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strip of coloured paper twisted and glued together to form a Mobius strip. The words inner and outer are showing.

I see over and again that our inner and outer worlds are connected. How we feel about ourselves and see ourselves is our inner world. The ways in which we are seen and the kinds of relationships and interactions we have with people form our outer world.

How smoothly are these two sides – inner and outer – connected?

When people meet you, do they immediately get a sense of who you are?

Whenever I think about this, my mind goes back to a Möbius strip exercise I did a few years back at a workshop called Courage and Renewal.

It’s a simple exercise. I do it periodically now to see how I’m going in my life choices – whether I feel divided or integrated.

When you take a strip of paper and write your inner and outer values on it, then twist it to form a Mobius strip you can trace one surface with your finger and it goes smoothly from inner to outer without ever breaking contact. 

That’s the exercise. To look at the ways in which your inner and outer lives are connected and the ways they affect each other. The question I ask myself is:

Are my appearance and behaviour congruent with how I see myself and how I want to be seen?

Of course, it’s not always safe to show every aspect of our true selves to the world – your inner self is precious and should be protected. That’s why trusted friends are so important. But if the gap between inner and outer is too big, if we feel like we can’t express ourselves, then this can cause anguish. If our life is divided we can feel unseen.

WANT TO TRY IT FOR YOURSELF?

If you’d like to try this self-reflection exercise yourself, I’ve included all the steps and more information in a document you can download yourself. Make your own Möbius strip and use it to ponder the ways your inner values are reflected in the ways you interact with the outside world.

Our inner and outer realities and the Möbius strip
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