Reposted from January, 2012

What’s “Selfless Service”?

Poekoelan is a traditional martial art. One of the things we learn as students is how important it is to be able to put our own ego and needs aside and focus our loving energy on others. In practicing this, we receive incredible gifts, many that we could never have imagined possible!

Our Unique Family

We are a Poekoelan family. My husband and I have both been training for years. Both our kids, who are now 11 and 13, have grown up in a home very influenced by what practitioners call the “Golden Principles of Tulen.” One such principle is selfless service: the art of giving of oneself and putting one’s ego aside.

Some family friends were moving last weekend. Both the mom and dad work full time. They are busy people, so you can imagine that this move has been stressful in a number of ways. As a family, we committed to helping them on Sunday. My kids love our friends, but there were the usual grumbles and “do we really have tos?” you might expect from an 11 and 13-year-old on an early Sunday morning. “We said we’d be there so of course, we’ll be there! Remember, this is about love. Our friends need us and we are going to help them. This is about giving of ourselves when it really counts. Let’s go!” And off we went.

The family we were helping also train Poekoelan. Other martial arts friends were there that day helping too. This is what we do as a community. We help one another. It is a blessing to be part of a community of people who care about one another and are willing and present when it matters.

The Move

We spent the day hauling boxes, furniture, and all sorts of odds and ends. We emptied the old house, drove across town to the new house in cars and trucks, and unloaded. The new house has 45 steps up to the front door! We chuckled all day long giving one another the “Golden Bootie” award. By the end of the day, we were all tired!

The four of us got home, took care of final weekend wrap up: laundry, finishing touches on homework, showers, and other chores, and met up an hour or so later for dinner. We were discussing the day when both my kids let out incredibly satisfied sighs and said, almost in unison, “I had so much fun today!” 

 As a mom and a Poekoelan practitioner, this was a beautiful moment for me, when it all came together. Did we have other things we could have done that day? Of course! The house was a mess, our to-do list is always exhaustingly long, and there were bazillions of things left undone. But that day, joy was our gift. The joy of having worked hard and put our energy toward someone else’s goal to help them reach it. There was love around all of us that day. This love will continue to surround us as we move forward in life, and it will continue to bless us long after any item left on our family’s to-do list. Guaranteed.

Gatong Rajong