CAPE COD — A Cape Cod woman who started selling jewelry to tourists decided to sell her successful business after she says she lost the joy in what she did. When she started walking the beach in search of happiness, she found a lot more.
“The first day I stepped out on the beach, it was pretty powerful because I realized in that moment, I hadn’t walked the beach and I live on Cape Cod where there are amazing beaches and people come from all over the world… in 15 years,” said Megan Murphy, founder of the Kindness Rocks Project.
That’s because Megan Murphy was all about work. She was a stay-at-home mom of three girls and started a jewelry business. But over time, the hours added up---and the joy was lost.
“I knew that I needed to make a change, although that was really difficult because when you confess to that much time and energy into a business that was actually successful, making the decision to walk away is really challenging,” said Murphy.
Megan made the challenging decision to sell her business—and walked directly to the beach.
“In that process of walking the beach and letting go of my thoughts, there were times I was really going through grief,” said Murphy. “We fill our lives to keep us busy so that we don’t really address the core of what’s going on.”
Megan found heart rocks that felt like messages from her late mother and father. Then she realized other people walking the beach might be going through something as well.
“That’s when one day I pulled a sharpie out of my pocket and I just started writing a couple of uplifting messages because I thought well maybe that rock will be like my heart-shaped rock for me and it might make them feel better as well,” said Murphy.
Megan started leaving messages anonymously on rocks and one day she said her friend picked one up. The message said ‘you can do it’ and her friend said that made her day. That’s when Megan knew she had something.
“When I first started, I was doing just about five, six rocks a day because I thought I was insane,” said Murphy. “I’m a middle-aged woman spending my time writing messages on rocks after having to have worked 10-12 hours a day in the retail business,” laughed Murphy.
Before Megan knew it, she was in the business of spreading kindness. She grew a rock garden called the Kindness Rocks Project with the mission:
‘One message, at just the right moment, can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life’.
“I did not expect this hobby to turn into what it is today,” said Murphy.
Megan created a website that helped people get the tools and resources to start their own Kindness Rocks garden in their community.
“I made it a one for one model, like Tom’s shoes,” said Murphy. “For every paint kit purchased, one would be donated to this non-profit that gives art kits to children in hospitals and foster care.”
Megan has also teamed up with major companies like Starbucks, ESPN and Cigna to use the rock garden concept as a team-building exercise.
The power of the project Megan says is to write something that you’re currently feeling. She believes by writing that message not only can help heal your soul, but the shared emotion might resonate with someone else who is secretly struggling. What started as a small act of kindness has now spread to 90 countries---and growing.
“I feel like it’s our responsibility to leave the world a little better than we found it,” said Murphy.
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