Gawain's best known book is Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Life (1978). It has been a bestselling book for nearly 40 years. The book was said to have inspired Des'ree's 1994 hit song "You Gotta Be". Gawain was 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, divided their time between California and Hawaii. Her father was a professor at a military academy in Northern California. Her mother, Elizabeth M. Gawain (1921—2017 ), was a city planner for HUD in Washington DC in the 1970s.