We had the good fortune of connecting with Dani Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dani, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work life balance has drastically changed over the last decade. Through major self-exploration and discovery, I can proudly say that I’m the most fulfilled I’ve ever been in my adult life thus far. I’ve had to make a lot of mistakes, I think that’s how I found balance honestly. It was during times of challenge and pain and hardship that drove me to make choices that contributed to the kind of life I want to live. Spending hours and hours away from the people I want to be with most for a job that didn’t interest or excite me took its toll, and I started making decisions and holding boundaries that directly contributed to gaining back more and more control over my own time and schedule.
Over the last couple of years I’ve been learning what I call the “Ron Swanson Lesson” (which is a Park & Rec quote I hope people catch), where I’ve had to evaluate my priorities and ask myself if I’m half-assing many things or whole-assing MY things. These reflections eventually led me to make the decision to leave my first business that I co-founded with my friends, Arcana Herbal, and focus on what I want to create and offer through That Witch Next Door. This process isn’t easy, restructuring my entire life and career has been nothing short of the world’s greatest emotional roller coaster, but I can sit here and honestly say I’m living my truth. Which is pretty damn cool. I think the 5-years-younger me would be relieved to know the future she has to look forward to. A life-work balance that is almost seamless because I’m so blessed to have the luxury of owning my own business and owning my own time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Witchcraft, Astrology, Divination: my personal holy trinity. My line of work has its own vast demographic, but we’re still a little “underground” despite the massive trends in the witchcraft community right now. It’s been an interesting journey because I’m the only witch in my family, the only astrologer, and the only one who reads tarot. I remember growing up trying to convince myself that everyone was right and that I wasn’t psychic. So it wasn’t easy getting to where I’m at now.
When I think about how I got here, I can’t deny that all of this is deeply rooted in my childhood. I grew up mixing potions from things I’d find outside, imagining that playing cards each had their own personalities and interactions, and believing (knowing) my toys came to life when I wasn’t looking. The older I got, I saw how magic seemed to leave most of my friends, but it never left me. Santa Claus came to my house way longer than he did my friends. I was obsessed with the paranormal, needing to know everything I could about spirits and the afterlife. And for reasons I was never able to consciously identify, I’d feel called to stare at myself in the mirror until I fell into a trance, hoping I’d sneak a peek into another realm (spoiler alert: this is an ancient practice known as scrying).
This all probably sounds so enchanting, but the truth is it made me feel weird; like there wasn’t anyone out there who truly understood me. I remember talking about my fascination with ghosts and the dead, and seeing looks of horror on the listeners’ faces. My beliefs of how we came to be, why we exist, what happens when we die – no one I knew shared any of them. I’d tell a friend I knew something was going to happen before it did and it was always chalked up to me seeking attention. And don’t even get me started on the Santa thing. In hindsight, these challenges were crucial to my journey. Had I not learned to push past others’ approval or disapproval, I don’t think I’d be the practitioner I am today. But I’m so grateful to have married such a loving, supportive, and accepting partner because I finally came to a place in my life where I wasn’t afraid to be myself anymore. I grabbed the tarot deck and I’ve never looked back, so to speak. (Ha! Witchcraft actually requires a lot of “looking back” and reflection work.)
My values are a huge part of what sets me apart because I’m not the old school psychic who will read your aura and tell you what to expect in 30 years. I offer my clients truth in the present and their future potential based on their current trajectory, so that they can empower themselves to manifest the future THEY want. I want my services to guide individuals to their best growth and highest good. As such, I pride myself on practicing what I preach. The exercises and homework I assign are things I personally implement in my own spirituality and inner work. I think accountability and integrity are challenging practices, but are two of the most crucial. Without them, we see exploitation, victimization, and manipulation. This is where the scam artists come in and can ruin it for the rest of us. That’s why I make it a priority to be transparent in my personal growth and progress. I want people to feel like they can relate and therefore trust in the spiritual process.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Colorado! I was born and raised not far at all from where I live and work now, but I’m probably the worst tour guide because I don’t love crowds. My favorite spots are local, family-owned restaurants because I have a passion for FOOD. I’m such a stereotypical foodie. So I have a mix of tried-and-true favorites that serve up the ultimate comfort meals, but I’m also always looking for unique menus. When friends visit I have to take them to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Tea Garden, and my favorite Mexican place, La Fonda (hands down, best chile rellenos).
When it comes to nightlife, I’m such a mom. The perfect evening to me is going all out at a restaurant, hitting our neighborhood liquor store, and heading back to our house for drinks and conversation with friends. Our place has become the unofficial spot for parties big and small, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a natural hostess and I’m in my element when I’m home and entertaining. I love floating around from different groups of people, offering shots or appetizers, getting caught up in various conversations, then heading back to the kitchen to do dishes (a huge guilty pleasure of mine).
No matter how big of a homebody I can be, since the first lockdowns in 2020, I have really begun to miss live music though. One of my most favorite places in Denver is Nocturne, a small jazz club. They have a kickass menu and awesome live jazz. And as things are starting to open back up, I can’t wait to get friends together and get back to Cervantes again.
For daytime activities I’m a huge museum connoisseur. One of my favorite things to do with my husband is either head to Denver Museum of Nature & Science, or look up smaller, local museums we’ve never been to before. I love learning about history, and historical sites have the ability to give us the temporary power of time travel.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to dedicate my Shoutout to Arcana Herbal, and to Erica and Sadie, my friends and former business partners. There would be no Witch Next Door without the Arcana Herbal journey and everything I experienced with Sadie and Erica. Even though we are no longer a business team, I will always cherish my years and memories with these exceptional women. We laughed, cried, yelled, screwed up, accomplished, and laughed some more. I will never be able to think back on this chapter of my story without a massive outpouring of love and gratitude in my heart.
Other: Pinterest – @thatwitchdani
Kailee Nauman at EclecticDesigns.co