Intuition is challenging to define, despite the huge role it plays in our everyday lives. Steve Jobs called it, for instance, "more powerful than intellect." But however we put it into words, we all, well, intuitively know just what it is.

Pretty much everyone has experienced a gut feeling -- that unconscious reasoning that propels us to do something without telling us why or how. But the nature of intuition has long eluded us, and has inspired centuries' worth of research and inquiry in the fields of philosophy and psychology.

"I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it," Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, tells The Huffington Post. "It's different from thinking, it's different from logic or analysis ... It's a knowing without knowing."

Our intuition is always there, whether we're aware of it or not. As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington puts it in her upcoming book Thrive:

Even when we're not at a fork in the road, wondering what to do and trying to hear that inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way. But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.

Cognitive science is beginning to demystify the strong but sometimes inexplicable presence of unconscious reasoning in our lives and thought. Often dismissed as unscientific because of its connections to the psychic and paranormal, intuition isn't just a bunch of hoo-ha about our "Spidey senses" -- the U.S. military is even investigating the power of intuition, which has helped troops to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.

"There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions," Ivy Estabrooke, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research, told the New York Times in 2012.

Here are 10 things that people in touch with their intuition do differently.

They listen to that inner voice.

"It's very easy to dismiss intuition," says Burnham. "But it's a great gift that needs to be noticed."

The No. 1 thing that distinguishes intuitive people is that they listen to, rather than ignore, the guidance of their intuitions and gut feelings.

"Everybody is connected to their intuition, but some people don't pay attention to it as intuition," Burnham say. "I have yet to meet a successful businessman that didn't say, 'I don't know why I did that, it was just a hunch.'"

In order to make our best decisions, we need a balance of intuition -- which serves to bridge the gap between instinct and reasoning -- and rational thinking, according to Francis Cholle, author of The Intuitive Compass. But the cultural bias against following one's instinct or intuition often leads to disregarding our hunches -- to our own detriment.

"We don't have to reject scientific logic in order to benefit from instinct," says Cholle. "We can honor and call upon all of these tools, and we can seek balance. And by seeking this balance we will finally bring all of the resources of our brain into action."

They take time for solitude.

 

If you want to get in touch with your intuition, a little time alone may be the most effective way. Just as solitude can help give rise to creative thinking, it can also help us connect to our deepest inner wisdom.

Intuitive people are often introverted, according to Burnham. But whether you're an introvert or not, taking time for solitude can help you engage in deeper thought and reconnect with yourself.

"You have to be able to have a little bit of solitude; a little bit of silence," she says. "In the middle of craziness ... you can't recognize [intuition] above all of the noise of everyday life."

They create.

"Creativity does its best work when it functions intuitively," writes researcher and author Carla Woolf.

In fact, creative people are highly intuitive, explains Burnham, and just as you can increase your creativity through practice, you can boost your intuition. In fact, practicing one may build up the other.

They practice mindfulness.

Meditation and other mindfulness practices can be an excellent way to tap into your intuition. As the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute explains, "Mindfulness can help you filter out mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely."

Mindfulness can also connect you to your intuition by boosting self-knowledge. A 2013 study published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science showed that mindfulness -- defined as "paying attention to one's current experience in a non-judgmental way" -- may help us to better understand our own personalities. And as Arianna Huffington notes in Thrive, increased intuition, compassion, creativity and peace are all wonderful side effects of meditating.

They observe everything.

"The first thing to do is notice -- keep a little journal, and notice when odd things happen," Burnham says. You'll gain a keen sense for how often coincidences, surprising connections and on-the-dot intuitions occur in your daily life -- in other words, you'll start to tap into your intuition.

They listen to their bodies.

Intuitive people learn to tune into their bodies and heed their "gut feelings."

If you've ever started feeling sick to your stomach when you knew something was wrong but couldn't put your finger on what, you understand that intuitions can cause a physical sensation in the body. Our gut feelings are called gut feelings for a reason -- research suggests that emotion and intuition are very much rooted in the "second brain" in the gut.

They connect deeply with others.

Mind reading may seem like the stuff of fantasy and pseudo-science, but it's actually something we do everyday. It's called empathic accuracy, a term in psychology that refers to the "seemingly magical ability to map someone's mental terrain from their words, emotions and body language," according to Psychology Today.

"When you see a spider crawling up someone's leg, you feel a creepy sensation,"Marcia Reynolds writes in Psychology Today. "Similarly, when you observe someone reach out to a friend and they are pushed away, your brain registers the sensation of rejection. When you watch your team win or a couple embrace on television, you feel their emotions as if you are there. Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, embarrassment, disgust and lust can all be experienced by watching others."

Tuning into your own emotions, and spending time both observing and listening to others face-to-face can help boost your powers of empathy, says Reynolds.

They pay attention to their dreams.

Burnham recommends paying attention to your dreams as a way to get in touch with your mind's unconscious thinking processes. Both dreams and intuition spring from the unconscious, so you can begin to tap into this part of your mind by paying attention to your dreams.

"At night, when you're dreaming, you're receiving information from the unconscious or intuitive part of your brain," says Burnham. "If you're attuned to your dreams, you can get a lot of information about how to live your life."

They enjoy plenty of down time.

Few things stifle intuition as easily as constant busyness, multitasking, connectivity to digital devices and stress and burnout. According to Huffington, we always have an intuitive sense about the people in our lives -- on a deep level, we know the good ones from the "flatterers and dissemblers" -- but we're not always awake enough to our intuition to acknowledge the difference to ourselves. The problem is that we're simply too busy.

"We always get warnings from our heart and our intuition when they appear," she writes in Thrive. "But we are often too busy to notice."

They mindfully let go of negative emotions.

Strong emotions -- particularly negative ones -- can cloud our intuition. Many of us know that we feel out of sorts or "not ourselves" when we're upset, and it may be because we're disconnected from our intuition.

"When you are very depressed, you may find your intuition fails," says Burnham. "When you're angry or in a heightened emotional state ... your intuition [can] fail you completely."

The evidence isn't just anecdotal: A 2013 study published in the journal Psychological Science showed that being in a positive mood boosted the ability to make intuitive judgments in a word game.

That's not to say that intuitive people never get upset -- but your intuition will fare better if you're able to mindfully accept and let go of negative emotions for the most part, rather than suppressing or dwelling on them.

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I’m going to read you some lines from a children’s book that is saving lives; not metaphorically saving them but actually saving them. Right this minute.

“He said I would get into big trouble if I told anyone… I never wanted to be bad.

 

He said I would upset a lot of people if they knew what I had done… I didn’t want to make anyone cry.

 

He made hurts in place where Band-Aids could not reach… I tried to heal the pain but I wasn’t strong enough.”

 

These are thoughts no child should ever have. But statistics show us that a shockingly high number of Australian boys and girls will be sexually abused as children.

These words are from a new children’s picture book called A Secret Safe To Tell, by Naomi Hunter. It’s the most remarkable kid’s book published in a long time; if I could hand-deliver a copy to every family in Australia, I would. It’s that important.

The book follows a little girl’s thought process as she makes an adult friend, decides to trust and even love him, hides the way he hurts her, and ultimately realises it’s safe to tell a grown-up what she’s been through.

 

Naomi Hunter wrote it for girls like herself. She’s 30 years old now and still trying to deal with the trauma of being abused as a child. As so many good people say, Naomi tells me that when she wrote this book, she’d be happy if it changed the life of just one child.

 

That one child has already come forward.

 

Just yesterday, Naomi got a text message from a friend saying that a little girl has told her parents she was being abused by a family friend, right after reading A Secret Safe To Tell.

 

“That was a huge moment for me, I was overwhelmed with emotion,” Naomi tells me. “From day one of writing, I knew that if I helped just one child feel less alone, less scared, less isolated, then I’d be happy. When I got that news, I ran to my husband and I said, ‘we’ve reached the one, we did it’. Now that child doesn’t have to go through any more days of fear. She won’t be in my situation at 30, trying to come to terms with it now. That was so healing for me.”

 

Hopefully, this book will be healing for children long before they reach adulthood, like Naomi.

As we watch cases of child sex abuse unfold in public — with famous perpetrators like Rolf Harris and Robert Hughes — parents are grappling with how to protect their kids. Because of those horrific stories, adults have been talking, talking, talking – but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach their kids abuse is wrong and telling the truth is safe.

“Parents have been really fearful of how to approach the subject, leaving the children powerless if they did find themselves in that situation,” says Naomi. “We talk about stranger danger, but it’s the people close to you who are more likely to abuse your trust, so we’ve got to re-educate kids that it’s safe to tell when anyone is making you feel hurt or sad.”

 

Parents – start by reading this book with your kids. It’s simple enough that they can identify the feelings and the consequences of abuse, without being graphic or terrifying like, say, the nightly news update on Rolf Harris. It reads like any other picture book, with beautiful pictures and an easy-to-follow narrative. But the message is clear: It’s safe to tell a grown-up if you’re being touched or made to feel scared by anyone.

 

When you get to the book’s final page, you might want to know what to say next.

 

Kids will have questions.

 

National child protection advocate Bravehearts says it can be difficult for anyone, especially children, to disclose to sexual assault. Bravehearts head of research, Carol Ronken, gave me this helpful guide to dealing with questions and, in some cases, confessions of sexual abuse:

 

If you need further support for yourself or your children, you can contact Kids Helpline on 1800-551-800, the Australian Childhood Foundation on 1800-176-453, or the Child Abuse Prevention Service on 1800-688-009. To report a case of sexual abuse, call the police on 000.

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The only place I have found thus far to order this book is here ==> http://classic-jojo.com/shop/picture-stories/a-secret-safe-to-tell/

The shipping is $20.00, but I had zero problem spending that considering the importance of this material.  I implore all parents to purchase this book and read it to your children; prepared to answer questions!  

Laura Parrish

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Drummer and producer Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the influential New York punk quartet, "The Ramones", died Friday at his home in the Ridgewood area of Queens, New York. He was 62 and had been in hospice care following treatment for bile duct cancer.

Born Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Hungary, and known professionally as Tom or T. Erdelyi, Ramone played on the first three epoch-making Ramones albums, “Ramones” (1976), “Leave Home” (1977) and “Rocket to Russia” (1977). He also co-produced the latter two albums with Tony Bongiovi and Ed Stasium, respectively. He appeared on and co-produced the 1979 live Ramones opus “It’s Alive.”

After leaving the Ramones to concentrate on studio work, he co-produced the band’s 1984 album “Too Tough to Die” with Stasium. He was replaced in the lineup by Marc Bell (Marky Ramone), a former member of Dust and Richard Hell’s Voidoids.

One of the first high-profile releases to emerge from New York’s punk underground of the mid-‘70s, “Ramones” – reportedly recorded in six days on a budget of $6,400 – brought a pared-down, hyperactive style to the stuffy rock scene of the day. Tommy’s driving, high-energy drum work was the turbine that powered the leather-clad foursome’s loud, antic sound.

Tom Erdelyi emigrated to America in 1957 and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, where he played with guitarist John Cummings – later Johnny Ramone – in Tangerine Puppets. He went on to study engineering and worked at the Record Plant (where he assisted on a 1969 Jimi Hendrix session) and other facilities.

The Ramones coalesced with the addition of fellow Queens musicians Jeffrey Hyman (aka lead singer Joey Ramone) and Douglas Colvin (bassist Dee Dee Ramone). Breaking in their act at Hilly Krystal’s Bowery club CBGB, the band was signed to Seymour Stein’s Sire Records, also the home of such other punk acts as Richard Hell, Talking Heads and the Dead Boys.

The Ramones finally disbanded in 1996 after a show at the Palace in Hollywood. Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001; Dee Dee succumbed to a drug overdose in 2002; and Johnny expired from prostate cancer in 2004.

The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Erdelyi’s other production credits included the Replacements’ major label debut “Tim” (1985) and L.A. punk unit Redd Kross’ “Neurotica” (1987). In later years, he went the acoustic route, playing bluegrass and country music with his partner Claudia Tienan in Uncle Monk.

He is survived by Tienan and an older brother. A private funeral service is planned.

 

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GLACIER NATIONAL PARK   Montana

Mountain ranges, over 130 lakes, and 26 glaciers—what's left of 100 or more.

Size 1,584 square miles.

Best View Six-mile Grinnell Glacier Trail ends at a glacier and lake.

The Easy Way, Car The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road, a feat of 1920s engineering, crosses the Continental Divide and traces craggy cliffs.

The Easy Way, Foot The 2.5-mile St. Mary Falls trail reaches two cascades.

The Hard Way Try rigorous nine-mile Siyeh Pass.

Creature Feature Cougars and lynx and grizzly bears—oh my!

P.S. Waterton Lakes National Park is Canada's adjacent twin.

 

 

 

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK   North Carolina / Tennessee

Now 80 years old, Great Smoky is a tribute to natural grandeur, and to the pioneers of our first frontier.

Size 814 square miles.

Crowds About 9 million per year, one of the most popular parks in the country.

On Foot Charlie's Bunion, nine miles round-trip from Newfound Gap, is a cliff with sweeping panoramas.

On Two Wheels Cades Cove Loop Road prohibits cars on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the summer.

On Four Wheels Drink in the views from atop Clingmans Dome, at 6,643 feet the highest point.

 

 

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK   Washington

Rugged coast, glacier-capped mountains, and temperate—and largely roadless—rain forests.

Size 1,442 square miles.

The Easy Way Hurricane Ridge viewing platform faces craggy Olympics (west) and forested hills (south).

The Hard (Wet) Way Launch at La Push to paddle the treacherous Pacific, seeking hidden coves, seals, otters, and bald eagles.

The Shady Way Hoh Rain Forest's Douglas firs and big-leaf maples shade Oregon oxalis and lady ferns in a rare extant example of West Coast old-growth woodlands.

Creature Feature The 27-mile-long East Fork Quinault River Trail traverses elk and bear country.

P.S. In September and October, watch migrating salmon in Sol Duc.

 

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK   Wyoming / Montana / Idaho

A wonderland of geothermal phenomena and wildlife.

Size 3,470 square miles (one-third the size of Vermont).

Pedigree Testimonials of artists and photographers helped convince Congress to preserve Yellowstone.

The Easy Way The two loop roads connect most of the highlights, from Old Faithful to Tower Fall.

The Hard Way Alpen Guides lead you beyond fellow bipeds into true wilderness (800-858-3502; tours from $75).

Creature Feature Lamar Valley is "America's Serengeti" for a reason.

Avoid Peak times at Artist Point.

 

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK   California

Spacious valleys, towering rock domes, crystalline rivers, thundering waterfalls, giant sequoias.

Size 1,169 square miles.

Crowds 3.2 million a year.

Huge Crowds Most visitors stay in seven-mile-long Yosemite Valley.

The Easy Hike Steep but short, the trail to Vernal Falls footbridge delivers Ansel Adams–worthy views.

The Easy Drive Tioga Road takes you 39 miles up to Tuolumne Meadows, a gentle valley amid peaks.

The Hardest Way Climb El Capitan.

The Smartest Way Hike 2.2 miles up Sentinel Dome for a 360° view.

Creature Feature Black bears, mule deer, and mountain lions are the star mammals.

P.S. Even the rangers have been seen carrying cameras in this park.

 

 

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK  Maine

Blueberries and blue bloods, misty islands, spruce and pine forest, craggy coastlines.

Size 47 square miles (about double Manhattan).

Crowds Most in summer and fall.

Pedigree John D. Rockefeller, Jr., an early and active patron, created the 45-mile system of horse and carriage roads using granite from a nearby quarry (cars are banned on carriage roads and granite bridges).

Rubbernecking Drive or hike 1,530-foot Cadillac, the tallest mountain on the Eastern Seaboard.

The Easy Way Drive the 27-mile (and justly famous) Park Loop Road.

The Hard Way Hike the 120 miles of trails or bike the carriage roads (207-288-3886; barharborbike.com).

Creature Feature From May through August, rangers lead peregrine watches.

 

 

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE   Alaska

The 91-mile Park Road accesses a vast subarctic wilderness with North America's tallest peak and an abundance of wildlife.

Size 9,492 square miles (about the size of Vermont).

Light Brigade Crowds peak around summer solstice, when the sun rises at 3:45 a.m. and sets at 12:30 a.m.

The Easy(ish) Way Only 1,600 Denali Park Road lottery winners—400 for each of four days every year—can drive in the park, carrying all the rubbernecking passengers they can hold (907-683-2294).

The Wheeled Way Gaze at Denali from the shuttle bus stop at Stony Hill Overlook (mile 61).

Creature Feature Shuttle drivers try to spot the Big Four: Dall sheep, caribou, moose, and grizzly bear.

P.S. The "High One," as Athabascans call it, a.k.a. Mt. McKinley, reveals itself at mile 9 of Park Road.

 

 

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK   Arizona

Spectacular 277-mile-long, 15-mile-wide, mile-deep Colorado River canyon.

Size 1,904 square miles, about the size of Delaware.

Crowds Close to 5 million annually.

Most Memorable View Your first.

Rookie Mistake Hiking part of it. Descend a thousand feet and you will be switchbacking down steep cliffs in rock only 250 million years old; the easier slopes are lower and take you back 120 million years.

The Easy Way Grandview Trail on the South Rim, a six-mile loop to Horseshoe Mesa's views.

The Hard Way The 18-mile round-trip Bright Angel Trail passes Phantom Ranch's dorm-style rooms en route to the Colorado River.

Creature Feature Mules spare you sore feet, but you will still be sore.

 

 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK   Colorado

Skyscraping peaks and delicate alpine tundra, bighorn sheep scaling jagged cliffs, and glacier-carved valleys bursting with wildflowers.

Size 415 square miles.

Eight Miles High A ten-hour, eight-mile hike up 14,259-foot Longs Peak rewards you with a view of the mountain ridge of the Continental Divide.

Half That High Delivering great views of Longs Peak, Chasm Lake Trail climbs 2,360 feet in 4.2 miles to an alpine lake beneath The Diamond, a 1,000-foot rock wall.

Rubbernecking Cresting at 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous road in the United States; Many Parks Curve has awesome views.

Creature Feature Bighorns flock to Sheep Lakes in spring and summer.

P.S. Despite the altitude—a third of it is above 11,000 feet—this is one of the West's most accessible parks thanks to Trail Ridge Road, trail-to-trail shuttle service in the Bear Lake section, and a 355-mile trail system.

 

 

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK   Hawaii

Erupting since 1983, Kilauea is one of Earth's most spectacular phenomena.

Size 505 square miles (about half the size of Rhode Island).

Best Views, Land Adjacent to the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum, the overlook into Kilauea Crater.

The Easy Short Way The 11-mile Crater Rim Drive up Kilauea, past Halemaumau Overlook.

The Easy Long Way Bike or drive the 20-mile Chain of Craters Road (but check nps.gov for road closures).

The Hard Way The Kilauea Iki Trail drops 400 feet and passes steam vents and Pu'u Pua'i cinder cone.

The Harder Way Book a customized lava tube tour or a backcountry hike with Hawaii Forest and Trail (808-331-8505; hawaii-forest.com).

Go All Out Boat tours get close to where the burning red lava oozes into the Pacific (808-966-4200;lavaocean.com).

 

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Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart over a New Jersey Turnpike accident that left one person dead and several people hospitalized, including the 30 Rock actor.

Walmart driver Kevin Roper allegedly plowed into a limousine van carrying Morgan on June 7. Morgan and others injured in the accident allege negligence on Walmart's part in a lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

Read the complaint here :

"Walmart was careless and negligent in the ownership and operation of its motor vehicle, which caused Mr. Morgan to suffer severe personal injuries," the complaint reads. "As a direct and proximate result of said collision, Mr. Morgan was caused to sustain severe painful bodily injuries, including but not limited to multiple fractures which required multiple surgeries, extensive medical treatment and will require significant physical rehabilitation."

Plaintiffs include Krista Millea, the wife of late comedian James McNair, who died in the accident, as well as Morgan's assistant, Jeffrey Millea, and comedian Ardie Fuqua. The plaintiffs are suing for negligence. In addition, Millea is suing for loss of consortium.

They are seeking compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages, legal fees, as well as pre- and post judgment interest, among other things at a trial by jury.

Walmart expressed its sorrow over the accident in a statement :
 

"This has been a terrible tragedy. We wish Mr. Morgan, Mr. Fuqua Jr., and Mr. Millea full recoveries," the statement reads. "Our thoughts continue to go out to them, their families and friends, as well as to the families and friends of everyone involved, including Mr. McNair, who lost his life. We are deeply sorry that one of our trucks was involved. As we've said, we're cooperating fully in the ongoing investigation. We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we're committed to doing the right thing for all involved."

The suit alleges that Roper was fatigued when the accident occurred and that "Walmart knew or should have known" that he had been "awake for more than 24 consecutive hours" ahead of the crash. According to the suit, Roper had commuted 700 miles from his home in Jonesboro, Ga., to a Walmart facility in Smyrna, Del., before beginning his shift.

"Additionally, there were many Walmart distribution facilities closer to Mr. Roper's home — including nine in Georgia alone — which would have significantly reduced Mr. Roper's commute to work," the suit reads.
 
It says Walmart either "knew or should have known" that it was "unreasonable" for Roper to drive 700 miles before his shift. The suit also alleges Roper fell asleep at the wheel immediately before the crash as a result of his fatigue. It goes on to say Walmart turns a blind eye to workers who break regulations regarding shift limits set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

"Walmart not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating the F.M.S.C.A. Regulations," the suit reads.

Roper was going 65 mph in a 45-mph zone just before the accident, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. Roper has plead not guilty to death by auto and assault by auto charges.

Morgan left the hospital on June 20 and was moved to a rehabilitation facility.

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