The Power Of Belief

“If I want to achieve then I gotta believe.”

There was a very specific, pivotal moment in my life. It wasn’t a wedding day or a graduation day, it was the day I decided to believe again. Not just believing in God, but believing in possibilities. Choosing hope over cynicism.

Somewhere along the path of life, I became extremely cynical. I think it happens to a lot of us.

When we are kids, the world is a magical place. Every day is an adventure full of wonder and joy. This is why kids never want to go to bed and can’t wait to get up in the morning. Their life is awesome and exciting.

And then we grow up. We get hurt a few times. And it all starts to change.

Fast forward a few years and we are miserable. We see the world as a dark, depressing place. We are trapped in a routine that never changes. There is nothing new to explore. No more adventures. No more excitement. Just work, bills and taxes.

Maybe we get out and do something fun on the weekend, but it’s short-lived and we are right back to our mundane existence on Monday.

This is when bitterness sets in. What happened to our life? We used to have dreams and goals. When did it all change? Why do we all of the sudden dread everything we have to do?

And that’s when it happens. That’s the day you become a cynic.

After crossing over to the dark side, there is no more hope. There is no more wonder. And any beliefs you had about the possibilities in your life, go right out the window. We start looking at the world as a curse instead of a blessing.

We make fun of people who look happy. We tell ourselves that people who have the kind of life we want just got lucky and we are not meant to have that kind of life. Nope. We are meant to be fat. Broke. Lonely. And depressed. That’s just the way it is for people like us.

What if you just decided to change that way of thinking? Right now. Right here.

What if you chose to believe? What if it is really true that our lives are a manifestation of our thoughts and if you changed your thoughts you could change your life? What is the worse thing that would happen if you just decided that you were going to believe in life again like you did when you were a kid?

That was the pivotal moment in my life. The day everything changed for me was the day I asked myself those exact questions. And I chose to go for it.

I decided to believe again.

Once I made that decision, I also had to keep my eyes and heart open to see the opportunities in my life. I had to fight off cynicism constantly and look for the good stuff. I had to stop making excuses and stop making fun of happy people. I had to try. I had to get up and do something. But if there was real hope on the other side, it would be totally worth it.

I can tell you now that there is and it was.

I started seeing doors opening. I started seeing different people coming into my life. I started having successes in ways I never thought possible.

Was life perfect and easy from then on? Of course not. But something was different. Things were actually happening. And the best part of it all was I started to get excited again. I started to have moments where I felt like a little kid. I had dreams and I believed that they were possible. I had a reason to get up in the morning.

I was finally living the life I always wanted. All I had to do was choose it.

Life sucks sometimes. There are plenty of people who will tell you that. And it’s true. But I’m here to tell you that there is a whole other side to life that is just waiting for you. You are meant to be happy. You are meant to be successful Your “luck” is just waiting for you to find it. I promise it’s there.

All you have to do is choose to believe.

Believe
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 5.1.19!

AA Without God?

AA Without God?

When I joined OA, the whole “God thing” was a big hang up for me. It kept me from going to AA meetings when I quit drinking years before. I didn’t want someone to tell me to pray more and read the Bible and I’ll be fine. I needed real life solutions to my problems.

The problem with that is it made me bitter and closed off. I wasn’t open to any spiritual discussion because I was so determined to say that a lack of God wasn’t my problem. I was determined to prove I was right. When we are bitter and closed off, we can’t heal. And what I needed more than anything was healing.

Being able to say I was powerless and that there has to be some bigger power at work allowed me to open up and see those real world solutions I had been searching for my whole life. They were always there. All around me. I just couldn’t see them because I had closed my eyes and refused to believe they were there.

I know the whole “God thing” is a big hang up for a lot of people in recovery. It keeps a lot of people away. We cling to our belief of non-belief scared that someone will take it away from us and we will be left with nothing to hold on to. That is a scary thought. But, the truth is, by holding on so tightly to a belief of non-belief, we are missing the whole point.

Don’t bring your personal development and spiritual health to a halt out of fear and selfishness. Open your mind and your heart and I promise you will find the answers you are looking for.

What Is Success In Life?

I have been struggling lately a lot with how I define success. I find myself getting caught up in comparing myself to others. I feel envious whenever I see someone who has more money than I do or has more fans than I do.

I get jealous. But then I also get down on myself. I feel like a failure because I am not measuring up to the person that has a million followers on Instagram. I set these impossible standards for myself and if I don’t reach them, then I have failed. And therefore by definition, I am not succeeding at life.

Just thinking through this and writing it down already shines a light on what is wrong with this thinking. But I still can’t help it sometimes. I feel like if I am not the best, then I am not successful. And that is a recipe for disaster because there will always be someone with more money and more Instagram followers.

That is a game I can never win.

So what does true success look like? Success doesn’t come from others. My success does not depend upon approval from anyone. I don’t have to compare myself to other people. None of that matters.

The only thing that matters is my health - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

With that in mind, I would define success as spiritual progression. Doing a little better today than yesterday is success. Learning to love and accept myself more is success. Spending more time serving others is success.

The truth is I am already successful because I am showing up every day. I am working on myself, sticking to my program and trusting God to lead the way. I am learning more about myself and others each day.

That is success.

I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to be better than anyone else. I only have to be me. I am perfect the way I am because God created me this way. I have the exact amount of Instagram followers I am supposed to have right now. I have all the money that I need and I have an amazing perfect number of fans who love what I do. Everything is as it is supposed to be right now. And I will continue to grow each day.

The truth is I am who God wants me to be today and if that's not success, then I don’t know what is.

Serve: Official Lyrics Video

This year I am releasing a new song every month. Each song represents one of 12 core principles I have found to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Abundance was the first, Gratitude the second, Acceptance the third and now comes the fourth principle - Serve.

A life dedicated to serving others does so much for us. It makes us feel helpful, it brings us joy and it makes the world a better place. I'm excited to share this fourth principle with a pop-influenced hip-hop song that is beat heavy, catchy and sure to bring some joy into the listener's life! #serve

Serve Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This year I am releasing a new song every month. Each song represents one of 12 core principles I have found to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Abundance was the first, Gratitude the second, Acceptance the third and now comes the fourth principle - Serve.

A life dedicated to serving others does so much for us. It makes us feel helpful, it brings us joy and it makes the world a better place. I'm excited to share this fourth principle with a pop-influenced hip-hop song that is beat heavy, catchy and sure to bring some joy your life!

Serve: The Story Behind The Song

Click play below to hear more about my song Serve and the story behind the song!

Serving Others

“All of me should be serving you”

This year I am putting out a new single every month. Each single represents one of the 12 core principles I believe are the key to a happy and fulfilled life. The first principle was Abundance, the second was Gratitude, third Acceptance and now comes the fourth - Serve.

I have spent a lot of years of my life being extremely selfish. I would spend my days just trying to make myself happy. I was all in my head, making every little thing all about me. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.

If I was spending so much time trying to figure how to be happy, why was I still so miserable?

That is where the fourth principle comes in. A life lived only serving ourselves is always going to come up short. We end up feeling lonely, inadequate, frustrated and exhausted. It just doesn’t work. The true path to happiness has to include serving others.

When we serve others, we get outside of our heads. We focus on someone else and take our minds off of our own problems. It gives us freedom from the stresses of life as we spend time working on another’s problems.

It helps us connect with one another and realize we are not alone. It helps us feel understood. We are all brothers and sisters and connected on a deep, spiritual level. The only way to experience that feeling is to spend time together.

Serving others brings us satisfaction in knowing we are useful. It reminds us that we matter. The world needs us and every time we serve another, we are shown how much that is true. We each possess very specific skills that we can use to help others. It is our duty to get out there and use those skills.

Serving others shows us how much we can truly affect our surroundings. Helping someone in a small way can send a huge ripple effect out into the world. If you open a door for someone and ask how their day is going, you put a smile on that person’s face and lift their spirits. That makes them want to do something nice for the next person. And then that person goes out does something for another and on and on it goes.

Serving another can actually change the world. Isn’t that amazing?

Serving others makes us feel good. It’s the combination of all these things that brings us joy and peace. It puts our problems in perspective and reminds us how much we have to live for. Serving is a way to change the world, yes. But it is also a way to change OUR own world.

I hope on April 1st, 2019 you will take a listen to my new single Serve. I think it will remind you how important this principle is to all of us and it might just inspire you to start a ripple of your own!

Acceptance: Official Lyrics Video

This is the year of change and Acceptance is the third single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs I am releasing this year. This song is based on the 12 core principles that I believe are the key to freedom from depression and anxiety. The first being Abundance, the second Gratitude and now the third is Acceptance.

Once we learn to accept the people around us and the situations we find ourselves in, the sooner we will find peace. We can't change other people. We can only change ourselves. This song is an upbeat hip-hop anthem for practicing acceptance in our every day lives! #acceptance

One Day At A Time

One day at a time

Sometimes I get extremely overwhelmed thinking about the future, especially when it comes to staying sober and abstinent. I still struggle with the idea that I will never get to drink or eat certain foods again. It seems like an impossible task. It also seems incredibly unfair.

I can keep going down that rabbit hole of a thought process and land on it’s not healthy to never enjoy certain foods again. And believe me, you can find plenty of people who would agree with that. They would say cutting things out completely is too drastic and not sustainable. What you need to do is learn moderation?

That is when I start to laugh because I have tried moderation time and time again. It may work for some people, but it does not work for me. As a matter of fact, moderation makes things worse for me because it keeps the cravings alive. Every time I have tried to indulge a little here and there, I would end up binging in no time.

I know abstinence is my ticket to freedom. But I don’t have to spend my time thinking about how I will never get to drink or eat certain foods again. All I have to do is stay sober and abstinent today. 24 hours. I know that my day today and my day tomorrow are going to be a million times better if I stay sober and abstinent today.

So I’m going to do that.

Even more, I am excited to do it because I have finally found a way to live the life I have always wanted. I have real purpose in my life. I get up every day with a drive and a focus that I never had when I was drinking or in the food. I sleep better and I wake up every morning with energy and vigor that I never had. I have so much love in my life, it’s ridiculous. And the truth is, I always had it, but now I am allowing myself to see it and feel it. And it feels amazing!

I am choosing to work my program today because it is working. I don’t have to worry about the future. I don’t have to say that I’m never going to drink again or I’m never going to eat ice cream again. I’m not concerned with a day that hasn’t even happened yet. My only concern is this day and what I need to do to make it great.

And when I lay my head down on that pillow tonight, I will have peace knowing that I lived another day in victory. I was able to live the day of my dreams because I was sober and abstinent. I know I can do this today and that is all I need.

Acceptance Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This is the year of change and Acceptance is the third single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. This song is based on the 12 core principles that Swan believes is the cure for depression and anxiety. The first being Abundance, the second Gratitude and now the third is Acceptance. Once we learn to accept the people around us and the situations we find ourselves in, the sooner we will find peace.

We can't change other people. We can only change ourselves. This song is an upbeat hip-hop anthem for practicing acceptance in our every day lives!

The Answer To All Of My Problems

The answer to all of my problems

“All of my problems come from trying to fix situations.”

I make myself miserable. Every single day of my life. For so long, I couldn’t figure it out. Why am I so unhappy?

Even after I joined OA and began my recovery life, I was still struggling. I still struggle to this day. But recently I have started noticing a pattern.

When I am feeling miserable, it is usually because I am trying to control or change a situation.

When someone is saying something I don’t like, I get mad because they are the way they are. I don’t want them to be that way. I want them to be the way I want them to be. If I have do something I don’t want to do, I get mad. It’s unfair that I have to do that thing. I feel miserable because I want to change the situation.

I spend all of my emotional energy worrying about that person I can’t change or the situation I am unhappy with. I’ll stress about it all day. Go over it again and again in my head. Until I am exhausted and depleted. And I have no more fight in me. A lot of days I am tapped out by noon.

“I always think that changing things will change my elevation.”

I get so mad because I am trying to control someone or something that I have no control over. It is complete insanity. An impossible situation. I torture myself continually, thinking eventually I will get what I want. But usually I don’t and that leads to resentment.

There is an answer to this problem. And I found in the AA Acceptance prayer. It goes like this:

“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life —unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

That’s the answer. Acceptance. All I have to do is accept the other person for who they are or accept the situation I’m in. I don’t have to change anybody or anything. Matter of fact, I can’t. I can only change myself and my attitudes toward other people or hard situations. That is something I can DO.

I can ask God to remove my fear. To give me strength and to help me accept the situation I’m in. I can give it to Him and truly let go. Do you know how amazing that is?! I can be free. I don’t have to be miserable every day.

I’ve been trying so hard to change everybody else when all I had to do was work on me. That is something I can work with. And that gives me hope.

“Acceptance is the key to my ongoing freedom.”

Acceptance is the third principle in my 12 core principles that offer freedom from depression and anxiety. I am releasing a new single every month this year that features one of the 12 core principles. On March 1st, 2019, I will be releasing my new single “Acceptance.” It is based on the AA Acceptance prayer and I hope you will find freedom in this song!

Acceptance: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Acceptance and what I hope you get out of it.  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

Acceptance - New Single From Chris Swan

The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records is coming on March 1st!

This is the year of change and Acceptance is the third single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. This song is based on the 12 core principles that Swan believes is the cure for depression and anxiety. The first being Abundance, the second Gratitude and now the third is Acceptance. Once we learn to accept the people around us and the situations we find ourselves in, the sooner we will find peace. We can't change other people. We can only change ourselves. This song is an upbeat hip-hop anthem for practicing acceptance in our every day lives!

One Is Never Enough

One Is Never Enough

I am not like other people. I can’t do some of the things that other people can do. This is just a fact that I need to accept.

I can’t have one drink because one is never enough for me. I could never understand how people did that. If someone asked me to go “have a drink,” to me that meant we are going to get hammered! I would be 5 in and notice others just sipping on their first.

What is wrong with these people? Let’s do this!

Next thing you know I’m ordering shots for everyone to get them “caught up.” I thought I was the normal one. But it turns out I was wrong. Normal people like to have a drink, chat a little and then go home to their normal life. I have never been able to do that. I have never wanted to.

I can’t have an occasional treat, like ice cream or cake, because one treat leads to twenty. As soon as I get a taste, the sugar takes over and my cravings kick in. I may just have the one in front of present company, but then when I’m alone later, I am at the grocery story buying a quart of ice cream with hot fudge. I then proceed to spend the rest of my evening eating as much as I can until I get sick. You would think, then, that I had learned my lesson?

But no.

By the next day, I would be at it again. More ice cream. More hot fudge. More shame and guilt. I don’t understand how people can just have a piece of cake at a party and then be good for a while. That was never me. One was never enough. One was just a tease.

It may seem unfair at first that I am not normal. I have had my days of feeling sorry for myself. But the truth is it is a blessing to understand this about myself and to accept it because now I can stop trying to be like other people. Now I can stop getting mad at myself for not being able to “control myself” like other people seem to be able to do. I can stop beating myself up and focus on what I CAN do.

I get to eat delicious food every day that makes me feel great. I get to be free from the cycle of addiction and the mental obsession that takes over. I get to be free from cravings and I get to enjoy being clear headed and sober.

This life is awesome and although I may not be like other people, I am not alone. There is an army of us marching together. A “distinct entity” walking shoulder to shoulder and we are exactly the people we are supposed to be.

The Isolation Of Addiction

For me, drinking always starts as a social thing but then ends as an isolation tool. Drinking in high school was always about being at the party, trying to hook up with some girl. It was about friends and rebelling against our parents. It was fun and exciting.

But at the end of my drinking career, it became about getting away from people and being alone. That way I could drink as much as I wanted and as long as I wanted without judgement. I also didn’t have to pretend that I cared about the people around me because when I was getting drunk, it was all about me. It was purely for my pleasure and had nothing to do with the people around me. They just got in the way.

Even when I was around others, I couldn’t wait to be alone. I could care less about the party that use to be the best part. That’s when I knew something had changed. All I wanted to do was be alone with my drink and my food. Pretty soon the excitement was gone and it wasn’t fun anymore.

That is the progressiveness of my illness of addiction. It always starts out fun and ends up in misery. I can’t just have a few drinks to be social. I have to take it to the extreme. And the extreme is me, alone in a room, drinking more and more just trying to keep the party going a little longer. I could never drink enough. I could never eat enough. In the end, I was still sad and alone. All the drink and food did was add a hangover to the mess.

A life of drinking and overeating just isn’t a real answer. It isn’t sustainable. It may start out as fun, but it’s a lie. It may feel like a social lubricant at first, but for people like me, it always turns into a way to isolate. It promises comfort and joy, but it really brings sadness and pain.

I know now that I like to be alone. I get recharged by spending time on my own. And that’s ok. But I need to remember that I need people too. I am not meant to be isolated from the world. And I don’t want to be anymore because all that led to was extreme loneliness and sadness.

So I’m going to choose people over addiction today. I’ll see how that goes. And I have a feeling I will want to choose people again tomorrow.

LIVE: Chris Swan on StageIt.com - 2.12.19

Purchase tickets here ==> BUY NOW

I am doing my very first LIVE internet show on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019, and I want to personally invite you to be there!

I love the internet.  It allows us to do some really cool things, and one of those things is performing music for you LIVE.  You can watch from your laptop or you can use Apple TV or Chrome Cast to put it right up on your TV, sit back and relax in your favorite chair and enjoy some inspirational hip-hop....all without leaving your house!

How cool is that?

I will be coming to you LIVE from Soul Motivation Studios.  The show will be about 30 minutes.  I'll be playing songs from my latest record - Welcome To The Fellowship - and I will also be performing my latest Spotify hit "Abundance!"  I am also going to take some questions at the end, so you won't want to miss this!

It all goes down on February 12th, 2019 at 7 pm CT (8 pm EST).  You do have to purchase tickets to attend, but I made it a "Pay What You Want" event, so you don't have to break the bank to be there with me.  Click HERE to get your tickets now.

I am doing this show on a really cool platform called StageIt.com.  They have hosted concerts from all kinds of artists, big and small.  The audio and visual quality is top of the line.  It will be like you are hanging out in the studio with me!

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:
1.  Click HERE to go to the show page (which is also where you purchase tickets)
2.  Sign in with your Facebook account
3.  Purchase what they call "notes."  You can use credit, debit or PayPal.
4.  Then you use the notes to pay for your ticket.
5.  Put in how many notes you want to spend and you are in.  You will be emailed your ticket info.
6.  On show day, show up at the same URL or just click HERE, sign in and enjoy the show!

I also made a video showing how to get tickets.  You can watch it HERE.

FYI this is a very kid-friendly show, so you can bring the whole family and make a night out of it!

I really hope you will join me for a night of positivity and inspirational hip-hop!  Just click on the button below to get your tickets now. 

Things Addicts Say To Justify...

Thinks Addicts Say To Justify...

Whatever your drug of choice is, we all have used the same excuses to justify using again.

To celebrate my 3 year anniversary of being sober, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the excuses I used to use to justify having that first drink. There are many times I would go 6-8 months without drinking and then start thinking some of the following things. And once I gave in and had that first drink, it was all over. The addiction cycle began all over again and I was in hell.

Here are a list of some of my excuses. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I deserve this. I’ve gone so long now without a drink. I deserve a reward.

  • Everyone else gets to drink. Why can’t I?

  • There’s no way I’m never going to drink again so I might as well just do it.

  • I need to just drink less this time.

  • I can control it now. I just needed a break.

  • I’ll just drink on gigs.

  • I’ll just drink at home.

  • I’ll just drink 1-2 times a week.

  • I want to get drunk.

  • It’s fun to get buzzed.

  • I never do anything fun anymore. I deserve to have fun.

  • Getting drunk sounds fun

  • My life sucks. I just want to drink.

  • Drinking will make me feel better.

  • It will be different this time.

  • I’ll just have one day of drinking and then get back to work on being sober and healthy.

  • I want to be part of the party.

  • It’s unfair that I don’t get to drink.

  • I miss the old days.

  • I think it’s time for a drink.

  • I’ve been sober long enough to prove that I don’t have a problem.

Every time I had one of these thoughts and then gave in, I would be back into the misery of addiction in days or weeks tops. These were all lies and excuses that led me back to that hell. If you find yourself saying these things to yourself, know that you are not alone. We all have these thoughts. But I have given in enough to know that they lead to an awful life.

All these thoughts are just our disease trying to bring us back. They are lies. And we don’t live in lies anymore. We live in truth. The truth is we deserve to be free. And freedom comes from letting those thoughts go and celebrating another day of sobriety.

Happy sobriety day to anyone who has a day, a week, a year or a decade sober!