Category: Courage

Turning From Prejudice Toward Love

From the web:
“As a noun, pre-justice is a preconceived opinion
that is not based on reason or actual experience.
As a verb, pre-justice is defined
as to give rise to prejudice; make biased.”

[New post]

My father died in an accident at age 36 a couple of days before his 37th birthday. I was 13 when he died. I was born in 1949 and he was 22 and my mom was 18. I was the eldest of three from that marriage which ended when I was five years old, my sister was three, and my little brother was only one. My parents were mid-western stock from Iowa and I was born in Iowa until we moved to southern California when I was two. My father was easily angered and quite prejudiced. I grew up early in a judgmental environment. As time went on, I heard more of that. My mother remarried and nothing changed as far as the prejudging of people, things, events were concerned. I got plenty of it from my mother as well, along with friends from school, neighbors, and more. It was normal to be prejudiced. It felt like we were supposed to judge others, their behavior, how they lived, and so much more.

The television promoted prejudice. It always has. It still does today. I began watching television in the early 1950’s. Long before color TV became a reality, television was colored with prejudice. Perhaps I should say lack of color. Movies showed it vividly. The schools I went to promoted prejudice in many ways, through choices of textbooks and who was allowed in, controlling teachers and curriculum to name a few.

I grew up in a white-dominated world. I heard so many words to describe those who weren’t white and even one group who was white but so far below standard as to be called trash. The N-word, the J-word, the other J-word, the C-word, the S-word, the other S-word, the I-word, along with all the color words that began with Y, R, B, the other B. Next, they were nationalized in groups based on where they lived now or where they were from or their lineage was from. Some were Mexican, Asian, Italian, German, African, South American, Icelandic, Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many more.

Indeed, we have so many ways to segregate each other into compartments and categories dehumanizing the world. Even the word people has us and them and they. All of this doesn’t even address the various languages that are spoken, the religions we’ve created and fight about, the foods we eat, lifestyles, and so much more. All of this is easily a place to stand in prejudgment.

Of course, this is not news. It is normal. It is only called normal because it has become habitual and it only became habitual by repetition and it all came from somewhere to get inside of each of us. We learned it. It does not come naturally. It is taught, shared, preached, legislated, from our parents, other family, peers, friends, schools, churches, leaders, government rules and laws, and more. And, it cannot be different until we each decide to be different, to let go of those teachings, to see something more, to change, to grow. Based on this, it will never change outside of us. It can only change within us. The outside world that we think we see is but a reflection. We choose to love or we choose fear. Prejudice in all its forms is simply fear. So when I hear someone spouting nonsense about a group or a country, or idea, I see it for what it is. It is a fearful person sharing their fears. Many will share it openly. Rather than push against them, acceptance is the way toward love. Pushing against anything is expanding fear.

We’ve had such volumes and constant repetitions of prejudicial points of view brought into our lives that to release this and become prejudice-free is a real challenge. However, just like walking five miles is taking the first step and then another and another, releasing our learned fears and turning toward love is releasing some here, some there, again, and over again. We have such a tendency as people to focus on the destination when it is the journey that is life itself. We are all and always a work in progress. All we need first is to become aware. Then choose differently. Seeing how fear rules our lives is enlightening, and we always have had and always will have the power to turn toward love and drop the rope of fear. In so doing, we create the world in which we want to live. It doesn’t matter who or how many may follow our lead. Our own choice and actions are all that matter. Allowing the world to be whatever it is serves us. Allowing all others to think and act in whatever way they think is best for them is empowering for us.

My past is what it was at a different now. I get to choose every second of every day. I choose to release prejudice and have been on this beautifully unfolding journey for many years now. It is a joyous journey of constantly seeing contrast and then pivoting toward love. Love is my home base now. I am home. I am love.

Trust And Allowing Is Love

“I fully trust 
that others do know 
what is best for them.”
 
— Essence of the Tao Te Ching,17th Verse
by Wayne Dyer 
 

[Classic post from 1-30-16]

Excepting the concept of raising young children (and maybe that isn’t really the exception we may imagine it is), how many times in your life have you been around people that you think need your help. Maybe they seem to get it wrong a lot, or maybe they keep tripping over the same switch, or they say they want this and do that instead. And what about all those civil servants, teachers, and other so-called authorities that have their heads in the dark places? Maybe it even seems like the whole world is off the mark, and you wish you could get them back on track. They need to listen to you. And, if they did, they would do better. It’s so simple, right?

I have to admit to having had many of these kinds of thoughts over the years. Not many wanted to listen, or maybe I didn’t go bold and tell them, or maybe I did, but it didn’t do any good. They just weren’t ready I guess. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, and all that.

Then again, maybe people are trying to lead you and you don’t want to hear it. Who do they think they are trying to tell me what to do, how to do it? They should go mind their own business because they could use some help of their own.

I’m finally learning about people. Some are awake and some are not, but deep down inside, we are all made from the same materials from the same factory so to speak. We’re all wise inside. It’s this flabby, soft, bony thing that we walk around in that is making us look and seem different. And we all have different stimuli, desires, and ideas too. But, inside we are basically the same in that we come from the same Source. We are all wise when we connect with that Source within us. We know what to do when we are aligned in that way. We know what we want when we focus there.

When we allow others to be what and who they are and accept that they are perfect however they are, and though we may be willing to help should they desire that, we eventually learn to trust that they know best for themselves, we are in alignment with our Source because our Source is pure unconditional love.

We don’t have to agree with other people’s choices, and our judgment of those choices or those actions is the only thing that keeps us apart from them. We simply need to allow them to choose as they will, while we choose as we desire. If we focus on our own alignment, that will be sufficient, and in the end, as a result of that example, we may love others in a way that is desired by all, honoring and aligning with the Source within us. For that is, after all, the Source of unconditional love–that is how Source sees us all.

So it is a good reminder to read this 17th verse of the all-wise Tao Te Ching from time to time so that we can remember that our place is to allow, to love, to serve, to enjoy, and to be an example of our best self. The more we follow these thoughts on interactions with others, the better our own lives become.

Trust That They Know What Is Best For Them While We Allow All Of That To Be As It Is As We Make Our Own Choices For Our Own Fulfillment. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on what you want for yourself.

Mistakes Are Only Stepping Stones Of Progress

“No matter how many mistakes you make 
or how slow you progress, 
you're still way ahead of everyone 
who isn't trying.” 
 
— Tony Robbins 
 

[Classic post from 1-26-16]

As Yoda said so perfectly, “Do or do not. There is no try,” whatever gets done, gets done by doing. And, what does it matter how long it takes. It's not a race unless that is the way you choose to imagine it. It is simply a journey–a journey of our own choosing, to a destination that is of our own creation, and our pace is not an issue unless we choose to make it so. Truly, it isn't even the destination either. It is simply the decision to do and the doing that matters in the end.

Even if we stop anywhere along that journey, choose something else and focus on it, the previous doing becomes a stepping stone on the much grander journey that we call life. There is no place or time that we need to be, only choices from desires of what we think we want. And, because that is in a constant state of flux, enjoying our life is tantamount to enjoying the doing. We call that living. 

Sometimes we get so hung up on where we think we should be, and the only reason we may think this is in comparison to another or others. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy, and has a tendency to depersonalize the journey. Focusing on what we want is in our best interest. That is our journey and by that focus, it is the best it can be. As to the others, we thrive by blessing them where they are, inviting some to come along should they have a similar desire, and turn our remaining focus to enjoying the trip.

It's all good. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your doing. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.

Don't Forget To Breathe Deeply. You Might Put That On A Sticky Note As A Reminder. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your life as it is on your way to wherever you may be going.

Choose. Choose Again.

“There is no need to accept 
when we can choose.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 2-15-16]

Rumi said, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again. Come, come.”

No matter what our situation–no matter what–we need not accept it because we always have the ability to choose. We always, always have the ability to choose a thought, and consequently how we will feel at any given time. It doesn't matter if the world is crumbling around us, we can still choose. It doesn't matter how many times we've failed to do what we thought we wanted to do, or what someone else thought we should do. It just doesn't matter. We can choose again. And again. And again. And again.

Of course, accepting is okay. If that is what we choose, and we know many who do, it is just fine. But, we need not accept just because that situation is what it is right now. We don't have to accept illness, poverty, despair, powerlessness, depression, grief, discouragement. When we have the ability to choose, we can choose these, and we can also choose otherwise.

The world has a long list of those who have chosen again and succeeded, changed their circumstances–even dire circumstances for the better. It's all in allowing ourselves to choose again. Edison chose again 10,000 times it has been said. I smoked cigarettes for 38 years and quit thousands of times, then I chose again and it stuck at age 52 and now it has been 14 years of freedom. It just doesn't matter how many times it didn't work. The next time can. There is no good reason to accept things the way they are except one: Because that is the way you choose it to be–that you desire it, want it. Otherwise, choose again.

You're In Good Company! 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whether you're working the President's Day Sale, or having that coveted three-day weekend relaxing, unwinding, having fun, your joy is within not without. Enjoy yourself!

Lighten Up!

“Be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe 
no less than the trees and the stars; 
you have a right to be here.” 
 
— Max Ehrmann 
 

[Classic post from 1-19-16]

Many times when we are trying to change something and continually failing to follow through, we may beat up on ourselves for failing one more time, renewing our vow to break through tomorrow. Until tomorrow arrives. In that new present, our current passion, habitual thought, or habitual activity seems so much more comfortable and enticing. Then, we get mad at ourselves again, reiterate our vow to change, and that process may go on for years. I should know, as I have much personal experience in this.

I realized something recently that puts a different spin on all of that. It is this: stop beating myself up and start loving myself unconditionally. Beating myself up just reinforces a low self-image, imagining that I'm so weak that I cannot do as I want to do, and I do what is habitual instead. We are, after all, very habitual creatures. Habit is a benefit in our lives and it also can be a detriment. Nonetheless, beating myself is the worst thing I can do. It is not helpful, and it is not loving at all. 

You can see this in the world where you're out and about and you hear a parent berating their child, yelling impatiently at them, telling them what they are doing wrong. You can hear it on the sidelines at ball games with angry coaches thinking that their loud angry voice is of benefit to the players. You can even find it in the workplace with angry bosses or supervisors yelling at their workers, and finally, we can hear it at home with our spouses from time to time. None of it helps.

No, none of it helps because it is reinforcing the pattern that is supposedly desiring of change. In other words, rather than leading us away from the thing, we say we no longer want to do, or the behavior that is somehow “wrong,” the verbal abuse simply makes that stand out more. It is the exact same thing within ourselves. Beating ourselves up only reinforces the so-called failing.

Imagine you're God and that you are a loving God. You invented unconditional love. You promote it. Now imagine looking at the failing you. You've failed to follow through or change one more time. As a loving God, are you going to lay on some guilt and anger, or will you lavish total peace with your unconditional love? What would that unconditional love feel like? It would feel pretty dang good, don't you think? You might even begin feeling good about yourself, feeling your value, loving your life, blessing your actions as okay.

Now, if you really wanted to change, as opposed to thinking you need to change, you have a far better chance at fulfillment with the love than with the chiding. Wouldn't you agree?

Next time you want to change something, whether it is to begin something and move in a new direction, or to let loose of something no longer desired, feel the love. You can do the pretending I'm God thing if you need a little more authority, but I am certain that a loving God taught us how to love ourselves. It's part of our DNA. We simply forget from time to time. Be gentle and loving with yourself. You're the only you that exists. You're special. A loving God created you. Take joy in that.


More Love In The World Begins With You Loving Yourself. 

Spread Some Joy Today–let it be.

I Am Already Complete

“We must be our own 
before we can be another's.”
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-18-16]

There are a lot of ways so many give their power away. One that is so predominant in our world has to do with the conditional loving of romantic relationships. Who hasn't heard the very famous line from the movie, Jerry Maguire: “You complete me.” And songs. . . wow, thousands of songs about this subject, like the classic, All Out of Love by Air Supply. You know, “I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you. . . I'm all out of love, what am I without you?” Even in songs at contemporary Christian churches, it is easy to hear these kinds of lyrics and messages, except referring to us and God or Jesus instead of two people.

The idea of being lonely or feeling lonely comes from this place of imagined incompleteness. This whole idea of thinking that “I'm nothing without you, or lost without you” makes me want to bust out laughing, yet I used to plug into that concept just like so many do today.

I began to see myself as whole instead of trying to find my missing part, and now I have my own power back. When we think that we are incomplete and we require someone else to complete us, we are powerless until that happens, yet within a certain amount of variable time, after we find that special someone, something is likely to cause us to feel incomplete again, even with the one who supposedly completes us. It is simply because we aren't loving ourselves and realizing that we are whole and complete already.

I think that a healthy vow would be, “I don't need you to complete me. I want you to be with me because I enjoy being around you. I feel good when I'm around you. I love your laugh. You're smart and you are great to talk with. I love myself just the way I am, as I love you just the way you are. For however long coming together will enhance and benefit us both, I'm in for that, and when it's not, I'm okay with that too. Thank you for being my friend and lover. I so enjoy being with you. I look forward to enjoying being with you in the days to come. I love you without any conditions attached as we come together freely seeking to enhance our joy.”

This is true when it comes to careers, jobs, other kinds of relationships, and more. We keep our power within ourselves when we don't need those people or situations outside of ourselves to know our value. Our value within is a gift from our Creator, and She will never take that away, and as long as we choose to be full and not give it away ourselves, we are complete within. A relationship based on need is weak. A relationship based on desire from a place of fullness is always strong.


Let Us Come Together As Equal Whole People, Whether In Business Or In Our Relationships. That Place Is Limitless. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whatever the weather wherever you are, there is joy in the air. Grab some.

What If They Don’t Show Up?

“There is no better opportunity to receive 
more than to be thankful for what you already have. 
Thanksgiving opens up the windows of opportunity 
for ideas to flow your way.”

“Asking is the beginning of receiving. 
Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. 
At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.”

“One good customer well taken care of 
could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.”

“It is our philosophical set of the sail
that determines the course of our lives. 
To change our current direction, 
we have to change our philosophy, not our circumstances.”

“The best motivation is self-motivation. 
The guy says, “I wish someone would come by and turn me on.” 
What if they don’t show up? 
You’ve got to have a better plan for your life.”

— Jim Rohn(1930-2009)

[Classic post from 12-25-09]

I am so thankful for Jim Rohn and all that he left for us that will benefit millions for many years to come. He has left a very powerful legacy.

“It is our philosophical set of the sail…” This quote sums up Jim Rohn as well as any could. He was a philosopher. The interesting thing that I’ve learned over the years is that it is our thinking that causes and creates. It all starts and ends there. So what he says is so true. It is also the way that change becomes permanent. When you understand what you do and why and what you can do to change and keep the change, it will always be philosophical, or your thinking and consequent beliefs. It is not a means to an end as much as a lifelong study that gets better with age and accumulation.

One of my favorite books by Jim Rohn is Leading An Inspired Life. I can also highly recommend another favorite of mine, The Seasons Of Life. Both are available in softcover for a few bucks. Both of these are so inspiring and uplifting and that is what Jim Rohn does so well.

Of all that I have heard from Jim Rohn, one idea stands out above all others. I don’t remember what tape set it was, but I’m thinking it was Take Charge of Your Life. He said something like this: “There’s two ways to have the tallest building: One is to become known as a builder and the other is to be known as a destroyer by tearing everyone else’s building down. You might tear a few down, and then they’ll be out on the street saying, ‘I’ve heard of you!'”

That thought has really helped me beyond measure to stop messing with other people’s lives or how I think they should be and concentrate on being the best I can be. But, it is even better than this. It has really helped me see that there is really no such thing as competition. If there is no competition, there is no need to worry about what others are doing.

Another so powerful idea that I have totally accepted is being self-motivated. What if no one shows up is right. That’s a big problem. When I accept the challenge myself, I am empowered to live fully. I can’t succeed alone. I need other people and other people’s ideas, but I cannot wait for them to move me to action, or even to fill me with knowledge or skill. I rely on myself for all of that. Thank goodness.

Being grateful is a piece of magic. There is nothing so powerful as gratitude and it costs nothing, yet pays so well. The best thing is how it multiplies and expands without any coaxing. The more it is practiced, the more it expands. There is an unending supply of it to give away and unending joy in return. What a great gift.

Thank you! I appreciate you!

I Am So Thankful For Every Little Thing!

Spread Some Joy Today–See how many times you can show gratitude to someone today. Count all of your blessings and watch them grow!

Is That Okay?

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions: 
Who am I around? What are they doing to me? 
What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying?
 Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? 
And most important, what do they have me becoming? 

Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?.”

— Jim Rohn

[Classic post from 12-26-09]

Excellent questions. The people around us will always have an influence. The question is what kind of influence? Of course, that question does go both ways, doesn't it?

Being around people who are always complaining, talking down about things, and just generally disagreeable has an effect on me. After a time, I start talking like them and even thinking like them, then I am them. I don't really want that though! As a result of wanting more for myself than this, I have stayed away from people who have that disposition. I want to be around uplifting, encouraging, and exciting people. It is so much better! It is so much more productive as well.

When I first started out in sales at a car dealership at age 22. I used to hang out with the guys and just talk about stuff. It was pretty ugly. I learned to use the f-word in just about every sentence as an adjective, a noun, an expletive, a pronoun, virtually every way possible. Once I realized how ingrained it had become, it was a challenge to get rid of it. Now I say it less in a whole year than I used to in a paragraph. That's how powerful an effect people can have on you and not even see it immediately. You just want to be one of the guys. No problem. Choose the guys wisely.

Who do they have me reading? In the past, it would have been the newspaper, and sports magazines, but certainly not books and certainly not non-fiction books. Being in sales there would be a great need to read about how to be good at that and get better. I wanted more, so I had to move away and go it alone.

What do they have me thinking? Well, you can tell by the last two paragraphs that it wasn't exactly inspiring. It was fun for a while until the jokes got too bold, but I started seeing no value in being in this group. I wanted more.

So, the most important question was, “was this okay?” It was not. I wanted more. That is really the key right there: I wanted more. When you want more, you go where you need to go and find new friends, or even go it alone for a time to get there.

People absolutely have an effect on us. Who do we want to emulate? If not them, I will be moving on to find those that I do want to emulate.

I Choose Good Questions!

Spread Some Joy Today–Make a list of great questions to periodically ask yourself. Then ask them. Here's a good one to ask your real friends: Have I told you I love you lately?

Changing Yourself Changes Those Around You

“We don’t see things as they are,
we see them as we are.”

— Anais Nin

[Classic post from 2-28-16]

Many people don’t believe that we create our own world, and I respect their beliefs. I, for one, very much believe that we do create our own world, and I have all kinds of evidence of that as I pay attention to the subtle changes that become major changes in my life.

Many people don’t believe in the Law of Attraction, and I respect their beliefs. I, for one, know for sure and for certain that the Law of Attraction is not only real but that it is something that rules the entire Universe and that believing in it or not doesn’t matter. It simply is. It simply and perfectly does. With or without our belief. With or without our knowledge. With or without our participation. It is in a simple way that gravity is, yet infinitely more powerful and far-reaching. Gravity doesn’t care whether we believe in it or not. It simply is.

I didn’t decide to change. I don’t recall a decision in that way. I was searching, however, for answers, for wisdom, to have a better life. Little decisions, maybe. Like, I would buy a book or something by following my inner guidance, even though at the time, I would not have known it that way so much.

I have a book on my bookshelf by Gloria D. Benish, titled, Go Within or Go Without – A Simple Guide To Self-Healing. Many times I’ll walk by my bookshelf and see that title and it reminds me where all of my answers come from. They come from inside me.

Paul Coehlo said, “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: It isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” All of the best external teachers and mentors in my life are good for me because they lead me to my own inner knowing. How do I know this? Because their teaching resonates within me. To me, to resonate means to match vibrations creating resonance or fullness–to vibrate in unison.

But, I said I have evidence. It is this: the people that used to be in my life that seemingly caused confusion, dissonance, argument, bad feelings, anger, frustration, and a long list of other mental and physical ailments, are no longer there. They are not in my world anymore. I used to attract them because, without realizing it, I was a vibrational match to what that person was bringing to me. What I thought was their crap was truly my own. What I saw as their anger, I found within myself. Though it doesn’t seem logical, our vibrations were resonating or matching. The Law of Attraction is unfailing. It always matches us up with who we are at the moment, and what we have been thinking and feeling leading to that moment. I brought it on myself so to speak.

As I learned more about this and what I was doing to myself, by giving up the blaming of others, I began also to accept responsibility for my own life and those that I come in contact with. As I changed for the better, the strangest secret or the strangest thing happened: the people around me began to change for the better. Now the people around me are generally happy, kind, considerate, thoughtful, loving, inspiring, uplifting because I am those things and as the Law of Attraction matches my vibrations with like vibrations of others, I find more and more joy in my life and I create a better and more enjoyable world within and all around me.

Change Yourself And You Change Those Around You.

Spread Some Joy Today–Stir it up, spin it like cotton candy, delight in the treat.

The Values Of Doing A Thing

“Nothing stops 
 without something else beginning.” 
 
— Alan Cohen 
 

Audio version

[Classic post from 7-11-15]

Somewhere along our travels, most of us have picked up expectations of how things should work. For example, how long should a marriage last? Until death do you part, right? Well, for sure for some and surely not for others. A better answer to the question might be until we choose otherwise.

Once I start my business, how long should it stay in business? Forever? Answer: Until is doesn't any longer. I grew up thinking Macy's was a forever store, then they went out of business. Well, let's say it is still there but it ain't the same.

I opened a musical instrument store and had it for a year and a half. Does that mean it failed? That could certainly be an assumption, but that would not be the truth. It didn't fail. I no longer had the desire for it. I had a desire for something different. So, I stopped one and started another. As far as I was and am concerned, it was a huge success. If nothing else, it was a grand educational experience which is useful in my life and that of others 35 years after the fact.

We have all manner of expectations that have been handed down to us, but you know, the only thing that really matters is our own experience and how we choose to view that experience. So, what might be some of the values of a short-lived enterprise or relationship?

  • Creation. We take nothing more (which is really everything) than an idea and then take that thought and breathe life into it (it was already alive there) and cause it to be created in our reality. In other words, it went from the non-physical into the physical.
  • Co-Creation. We did it with others. It was not a single person's creation, but all who participated helped shape the outcome.
  • The economy moved. Money changed hands. Funds were raised, expended.
  • Education. We learned. There is much to learn every single day.
  • Change. We changed. Others changed. Nothing is static.
  • Difference. We made a difference. What we did mattered. What kind of difference may not be measurable from our own perspective. We cannot do anything and not make a difference.
  • Improvement. We made some improvements. However small or large they may be, improvements are a given.
  • Benefit. We provided a benefit, or many benefits to the community, to others, to the world.
  • Friends. We find new friends. Maybe even lifetime friends.
  • Passion. Beginnings are so often about passion.
  • Love. We get to share our love. We get to expand and enrich our own love. 

This is just a shortlist, and this process of thinking about things in this way is very helpful. Everything we do is a choice. We choose here, choose that, choose an idea, choose participants, convince others, promote our ideas, all choices. We choose to begin, to continue for a time, and then we choose to let go. If it continues to float on its own for a time, so be it, and if it doesn't, it is done for now, and on to another choice.

The most important choice we have is how we want to feel about our experiences. It is as easy to feel joy in having done something as it is to feel sad that it is no longer. Time is such a poor concept on the judgment of our experiences, and time is only an idea. Our living is always this moment, this moment, this moment. How we choose to feel is this moment, this moment, this moment.

I have found from a lifetime of study that to find ways to appreciate, love, and celebrate enhances our experience immeasurably. We all get to choose that or choose otherwise.

“In A Gentle Way, You Can Shake The World.” — Mahatma Gandhi 

Spread Some Joy Today–by making it your choice to do so.

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