Little messages can have a big impact, Cape Cod Life, April 2017 | capecodlife.com

Photograph by Denise Barker

Finding just the right message of inspiration at just the right time might just change everything. For West Barnstable resident Megan Murphy—and countless others on Cape Cod and beyond because of her—these inspiring messages have come in the form of rocks.

In the spring of 2015, Murphy, 49, started the Kindness Rocks Project by displaying vibrantly painted rocks bearing inspirational messages at locations around Cape Cod—including Sandy Neck Beach in West Barnstable, the Sandwich Boardwalk, and Gray’s Beach in Yarmouth Port—for unknown recipients to discover. Her goal: to spread a little hope and comfort to those who would see the rocks, which have painted messages such as “Great things are headed your way,” “Focus on what makes you happy & what gives meaning to your life,” and “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

What began as a hobby for this life coach and mother of three has grown in the past two years into a grassroots kindness movement, with individuals from around the Cape, across the United States, and even as far as New Zealand, taking part in creating these random acts of kindness.

“It’s the art of connecting,” Murphy says of the project. “Whether that’s connecting people through an awareness, or just connecting them back with themselves. There’s no way in my wildest dreams that if I tried to make it this, it would have happened. I wouldn’t have that power to do so. I was just a seed, a woman who had a hobby.”

Murphy says an epiphany sparked the Kindness Rocks Project. From 2004 to 2013, she ran three jewelry boutiques on the Cape, one each in Chatham, Hyannis, and Falmouth. Her businesses were doing well, but in 2013, she recalls feeling that her accomplishments seemed irrelevant. “Every time someone would say to me, ‘You’re so successful, you must be so happy,’ I would pause and think, ‘Wait, I’m not happy,’” she recalls. Realizing she needed to make a change, she sold her stake in the company to her business partner, started training to become a life coach, and began to spend some soul-searching time at Sandy Neck.