Born Carol Louisa Gawain, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in fine arts, dance in the mid 1970s.
Gawain's best known book is Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life (1978), which launched a movement. She is the co-founder, with Marc Allen, of New World Library Publishing Company  and founder of Nataraj Publishing, a division of New World Library.
Gawain and her husband Jim Burns divide their time between California and Hawaii. Her father was a professor at a military academy in Northern California. Her mother, Elizabeth M Gawain (born 1921), was a city planner for HUD in Washington DC in the '70s and currently resides in Northern California with her daughter.
- "Creative Visualization" (1978)
- Living in the Light: A Guide to Personal and Planetary Transformation (1985)
- Developing Intuition: Practical Guidance for Daily Life (1987)
- Contacting Your Inner Guide: Step-By-Step Guided Meditations Designed to Help You Make Choices That Are Right for You (1989)
- Return to the Garden (1989)
- Awakening: A Daily Guide to Conscious Living (1991)
- Every Moment: A Journal with Affirmations (1992)
- Meditations: Creative Visualization and Meditation Exercises to Enrich Your Life (1992)
- The Path of Transformation: How Healing Ourselves Can Change the World (1993)
- Making Sense of Your Dollars: A Biblical Approach to Wealth (1995)
- The Four Levels of Healing: A Guide to Balancing the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, and Physical Aspects of Life (1996)
- Creative Visualization Meditations (1996)
- Creating True Prosperity(1997)
- Creative Visualization and Transformation (1997)
- Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship (2000)
- Reflections in the Light: Daily Thoughts and Affirmations (2003)
- Create Your Own Affirmations: A Creative Visualization Kit (2003)
- The Millionaire Course: A Visionary Plan for Creating the Life of Your Dreams (2003)
- Living in the Light: Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and a New World (2011)
- "New Age Author Balances Life Like the Rest of Us" Miami Herald
- New-Age "Author Gawain Goes "Back to the Garden" Los Angeles Daily News