Soul Motivation Records

Helping others overcome obstacles through music and community

Helping others overcome obstacles through music and community!

Perfect: The New Single From Chris Swan!

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

 

I always thought that I was suppose to try to be perfect.
It turns out I was wrong.

Perfect
Coming October 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

The Promises In A.A.

 
 

Sometimes we feel lost. We feel unsure of our future. And I’ve found in my recovery from alcoholism and food addiction, these feelings creep up more than ever before. There are some days that I feel on top of the world. Those days are a lot of fun. And it’s important to enjoy them. But there are also a lot of hard days where I miss the comfort I use to experience from my old vices. Sometimes I feel completely empty with no substitute for these substances. I feel like I’m all alone. I feel like it’s unfair that I don’t get to enjoy the things that other people seem to be able to.

After I wallow in my pity party for a few moments, I pull myself out by remembering how miserable my life use to be when I was using. It’s so easy to forget that and to just over romanticize the good ol’ days. But the old days were not all good days. They were mostly awful so I have to remind myself of that fact.

The next thing I can do, is look to the promises of the Big Book of AA. These are examples what of others have experienced from going through recovery and just knowing that these await me is more than enough to pull me out of my pity party. On days that are really hard, I can hold onto these promises. You can find all of them on pages 83-84 of the Big Book. But here is a summary of some of my favorites.

The Big Book promises us that we will know a new freedom and peace that we have never felt before. We will not regret the past. We will see how our experiences can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. Self-seeking will slip away. Our outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will know how to handle hard situations. We will realize that God is doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.

What amazing promises these are. They reassure me that I am truly living the life I was meant to live. These promises are the things I have been searching for my whole life. I am so thankful to finally be on the path to achieve them.

If you are having a hard day, I would challenge you to pick up a Big Book and read through the promises. There is also a great PDF with a list of the promises you can find by clicking here. There is always hope. There is always a better day coming. And knowing that other’s have experienced this fact, is often just enough inspiration to get me through one more day.

What is your favorite promise in the Big Book? Leave me a comment and let me know how it has changed your life.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?

My Problem Is Fear, Not You!

Resentment is a powerful thing. It keeps us in a state of frustration and keeps us cut off from our higher power and other people. It steals our joy and ruins our life. Yet we love to hold on to it. We love to be mad at people. And we love to tell anyone who will listen the horrible thing someone did to us.

Why do we get so much satisfaction from this when in reality holding onto these resentments is killing us? I think it’s mainly because we don’t realize we can let these resentments go. Even more so, we don’t realize that we have played a role in causing these resentments.

“What do you mean ‘my role?’ That guy is just a jerk!”

You heard me right. We play a major role in causing our resentments toward other people. Figuring out my role in my resentful relationships was a big challenge at first. It was really hard to humble myself, let go of the anger and look at the situation truthfully. But through study, prayer and conversation, I started to understand. I started to see how I was playing a big part in these resentments.

I started to learn that most of my resentment was based in fear. Fear seemed to rule my life and it was destroying it as well. I never realized how much fear I had until doing this exercise. What an amazing insight.

My biggest fear seemed to be acceptance. I was scared no one would love me or accept me. I knew I’ve had issues with this my whole life (I mean, I even founded a band called “Outsiders” in college) but I didn’t know how big of a role it was still playing in my life and my relationships today. I didn’t realize it was keeping me angry, sick and addicted.

Fear was killing me.

Once I saw this, I knew I had to deal with these fears. Call them out. Write them down. And ask God to remove them from my life. I don’t want to live a life of anger and frustration. I want to be free and bask in the joy that is the gift of life.

If I face my fears and ask God to remove them, I can be truly free. And when I’m free, suddenly I don’t mind taking a little better care of myself. I can change. I can heal. And the hope and peace that comes from that is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

What are your biggest fears? Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with them.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?


I Need To Believe

"God either is or isn't.  We have a choice to make." 

That's from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  And it really is that simple.  We can choose to not believe in God.  To live in a man-ruled world full of selfishness.  We can choose to believe that there is no plan for our lives.  Everything happens by chance.  We have no real purpose and we don't matter at all.  And when we die, we go into a hole in the ground and it's lights out.  That's it.

This is what many people choose to believe.  And that's totally fine.  We all have the right to choose.  But I can't live like that.  I can't live in a world of selfishness with no purpose, just waiting to be stamped out and forgotten.  I need to believe.  I need God.

I need to know that I matter and I have a purpose.  I need strength from God and grace from God.  I need the peace that comes from knowing God has a plan.  I know I matter because of God and I'm not alone because of God.  And I know when I die, there will be a place for me with God.

So I choose to believe.  Not only because I need these things but also because I see Him working in my life everyday.  To have it the other way only leads to a depressing life of misery and loneliness.  I tried that life for a while.  It did not work out so good.  I almost died from trying to find other things to fill the emptiness I felt.  Alcohol didn't work.  Food didn't work.  Tobacco didn't work. 

The only thing that has worked is God. 

I know now that God created me for amazing things.  He wants me to be healthy and successful.  And He is there always to give me strength.  When I see Him doing little things in my life, it reminds that I matter.  The same is true for you.

This is not a sermon.  This is just me sharing what is working for me.  I know how it feels to be depressed, miserable and alone.  And I just want you to know there is a way out of that life.  Don't be afraid to look up.  It could change your life forever.

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence Is Here!

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
The new single from Chris Swan is here! 

 Have you ever stopped and thought about the people you hang out with? Are they people who believe in you and lift you up? Or are they people who believe life is meant to be miserable and are constantly tearing you down? The people we let influence us is a crucial part of living a happy life. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people. Get your free download of Influence right here!

This song also features a very talented hip-hop artist from St. Louis.  His name is Jarmel Reece.  If you don't know this guy yet, you are going to love him!

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Influence!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired the song Jarmel Reece and I wrote together called Influence and what we hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

How To Increase Your Chances Of Success

"Everybody want to say that dreams aren't meant to be."

We are the product of the 5 people we hang out with the most.  Have you ever stopped and really thought about that?  It is not just a coincidence that rich people hang out with rich people and poor people with poor people.  We take on the characteristics of the people we surround ourselves with.  So if you surround yourself with people who believe in achieving dreams, who believe anything is possible, and believe we are destined for success, there's a good chance you are going to be successful.  But it works the other way too.  If you surround yourself with people who are miserable, don't believe they can get ahead and feel like the world is against them, then you are probably going to live a very miserable life.

"Got a few believers surrounding me."

The truth is I have some of both in my life.  But there was a time when I was only hanging out with the miserable people.  And guess what?  I was miserable.  It took me a long time to see it.  I kept thinking that I was just meant to be miserable.  I had a million excuses.  Depression runs in my family.  It's too hard to get ahead.  I'm big boned and just meant to be fat.  Musicians are suppose to be poor.  And on and on they went.  Then I started paying attention to people who were succeeding in life and I noticed a pattern.  They all surrounded themselves with like minded people.  People who believed in themselves and believed they could achieve anything.  And guess what?  Most of these people were successful in their endeavors.  The folks they surrounded themselves with made a huge difference.

"If you want to stay behind and never try, that's fine."

I don't think we have to ditch all of our negative friends to succeed.  Some people just don't see the light yet, but are still good hearted people and good friends.  Those are keepers.  But the people who are constantly trying to tear you down and not giving you any life at all, well, those are the ones that need to go.  It's not our job to save people.  We can try.  We can share our hope with them.  We can tell them we believe in them.  But if they don't want to listen and they just want to give up, sometimes you just have to let them.  We can pray for them, but it's not okay to let them sink our ship.  We got things to do.

"I'm swimming in dreams that never die."

I'm not perfect.  I can get negative real quick.  Sometimes I just need to vent about my day.  Sometimes I get stuck in a rut.  But I always remember that I'm the one that put myself there.  No one else is to blame.  Life is full of opportunity.  It's all around us we just have to choose to see it.  If we hang out with people who can't see it, we won't see it either.  But if we find people who are looking for it and choosing it everyday, then we will see it more and more.  We will remember to get up everyday and choose it.  And when we choose the light, the darkness begins to fade.

Do you know that you are meant to succeed?  You were made to be healthy and happy.  And I'm not saying life isn't hard sometimes, but you need to know that I believe in you.  You are meant for big things.  I hope you can see that.  And if you don't, now is the time to find the people who will remind you everyday.  They are out there.  Facebook groups.  Church.  Meetups.  Concerts.  Grocery stores.  They are all around us.  Don't be afraid to reach out.  You can count me as your first positive friend.  You only have 4 to go and then greatness awaits!

I have a new song called "Influence" that comes out on September 1st, 2018 and talks about this very thing!  Can't wait for you to check it out!

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
Coming September 1st, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece): The New Single From Chris Swan!

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

 

"Everybody wanna say that dreams aren't meant to be, let's see,
Got a few believers surrounding me,
That is my influence."

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
Coming September 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

An Apology Letter To Hip-hop

Hiphop Apology.png

Dear Hip-hop,

I owe you an apology.  I'm sorry I walked away from you all those years ago.  I just couldn't handle how much you had changed.  When we met, you use to inspire me with your clever lyrics and thought provoking prose.  You use to make my day better with your infectious beats.  I remember, spending entire days hanging out with you.  Back in the day, I use to lose sleep because I was so excited for my Columbia House CD's to arrive.  I knew with each package that was delivered to my house, you would deliver to me so much truth, hope, joy and excitement.  I knew every time you showed up at my house, I was going to learn something new.  I was going to experience something I've never experienced before.  And I would be inspired and challenged to create my own songs that were even half as good as the ones you gave me.

But then you changed.

You became bitter and dark.  You began to focus entirely on the negatives in the world.  You began to lose your wit and wordplay that use to inspire me so much.  Soon, all you wanted to talk about was girls, jewelry and money.  It seemed like all you cared about was immediate gratification because you saw the world as messed up beyond compare.  And don't get me wrong, I like all those things too, but come on man.  There's more to you than that.

Look, I know you've been through a lot.  I know you have had to watch a lot of injustice done to you, your friends and your family.  I know you've been pissed at the world.  And I totally understand why.  I'm pretty pissed too, sometimes.  But I know there is still hope inside you.  I know the world is not a perfect place, but you always helped me see the better side of people.  You always helped me see the good that still exists in the world.  And I need you now.  We all do.  More than ever.

I'm not saying you can't go out and fight some battles.  That's part of your responsibilities too.  But please don't turn your back on all the good stuff.  And please don't let people make you part of the problem.  You are above all that.  And it's time to show the world who you really are.

I'm really sorry I didn't understand all this better all those years ago.  I was young and naive.  Instead of trying to understand you better, I just gave up.  I should have stuck with you and encouraged you all this time, but I thought you had given up so why shouldn't I? 

I was wrong. 

You've always been there, trying to figure this all out.  I can't control you.  You are free to be who you want to be.  So I am going to let you be free.  I promise I will always look for the good in you because I know it is always there.  And I'll be here with you during the bad times too.  Right by your side.  Rooting you on. 

Thank you for being such a huge part of my life.  I'll never leave you again.  And I really believe you were meant to change the world.  I'm here to help in anyway I can.

Sincerely,

You're #1 fan.

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

The Mess Around Is Here!

The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso)
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

The Mess Around is a song about living a sober life in an alcoholic world. I quit drinking 2.5 years ago, but some people still want me to be part of the party. This is a song for all former drinkers as a declaration to the pushers that we don't mess around anymore. We got things to do. 

This song also features a very talented singer/songwriter from St. Louis.  Her name is Chela Mancuso and she is awesome!

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of The Mess Around!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Why I Stopped Messing Around

"I don't even miss how it use to be."

The Mess Around.jpg

I am an alcoholic.  Through and through.  I have never been able to go out and have one drink.  If I'm going to drink, I'm going to do it right.  I am going to get drunk.  And not just a little buzzed.  I mean really drunk.  But after years of drinking so much, it became really hard to get drunk.  I was drinking Long Island Teas with Grand Marnier shots all night long.  I remember, I would show up for gigs, down two long island teas and two shots of Grand Marnier back to back before I even started playing!  It was becoming harder and harder to get drunk.  Drinking became a chore.  It wasn't fun anymore.  And here's the real catch - I didn't even like the taste alcohol!  I just liked the effect.  So finally I found myself just trying to gulp down as much as I could as fast as I could, holding back urges to throw up, just trying to get drunk.  I knew something had to change.

"Not looking back on what I use to see."

It wasn't until I ended up in the ER with severe heart palpitations that I realized this was a life or death situation and all this madness was not worth dying for.  I lied there on the gurny while they were running tests on me just thinking "What am I doing?"  I remember, hearing someone in the room next to me crying out in pain.  It was so heartbreaking and I knew that would be me soon if I didn't make a change.  I decided then and there to quit drinking.  That was over 2 years ago now and I haven't had a drink since!

"Stronger now than I was before."

The real miracle is that after I quit drinking, I continued to work in bars every night.  I had to sit there and watch everyone else getting drunk and having a good time, while I drank water and watched in envy.  It was really hard for the first 3 months or so.  I would feel pretty bitter most of the time and just get out of there as soon as my gig was done.  But as time passed, I grew stronger.  I just couldn't stop thinking about how miserable I felt all the time when I was drinking.  I was in a constant haze everyday, perpetually hung over.  No energy.  Little motivation.  In the worse physical shape I've ever been in in my life.  There was no way I was going to go back to that life, so I hung in there night after night.  Day after day.

"You can't take this life from me, don't mess around anymore."

Now, I can't even imagine going back to that life of drinking.  I feel so much better, yes, but I also feel a freedom I never felt when I was drinking.  There is something really beautiful about letting go of an obsession or addiction.  It lets you enjoy life again.  It lets you feel emotions again.  Drinking was stealing my joy away one shot at a time.  I thought it was making me happy but it was really making my life miserable.  I was caught in a cycle of obsession that I couldn't get out of.  There is no way I could go back to that life now.  Don't get me wrong, I get tempted occasionally just like everyone else.  But all I have to do is go back to that night in the ER in mind, remember how miserable and scared I felt, and any temptation I was feeling disappears. 

I am so grateful to be sober over 2 years now.  Most of my friends and family have been really supportive of my choice to quit.  But some people don't get it.  Misery loves company and often I encounter people who want to buy me a drink and don't quite understand why I would say no.  So I wrote a song along with Chela Mancuso (an incredibly talented singer and songwriter) about these experiences called The Mess Around.  I'm excited for you to hear it!  It's all about living a sober life in an alcoholic world.  It's my declaration to those who don't get it. 

I don't mess around anymore.  I got things to do.

The Mess Around (feat. Chela Mancuso)
Coming August 1st, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Pain Is Here!

Pain
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

I have been a big dude my whole life. And as I get older, it has started to cause more and more pain in my life. Physical and emotional. My song "Pain" is dedicated to all the people who have had this struggle in their life. We know we need to change, but we just can't seem to do it. We know we are killing ourselves, but that still doesn't seem to be enough. I am here to tell you that you can change. It's closer than you think.

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Pain!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Pain: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Pain 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!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

You Deserve A Life Of Joy And Health

Pain Art.jpg

"How come we know what to do, but we still don't do it."

I have been a big dude my whole life.  I think I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was 12.  The last time, when I was 39.  I have lost 100 pounds twice in my life, but could never keep the weight off.  Like so many others, I would always resort to old habits because I didn't have any other way to cope with my emotions.  Food was my reward, my companion, and my favorite thing in the world.  And when I turned 40, it showed.  I couldn't even weigh myself at home anymore.  My home scale only went up to 450 pounds.  I had crossed over into the 500's and I was miserable.

"Even though we want to be free, we still don't choose it."

My knees hurt.  Really bad.  I could barely get out of chairs or cars.  It became almost impossible to put on my socks and my shoes.  I was pre-diabetic.  I would wheeze constantly and  had developed adult onset asthma and had to use an inhaler daily.  I could barely walk more than 10 feet without being completely out of breath.  I had constant chest pains and frequent heart palpitations.  I had plantar fasciitis.  Sitting down hurt my knees.  Standing up hurt my feet.  I had poor circulation and numbness in my feet too.  I couldn't get an Uber because I was never sure if I would fit in the car.  I couldn't fly anywhere because I couldn't fit in the airplane seats.  I would break furniture all the time.  I was miserable, tortured and in constant pain.

"Whatever it takes, I will not refrain."

It was time to make a choice.  I had to get help and learn how to take care of myself again or I had to choose to die.  As miserable as I was, I didn't want to die.  I had a lot to live for and a lot I still wanted to accomplish.  It seemed so impossible to change but I started by talking about it to friends and family.  That led to finding some people who could help me.  I went to an amazing retreat and joined Overeaters Anonymous.  Once I learned more about my problem and all the other people out there who struggle the same way I do, I started to see hope.  I went all in and decided I would do whatever it took to save my life.  I started going to OA meetings, calling other OA members daily, I started reading and writing daily.  I also started meditating and praying everyday.  I can't really explain it, but an actual miracle happened to me.  All my emotional baggage was removed.  I finally felt loved, accepted and worthy.  I was finally able to stick to a meal plan, to care for myself and to realize I truly deserve to be happy.

My song "Pain" is dedicated to all the people who have had this struggle in their life.  We know we need to change, but we just can't seem to do it.  We know we are killing ourselves, but that still doesn't seem to be enough.  I am here to tell you that you can change.  It's closer than you think.  Do not give up on yourself.  Start talking about it.  Out loud to other people.  That is the first step to getting better.  You have to stop making excuses and admit it's a problem.  It gets so much better when you do, I promise.  If you need someone to talk to, I am always here.  And if you are ready to change, I highly encourage you to visit:  https://oa.org/.  It changed my life.  And it can change yours too.

"I will not be confined to this life of Pain."

Pain - The new single from Chris Swan.
Coming July 1, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Pain: The New Single From Chris Swan

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

Pain Art.jpg

 

"I deserve a life of joy and health,
I deserve to live and love myself,

Whatever it takes, I will not refrain,
'Cuz I will not be confined to this life of pain."

Pain
Coming July 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Creed and Vision Is Here!

Creed and Vision
The new single from Chris Swan is here!  

I have struggled with being confident and I use to overcompensate by tearing myself down. My song "Creed and Vision" is a hip-hop mantra that we can all say to ourselves daily to remind us we need to be confident AND humble every day. And despite what I use to think, it is possible and even necessary to be both to become the people we were created to be.

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Creed and Vision!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Creed and Vision: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Creed and Vision 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!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

How To Be Confident And Humble At The Same Time

Creed and Vision.jpg

"I want the confidence to be strong."

I have always struggled with confidence.  It probably has a lot to do with growing up as an overweight kid.  I always felt fat.  I always felt like I wasn't good enough.  I remember even praying to God over and over to come into my life and let me into heaven.  I thought I wasn't good enough and the only way to get in was to beg.  I've done a lot of counseling, reading and reflecting over the years and I'm finally getting to a place in my 40's where I like myself.  I have learned that I am enough, just as I am, because I am a creation of God.  That is where my worth comes from.  Not from other people, which is where I use to try to get it from being the people pleaser that I am.  I see God in my life every day, in little things, and that reminds me that I matter.  And since I matter, then I have the tools to be more confident and assertive in my life.  I'm still a people pleaser, but I am working on it.  I am learning to stand up for myself when I need to. 

"But the humility to be wrong."

My biggest fear of becoming confident was that I would become a jerk.  I saw confidence as a means to be cocky, to operate like the world revolves around you, and to walk all over the people in your life.  No way did I want to be that guy!  So to compensate, I would make sure I remained as humble as possible.  But then being humble started to mean putting myself down.  So in my efforts to not become a self-centered, arrogant person, I became a depressed, beaten down, and incredibly frustrated person.  I was miserable.

"I want to lead and listen, have the creed and vision."

I had to learn that it is ok to be confident.  Matter of fact, you can be confident and still be humble.  Confidence does not have to equal arrogance.  You can be confident in yourself, love and respect yourself deeply, and still be a humble servant to others.  I'd even say you HAVE to learn to love yourself first in order to be a humble servant to others.  I know from experience that tearing yourself down to lift others up only makes you a resentful, bitter person.  And a resentful, bitter person is not one who wants to serve.  This person becomes antisocial and selfish, becoming the complete opposite of the person you set out to be.

My song "Creed and Vision" is a hip-hop mantra that we can all say to ourselves daily to remind us we need to be confident AND humble every day.  And despite what I use to think, it is possible and even necessary to be both to become the people God created us to be.

"It's ok to know our strength.
It's ok to know our weakness.
We use our weakness to make each other stronger.
'Cuz if one shines, we all shine longer."

Creed and Vision - The new single from Chris Swan.
Coming June 1, 2018!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Creed and Vision: The New Single From Chris Swan

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

Creed and Vision.jpg

 

"It's ok to know our strength,
It's ok to know our weakness.
We use our weakness to make each other stronger,
'Cuz if one shines, we all shine longer."

Creed and Vision
Coming June 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Clouds by Trip Lee

This one's for the dreamers.

SONGS THAT HELP BY SOUL MOTIVATION RECORDS

This song has been one of my go-to jams for a while now.  I feel like it's time I make sure you are hip to this tune.  This song makes me smile.  This song is all about dreaming.  It's all about making sure you wake up on the right side of the bed no matter which side you actually wake up on.  You can choose every day to live for your dreams.  This is your time.  This is your spot.  And if you want to live in the clouds, do it.  It's a whole other world up there.

Way up in the clouds like I'm on one.

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