Tener Duende

Tener Duende is considered the hardest Spanish term to translate into other languages. Without a satisfactory English equivalent, it is loosely translated as having soul, or having duende.
Used mostly in art, duende describes that something in a performance, an athletic event, or piece of art that takes us past the intellect, stirs us deeply, heightens the emotions, or brings chills.
Duende is a power, not an ability. A force, not a skill. From its Spanish and Latin American mythological roots, it merges the magical with the authentic as a flame in the core of your being, weaving the spectrum of joys and sorrows from your experience into a new translation and out through your expression.
Whether you’re creating a family, a business, a song, the latest scientific discovery, or a soccer game, duende is what makes it only yours.
Skill matters. But what we’re all really yearning for, whether we know it or not, is the duende in every corner of our experience, whether were geeking out over a scientific experiment or blissing on the yoga mat. When our inner magic and authenticity merge, we get the alchemy, and so do others.
“The duende’s arrival always means a radical change in forms. It brings to old planes unknown feelings of freshness, with the quality of something newly created, like a miracle, and it produces an almost religious enthusiasm.” ~ Frederico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet and theater director, from lecture in 1933 in Buenos Aires on Play and Theory of Duende.
In 2018, how will you feed your duende? That indescribable essence that is only yours. That goes deeper than your positive thought? That unravels every golden thread of your life experience to weave it in life’s loom into its newly formed expression?

~Shelley Hawkins
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