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People Need People: The Role Of Community

I had a friend in college who always used to say “No man is an island.” I mean, he said it all the time. We used to make fun of him because he said it so much.

But even back then, we knew he was right. We knew that if we had to go through our college years alone, we would be miserable. We would probably drop out of college and move in to our favorite cardboard box.

There was no way we could do life without each other.

And then we grew up. My friends moved away. I started to believe that I didn’t need people. And the next thing you know, I am a 500-pound alcoholic living a miserable, lonely life.

What happened?

What happened is I moved to that island. Maybe not physically, but I moved there in my mind. After getting hurt once or twice, I decided I didn’t like that too much. I decided I was going to live with as little human interaction as possible. I mean, people were the problem, right?

If I just keep people away, I can focus on me. I can do whatever I need to do to be happy. I won’t get distracted by other people’s agendas. I can just focus on myself. That is what I thought my solution was. But I was wrong.

It turns out people weren’t the problem. They were actually the solution.

All this life of isolation brought me was extreme misery, depression and loneliness. It seems so obvious now, but I really couldn’t understand why I was so sad. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do to be happy.

I needed people. I needed people bad. And once I realized this, I started taking drastic actions. The first thing I did, and probably one of the best things I have ever done for myself, was I got a job at Applebee’s.

Now, this may not seem like the dream job, and for sure, it wasn’t, but what it was was a chance for me to meet people. Not only meet people, but bond with them.

If you have every worked in the service industry, you know it is hard work. And you are in the trenches with your fellow “Applebuddy’s” every day. There is a strong bond that is created with that.

And even though I quit that job years ago, I am still friends with a lot of those people to this day. That says a lot to me.

It says that I needed these people. And maybe they needed me too. We were all so hungry for connection and we found it at America’s favorite grill and bar.

If you are feeling isolated or depressed, I would challenge you to look at your community. Are you involved with others? Are you calling friends regularly? Are you going to neighborhood events? Are you talking to people at church after the service?

There are so many things we can do to bring people into our lives. I promise, your new friends are out there just waiting for you to say “hi.” That one simple word can change your life. It for sure changed mine.

And if all else fails, I know Applebee’s is always hiring.

Community
The new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records
Coming 7.1.19!

Lunch Break Concert #2 - Abundance

Lunch Break Concert #2 went down on Monday June 24th, 2019 and we had a blast!
Click play below to catch the replay.

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

Lunch Break Concert #1 - Welcome To The Fellowship

The very first Lunch Break Concert went down on Monday June 17th, 2019 and we had a blast!
Click play below to catch the replay.

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

Some folks have been having problems with the audio cutting out during the video. If this happens to you, please let us know in the comments. We are working with Facebook to correct this. Thanks so much.

How To Find Your Self Worth

A big turning point in my life was when I asked myself:

“What if I just choose to believe in God? What if I choose to believe God is there and what if I just start to look for evidence of Him working in my life? What have I got to lose? I mean seriously, what’s the worst thing that would happen?”

I think I was scared of looking like a fool. Scared of people making fun of me. I felt like it was a waste of time to put energy into something that maybe didn’t exist. But the truth is, I was wasting my time trying to find another solution for God. I was wasting money paying for alcohol, food, girls, whatever it took to fill the void in my life. The void I felt was an absence of spiritual health. Whether you call Him God, the universe, or your higher power, I could feel that a big part of me was missing when I wasn’t connected to God. And trying to fill that void with other things was killing me. So the truth was, I couldn’t afford NOT to believe anymore.

Once I realized I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, I knew I had to make that change. I decided to believe and just have faith that God was there. And even more importantly, I decided to start looking for how He was working in my life. As soon as I chose to see it, it was abundantly obvious that He was working in my life.

I started a list of all the little “God things” that started happening. And as soon as I started seeing these things as God working in my life and not just coincidences, I quickly realized that God had been there all along. And even more, I realized how much I mattered! Because if almighty God is taking the time to work all kinds of miracles in my life, big and small, then He must love me a whole lot.

And if God loves me, who am I to not love myself?

How exciting it was to realize this! To know that God cares for me the way He does. God is providing all that I need. He is showing up in my life every day. It’s so amazing to see it! I know that I am supposed to be here and I know God has big plans for my life. That is huge. And I am so grateful that I can finally see that now! The evidence was there all along, all it took was me deciding to see it.

Perseverance 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. Perseverance is the 6th principle and my single for June. It's also the hardest principle to spell. :) It is fitting that it is halfway through the year because it is all about seeing things through to the end.

It's a simple, quirky song that I hope inspires people to never give up. Home is always just one more step away!

Believe Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If we want to achieve anything in life, we need to stop being so cynical. We need to allow ourselves to believe in something. I have lived on both sides of this principle and found nothing but misery while being cynical.

Once I chose to believe in possibility, everything changed. I want this for others who dream of changing their lives. If that sounds familiar, then this song was written for you!

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!

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

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!

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. 

Gratitude: Official Lyrics Video

🙏🏻Everything we want is right in front of us, we just have to choose to see it. The way we do that is to start practicing gratitude! My song Gratitude was written as a reminder to do this every day. I made a lyrics video so you can listen and read along. Check it out and remember all the awesome in your life today! #gratitude

Gratitude Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This is the year of change and Gratitude is the second single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. The song has a banging beat, a catchy sing-a-long hook, and clean, inspiring lyrics reminding us to focus on all the blessings in our life. Everything we want is right in front of us, we just have to choose to see it by practicing gratitude!

Gratitude: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Gratitude 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!

The Benefits Of Gratitude

“Talk about life as a miserable existence, that was me before I started to change.”

For years, most of my adult life for sure, misery was my constant companion. That’s a poetic way to say my life sucked. Or at least I thought it sucked. And since I thought my life sucked, well, it did.

I use to be so focused on everything that was wrong in my life. I was fat. I was lonely. I was broke. I was depressed. And all I could think about was how miserable I was. Every morning, the first thought that came into my head was “Ugh.” Usually followed by a few choice cuss words. I would sleep in as long as I could because I was dreading my day. It was going to be full of stuff I didn’t want to do, more loneliness, more disappointment. Life had become a chore with no joy in it.

Looking back now, it’s no mystery as to why I was so miserable. All I wanted to see was the negative. All the people I hung out with could only see the negative. I was surrounded by hopelessness, inside and out, so how are you suppose to want to get out of bed when that’s all you have to look forward to?!

The crazy part is, my life was amazing. I had so much love, respect and opportunity in my life. I just couldn’t see it through all the “depression fog.” I saw what I wanted to see and I became who I wanted to become.

Fat. Lonely. Broke. Depressed.

It got bad. Really bad. I even became suicidal for a while. I knew I had two options - give up or figure out how to be happy.

Thankfully I chose the second.

I began a quest of discovery. How do happy people do it? What is the difference between their life and mine? And how can I find happiness?

There were many answers that I discovered and I am going to be sharing them with you over the course of this year. But one of the biggest and most obvious was GRATITUDE.

I found out that a lot of happy people are happy because they CHOOSE to be. It doesn’t just happen. They choose to focus on the awesome things in their life. Even when times are hard, they choose to see the good. And when you choose to see the good stuff, then you start to feel good. And good things seem to “start” happening to you. The truth is there has always been good things happening to you, you just couldn’t see them.

This is the year of change. Every month this year I am going to release a new song that deals with a different aspect of overcoming negativity and finding true happiness. It’s all part of the 12 Core Principles I have found to be the cure for depression and the path to a happy life!

The first principle is Abundance and it was my single that came out on January 1st. If you want to read more about this core value, you can do so by checking out my blog post “Why Am I Always Broke?

The second principle is Gratitude and the single comes out February 1st.

So get ready for big changes this year. These 12 Core Principles will change your life, just like they have changed mine if you choose to embrace them and practice them every day. Everything we want is right in front of us, we just have to choose to see it!

Gratitude - New Single From Chris Swan

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

2019 is the year of change and Gratitude is the second single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. The song has a banging beat, a catchy sing-a-long hook, and clean, inspiring lyrics reminding us to focus on all the blessings in our life. Everything we want is right in front of us, we just have to choose to see it by practicing gratitude!