If you haven’t been bitten by the rock revolution then hold on, you’re about to be!

Painted rocks are everywhere. From kids’ and mom groups to social media groups and schools, it’s the new movement that is sweeping across our nation and has landed right here in my hometown of Burford, Ontario.

Originating in the United States with Meghan Murphy’s The Kindness Rocks Project, the trend involves painting rocks with inspiring messages and leaving them for others to find. When found, these inspirational rocks have the power to spread happiness and positivity to people of all ages.

Rock messages can include gratitude, affirmations, encouragement and acts of hope. Oftentimes, they are painted with bright, encouraging colours. They are normally hidden in clear view for people to find. Whoever finds the rock is encouraged to take a photo of it (or with it) and upload the photo to Facebook.

I was so inspired by the idea that I decided to start my own Facebook group “Burford Rocks.” We currently have almost 600 members who have joined the painted rock movement of creating motivational messages on rocks, and our rocks are showing up everywhere!

Other great Facebook groups to check out are “Paris Rocks” and “Brantford Painted Rocks.”

We encourage members to include the group’s name on back of the rock before leaving it anywhere they want. When the rock is found, the finder is encouraged to take a picture of the rock and upload it to the Facebook group so that we can see how far it traveled. If the message of the rock speaks to the finder, they can keep it; otherwise, they leave it or hide it again.

When you check out our Facebook group page, you will see that it is full of hundreds of images from rock finders displaying the rock that they found and/or created. Rocks are being found in schoolyards, parks, business parking lots and more.

One of our group members, Joanne Fisher, posted a picture of a rock and explained that she found it in her mother’s hospital room at Brantford General Hospital. She “ended up giving it away to someone who needed to smile.” This made my day! It’s exactly why we started this group – to spread joy!

Although the rocks may originate from Burford and the surrounding area, many soon find a new home around the world. Facebook group members list locations to find their hidden rocks ranging from England and Los Cabos to the Bahamas and more.

Group member Cole Dankin posted a picture of a beautifully painted teal rock with the message “believe” painted on it. “Found this in the Sheraton at Toronto Pearson airport…it’s made its way to Costa Rica until someone new finds it,” the post read.

As the group’s founder, it amazes me every day how these painted rocks have become the new movement to spread kindness in our small town. I love hearing all the stories, seeing the joy and smiles on the young and the old. For me personally, I love the creativity with painting the rocks and the adventures it brings when I am hiding them. A fellow realtor, Jill Plant, told me when I’m painting it’s “mind yoga” – and it truly is.

This rock craze is very affordable as you only need some rocks (you can collect them anywhere), acrylic paint from the dollar store, paint brushes and a sealer.

Marlene Swayze, who also helped establish the group, stated that it was created to be something fun for everyone to enjoy. “I never expected it to take off like this. Every day, rain or shine, we have new pictures added [to the Facebook group],” she explained.

Just like The Kindness Rocks Project mission intends, rocks left by Burford Rocks members are “changing someone’s entire day, outlook or life.”

We are starting to hear stories from our group of how our rocks are bringing joy to peoples’ lives. Recently, a therapist shared a story of how a young lady she works with was given a rock with a note on it. The young woman kept the rock and looks at whenever she feels troubled. The message on the rock she found helps her to cope with her sadness.

Want to join the movement yourself and continue spreading the kindness? To learn more about Burford Rocks, join our Facebook group and follow us on Instagram where you can share pictures of rocks you’ve painted, hidden and found.