An exploration of flower essences you can choose
to change the behavior that leads to exhaustion.


  1. the state of being drained of strength or energy, worn out
  2. used up, completely spent
  3. a state of extreme weakness or fatigue

It’s good to feel tired at the end of a day of work and play, but feeling exhausted is better reserved for the occasional situation. Being tired is our body’s way of telling us that it is time to renew our energy by taking a break, a nap, going to sleep, or just doing something different for a while. When we’re tired, new inspiration usually accompanies the return of energy when we regenerate.

When we’re exhausted, we have spent not only our strength, but also we’ve used up our energy reserves. Instead of making a small withdrawal, we have emptied the whole bank account.

How can we recognize the difference between feeling tired and being exhausted? When we are tired, our body and/or brain tells us that we might want to stop what we are doing for a little. If we stop for a while, we easily refresh ourselves.

However, if we don’t stop, we usually still have the energy to move on ahead if we choose, but we will use our reserve. Some of us are so used to pushing on ahead with what we are doing that we do not hear the message of our body or our brain when it send indications that it is time to rest. We have an ingrained sense that the end justifies the means, so we push on without even hearing the message.

When we are exhausted, there is no more energy to take action or even think about what we want to do. We are fully worn out, used up, and all our energy has been consumed. It takes longer to regenerate our energy than it would have if we had taken a break when we were at the tired stage. Our body has employed a great amount of adrenaline to sustain us with our reserve energy. To regenerate now means that we will probably experience a cortisone drop, which is a state of feeling uninspired, sleepy, having difficulty waking up, and very low energy. Depending upon how far we have pushed ourselves, this state can last for days, weeks, and even months. When we are exhausted, we have gone to the extreme: we have used our energy to focus and work beyond our normal limits and we experience an equal and opposite reaction with an inability to focus and extreme mental, emotional, and physical tiredness.

Why Do We Push Ourselves?

Some of us equate pushing ourselves beyond our limits with being alive or having a purpose. It means we are strong, tough, and able to handle the challenge of daily life. We are deluded in thinking we are superwoman or superman and the master of our life. Others of us have been taught by the example of our parents or teachers that doing things is greater than simply being. Perhaps others push themselves as a way of never stopping to face the quietness and simplicity of being. After all, if they haven’t a goal or something constructive to do, what is the purpose of living?

Pushing ourselves is important in life. We sometimes must overcome an inertia that slows us into disinterest and dampens the spark of life. Yet there is a difference between a healthy push and a chronic overdoing that depletes our energy reserves.

There is a point at which we can make a conscious decision whether we will push on ahead and use our energy reserves, or rest and regenerate before we are spent. We have to learn where that point is and flower essences can be an excellent aid in the process.

“Doing” Addiction

The Integrating Being & Doing Formula is excellent for helping us to find the point at which we can choose whether to push ahead or rest. This is the essence of choice for understanding workaholism or a “doing” addiction. It can help us consciously find an appropriate balance between doing and being, and ultimately helps us find how we can retain a consciousness of being as we are engaged in action of any kind.

Excessive Mental Stimulation

If our exhaustion is the result of too much mental stimulation, Fairy Duster flower essence can be our friend. In The Alchemy of the Desert – Second Edition, I described an important aspect of Fairy Duster:

Photo of Fairy Duster

For those of us who have been taught that the intellect is king, Fairy Duster helps us resolve mental tyranny over the body. For instance, you may be happily and excitedly working on a project when your stomach sends the message that it is time to eat. You just don’t want to stop and eat right then. Maybe you have only a certain amount of time in which you can work on the project. Perhaps you are afraid that you will lose your flow of creativity. Maybe you are more interested in the project than you are in providing yourself with something to eat. For whatever reason, you allow your thoughts to be more important than your bodily requests. The mind is in control and the body suffers.

If we ignore our bodily impulse and continue our mental pursuit, we may find that we have had too much mental stimulation and we can feel burned out. We are left feeling tired and unable to cope with taking care of our needs.

Fairy Duster can help us find a balance with intellectual stimulation and bodily needs by soothing our intense mental focus and allowing it to encompass the needs of our body and emotions.

Emotional Exhaustion

Photo of Buffalo Gourd

Buffalo Gourd is the essence I like to use to recover from emotional exhaustion and to learn equipoise. During times of change we may find ourselves subject to emotional swings. One moment we have faith in our process. Life is exciting. The next moment we face all of our inner doubts and we feel depressed or fearful. Emotional swings may leave us exhausted. With so much movement in our emotional bodies, we may feel drained and unable to cope with the complexities of our changing natures.

Buffalo Gourd supports us in knowing that our center is right within us. When we identify ourselves as our center, we can experience emotional situations without becoming them. Buffalo Gourd doesn’t stop us from experiencing our emotions but it does help us remain centered and in a state of equipoise. We find the equilibrium we need to be able to remain anchored in our own center, unaffected by other people or situations.

Dysfunctional Behaviors

Another source of exhaustion comes when we continually repeat the same behaviors and feel overextended, overcommitted, and we unsuccessfully try really hard at something. The result of staying in a rut is eventual exhaustion because we are putting energy into activity that no longer has a rewarding result. Whitethorn flower essence helps us let go of old patterns and habits, through bringing us a fresh new perspective and the possibility of renewal.


Photo of Woven Spine Pineapple Cactus

Woven Spine Pineapple Cactus is the flower essence to use when we feel completely exhausted, overburdened, and tired to the depth of our being. When we feel burdened or burned out, we are usually driving ourselves too hard and we completely believe that it is necessary to do so. This essence helps us stand back and see that we must care for ourselves first before we can be effective in the world. It helps us to become our own best friend, changing our focus to our source of self-caring wisdom. This is the essence I use to recover from jet lag, surgery, or any exhausting experience.

Chronic Exhaustion and Adrenaline Addiction

If we find that we are chronically exhausted, we need to look at how our behavior provokes adrenaline production in our bodies. From my own experience I can say that adrenaline can be a very enticing drug high that can become addictive. It is a tricky addiction to deal with because adrenaline is produced by our own body. Once we are used to living with excessive adrenaline, we may feel that we are only alive and living when we are high on it.

Situations that are rich with drama, chaos, or intense difficulty can all result in your body producing high levels of adrenaline. If you were raised in a dysfunctional family, you might have gotten used to high adrenaline situations and think of them as normal.

Those who are chronically caught up in adrenaline producing situations can use Camphorweed flower essence. It gently diffuses old patterns, bringing us a more grounded presence. It helps us recognize our gentle nature and soften a more intense approach to life. Gentle strength can be even more powerful than brute force.

About eighteen years ago I discovered a protocol for releasing the cellular effects of chronic adrenaline addiction.[1] First, I use Indian Root for a period of four weeks. This has the effect of releasing the habitual need for adrenaline and the cellular effects of long-term excessive adrenaline production.

I then follow with Windflower for two weeks. This essence helps us to find the balance point where peaceful observation resides, rather than needing the highs and lows of the adrenaline pattern. It establishes a new way of being that can replace the wildness of the former approach to living.

About two months after I initially used this protocol, I was hiking out in the desert when I suddenly almost stepped on a coiled rattlesnake. Of course my body let forth a great burst of adrenaline. It was so powerful, that once I was out of range of the snake, I had to sit down for about twenty minutes to let the adrenaline subside. My body had found such a new relationship to adrenaline that I felt overwhelmed when it was released in such a great amount.

This protocol has now been used by many people with the same success. It creates a new opportunity to recreate your approach to life without the need for excesses. Some people, after using the Indian Root, say that their life seems boring or uneventful. Once they complete the Windflower cycle, however, they find that they can find fulfillment without having to have events be dramatic, chaotic or extreme.

The Wind & Storm Formula is another excellent flower essence for keeping us out of high-adrenaline situations. There are times in our life when we are faced with great change or situations of chaos that we cannot avoid. Moving our home is one common example. When we are obliged to deal with chaos and change it is helpful to have an attitude of acceptance and flow with the changes, rather then try to control everything. Wind & Storm Formula brings us this kind of support. When we expect the unexpected, we don’t resist and create struggle. This essence supports us a vital shift of attitude that makes all the difference.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person’s specific needs. Different people have different reasons they exhaust themselves. The process itself of exploring and contemplating why you feel exhausted is important. It is the foundation for successfully selecting the most beneficial flower essences. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for the root of your exhaustion.

Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]

For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.


  • 1: The Alchemy of the Desert – Second Edition, page 170

List of the Flower Essences Mentioned in this Article

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