t deserve good things. I believed I didn’t deserve love, money or happiness. I was a bad person. And bad people deserve bad things.

I think a lot of us walk around with this stuff. We made some mistakes in the past and we decided to punish ourselves for the rest of our lives to make up for it.

You are a human being. And ALL human beings make mistakes. ALL human beings do awful things. And ALL human beings deserve forgiveness and a second chance.

You are not your mistakes of the past. That was an old version of you. You aren’t that person today. Today is a new day and it’s a new you. You need to forgive yourself. And then you need to forgive the other people in your life too.

Life is too short to walk around with that stuff. I guarantee you everyone around you is walking around with it too. The person you think is a perfect angel, has some kind of deep, dark secret they are holding on to. We all do.

You don’t have to be perfect. You just need to forgive yourself and start your new life today. The new you deserves great things. The new you can accomplish anything. The new you deserves love. And the new you deserves all the money you can dream of.

Are you ready for the truth?

You have a choice. You can stop blaming others for your life. You can take responsibility and start making changes. You can change your mindset and change your life. You can forgive yourself and join the rest of us who are moving on up and living the life of our dreams.

Or you can continue to believe these myths and continue on down the broke path of misery.

I hope you choose us because we are waiting for you.

Lunch Break Concert #14 - Money

Lunch Break Concert #14 went down on Monday September 16th 2019!

I do two of my original songs - “The Mess Around” and “Abundance” and open the show with a Beatles classic - “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Today we are talking about money. I share some of our common issues with money and what we can do to overcome them.

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

We Are All A Bunch Of Liars

We are all a bunch of liars

Have you ever walked down the street and looked into the eyes of people walking by you? I mean, really looked.

Most people are looking down (if they’re not looking at their phones). They look angry. Stressed. Depressed. And I bet if you walked up to any one of those people and asked them “How are you doing today?” they would pep up, put on a smile and say “I’m doing good!”

We are all a bunch of liars.

Every one of us is hurting. Deeply. And our pain is just beneath the surface. Some of us stuff it down more than others, but we all have that nagging feeling in our stomachs.

It’s the feeling that tells us we are alone. The feeling that tells us we aren’t ok.

It’s the fear that people don’t like us. It’s the fear that people may discover the real us, and abandon us forever.

Yet we go out into the world and tell everyone we are fine. And why wouldn’t they believe us?

We smile. Then we tell some self deprecating joke to lighten the mood. If it gets really bad, we will ask them how they are doing to take the attention off of ourselves.

What we really want to do is start crying, find someone to give us a hug and tell us it’s going to be ok.

Yet we don’t do it. We don’t ask for help.

We ignore our emotions. Tell ourselves we are ok. And then some tiny, little thing will go wrong and the next thing you know we are in a pint of ice cream crying asking…

What happened?

You’re hurt, that is what happened.

Someone hurt you a long time ago. Probably a lot of different people. It all starts when we are kids. Someone does something awful to us, even if they don’t mean to. Then we get programmed with some misinformation about ourselves (ie “I’m stupid” or “I’m ugly”) then we choose to believe it. Since we believe these lies, we attract people into our lives that will help reinforce them.

It’s crazy, right? We actually bring the people into our lives who make us feel the worst.

And then what happens? You become full of resentment, fear and shame. The next thing you know you are 35, walking down the street staring at the ground. Angry. Stressed. Depressed.

So what is the truth?

We never talk about this stuff. We are so scared to. We think that if we share our deepest, darkest secrets with another human, they would think we were nuts. At best, they would make fun of us. At worst, they would have us arrested or committed.

The opposite is actually true. Think about it. Since we are all walking around with this stuff, we are all waiting for the same thing.

We are desperately waiting for someone to open up to us and tell us their deepest, darkest secret.

Once someone opens up to us, then we feel like we can finally open up to them. We realize we are not the only one with secrets. We are not alone. We are not broken. We are just human.

Once we open up and share our secrets with someone, three things happen.

  1. We get relief

  2. The other person gets relief

  3. The other person usually reacts with understanding and empathy because they have similar feelings and we both discover we are not alone.

All the pain we are holding onto can be let go through a simple conversation with another human being.

But someone has to go first.

The world is waiting to hear your story. Your deepest, darkest secrets could save someone’s life. Your deepest shame could be someone else’s hope. That is what you have inside of you. The opportunity to change or even save someone’s life.

We have to stop lying.

What if we started being totally honest with the next person who asked us how we were doing? Imagine how freeing that would be.

That is how you change the world. One honest conversation at a time.

Lunch Break Concert #13 - Acceptance

Lunch Break Concert #13 went down on Monday September 9th 2019!

I do two of my original songs - “Acceptance” and “H.O.P.E.” and perform my cover of “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World.

Our anger and resentment comes from the past. Our worry and fear comes from the future. Our peace, however, comes from the present. The answer to staying in the present is practicing acceptance. If we can learn to accept people for who they are and situations for what they are, we can truly be free.

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

How "I" Lost 200 Pounds

This is me at 505 pounds. Miserable.

This is me at 505 pounds. Miserable.

On May 10th, 2018, I weighed 505 pounds. I felt like I was just waiting to have a heart attack. I was in pain constantly and could barely walk across a room without gasping for air. I was miserable, stuck and thought there was no hope.

On September 2nd, 2019, I weighed in at 305 pounds - the lowest I have ever weighed in my adult life. I have lost 200 pounds.

I share this not to brag because Lord knows I didn’t do this alone. This is all God! I share this to give you hope. Anything is possible for you. If you think it’s too hard or it’s just not in the cards for you, you are wrong. It’s all in your head and you can change that.

A lot of people have asked me how I did it. That’s always the big questions, right? What is the secret? Here it is.

This Is How I Lost 200 Pounds.

This is me at 200 pounds lost. God is good.

This is me at 200 pounds lost. God is good.

The short answer is I didn't do it. This is all God. The only way this was going to happen was if I stopped trying to do it. I know that sounds kind of confusing, but it just means I couldn't do it alone. I needed a power bigger than me to step in and change everything. When I asked God to do that, everything changed.

The longer answer is Overeaters Anonymous. I got in the program and went all in. I got a sponsor and a nutritionist. I went through the 12 steps. I weigh and measure my food every single day and stick to a meal plan of clean, whole food that I love.

OA saved my life. It brought me back to God and helped me deal with all the stuff I was stuffing down. That is what I truly needed, not another fad diet plan. Diets don't work for people like me. Only full-throttle spiritual change works and that is exactly what the 12 steps of OA will do.

If you struggle with your weight and dieting, I can tell you there is a real solution. It is found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (which we use in OA). I would highly recommend going to the OA website, find a meeting and just go. It will change your entire life.

And if you have any questions about it, please send me a message. I am always happy to talk about it. You can do the things you think you can't do. You just haven't found the real way to do it yet. Well, now you have, cuz I just told you. The next step is up to you.

To learn more about Overeaters Anonymous and to find a meeting, please visit:

Lunch Break Concert #12 - Labor Day Edition - Time For A Vacation

Lunch Break Concert #12 went down on Monday September 2nd 2019 - Labor Day!

I open with an 80’s classic “Break My Stride” and then perform 2 of my original songs - Vacation and Ambition. Hope you get inspired form these songs!

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Ambition Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This is the 9th principle is my 12 Core Principles to a happy, fulfilled life.

Lunch Break Concert #11 - Don't Mess Around With Perfection

Lunch Break Concert #11 went down on Monday August 26th, 2019!

I open with an R&B classic “No Diggity” and then perform 2 of my original songs - The Mess Around and Perfect. Hope you get inspired form these songs!

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Lunch Break Concert #10 - Be A Dreamer

Lunch Break Concert #10 went down on Monday August 19th, 2019- Live From Austin!

I perform 3 of my original songs - Believe, Dreamer, and Influence. I also talk about what it means to be a dreamer and making sure you have the right people in your life who build you up.

Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Finding My Own Beliefs

finding my own beliefs 2.png

Accepting that there is a higher power than just ourselves is a big hurdle for a lot of people in recovery and I was no exception.

My Belief System

I grew up in a strict Christian home. We went to church every Sunday and participated in all the extra stuff like Wednesday night church, youth group and youth choir. I remember never wanting to go to church but I didn’t have much of a choice.

I also didn’t have much of choice when it came to what I believed. I was instructed to believe the same things my parents did. There was no room for doubt. I was meant to just accept it all.

The problem was with being in such a strict home, I wanted to rebel. And that meant partying, drugs and sneaking out a lot - typical teenage stuff. But then it also meant rebelling against my parents’ beliefs.

It was hard for me to just accept their version of God because it was theirs and not mine.

And although it made sense to me, it took me a long time to get over it and find my way back to God. I had to spend some time on the other side of the fence to truly realize how good it is on this side.

How To Change Your Beliefs

I had to go out on my own and question everything. I couldn’t just believe what I was told to believe. I had to experience God, or the lack thereof, myself. So that is what I did.

My God became drinking and eating. There was nothing else for me to hold onto. And all that did was lead me down a path of self-destruction. I ended up weighing 505 pounds and feeling like I was about to die at any moment from a heart attack. It also led to severe depression and anxiety. My existence seemed pretty pointless and I felt suicidal for a lot of years.

What changed it all was getting to a place with my drinking and eating where I HAD to change. I was physically in so much misery that I couldn’t take it anymore. Rock bottom. I was going to change or I was going to die. And the truth was, I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted to be free.

That is when I joined Overeaters Anonymous and started learning about the 12 steps of recovery. The genius of the 12 steps is that it brings you back to a relationship with God, one step at a time. If I could accept I was powerless over my addictions (Step One), then I could start to see that there is another power at work (Step Two). And here is the best part - I could define my “higher power” however I wanted to! That meant I got to choose what I believed. No one could tell me what to believe.

Choosing what to believe was the key that changed my whole life.

Now I was willing to look for God. I made a decision to look for him working in my life. And the minute I did that, I started seeing Him everywhere. He was working in my life in crazy ways. He always had been, I just never chose to see it before.

I was able to find my way back to God and this time it was MY God. I was able to choose to believe and to define who God was to me. I could take ownership of my beliefs which allowed me truly internalize them as truth.

It has been quite a journey and it took a while to redefine what I believe. The funny part is I still believe all the same things I was told to believe when I was a kid, but this time it was MY CHOICE and not my parents’. And THAT has made all the difference.

What I Learned From A Purple Cow

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Seth Godin, if you don’t know, is a brilliant marketer and author. I have learned so much from reading his books. I just finished his classic Purple Cow and I have a conundrum.

In Purple Cow he talks about how your product needs to be remarkable to gain the attention of anyone. And I couldn’t agree more. But it’s really hard to define “remarkable” when it comes to music.

Seth goes on to say that sometimes there is no market for your product. You should make sure there is a market before you make your product. This makes total sense for just about any widget or app. But does it make sense for music?

Is There A Market For Your Music?

Music is art. It’s self expression. I think you have to make what is inside of you, whether there is a market or not. I understand this may not be good business, so then how do you reconcile being an artist AND being a business person?

If music is a hobby, who cares? Make it. Give it to your friends and family. It’s all good.

But if music is your passion and your business, the rules change. You can’t MAKE people like your music. They either do or they don’t. They either get it or they don’t. So then the question becomes, should you dumb your music down or put on a fake persona to make music that will sell?

I don’t think that is the answer either. Nobody wants music that doesn’t feel authentic.

So what is the answer?

How To Get Fans

I think you make the music that is inside of you. You write authentic, real music that says something. Make sure your music is about something. Give potential fans something to sink their teeth into. Then you bring professionals in to help you make it as good as it can possibly be.

Once your music is recorded and packaged, you go out and find your fans one person at a time. There may not be a huge “market” for your music, but there is surely one person out there who wants to hear your message. And if there is one person, then there is 100. If there is 100, then there is 1,000.

Kevin Kelly wrote a great blog post a few years back called 1,000 True Fans. This idea was a game changer for independent musicians. I remember when I first heard about this concept, I had hope again that I could make a career out of my music.

So the idea is all you really need is 1,000 Superfans to have a successful music business. If each fan purchases $100 of goods and services from you every year, you are making $100,000 a year from your music. Not too shabby. Plus 1,000 fans is a doable number, right? So if we can take our music to the people, one at a time, find the true connection, then we find our market.

So even if the market doesn’t exist, it does. Maybe not the way Seth Godin defines it, but it’s there. The only obstacle we have is finding the first fan. That’s the scary part.

Does That First Fan Exist?

What if we can’t find that one fan? My first follow up question to you would be, how hard did you try? Did you search the planet high and low or did you just make a couple posts on your Facebook page? Did you go door to door? Did you find other bands like you and ask if you could play for them? Did you study social media marketing and really learn how to get people engaged?

A lot of times we make a very weak effort and then throw our hands up and say “See I knew that wouldn’t work!” That way we can say we tried and the let ourselves off the hook. But no one ever had any kind of success with that little of effort.

Short of that dude who won the lottery and blew it in less than a year.

If you can honestly say you put in the effort, then my next question would be how long did you put in that effort? Most “overnight success” artists have been at it for 10 years or more before they had big success. That means you have to commit your life to your music. You have to live and breath it every day. You have to want it more than you want air. And you need to be willing to do whatever you have to do (legally, of course) to be successful.

Well, if this all sounds like way too much work then maybe your music is meant to be a hobby. And that’s ok. Make the music you love. Give it to friends and family. Enjoy it for the art it is and let the rest go.

There are a lot of ways to make money out there. But there is only one you. You are the only one who can make the music you make, so it is your job to make it.

And I promise, if it is authentic and true to who you are, I guarantee you there is someone waiting to hear it.

What Do You Think?

Is there a market for everyone’s music? Or should musicians create music for the market that exists? I would love to hear your opinion. Just scroll down and leave me a comment below!

Lunch Break Concert #9 - Nesting

Lunch Break Concert #9 went down on Monday August 12th, 2019.

I perform two of my new singles - Perseverance and Nesting. I also do a cover of Bill Wither’s Lovely Day.
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

How Worry Steals Our Joy

I worry a lot. I worry about little things. I worry about big things. I worry about my health all the time. Even if I feel great, I find something to worry about. I worry about money. Even if my bills are all paid, I worry about the next round of bills coming in.

I worry about my addictions coming back into my life. I worry about whether or not I will be able to fight them off forever. I worry about love and being single. Will I ever meet the girl of my dreams?

I worry about my career. Am I making music that is relevant? Am I reaching enough people? Will I be truly successful?

And on and on it goes.

The problem is these worries are stealing my joy. I am choosing to spend all my time in worry mode and that takes time away from thinking about things that make me happy. It also keeps me from doing some things because I am worried about the outcome.

Worry can destroy us. The more it steals away our small joyful moments, the more disconnected and frustrated we feel. The more frustration that comes into our life, the more we lean towards old bad habits. The next thing you know, we are back in the miserable cycle of addiction wondering how we got there again?

It all starts in our mind.

We get to choose how we spend our mental energy everyday. If we choose to worry, then we choose anxiety and a life of less joy than we deserve. But if we choose to let go of our worries, we are choosing to find more time to spend on joy and all the little moments in life that bring us happiness. Letting go of our worries frees us up to enjoy life again. And that is when we thrive instead of just survive.

I am not saying this is an easy process. Life is hard and confusing and there is a lot to worry about. But if we can start challenging these anxious thoughts right when they start, we can put them into two categories

  1. A real, necessary worry.

  2. An unnecessary worry about something we can’t control.

If we can let go of the worries that involve things we can’t control, we would be amazed how much of a burden would be lifted.

The next time that anxious thought enters your brain, ask yourself if it’s really worth giving up joy to spend time thinking about it? If it’s not, then just let it go. Give it to God or the universe, and turn your attention to all the awesome in your life. It may take a little practice, but once you get this down, you will start to see all the amazing things that are right in front of you.

Joy is right there waiting for you. All you have to do is choose it.

Lunch Break Concert #8 - Letting Go

Lunch Break Concert #8 went down on Monday August 5th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album Welcome To The Fellowship. The songs are The Mess Around and H.O.P.E. I also do 90’s hip-hop classic - Jump by Kris Kross!
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Nesting Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If you are still looking for the one, you are not alone. This song is for you.

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

What is “positive hip hop?” That’s something we can debate for days. Does positive hip hop have to be clean? Uplifting? Christian? We will continue to have that conversation, but for now here is how I define it:

Positive hip hop music is rap music that lifts you up, inspires you and makes you feel connected to others.

The reason I wanted to define it first is because some of the songs on this list are “Christian Hip Hop” songs. Some are not. Some have explicit lyrics. Some do not.

But all of these songs have one thing in common: They make us feel something.

A lot of these songs are suggestions submitted by YOU so thanks so much for your help in putting this list together!

Ok here we go…

Top 10 Positive Hip Hop Songs Of All Time

10. G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition) - Common feat. Ce-Lo

9. Sweet Victory - Trip Lee

8. I Can - Nas

7. Forest Whitaker - Brother Ali

6. Beautiful - Eminem

5. Moment Of Truth - Gang Starr

4. Crooked Smile - J. Cole

3. Blessings - Lecrae

2. No Problem - Chance the Rapper feat. Lil’ Wayne and 2Chainz

1. Good Day - Nappy Roots

What Do you Think?

What did I miss? What songs should have made the cut? Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know. I may make a part 2 and include your suggestions!

P.S. Be sure to check out my other Top 10 Lists including my Top 10 Positive Rappers List!

Get 3 Free Songs Of Hope!

Lunch Break Concert #7 - Gaspin' For Air

Lunch Break Concert #7 went down on Monday July 29th, 2019.

I perform 2 songs from my first album What Is Your Soul Motivation?. The songs are Dreamer and Gaspin’. I also do a cover of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing.
Click play below to watch the replay.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

How To Find True Love In Life

How To Find True Love In Life

When I was little I used to think that love would come easy.  I would grow up, find the girl of my dreams, get married, have kids, blah blah blah.

You know how the rest of that goes.

I Want True Love In My Life

I dated a few girls growing up, but none of them seemed to stick around for long.  Sometimes I would end it, sometimes they would. But I always knew it would end eventually.

I even had a couple of serious relationships over the years. But they ended too and when they did, I was destroyed.

I do not handle breakups very well.  It feels like the end of the world and I have nothing to live for.  All I can think about is them. Every song reminds me of them. Every friend I have gets to keep telling me how great the other person is doing now.  Every place I go to reminds me of the places we used to go together.

What it really feels like is that the other person won and I lost.  

They get to move on, find someone else and live happily ever after while I’m left in the dust.  Crying alone. Spending every day missing that person until I die.

That’s how it always felt.

After you feel like that a few times, who would want to try again?  It’s too hard. It messes up my life too much. I have things to do.  Goals to accomplish. I can’t let some girl derail me like that every few months.

So then I started getting very cautious about who I paid attention too.  The next thing you know, I was alone. Month after month. Year after year.  

I would go five to six years without even going on a date.  Then I would decide to let someone in. Give it a shot. Meet someone really great, but find a million reasons to break up with them. 

Break up.  Feel lonely.  Wait another five or six years.

This has been my entire love life in a nutshell.  And now I’m 42 and still on my own.  

For the most part, it’s ok.  I like being alone. I am a very driven person.  I have some big goals. So I like that I have time and energy to focus on my career and life goals.

But I’m still a human being and I get lonely sometimes.

It’s hard seeing everyone around me paired up.  They’ve got what looks like “the perfect life” while I’m out here still trying to figure it all out.

I think humans are designed to nest.  We are supposed to find a mate, have some kids, buy a house.  That’s what we do. And we get a lot of joy and security from it.  

Nesting brings a lot of peace into our lives.  The question I have been asking lately is this…

Can You Nest Alone?

I’m not sure, of the answer.  But I feel like you can.  

I have an awesome house in an awesome neighborhood in an awesome city.

It’s pretty awesome. ;)

I love my home.  It’s comfortable.  It has all my favorite things.  It’s clean and functional. There is room for having friends over.  Family can stay with me when they are in town. I’ve built a really nice nest and it brings me a lot of joy.

But it always feels like a big part is missing.  

I don’t know if that’s because there really is something missing or if I’ve just been told so many times that there is something missing that now I think there is something missing.

You know what I mean?

In other words, am I really lonely or do I just think I am SUPPOSED to be lonely because I’m single?

The Secret To Finding Love

I think the answer is found in the core principles I’ve been writing songs about all year.  If I can practice GRATITUDE and ACCEPTANCE every day, then I don’t focus on what I don’t have.  I focus on what I do have.

And I have a lot.

If I can SERVE and participate in my COMMUNITY, then I am surrounded by love.  I live in ABUNDANCE of love. There is no shortage around here.  

If I choose to BELIEVE and practice PERSEVERANCE, then I can trust that God has a plan.  I just need to keep living the life He wants me to live. If that includes another person, then He will bring that person into my life when the time is right.

And if I am meant to live a single life, that is ok too.  God has blessed me with a higher purpose. He has given that to all of us and we don’t need another person to complete us.  We are whole as we are because God makes us complete.  

My life is bigger than just trying to pair up and have babies.  As long as I am following my true purpose in life, then I get to live a super fulfilled, rich life.

I am already NESTING.  And no matter what I do or where I go, I will have a home.  I will never be alone. And I think that’s the whole point anyway.

The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 8.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #6 - Influence

Lunch Break Concert #6 went down on Monday July 22nd, 2019.
Click the button below to watch the replay on Facebook.

**Be sure the volume is turned up on the video

Rap Songs About Recovery

Rap Songs About Recovery

I used to drink every single day at WORK!

10 Long Island Teas. 10 double shots of Grand Marnier.

That is how I would start every day at the office. First thing. Before I could get any work done, I had to down at least a couple of each.

Now, full disclosure, I am a full-time musician. I make money from playing music in bars and restaurants i.e. “The Office.” It may be one of the very few jobs where drinking is actually ENCOURAGED on the job.

Sounds awesome, right?

Not at all. I guess it is at first, but it gets old really fast. Because the more your drink, the more you NEED to drink to have a good time. It got to the point where I was living out one of the famous scenes from The Blues Brother’s movie. I would have to pay more for my bar tab than I was getting paid for my services.

And then afterward, I would spend the rest of my money at Taco Bell.

That is what we call an unsustainable business model. And it was. Both for my pocketbook and my body.

It got to the point where I was drinking at least 20 drinks a night and still not feeling a thing. I would throw up from all the shear intake of liquid, then turn around and keep drinking hoping that eventually I would get a little buzz.

Dude. What a miserable existence.

I knew I had to quit when I ended up the E.R. with severe heart palpitations. That was my rock bottom. And I walked out of that hospital and began my sobriety journey.

The hardest part for me was still playing in bars every night. Just because I wasn’t drinking, that didn’t mean i didn’t have to go to work. I had to sit there and watch everyone party around me.

It really sucked.

I was jealous and pissed a lot. I was probably not a lot of fun to be around either.

But it did get better with time.

Anyhoo, the whole reason I am telling you all of this is because one of the biggest saviors in my recovery has been music. I have been able to put all my struggles into rap songs about recovery. It has given me an outlet to pour all my emotion into. I don’t know what I would do without it. I mean, I would still recover one day at a time, but having music to turn to has been a game changer for me.

One of the first songs I wrote about my recovery was a song called “Pain.” As you might guess, it was a song about just how bad my life had gotten. I was in a lot of physical pain and even more emotional pain. I was struggling to see any hope or any way out. So I sat down and wrote a super honest song about it.

“Pain” was really hard to write. I knew if I was going to do this song, I had to be brutally honest. There are a few lines in that song that I still cringe when I hear because it takes me back to that awful place.

Here is one particularly rough part of the song for me to listen to:

“Every day is a battle of wills,
My body versus me and who's got the skills?
Will I get out of bed, able to walk with a high head,
Or will I need a wheelchair instead?
I have to choose if the joy of sitting down is worth the pain of getting up,
Man, writing that down and saying it out loud feels really messed up.”

It was true. I could barely walk and I was headed for a wheelchair for sure. At the age of 40 I was about to need a wheelchair. Not because of any injury or life-threatening disease, but because I couldn’t stop drinking and eating and I had gained so much weight that my body was crumbling beneath me.

One of the first songs I wrote after going to a food recovery retreat and starting to work the 12 steps of Overeaters Anonymous (same as Alcoholics Anonymous), was a song called “The Mess Around.” I wrote this song with my good friend Chela Mancuso.

This was one of the first songs I wrote when I started to see hope again. This was a fun one to write and record. I still enjoy listening to this one because it reminds me of the hope I have found in recovery!

The Mess Around is all about telling my former drinking buddies why I don’t drink anymore. Basically , get off my case, stop asking me to “just have one dude!” because I don’t mess around anymore.

The lyrics in the third verse really sum it all up:

“ I don't mess around anymore 'cuz I am finally free,
I don't need to impress you people, I can let it be,
And I don't need to escape and numb my feelings out,
I'm not afraid anymore, yo, you should check this out,
See there's a reason that you're here, just have to take the time,
Be willing, honest and sure to open up your mind,
And when you do, I think it's safe to say you're gonna find,
It's time to leave that mess behind, and time to shine.”

I am so thankful for all the songs on my Welcome To The Fellowship album. Each song chronicles a different aspect of my recovery. These songs were a way to get the pain out but they were also a way to express my hope and joy that was starting to come back into my life.

I still go back and listen to these songs quite often. They inspire me and remind me that I’m not alone on this journey. I am part of a “distinct entity” of folks in recovery and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this family.

I hope you know that you are never alone. You are surrounded by people who want to love you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

And when you just don’t know what else to do, please don’t forget that music has the power to change your life. Find the music that speaks to you, turn it on and let it wash over you. Music has always shouted truth to me over all the lies rambling around in my brain.

It’s ready and waiting to do the same for you.