Original, romantic poems are sprinkled among sixty-seven powerful life lessons in "Forever Sentimental, Vol. IV: The Game of Hearts," the fourth book in Kenyatta's collection of sentimental poetry, devoted to different aspects of human relationships. As a relationship coach, Kenyatta has the unique opportunity to enter other couples' private worlds and experience both their pain and joy. From this background, he is able to offer incredible advice on what makes a healthy relationship, how find safety in love, how to heal from unhealthy relationships, the importance of self- esteem in the relationship game, keeping the spark alive and communication.
Interview with Kenyatta
Forever Sentimental Vol. IV: The Game of Hearts
Reviewed by for Reader Views (1/08)
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views is pleased to be joined by Kenyatta, who is here to talk about his new book, “Forever Sentimental, Volume IV: The Game of Hearts.”
Kenyatta is an Ohio poet and a relationship coach. As a coach, he has helped thousands of individuals and families of different social classes, ages and ethnic backgrounds resolve the unique problems in their dating or existing relationships. His mission is to make “Forever Sentimental” the most famous collection of romantic and sentimental verse ever created, and also, to write poetry that offers life lessons to people that will help them build productive relationships.
Tyler: Welcome, Kenyatta. I’m excited to talk to you today about an issue I know everyone is interested in—relationships. To begin, tell us about why you chose to write this fourth book in your series and why specifically you chose the subtitle, “The Game of Hearts”?
Kenyatta: I was trying to write a masterwork! I was trying to create something that was literally out of this world as far as being both eye opening, entertaining, sweet and life changing!
When we are kids everything is very simple. When a kid sees another kid that they may have a crush on they write a note that says “ I like you, Do you like Me- Check yes or no “ in the box and that’s it. It’s that simple! Adults are just big kids but the problems come in because, adults lie, and stretch the truth, and that turns it into a game. It becomes a game to figure out who is genuine, who is and is not a liar, who is and is not crazy, psychotic, jealous, emotionally needy, a dead beat, a romantic, a good provider, husband or wife material etc.. It is a game in love or The Game of hearts!
Tyler: Kenyatta, is this book linked to the first three volumes titled “Forever Sentimental”? Will you tell us a little about those books and whether the reader should read those books prior to Volume IV?
Kenyatta: The link to the books in the series are all related in the aspect that they deal with love, relationships and human behavior and how to find and invest in only healthy relationships. The Forever Sentimental books all cover a different aspect of relationships. No you don’t have to read Volume one first to better understand Volume 4. You read the volume that most applies to your most immediate need in your relationship!
Tyler: Will you tell us a little bit about how the book is organized? I understand 67 life lessons are interspersed among the poems?
Kenyatta: The Life Lessons are the literal cautionary tales of human behavior and how that behavior can be good, bad, ugly and lovely sometimes. These are the lessons that will remind you of what your mother or father or your closest friend would tell you about your relationship that is in your best interest. The Life Lessons are your friends, your advantage, your protection and your shield from harms way if you follow them. They are also your teachers and they enlighten you as to how you can be a more beautiful and emotionally healthy person inside and out if you follow them.
The Sentimental verses say exactly what the Life Lessons say, but in a figurative way! Sometimes some people may need to hear the same message said in different ways for them to understand it to the point where the “Ah Ha” moment appears! The Sentimental Verses give you a chance to be creative and metaphorical.
Tyler: Most people write poetry collections, but you apparently chose to do more with your books. What do you see as your mission—to be a poet first or to help people with their relationships?
Kenyatta: I am different things to different people. Some people buy the Forever Sentimental book series because they like how sweet, romantic and sentimental and enjoyable the Sentimental Verses are! Other people buy the books because they want the truth in the Life Lesson so they can find true love or discover in themselves how to heal from a not-so good or abusive past. I sell beauty, brilliance, safety in love and emotional health in the form of my book series and one may need all of those benefits of just one! It all depends!
Tyler: Kenyatta, will you share one of your favorite poems in the book with us and tell us why you like it?
Kenyatta: One of my most favorite Verses in Forever Sentimental 4 is “ Billy Badd Ass “ on page 167. It is that old tale of that defiant, hard headed and wayward loved one that many of us know and love who never sees the error of their ways and never heeds to warnings of danger until they hit rock bottom and lose everything and when they finally see the light, unfortunately, many times it’s too late! That is the power of the parable or the verse; it paints the picture that is different than just saying something straight out and blunt!
“…take it from me,
the Mafia, gangs, pimps, hustlers,
crooks, dealers and thugs,
almost never last,
and like chalk marks in the rain,
their days are numbered,
and soon pass
swiftly, quickly and fast…”
Tyler: The book spends a great deal of time focusing on what the difference is between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Your poem above seems to warn against this. Would you speak a little bit about why people end up in unhealthy relationships and how they can turn that around?
Kenyatta: That is a real good one! There are many different ways people end up in unhealthy relationships. There is no one answer but here are some major ways. Firstly, few people enter a relationship wanting to be abused or misused!!! Some people had an abusive up bringing: emotionally, physically and verbally. This becomes normal for them and familiar and they react to conflicts just as they saw their parents do and they handle problems as they saw modeled by someone else. You can be in stink so long that it becomes normal to you and you don’t smell the foulness, but everyone around you can! They leave one relationship and go into another others and those relationships end up just like the previous ones and it becomes a cycle. Some people have relationships that start off healthy and do various things over time it becomes unhealthy and people don’t know when to get out nor do they have a plan to safely get out, because when you talk safety you always need to act in knowledge and be informed and that is what Forever Sentimental gives people—direction, clarity of thought and principles to live on for optimal healthy in relationships and toward oneself!
You turn an unhealthy relationship around one step at a time. It takes 2 or 3 times as long to unlearn something as it takes to learn that original pattern of behavior. You turn unhealthy relationships around by working on yourself for betterment and giving your mate the opportunity to better themselves through practical and measurable actions (therapy, anger management, life style changes, drug treatment etc.) God makes all of us free moral agents to DECIDE which paths in life we want to travel for the good or for the bad, your part of turning an unhealthy relationship around is to realize and accept that sometimes it is time just to end a relationship altogether. We can’t change people we can only influence them enough to want to change themselves and if their not changing threatens your happiness or safety then you have to make a choice!
Tyler: You also talk about the importance of nurturing and investing in oneself. How important is self-esteem and getting to know oneself before a relationship begins? Do you think most unhealthy relationships exist as the result of the participants in the relationship not clearly knowing what they want or trying to make the other person into someone they want that person to be?
Kenyatta: We have a saying or more importantly a mantra, in social services that says “strong kids tend to come from strong families “ and if that is true than there’s better chance that healthy kids (emotionally, mentally and physically) would come from healthy families and healthy families would be formed by healthy individuals that make up that family! One’s self worth and value is essential to this principle because we give off what we have. When one is emotionally healthy they can have clarity of direction and thought and they have a greater chance of recognizing the signs and red flags of a potentially toxic relationship before it ever begins or before it’s too late. But people with low or no self worth they tend to be indiscriminate in who they will or will not allow into their lives because they are so affection starved! When you are balanced and have high self worth and optimal emotional health you tend to have standards of who qualifies to be in your life and who doesn’t. This standard system is important because it eliminates and weeds out people who don’t possess what it is that one is looking for. I see red flags when in the dating world (Dating sites, personal ads etc.) I hear a person say “I’m not picky, I like anybody,” because you don’t just need a person as a companion, you need the right person who will value you as you should be and everybody or even most people you meet are not going to value you!
NO, unhealthy relationships exist frankly, because you have unhealthy people that have developed a pattern of unhealthy thoughts and unhealthy behaviors that they don’t recognize or that they recognize but refuse to change or don’t know how to change. We can’t enforce our will on others; it goes against the principles of God who made us with free wills to decide how we wish to live in this world. That is a popular myth that consistently fails—one person feeling that they can change another. It fails overwhelmingly more than it succeeds—trust me!
Tyler: Once in a healthy relationship, what can the couple do to keep the relationship healthy?
Kenyatta: What do you do once you dropped body weight and you now have the ideal figure you always wanted, and what do you do once you got that once struggling business now to be very successful: you do all the things that made you successful in the first place. Once you get the healthy love and healthy relationship, you keep practicing the same principles, actions thought and behaviors that made it healthy in the first place! You don’t have to do them in exactly the same ways. You can be creative!
Tyler: Kenyatta, you talk in “Forever Sentimental IV” about communication and the right words to use in a relationship. Will you give us some examples of successful communication in a relationship?
Kenyatta: People always want to feel valued and to have a sense of purpose and when you are communicating to someone that is perceived not to value you, basically that person is talking a brick wall. Even when you are telling the absolute truth you need to communicate your thoughts and feeling in a way that the moral, theme or pith of what you are saying doesn’t get lost in how you delivered that statement or comment. When you yell, people understand and focus on the raised voice not the content of what you are saying! The Christian Bible says “a soft answer turns away anger.”
Tyler: Kenyatta, what makes “Forever Sentimental, Volume IV: The Game of Hearts” stand out from the many other books about relationships in the market?
Kenyatta: There is no other experience like “Forever Sentimental” on the Market. It offers “safety in Love” and “Principles and steps for developing optimal emotional health in oneself.” “Forever Sentimental” focuses on the individual and perfects them as much as they are willing to be perfected, so when they are emotionally and spiritually sober, stable and strong themselves they’ll be able to recognize those same qualities in potential mates or the lack thereof. “Forever Sentimental” is not “say these three words three times and every man or women in town will fall madly in love with you” or using reverse psychology on your mate or potential mate to get them to do what you want. “Forever Sentimental” focuses on you and makes you see that there are some people who are just not made for you despite how physically you may be attracted to them. It helps you to cope with the fact that there will always be people that will not like you no matter how good you may be to them, but regardless of what another thinks about you, you should still maintain your value and surround yourself with those who value you too. It helps you to value you whether you are single or in a relationship and once you’ve developed that optimal emotional health, you’ll carry that into your relationships and leave old toxic behaviors and baggage in the trash where they belong! “Forever Sentimental” is not only enlightening and educating, but it’s enjoyable and fun all at the same time. You don’t out grow it or get tired of it!
Tyler: Kenyatta, do you intend to write more volumes of “Forever Sentimental” and if so, will you tell us what you are planning for them?
Kenyatta: The “Forever Sentimental” series will continue to be released. I have a vault of some 10,000 written works and I usually include about 100 in each book. I am trying to give the people OUT OF THIS WORLD BEAUTY, FEELING, PASSION and INSIGHT.
The next title will hit the Market in June 2008 just in time for summer vacations, summer romances and exotic getaways! We are turning up the passion and the sensual side with the next release. That is the form of love that is everyone’s favorite to see, feel, talk about and experience to an undying level. The title will be “Forever Sentimental Vol. V: Eros Love”!
Tyler: What made you decide to write these books?
Kenyatta: I was in the United States Air Force and I was experiencing a lot of loneliness, doubt and insecurities about my life and my place in the world and I discovered that so were the other Airman feeling the same things. I started off by writing love letters to the wives and girlfriends of my fellow service men. They would pay me and I would let them sign the Love letter or the love poem as if they actually wrote them. My stuff wasn’t like other artists’ stuff. I would write works specifically for the servicemen to his particular loved one. I would never use the same piece for one person that I wrote for another person. Each work had to be new and original and brilliant. My goal was always to write a masterpiece. I don’t potboil. I don’t think that is classy to give multiple people the same work, because to me if I write something that is a beautiful thought of a specific woman, to give the same work to other women waters down how special it is. That one work is meant for no one in the world but that one loved one and that’s what makes it special, but of course my fellow servicemen didn’t see it like that. When they saw an awesome writing that I did each wanted to send it to his wife or wife to be regardless of how many other servicemen had already sent that same work to their special women before hand! What I would do is ask the serviceman for a picture of his love interest. Then I would ask him what is so great about her and how does she make him feel and while he was talking I would study how he reacted when he talked about his love interest. I would keep looking at the picture of the woman and remember the passion in the serviceman’s voice when he talked about her and from that I would create original romantic or sentimental writing pieces. For the time I was writing a particular work, I literally had to be just as much in love with that serviceman’s wife as he was. I literally had to see in her what he saw and more. It was mind blowing!! I soon developed a reputation for my writing. This is really the beginnings of “Forever Sentimental.” I always kept a copy of anything I wrote for someone, so many of the works I created during my military days are included in “Forever Sentimental Volume One.”
Tyler: Where did you accumulate all the knowledge you have about relationships? Have you drawn on your own experiences?
Kenyatta: My knowledge is of human behavior, and relationships fall under that. We as humans try to relate to one another and how well we relate to one another depends on how healthy or unhealthy we are (emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically). I do draw off my own experiences, but ultimately people deal with the same issues over and over again in each new decade, each new century and so on. Metaphorically speaking, life is a movie and even though the characters keep changing, the roles and the themes remain the same!
Tyler: Will you tell us a little bit about the relationship coaching work that you do?
Kenyatta: A coach of any kind should be pulling the best out of who ever it is they are coaching. You are guiding them so they can ultimately lead themselves. You are helping them to develop methods and options to reach a goal. You are not doing the work for them and you are not telling them what you would do. You inspire them to make choices based on the resources available, their plan, their timing and their goal to resolve an issue.
Tyler: Do you think your coaching experience has made your books better, and also, has writing the “Forever Sentimental” series helped you see things differently as you do your coaching?
Kenyatta: There is a Gift of God in my life. I really do have superpowers that are God given and God inspired! No one thing makes the books better. It is a mixture of stuff. As a life coach what helps you be universal is because you are allowed to enter into other people’s worlds and see and experience life as they do. You are able to sympathize and empathize to a phenomenal degree. I see people hurt all the time. I see the hurt in their voices and the fear in their eyes when life goes in a direction that they didn’t want and I think that puts you in very powerful position for them to rely on you for help. To see the change in their lives is almost magical!
As a county government representative for child welfare, my decisions have to be right on, because when I make a decision people’s lives change. Some people lose their children forever. Some people are sent to prison. Some people are sent to mental health or drug treatment facilities. The law gives me that level of power so it has to be used wisely! I am literally a human diary! This is the incredible life that I’m living!
Tyler: Kenyatta, in the end, are relationships really a “game” of hearts?
Kenyatta: Relationships are our essential need to be part of a union to be valued, appreciated, supported and cared for where we feel we are needed! It is a game in that to put your heart on the line and expose your deepest feelings to anyone, you are taking a risk, because you never really know what’ll happen once you take that leap? Sometimes that leap is great and other times that leap is not so great and even hated and regretted!
Tyler: Thank you for joining me today, Kenyatta. Before we go, will you tell us where our readers may go online to find additional information about “Forever Sentimental”?
Kenyatta: “Forever Sentimental” is available just about anywhere world wide, from the Barnes and Nobles, the Amazon.com to Borders and the mom and pop stores. For more information, visit www.Foreversentimental.com
Until next time, “ Amour To Joy” and remember “True love is never out of season” - Kenyatta