Ep. 190 Where Intuition & Science Meet with Darya Knysh - theuncensoredempath.com

Ep. 190 Where Intuition & Science Meet with Darya Knysh

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • Unpacking the science behind intuition
  • Understanding heart coherence and how to establish it within your body
  • Why just thinking new thoughts isn’t enough to create sustainable change
  • Darya’s personal experience with intuition, empathy, boundaries and an ADHD diagnosis

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Episode Transcript:

Welcome to The Uncensored Empath, a place for us to discuss highly sensitives’ energy, illness, healing, and transformation. My name is Sarah Small and I’m a life and success coach for empaths who want to create a thriving body, business, and life. Think of this podcast as your no-BS guide to navigating life, health, and entrepreneurship. You’ll get straight-to-the-point, totally holistic tips from me in real time as I navigate this healing and growth journey right beside you. This is a Soulfire production.

Welcome back to another episode. This one is all things intuition. My guest is Darya Knysh and she is an intuitive business coach, hypnotherapist, and neuro-alchemist who is disrupting the one-size-fits-all business standards. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs tune into and trust their intuition in order to break through unconscious patterns, create embodied wealth, and reconnect to their divine purpose. Through feminine leadership and deep soul transformation, she helps you to craft the pleasurable and profitable business of your dreams. Darya and I talk about the science of intuition inside of this conversation, developing your intuition, and how her personal intuition journey led her to realizing she was an empath as well. Let’s dive in.

Sarah: Welcome to the show, Darya. It’s so good to have you on.

Darya: Thank you. It’s so good to be on.

Unpacking the science behind intuition

Sarah: So I want to start talking about intuition. It’s something we both use in our business. And I’m curious, how do you personally experience intuition just in your body and in your life? What does it mean to you?

Darya: To me, intuition is like the language of your soul. So it’s not even like, oh, my intuition is speaking to me. It’s that my higher self or my soul is speaking to me through my intuition. So it’s like a bridge that’s a connector for me to my higher self or to my soul or to higher consciousness or whatever it is that you want to call it.

Sarah: Yes. That’s super interesting because I think there is sometimes this thought that it is outside of us and this external guidance, when really what I’m hearing you say is it’s just within us and it’s a connection to a part of us that’s already there. And so, how do you use intuition in your business?

Darya: Well, for myself, I feel like I live in my intuition. So there’s the kind of intuition where let’s say I need to make a decision and I need to go tap in and help myself figure this out. But then also there’s this embodied level of intuition where you’re not having to question yourself when you’re making these decisions. You’re just kind of knowing that that’s the next right thing for you and that’s the action that you need to take and that’s the decision that you need to make. And you’re kind of just trusting those little soul nudges and guidance that come through always. And so, in business that applies in what offers I want to put out, what piece of content I want to share that day, whether or not I should take on a certain client that I’m having a conversation with or a potential client, I should say. So it kind of applies in every little aspect, but it’s even harder to define how do you use it because it’s just everywhere, right?

Sarah: Yes. I think of it as trusting yourself in all of those actions that you take within your business and whether it’s a offer program that you’re starting to put together, or a team member that you’re thinking about bringing on, even just, what am I going to say on social media today? Like you said, it’s so interwoven into everything that we do.

Darya: And you said it. Trust is a big piece of it, right? Because tuning in is one thing but are you actually going to trust it or are you going to question it and be like, oh my gosh, is this really intuition or am I making this up?

Sarah: Yes. Oh my gosh, I just had a client yesterday. She is a sacral generator in human design and she was talking about how she gets those gut instincts all the time. But hearing them, feeling them, intuiting them is different than actually acting upon them and trusting them and doing the thing that your gut or intuition is showing you, which is obviously like a whole different relationship to what intuition is in your body. I know you also have some background in neuroscience and I think I read that there was the grand plan at some point in your life to be a neuroscientist. And so, I know that you are similar to me and that we love to blend the science with intuition and the science with the energy work. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about how you do that and just your journey to the business you’ve created today.

Darya: Yes. So my mission on this planet is to bring intuition to the masses to allow everyone to be able to tap into it. Because I think that a world led by our intuition is a world led by our soul, our love, and our highest intention. So if more people can get in touch with that, there would be so much less confusion, there would be so many less people in jobs that they hate and with these unfulfilled passions and regrets later on in life. But in order for that to happen, we have to actually make it something that everyone or most people are able to take in and actually resonate with. And sometimes just going down the super-spiritual fairy worlds kind of language definitely won’t resonate with people and it wouldn’t have resonated with me a few years ago. So I love researching what is the science behind intuition? What do we know for sure? And then what can we assume and intuit moving forward that can actually be applied to anyone?

For example, my parents or my partner, they don’t care about this work but I’ll still teach them if they’re having a hard time deciding something. I’ll still teach them how to get in touch with their intuition. And they feel lighter, they feel more expansive. But when I can tie that scientific research into it, then all of a sudden it becomes less of mm, yeah, I don’t know and more of oh, well I guess I should try this because clearly, the scientific community is doing that.

Sarah: It really speaks to, yes, that maybe more dominant left-brain person who is very based in the analytics and the statistics and needing to see the evidence before they believe something because intuition is something that is more of a sensation. It’s more beyond what the eye can see, right? It’s just a feeling you have or a knowing you have or whatever clair sense you experience your intuition through versus something that’s necessarily tangible. And I think you make a really great point around it’s like bringing some of those people into trusting their intuition by telling the story of intuition in a different way. And even you mentioned you may not have gone down this path without some of the science blended into it. One of the ways I talk about intuition, but more specifically the empath within the intuitive realm is even just the science behind mirror neurons and how we’re able to mirror what we see and feel in our body. Do you have any specific examples or anything you’ve totally geeked out on or over as you’ve been doing this work?

Understanding heart coherence and how to establish it within your body

Darya: You know; I think my favorite research is on heart coherence. I think the HeartMath Institute is doing some amazing work as well as Joe Dispenza and other researchers like that. And I don’t know if your audience knows the study that they did about the emotional pictures onscreen. No? I can kind of quickly break it down.

Sarah: No, I don’t think so. I’d love to hear it.

Darya: Okay. This is literally one of my favorite studies ever. So first of all, coherence is basically when your heart brain, because your heart also has a brain, and your head brain, what most people normally think of as your brain sync up. They first synchronize themselves and then they synchronize together. And then all of a sudden all the processes in your body start to synchronize as well like your breathing patterns, your immune system, your hormones, and so on and so forth. So it’s wonderful and we can literally track this using heart rate variability. So something as simple as an oura ring that I’m wearing right now can actually tell you this and you can experiment it on yourself. But they did this really cool study and basically, they got a bunch of people in a room and they were flashing images onscreen with things that were supposed to create some sort of emotional response; so sadness or anger or joy. And they tracked their heart rate variability and their skin conductance so they could see when basically they had an anger response or they had a joyful response.

They saw in the research that people, when they were in this heart coherent state beforehand, were able to have the appropriate emotion about, I think it was like 4.5 seconds before it actually flashed onscreen. They didn’t even understand it yet, but all of a sudden their skin and their body and their neuroscience, like their brains were lighting up, were showing them the emotion they were about to have. And the even cooler part is when you put two people next to each other, both of whom are in heart coherence, they start to synchronize together. And then they repeated this process and it became even stronger. They were able to have that emotional response even sooner, like 5.8 seconds or something. I don’t remember the exact number so don’t quote me. And so, it’s amazing that we can not only create this beautiful state of coherence within us where we have better performance, better memory, better connection with people, more empathy, right? But that we can also globally and socially create this bigger field of coherence and all of us start to be able to work together and be on the same page and just achieve more of what we want to achieve in the world.

Sarah: Yes, it’s so powerful. And I have seen some of the research that Joe Dispenza’s done on coherence. And just for anyone who’s totally new to this concept, I’d love your insight on what are ways than that we can establish coherence in our body?

Why just thinking new thoughts isn’t enough to create sustainable change

Darya: Well, there’s a really simple two-part method that if you want something a little bit more structured and then I’ll tell you how I do it. So the structured method is the first step is heart-centered breathing. So you’re going to get grounded, get in your body. You’re going to tune into your heart. I like to place either a hand or even two fingers so it creates almost like an anchor at my heart space. And I remember that this is my time to be in this coherence, to be with my heart. And I start to breathe in and out through my heart. So it’s not so much the deep belly breathing that we do in yoga, but it’s really focusing on the flow of energy through your heart, either through the front and back of it, up and down, however it feels right to you. And you start to, as you do that, feel your thoughts and all the energy going on in your mind sink down into your heart and into those lower centers. And you start to feel a little bit more calm and grounded.

And then the second step, you’ll start to know when you’re already kind of in that calm and grounded state. And then the next step is to call in a feeling of some sort of heart-centered emotion; so appreciation, gratitude, love, joy, compassion, any of these things, and literally bring it into your body, pull it into your heart space. And you can do this by either thinking of a happy memory or a pet or a loved one or you can just tune into the feeling of the gratitude or the compassion or the appreciation itself. And you do this for a few minutes and you’ll start to feel everything just kind of like, I like to explain it as a low-level hum. And I’m very clairaudience so I’m going to be saying a lot of auditory things. And you start to feel everything settle in and synchronize together. And that already is enough for heart coherence.

What I then like to also do is feel a spark or a light happen at the center of my heart and energize that spark with every single breath so that it starts to expand beyond the edges of my body and forms this protective golden sparkly bubble and starts to spread all throughout the entire world. Because then it’s not even like here I am in my coherence. It’s I am spreading this amazing energy everywhere.

Sarah: I think I’ve seen, I wish I remembered where I saw this information, but that in these really large gatherings of meditation where people come together and they do some of that heart breathing, that there is a ripple effect on the entire community even if you didn’t participate in the meditation. And that’s kind of what you’re talking about is that yes, you’re taking the time to come into coherence and that heart rate variability with yourself, but it has a ripple effect on people around you as well.

Darya: Mm-hmm. And what’s really cool? Actually, this is probably my favorite study ever. They did this on pets and they found out that pets can get into heart coherence with us really, really easily by attuning to our energy and where we are. And then they can actually calm us by first attuning to where we’re at. And I think that’s so fascinating. And it’s like, if animals can do it, we can do that for each other. We can help someone else regulate their nervous system, regulate their, you know, these heavy thoughts that they might be having or this overwhelm that they might be feeling by first attuning to them, and then bringing them back into the state of heart-centered coherence.

Sarah: I mean, that makes sense why we use animals, mostly dogs, as therapy animals, right? I would just…my dog’s not a certified therapy dog or anything like that, but just being around her brings me back into my body sometimes. And I just had a baby and when we brought the baby home, oh my gosh, our dogs absolutely responded to that new energy in the house as well. And it’s just fascinating to see how attuned they are to the energy of everything. So I want to keep geeking out on the brain for a little bit longer. Something that we’ve learned about together in our master practitioner training is the triadic brain and just how our thoughts become our reality. And I think that’s something that people don’t always totally understand the science behind some of that so I’d love for you to explain your take on the triadic brain and how we can use some of the power that we have within us to create the reality that we desire.

Darya: Yes. So the most important thing to first know is that most of your thoughts and your actions and your neural processes are happening underground. So it is happening in the unconscious or subconscious mind, and we’re not even aware of it. So when you try to make some sort of impactful change in your life, you can’t just do it from the conscious mind because it’s only the most recent quote-unquote brain to evolve. So we have this almost lizard brain that first evolved, right? That’s very impulsive and reactive and it’s just there to keep us alive. And then after that, the next brain that developed was the mammalian brain. And this is more about the emotional side of things. So it’s about being able to tune into our own emotions and the emotions of others as a social mechanism of survival and connection and reproduction and everything. And then finally we have that quote-unquote human brain. And this is really like the seed of executive function and thinking, and problem-solving and everything that really makes us human.

And so, what happens is if we want to transform our lives, we have to transform who we are being. But most people just start with like, okay, identify your thoughts and then change your thoughts and then change your beliefs but that’s still usually only happening on that outer conscious human level. So we need to go from first changing our thoughts, really realizing what thoughts we’re having that are disempowering or not serving us, or perhaps not even ours to begin with, and transitioning them into something that is more empowerful that would be the thoughts of someone who we want to become. But then from there, just that isn’t enough so we have to move into the realm of feeling/doing. So we’re bringing, okay, here’s the thought, the intention that I had in my conscious mind and I’m bringing it into that second mammalian, emotional brain and bringing that feeling into my body. I am teaching my body how to be this way. And this takes practice, this takes repetition.

That doesn’t mean you can do a single hypnotherapy session or meditation of tuning into your next-level self, your higher self, whatever you want to call it and then that’s it, you’re calling it a day, you’ve become that person. It takes a little bit of continuous, I don’t want to say effort, that doesn’t feel like the right word; continuous feeling, continuous being. And eventually, the way, I’m not going to get into the molecular neuroscience of all this because it’s not that fun, but eventually, we create the right kind of proteins or the right hormones in our body that starts to actually change our epigenetics, the way our genes are presenting themselves, the functions that are happening in our body to the point where that becomes our new normal. Our pathways get rewired in our brain to the point where this becomes the easiest option for our brain because we’ve done it enough so now it’s the most efficient. So our brain is always going to choose the most efficient thing because it likes to conserve energy.

So after a while, we actually take these thoughts and these new feelings that we’re having and we become that. We go from thinking to feeling/doing to being. And that’s when it is so in this instinctive reptilian brain that we don’t even need to think about it anymore. We don’t even need to take purposeful action, take inspired…it is inspired action, but we don’t need to think about it that way because it just becomes part of our natural process, kind of how I talked about the embodied intuition. I don’t need to think about am I being intuitive right now, it just is.

Sarah: Yes. And I think the way you described that was so beautiful because I think oftentimes in the world of self-development, personal development, oftentimes that first step is what’s emphasized around just start thinking differently. And while that’s an important component of it, what you explained is that it’s also about a feeling and connecting the thought to a feeling that you’re starting to practice experiencing in your body and that’s when we start to actually see real change occur. And I think that’s also where some people get frustrated and they’re like, oh my God, I’m reading the affirmations every damn day, right? And it’s like, affirmations can be powerful work, but what feeling do you have when you’re reading the affirmations? Do you believe the affirmations when you’re saying them versus, like you said, embody this emotion, the sensation within you that comes along with the words that you’re just thinking or saying out loud?

And I think you’ve also taught a little bit on why behavior-based change doesn’t work and I feel like that’s kind of related here. So I’d love for you to expand on why just trying to change a behavior doesn’t always get us the outcome that we really desire.

Darya: I want to talk about affirmations real quick because I feel like a lot of people like it’s either hit or miss with the affirmations, right? They either love them or they’re like this doesn’t work at all. And you kind of said it there. It’s about when you’re saying the affirmation, are you actually believing what you’re saying? Does your body believe it? Does your body feel it? Does it know it? And so, I like to do any kind of embodiment practice as I’m trying to create change in my life or manifest something or call in something. So let’s say I’m calling in abundance and wealth. I can read my affirmations like I am abundant and wealthy and money’s flowing to me easily. I am supported by the universe. But if inside, some part of us doesn’t believe it, then our subconscious mind is going to be like, you liar. No, that is not my reality. Not at all.

So we have to be able to allow our body to feel into that. Now whether that’s just sitting with that affirmation a little bit longer and softening into it and letting your body start to feel it a little bit more, whether it’s some sort of breathwork embodiment practice that allows you to just drop in your body while you hold that intention for abundance and wealth, whether it’s a sex magic practice that is just going to light up and energize so many parts of your body and bring all of this into a more condensed feeling within your body, whatever it is, the embodiment practice of the thing that you’re trying to create or become is so, so key. And it can be really easy. It can be as simple as, as you’re reading it, are you just making it part of your daily routine, or are you making it a ritual of feeling and being and embodying that?

Sarah: Yes. And there’s just such a huge difference. And even my personal journey, when I first discovered what an affirmation was and I was doing it very much on a surface level to begin years and years ago, and they felt good and exciting to read out loud and to feel into, but it was only when I started to pair it with the breathwork or with movement, or even just with my meditation and visualization practice that I finally started to see more results come along with that affirmation work.

Darya: Absolutely. It’s a practice like anything else. And to answer your other question on behavior, in order to understand why behavior-based change doesn’t work, we have to understand what makes up identity. Identity is almost a tricky subject because you’re like, how do you define it? We start to define identity by our behaviors, our actions, our environment, and all of these things. And we almost have such a hard time saying who am I really? We have archetypes where we’re like, oh, I’m a mother, I’m a student, I’m a business owner, I’m an intuitive, I’m an empath, all these things. But who we are is so much more than that. We have these different elements that make it up. So in general, identity is both what you consider yourself to be and what you think others consider yourself to be. So it requires both of these things. And in addition to that, there’s a makeup of identity that is not only our thoughts and behaviors. It’s also our values, our capabilities, our skillset, our environment.

So for example, a lot of people say like, oh, if you want to feel like a high-level CEO or entrepreneur or whatever, dress that part, dress in that way, put on the makeup, or wear a nice outfit. And that’s lovely, but are the thoughts in your head still, I’m not worthy of this, I can never be successful, ah, this is too much work, can I even handle this? Are your values actually not in alignment with that identity that you’re trying to create? So let’s say you’re telling yourself that you value freedom, but actually where your body feels safest right now is in constriction and in scarcity because that’s what you’ve grown up knowing. So it’s both a process of creating this upgraded new identity that’s really just our truest, most authentic selves and releasing all of the baggage that we picked up, the conditioning, the stories about who we are that we didn’t consent to, that we were basically told or showed through our life experiences, especially being young and that now we get a chance to intentionally decide is that serving me or do I need to release that and make room for something else?

Sarah: Mm-hmm. So when people are wanting to shape or reshape or transform their identity in some way, where do you usually start with clients as they’re wanting to go on that journey?

Darya: Well, first we generally start with what they want. What is the vision? What are you calling in? What are you desiring? I work a lot with desire because it’s not just about, oh, here’s a goal that I feel like I should hit that’ll help me in my business, but it’s what does your being really want and crave and what feels really pleasurable to you right now?

Sarah: I just want to jump in there for a second because I know that in my personal process that I didn’t even know what I wanted at one point. It’s like, you have to know what you want, right? And I was so motivated by pain and by what I didn’t want. And it wasn’t until I started thinking about what pleasure I wanted to bring into my life, what do I desire, not just what I don’t want, but what do I want that I started to break through that stagnant energy as well. So I love that you start with who do you want to be? What do you want?

Darya: Mm-hmm. And you don’t have to know what you want forever, you just have to know what you want right now. You don’t need to come up with a five-year plan, this big life vision. You might not know your life purpose or mission, but you do have to tune into what is present for me right now. What do I desire right now? What does my heart want? And this practice of tuning into your heart and asking it what it wants is how you’re going to live your most pleasurable, fulfilling life, right? So we start with the desire and then we identify, okay, well, who is the person that has that thing, right? This is nothing new. This is classic manifestation 101, law of attraction kind of thing. Who are you being now and who do you need to be in order to have already achieved this thing, to already have called in this thing, to have this thing? And where’s the gap? Where’s the disconnect?

So typically what happens is, as we start to realize what the desire is and who we have to be, we already start to have some fears come up. So this is where I have clients really tune into their inner thoughts and dialogue and just apply a little bit of metacognition. Because if you’re saying I want a six-figure business and then really subtly underneath there’s a fear of, but what will my hometown think? Will they think I’m just greedy and selfish? And we kind of sometimes just like, ah, don’t even recognize it, shake it off and not address it, but it’s there. It’s your subconscious mind speaking to you showing you the blocks that are there. So we start to identify these. And the first step I usually do with clients is to clear some of that out, to release it, to get curious about it and see again, is this even really serving you?

I really follow the process of alchemy. So there are seven stages of alchemy that you have to go through. And the first three are all about burning down the old self, the dissolution of your identity and your ego and who you think of yourself to be so that you can recreate kind of like the butterfly analogy of a butterfly needs to turn into this primordial goo or a caterpillar needs to turn this primordial goo before it can step out and be the butterfly. So as we start to clear some of this out, first of all, the desire is already sometimes change. That’s what I find happens a lot. They realize, oh, that thing I thought I wanted was actually my ego old self and not my true self. So we potentially redefine desires and then we start to break it down to all right, well, what is the makeup of this identity? Who can you become that it becomes inevitable that you get that thing that you desire? Like purely it is a done deal 1000%. So what does that person value? What do they think of as the most important things in their life? What do they commit to no matter what? What do they absolutely have no room for in their life? What are the boundaries that they set? What are the feelings and thoughts that they have on a predominant basis? What are their core beliefs? What is their environment like? And so on and so forth.

And from here, it takes a lot of, well, sometimes repetition or big expansive shifts. And I like to do both; these big transformational experiences that you can achieve through something like a hypnosis session or by doing something really scary out of your comfort zone that is telling the universe or telling your old self, I am not that person anymore. I choose to be this new person. So that can be investing in yourself in a big way because you can’t take that back, right? So you become the person who invests in yourself in that way. It can be leaving a job, leaving a relationship, moving across the country, starting a hobby that you’ve known you’ve always wanted to do. And then from there, once you get a general idea of that, we do a little bit of structure in the beginning but from that, then we move into the intuitive realm. We attune to this new identity daily, specifically the feelings, the embodiment of who that is.

I don’t care if you’re not keeping up with your habits and the rituals that you determined at the start of this practice. What I care about is are you feeling like that person? Because that person also has off days, that person also messes up and has failed launches and all these things, but who are they embodying as this is all happening? And that’s the hardest part is staying with that, having that faith and that belief that when you be this way, you’re going to get everything that you want and more.

Sarah: Yes. So I think that brings up self-trust and the ability to continue to show up. But also you were mentioning some of those big leaps like leaving a job, leaving a relationship, or making a big investment in yourself and I’d love to hear how you’ve been able to develop that trust within your business and within your decision-making and your leadership role, and any words of wisdom for people who are like, I want to do that and I want to shift my energy, but it’s scary, Darya. How do I do it?

Darya: Key thing is that you can’t fuck it up. You really can’t. There’s nothing you can do that will mess things up for you. You might take an action, make a decision and realize, oops, that’s not actually my highest path right now. Ah, I’m going to go try that other path instead. I’m going to go back and do that other thing. And that’s perfectly fine. That doesn’t mean, oh my gosh, I messed up and didn’t listen to my intuition. It just means you’re human and there’s a lot going on. And trying to process and understand these energetic insights is difficult and we’re learning. And none of us are pros at it, no matter how long we’ve been in this realm, in this industry. And so, it starts with just recognizing that you can’t mess it up at all.

Okay, let me do a little storytime, all right. So trigger warning, I’m going to be talking about depression because I went through a serious period of depression in the last year starting from about September of 2020 and up to March of 2021. And it was a huge dark-night-of-the-soul period where it was ego death after ego death, feeling broken down completely, trying to rebuild myself, but not being ready to actually do the deep work and then change, and trying to just put a bandaid on it. And through that process, I realized that it didn’t matter what I did because I had tried so hard not to mess up all my life, I was such a perfectionist, and yet I ended up in this state of being that was so not expansive, that was so painful, right? It was just…it’s that feeling of hopelessness that you get with a lot of mental health issues.

And so, being in that, I kind of, at one point, realized my life is completely my own. I have to take radical responsibility for it. I don’t actually have to do anything, but nothing’s going to change. Because when I was at my lowest, I was like, I’m stuck with me for the rest of my life so why don’t I just go and do the things that actually matter and make the shifts, do the scary thing, because what’s the point otherwise? Why am I settling for a life that isn’t my most desirable, pleasurable, expansive life when it’s led me to not always feeling great? And trying to be perfect in your decisions and make the right decisions always and do the right thing and people-please, it just never ends up serving you. You have to realize that your mind and your ego will try to convince you that that is the right thing, but you have to take that more conscious approach and be like, that’s just not true. So reading stories of other people who have trusted their intuition, trusting your intuition in tiny ways, right? Building up that trust muscle.

So start to practice on things like what to eat for dinner or a friend to text that day; things that you truly can’t have a consequence on. So do I want sushi or pizza? Oh wow, this pizza is actually not as good as I thought. Oh, well. And just committing to those smaller things no matter what, trusting it, even if it doesn’t matter. One of my favorite things to prescribe to clients quote unquote is to do an intuition day where specifically they are alone, they get in their car, they start driving and they just follow that impulse, that intuition. So it might be, take a right turn here, might be, go get boba from this place, it might be, go stick your feet in the sand and walk around barefoot, whatever it is. But it’s like, it becomes so silly and so fun, but you’re like, all right, I’m just going to go with this next thing and go with this next thing until something clicks within you and you’re like, oh, I can start to understand the difference between when it’s just me convincing myself that that’s what I should do and when it’s just an intuitive insight and your inner intelligence coming through.

Sarah: That sounds like an awesome day to go explore and just trust those intuitive nudges to see where they take you. And you never know where that’s going to be until you listen to it and until you trust it. And I love what you said also about I’m stuck with me and I mean, it’s true, right? This is the body and the life that we’ve been given and what are we going to do with it?

Hello, podcast fan, just popping in for a second because in this postpartum period, I have a whole newfound respect for how much you need to supplement and hydrate and give your body the nutrients that it needs in order to be breastfeeding. So, one thing that has been supporting me so much is having my container of electrolytes next to me, pretty much all day long. I, as you guys have heard me talk about before, I’m a huge fan of LMNT Electrolytes. They are salty and delicious, and there are some amazing flavors. My current favorite is their new flavor Watermelon, but I also love the Raspberry, the Citrus, the Orange; they’re all really good.

And electrolytes are charged minerals that conduct electricity to power our nervous system. And mine has felt a little bit fried lately because we are not sleeping through the night. We are getting max about three hours of sleep at any given time. So regulating my hydration as well as my husband’s and balancing fluids inside and outside of myself has been so supportive. Literally feels lifesaving. And as a Uncensored Empath podcast listener, you get to try these amazing electrolytes for free, you just pay $5 in shipping. You get a free sample pack. Simply go to drinklmnt.com/empath to try it out. Again, that’s drinklmnt.com/empath. And I’d love for you to let me know what your favorite flavor is and tag me over on Instagram.

Sarah: The practice of trust, I think, can often be more of this intangible thing that I hear clients say like, I want to be able to trust myself, but how do I do it? How do I do it? How do I do it? And there’s certainly things you can do and can flex that muscle, but it’s similar to the embodiment we were talking about before, where it’s like also it’s just who you be, how you’re being in this body. And we can start with small things and we can start to work our way up towards some of those bigger leaps that we know our intuition is telling us to take but we might not actually be quite ready for those yet and we might want to build some of the trust before we get there. How has your intuitive journey led you to also realize that you are an empath and have a neurodivergent mind? Because I feel like that is potentially related to some of the highs and lows that we experience in life that you were talking about as well.

Darya’s personal experience with intuition, empathy, boundaries and an ADHD diagnosis

Darya: Yes. So speaking of neurodivergence, if I forget to come back to the empath thing, remind me. They’re actually two separate things a little bit. So around the time where I first started to fall into this depression last year, I kept going like what is wrong with me? All of these things that I used to be able to manage, I no longer can. So I would always struggle with prioritizing things, getting things done, initiating things, but I’m a Virgo, high achiever, perfectionist, right? So…or at least I used to be. And so, I would be able to mask all of these…oh, and specifically it’s ADHD that I have to be a little clarifying. When the whole pandemic happened and everything else in the world that was happening and our bodies were in a constant state of stress, I was no longer able to keep up that masking of just getting the shit done even though my body was telling me not to, even though my brain was trying to basically sabotage myself.

And it was TikTok that diagnosed me. You’re on TikTok, you know how scarily accurate the ‘For You Page‘ can be, and it can know yourself sometimes better than you know yourself. And so, I was scrolling on there and I started to see some videos and I was like, huh, this sounds like me. And it was always little things, those things that you wouldn’t think would be connected to it like the object permanence thing, where if you put something down, you are blind to it. So I’ll tell my partner to clean up his mess and he’ll be like, you left your trash right here. And I was like, oh, is it? I don’t even see it. And all these quote-unquote funny little things that I was like, man, do I have this? It was about five months that I was just like, I’m pretty sure I have this, I’m pretty sure I have this. I should go get diagnosed. I should get diagnosed. And then when I finally found a therapist that I really resonated with, he was actually an ADHD specialist.

And so, literally, on our first call, he’s like, oh yes. I mean, I should probably formally diagnose you, but you definitely do. And it was the most comforting, validating experience ever because all of my shadows around business, around productivity, and with work and everything were just illuminated as, oh, not only is that not my fault, it’s not just me being lazy or me being unproductive or me being inconsistent. Actually, being out of integrity was one of my biggest shadows because I would say I want to do something and then I just don’t get it done and I would shame myself so heavily for it. And so, I was so validated in these things and I was able to realize that the world just isn’t built for neurodivergent minds. So first of all, thank God, I’m an entrepreneur and have the ability to create that world for myself.

Sarah: Yes. I feel the same.

Darya: Yes. And it’s really beautiful because after I started sharing online, I got so many people expressing to me first of all, that like, oh, I’ve been really afraid to talk about this because I feel like there’s stigma around ADHD, which I feel like is starting to whittle away a little bit as more people are talking about it and recognizing that there’s different expressions of what ADHD can look like. And so many people in my close circles then ended up getting diagnosed. 80% of my closest friends in the last six months since I got diagnosed then ended up getting diagnosed. And it’s no surprise that we find each other because there’s something about the way that our brains connect that just resonates. It’s like, you get me. It’s like, we’re not going to small talk, we’re going to go into the deep thing right now like tell me about your deepest fears and biggest desires in life, right? And you could just slide into that.

So I actually think that so many entrepreneurs do have ADHD or some neurodivergence and it’s just not talked about enough because so many of us are high achievers and tend to mask and kind of hide that. But I think a lot of people who—

Sarah: We’re good at it. So good. We’re really good at masking it. So until, I mean, whether it’s at, yes, TikTok or a friend that kind of enlightens you on this, I think it could go undiagnosed, especially in women, for a really long time.

Darya: Yes. Yes, and I have…so in case anyone doesn’t know, there used to be ADD and ADHD and they realized, oh, it’s now just all ADHD with different expressions. But some people say that there’s different types like there’s the inattentive, there’s the hyperactive, there’s the combined. But that’s not even true because you can be a different type quote-unquote on a different day, depending on how it presents that day. And something that I realized inside me, it was like, I was never a hyperactive kid, but I would have what’s called internal hyperactivity. So on the outside, I was completely still and calm, but inside I was anxious and my thoughts were constantly going. I could not shut them off. And everyone just thought I was a super daydreamy kid, but really I was just like, my brain wouldn’t shut off. And there’s a lot of gifts in ADHD as well. It leads me to be more creative and to have so many ideas that I want to take action on. But now knowing this, I can create the systems in my life that actually support me.

And a note on intuition and ADHD, because I feel like when you’re intuitive and you have ADHD, you are going to probably struggle to get diagnosed or even recognize this in yourself even more because you’ve probably been intuitive for your entire life, I mean, all of us are, but you’ve probably had some inclination and actually applied that. And that means that you’re picking up on social cues a lot more easily and that means you’re masking a lot more easily so you’re actually able to fit into society pretty dang well and no one’s going to call it out. No one’s going to realize it. So you have to have this self-inquiry process and understand what are actually my struggles and is it possible that they’re not even mine, that it’s not a behavior change, right? That there’s just something deeper inside going on that I maybe don’t even have to change, that I can just have acceptance around and create those systems around it to support me.

Sarah: Yes. Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you talked about how the overlap of intuitive and ADHD can create its own situation. And I’d love to bring empath in there now, too. So obviously you identify with all three of those things, but where does empath play in for you?

Darya: This is really interesting because I feel like my story is not like most people’s stories where I did not use to be an empath my entire life. I was actually so disconnected from people. I had a bit of a toxic independence and I didn’t want to connect with people. I think it was since the beginning of April, I’ve been working with a spiritual mentor and basically, it’s going to be like a year-long, I guess you could call it a certification, but it’s Reiki and energy-healing but through the lens of decolonization. So I’m Ukrainian; so it’s about taking my Ukrainian mystic practices and applying it to what is kind of like Reiki so that we’re utilizing our own ancestral healing powers and strengths and everything. So I’m doing that for a year.

Sarah: Cool.

Darya: Yes, It’s, very, very cool and very fun and I love it. And through that process, it’s actually made me more intuitive because it’s allowed me to open and expand my heart about sending compassion and love and gratitude and forgiveness to everyone in my life. I do this practice called Metta Bhavana; you can look it up. And it’s basically, you have these different chapters that you go through in your meditation where you’re sending happiness, wellness, and peace to yourself, to people that you love in your life, to people that you feel neutral about in your life, and people that have hurt you or that maybe you’re not so fond of in your life. And through doing this practice, I mean, it was daily for months, I started to become empathic to the point where it made my coaching so much better. I became 10 times a better coach, but I had to learn how to set some hella strong boundaries because I didn’t…like I was a boundary.

I was so enclosed before that I was a toxic boundary. And I don’t even like to use the word toxic, but I was so, yes, just closed off that I didn’t even officially need to set boundaries. I was like, yeah, I have rock-solid boundaries. No one can get in my space. And then I start opening up to all this love and emotion and depth within me and I was like, oh my God, there is so much feeling here, there’s so much in the world. And it’s so polar in the pleasure and the pain and the joy and the ecstasy and the despair. And I was like, wow, I have to learn how to hold this all. This has literally only been this year that I’m navigating all of this and being like, what does it even mean to be an empath? And what do I do moving forward and how do I create boundaries? So I’ve actually been listening to your podcast about this, so…

Sarah:  Aww, I love it. Yes, and so, that feeling like you’re more exposed in some way. And there’s that gift of being able to connect to your clients on such a deep level and be able to help transmute energy with them, for them, in collaboration with them. And then there’s that side of it where it’s like, and oh my gosh, do I have to feel this much all of the time? So those boundaries are so important and critical for us as healers, coaches, practitioners to set. And it’s interesting because I would just guess from your perspective that where it was this automatic process before, it’s probably a whole relearning process now because it was so automatic that you didn’t have a process that you did to put the boundaries up. So now it’s like, okay, I have to think about what I’m going to do in order to establish the boundaries, maintain the boundaries and be able to continue to do the powerful work that you do in a way that continues to serve you.

Darya: Mm-hmm, absolutely. It’s like I have time boundaries before and now I have to learn energy boundaries and it’s a whole new deal.

Sarah: Mm. Such a fun journey. Okay, so I would love, love to keep going, but we’re at the top of our time. So is there anything you feel like you want to leave our listeners with?

Darya: Yes. I mean, I think that we all have had a really difficult few years and I find myself and I find a lot of my clients thinking is it ever going to end? Is this how it’s always been? Is it how it’s always going to be? Why is there so much pain, so much hurt within me and within the world? And what I want to say about that is that there’s always going to be some pain and some even, depending on if you believe in Buddhist philosophies, even some suffering, but it’s about your approach to that. I found that being present with whatever is happening can actually lead to ultimate pleasure and alchemize the pain into pleasure by just being okay and being accepting of what is.

Now, I’m not talking about if you’re in a bad situation like an abusive relationship or anything, but I’m talking about you’re experiencing all of these highs and lows, these emotions, these maybe struggles in your business, maybe struggles in your life and your friendships and relationships and just tuning into what is happening in the present moment, coming back to present, coming back to self and experiencing that joy of being, even amidst the really, really uncomfy parts. And that to me has created the most freedom in my life because now I don’t care what I go through.

I heard a saying once that someone was basically on stage, like a big speaker, I don’t remember who it was and someone asked him what’s your secret to achieving all of this stuff? And he goes, honestly, I don’t mind what happens. I just don’t mind what happens. It just is what it is. And that can sound kind of passive, but it’s really about just going into it and feeling it and being like, this is okay too. I will get out of this. Life is cyclical. There’s these cycles and upward spirals of life and I will be okay, no matter what, but I can choose to be in acceptance and enjoy of this current experience because I chose it and I’m here. I am living it.

Sarah: I feel like it’s not being afraid to feel all the feelings that life has in store for us versus the alternative route of trying to make it all good and maybe some toxic positivity, and instead, just, yes, letting yourself be a human. I mean, it’s fricking incredible that we’re able to experience all of these emotions within our bodies, minds, spirits, so… I love that you—

Darya: It’s the divine feminine.

Sarah: Yes, mm-hmm. The feeling.

Darya: It’s the chaos and the emotion. And it’s like now I’ll be in a state of rage and I’ll be like, oh my God, this feels amazing. Like some part of me is like, wow, this is just me expressing all of this in me. And then I’ll be in a state of bliss and I’ll be like, this is amazing too. And that path of embodying and allowing that true feminine, the divine feminine to come through you and living in that, is so freeing and so empowering and so wonderful.

Sarah: Mm, I love it. I love that we ended on that. Thank you so, so much. Before we push pause when we wrap this up, I do want to make sure that listeners know where they can find more about you or ways to get involved with your work.

Darya: Yes, absolutely. So I mostly hang out on Instagram. You can find me @darya.knysh, d-a-r-y-a dot k-n-y-s-h. And then I’m actually coming out with an intuition program that’s going to be all about the neuroscience of intuition. It’s not even going to be a program, it’s going to be an experiential experience or an immersion where every couple days you just get a new practice and it’s going to be super fun and you get to play and you get to all be in community together, trying these fun intuition tools and resources and meditations and embodiment practices and all these things. So it’s called Codes of Intuition so that’ll be @codesofintuition.com. And you can just hop on the waitlist if that’s not already available. And then we’re going to be actually doing a really, really cool summit through our Facebook community. So I don’t have the links for that yet, but if you follow along with me on Instagram, you will see all about it. I’m going to be promoting it for probably all of September. If you’re listening to this later, still come on down because we’re going to have all the videos uploaded. And so, if you want to hear from amazing experts on intuition and business and alchemy and the feminine and masculine energies and all of this, then come hang with us.

Sarah: I love it. Thank you so much Darya for being here today.

Darya: Thank you so much.

Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of The Uncensored Empath Podcast. I would so appreciate if you could take a couple minutes to rate, review, and subscribe. And if you loved this episode, please share it on social media. Tag me, let your friends know about it, and I will see you on the next episode.


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September 9, 2021


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