Holidays are a time for sharing the spirit of giving with everyone, including clients, vendors, coworkers, and bosses. Most importantly, spending time with everyone to celebrate the meaning of Christmas is why we reunite with family. What about with colleagues? We see them everyday and oftentimes, the politics of the office get in the way of experiencing a harmonious time together.

We decided to celebrate the holidays and do a White Elephant gift exchange with a CD. The question posed during our weekly meeting was whether we should include the individuals in other departments we closely work with on the accounts. We decided it is best to be inclusive rather than isolate ourselves from any individuals or departments with whom we have a working relationship.

Should we be inclusive or exclusive? I guess that was really the question for our holiday gathering. During work hours, I vote for inclusive. However, off work hours when we’re having our own holiday party, I’d rather be exclusive with my Limoncello—not that I’m trying to be a sourpuss or anything.

Guiding Lesson: It’s that time year again. When people gather at work to celebrate.  These are not always people you would choose to hang out with, but are somehow brought together in a twist of fate and forced to interact and pretend to get along and maybe like each other. 

What does being inclusive really mean at work?  Does it mean taking actions that don’t upset others at the expense of excluding your true self?  Who is coming to these gatherings that are supposed to be inclusive?  These are cordial events that don’t always welcome the self that is longing to be invited, but is excluded.  People are physically included, but begin taking off part of themselves like a coat that will be picked up at the end of the evening. It’s similar to watching an episode of The Office. Sometimes it is painful since a certain persona seems to appear that is even a stranger to their true self.

Eve, the good news is that there are people who are confident of who they are and have integrated their authentic self into all parts of their lives. This is what I call being inclusive. They have learned to embrace all the various parts (the good, the bad and the ugly) of themselves allowing them to show up in their own life story.  

Eve, are there parts of yourself that you may sometimes exclude?  If so, what can you do to become more inclusive?

Well, I am grateful that you have chosen to include grace in your life. Grace may be the glue that helps people see that everything and everyone belongs as an individual connected to all of humanity. There is no room for exclusion when grace is around. Right?


Posted by Marisol Barrios as MissGuided Mom's "Eve"

After 12 years of marriage, I found myself suddenly divorced with two sons to raise. Inspired by life's events, I decided to create "Eve" and tell her story, a story that will resonate with many women. "Eve" will take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly of marriage, motherhood, career and divorce. After numerous delicate situations, she decides to surrender her life to a higher being and welcomes her guardian angel who teaches her life lessons. Join "Eve," her guardian angel, and friends as she takes you through an unimaginable journey of self-discovery. (Pictured: Caterina Clarke as MissGuided Mom's Guardian Angel "Grace" and Marisol Barrios as MissGuided Mom's "Eve")

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