By Srianthi Perera, GSN Contributor

As a child growing up in New York City, Joy Sackstein said she was frequently visited by “other beings” who befriended her and guided her through the years.

It was such a large part of her life that she believed everybody saw them. She also had the ability to understand different mindsets and read others’ thoughts.

As extraordinary as that is, nothing in Sackstein’s life can be compared to her experience three years ago in Gilbert.

A healer by profession, Sackstein succumbed to a hereditary tendency to heart disease and had a heart attack after she returned home from a Zumba class. Fortunately, her husband was there, and he called 911.

Later, while a team of medical professionals were attending to her, she became an observer of the struggle that was unfolding inside the surgical theater.

“When I flat-lined, I rose above my body and I saw myself on the table,” she said. “But I was watching from a higher plane; I was observing the room, at first not recognizing that it was me on the table.

“I saw this huge white light, and as this white light kept coming closer and closer to me, I felt myself leaving this room. I went through these different realms of consciousness,” she added.

The experience was “blissful.” She heard heavenly music and saw vibrant colors. She met her grandmother and her father, both of whom moved toward her along with thousands of other beings.

“My grandmother told me that she was happy to see me, but it was not my time; my father kept coming toward me, and he was yelling ‘you can’t stay, you can’t stay,’ and he and my grandmother were bickering with each other saying ‘she’s confused,’” she recalled.

“And then Jesus walked out of this crowd; he kept walking toward me,” she said. “He whispered in my ear ‘you have to go back,’ and I was like ‘why am I here? why do I have to go back? I’m good. I want to stay.’ Then he whispered again in my ear, you know that book? That’s man’s word, not mine, and I want you to tell everyone that that’s not my word.”

Sackstein believes that the message she received from Jesus is one of the reasons she had this near-death experience and was brought back to her life.

According to her, Jesus said, “My word is about love, my word is about being compassionate, my word was about accepting everything and everybody, it wasn’t about segregating and separating, it was about collectiveness, and I want everybody to know that.

“I want everybody to know that the human experience is meant to experience love, and there’s so much anger and so much pain going down there, you need to bring heaven to earth, and you need to figure out a way on how to bring a heavenly experience to this plane so that people can understand not to be ugly and angry and at odds,” he told her.

Sackstein said she was sent back to this world just as suddenly as she left it. “The next thing I know is that I was back on the table and back in that space again, back in that room with a lot of lights. I knew something very heavenly happened, but I was so confused.”

Sackstein journaled her experience, as suggested by the International Association for Near Death Studies.

Recently, she turned her journal into her first book, titled “Where Do I Go From Here?” which is an emotional outline of her human life and the intergalactic world she inhabited from her young days, and later, her near-death experience.

She launched her book at Nicantoni’s Pizza in Gilbert and plans to relaunch it in New York City, a place she returns to at least four times a year for her healing work. That’s also when she spends time with her mother and her daughter.

Sackstein has studied and practices various types of healing, including Shamanistic-based healing, reiki, spiritual channeling and massage therapy. She’s an ordained minister, a psychic body worker and a medium. She also conducts workshops on ascension, the act of rising to a higher level.

To her, it isn’t about Christianity as much as it’s spirituality and a collective experience.

It was about “the peace of knowing that there is no religion, there’s none of that, it’s just a collective consciousness of love and what you believe through that process,” she said. “What makes this one different than this one? We are all going to the same place; we are all trying to reach to this higher consciousness.”

Three other books are in the pipeline based on her journaling: the topics are the gateway to ascension, the specific teachings of these beings that help to bring people to different consciousness; women and why they are here on this planet; and how parents of gifted children can elevate their gifts.

Sackstein hopes to help others tap into their spiritual selves, and along those lines, she teaches 12-month long ascension workshops.

Her heart attack was a near-fatal one. Who knows how much time there is left, not just for her but for anybody?

“I came home after Zumba, and I was dying. It was life-altering. I’m hopeful that people will get my book and have the message that anything is possible and that we don’t have to stop at anything,” she said.

Learn more about Joy Sackstein and her work at hummingbirdwings.com.