Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
– Martin Luther King
When I first met successful DJ and Life Coach Pete Lynagh in July 2013, I was struck by the calmness of the charming and affable Northern Irishman. Boyishly handsome with a smile that won’t quit and a contagious laugh, it was very easy to chat at length with him. By his own admission, he wasn’t always the altruistic man I’d met in a Melbourne café.
At 32, Pete started a journey that would change the very nature of his soul. What started as a bet between two mates (Pete’s best friend bet him $2000 he couldn’t live without sex for a year), culminated in Pete’s Chastity for Charity Facebook page raising a staggering $50,000 for the charity Free to Shine and countless lives being changed for the better, including Pete’s.
The rules were simple. Kissing was allowed but any intimate contact beyond that was banned. It wasn’t always easy for him. I’m not sure it would be easy for anyone! Pete discovered early on that trying to have a sexless relationship was too difficult.
“Once feelings are involved, physical attraction is inevitable.”
Though tempted to break the bet, by then he was fully committed to the cause and didn’t waiver, garnishing support from family, close friends and over 4500 people who were following his journey via Facebook.
Prior to his vow of celibacy, Pete had described himself as a player and a ladies man. By his own admission, sleeping with as many women as he could was part of an agenda that conspired to keep him single.
“I was completely shallow,” he mused, “I was always looking for external validation. It was all about the ego. The more women I slept with, the more validated I felt in the moment. Something was always missing though. I was always trying to fill the void. It was sad really.”
What a difference a year can make.
What Pete hadn’t reckoned with was that abstinence would launch him on a spiritual journey which had him re-evaluating his lifestyle of parties, booze and nameless women. This past year changed his views on relationships, women, sex and his life purpose.
In short, it made him a better man.
Pete started to explore the reasons for his hedonistic behaviour, confronting childhood demons and out-dated attitudes he’d held along the way. He sought out spiritual mentors, worked out at the gym, worked hard to build his businesses and more importantly, he focused on the people he could be helping through raising money.
Free to Shine is an Australian based organisation that rescues Cambodian children from sex slavery and provides them with education scholarships. Worldwide it’s estimated that as many as 945,000 children are being trafficked for sex. Getting girls into school and keeping them there is vital in reducing their vulnerability to trafficking. In September, Pete made the emotional journey to visit Cambodia and see first-hand where the money he raised would be utilised.
The money raised has allowed Free to Shine to set up an office and hire staff, giving them the means to double the number of girls saved from sex trafficking from 70 to 140.
This year Pete will be working with The Big Umbrella, a charity that is committed to ensuring that children should live free from poverty and exploitation, both here in Australia and overseas.
So as this particularly journey comes to an end, what has changed for Pete?
“This experience has changed my life in so many ways,” he explains. “I found my purpose in life: serving others in need serves me. I know what I want in a woman and have learned how to connect at a deeper level and fall in love with their mind/soul as well as their looks. Connection is priority over sex. Sex is a bonus. Overall this has been the best experience of my life and I’m truly grateful.”
While a lot of people were waiting with baited breath for Pete to end his year-long bet with a veritable bang (pun quite intended), Pete had a quiet new year and was in bed (alone and sober) prior to midnight! He isn’t sure when he will be breaking his vow of self-imposed celibacy but he does know that meaningless sex just isn’t on his radar.
“I’ve really grown up in the last year.”
Indeed he has and the world is a better place for his determination to change his life. He’s found a lot of reasons why giving up sex was a good idea, among them is the $50,000 he has raised to free girls from a life in the commercial sex trade.
To read my first story about Pete, click on the Link below:
For more information or to donate to Free to Shine, click on the link below:
To find Pete’s Chastity for Charity, click the link below:
To follow Pete at The Big Umbrella, click the link below:
Looking to be inspired? For more information on Pete’s Coaching website, click the link below: