In case you haven’t noticed, there is a creative community-building project trending in our communities. Imagine going about your daily life, walking in the park, coming out of the drug store, or pulling through your favorite drive-thru to spot something bright and colorful hidden amongst the usual. You go in closer for a better look and realize it’s a rock, painted with a social media tag to find out more information. Wouldn’t that just change your entire day?
Communities across the world are spending time, energy, and money, painting rocks and hiding them simply for others to find. The only rule: if you find a rock, rehide it for someone else or add a new rock somewhere in the community. For added fun: share a picture of the rock using the social media tag provided so others can see how far the rock has traveled. It’s a win-win. A little creative time for you, get out in nature to find the perfect hiding spot, and spread some kindness by simply going about your life.
I was introduced to this crazy rock trend recently by a colleague who has been participating in her community. As we were discussing activities for our upcoming staff retreat, she suggested spending some time painting and hiding rocks. I loved the idea, but really didn’t get attached to quickly. When the time came to sit down and paint, once I got the inspiration flowing there was no stopping me! It was so fun and relaxing to give my full attention to painting this rock with the intention of probably never seeing it again, but knowing someone would find it and smile.
After spending my entire Friday evening painting every rock I could get my hands on, I decided I needed to know more, specifically how this all started. A simple search in the google machine and I found endless articles from all across America siting different communities taking on this giant game of hide-and-seek. From what I’ve read, it seemed one of the origins of this craze is The Kindness Rock Project, which started with the intention to spread kindness, inspiration, and encouragement to strangers through the random hiding of painted rocks. As the popularity grew, so did the different groups and social media tags spreading the concept from coast to coast.
The idea of spreading kindness, inspiration, and encouragement while building a community is what hooked me. The self-care aspect of taking time out to paint and be creative doesn’t hurt either. While out on my morning walk yesterday, I took along a bag of 4 rocks I had painted the night before. I hid them around the park in tree roots, under play equipment, and knots in tree trunks. It was incredibly relaxing, and fun to know that later in the day the park would be full of kids and families that will be on the hunt for some painted rocks.
It seems silly, leaving rocks in locations that no one will know to look for them, but in reality, it’s like you have a fun little secret as you go about your day. If it wouldn’t be so strange to sit in the park all day waiting for someone to find my hidden rocks, I would be sitting there now waiting and watching. But I won’t, I’ll go about my daily life until I get a notification on my phone with a rock that I recognize. I highly encourage anyone to try it out, if you’re needing something different to do this weekend, or need a little self-care time, find a rock, grab some acrylic paint and make yourself a little nugget of kindness to hide for someone else. I promise you won’t be disappointed.