What does it mean to be a conscious human being? This isn’t exactly the opposite of being unconscious as in BAM! - someone knocks you out - but almost.

The best parallel I can think of is kids - such oblivious little mortals. They will step on your foot without knowing it, butt in front of you in the water park line, and blurt aloud an embarrassing remark. Kids don’t intend to be rude; they simply aren’t socially mature. They are not conscious human beings.

Yet it’s not only children who are unconscious - adults can be, too. Being conscious can be as simple as walking through a door, then looking behind you to see if anyone else needs the door held open.

Let’s peek inside a day in the life of a conscious woman:

6:30 a.m. - Greet the people in your home with a kiss, a hug, or a smile. LOVE them instead of jumpstarting the day without thoughts of them. A gentle touch or a loving look takes just seconds. If you live alone, be conscious of waking up (some people didn’t today). Focus on how you’d like to act as a human being going forward into the morning.

8 a.m. - Dropping off the kids daily at daycare or school, you encounter mostly the same people. Are you conscious of them or merely intent on getting to work on time? Are they trying to share a few sentences but you’re glazed over? Ask the vice principal how's her new granddaughter. People like to tell you details about their lives - give them the chance. Strive to remember a few details about them for the next time you are in their presence. Personalizing the conversation goes a long way.

8:30 a.m. - Do you greet coworkers or sneak in and sit down quietly? These are people you must interact with daily and spend eight hours with ... get to know them. It’s not about being extroverted - it’s simple politeness.

Greetings should be mandatory. Why can’t we chat with people while sharing the same air and space on elevators? We think it may be “too uncomfortable” but isn’t it more uncomfy not to speak? We stare up at the numbers and pretend people aren’t there. Yet they are, so you may as well exchange a few pleasantries. Everyone has a story. You never know who you might meet or what you might learn.

10 a.m. - You’re working diligently but uh-oh, the hair on the back of your neck rises and your hands turn clammy. Must be the boss behind you. What’s she going to say or ask you to do? Is he happy with your work?

Squash the intimidation with this little exercise called “humanize the boss.” Be conscious of him or her as a person. Bosses are just people who work where you work. They have families, drive cars, do hobbies, and pick their noses like everyone else.

Imagine him selecting a tie that morning while rubbing his eyes after sleep. Or envision her applying black mascara and wiping away a smudge. Tiny details, yes, yet being conscious of people’s trivia is how we are able to be conscious of them as humans.

1 p.m. - You take a short walk for a bite of lunch, stopping in the corner deli, and there’s a human ready to take your food order. Do you believe that person is put on this earth to serve you a quesadilla and pour a diet Coke? Do you greet her? Do you make this person a person? Are you conscious of him outside of his service role?

Doesn’t matter if the food is fast or fancy, a McDonald’s shake-maker is a person FIRST, who happens to have a job which happens to aid your rumbling stomach. They may appreciate the small talk while working with the public (that’s enough of a reason to feel sorry for them!). The general public is not much on eye contact or offering “pleases” and “thank yous."

Yet here you come along to look the order-taker in the eye and offer a greeting before feeding yourself: “I like your haircut” or “Bet you had to be up early this morning?” You are a breath of fresh air in their shift. This attention will travel far in that person’s day; maybe they'll pass along the niceness to someone else.

[Sometimes you can be nice as pudding yet get no response. That's fine. We have no idea what people are going through moment to moment. All you can do is try. However, inside everyone is someone. Try to crack their shell and find their "soft spot."]

5 p.m. - You stop to run errands and see the perfect parking spot. Too late! Another car whips in. What do you do? What is this two-second irritation worth - a tantrum? Giving someone the finger? Rolling down the window to yell? No. It is worth nothing. Harp on it with a bad reaction and you’re turning it into a five-minute ordeal. It’s your time - choose how long you want to be angry. Find another parking spot.

Does it excuse that driver’s behavior? No. Yet we must give people the benefit of the doubt: maybe she didn’t see you; maybe her knee hurt after surgery two weeks ago and she ran in the store to buy ibuprofen. Maybe her best friend’s mother just died and she had to buy a sympathy card. Don’t take it personally.

Or, maybe she is a rude individual - it doesn’t matter. Be the bigger, more conscious person. What feels better?

7 p.m. - You meet a friend for dinner (you do make girlfriend dates, right?). What’s one of the most challenging parts of human interaction? Listening. The words “silent” and “listen” are spelled with the same letters. We aren’t learning much when our mouths are moving. Never miss a good chance to shut up!

That’s what girlfriends do together, they yak. Wait your turn however. We ask someone “What’s wrong?” or “How’s life” yet we don’t listen to the answer. Let your friend talk, then ask for a chance to share your stuff. Friendship is not a one-way conversation - it’s an interaction. Listening is important on both sides of the table.

If you think you’re a good listener, ask your sister or best friend. If the answer is less than you thought, do whatever it takes to become a more conscious listener. It’s important in your roles as employee, mom, wife, friend, and sister, and it makes others feel validated and special to know you really heard them.

9 p.m. - Who’s the last person you're usually conscious of? You. Sadly, sometimes we put ourselves last. Maybe we don’t feel worthy; maybe we are too busy playing Super Woman, or taking care of everyone else. You are worthy and entitled, too.

It’s vital to practice your simple pleasures all day: Sit on the deck with a cup of coffee in the morning for two minutes. Roll around the floor with the kitty after dinner. These mini-vacations are necessary for our peace of mind.

Spending our days in “conscious” mode can teach us a lot about ourselves as we watch others - how humans react and don’t react; how we interact and don’t interact.

How’s your day going?

Author's Bio: 

Baltimorean Suzanne Molino Singleton is a freelance columnist on smartwomanonline.com, examiner.com, and writes the weekly inspirational e-column SNIPPETS on SNIPPETSinspiration.com. When not writing (which isn't much) she plays house with sports celeb Ken Singleton, a NY Yankees broadcaster, and their dependents.