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There are many ways to raise money for charities, but Peter Lynagh’s by far,  has been one of the most unique.

How did you come up with this idea? What was your mission? It all started off as a joke between my housemate and I. Leading up to this I had read a couple of books; one called 'Turning Pro' - Steven Pressfield, a book that's all about turning Professional from Amateur, a personal development book if you like as I'm an avid reader. In this book, the author talks about how he went off for a year and never had sex/interactions with women and channeled all of his sexual energy into becoming creative and he wrote his first book. The other book was one of my favorites called 'Think and Grow Rich' - Napoleon Hill, Chapter 11 is solely about sexual transmutation. So this topic was playing on my mind and when my housemate came home one evening we were having our usual banter over a beer about what women we were trying to date, pick up, etc... Both being single and running a muck for the last year, this was nearly all we talked about. Talk about a waste of energy week in week out!! So I started to wind him up by saying “Na mate, that's it, I'm hanging up the boots for a year, no more chicks or sex for me for a year!!” He burst into laughter saying, “NO!"

"AY that's the funniest thing I've ever heard”. To which I proceeded to wind him up even more, I was still joking at this stage. I would say, “Na, I'm serious mate. I'm going to get set up this year and get creative and get my stuff together, no more chicks. His response was “I bet you $2K you won't last a year”. Then an idea popped into my head. I've been working with the Charity - Free To Shine for over a year as a child sponsor. The CEO, Nicky, from the Charity is a good friend of mine and I said to my housemate, “Can I donate this $2K to a Charity of my choice?” He was like, “I don't care what you do with it you won't last, haha”. He then said, “this is wicked, I'm going to test for interest on Facebook amongst our friends to see who else would donate to this crazy bet." To which he did and he tagged me into the update... it went ballistic! 80 comments later of people saying I'll donate $300, $400, etc. and people saying no way could I do it, etc. I said to myself - ok this is getting a bit of traction, could I actually go through with it? I thought to myself this will be a win/win as it will raise great awareness for my charity and be good for me to actually shift my focus from ladies to getting my life together. I rang my friend Nicky and ran the idea past her, she laughed and said I was crazy but she knows what I'm like anyway and she said of course whatever works in raising money/awareness for the charity. Then, Pete's Chastity for Charity was born. I created the fundraising page and the Facebook fan page 'Pete's Chastity for Charity', which started at midnight NYE 2012 and finished midnight NYE 2013, and here we are with the year finished and over $60K raised for a great cause.

How exactly does this work? No sex for a whole year. Anything of a sexual nature with a woman is excluded. My housemate, Marty, wrote up the rules and thought he would make it harder by allowing kissing, which is good in a way, but frustrating in a way too as we all know what happens post kissing a lot of the time.

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What did you learn? When did you start to learn it? At the start of the year, I think it was still all a bit of a joke and there was a lot of ego at play because of all the attention I was receiving from people/media, etc. I then shifted the focus off me and focused more on the charity, 'Free to Shine', who I was raising the money for. The turning point for me was probably around March time. I had started to date a girl named Clare. I know what you're thinking; I'm a glutton for punishment ha! We dated for about 2 months, which was extremely difficult due to the fact we couldn't have sex. The frustration took its toll and it got to the stage that I nearly broke my vow of chastity with her. I was like a man possessed; Clare actually had to stop me going further. Biology and physiology took over. I'm very grateful she stopped us. It was then I realized I needed to be on my own for the remainder of the year. I realized I was getting a void filled just by being in a relationship sex or no sex. It was time to look inward and ask myself some serious questions. I wanted to know why I needed this external validation from women all the time and why I wasn't happy being on my own. Wow, did I open up a can of worms? This is when the real life learning began. As I started soul searching a few traumatic childhood and young adulthood events came to the surface and I came to the conclusion that I didn't like myself at all and held onto these beliefs, which were running my life. I read a book at this time, which explained perfectly what I was experiencing. The book was called 'The Secret of the Shadow”~ Debbie Ford (RIP). This book explained to me that we all have that dark side of ourselves that we hate and the more we suppress it the more it comes to show. What you resist persists they say. The book taught me to see the gift in every event no matter how bad it was or what meaning I took from it. I then began to see all the gifts I had been given and the person I had became today was the outcome of all these events. My compassion for sex trafficked kids, my strength, my drive, my leadership qualities, my generosity, my thoughtfulness and my thirst for knowledge and wisdom. If I had led a sheltered youth where nothing ever happened to me, I can safely say I wouldn't have this passion to help and inspire others. I worked really hard on myself for the rest of the year releasing these emotions from childhood and I started to build a relationship with myself. I now finally love myself and for the first time in my life really love someone else. They say you can't give someone love if you don't give it to yourself first. True dat! With all of this inner work I began to become conscious of myself, of life and of the world. I started to what I call a spiritual awakening. I watched documentary after documentary and Youtube clip after Youtube clip. I started to follow the likes of David Icke, Graham Hancock, Gregg Braden, Eckhart Tolle, Russell Brand, Alan Watts, etc. Wow did I go deep. My understanding of consciousness and the mind went to a whole new level. I learnt the difference between my ego self and my true self. It has helped me to become the observer of my life and that I'm in control not my thoughts or emotions and I create my life. What I think, I become. All this from not having sex! I highly recommend it.

How do you view sex now? Wow, good question. Well, my view of sex has completely changed in a sense that I don't actually need it for validation anymore or to feel better about myself. I view it now as a part of the deep connection I have with my partner, Laura. It's like the icing on the cake now where before it was the whole cake if that makes sense. It's a funny story of how I met Laura; a mutual friend introduced us on Facebook as Laura had moved from Byron Bay to Melbourne at the start of last year when I just started my year of chastity. I checked out her profile pic and I'm like WOW she's stunning, I'm definitely not meeting up with her anytime this year haha! We kept in touch regardless, but never actually met up. That was until my year of chastity had finished. And it's not what you think, I wasn't knocking on her door at 11.59pm on NYE. Laura actually moved back to Byron Bay before Xmas and by chance we had a boys trip booked to go to Byron Bay on the 2nd Jan for a few days. It was your usual boys trip, we got absolutely drunk the first 2 nights there. My mates were bringing girls up to me trying to hook me up with anything that moved but I wasn't interested in the slightest. My mates were like what's wrong with you, you haven't had sex in a year and they're queuing up for you. I'm like actually guys I want it to be as corny as it sounds a little special instead of a one night stand.  On the 3rd day in Byron I thought to myself my liver actually can't take anymore partying so I remembered Laura was back living in Byron so I hit her up with a text seeing if she wanted to do dinner and she accepted. I was so excited to finally meet her. As soon as I laid eyes on her outside the restaurant I was smitten. We had the most romantic night, we talked for hours over dinner, then got ice cream and laid on the beach listening to the hippies play bongos then went for a drive to a secluded beach and shared our first kiss. I felt like I've known her my whole life. We've spoke everyday since and now I'm very happy to say we're going out! The sex is completely different now. I have never experienced anything like this before. I think it's due to never having a deep connection as I do with her. I'm head over heels in love.

What organizations/causes do you support? What is your involvement with anti-sex trafficking? I have been working with Free to Shine for the last 3 years. The first 2 years as a child sponsor and the year of my chastity as Ambassador/Fundraiser. Free to Shine believes children should be in schools, not brothels. So we identify girls at high risk of being targeted by traffickers, get her a uniform and a bike, fill a bag with books and pens, and visit her regularly to keep her in school and keep her safe. We equip with an education to prevent sex trafficking. Free To Shine is a humanitarian organization founded in Australia who work in collaboration with communities and local governments in Cambodia so that girls can reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. All of our funding comes from individuals, businesses and foundations who believe children should be in schools, not brothels.

This year I am working with The Big Umbrella, an NGO based in Australia. The Big Umbrella works with and funds international and local partners to address issues impacting on marginalized youth and children including those affected by human rights abuses, human trafficking, exploitation, forced labor and homelessness. The main focus of The Big Umbrella (TBU) is on anti-slavery and rehabilitation programs in Nepal. We support vulnerable Nepalese children who have been exposed to the dehumanizing impact of child exploitation that is child trafficking and forced slave labor.

What is your favorite quote? "The True Meaning of Life: We are visitors on this planet. We are here for ninety or one hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful with our lives. If you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life." ~ Dalai Lama

Anything particular you would like to share with our readers? If life isn't going your way or you're not happy with the way things are I would suggest spending sometime on your own getting to know yourself, really getting to know yourself. Not your name, not your job, not the car you drive or the neighborhood you live in. The real you, your true self. If the same patterns happen over and over again it maybe time to take the step of speaking to someone who can help you work out why. Remember everyone in your life is a reflection of you. You don't attract what you want, you attract what you are.

Connect with Peter via his Blog

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