my word of the year, 2020: liberation(ing)

each year, sometime between my birthday and New Year's Eve, I choose a word of the year.

I've been doing this practice since December 2010, when I retroactively declared 2010 a "roller-coaster" of a year.

last year's word of the year (connectioning) post includes links to previous words of the year.

[just for poetic fun, a list: roller-coaster, exploration, believe, expanding, embracing, unfolding, nurturing/ nourishing, hope, trust, connectioning, and liberation(ing).]

there's nothing magical about choosing a word of the year. and yet, there's focus and intention and presence and a little je ne sais quois that in fact, does mean the word takes on an almost magical quality.

magic is what we decide it is.


last year's word (and the post I wrote about it) is uncanny now, in retrospect.

what started off as making connections became a literal unraveling of the web of lies that had been spun around me since before I was born.

and I DID THAT. I made those connections and I unraveled that web. I am the one who took back my power and started this process of healing. yes, there were many people that gave me information I didn't have (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!) but I made the connections.

in spite of how traumatic it was, I am proud of myself.

(and yes, it was traumatic as fuck. I am in therapy with someone who has both training and life experience in the specifics. CPTSD is real, PTSD is real and trauma just sucks, full fucking stop.)


since that uncovering (and the return of my panic attacks/ (C)PTSD flashes) in July, I've been working on intentionally healing. this looks like (but is no way limited to):

crying in the bath
dancing and singing
crafting all the things
going to actual therapy
digital arting on my iPad
fancy adult coloring books
meditating and mindfulness
poeming (always, always, always)
feeding myself breakfast every day
reading books/ articles/ insta posts*
reconnecting with family and friends
disconnecting from toxic family and friends
continuing to explore and cultivate boundaries

*this category deserves a very long post of its own with tons of links which I'm hoping to write soon.

anyway, it's been a fairly intense (but absolutely worthwhile and life changing in the best way) five months. I've taken my life back.

I am my beloved and my beloved is me* and mine.

* referencing with love and gratitude Vivienne McMaster who is running a free session of her amazing Be Your Own Beloved class in January.

despite the trauma, it was the right time and place for me to find it all out.

I might have found out earlier, or later, or even never, but I didn't.

I found out when I found out. and because it happened that way, and there's no way of making it less traumatic or happen earlier or later or never even need to happen in this 'verse, it was the right time and the right place.

all of which leads me to this year's word:


I am continuing to liberate myself. I am continuing to dedicate myself to the liberation of others.

this is the essence of tikkun olam, to me, to the repair of the world.

we start with repairing our own selves. we work outward.

(the Buddhist metta prayer echos this idea, as does the very common advice to "put your own oxygen mask on first." if you can't breathe, if you aren't in the healing process, you don't have the energy or strength to put someone else's oxygen mask on safely.)

right now, I'm still in the season of putting on my own oxygen mask.

though, really, I need to remind myself that we help other people the most by example. in being open about our healing process. in being honest and open about our shadows and our flaws and our humanness.

that's one reason why I blog/ write.

another large part of blogging is in archiving the process for myself, so I can go back and reread my advice to my self later on. 2012/2013 Alexis had a lot of important wisdom that's super applicable and helpful to me now. wow. thank you past self. yes.


I am not a holder of grudges but even at my most codependent and anxious it turns out I have very strong life preserving boundaries.

(I thank my dad for modeling this impeccably.)


you  may eventually be forgiven but you won't ever be allowed back into my life again, if you cross that line. I am the sovereign of my own domain and once I recognize the pattern of toxic behavior it will never be allowed to take root in me or use me to feed itself ever again.


may 2020 be a year of healing.
may 2020 be a year of healing for me.
may 2020 be a year of healing for me and my true family.
may 2020 be a year of healing for you and your family and friends.
may 2020 be a year of healing for everyone who is too toxic to be welcome in my life.
may 2020 be a year of healing for everyone who is too toxic to be welcome in your life.
may 2020 be a year of healing for my country, a year to break free of the tyranny of hate and demagoguery of fascism.
may 2020 be a year of healing for all oppressed people, a year to free ourselves from injustice and the collective systemic isms that plague us.
may 2020 be a year of healing for the planet, a year of justice, a year of resolve, a year of stopping and then finding ways to undo our environmental damage.

may 2020 be a good year. a sweet year. a year of peace.

yes, please, thank you.