Jackie Ruka

The Happy Guru

September 2018 IssueRuka 0918
by Jacie Elizabeth Millen

Photography by
Thomas R. Love, TR Media World

According to an article by Indy500 From the Independent, health is No. 3 on the most worried about list. Good health is a key part of life; it’s what keeps us alive. According to the same article, general happiness is No. 10 in the line of worry. Happiness is what keeps the world turning.  

What if you could tend to both your health and happiness, as they sort of go hand-in-hand, in one place? Jackie Ruka, originally from New York, can help you to be worry-free with a positive outlook on any situation. Jackie is one of the best personal development and lifestyle coaches, making her “America’s Happyologist.”

Happyology is the science of positive psychology, which can be turned into therapy. It is not the most common choice of therapy but it should be. Jackie describes a happyologist as “someone who believes the glass is overflowing and lives with a positive mindset.”

Jackie grew up with the difficult learning disability of dyslexia, so naturally she had to work harder than other kids in school. She didn’t just work harder; she worked faster. Jackie graduated from college at age 17. You read right, and by age 22, she had earned a master’s degree. Through it all, she never succumbed to her learning disability and made a point to stay positive. After graduating, she used her degree in art therapy and helped children with addictions, mental health issues, depression, and learning disabilities. She helped them find the issue from their subconscious mind, understand how it was affecting them, and bring it to the conscious mind to help them solve it, all through the power of positivity. “That’s my secret sauce that other therapists don’t bring to the table,” she laughed.

Although rewarding, Jackie was ready for something new. She up and moved to San Diego, California, for a year of rest, which turned into 25 years of work. “I fell into the corporate world by accident,” she said. She began a career in pharmaceuticals, with a portfolio of meds indicated for depression and anxiety. Alternately, she was also working with the thought leaders of America, helping and training them with a positive light.

Jackie decided to leave the corporate world and join the “vendor side of the world,” as she called it. She began to help companies that were not running the best they could. “I turned small companies into million dollar brands. Most anybody would know a few of them,” she said. Jackie told me that her hardworking start as a young child, along with her mother pushing her to be the best, in a loving way, turned her into a workaholic.

“I didn’t settle down and have a family; I had work. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just what I decided to do.” However, the grueling pace and stress took a toll on her body. “I had a rude awakening. I turned down a six-figure job because my mental and physical health couldn’t take it anymore.” It took her a year and a half to heal and she did it using the power of positivity. “I realized it didn’t take stress to have success.”

As a recovering workaholic, Jackie couldn’t help but to keep moving forward. She earned her certification for leadership coaching from Harvard University. This time Jackie embraced success for herself by birthing her own brand: Get Happy Zone: A Positivity Company. She designs ways for people to find their purpose and empowers them through words of positivity. She helped launch a movie called Happy, first shown at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where she was living at the time. She expected few to show up, as there were other films to watch, but a whopping 350 people showed in support of the Happy Movement.

In 2014, she compiled many techniques she has learned and wrote a book called Get Happy and Create a Kickbutt Life. Jackie started traveling as a public speaker, writing journals, and was eventually coined “America’s Happyologist.”

She empowers women to develop and stand in their own wealth. Jackie says her job is filled with passion, intention, and fun. She loves what she does and Jackie uses her own practices on herself to keep her happiness balanced. “It's a lifestyle to keep your happiness levels in check. I have to eat healthy, meditate, and write in my gratitude journal. This helps keep me centered, along with the occasional bike ride and beach walk. Oh, I love to read, I couldn’t keep my head out of a book as a child,” she said.

Jackie is a heart-centered and overall joyful soul. As expected, she keeps pretty happy. She ended our conversation with the best advice for her clients: “The greatest gift is serving others. If you hold back your talents, you’re cheating others. Stop negativity, stop compromising yourself, and stop the worrying! Focus on your desires, and your fears will fade. What’s holding you back?”

Up Close:
New Where: Jackie was born in New York, but grew up near the New Jersey Shore.
Office hours: “None! I have clients all over. I do Skype, emails, and phone calls. It gives me freedom, and the freedom I have serves me, so I can serve others.”
Books in the making: “Yes! Two actually. A comedy about growing up on the Jersey Shore and a women in wealth book. I’ve also always wanted to do a coffee table book with all my favorite quotes and images.”
Available on Amazon: Get Happy and Create a Kickbutt Life
Get Happy: www.gethappyzone.com